Just like the young athletes they are writing about, the IOC Young Reporters are learning valuable lessons from their experiences at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.
Instantly recognisable in their bright orange uniforms, the latest intake of IOC Young Reporters have been a ubiquitous sight at venues throughout Buenos Aires as they tirelessly gather stories from the YOG.
All aged under 24, these aspiring journalists have been busy reporting from events, interviewing athletes and uncovering interesting angles as part of the IOC training programme, which was first launched at the YOG Singapore 2010.
In addition to producing written stories, video reports and podcasts, the 28 participants have also been receiving training and mentoring from seasoned Olympic media professionals during the Games, with lessons covering various aspects of sports reporting and the coverage of major events.
“It blows my mind how much we’re learning each day,” explains 21-year-old participant Jeroen Adriaanse, from the Netherlands. “It’s a cliché but this really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our tutors have experienced it all so they have been able to answer every single question we’ve had. They’ve been able to help us improve ourselves and whenever we have a problem we know they are there for us.”
All of the Young Reporters are either currently working in or studying journalism, and the majority were nominated for the programme by their National Olympic Committees (NOCs), with their respective Continental Association of NOCs then selecting two female and two male applicants to represent their continent in Buenos Aires. They have been joined by Young Reporters representing the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022, as well as two ‘wild card’ nominations.
For the first time, the IOC is also running a Young Photographers programme alongside the Young Reporters initiative, with six participants receiving mentoring from award-winning sports photographers while capturing images from around the YOG.
I’ve really been learning how to focus on the human side of sports stories and not just the resultsJeroen Adriaanse
And just like the young athletes at the YOG who will now aim to use their experiences in Buenos Aires to help them achieve their sporting goals, the Young Reporters and Young Photographers are hoping to use what they have learnt at the Games to further their careers in the media.
“It has been such a valuable experience and I hope to become a better reporter,” says Adriaanse. “I’ve really been learning how to focus on the human side of sports stories and not just the results. That’s what I normally write about – what happened on the field – but to find out what’s going on inside an athlete’s mind, or to discover more about their background, makes it a far more interesting story.”
For these Young Reporters and Young Photographers, it’s clear that the story is only just beginning.