The Star-News


Speaking of the Olympics

Sat, Jul 28 2012 12:00 PM Posted By: Allison K. Sampité

Why were you interested in working at the OTC?

I grew up in Chula Vista and was at the right age to attend National Girls & Women in Sports Days hosted at the OTC shortly after its opening, so I knew from a young age that this was an amazing place. I started to learn more about the Olympic Movement in college and got more interested in the way that our Olympic athletes can inspire people through both their athletic accomplishments and their personal experiences of working hard toward achieving their dreams.

What will your job be at the 2012 Olympics?

I will be working at Team USA’s High Performance Training Center at the University of East London. Various sport teams will use this venue for training sessions prior to competitions and I’ll be working with media there. We have a couple of other staff members from Chula Vista who are working on the operations and medical staff teams during the Olympic Games and then, shortly after we return, it will be time for another group to head to London to support the Paralympic athletes.
 
What has been the most interesting aspect of your job leading up to the Olympics? 

The athletes are absolutely the most interesting aspect — it’s great to learn each of their stories and help spread the word of what they are doing. We have sports here that are a little off the beaten path, so I love when there are kids out taking a tour of the facility and they watch something that they may have never seen before. They are in complete awe of the athletes who are putting in a day’s training and hopefully that makes them want to learn more about the sport and the athletes who play it. It’s important for people to know something about these athletes because if you can feel a connection to them then their successes will be even more meaningful and exciting to watch.

When did you find out you’d be going to the Olympics? 

I heard in February — which is a lot sooner than when many of the athletes know if they’ll be going. The last round of Olympic Trials just finished a few weeks ago.


In what ways have you prepared for this trip?

I did a semester abroad in London so at least I was already a little prepared for the location. We’ve hosted some Olympic Trials and other big events at the OTC so it’s exciting to work in “Games mode” to make sure that everything goes well for the athletes who are competing and the public who are watching.

What are you most looking forward to at the Olympics? 

I am looking forward to the entire experience and watching the U.S. Olympic Team compete.  It seems like everyone tends to feel a certain amount of magic around the Olympic Games and I am sure that will be elevated throughout London. I’m looking forward to all of it really. We’ll all be working long hours, but I’m hoping to be able to catch one of the BMX competition days and also see some of the other local athletes put forth their best efforts.

Did you play sports in high school or college?

Volleyball was my main sport in high school — two years on junior varsity and two years on varsity. After high school, I just played recreationally and have taken up beach volleyball more than indoor volleyball now.


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