I have been familiar with gymnastics for four years. When I was a freshman, I was randomly assigned to the women's gymnastics beat at Illinois for my school newspaper the Daily Illini. Little did I know that this assignment (my last choice) would dictate what I covered for the next four years.
I switched over to men's gymnastics and covered the team for my junior and senior years of college. In my work with the men's team I got to talk to Olympian Justin Spring and Olympic hopefuls Paul Ruggeri and C.J. Maestas. The experience made me very passionate about the Olympics in general and I developed my own Olympic dream: to one day cover the Olympics myself.
When Gymnastike rolled around, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. It was a chance to not only cover men's gymnastics but also women's and to try a different domain, video instead of writing. I began covering the men's and women's teams for Gymnastike.
The video internship helped me expand my knowledge of gymnastics and video editing so much. I am in love with iMovie and learned so many different cool things to do with it, like side by side and picture in picture features. I also learned a lot of more technical information about the sport of gymnastics in general. Filming things like Workout Wednesday really helped me learn a lot more about the teams.
Making videos was hard at first because it's important to get good footage and then to edit your videos properly and make sure everything looks clear. I also tend to get really excited when I interview and would end up shaking the camera a lot.
My best experience with Gymnastike was covering the women's NCAA Regionals at Assembly Hall in Champaign. I worked with Jason and during the meet we weren't able to film but we live tweeted! It was funny because Jason actually tweeted so much that he went over the Gymnastike Twitter limit! I had never seen that level of women's gymnastics before and it was really exciting. I got to interview a lot of the top women in the country like Megan Ferguson.
Another great experience for me was traveling to Norman, Okla. for the NCAA Men's Championships. I was sent to cover the meet by the Daily Illini, so print was my main focus but I was able to put a few videos up there. It was also exciting to meet my fellow intern Whitney, who goes to OU. She was able to show me a bunch of the ropes! The meet was amazing because Illinois came from behind with a record-setting pommel horse performance and won its' first championship for the program in 23 years. I am so happy that I got to witness that in person, one of my life goals was to cover an NCAA Championship winning team.
This experience all in all was a great one and I am very happy that I got the opportunity to work with Anne and the other interns. I hope to start a relationship between Illinois and Gymnastike so they continue getting covered. One of my friends is actually interning with Gymnastike this summer in Austin which is very exciting. This internship was one step forward in my Olympic dream of covering gymnastics at the Olympics one day. Thanks for everything, Gymnastike.