#ECC2019 – Sports Media Trainee Blog

Dimitris alongside Mike at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships, 2019, Helsingborg, Sweden

Dimitris Kouimtsidis and Cheyenne Boone are the most recent winners of the Sports Media Trainee Programme. With this, both students have joined the World Curling Federation media team at the Le Guyère AOP European Curling Championships – Dimitris as a journalist and Cheyenne a photographer.

Throughout the week both Dimitris and Cheyenne will share their experiences through this blog

Being in Helsingborg, Sweden for the Le Guyère AOP European Curling Championships marks the first time for both witnessing curling live and working at an international sporting event.

Dimitris, 23, studies MA Journalism (Sports) at the University of Lincoln in England.

Cheyenne, 20, studies Picture Editing at Rochester Institute of Technology in the United States

Dimitris: Day one – “I’m going on an adventure”

I must admit that curling has never been ‘my’ sport – for me it’s always been basketball. But when I saw this opportunity to get to travel and work as a sports journalist – the career I’ve been working so hard towards – I knew I had to take my shot. If you had told me ten days ago that I would be in Helsingborg, Sweden working as the media trainee in the Curling European Championships I would never have believed you.

I had applied for the programme but the position for the European Championships had already been filled. So when I got the call exactly a week ago that the trainee they had scheduled could no longer make it, I was shocked to find out that the place was offered to me. Everything happens for a reason and one way or another I had made it, I was going to the European Curling Championships. That quickly turned into the most surreal and rushed week of my life to get everything sorted for my trip.

Fast forward to yesterday (14 November) where I overslept and missed my alarm by two hours. I thankfully managed to make my flight to Copenhagen and the adventure began!

Everything seemed to be going swimmingly, I had met up with Mike Haggerty (journalist) and Richard Gray (photographer) who filled me in with what I should expect. Theoretically the journey from Copenhagen airport to Helsingborg is easy, just one direct train. However, that would not be the case for us. Our train got cancelled and the lady who works at the ticket counter told us that our best route would be to take the train up to Helsingor – different to Helsingborg – and then take the ferry.

We finally made it to Helsingborg and to our hotel, which is so much nicer than what I’m used to when travelling as a student on a budget. We had an hour to get ready for dinner and we met up in the hotel bar with the rest of the team, including my fellow media trainee Cheyenne Boone (photographer).

We ended up having dinner at the hotel as every restaurant we tried to book was fully booked – Helsingborg isn’t exactly the biggest city in the world. Dinner was the perfect opportunity to bond with other members of the team and get as many tips as possible for the experience I had ahead of me.

I came to Helsingborg with the mind-set that I would make the most of absolutely everything, including sightseeing. With that in mind when some of the others were starting to head up to bed, I asked if anyone wanted to join me on a short tour of the city. I was completely knackered because of my early flight and all the travelling, but I knew this would be one of the few opportunities I had to see the city.

Cheyenne, Sander Rolvag (commentator) and I headed out and walked around to see whatever we could – bear in mind this was 9:00 p.m. on a Thursday – meaning that there wasn’t much open. We eventually ran into the Norwegian men’s team, whom Sander knows really well as a former international himself. They invited us out for a drink to which we kindly accepted. I was so curious to get to know this national team who I would be interviewing in a few days and hopefully build a rapport with them.

What an awesome way to start. Here’s to many more, stay tuned!

Dimitris: Day two – I’m the only person with gloves on

The work starts now. Friday was the first day that I would spend in the ice rink – The Olympia Rink. Apparently it wouldn’t be a typical day like the others, as the championships don’t start until Saturday.

First things first, breakfast. As mentioned in my previous blog – I’m used to budget student travelling – so the luxury of free breakfast is not one that I’m used to, especially in a four star hotel. I made full use of that, having what effectively could be considered as two portions of breakfast, probably to the annoyance of the rest of the team who wanted to discuss the plan for the day but had to wait for me to finish eating.

I finally finished eating and we organised the plan for the day and headed off to the ice rink. The walk was only ten minutes, which gives us the luxury of being independent and not having to worry about transport to and from the venue.

The first thing we did upon arrival was to have a tour and try to wrap our heads around where everything was and try to remember everyone’s names. I will be honest and admit that I probably only remember a quarter of the names.

Dimitris on the media bench at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships, 2019, Helsingborg, Sweden

The photography team was definitely busier than us journalists and had to take all the team photos. So my job for the start of the day until lunch was to assist them by keeping track of what teams had been photographed so far.

After lunch I got the opportunity to meet the skip – the closest thing curling teams have to a captain – for every team in order to build some sort of rapport before interviewing them after matches. That’s probably what I’m looking forward to most – interviewing the players.

Mike and I were heading back to the hotel just after 6:00 p.m., which made the rest of the team very jealous, as they still had to stay and work. On our walk back Mike explained that this would be the last time we finished early as from Saturday we would work 15 hour days – child’s play I say.

On the walk back we decided – by accident – to take the scenic route as we got lost and it was freezing. In The Olympia Rink I was the only one with gloves on – I’m from London and have Greek heritage, I don’t do well with the cold. The cold we experienced on the walk back to the hotel was on another level.

When we got back we got to have a few drinks before everyone else returned and I picked Mike’s brain some more trying to figure out all the secrets of the trade and how to get my foot through the door. As I said in my previous blog, I plan to make the most of this experience. That includes asking as many questions as I possibly can before the team get the chance to murder me in order to understand what I need to do to make a career out of sports journalism.

Once everyone else arrived we realised that the hotel was our only option for dinner again as everywhere else was fully booked. After hearing some rather interesting stories of previous curling events and the shenanigans that took place, both Cheyenne and I felt much more at ease that there is no way we could mess this up – I’ve completely jinxed this now haven’t I?

Stay tuned to find out the ways in which we manage to embarrass ourselves and become a story for future trainees to hear about.

Day three – How am I tired already?

Saturday was the start of the championships. I woke up bright and early at 6:45 a.m. – what I consider a barbaric time – turns out I’m the only one who thinks that.

On Friday night when we were told that from Saturday we would get minivans dropping us off at the venue. I thought it was a bit silly considering the walk was only ten minutes or so. I’ve never changed my opinion as quickly as I did once I walked out of the hotel and saw the rain. I was then also told that the ice rink would be colder because they would have to turn down the temperature in order to combat the effects of the rain. I still don’t understand the full science behind it but I’ll make sure to ask my little sister when I get home – you just got a shout-out, sis.

We got into our seats on the media bench just as the first draw – that’s the curling word for session that Mike has taught me – was about to begin. As we sat down, Cheyenne and I received our own World Curling Federation (WCF) fleeces and raincoats making us feel even more part of the team.

There were five matches going on at the same time, which makes it so difficult to keep up with everything. According to my girlfriend I’m not good at multitasking so this was even harder for me – there you go, now you got a shout-out as well.

Curling matches take a long time. And I mean long. It’s different when you’re at home on the sofa snuggled up with a cup of hot chocolate watching a match compared to being inside a freezing arena trying to watch five matches at once.

Dimitris working at the Le Gruyere AOP European Curling Championships 2019, Helsingborg, Sweden © WCF / Céline Stucki

The first game that ended was the men’s Scotland versus Norway. I watched Mike conduct a post-match interview with the Scotland skip – in the early stages we only conduct interviews with the winning teams.

We went back to the media bench and Mike started transcribing the quotes when the second match ended between Switzerland and Netherlands. I asked Mike if he was going to interview the Swiss skip and he said no. I’ve interviewed professional basketball and football players before so I feel very comfortable in an interview environment – it’s one of my favourite aspects of journalism. So without a second thought I took the initiative and asked if I could conduct the interview. I knew that this would show how confident and enthusiastic I am – obviously I want to impress the WCF team as much as possible because I know that will help my career in the future. Mike said yes to my suggestion and off I went.

I interviewed Swiss skip Yannick Schwaller and went back to transcribe the quotes, just as the Germany versus England match ended. Mike had just conducted an interview with the Swedish skip so he wasn’t going to interview the German skip, Marc Muskatewitz, presenting me with the opportunity to conduct my second interview of the draw. So out of five potential interviews, Mike conducted three and I conducted two – not bad at all if I do say so myself.

Then came the opening ceremony, which included a very cute moment when a young boy threw the first stone – a traditional aspect of the ceremony that is used to mark the commencement of the championship. What I still don’t understand is why the opening ceremony was held after the first draw of the day.

Lunch consisted of a very welcome soup that heated up my poor body. That’s when Mike informed me that I had a couple of hours off. How did I decide to spend those two hours? Did I go back to the hotel and nap? Did I go sightseeing? Neither. I instead stayed at the media desk and worked on a job application that requires the applicants to complete some trial exercises – no rest for the wicked as they say.

After the second and third draws of the day ended I got to go and interview players on my own again, this time from both the men’s and the women’s teams. I think the fact that I put myself forward to interview players in the morning made the team more comfortable with letting me interview on my own as they can see that it doesn’t phase me.

We finally left the venue around 11 p.m. and headed back to the hotel. Only problem was that unfortunately the minivan didn’t have enough space for everyone and two people would have to walk. So I quickly volunteered to walk in the pouring rain and the freezing cold in order to give the more senior members of the team the luxury of being warm. Cheyenne definitely felt guilty – although she’ll call me a liar – and offered to give up the final seat and walked with me.

After 14 hours in the ice rink I was very relieved to finally be in my bed.

Stay tuned for more.

Day four – Life is good

Sunday started in the best way possible. Yes, a lie in. Chris had notified us from Saturday that we would start getting one session off every day and my first one off was the morning. That meant I got two extra hours of sleep, which I needed very badly. Anyone who knows me, knows that I need about ten hours of sleep in order to be truly happy, but when you’ve been getting six hours maximum every night, that means that eight hours is truly a godsend.

Cheyenne also got the same session off so we decided to spend a couple of hours sightseeing as well. Seeing as it’s Sunday no shops were open for us to do any souvenir shopping. So we decided to head off to the Sofiero Palace and Gardens. Unfortunately we couldn’t enter any buildings but the gardens were gorgeous, literally what you expect to see in Scandinavia.

We didn’t get to spend long as we had to be at the venue for the start of the afternoon session. For this session I focused on the B-Division games so that I could write up a report of what had happened so far. The B-Division arena is even colder than the Olympia Rink, which is where the A-Division is held. In previous blogs I complained about the cold. I had spoken too soon because what I experienced in the B-Division Hall was so cold that even Nata (results statistician) – who is Russian – was complaining about the cold.

Dimitris interviewing Denmark © WCF / Céline Stucki

I also got to visit the satellite truck and see the work that the TV crew do and how the broadcast is sent out. I have no words to describe the speed with which they worked and I’ll never be able to watch another sporting event on TV in the same way.

The highlight of the day was getting the opportunity to interview the England women’s team for a feature I’m going doing on English curling. I also got to interview Jon Brown – the World Curling Rep for the English Curling Association. It was amazing interviewing in depth people who were so influential in the development of the sport in England, something that would not be very likely as a trainee with other sports.

The evening was spent split between writing up the report for the B-Division, helping with the running of the WCF’s Instagram page and transcribing the interviews I did. That’s the only problem with long interviews, having to transcribe the whole thing.

Emily (Media Officer) and I were the last people left in the arena and when I finally finished my work it was close to midnight. As Emily still had more to do, I decided I should head back to the hotel to catch as much sleep as possible. That meant walking by myself through the quiet streets of Helsingborg. Coming from one of the busiest cities in the world – London – where the city never sleeps, it definitely felt weird walking around and only hearing myself.

Overall a day full of work and sightseeing – doesn’t get better than that.

Day five: All of a sudden I’m now swamped with work

Monday started just as positively as Sunday – with a lie in. During the European Championships there is always one day that has four draws instead of the normal three. That meant that I had to be at the ice rink for noon, unlike 2 p.m. on Sunday. Unfortunately, that didn’t allow me any time for sightseeing or shopping.

Once at the arena I had all sorts of jobs I had to do. Mike showed me how to write a session report and it was finally my turn to do one. I feel like I did a good job and once Mike polished it up it was ready to be published.

The afternoon consisted of writing up a report for the B-Division, similar to Sunday. I’m the only one reporting on the B-Division for the rest of the week so I enjoy the responsibility.

Once the afternoon draw ended I had to interview some of the winning skips, whilst also trying to organise a time for a longer interview with the England men’s team in order to get some quotes for my feature. This was when suddenly I had to do three things at once. Once I completed the interviews with the winning skips, I had to transcribe the quotes and send them off to Mike as quickly as possible so that he could write up the report. At the same time the England team were waiting for me in the lunch area to conduct the interview. I think Mike was surprised with the speed that I transcribed all the quotes – as he told me to send him the recording I’d taken of the interviews and that’s when I let him know that I had in fact already finished the transcription.

Once I finished the interview with the England men’s team, I had now completed all the interviews I wanted to do for the feature and had seven pages worth of quotes – I always end up doing longer interviews to make sure I’ve covered everything. During the interview they also tried to persuade me to try out for curling – I came to the conclusion that I could probably make the Greek national team if I took up the sport for a couple of years – yes Greece has a team but they’re in the C-Division.

After dinner I worked entirely upon writing my feature. This time I finished even later and once again it was only Emily and I left in the arena. Thank God we finished at the same time, which meant I could get a ride back to the hotel.

A very busy day but also my favourite one so far – I’m definitely getting more comfortable with my role.

Day six – I’m genuinely getting into this sport

Tuesday started once again with a lie in. I didn’t have to be at the ice rink until 2pm. I honestly thought it was too good to be true. I was definitely torn as to whether I should sleep as much as possible or to wake up at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and woke up for breakfast and then went back to sleep after. That way I had around eight hours of sleep – the most I’ve had all week.

After my nap I woke up at noon and got ready to head out for a bit of shopping. I had a set of souvenirs that I had to get, a snow globe for my sister and a postcard for my girlfriend. I googled the only souvenir shop in Helsingborg and I was on my way. Unfortunately they didn’t have any snow globes – I know, I’m a horrible brother letting down my sister like that. The story behind this snow globe obsession is unknown to me; all I know is that she expects a snow globe from every city I visit.

So after my souvenir exploits were only partly successful, I decided that I should get the girls some presents as well. I did manage to find a couple of really funny small gifts for both of them – which I won’t divulge for obvious reasons. Helsingborg is definitely not the busiest of cities, as it took me about half an hour to have a tour of the city centre.

Once at work the day was just as busy as on Monday. I had to conduct post match interviews with winning skips, write the B Division report, and conduct longer interviews for a feature I’m doing on Youth Olympic athletes.

Dimitris interviewing Switzerland’s skip at the Le Gruyere AOP European Curling Championships 2019, Helsingborg, Sweden © WCF / Céline Stucki

Some of the games were really close and you could see the emotion on the players’ faces. So after a tight game in the men’s division between Denmark and Italy – I had scheduled an interview with an Italian player with regards to my feature – but due to their nail-biting defeat, I asked him if we was alright to conduct the interview and he asked to reschedule it. I completely understood where he came from – when I lose a tight basketball game, I always struggle with my emotions.

This time a few more of us were the last ones to leave the arena, so we all got a lift together.

Overall I’m getting used to the routine and feel like I had a very pro

Day seven – The early mornings are back

I knew it was too good to be true. No more lie ins. Back to waking up at 7am as I had to be in at work for 9am. Breakfast was very chill, no one I knew was at breakfast so I sat by myself and watched history videos on YouTube – yes, I’m a bit of a nerd – my undergraduate degree was in history.

Once at work the first job I had was to write the session report, which would be my second one of the week. Once again it was a really busy day and I loved that. I got to conduct many post match interviews, whilst also some longer interviews that were for the feature I was writing on the Youth Olympic Games. Then I had to transcribe the interviews, which as mentioned in previous blogs is easy but very tedious and long. I also had to write up a session report on the B-Division.

The most eventful part of the day however was lunchtime. I wasn’t hungry but I decided to go make a cup of tea. That’s when I saw a couple of teenagers playing FIFA so I went up to them and asked if I could have a game. I’m proud to say I won the first game against a 16-year old 5-4. The second game, which was against a second challenger I lost 2-0, but I’d won the first one and that’s all that mattered. In hindsight I should’ve quit when I was ahead, and they thought I was a FIFA master.

Because I had to work in the morning, that meant I got the evening off, so I was heading back to the hotel by 7:30pm. It was so weird having an evening off that I decided to spend it in the best way possible – in bed catching up on shows I’d missed. That was the first night I had managed to sleep before midnight – I’d forgotten the term ‘early night’.

Overall, another busy day that I felt like I did good work. I can definitely picture myself working international sporting events full time, they’re anything but boring.

Day eight – Finally found a place that takes cash

Although on Thursday I didn’t get a lie in, I didn’t struggle getting up as much as other days. I’m definitely getting used to fewer hours of sleep. Usually I don’t tend to run into anyone at breakfast, but Cameron (head of media) suddenly appeared. That meant I couldn’t be my subdued self, watching YoutTube videos. It was definitely interesting though finding out about his journey leading up to the WCF and learning tricks of the trade.

The first thing I did once at work was to write my feature about the Youth Olympic Games. That’s now two features I’ve done amongst all the reports and interviews – quite happy with that if I’m honest. I also got to do two reports, both the morning session and the afternoon session.

My favourite part of work however was interviewing Denmark men’s skip Mikkel Krause, who is always the happiest and most shocked person when his team wins. The Danes had only just been promoted this season and didn’t expect to do well, so every time I’d interview him he was always so happy and would give the most genuine answers. I was very pleased for him that Denmark managed to qualify to the semi-finals.

Because of the double breakfasts I have every morning, I don’t tend to be hungry at lunchtime. So the only thing I wanted to do during lunch was to get a cup of tea and play FIFA against those two Swedish teenagers that I’d played on Wednesday. However, they weren’t there and in their place were a couple of 5-year-olds. I didn’t want to be a horrible human beating a couple of kids so I decided it would be best if I sat this one out.

Cameron had organised a dinner for some of the members of the team who got the evening off. We went to the number one rated restaurant in Helsingborg – according to TripAdvisor. The food was lovely, best food we’ve had so far.

Following on from dinner we decided to go to a pub for some drinks. And that’s when I finally found a place that accepts cash. I could finally buy some of the team drinks as a thank you for everything they’ve done for me this week, especially Mike who’s helped me so much but who also bought me quite a few drinks early on in the week.

Over drinks I got to bond more with one of the photographers, Céline, who Cheyenne had got to know really well because they work together. The conversation got a bit wild when we were assessing each other’s personalities and fitting each other into Hogwarts houses.

Another fun day that had the lovely bonus of exquisite food and a few beverages – yes I did have a cocktail at dinner and then fruit ciders at the pub.

One Final End

I left Helsingborg a few days ago and now I’m back home in London, trying to adjust to ‘normal life’. There’s nothing normal about being nice and warm all day, I miss the freezing cold feeling I had for twelve hours every day in the curling rink.

Leaving Helsingborg was harder than I thought. Yes, I’d missed the people close to me and I was excited to see them again, but the experience I had with the WCF went by so fast for me, especially because I only found out I got on the programme six days before I flew out to Sweden.

The final night was so much fun. We went to the closing banquet, which involved all the teams, the icemakers and the organisers – something which isn’t common throughout the whole sporting world. Cheyenne and I were the only ones from our team so we had to be social and make new ‘friends’. Throughout the entire night we talked to many different people, including some of the players. It was brilliant seeing them outside of the rink, seeing what they’re like normally.

As a true journalist however, I did not allow the opportunity of bonding with the players to pass me by and I managed to secure a freelance opportunity with the English Curling Association to cover their National Championships in February. If it weren’t for the programme then I would never have had the opportunity to secure a job such as this, which only adds more gravitas to my CV.

The night ended in a Swedish night club that included a black jack table – I’m very proud of myself for not playing a single hand because I knew that I could have lost quite a bit of money.

The journey home on Sunday afternoon was not a pleasant one because of the long night we had enjoyed the night before, but ultimately I made it home still in one piece without a cold or any illness whatsoever.

I would like to thank first and foremost the WCF team. Every single one of you played a massive part in making this experience unique and magnificent for me – especially Mike, Chris and Emily from the journalistic team who had to constantly deal with my high energy levels, even though they had work to do.

I also want to say how grateful I am for the opportunity. As someone who wants to have a career as a sports journalist, this gave me the best insight into what my life would be like and I honestly loved it. I’m ready to go out there and make it happen, and hopefully one day you’ll be seeing me on the likes of Sky Sports and the BBC. I also feel like it will greatly strengthen my CV, because as a student your experience isn’t that good, but through the trainee programme I can show recruiters that I’ve managed to pull my weight in an international tournament.

For anyone that is considering applying, please do it. Even if you don’t know much about curling, trust me, do it and it will change your life and open so many doors for you.

Basketball still is life, but curling definitely has a special place in my heart. Thank you!

Cheyenne: “Welcome to Sweden and WCF”

Day one: I had never travelled to Sweden before this experience, but as soon as I stepped off of the train on day one, I was in love. Helsingborg is a charming city with beautiful architecture and a 14th century medieval tower down the street from our hotel!

After arriving and exploring the city for a few hours, I got to meet and have dinner with a few members of the WCF. I met my fellow trainee Dimitris Kouimtsidis (journalist), Mike, Chris, Richard (my mentor), and others. Everyone that I have met from WCF has been so welcoming and supportive. I feel like a valued member of an amazing and talented team, and I’m so grateful for it!

Day two: I got to go to the arena for the first time and learn the tips and tricks of taking photos of curling. I had never photographed curling before yesterday, so I honestly had no idea what to expect. Richard and I took photos of some of the teams, and I got to take their individual headshots. One of my favorite parts of the day was when the team from Spain had me take a silly boomerang of them about four times to get it just right for their Instagram.

Cheyenne getting Spain’s picture for Instagram at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships, 2019, Helsingborg, Sweden

Day three: After double checking my gear three times before I left my hotel room, I walked up a ton of stairs with my giant camera bag and a smile on my face. I was so excited that I would have the opportunity to photograph curling for the first time in my life! It’s always a bit intimidating to try new things and I was nervous at first, but as time went on my nerves turned into adrenaline and I didn’t want to ever leave the ice and stop taking photos. It was so much fun to be so close to the players and the competition! I was right down on the ice in the action, and I loved every second of it.

Cheyenne shooting at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships, 2019, Helsingborg, Sweden

I also got to meet an amazing photographer and person named Celine. Her and I edited next to each other all day, and it was so fun to peek over at each other’s photos and say, “oh I love that one,” or, “look at all of those bananas!” Overall, it was a pretty long day, but I genuinely enjoyed every moment and I am looking forward to the adventures that are sure to come!

Day four: I had the morning draw off. So, I didn’t crawl out of bed until 9 a.m. and it felt great to get a couple of extra hours of sleep. Dimitris and I met for breakfast at the hotel and then we tried to decide how we wanted to spend our free time. We were going to do a little shopping around the city center, but it was Sunday so just about everything was closed. Dimitris found a beautiful castle that we could visit, and it was only a twenty minute bus ride. After a quick trip to the train station to purchase our bus tickets, we began our adventure to the Sofiero Palace. Just as we arrived, I tried to unzip my winter coat a bit, because the weather was lovely, and I was warm. Well… I ended up getting my zipper stuck and Dimitris and I stood outside of the palace gates for about five minutes yanking on the zipper trying to get it unstuck. We were both hysterically laughing, and in the end, I had to wait until I got home and just pulled the jacket off over my head. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the grounds of the palace and taking “fire insta pics” (according to Dimitris). We made it back to the curling arena by 1:30pm, so I could photograph the next draw at 2pm. I spent the rest of the day photographing the event and editing my photos. It was overall a really great day.

Day five: I had to get up a little earlier to make it to the first draw at 8 a.m. I knew the day ahead of me was going to be pretty busy, because I was going to be photographing four draws and editing in between each. I was still super excited, because I was going to be running all over the place and taking photos of both the A and B divisions men and women. Some of the matches were really intense and great to photograph! I love the passion in curling and the players’ attention to detail is amazing! After a long day, I had the evening off and left the arena around 8 p.m. I went with Celine and Chris back to the hotel to change and drop my bags off, and then we went to the pub around the corner to grab a bite to eat. The food was super yummy, and it was nice to relax and chat with everyone.

Day six: I got up bright and early, so I could pack up my gear for another fun/long day ahead of me. I photographed all three sessions of both the A and B-Divisions. I got some great photos of fans interacting with the players, emotions shared between the coaches and athletes. I love photographing the action, but in all honesty capturing these moments are my favorite. I think they’re not only more challenging to capture, but they also have a deeper impact I think and really show the passion and teamwork behind curling. Another fun experience from the day was when Richard had a feedback session with me. He gave me great tips on how to speedup my workflow, and how to crop or think in unique ways. I love getting feedback, because it pushes me to challenge myself even more to see how much I can grow. Before the last session, Céline and I went to grab some dinner. We had heard rumors about some lasagna that was made with Le Gruyere cheese, so we went on the hunt for it. We found the cafeteria that was serving it, but to our dismay they only serve it at lunch. So, we went to the normal dining hall to eat and ironically, they were serving lasagna! Celine and I started laughing hysterically, and we really confused the woman serving it.

Cheyenne’s photo of Helsingborg

Day 7: I had the morning off, so I decided to sleep in a bit and then wander the city and do some shopping. I walked all around Helsingborg and stopped in a lot of cute local shops. I wasn’t really looking for anything in particular, but I did want to get my family some gifts. I ended up buying some chocolate and a few clothing items to bring home. After I finished shopping, I was starving so I met up with Céline to grab some lunch.  We ended up meeting up with Chris as well and we all decided that we were finally going to track down the Le Gruyère lasagna! We walked to the arena together and got the lasagna!!! It was very yummy, but we all agreed that we may have “hyped it up” a bit too much. After lunch it was time to go back to work! I was excited to photograph the next session, because I wanted to use Richard’s feedback and see how much I could speed up my workflow. I think it went well and I definitely was faster with the help of Richard’s advice!

Final Blog: My final days in Helsingborg, Sweden were wonderful! I had so much fun covering the final games! I loved the adrenaline rush and running onto the ice to get celebration photos of the teams after winning. The rush afterwards to get photos edited and up on the library ASAP was stressful, but fun too! On the final day, after the gold medal women’s game finished and I uploaded my images, I went back to the hotel to prepare for the closing banquet. I got all dressed up and went with Dimitris to the arena where they were hosting it.

The banquet was lovely, and we got to chat with a lot of the athletes and members of WCF, which was great! I tried some different foods like fish eggs and roasted duck breast too… which was interesting and yummy. I honestly had such an amazing time and was very sad to leave.

Looking back on my experience, I truly want to thank everyone at WCF that created/was a part of this unforgettable journey. I am so grateful for each moment that I got to spend in Sweden with such wonderful, passionate, and talented people. I will never forget how each and every person welcomed me into the community and made me feel like a part of the team.

I want to give a special shootout to my fellow photographers Celine and Richard for being so kind and always pushing me to be creative! They have inspired me and taught me many things in such a short amount of time and I’m so thankful for that! I really hope that I will be able to work with these amazing people and organization again one day!

P.s. I got to actually try curling and it was really hard to balance, but I had a blast!

Cheyenne trying out curling for the first time © WCF