Holly Demaree/Ball State University
2013 Team USA Media Summit
The United States Olympic Committee 2013 Team USA Media Summit began on Sunday where journalists got their first glimpse at athletes that may be competing in the coming Winter Olympics. The four-day event consisted of over 100 athletes and 350 journalists attending and participating in press conferences, roundtables, sports demonstrations and photo and broadcast sessions that tried to predict who the United States will root for at the games being held in February in Sochi, Russia.
One topic that got repeated attention from journalists during the 3-day event was concerning the anti-gay laws enacted by Russia. Bode Miller, Olympic gold medalist and World Champion skier, took a stand against the law. "I think it's absolutely embarrassing that there's countries and there's people who are that intolerant and that ignorant," he said.
Most athletes tried to stay positive about their own training and conditioning and will follow the USOC's lead on the controversial anti-gay law.
Miller also helped begin the Gateway to Gold program which focuses on raising awareness for athletes with physical and visual disabilities who may be able to compete in future Winter Olympic Games.
USOC Paralympics chief Charlie Huebner outlined the objective for Gateway to Gold. "Our goal is to become No.1 in the world of Paralympic sport," he said. "In order to do that, we have to grow the number of Paralympic-eligible athletes competing in the sport at all levels across the country."
The Gateway to Gold program plans to increase the opportunities these Paralympic athletes can have and help provide better coaches and training.
Throughout the Team USA Media Summit athletes answered many questions that not only pertained to their sport but also their lives.
Lindsey Vonn an Olympic alpine skier checked into the Team USA Media Summit via Skype to speak about her knee injury and her recovery process. Vonn is currently concentrating on physical strength but also her mental strength.
"I'm not going to race until I am 100 percent," explained Vonn. She also commented that her "knee is great" and she is hoping to compete at the start of the World Cup season in Solden, Austria on Oct. 26.
The 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be held February 7-23 and is Russia's first time to host the Olympics since the infamous 1980 games in Moscow.
Watch WTHR for reports from Sochi next year!