This weekend, the International Olympic Committee gathered in Buenos Aires and
had a big party that I wasn’t invited to made some big decisions that would reverberate throughout the next few years on a very international scale. Luckily, each representative is chosen by democratic vote by all Olympic partici — wait, what am I saying? Actually, the IOC’s new members are chosen by the current IOC’s members, based on no criteria whatsoever. Well, maybe wealth, and fame, and networking. Yes, it’s exactly like high school. And yes, that means all their decisions can be made — and likely are made — based on personal interest.
Anyway, they decided a lot of important Olympic decisions all on their own. In each circumstance, the country or sport made an impassioned bid and the IOC voted privately.
So I wanted to write a post about the controversy arising from a Russian lawmaker’s comment that Russia’s homophobic laws would be enacted with extreme prejudice on Olympic athletes. Unfortunately, this was very hard to write because I had a lot of righteous anger that is not usually conducive to typing on a computer, mainly because your urge to throw something across the room is in direct opposition with that fact. I wasn’t planning on writing about Sochi 2014 so soon. There’s so much information that I decided to organize this post on all the players involved. Please keep in mind that my tone is jesting because sometimes you have to laugh rather than continue to pull your hair out.
Look how pretty! Look how homophobic!
The Russian Government
Haha, Russia. You’re so funny. Yes, let’s host the largest international sporting event in the world and then threaten the people coming with possible human rights abuses. That’ll really up our brand. Better yet, let’s threaten the men and women who, by coming to this Olympics, are some of the most finely honed physical specimens in the world. They can probably all kill us with their bare hands and eat us for breakfast and then win a gold medal.
And what’s with you, passing such laws in the first place? Alright Russia, pretend you can do what you want and you don’t care what anyone thinks. I mean, it’s not like you’ve ever had to face the consequences when it comes to your actions towards minority groups, right? You’re been Russia all my life, so it’s always been that way, right?
A Look Back on London During the Games
It’s been almost a year since the London Olympics—my how time flies! To mark the occasion, we decided to pick each other’s brains about our time spent at the Olympics. Meeting people from around the world, getting swept up in the excitement—all with a camera in hand—there is one thing we both agree on: this was an experience that will never be forgotten.
Kia: What did you do before you got there to prepare?
Sulagna: I looked up lots and lots and lots of events on London 2012 websites, like pub meetups or shows or anything where I would meet people to interview. That’s how I found stuff like the Unexpected Items sketch comedy show. Although, once I got there I did find a lot of places where I would go over and get nothing back, like pubs I went to where people were like “No cameras ever.”
Kia: You got to London first and were on your own for a week, what was that like?
Sulagna: When I was on my own for a week, I was kind of at a loss. I didn’t have a phone and I figured I knew how the Tube worked, but it was all so overwhelming! It helped that I had family there that gave me advice. I had to force myself to talk to more people in one day than I would talk to in a month in real life. It was terrifying, but I liked all the people I met. Well, at least the ones that would talk to me! A couple people ran away from me! That was really odd. Oh, but the nice people were SO nice. One thing that was cool was that people were always celebrating over someone winning!
Kia: What did you go there hoping to catch on camera? What were you expecting people to say? And did you walk away from your first few interviews saying “Oh this is awesome?” or “Uh oh, I’m totally off the mark!”
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!
The Tower Bridge (from Emilie’s blog)
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.
Watching Phelps and Franklin win gold (from Emilie’s blog)
You wrote that now you prefer sports over the news. Can you expand on why?
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.
USC Interns fight on in Bob Costas’s Studio (from Emilie’s blog)
Why did you want to take this internship?
I would say that I was lucky to have been offered this internship! How could I not take it?! As a Broadcast Journalism major, it doesn’t get better than being offered an internship working with NBC for the Olympics. I had just studied abroad in London so I was really excited to be going back to such a fantastic city for such an epic world event. I have always loved the Olympics because it is one of the very few events that peacefully brings together people from all over the world and it still seems surreal that I was able to play a role in bringing the Olympic experience into people’s homes.
Bob Costas at London 2012 (via USA Today)
You said in your blog post, “I was called on to do everything from finding and buying 50 identical Sony headphones from three different stores, to picking up the gymnastics Director from the hospital. Andy and I would always joke that our skill sets were being used to their fullest capacities.” What are the weirdest assignments you had and why?
As far as weirdest assignments, buying 50 identical headphones was perhaps one of the most time consuming tasks I had because I had to go to three different electronic stores around London – in traffic – to find all of them. Another memorable moment (though there are many) was on a news shoot with Bob Costas. I got to go out on a lot of fun shoots and actually had to hold an umbrella over Bob Costas once when it was raining…Naturally I was the one getting rained on!