Emilie Mateu, a USC undergraduate senior, was an NBC intern during the London Olympics this past summer. She shared her experiences on her blog, An American Frog in London. She answered several questions on her amazing experience. This is Part II; read Part I here!
I saw you have some pictures from instagram! I saw a lot of pictures from the Olympics on there. Did you notice that too? Were there any you liked in particular?
The Olympics is one of the few things that almost everyone watches, so naturally all forms of social media (including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) were inundated with Olympics related content. For those of us that were lucky enough to be at the Olympics, there was a photo to be taken at almost every moment. One of my favorite photos that I took, aside from those that I took at the many events I attended was of the big Olympic rings hanging from the Tower Bridge. The Tower Bridge is so iconic of London and to see the rings hanging from it made the whole scene seem even more unreal than it already does.
You wrote that now you prefer sports over the news. Can you expand on why?
I prefer sports over the news mostly because I’ve found it to be much more positive and uplifting. Typically the worst thing that will happen in sports is that a team loses or someone gets injured, which I prefer to the murders and car chases that often need to be covered by traditional news stations. As an aspiring producer, I specifically want to work for the Olympics though because I really enjoyed putting in efforts behind the scenes to highlight athletes who work really hard at what they do. Furthermore, the Olympics feature pieces, such as the athlete profiles, are incredibly interesting and touch a lot of people. Those who aren’t inclined to regularly turn on sports watch the Olympics because of the amazing stories and narratives that allow you to get to know the athletes and feel connected to their journeys. And of course, working for the Olympics enables you to travel all over the world!
What was the London atmosphere like when you would go out? What kind of people did you meet?
As far as the London atmosphere, having the Olympics there put everyone in a good mood. When I went out, I would typically be in a group of interns – some of them British, some American – and we would meet lots of people from all over. Many British people were somehow involved in the Games, either as volunteers or in some other capacity so it was very cool to meet others that were as excited about everything as we were. Everyone was very friendly and there was always a conversation to be had.
What were your favorite sports to watch in real life? What about on TV?
On TV, gymnastics is my favorite sport to watch. I got to go to a men’s gymnastics event in real life and it wasn’t quite as exciting as watching the sport on TV because when you are at home on your couch, you don’t realize that there are also multiple other events going on at the same time. As far as my favorite sport to have watched in real life, it’s definitely a tie between basketball, track and swimming. I just can’t choose one because they were all so different and exciting in their own ways. But track was definitely special because it was in the main stadium and that’s also where the Olympic flame was. Before any race, the entire crowd of thousands of people would get so dead silent that you could hear a pin drop. And as soon as the gun went off they would erupt into noise…It was literally a scene from a movie.
Would you go to Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016?
I can only hope that I get to go to Sochi and Rio!! Now that I’ve gone to the Olympics once, I want nothing more than to find a way to go to all Olympic Games from here on out for the rest of my life…and if it’s as an NBC employee than that would be even more amazing! So many of the people I was working with have been working for the Olympics for years and years so that’s a really good sign that maybe I’ll have my chance to go to another one. As I said in my blog, it’s because the experience is special and so are the people who work for NBC Olympics. There aren’t many jobs out there that are cool enough to keep people excited and energized long enough to come back year after year.