AN aspiring sports reporter is having the time of his life at the Rio Olympics.
Simon Thompson will not be heading to Warwick School to pick up his A Level results, instead he will be waking up to another day on the beat as a journalist at the Olympic Games in Brazil.
The 18-year-old has already had a taste of sports journalism through working with The Reporters’ Academy – which offers young people the opportunity to cover local, national and international events – by covering the Rugby World Cup last year.
Simon rubbed shoulders with the Japanese team who were training at Warwick School as well holding pre and post-match interviews with coaches and players from teams like Tonga and Samoa.
As a keen player of hockey, cricket, football and tennis, being able to be up close and personal with the athletes competing at the games has made Simon’s summer one he will never forget.
He told The Observer: “I have been given the role of Official Press Attaché for the Marshall Islands which essentially involves following the Marshall Island athletes around, in an access all areas role, from the media areas in the Olympic venues to being in the Athletes Village.
“The team has five athletes, consisting of two 100m runner, two 50m freestyle swimmers and a female weightlifter in the Women’s 58Kg category.
“I have been at the Opening Ceremony in the Maracanã stadium which was a spectacular show. I was at the tennis in the earlier rounds where I saw Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Jo Konta and Eugenie Bouchard.
“I saw Brazil’s Women’s Beach Volleyball team come from a set and match point down to win, sending the Brazilian crowd into raptures, it was an incredible atmosphere to experience!
“And I got to see Bolt win 100m Gold in the Athletics Stadium.
“To be able to get this experience has been incredible as this is exactly what I want to be doing in the future, and to be mixing with journalists and broadcasters I only see on the TV, hear on the radio or read in the newspapers is so crazy!
“I haven’t really stopped to think about where I am and who I’m mixing with until now!”
The Barford resident will be able to see what grades he has earned in his A Level exams for English Language, Politics and Spanish on Thursday morning on the school’s website. He is hoping to study Politics at Hull University when he returns from Brazil.