For athletes, the Olympic Games are the pinnacle of their career but for Ryerson University journalism student Dan Fumano, the 2012 London Summer Games are just the beginning.
“There’s something special about the Olympics… when people from all over the world are coming together in one place, and everyone’s in such a festive mood and it’s more than just a sporting event,” says Dan. “There’s so many great stories here.”
As for Dan, his story started when the Olympics rolled into his hometown of Vancouver, B.C. back in 2010.
Having finished a Bachelors of Arts at the University of British Columbia, Dan was out in the working world by the time the Olympic torch light up the West coast. Though he was no longer on campus, Dan kept an eye on the UBC alumni job board and when a posting advertising a position for NBC’s Olympic coverage came up, he went for it.
“I didn’t really know how much of a chance I’d have, but I thought it sounded really great,” says Dan.
With his passion for athletics, a keen sense for sport and a background in English, Spanish and literature, Dan beefed up his resume, penned a golden cover letter and sent in his application. And in true Olympics fashion, the competition was fierce. After the initial application, Dan went through two rounds of interviews, one by phone and one in-person with an NBC representative flown in to Vancouver specifically for the occasion, before he landed the job.
And then the real work started.
Researching and fact checking for NBC’s coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics was no game. “It was long hours, but the work was so fun and exciting that 12 and 13-hour shifts went by so quickly,” he says.“The experience was intense and demanding and sometimes stressful, but really fun and never boring.”
After all the medals had been handed out and the Games came to a close, Dan didn’t let his time at the Olympics fade to a fond memory. Working with NBC was his first exposure to the world of broadcast news and it set him on a new career path.
With references from his NBC supervisor, Dan began applying to graduate schools and in 2011, he started Ryerson’s Master of Journalism program in Toronto.
Two years after his first exposure to the five ring circus, Dan was ready to return to the Games and this time, he had the skills, connections and experience necessary to move up the ranks. Dan used his contacts with NBC to get a job for the network’s coverage of London 2012 but this time, he stepped up to the position of researcher and writer.
Dan is currently stationed across the pond covering rowing, volleyball and beach volleyball and experiencing the Olympics on the front lines of the competition.
Much like the athletes that he now interviews, it took Dan a lot of hard work, dedication and training to get to London. While Dan says that his big break was the product of a bit of luck, when it comes to working in the Olympics, it’s all about finding the opportunities and not being afraid to go for the gold.