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The Experience of a Lifetime

Sep 24, 2012, 8:46 AM EDT


Schneider (left) and one of her fellow interns at the gymnastics venue during the 2012 London Olympics.

Historically, the Olympics are one of the most anticipated events worldwide. Athletes from every nation gather to exhibit excellence and make their countries proud. To participate in the Olympics in any shape or form is an unimaginable honor.

Notre Dame was lucky enough to have multiple students involved in the Games this past summer. Senior Danni Schneider, coxswain of the Irish rowing team, was one of these students. Schneider had the experience of a lifetime interning for NBC during the London Olympics.

Schneider found out about this opportunity while on a rowing trip in her sophomore year. She received an email from Keith Embray in Student Athlete Welfare and Development describing a chance to work at the Olympics, and she jumped at the opportunity. Schneider says she has loved the Olympics for as long as she can remember and was ecstatic at the chance to be a part of it.

NBC only recruits from five schools, Notre Dame among the select few. After going through multiple rounds of interviews, Schneider was granted the position of a runner in the Gymnastics venue, making her experience even more exciting, as gymnastics is one of the most-watched events in the Olympics.

Starting in July, Schneider stayed in East London with the rest of the Gymnastics crew. As a runner, her job was varied and consisted of completing any job asked of her. The workdays were long and hard, but in the end, Schneider says the work was worth it when she was able to be present for all of the Gymnastic events, witnessing five American gold medals.

In fact, when Gabby Douglas won gold in the women’s all-around, Schneider was standing close by as legendary coach Bela Karolyi picked Douglas up and spun her around in his excitement.

In addition to coach Karolyi, Schneider met multiple other celebrities as well, including Ryan Seacrest, Shaun White, and Nastia Luikin. Celebrity sightings were so frequent that by the end of the games, Schneider says she was almost immune to seeing a famous star walking around.

For Schneider, the experience was one of the best of her life and only increased her love of the Olympics. It was amazing for her to be a part of an event of that magnitude. As she moves closer to graduation, this experience will be the perfect background to aid her in any future career she sets her mind to.

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