Age gets the best of everyone, including globetrotting sports reporters.
Last month, Philip Hersh talked to Poynter about his anticipation in covering his 18th Olympics in Rio.
However, last week, Hersh decided to come home early. He wrote on his Globetrotting blog:
Life sometimes delivers important lessons at unexpected moments.
Mine came when I nearly fainted twice from heat and exhaustion while covering the swimming preliminaries on the first full day of the Rio Olympics.
It was a clear sign that the intense effort necessary to do this job the way I always have at a Summer Games would be too much for a body turning 70 years old next month.
Late nights (actually early mornings). Minimal sleep. Meals catch as catch can. (Often coming up empty handed.) Standing to wait for buses running on a once-an-hour schedule after midnight. It took me only a couple more days to realize I no longer had the stamina for such a daily routine, no matter that I am – when properly rested – still able to do long, hard rides on a road bike.
My problem is having just one journalistic speed: all-out. And despite my best intentions to put a governor on it, that didn’t work.