Monday, August 25, 2008


Remember that time I mentioned there were three types of Flash Quote Reporting? Probably not if you didn't read that post, which I don't blame you for. But if you did, you know I was broadcast FQR my first day at Athletics and video FQR each day since. Well I finally got thrown into the print mixed zone this time. It's the section after the broadcast and video area with more journalists and less athletes wanting to talk by that point. Depending on the importance of the athlete and event, I had to either squeeze in to hear athletes answer other journalists' questions or find the athletes and interview them myself while taking the quotes down. That's pretty much what I did the first week at basketball anyway. 

There were a good amount of events today. I started with the Women's 1500m Round 1. That was easy enough. The real fun started when I had to get quotes from the Women's Javelin Gold Medalist Barbora Spotakova. I found the Czech reporters and introduced myself, asking if one of them could translate what Spotakova said for me. The guy was fine with it. Sure enough after the interview, my new professional acquaintance told me Spotakova's quotes in English as I wrote them down. 

It turns out that some other papers were interested in what the Gold medalist had to say. I found 21 results on google of news sites using one of the lines I gathered, "I usually win with my first throw. I've never won with my last attempt; this is the first time." This site used the quote as it's headline. Yahoo! Sports used some of the quotes here

Next I had to follow the Men's Decathalon. They were the last to finish, so I had some time to hang around the ONS office. After sitting around for a little bit, I went to help out in the broadcast mixed zone before I had to go back inside. The main man I had to follow for quotes was Jeremy Wariner, who just finished with the silver medal in the Men's 400m after running out of gas in the final stretch. No one could get him to talk because he stormed past the reporters. When the BBC Radio reporter persisted, Wariner told her that NBC had asked a question that pissed him off. (I didn't see this happen, so I'm not sure if what he claimed was true.) He even temporarily escaped the final half of the mixed zone by stepping out the wrong way to talk to his manager. The poor volunteer working the area had to show this angry athlete back to correct pathway. 

At this point, I couldn't get anything from Wariner, so I went back to the print mixed zone and waited for the decathletes to finish for the night. I talked with the Boston Globe's Bob Ryan for a short bit. Apparently he already knew about the group of Emersonians at the Bird's Nest. I talked to a few other journalists too. Suddenly we saw Wariner coming back through the mixed zone with his manager. I was still waiting for some decathletes to come by, but it wasn't the final event and I knew we didn't have Wariner yet. So I decided to get in the crowd who would ask him a few questions. I was able to get some good stuff, but not a whole lot. 

One of my supervisors, Michelle aka Cookie, came right over to me after the scrum and literally pulled me toward the back of the mixed zone where there was no one else. She called out for Wariner and his manager to hold for moment. He actually stopped and let me ask a couple of follow-up questions. Later Cookie told me she's met Wariner a few times. (He remembered her well enough to friend her on facebook.) India's national newspaper picked up some of the quotes here. And yes, I still managed to interview a decathlete. I don't know why, but I like that word. Decathlete. Okay, Saijian..

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