Bill Kauffman Blog for Aug. 4 - A Helping Hand

Aug. 05, 2008, 11:14 a.m. (ET)

Aug. 4, 2008

Helping Hand
It is always great to see the diverse group of athletes, and today was an opportunity to do that while assisting others at the same time.

After a morning at the Main Press Center to answer e-mails (which is becoming more difficult without my cell phone data plan), attend a mandatory meeting with NBC and take a USOC press officer group photo, I headed back to the U.S. High Performance Training Center at Beijing Normal University. I was on the shuttle with a reporter with the Washington Post and assisted her in reaching the main gymnasium.

The U.S. Men’s Indoor Volleyball Team was just about to start, but the reporter was able to get a quick interview with Lloy Ball before the head coach Hugh McCutcheon started the team’s first training session in Beirut.

While B.J. Evans, who handles media relations for the men’s team was at the Main Press Center completing the squad’s press kit, I was more than happy to assist with linking the Washington Post with potential stories with our USA Volleyball athletes.

In addition, the New York Times dropped by with a reporter and photographer looking for teams training at the facility. But at that time, the men’s team was already in progress, so I assisted with linking up fencing with the media opportunity with both reporters. In between, the photographer took some photos of men’s volleyball and fencing.

The U.S. Men’s team wrapped up after an intense two-hour practice. Some of the players went directly to the spacious 24 Hour Fitness room to lift, but a few stayed behind which allowed another media opportunity for the team with the Washington Post and New York Times.

With everything wrapped up, but so near the starting time for table tennis, the Washington Post reporter asked to stay and have that opportunity to interview athletes from a third sport. She was able to interview most of the players on the team after a short wait to complete the afternoon of various sports.