Sep 16 2012
As an 18 year old moving into my dorm to start summer school at Furman University, the first person I met was a senior by the name of George Brozos. George showed me the ropes my freshman year and was definitely one of my favorite teammates I’ve ever played with.
He was always one of the hardest workers but also had a hilarious sense of humor. Here is my favorite story from the year We played together:
After the first closed scrimmage of my career, my coach gave me the ultimate compliment. After taking a couple of charges, rebounding well, and hitting a few open shots, our head coach said this during the film session, “Connor Nolte is going to play a lot of minutes this year. If everybody plays like Connor did in that scrimmage, we’re going to have a good year.”
Fast forward a few weeks. We were sitting in the locker room, deflated after another loss. We started the season 0-7. George looked around the room and stood up to make an announcement in his almost-fluent English. “Guys, I’ve been thinking and I think I know what the problem is…. Do you remember when Coach told us we need to play more like Nolte? We need to stop doing that!!”
Even I had to laugh.
George had to return to Greece after he finished his career at Furman to serve in the Greek military for 2 years. He also was able to start his professional career in his hometown of Thessaloniki.
I always told George I would visit him in Greece one day, with both of us assuming that would never happen. Tomorrow I fly from Rome to Thessaloniki to see a great friend I haven’t seen in 4 years.
Sep 15 2012
Editors note: I wrote this post a few days ago at a McDonald’s in Paris. I was downloading a walking audio tour for my trip to the Louvre on my phone and writing on my iPad. All of a sudden, 3 three kids 8-10 years old came into the restaurant walked over to me as I was looking down, and started waving crossword puzzles in my face and yelling. I knew something was up and was telling them no and tried to push them away. They finally left and I let out a sigh of relief, thankful that they were gone. I looked back down at the countermand my heart sank as I realized that my iPhone was gone forever. I had heard of the scam before but it got the best of me.
Anyway, here is a post about my time in London:
The summer of London 2012 is officially finished. I’m still trying to comprehend it all. From going to all of the London venues, interviewing athletes, working with some awesome people, and seeing Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Coldplay on the same stage playing Run This Town at the Closing Ceremony, it was an unbelievable 2 weeks.
I’m soooo thankful and grateful for all of the people at the US Olympic Committee who helped make this dream of mine a reality.
I flew to London just before the Paralympics hoping to see an event or two here and there and work primarily behind the scenes.
I ended up going to the Opening AND Closing ceremonies, created around 20 photo galleries (with the photos of some awesome photographers: Felix Chen, Buzz Covington, Laura Evans, Joe Kusumoto), and posted photos to the Instagram account.
The accomplishment/opportunity I am most proud of and most thankful to have been given was the role I was given as a journalist.
Here’s an general recap of my experience:
I wrote 10-15 recaps of events throughout the Games.
I covered and/or attended 8 different sports during the Games: Weelchair basketball, Archery, Goalball, Swimming, Track and Field, Track cycling, Judo, and Sitting volleyball.
In general, the press seating was incredible, with the track and field section being right at the finish line.
The media also has access to the mixed zone. I would always try to see as much of the event as I could and then run down a flight or two of stairs and get to the tunnel the athletes take to get to the locker room just in time to interview them.
I was actually talking to Jarryd Wallace down there after the 400m semis when the start list for the final came up and he realized he qualified for it.
After the 400m final, I was waiting to talk to Jarryd and the other Americans in the race (silver – Leeper, bronze – Prince) when gold medalist Oscar Pistorius walked up.
Being the first person these athletes see after competing and being able to interview, congratulate them, and tell them how proud the US is of them is something I will never forget.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you my writing will be winning any Pulitzers, but I believe I was able to share some truly great stories from the games and also simply recap events that otherwise might have gone unreported.
Since I had never been to Europe before this trip, I decided to take advantage of being here and do some traveling. I’ll be hitting Paris, Rome, Florence, Greece, Barcelona, and Madrid!