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Feb 21, 2014 9:33 AM by Sean Mooney

Mile 20 at the Winter Olympics

One of the other reporters here, who is an Olympics vet (Sochi is his 8th), likens covering the games to a marathon. After being here for three weeks I now realize it is a pretty good metaphor.

At the starting line you're anxious, apprehensive, not even thinking of the finish line, just hoping you can get on the course and keep up.

When I first arrived that was exactly what I was thinking. Here I was on the other side of the world, alone, representing News 4 Tucson. As much as I, and the rest of the team at KVOA, tried to plan for the trip, we really couldn't. Arizona is not exactly known for it's Winter Olympians. Tucson has zero. Phoenix has a few but if you live in Tucson you know how much we care about any product from the valley of the sun.

The plan, then, was to deliver several slices of life from the 2014 Winter Olympics, convey through my stories, tweets, Facebook post, blogs and pictures, what it is like to be here, to bring the stories home you didn't see during prime time coverage.

I have to admit when I touched down here I still had no idea what the hell I was going to do. I had no net. I envisioned doing mindless stories about my work station and the NBC cafeteria ( Somebody here did actually do a story on the vending machines). But I digress.

In reality it has turned out to be one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have been set free in a playground of storytelling.

And I have met some amazing people along the way from stations all over the country.

Jordan Mason, from our sister station KOAA, teamed up with me here to provide stories for our stations and others in the group. He, it turns out, is as big a lunatic as I am, very creative and he's kept pace with me this entire race. I believe working together made our stories better.

We have just passed mile 20 in this marathon in Sochi. I am exhausted, weary, beaten down...and have never felt more creatively fulfilled in my life.

I can now see the finish line, but honestly I am not ready to cross it. I have a few more things to show you before I make it home.


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