I’ll be competing in an Olympic Games all my own

At the Media Summit in Park City, Utah, in October, I expected to meet worldly, experienced athletes who would give amazing quotes and, quite honestly, intimidate me.

While the majority of this turned out to be true, I didn’t find the athletes intimidating because they were my age or slightly older.

What?

I did not see that one coming. In mentally preparing for the summit, I didn’t think about the athlete’s age. I knew what they looked like, and they definitely didn’t look old. But I didn’t place them in an age range close to my own.

This helped the intimidation factor. The athletes were easy to talk to and willing to share their stories with us. In fact, some seemed more willing because our group of students was closer to their ages.

But it brought one thought to my mind: What on earth have I been doing with my life?

I’ll admit it—I wanted to be as cool as them.

Then it hit me. I don’t mean to sound not humble, but I am. I have been given the opportunity to report at the Winter Olympic Games in less than a month. I have been given the opportunity to actually travel to Sochi, Russia, to report on world athletes. In my book, that’s the next best thing to actually competing in the Games … right?

And again, not to sound ungrateful or not humble, but the fact I have this opportunity makes all of my other schoolwork EXTREMELY hard to be motivated to complete.  I am able to report on an event recognized universally. The stories I produce and the athletes I talk to actually go toward my portfolio or to another media outlet. Compare that to an ethics reflection paper, and I think the former wins.

Throughout this process, I’ve had to remind myself that I am a student. And that reflection paper, although tedious, counts toward something. Its purpose is to better myself.

Covering the Winter Olympic Games is not only the chance of a lifetime, but it’s a learning opportunity. Whether that’s a lesson in time management or brushing up on my sweet interview skills, out of this immersive learning opportunity I have been given more than an opportunity. I get to take what I learn everyday in classes and put it into practice. And it’s pretty neat to watch that process.

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