Aug. 3, 2012
Jenny Simon-O'Neill, Cal's Director of Olympic Sports Operations, interviewed Christian Jordan, one of her Olympic Sports Operations interns, about his Olympic experience at Wimbledon.
JENNY SIMON O'NEILL: Tell us a little about your affiliation to Cal.
CHRISTIAN JORDAN: Thanks for having me, and thanks for coming out to Wimbledon. I am going to be a sophomore at Cal starting in a few weeks. My dad went to Cal and my mom went to Cal, and my grandparents went to Cal, so we have a long lineage of Cal in our blood. I was really excited to go to Cal; it was my first choice. I'm looking forward to starting back in a couple of weeks.
JSON: Tell us about your experience interning at Cal your first year.
CJ: I got connected with you, which was awesome. And I really wanted work closely with the coaches when I came to Cal and see what it was like to work with a Division I athletic department. I met a lot of the coaches and worked closely with them, which was awesome, because obviously they're the best in the country and some of the best in the world, obviously with Teri McKeever here coaching the women's swimming team. It's great to work with these coaches. I get to learn a lot, from you, too, Jenny. And there are many great support staff in the athletic department, too, who I get to work with.
JSON: You took the last year off to "explore the world." Tell us about that.
CJ: I love tennis especially, so I took a year off and I'm going off what I did at Cal with Olympic sports. I wanted to intern and volunteer and work at some of the best tennis tournaments that I could. I started off and worked with the U.S. Open in New York in September then went on to the Australian Open in Melbourne in January. Also I went on to Madrid in May, and finished up by coming over to Wimbledon and now the Olympics. It's been a good year of work and travel, too.
JSON: What's your experience been like at the Olympics so far?
CJ: Well, we just arrived a couple of days ago, focusing on the tennis obviously But I can't say how good a job the people have done with helping people getting from point A to point B, obviously the banners in the Village, the signs on the street, everything is here. And watching the Bears on television. The BBC coverage is great, so we're enjoying that. The biggest thing about being here at the Olympics is seeing how well this event is organized, especially from an operations point of view. The volunteers are amazing, the signage is amazing; all the details are here. You almost think Wimbledon is so far out of the way from the Olympic Park that it would be overlooked, but it's been a really good experience.
What are the differences between Wimbledon from five weeks ago to now?
The biggest thing is the players are wearing all colors, whereas during Wimbledon they have to wear mostly white clothes. Also, the London 2012 signage all around is pretty neat. They haven't had the Olympics at Wimbledon here since the beginning of the 1900s and that's when Wimbledon was at its old site. Different crowds, a lot more noise, a little more energy I would say. Wimbledon is such a mecca of the games, so it's a very, very special venue.
JSON: What's been you favorite match so far?
CJ: The Bryan brothers. They won yesterday. They're the USA doubles team, the No. 1 team in the world and the No. 1 seed here. They're playing their semifinal match today and hopefully will go for the gold tomorrow. (The Bryan brothers indeed won their semifinal on Friday to advance to the gold-medal match.)
JSON: Being such a great Cal fan and coming from a lineage of Cal fans, what's it like having 46 Cal Olympians in London this year?
CJ: It's amazing. Sandy (Barbour, Cal's Director of Athletics) has been tweeting, "If Cal were a country, we'd be No. 10 on the medal list," or I don't know where we are on the medal list now. That really is something. I think it just speaks to the strength of the Olympic sports at Cal and how deep they are. Hopefully, Cal fans will see the Olympics and see all our athletes in 2012 here in London, and come out in the fall and experience and support our Olympic sports and see these great athletes.