Sport Media major Chris Lotsbom is in London covering the Summer Olympic Games for NBC and other media outlets. Previous entries: Introduction // Post #1 // Post #2 // Post #3 // Post #4 // Post #5 // Post #6
By Chris Lotsbom ’13
Days three and four of track and field here at the Olympics were simply unbelievable. I know in Saturday evening’s post I said that Saturday was one of the best days of my life; watching an unbelievable men’s 10,000 meter race — won by Great Britain’s Mo Farah, who only edged American Galen Rupp by a stride — and seeing Great Britain’s own Jessica Ennis win the heptathlon are two memories I will look back on frequently in the future. But Sunday and Monday made quite an impression on me as well!
Yesterday, I began the morning early by heading to St. James’s Park where the women’s marathon began. Seeing many familiar faces and friends who were competing, it was neat to share in the athletes’ excitement for the upcoming race. After aiding Lewis Johnson with some interviews, I watched from the media tribune next to the finish. From there I saw the athletes start, run by four times, then cross the finish line in front of me. When they weren’t running in front of the tribune, I could watch the action on the international broadcast feed.
Despite downpours throughout the morning, the race was awesome. After talking to athletes in the mixed zone (where reporters obtain quick interviews from as many athletes as possible as they walk by) and attending the post-race press conference, I recapped the marathon for Race Results Weekly.
Soon after the marathon concluded, I made my way back to the Olympic Stadium in time for the afternoon track session. After logging some of the field event action for NBC, I headed up to the NBC broadcast booth to watch the men’s 3000 meter steeplechase and the men’s 100 meter dash, where the Jamaicans and Usain Bolt put on a show. I’ve never seen so many flash bulbs nor heard a roar quite like the one that night.
Many celebrities came out to see the 100 meters, and it was really neat catching a glimpse of them in person. Close by were Paul McCartney, John McEnroe, Doc Rivers and Michael Johnson, a four-time Olympic gold medalist in the sprints. And of course members of the Royal Family were there, with Prince William and Princess Kate taking in the action only a few boxes away from where I sat. Seeing McCartney was especially cool because I literally almost bumped into him as I was leaving the booth. Heading for the stairs, fans were singing and yelling out ‘Paul! Paul!’ so I looked up to see why and there right in front of me was Sir McCartney!
Monday was just as fun. After this morning’s session at the track, a few fellow interns and I ventured through Olympic Park, stopping at the Today Show and wandering through the official Olympic stores set up around the Park. Catching the tail end of the Today Show broadcast, we saw Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales.
One thing my friends and I were discussing at length today was the Olympic atmosphere and how we would describe it to our friends and family back home. Really, the only way we could put it into perspective was to think of one of the Harry Potter movies, where everyone is united at the Quiddich Cup — they’re all are decked out in school colors, waving flags and cheering for their favorite team. Here in London, the same happens, as everyone takes pride in their nationality. At the Olympics, all spectators have flags draped around their shoulders or painted on their faces. If you don’t have your favorite nation across your chest then something is wrong!
One last thing before I head off to bed and prepare for tomorrow’s action. The media here at the track and field venue never cease to amaze me. So many outlets from across the globe are here, taking up a corner of the lower bowl of the Olympic Stadium and many large work rooms in the adjacent areas. It’s cool to see them all hard at work, rigorously typing and recording video to spread the thrill of the Olympic Games to those back home. Over the past few days I’ve gotten to catch up and see some of the best in the business, including friends David Epstein (Sports Illustrated) and Joe Battaglia (NBCOlympics.com).
Hard to believe I’ve been here for more than a week and only have ten days left!