Sports and sun­shine

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By SUN XIAOCHEN

As the year comes to an end, my trip to Brazil in Au­gust to cover the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro stands out as my high­light, thanks to the chal­lenges, in­spi­ra­tion and great sense of ac­com­plish­ment that en­riched 25 gru­el­ing, yet ex­cit­ing, days on the other side of the world.

Cov­er­ing the Sum­mer Olympics, the big­gest sport­ing ex­trav­a­ganza on the planet, is a dream come true for ev­ery sports re­porter, and I am blessed to have re­al­ized it twice, in Rio and in Lon­don in 2012.

The chal­lenge was tougher this time, though, be­cause as the only China Daily jour­nal­ist on the front­line I had to cover the multi-sport gala for both the print and dig­i­tal out­lets.

Thanks to my preGames news plan­ning and full ed­i­to­rial sup­port back home, I sur­vived and man­aged to do my job — send- ing back about 80 sto­ries, plus in­ter­views and videos — de­spite sleep­ing just four hours a night, and in the face of poorly la­beled fa­cil­i­ties at Rio’s re­mote Olympic com­plex, real-life se­cu­rity risks and heavy traf­fic.

Still, the op­por­tu­nity to wit­ness the best ath­letes in the world — namely Us­ain Bolt and Michael Phelps — push them­selves to the lim­its of phys­i­cal en­durance, and be­ing in­spired by in­ner strength be­yond the sport­ing ac­tion was a great re­ward that is only pos­si­ble once ev­ery four years.

Thank you, Rio, for mak­ing my year!

WEI XIAOHAO / CHINA DAILY

Mem­bers of the Chi­nese team cel­e­brate af­ter reach­ing the women’s vol­ley­ball fi­nal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

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