Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Boston Avenue member preparing for Olympic effort



"I can’t believe I’m getting to go! I feel so very blessed and grateful," said TV news correspondent and Tulsa-Boston Avenue Church member Neile Jones as she prepared to report from the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

"As a child wanting to be a journalist, I dreamed of assignments like this. Now I just want to go and soak it all in."

She will cover the Games for Nexstar’s NBC-affiliate stations, serving 100 markets across the United States.

Jones will leave Feb. 1 for Sochi. She does not yet know which of the 98 Olympic events she will cover during Feb. 6-23.

"These athletes and their families have given so much to reach this point," she said. "It will be very special to see many of their dreams come true, even as my own is coming true.

"My family has been so supportive. They are my inspiration. My most special Christmas gift from them this year was a small cross that my grandmother used to carry with her everywhere she went. Since her death, other family members have carried it when they traveled. Now that cross will go with me to Sochi."

Her mother, Linda Jones, said, "We were so excited when we heard she’d been selected. It’s such an opportunity! We’re also concerned for her and will be sending up lots of prayers and good thoughts while she’s away."

Preparation for the Olympics assignment has been a workout for Neile. She has studied with a Russian-language tutor, researched the athletes and their events, and participated in training in New York and live reporting in Salt Lake City, Utah. She attended the unveiling of the official U.S. ski team uniforms.

In addition, she has been working with a personal trainer.

"We’ll be doing our own writing, shooting, and editing. I want to be ready to lug equipment around," Jones said. "I also want to show that anyone can get in shape."

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