Trying to describe an experience of a lifetime is more difficult than you might think. You want to get the words right, you want to get the right feelings across, you don’t want to be too wordy, yet you also want to make sure to be detailed. I went to Australia for the first time to cover the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup for just over two weeks. I learned a lot, I found confidence in myself and I had fun. But I have more to say than just that. And after plenty of thinking, I finally discovered a way to explain my time down under. It might not be what you expect.
The media workroom is usually nothing fancy. It consists of rows of tables with electrical outlets and that’s about it. But what goes on in there is truly something special. Picture in your mind expert after expert in the wide world of sports, honing his or her craft, absolutely dedicated to the job. Concentration fills the air, along with the sound of fingers hitting keyboards. Add in the stress of filing a story on deadline. But at the World Cup, there was something else added to the mix.
There were 12 countries represented at the World Cup. That meant there were reporters from each country, all covering the same tournament but writing their own unique stories. And in the media workroom that meant constant conversations in different languages. There were at least 15 Japanese media members, by far the most of any country. I had the pleasure of befriending a reporter from Australia as well as a reporter from Serbia. You were just as likely to hear English spoken in the workroom as you were Japanese, French, Serbian or Chinese.
And that, in essence, is what covering the World Cup is all about; getting a chance to watch fellow writers in your field do what they do best, including their mannerisms. It’s the experience of being surrounded by individuals from other countries but realizing you’re all there to do the same thing, to write about sports. It’s the opportunity to see sports at its very best, uniting the world, along with its sportswriters. And that, more than anything, is what I took away from the trip.
The workroom may seem like a dull place when you first walk in, but it’s where the magic happens.
By Owen Kaelble | @OwenKaelble