How do you get an Olympic hopeful’s number? Ask for it

In high school, you strived to get the cutest boy’s number or the cell of the “OMG most popular girl evaaaa!”

(To be clear, I don’t really talk like this).

In college, apparently, you strive to get Olympic athletes’ numbers. I did not see that one coming.

When I enrolled in the BSU at the Games immersive-learning class, I expected to be talking with athletes from the furthest distance—a few Twitter questions here, maybe a short conversation at the media summit or the Olympic Games. Never did I ever expect to be texting with athletes.

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Despite popular belief, Olympic hopefuls really are just people. In fact, they’re people with a brand they’re trying to publicize. Athletes don’t get paid on their #roadtosochi. They only make money when they win medals or gain a sponsor. Therefore, the more publicity they get, even from small college immersive-learning classes, the better they look to sponsors.

It turns out, media summits and Twitter questions are just the start of contact with the athletes. If I looked at my phone now, I would see messages with bobsledders, snowboarders and PR agents. And all I had to do was ask for their contact information.

After one conversation with an athlete or their PR rep, if you need more time to talk with an athlete for a story, you just ask for their number. That’s it. That is literally all you have to do. Again, I did not see that one coming

Well, then contact them as soon as you get back, so they remember who you are.

Maybe I should be getting used to seeing prominent names AND numbers in my personal cell phone, so when I see them or attain a new one, I don’t throw an internal celebration (a celebration that really isn’t internalized so well). But I don’t really see myself becoming more comfortable with that feeling.

Toto, I don’t think we’re in high school anymore.

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