EVANSTON - Twelve Northwestern University journalism students got to cover the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The five graduate and seven undergraduate students wrote print pieces and took on a variety of roles with major media covering the global sporting event.

“Sending our students to one of the big-ticket global sporting events accelerates their experience. Covering the Olympics is a perfect training ground,” said J.A. Adande, director of sports journalism and associate professor at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern.

“The Olympics is not just a sporting event,” Adande said. “Some of the best storytelling opportunities can be found there. Ultimately, it’s the case of ordinary people rising, overcoming and triumphing.”

Olivia Reiner is pursuing her master’s in journalism at Medill and has always loved telling stories about sports.

“As I prepare to cover the Games on-site, I reflect on the honor of going because of faculty members at Medill who have the desire to give us life-changing opportunities,” Reiner said. “It’s empowering to know I have a network behind me that believes I’m capable of pursuing sports journalism as a career.”

The students were in Pyeongchang from Feb. 9 to 18.

To view the students’ work, visit the Medill Explores Pyeongchang 2018 website.

Adande, who is leading the trip, has extensive industry experience. He penned columns for ESPN for 10 years and was a panelist for the network’s “Around the Horn” for 15 years. During his 25-year career that included staff positions with the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, he covered the Olympic Games, Wimbledon, the Super Bowl, the NCAA Final Four, the college football national championships, the NBA Finals, the Masters Golf Tournament and World Cup soccer.

The global experience

Medill is cultivating its world reputation by making sure each of its students gets a global experience.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our sports journalism students with J.A.’s leadership and connections,” said Bradley J. Hamm, Dean of Medill. “It is part of a major initiative at Medill for global courses and life-changing opportunities.”

The Olympics is a challenging reporting assignment but also an opportunity to learn more about the world.

“Olympics are not just a sporting experience but they’re also a cultural experience,” Adande said. “It’s important for our students to see how things are done in the rest of the world. It’s also important to get exposed to other cultures and other ways of looking at life.”