Georgina Bloomberg Represents Show Jumping at 2008 U.S. Olympic Media Summit
New York, NY - April 21, 2008 - Georgina Bloomberg of New York City, set to embark on an extensive summer tour of show jumping, took time out last week to participate in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit, held April 13-16 at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago, Illinois. The hotel, which opened in 1871, is one of Chicago's landmarks in the heart of the city's downtown.
The U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit was a four-day opportunity for print, broadcast, internet and photo journalists to conduct interviews and photo sessions with America's top Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, just four months prior to the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games.
Bloomberg, who was forced to the sidelines during this year's Olympic Show Jumping selection process when her equine partner sustained an injury, said that she was there to represent show jumping, and also to help promote the Chicago bid for the Olympic Games. She was joined by fellow equestrians, Philip Dutton and Karen O'Connor. "I was asked to go to represent Show jumping, and to help educate the media about the sport," Bloomberg stated. "Because I was closely involved in New York City's bid previously, I was asked to help promote the 2016 bid for the Olympic Games in the Chicago area. I think the USET was confident that I would be aware of what the selectors would want to hear, and that I would be able to speak from experience as to why an American city would make a good host," she said.
Bloomberg was one of the few athletes attending the Summit that was not competing at the 2008 Summer Games. "Reporters were initially surprised that I was there if I wasn't in contention, but I explained that my horse had been hurt and was therefore unable to do the trials. This was enlightening to many of the media representatives, as they just assumed you could hop on another horse and go," Bloomberg smiled. "I spoke at length about the importance of a relationship between horse and rider - a relationship that can take years to create. And hopefully, I impressed upon them that the sport of show jumping simply isn't as easy as it looks!"
Bloomberg detailed that this year's get together, the thirteenth media summit of its kind, was very well attended. "There were over 400 different reporters from all over the world. Al Jazeera was there filming right along with the NBC's Today Show," she laughed. "It was a complete media experience. We had 15 minute broadcast sessions with the various TV outlets and we had photo sessions, with each news agency having the opportunity to do portraits and publicity shots of each athlete. There were roundtable discussions with about 100 reporters talking to 10 athletes at a time." Bloomberg explained that NBC, the network of record for the Olympic Games, had exclusive time for their various outlets. "NBC had a room for each of their stations, WE, Oxygen, the Today Show.com and others and we were able to devote more time to them," she said.
"I even got to do a short segment for the Dave Letterman Show," Bloomberg added. "I was interviewed by Dave's sidekick, Bif Henderson. That was pretty funny."
This year's U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit was a huge success in Bloomberg's estimation. "It was a great event and a fantastic opportunity for the various sports and for its athletes to get publicity. I hope that I was able to create a little more interest in our sport of show jumping," she stated. "I hope that show jumping competitors can be invited to future summits. We always say that we want mainstream TV stations and media to show interest in our sport, and here we had a building full of a couple hundred reporters from TV, radio and print, all of whom want to cover the sport. If I hadn't gone it would have been a major opportunity missed for show jumping in America - and for me as a rider," she smiled.
The summit also gave Bloomberg a chance to bond with fellow equestrians O'Connor and Dutton. "We got to all spend a lot of time together," she noted. "That was great for me as I had never met Phillip or Karen before. I enjoyed getting to know both of them so much and learned a lot from both of them. We all went to dinner in the city together and also attended a Nike Olympic clothing fashion show, which was totally amazing."
Previous media summits have been held in Colorado Spring, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Houston and New York City.
Photo Credit: Georgina Bloomberg of New York City. Photo (C)2008 Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com. This photo may only be used in association with this press release
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