Phelps

Phelps.png
Phelps.png

Phelps

10,000.00

My first job after college was working with the NBC Page program. Following this year long position, I was asked to work at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with the Corporate Events team. We were in charge of showing advertisers and  supporters of the network a good time with the best food, excursions and events that Beijing could offer. I worked in the ticketing department in charge of distributing thousands of tickets. My former Page boss and NBC Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol had the hunch that Michael Phelps could win 8 (the Chinese lucky number) gold medals to break Mark Spitz's record or 7. Mr. Ebersol negotiated a deal so that all of the swimming finals would take place in the morning in Beijing, which would be primetime back here on the east coast. I had CEOs and celebrities asking to see Phelps race and despite the demand, there were still tickets left over. I ended up collecting one ticket from each of the 8 races Phelps won (including 2 tickets from one event where he won two gold medals and 2 from his final gold medal win). When I returned back to the States, I collaged this piece together using the official 8/8/08 opening ceremony flag, USA Daily Magazine (retrieved after sneaking into the USA House) and the iconic Sports Illustrated cover.  The framed piece was later on display at the Sports Museum of America (RIP). I had some extra envelopes and letter head from NBC so I decided to mail Michael Phelps the duplicate, 8th gold medal ticket, thinking he'd be more likely to open a letter from NBC. Over a year later, he responded with an inspiring and friendly letter, plus the signed ticket. I was amazed and extremely grateful. I opened the frame, replaced the ticket and then showcased it at my solo show Unity in Diversity. 

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