This is the second post in our summer series about Dale Award recipients.
Of the thousands of journalists covering the London Olympics, freelance blogger Ari Satok ’14 may have one of the most enviable assignments. Satok, a recipient of the Martin A. Dale ’53 Summer Award, goes where he wants to go, interviews anyone who is willing talk, and writes about the things that grab his interest on a website devoted to his project, arisolympicadventures.com.
There are a few drawbacks, of course. As a non-credentialed reporter, Satok will have limited opportunities to speak with the Olympics’ biggest stars – though he has been in touch with some of Princeton’s Olympians and other athletes from his native Canada. He also nabbed a brief interview with Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee sprinter who will represent South Africa in the Olympic track and field competition.
Being outside the press room “just means that I’m going to have to be more creative,” Satok said, covering stories and angles that other media outlets might overlook.
In his first two weeks in London, Satok has been writing stories, shooting photos and video, and recording brief radio-style news capsules about the buildup to the games. He’s spent part of his time in parks and public spaces, talking with the city’s residents – some who are excited and others who are dreading the impending congestion.
Satok’s interest in journalism was sparked by courses at Princeton. With his brother Josh, a student at Yale, he founded a website called Voices of Change, which publishes profiles of inspiring individuals. This summer, he aimed to bolster his reporting experience, and the Olympics seemed like the “ultimate” setting, because of the combination of sports, culture, and local-news angles.
Living and working in a room sublet from college students in central London, Satok has found that some of his best experiences have been the ones he’s stumbled upon, such as a dramatic nighttime performance of an acrobatic dance troupe on the 443-foot-tall London Eye Ferris wheel. He also has chronicled small Olympic touches around the city, from a display of Playmobil athletes in a toy store to a prayer service for the athletes held in Westminster Abbey.
“I’m incredibly thankful [for the Dale Award],” Satok said. “It’s rare that you get an opportunity to completely follow your curiosity.”