JOANNA RENTERIA

American educated & Mexican cultivated. Your source for news, data, journalism, technology, innovation, motivation, & all things Latino.

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Coverage…The Pan American games 2011

After two very long weeks of hard work, not enough sleep and some of the most amazing experiences…the Pan American games Guadalajara 2011 are over!

I have done something I never thought I’d do…. SPORTS REPORTING. I have always enjoyed sports (competitive nature)… I enjoy going to games and cheering on teams but this was something else!

Like I discussed before, the games began on October 15th with an Inauguration. This inauguration took place in the new Chivas Stadium in Guadalajara, “Omnilife”. Beauty, culture, traditions, colors, and music together wowed EVERYONE. It was a spectacular event and it gave the perfect introduction.

To go into detail on these past weeks would be a never-ending blog so let me TRY and be brief.

The first games I covered along with another reporter and cameraman were Gymnastics. A beautiful, creative and passionate performance by those of USA, Mexico, Chile, Brazil etc. As a reporter, I was about to experience something I’d never experienced before…. a press conference! After the first medal ceremony where the U.S. was given the gold, Mexico the silver and Brazil the bronze in the individual rhythmic competition, all those belonging to the press ran to what we know as the “Press conference”. With open eyes and ears, I quickly understood what was to be done…what I didn’t know was that I’d be the only representative that spoke English. I was one of the few who was fluently bilingual…at this event and every other event I attended (shocker) throughout the Pan American games!

After getting over my first crazy experience as a sports reporter, I was prepared for what was to come.

I covered cycling indoors as well as outdoors, Taekwondo, athletics, basketball, “fronton”, and fencing.. That and much more!

I was able to see Mexico triumph in these Pan American games! With the opportunity of interviewing the winners, like Marisol Romero, a runner who received a call from President Calderon after being the second in breaking the record for medals Mexico has ever won in these games (133 to be exact). Or like being present at the most intense basketball game! First, Mexico faces Puerto Rico for the second time in these games with hopes of taking the gold medal (they lost the first time)… Then, President of Mexico shows up at the games, a row in front of me along with his wife and first lady. Mexico unfortunately didn’t take home the gold but they took something more important, the silver along with the respect of the people and the fans. You see basketball is not a very popular sport in this county and they at many times lack support and resources.

Like I said, describing these games in detail would make this a very long blog…as well as cause my fingers to ache… So instead I will conclude with expressing the passion I have grown for this city, for the people and culture. YOU HAVE NO IDEA! Or maybe you do…. But to see all the colors, the music, the happiness that people express here is incredible and only draws you to join in! Besides having fallen in love with this place and the games, I have developed a passion for sports and sports reporting… Just like all journalism, it’s stressful, a workload and all of the above but covering sports gives you an adrenaline rush! You can’t help but get sucked in and want to cheer and scream and PLAY…. So to any sports reporter out there, props to you!

Here are some photos and videos I took with my phone…so although it’s not the best quality, ENJOY!

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