(In addition to two of our Grady Sports Media students, Emily Giambalvo and Cat Hendrick, who are covering the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Grady College also has two young alumni who are there in professional work capacities. We were able to catch up with our recent alumni before the games, and look forward to catching up with Giambalvo and Hendrick when they return.)
The Winter Olympics is an international sporting event that tests the best of the best in their athletic abilities. To compete is considered a great privilege for the athletes; for the sports journalist, covering the Olympics is a similar thrill. At the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Grady alumni Michael Terry (ABJ’12) and Kendra Hansey (ABJ’17) will cover one of the largest competitions on the international stage.
Terry, as the main media contact for the U.S. Athletes, will handle all media requests, produce material helpful to the media such as transcripts, stats and news as well as create content for the team’s own digital channels.
While he is the media contact for U.S. Athletes, during the three weeks of the game, the main event that he will cover is U.S. figure skating.
Once the Olympics begin, Terry’s day will be full, beginning with athlete warm-ups and followed by the actual competition. At the end of each day he will participate in the related media events.
Reporting on the different events takes hard work and dedication in the fast-paced environment of the Olympics. Reflecting on his job responsibilities Terry remarked, “It’s a unique balance between maximizing publicity for the athlete and the sport, while not distracting from the main goal, which is to win medals.”
This balance is achieved from seasoned journalists who have a passion for the sports industry. While Terry’s focus is on figure skating, Hansey will cover a different side to the Winter Games. In addition to working for the United States Olympic Committee, Hansey will report on the Paralympic Games.
“These athletes have phenomenal stories, however, the part I enjoy the most is finding ways to tell their stories in new ways. Being able to shift the focus from solely being on their impairment and expanding that focus is awesome. Especially being a part of the USOC, I get to meet and interact with these athletes and it just constantly drives you when you have a face, story and purpose to your work,” said Hansey.
Though each will hold different roles, both Terry and Hansey can trace their career success back to Grady College and the professors/mentors who invested in their future.
“My Grady education is the sole reason why I am where I am today and have been able to be successful in the sports media industry,” remarked Hansey. “It’s hard for me to believe that I would have been fortunate enough to get the access to high-level opportunities and a chance to speak to and learn from reputable, well-known professionals in the industry without being a Grady student. I’ll forever owe my sports media success to Grady.”
“I started working for Claude Felton (ABJ ’70, MA ’71) in the UGA sports communications office as a freshman in college and continued on as a graduate assistant,” said Terry. “He and other full-time employees in that office like Mike Mobley (ABJ ’89), Chris Lakos (ABJ ’90), Steve Colquitt (ABJ ’89), Leland Barrow (ABJ ’01) and Tim Hix are the reason I do what I do. They showed me it was important to enjoy your job.”
To attend and report on the Olympics is considered a great privilege as journalists gather together to share the stories of the athletes to the world. As the Winter Olympics draw near and Terry and Hansey prepare for three jam-packed weeks, all the skills they will use is a reflection of the education they received from Grady. Grady was the beginning of these two journalist’s career journeys and that has led them to be able to experience one of the biggest events in the sports industry.
“Grady took a gamble on the college junior that didn’t even know what a byline was and within two years, they took another gamble and entrusted that byline to represent them on a global platform,” reflected Hansey. “I remind myself of where I started and how God, my family and Grady have all played a cohesive role in chiseling away at those daunting obstacles and have helped me to achieve all that I’ve wanted and more.”