Sports media students wrote profiles for the United States Olympics and Paralympics Museum digital archive.
(Photo: Jason O'Rear).
Sports media students write stories for U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum
Students in the Sports Media Certificate program profiled athletes from the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, including Bart Conner (gymnastics), Edwin Moses (track and field) and Megan Neyer (diving) in stories published to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Digital Museum.
The profiles were part of the curriculum in the spring 2020 section of “Multiplatform Storytelling for Sports.” The stories were published for the 40th anniversary of the U.S. boycott of the Moscow 1980 Games.
Zach Miles, one of the profile authors, researched, conducted interviews and wrote about Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas. Miles impressed the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Digital Museum staff and landed an internship with them over the summer.
“To be able to talk with former athletes and their families while hearing their stories and what representing the United States meant to them truly left me in awe,” said Miles. “It’s so important and valuable for these athletes to be remembered and honored in this way, and I was grateful that I was able to play a role in this by telling their stories.”
Museum communications professionals helped students refine their writing and provided feedback on their stories.
“The Museum is committed to education and working with future generations to instill the Olympic and Paralympic values,” Museum Chief Executive Officer Christopher Liedel said. “We are proud to work with a program with such a strong track record and the University of Georgia. Allowing students to learn about and tell the stories of these incredible athletes is just a terrific opportunity for us.”
The partnership builds on half a decade of coverage by sports media students for the Olympic Games, Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Games.
For 12 years, Vicki Michaelis, John Huland Carmical Chair in Sports Journalism & Society, was the USA Today lead Olympics reporter. She now teaches students the cultural influence of the Olympic Games as an international athletic showcase and the importance of documenting the athletes who perform on the global stage.
“Finding the stories worth telling is at the core of everything we teach, and, in my mind, no sports event offers up more of those stories than the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Michaelis. “They provide seemingly limitless opportunities for our students to hone their storytelling skills, whether they’re covering the Games as they happen or peeling back the pages of history.”
Sports media students have covered the 2016 and 2018 Olympic Games as credentialed journalists. A team of the college’s sports media and visual journalism students also covered the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil, with their stories and photos distributed globally by The Associated Press. Thanks to a gift from the John Huland Carmical Foundation, the AP partnership will continue at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo next summer.
You can read the profiles of the following 1980 U.S. Olympians: