During her junior year, Emily was one of nine Grady students selected to cover the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro for the Associated Press.
“I know sports writers at other schools,” Emily said. “The types of things we are doing in Grady Sports–getting to cover worldwide events–other schools are not doing this. I’m so grateful.”
While in Rio, Emily planned to write a simple article about a homeless man who became a Paralympic table tennis player. But, as the story unfolded, it became a heartwarming tale about using sports as an escape from an abusive family. The story was posted to the AP website and picked up by The New York Times.
“I got the link from The New York Times and I printed it out,” she said. “It’s still on my wall. To see my story under their italicized headline was unreal.”
After the Olympics, the wins kept coming. She wrote an article for Grady Sports about a cross country team of refugee athletes that was picked up by ESPN.com. She interned with The Seattle Times, where she wrote 51 articles covering high school, professional and other sports. And she eventually won the Associated Press Sports Editors Student Sports Journalism Contest.
Emily, who is also a McGill Fellow, is traveling to South Korea to cover the Winter Olympics for TeamUSA.org, which involves becoming an expert in the who’s who of winter sports—a different experience than writing about the Rose Bowl or the National Championship.
“Journalism teaches you how to become an expert in anything in an hour. I use Google and I read a lot, especially Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine. You have to be naturally curious. It’s also acknowledging what you don’t know and being willing to ask questions.”