BY KATIE UHLAENDER
“Wow” is the one word to describe my recent experience at the NBC/U.S. Olympic Committee promotional shoot for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. By no means am I famous, or have any excess money to spend, nor do I deserve any special treatment in my daily life; however, this event made me feel like a rock-star! I couldn’t believe how amazing the experience was. I had my own personal handler (which is a fancy word for an assistant) for the day, but I think they call them handlers due to how they straight up handle you. There isn’t much assisting; it’s a lot of them telling you it is time to move and where to go.
Starting at 9 in the morning I met my handler, who directed me into a lifestyle room or stage area. I was greeted with a round of applause and way more energy than I had expected. They had a piano there for me to play! Um… how did they know that I had made up a song on the piano as a kid? Because I sure didn’t know how to play officially! I was mortified, but went through with it. I opened my set with chopsticks of course, because it is still my favorite scene in the movie “Big.” Once that was done, the rest of the day seemed to be filled with surprises with people asking me questions about every aspect of my life. Not to mention, I got to get my hair and makeup done! This is most women’s dream, but for me I was just curious to see what I’d look like when I just went for it and movie-starred my face. Some athletes asked them not to put a whole lot of makeup on, which I understand because I rarely wear it, but instead I said make it all pop – let’s go theatrical with it! I even had them paint the scar on my leg to look even scarier than it already does. I figured after four surgeries on my left knee there was no way to hide it, so I should probably just make it pop and own it, and that was the theme of the day.
The entire day was me being me. I let my big legs show in short dresses, I let all my scars pop, I laughed at myself, and showed as much love as I could to my family and friends that have helped me along the way to the Olympics. In fact, I was really lucky to have one of my friends with me, and I honestly don’t know if I would have made it through the promo shoot without her. There were more interviews than I can count in the eight hours we were there. There was one shoot where they shove you in a room and say you have 10 minutes, GO! I was changing outfits as fast as I possibly could, and am pretty sure I would have ended up like my buddy Nate Holland yelling, “I lost my pants! Seriously, I need my pants, any one know where my pants are?” by the end of the day if she hadn’t been there. In conclusion, I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to share my story, experience a bit of humility, and see what it would be like if I was ever famous.