Ball St. student set to help at Winter Olympics

Vanessa Virbitsky
Published: .
Updated: .

David MacAnally/Eyewitness News

Muncie - While the Colts will steal the media spotlight this week, the Olympic Games begin in just 11 days and not everyone in the press is packing for south Florida.

"On Friday, I'm leaving for Vancouver, B.C.," said Vanessa Virbitsky, a Ball State graduate student, working in the university's athletics office.

She's flying to work with the U.S. Olympic Committee's media operation, spreading news for Team USA from the Winter Olympics.

"This is a total dream," she said. "I've always wanted to go to the Olympics since I was a little kid."

Since seeing her first games in 1992, the Collegiate All-American gymnast has dreamed of being there.

"I feel very prepared. I've got Nike sneakers," Virbitsky said.

She'll need them. One of her jobs is running down winning athletes for media interviews and making sure greats like Anton Apolo Ohno make it to "The Today Show" on time. Even if that means waking them up at 4 am.

"They're pretty good about it. All the Olympians I worked with this summer, they're excited to be there," Virbitsky said.

"She loves to be around people, she loves to help people, she loves to be able to help people tell their stories and she's going to have a great opportunity to do that with the Olympics," said Joe Hernandez, Ball State Athletics.

While Colts snowbirds fly south, this Cardinal, with her parka ready, will wing it north.

"I've heard I'm supposed to call my mom from the opening ceremonies. No one else, just my mom," she said.

She'll work 18-hour days with U.S. Olympians.

"How those athletes handle the pressure to help them through a little bit of that is really just an honor," she said.

Virbitsky also plans to write a blog from the Olympics.