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How do you cover weightlifting?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ogre, May 4, 2007.

  1. ogre

    ogre Member

    Ive covered many sports that I am not a fan of exactly, but this one may top them all. Aside from the total lack of strategy (or public interest), Im not sure why a news organization thinks it necesarry to staff an event which boils down to agate results. But this is the reality I left with.

    I imagine the scene as equal parts wrestling (the smell and sawed-off stature of participants) and distance running (waiting for the damn thing to end being the major task of the observer).

    Obviously there is more to it. Im just not sure what. I mean this is a sport that is at its core, what other athletes do to train for actual sports.

    Will I be lucky enough to see someone blow out their o-ring and shit the stage?

    And what hard hitting questions do you ask after the event?

    Q: So did you try to lift the dumbell over your head?
    A: Yes.
    Q: Why didnt you?
    A: It was to heavy.
  2. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    I would ask what level this is at. If its a state championship, you could do more background about the guys or girls competing. Follow them behind the scenes if you can to see how they prepare for the event. Ask about their visualisation techniques, if they use them.

    You have a chance to paint a picture of the competitor as they compete, instead of just describing what happened.
  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    There's only one person here who can answer that question, son.... I think we all know who that is...
  4. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    He may know all about lifting heavy weights, but I doubt he knows how to write about others doing it.
  5. PhilaYank36

    PhilaYank36 Guest

    Mr. Villareal, would you please pick up the white courtesy phone?

  6. Here ya go.

    1. Ask them if they use steroids.

    2. Run.
  7. PhilaYank36

    PhilaYank36 Guest

    Stand up on a bench and yell out: are these anyone's? I found them in the locker room!


    I wonder if any of these gentlemen would come forward?


  8. doctor x

    doctor x Member

    It is like track in that there are often long periods of waiting for something significant to happen, particularly while the non-contenders are weeding themselves out. But then it can become very interesting. Nobody's into it for a long stretch, but then the whole arena can lock in on one kid.

    I recently covered a state meet won by one of our schools -- but very nearly blown when two of its top guys scratched on each of their first two tries at the bench press. Had they blown the third try, the meet would have been over for them before they got to the clean and their team would have finished back in the pack. Either way, obvious questions are what they were thinking going into the third try, why did they succeed (or fail) and should they have tried a lighter, safer weight at the start and then moved up. There's actually more strategy in these things than one might think.

    Attempts at state records are usually dramatic unless the kid doesn't come close.

    There's also a difference between prep and amateur meets. High school meets begin with the bench press. That lift is replaced by the snatch on the amateur level.
  9. ogre

    ogre Member

    This is an elite-level event with former Olympians.
  10. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Is it olympic lifting (snatch/clean and jerk) or is it powerlifting (bench, squat, deadlift)?
  11. ogre

    ogre Member

    It's whatever they do at the Olympics and Pan Am Games. So the snatch/clean and jerk variety I think. Really difficult to avoid a joke right now. Counting to ten and hitting post....
  12. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Regardless, write a feature on the little guys, the ones who are throwing twice or three times their bodyweight.
    Throw in a couple of grafs to include the meet results and you are done.
    Best advice I ever got was from a former journalism professor, "if you don't understand what the F*** is going on, just write a feature on the person involved and get the hell out."
    So avoid all the technical details, no one reading the article, outside a handful, will understand them anyway.
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