The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.


Photo from Reina Kern | Penn junior and women's rower Reina Kern experienced the Olympics first-hand as an NBC Sports Intern, and it's an experience she'll never forget.

The Olympics are a sporting event unlike any other: at just about every moment the viewer is watching history being made by the most talented athletes in the world. It is only every four years that we get to experience the magic of the Winter Olympic Games. 

Like most, I spent years upon years watching the Olympics from my couch at home, seeing newcomers take the spotlight and the returning stars fight for their spots on the podium once again. Being an athlete my whole life and a varsity athlete at Penn, Olympic athletes have always been my idols.

But this Winter Olympic Games was much different for me: I was able to experience part of my “American Dream” working behind the scenes as an intern at NBC Sports Group’s headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.

After applying in the summer of 2017, I was notified that I would be a shot selector, so I would work in a part of the building called the Highlights Factory. In this factory, we watched live feeds of each and every event, selecting the most memorable shots from that competition. Our sequence of shots was sent over to the Production Editors, where highlight reels were then created for viewers at home. However, due to the 14-hour time difference between Connecticut and the Games' host country, South Korea, the shot selectors had to work throughout the night.

The Olympic spirit in the NBC building is unlike any other. I would enter the building for my shift, which began at 6 p.m, and there would be people everywhere who had been working at all hours of the day to make the Games a success. Getting to work beside them was more than a dream come true. 

Whether it was Shaun White’s last run to take the gold, the USA women’s ice hockey team’s shootout goal to strip the gold medal from Canada, or Lindsey Vonn’s final runs down the course, I watched history being made live right in front of my eyes, and I was one of the first people in the U.S to see it.

Several other interns from schools such as Ithaca College and Syracuse University worked beside me, where we discussed different moments in the events that may be key elements for our viewers to see. With many sports being unfamiliar to the common sports fan, such as curling and luge, it was our job to grab the viewer’s attention and highlight the most exciting moments. 

Nothing was more exciting than waking up every day, knowing that later that night I would be heading over to NBC to work on the biggest sporting event in the world. It has always been a dream of mine to work for NBC, but being a part of the environment during the Games was a once in a lifetime experience. I was a part of history.

Not many people can say that they saw the production of the Olympic Games happen right in front of their eyes, whether it be witnessing it in the control rooms, creating highlight reels, or watching each and every NBC employee work around the clock from start to finish. However, I was fortunate enough to not only be a part of it, but also to live the Olympic experience that I’ve always dreamed of. 

Nothing else compares.