By Josh Barr
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum teamed up with the University of Georgia’s Sports Media Certificate program during the spring semester to produce content on the Digital Museum.
Students in the Multiplatform Storytelling for Sports course wrote stories on athletes who were part of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team. The team members missed out on competing at the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games because of the U.S. boycott. The stories were published this past week, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the boycott. Also, one student in the class wrote about U.S. judo legend Yosh Uchida, who celebrated his 100th birthday earlier this year.
“The Museum is committed to education and working with future generations to instill the Olympic and Paralympic values,” Museum Chief Executive Officer Christopher Liedel said. “We are proud to work with a program with such a strong track record and the University of Georgia. Allowing students to learn about and tell the stories of these incredible athletes is just a terrific opportunity for us.”
Students from the Sports Media Certificate program have been credentialed reporters at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, as well as the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where their work was distributed by the Associated Press. Vicki Michaelis, the John Huland Carmical Chair in Sports Journalism & Society at the University of Georgia, said the program plans to have a student bureau at the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games.
“I love that this partnership helps our students learn more about key figures and events in U.S. Olympic and Paralympic history while building their reporting and writing skills,” said Michaelis, who was the lead Olympics reporter for 12 years at USA Today before being hired at Georgia in 2012 to start the Sports Media Certificate program. “To also have their work showcased in the Digital Museum? This is a win on so many levels.”
Members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team profiled by students in the program are:
Gymnast Bart Conner
Kayaker Greg Barton
Swimmer Rowdy Gaines
Wrestler Lee Kemp
Track and field athlete Edwin Moses
Diver Megan Neyer
Basketball player Jill Rankin Schneider
Field hockey player Julie Staver
Basketball player Isiah Thomas