As my 16th Olympics as a reporter approaches, I am getting ready in a different way from the past.
In all my previous OIympics, I have focused on one sport – figure skating in winter, track and field in summer. In London, I will be a general columnist, which means for the first time I will cover the Olympics at large rather than an Olympic-sized version of the figure skating and track world championships.
A Tribune company colleague, Hall of Famer Helene Elliott (the first female member of the Hockey Hall of Fame writers wing), will keep her discerning eyes glued to track and field.
I just spent a few days at the Olympic track and field trials (my eighth). Now I am getting a look at my first swim trials since 1996 (track and swimming trials have overlapped for three straight Olympic cycles), partly because NBC has anointed swimming, thanks to Michael Phelps, as the cynosure of its cameras’ eyes.
My broader mandate should be clear in Sunday’s Tribune, when I profile the greatest current Olympic athlete you never have heard of (hint: not a swimmer or runner.)
-- Philip Hersh
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