On Feb. 4, a group of 24 students, three professors and one volunteer found out they were leaving a day early for Sochi, Russia to cover the Olympic Games.
Students’ professors were informed, extra material was gathered, and pants and T-shirts began to be rolled and placed into carry-ons.
Panic may have overwhelmed us for a little bit, but we had a 10-hour flight complete with endless food, drinks and movies to return us to normalcy. We got to be tourists for a day in Amsterdam, where we were cultured in architecture, the flower market and the Red Light District.
The next day we flew to Sochi. And that’s when the magic happened.
Our group spent a week going to Olympic events, riding trains to the Olympic Village or Adler or the town of Sochi. Our only duty each day was to find a story and tell it in the best way possible—through design, photo, video or text.
Each day, it was up to us to find the story and find the people necessary to interview to make it succeed into a full-fledged publishable article. And boy, were we published.
The Denver Gazette, USA Today, WTHR, CNN and The Spokesman Review were just a few of the names that published our freelance articles, both before and after the Games. At the same time, teams at home were producing graphics for The Chicago Tribune and keeping our own website and social media fresh.
Now our stories are finished and the Winter Olympics Games are over, but our work is not done. We are now well underway making two books, about the London and Sochi Olympic Games, and an iPad edition of both.
And people want to hear about what we experienced. Speaking tours to places like hometown high schools, institutions in Indy and panels on campus have begun,and have given us a chance to relive our experience.
Only two years away are the Rio Summer Olympic Games. BSU at the Games has gone to England and Russia. Why should another country be out of the question?