Montreal·Blog

Rio, I hardly knew ye: A sports reporter's recap of the 2016 Olympics

Truthfully, every time someone asks me, “How’s Rio?” I have to tell them I have no idea. You don't come to the Olympics to relax.

Delivering coverage of Canada's best moments has been sometimes exhausting, and always an honour

The trio that followed the women's soccer team: camera-editor Eric Woolliscroft, myself and producer Marie Morrissey. (Sonali Karnick/CBC)

Truthfully, every time someone asks me, "How's Rio?" I have to tell them I have no idea.

Less than 24 hours after I landed, I was off to Sao Paulo to join the women's soccer team for their preliminary matches. There were a few days in between where I got to cover swimming, diving, table tennis and golf. Then I was off to the quarterfinal back in Sao Paulo.

I returned briefly to Rio for the women's marathon and then I left again, but this time to Belo Horizonte for the semifinal, which Canada lost to Germany. That meant I was back in Sao Paolo for the bronze medal game.

Right after the game, I flew back to Rio, got a couple of hours of sleep and went to cover men's wrestling.

Fighting to secure the best coverage

You don't come to the Olympics to relax. This is a competition for the media as well. We want to get the best stories, coverage, interviews and moments. Sometimes that involves fighting off other reporters to get your spot or your interview.  

Speaking with Christine Sinclair, captain of the Canadian women's soccer team. (Sonali Karnick/CBC)

Maybe "fighting" is a strong word, so "fending." I did a lot of fending. I also had to do some negotiating with the people who let you speak with those athletes. Luckily, they were mostly cooperative. Mostly.

There comes a point in a long, intense assignment when it's not all fun — sleep and food (eaten sitting down) are most welcome. Calling home gets tougher and tougher because you're missing everyone and everything so badly.

The highlights of sports reporting

Luckily, I love what I do and this is the ultimate privilege for a sports reporter.

That's what keeping me going. Watching the Canadian women's soccer team beat the home team, Brazil, to win the bronze medal was probably the most awesome moment of my time here. Bringing that moment to you was an honour.

Also, the teams I have worked with for every event have been so professional and just a pleasure to be around. It makes me want to work harder and better.

Thanks for your support

The other thing keeping me going? You!

Everyone who watched, listened, read, tweeted and retweeted, THANK YOU. There are days when I wished I could have done better in an interview, reporting a story, writing a blog, posting to Twitter or reporting in French. The positive feedback from colleagues, friends and family as well CBC listeners and viewers was a huge boost.

Someone in your life probably needs a boost, too. Give that gift to someone. Be their biggest fan whether they fail or succeed.

Now I'm going to try to fit in some sightseeing before I leave on my one day off. Or I just may go buy more coffee!

I'm a massive fan of the coffee in Brazil. I already bought this much to take with me. (Sonali Karnick/CBC)

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