BP Sports editor tells about covering Olympics

Hallelujah! Winter Olympics are over. I did watch the tail end of the hockey game Sunday, but that was about it.  Winter sports make me cold.

However, I got to ask a few questions of some one who covered the Olympics for Baptist Press Sports, aka www.BPSports.net. Tim Ellsworth went North and covered the Frozen Games. Here’s a little background on Ellsworth.

Tim Ellsworth lives in Jackson, Tenn., where he serves as director of news and media relations at Union University. He also serves as editor of Baptist Press Sports. He is the author of “God in the Whirlwind” and co-author (along with Scott Lamb) of an upcoming biography of Albert Pujols, to be published by Thomas Nelson in the spring of 2011. He and his wife Sarah have three children.

Now, onto the questions. 

What’s it like covering the Winter Olympics?
It’s a tremendous honor for Baptist Press to entrust me with the responsibility of reporting from the Winter Olympics. This was my first Winter Olympics experience (I was in Beijing in 2008 for the Summer Olympics), so I at least had some basis for comparison. The city of Vancouver was alive with festivity, the streets were packed with people and the stereotypes of “friendly Canadians” are more than just stereotypes — they’re true. Most of the people I encountered were friendly and helpful. Vancouver itself was a great city, and the drive from Vancouver up to Whistler in the mountains was one of the most beautiful trips I’ve ever taken.

What’s the biggest difference in covering Winter and Summer Olympics? (Yes, I confess, in retrospect, that was a dumb question.)
I didn’t have sweat pouring off my body in Vancouver like I did in Beijing.

What story from the Olympics inspired you the most?

Probably Chad Hedrick’s story. Chad is a U.S.speedskater who won three medals in Turin in 2006, and had a reputation for being somewhat mouthy, brash and abrasive. He was known as the “Paris Hilton of speedskating” for his active nightlife. But in recent months, the Lord has done a work of grace in Chad’s life. He and his wife were baptized a few weeks ago, and on the top of the blade of his skate he wears the letters “CGIM,” which stands for “See God in me.” He’s a different man than he was four years ago.

What scene from the Olympics will you always remember?
It’s hard to boil it down to only one, but the Opening Ceremony in both Beijing and Vancouver will always stand out. I’ll never forget the 2,008 Chinese drummers on the floor of the Bird’s Eye counting down to the start of the Olympics in Beijing. In Vancouver, the snowboarder jumping through the Olympic rings was pretty neat. In both ceremonies, I was struck by the parade of athletes from all the different countries. Both times it made me think how there’s coming a day when the Lord will gather together those He has redeemed from every tongue, tribe, people and nation for a grand and glorious day of celebration.

How hard was it transitioning from your biography you are writing on Albert Pujols to covering the Olympics for Baptist Press?
It wasn’t too bad. I had a definite stopping point in mind on the book, and was able to get to that point before setting the book aside and focusing my efforts on the Olympics for a couple of weeks. And even though I’m not in Vancouver anymore, I’m still doing some coverage of the Olympics for BP — so I think the greater challenge is going to be getting back into book mode after the Olympics are over this week.

I was going to post all of the stories here one by one, but that’s too much trouble. Just go to www.BPSports.net and check it out. He did a GREAT job.

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