WINTER YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES34 OLYMPIC REVIEW W hen you plan to trade sunny Barbados for snowy Innsbruck, inevitably, there will be much trepidation.As I returned for my second stint as an IOC Young Reporter (YR) at the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games, I also faced a few jitters. If the truth were told, when I was given the opportunity to travel to Innsbruck, 'deadline' was the rst word that came to my mind. It was quickly followed by 'snow'.For a Caribbean lad travelling to Austria's breathtaking Tyrol region, the concept of snow led to a mixture of anxiety and excitement all bundled up into one. I was to be reunited with 15 of my YR colleagues, an international and diverse bunch with whom I had the pleasure of working in the summer of 2010 at the inaugural Singapore YOG. As in Singapore, we would be covering the Innsbruck Games from the inside out, producing content across the platforms of print, broadcast and photography. Our work was published on www.innsbruck2012.com, the ocial
WINTER YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMESOLYMPIC REVIEW 35Right The IOC Young Reporters pictured together in Innsbruckwebsite of the Games, which recorded more than 4.7 million hits during the 10 days of competition.Anthony Edgar, Head of IOC Media Operations, was once again supervising the course, while veteran broadcaster Tracey Holmes and sportswriter Lucia Montanarella returned as editors. Photographer Nick Didlick, a guru of the art, also joined them for his first tour of duty. For a couple of days, the YRs even benefitted from the guidance of John Leicester, an international sports columnist for The Associated Press."As a journalist, you can never do enough planning for an Olympic Games," he would preach. "Plan. Plan. Plan."Montanarella, Press Operations Manager for Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010, echoed him."We need to collaborate," she would say. "As an editor, I need to know what you are doing so I know what to expect. Communication is key."Didlick was good-humoured but scorned tardiness. "I need all my photographers to be punctual," he stressed. "As a photographer, it is probably in your best interest to be at the Olympic 100m final 10-seconds before the gun goes off, not 10-seconds after. Try it for yourself." He wasn't joking.As for Holmes, teamwork was her calling card."You cannot do everything by yourself," she said. "Bounce ideas off one another. The end result will be better."She was right. Producing a daily YR diary, the broadcast group was outstanding, with 22-year-old Luke Dufficy of Australia and 24-year-old Emily Ridlington of Canada expertly hosting the video blog. Ben Fridman of Israel and Arnel Dalmedo of Uruguay also proved to be an instant hit on camera, constantly reinventing themselves with comedic takes on off-beat stories. The enthusiastic Sonali Prasad of India, along with myself, rounded off the broadcast group.The work produced by the YR writers was just as compelling. After quizzing IOC President Jacques Rogge, Zimbabwe's Ellina Mhlanga wrote an absorbing piece about Africa's inclusion in future Winter Games. She backed it up by penning a stellar story about Moroccan skier Adam Lamhamedi, who claimed Africa's first-ever gold medal at a Winter Olympic event when he won the men's super-G in Innsbruck.Austria's Gernot Bachler, our local host, also wrote some impressive stories. He was working double-duty as both a YR and a journalist for his local newspaper, while Kimiya Shokoohi, of Canada, and Nick Olivier, of the United States, were covering their third Olympic event, following Vancouver 2010 and Singapore 2010. Sportswriter Je Ye of China, meanwhile, was translating his stories from English to Chinese for the Xinhua News Agency. The performance of the photography group was also top-notch. Fridman, who excelled in front of the camera, proved to be just as creative and inventive behind the lens. Ukraine's luliia Vynokurova, 24, was also exceptional. She willingly and successfully shouldered the responsibility of re-creating shots from the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympic Games, both of which were hosted in Innsbruck. Diacounda Sene, of Senegal, also had much success with the camera, as did Thiam Peng Tan of Singapore and Raitis Purins of Latvia.During the YR programme, we learned - and continue to learn - how to cultivate an "eye" for a story.As a reporter, whether it be in print, broadcast or looking through a viewfinder, if we can "see" a story more clearly, we can report on it more clearly too.For a YR from Barbados, the biggest story of Innsbruck 2012 was the coming together of my generation - in the Main Press Centre and on the field of play.London now beckons us all. ?