The Loneliness of the American Paralympics Reporter

The point will be to focus on the athlete instead of his or her impairment. Paralympians might look different through Olympians in some cases, however in which doesn’t mean they perceive themselves in which way.

To me, This particular’s almost a journalistic disservice to highlight one athlete over another. How to choose whether to write about the Swiss champion skier paralyzed on one side of his body, the American sled hockey player whose leg was amputated a year after his Army vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Iraq, or the Australian snowboarder who lost parts of both arms after being attacked by two great white sharks?

as well as so from the months leading up to the Paralympics, I chat with United States coaches as well as athletes to brainstorm ideas, whether over the phone or on reporting trips — in November I spent time with sled hockey players in Madison, Wis., as well as wheelchair curlers outside Utica, N.Y. — so I can position myself well once I’m on the ground.

With venues scattered across a sprawling region; a vast network of buses in which transport reporters among those event sites, their lodgings as well as the main broadcast as well as press centers; as well as news media descending through around the entire world, every Paralympics will be nominally the same, as well as yet each offers its own array of trials.

Covering This particular Winter Paralympics (which run through March 18) feels more manageable — or rather, less daunting — than covering the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, where 22 sports were contested across four clusters of competition, versus six sports across two clusters in Pyeongchang. Nonetheless, I must plan days ahead, since This particular’s almost impossible to report on multiple events in one day. Also, I’m the only reporter in Pyeongchang through The Times.

Best I can tell, I’m the only one through a major American news outlet some other than NBC, which broadcasts the Games across its platforms. The International Paralympic Committee says This particular credentialed 801 members of the news media, an increase of 132 through Sochi. More than a quarter of in which total came through South Korea. At the same time, the number of accreditations through the U.S. decreased, through 57 to 33.

The Paralympic movement will be gaining exposure as well as popularity, however the absence of the American press corps, which travel to basically every some other huge international sporting festival, will be jarring, as well as not having in which camaraderie can feel isolating. Combine in which that has a time difference in which makes This particular difficult to communicate with my editors, much less my family, as well as This particular’s easy to lapse into a funk. Then I think about the skier whooshing down the mountain without a left leg or a left arm, as well as my concerns feel quite tiny.

My experience here has been enhanced by working with our staff photographer Chang W. Lee, a native of South Korea who has taught me so much about Korean culture — as well as exposed me to such culinary delights as spicy catfish stew, as well as squid as well as pork belly bulgogi.

Inevitably, I do make connections with people, such as the helpful language services volunteer at the Gangneung Hockey Center, who, noticing me yawning from the late morning on Sunday, said he could empathize; he too had a long flight through the U.S., where he attends college. “Where?” I asked. “Emory,” he said.

in which’s where I went. We laughed about the fortune of flying halfway across the entire world to chat about our freshman residence halls. I gave him a brand new York Times pin as well as waited for him as well as another volunteer to translate my questions for a Japanese sled hockey player first into Korean as well as then into Japanese. This particular wasn’t ideal, however in which’s how life goes. This particular was a reminder in which we’re all different however, truly, all the same, too.

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