When the Metro asked me to guest blog over the Olympics, I didn’t really think about it too clearly, just said yes and thought, ‘Yay!This is a great opportunity.’ Which it is.
Then in the cold light of day, I realised that I had agreed to write interviews with inspirational Olympians, coaches, nutritionists, behind the scenes heroes and anyone else who could shed some light on what these Olympics is all about. The thing I realised most, was that all of these people are about the busiest people on the planet at the moment…
And I’m not a hard nosed journalist. That’s not my thing. I didn’t want to add to the media burden of all of these people.
That’s when I thought, “shoot! Do I really want to do this? How do I do this? How do I show readers the true picture of what it is to be an Olympian, or anybody involved in the Olympics?
I thought perhaps I could find some Olympians who could do with a bit of light shone in their direction? Perhaps I could speak to some teams from SA, from the US? Perhaps I could shine a light on less popular sports?
So I started to phone around.
I first had to explain myself to the receptionist, “Hi my name is Kim Masters; I write a blog called Dream On. It’s about being the best you can be and achieving your dreams. I have been asked by a newspaper over in London called the Metro, to guest blog over the Olympics…I wonder if it at all be possible to get an interview any of the …… team?”
It sounded silly to me. Can’t imagine what it sounded like to them.
They then passed me to the media officer and I had to explain again. I got the feeling that Blogs and blogging is definitely not up there with ‘real’ journalism.
I had a bit of success with Team GB Swimming; they had a 17 year old in the team and thought it would be nice if she did the interview.
I sent through the questions and waited….and waited….and waited….Then the answers came through and I had a start!!!
With some of the countries you speak to the receptionist, then the media officer, then the coach and then you can email the Olympian directly. Thing is you’ve got to put your case forward to everyone, including the Olympian. And there’s no guarantees that you’ll get the interview.
With others you get a yes from the media officer and then send the questions through….and then nothing.
After about two weeks of calling around, I was a bit desolate. I wasn’t getting anywhere. And bear in mind that with every day it’s getting closer to the Olympics and less likely that anyone will be doing any interviews…
We had watched the SA women’s hockey team in chiswick in the rain and I had sent of my questions with assurances of answers. I thought that since we had connected so well and had so enjoyed watching the girls that it would work. Nope. They flew back to SA and then nothing.
Swimming SA and Athletics SA were not coming back to me.
I emailed Team USA gymnastics because I knew that the final Olympic trials were in San Jose last week. Nothing.
I tried GB shooting – almost had some success and then the media officer went away for two weeks. I tried GB BMX, GB Athletics and GB diving. Nope. Nope. Nope.
I emailed the New Zealand Equestrian Team and the Australian Diving Team. Nothing.
I told Paul that this was too hard and I wasn’t getting anywhere fast.
He told me to persevere and not give up. He said that I was making good relationships and that I should keep building. So I did.
I didn’t push in a hard way, but in my little way I followed up and said that if it was a ‘No Go’ then to let me know and I would move on.
Paul also said had I told them my story and sent them examples of my Dream On blog. I said No. Did they really want to read that…Paul said that it’s my story and the blog that makes the difference.
So I sat down and re-emailed everyone who I had asked and I told my story about the clots and about starting Dream On and I sent them links to a few blogs. I also sent links to my first few Metro posts.
That’s when things started to happen.
I connected with Athletics SA, had a response from SA Hockey, got an email back from USA Gymnastics, got my questions back from GB Shooting.
It all started to flow.
As of today, I have an interview with Jess Lloyd who is the 17 year old Team GB swimmer.
I have a great interview with my lovely friend Selina Zaza on working with Mike Leigh on a short Olympic film.
I have an interview with Richard Brickell, a cool Team GB Skeet Shooter.
I have an interview with Team USA Trampolinist, Steven Gluckstein.
And I’ve got some great one’s to come!!
My mind is boggling. I’m inspired by speaking to all of these amazing people.
Most of all, I’m amazed by what I’ve been able to do so far. This gives me the confidence that perhaps anything is possible…
Dream On guys – what if anything is possible?