December is fast approaching, and it marks the start of efforts by a few Australians to get media accreditation for the Sochi 2014 Olympics and Paralympics. Three or four of us will be making the trek from Australia to Copper Mountain, Colorado to cover the IPC Alpine Skiing NORAM, Copper Mountain. Sport media coverage relies on having relationships with sport organisations as they are the bodies that grant access. We sat down with the Australians and asked what it would take to get to Sochi, and they said a demonstrated track record of doing winter sport: Photography, journalist set up, location, weather, length of the competition day are all different than summer sports. Photographers need to be able to take pictures with high contrast, high speed and that are at times not easily accessible. The set up for events is completely different than summer sports and it requires specialised knowledge to cover these events. Once we can demonstrate that we are capable of taking pictures and doing field reporting, of producing content, then people will go to bat for us.
Australian sport administrators know we can cover sports. In the lead up to and reporting live from London, our group of Australian contributors published over 70 stories about the Paralympics on Wikinews. We created and improved over 100 articles about Australian, American, British and New Zealand Paralympians, and took Commons licensable pictures of Paralympians from Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Japan and China. This was on top of similar efforts for other high level sportwomen from Australia, China, Japan and Great Britain with the work found on Wikipedia, Commons and Wikinews.
Preparing to go Copper Mountain, we will talk to winter sport journalist, improve Wikipedia articles about disability wintersport, classification articles, notable " Paralympic and Olympic competitors, wintersport in Australia and women's wintersport. We'll coordinate with Wikinews to make mobile reporting technology continues to be in place, discuss transcription issues that arose during the London Gamesand making sure we have reviewers in place. On Commons, we will think about category structure.
If Copper Mountain goes well, we will follow up with the Australian Paralympic Committee and Australian Olympic Committee about going to Sochi for the Games, discuss the possibility of going to the test events for the Winter Paralympics in Sochi in March 2013 to gain additional experience. It's " too late for people in the USA to get media accreditation for Sochi but not too early to think about Rio.