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Credentials for the 2008 Olympics ... where to start?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rockbottom, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. Rockbottom

    Rockbottom Active Member

    Hey, all. Anyone have a clue as to how I need to go about credentialing for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing? We have a local guy competing, and will likely combine resources with other papers in our ownership group to cover more folks over there.


  2. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    From what I know, you're too late. They had to be applied for in Nov. 2006, if I'm not mistaken.

    Our paper tried recently and was denied. And this town has 11 athletes going.
  3. Cansportschick

    Cansportschick Active Member

    Or do what some people do, get numbers secretly for the team executives and arrange to meet them outside. Who needs credentials when you could things underhanded...and still get good journalism done.
  4. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    The deadline has long past, and even if you get on a waiting list of some kind, you're going to be behind a lot of other people who have been waiting longer. So your chances, sad to say, are almost nonexistent at this point.
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    It really depends where you work... If you're the NY Times or USA Today and you need to get a late credential, you'll get one... If you're the Maryland Gazette or the Opelika News, I wouldn't hold my breath...

    In the past, they've had strange requirements that papers who covered the Olympic trials or some international events would get priority.

    As someone who has covered three, pray you do not get a credential... I covered Atlanta, Salt Lake and Sydney and it would take a gun to my head to do it again... If I had the option of answering the phone reserved for prep parents to call and complain for 20 hours a day or covering the Olympics, I would be talking to the parents...

    Have fun in China though...
  6. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Find the PR person for your local guy's sport, contact him-her and see what they could do about helping you stay informed about Johnny Local while he's overseas.

    That might pave the way for phone interviews, photos, a live IM chat at the Games or other ways to communicate.

    Despite all the hassles, I would love to cover the Olympics at least one time.
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I felt the same way until Atlanta in 1996... I was sooo excited to go... Granted, I was straight out of school and it was my first big assignment, but other than covering the women's soccer gold medal game (one of my favorite events I've ever covered) it was a fucking nightmare. I thought that I was making rookie mistakes and not understanding how to get from Point A to Point B, but I quickly discovered that the veteran writers were having the same problem...

    Sydney wasn't horrible... It was just too long to be away...

    SLC may have been the worst event I've ever covered... Imagine covering the Olympics just months after 9/11... It took me six hours to get through security at the airport and I know writers who waited as much as 10...
  8. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    RBottom -

    Here's the website. Click through to the media page. See if the accreditation process is still open for the kind of access you'd want. It's a hassle, as all international games are, and covering your local athlete would be fantastically expensive, but maybe it's worth a look.

  9. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    I've heard similar stories to what Mizzou said. Knew a girl who worked the Atlanta games, it ruined her from journalism forever, she hated the experience so much. She, like so many others, moved on to PR.
  10. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    The Olympics are like the Peace Corps. The toughest job you'll ever love. Yes, some of it sucks very, very bad. But it can also be a blast. (Salt Lake wasn't nearly as bad as Mizzou is making it out to be.) And I'll buy any SportsJournalists.com member a beer in China, assuming, of course, we don't all die from coughing up the black crud that's in the air within the first few hours.

  11. funky_mountain

    funky_mountain Active Member

    i'll match dd's offer on beer in china.
    i've covered the past three and have loved it. as has been mentioned, it's not easy. the hours are even longer than you think, sleep is almost nonexistent but that's part of the fun, the bus rides can suck and the language barrier will be an even bigger issue next summer (when the greeks don't understand a language, they say, "it's chinese to me").

    i'll keep covering the olympics until they stop asking me.

    in regards to cansportschick's note about just going without a credential ... i advise against that. if your athlete medals, there's a great chance you will not get a shot at interviewing him face to face that day unless you have a great relationship with the person. and even then, the demands on that person's time for olympic-sanctioned obligations is time-consuming. you need the access. also, no credential puts you several steps behind in terms of transportation and housing. that might work in europe or north america, i'm not sure how keen i'd be on doing that in china.
  12. EE94

    EE94 Guest

    You have to go through your national Olympic committee to get credentials.
    You could always get on a list because credentials are always returned as organizations cut back once the final checks need be written. However, as someone else said, some bigger organizations often want more than they have been allocated.

    As for going without accreditation, there really is no point. Accreditation at an Olympics is like oxygen - you can't survive without.
    And I would think that goes for double in a place like Beijing, where restrictions already exist.

    As for covering an Olympics, every sports journalist should jump at the opportunity to do it once. I've done two and while its a long stretch of long days, it's more than compensated by not only the competition, but the camaraderie of like-minded professionals.

    I still have fond memories of the bar on the fifth floor of the MPC in Athens.
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