Powerful statements, emotions and drama: a review of the written stories that prepare for the final ceremony

Anne Armbrecht and Erin Fish, AIPS Young Reporters, Germany and United States

Lausanne, January 20, 2019— Words are a powerful tool that have the ability to tell stories that generate emotion, alter opinions and even change the world. The inaugural AIPS Sports Media Awards will take place this Monday, January 21, at 7 pm CET. There are two separate categories for writing: Best Colour Piece and Best Column.

Best Colour Piece

In Antje Windmann’s Der Mensch im Trikot (Der Spiegel), Windmann gives an insight to the in-life of a world-class football player interview in the final stage of his career at Arsenal, but also about his whole way there. The struggling and suffering of Per Mertesacker makes her writing strong and special. Showing the “brutality of the football business” is also a warning: to see not only the performance and privileges, the show and shining, but also the human behind, the dark side of the dream. The story was quoted all over the world and led to massive discussions on how the media, the audience and the business itself perceive sport stars.

Der gafallene Star (Das Magazine/Tamedia) is the story about the moment when sport lost its virginity, but also the moment where a legend became obsolete: Ben Johnson’s run from Seoul 1988 became history, not for the record as he wished but for testing positive. Christof Gertsch and Mikael Krogerus met Johnson 30 years afterwards, and they tell a story about meeting a legend a.d. who still treats his record as a trophy and who feels betrayed from all others still today; the story about a man who is still not able to get along with his own past.

There is no more cruel part in recent history than what happened in the concentration camps of the Nazis. For that, it takes a secure sense of balance to not overpaint the scenes. In Yo jugue al futbol en Auschwitz (Marca), Jose Ignacio Perez Hernandez manages to catch the absurdity of the scene, playing football, the game of joy and pleasure, in the atmosphere of death, the Holocaust. He tells his story slow and steady and leaves the drama to the reader, letting the scenery speak for itself, combining the voices of executioner and the condemned in excellence, in an interactive special reportage.

 

Best Column

The pure joy and pride that sport can bring to a country is unlike any other feeling. Dumitru Graur portrays these exact emotions in his piece, Tears of an Old Commentator (Sport in Romania), when he discusses watching, “one of Romania’s all-time best sportspersons”, Simona Halep achieve her dream of winning her first Grand Slam title. Although he has many accolades in his life as a commentator, this experience brought him to tears.

Is boycotting the Olympics the answer for Russia? According to Russian journalist Igor Rabiner, it does not benefit anyone—that is, except their opponents. In his column, Athletes or Slaves? Rabiner Against Boycotting the Olympics (Sport-Express) Rabiner gives his opinions of boycotting the PyeongChang Olympics.

“When you have spent your whole life preparing for something important, the Olympic Games, and you have the right and the opportunity to go there, then in the modern world, a person can only give up this just in one case; and that if he is not an athlete, but a slave,” is Rabiner’s powerful statement.

The Larry Nassar, Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics scandal has become one of the worst sexual abuse scandals in sports history. In Oliver Brown’s column, Abuse Scandal is Lesson Unlearned (The Daily Telegraph), Brown mentions examples of wrong-doings Nassar, MSU and USAG and he also mentions how USAG is doing nothing to learn from the mistakes of the past and that the victims are still hurting. Brown also suggests that Simone Biles —a quadruple gold-medal winner at the Rio Olympics—has the ability to have her voice be heard after she admitted to being assaulted Nassar as well.

You can see all the submissions in the AIPS Sport Media Awards podium section.

 

Prizes

Each of the finalists will receive an award for their work. The first-place winner will receive an original trophy and prize money of USD 8.000, second place will receive USD 3.000 and third place will receive USD 2,000.

The winners of the awards will be announced at the AIPS Sports Media Awards ceremony held at the Beau-Rivage Hotel on January 21, at 7pm CET, broadcast on Facebook Live on AIPS Media and on TV with Eurovision

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