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'It was an extraordinary moment': Local journalist talks about his experience covering 8 Olympics and the pressure athletes face

Posted at 6:22 PM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 19:22:30-04

For many athletes, going to the Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Milwaukee's Bill Glauber has been to eight as a journalist.

TMJ4's Charles Benson talked with the veteran journalist about covering the Olympics and the pressure athletes face every four years.

Benson: Is it the best assignment in sports?
Glauber: Yes, it is because it's the most diverse assignment in sports. Every day, there's a tableau of great sports, taking place with international competitors.

Glauber has the press passes to prove his worldwide Olympic travels. These days, he reports for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, but his Olympic coverage goes back to his days with the Baltimore Sun newspaper as a sports reporter.

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Glauber: I started in Calgary in 1988 through to Sydney in 2000. So, I'm a 20th Century Olympic man.
Benson: How much pressure are these athletes under?
Glauber: These athletes are under tremendous pressure for years at a time.

The Simone Biles story has gripped the world as she courageously comes forward to talk about the pressures she's feeling and the impact on her mental health.

"The stress and the emotion of it, I think you and I really can't conceive of because it's four or eight or 12 years of training for a single moment, " said Glauber.

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Glauber says the single greatest race he covered was West Allis' Dan Jansen chasing Olympic gold in speed skating. After falling in 1988 and failing to medal in 1992, Jansen would finally win gold in 1994.

"It was an extraordinary moment,' said Glauber. I still remember them passing his baby over my head so they could get her on the ice, so he could do a victory lap with his daughter at that time."

Sadly, the pandemic has prevented families and large crowds from being in Tokyo to cheer on the athletes. A noticeable absence says Glauber. "They add to the pageantry. They add to the moment."

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