UNC students chosen to work at Olympics

July 6, 2008 9:54:19 AM PDT
A group of UNC journalism students are on their way to Beijing for an opportunity of a lifetime.

The group of 33 was chosen by the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee to work as reporters during the Olympics.

It's the first time volunteers from outside the host country will work in the media department.

The students' shirts tell the story of where their lives will thake them for the next seven week.

"We will be working for the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee," UNC Professor Charlie Tuggle said.

The students will spend be spending a lot of time with athletes.

"We're going to be talking to the athletes after they get out of their competitions and talking to them about how they think they did," UNC journalism student Emmeline Zhao said.

Even though Zhao speaks Chinese and has been to China several times, the experience of covering the Olympics there is nerve wracking.

"I'm scared I'll ask the wrong questions," Zhao said.

While nerves are high, so is the excitement.

"I was the sports editor for the student newspaper so just being able to cover the olympics and interview with some of the greatest athletes over the world is thrilling," student David Ely said.

All of the students are junior and seniors and were chosen individually for the program. Only 14 journalism schools around the world are taking part in the program.

"There are seven in the U.S., four from the UK and three from austrailia," Tuggle said.

The students will distribute their reports from the Internation Media Center in Beijing to more than 30,000 journalists covering the Olympics. For journalism students like Zhao, it's an internation lesson she could have never learned in the classroom.


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