From Rio to Normal, alumnus Craig Bohnert spreads breaking news for Olympiads
Illinois State University alumnus Craig Bohnert tells people he is just one of thousands who make the International Olympic Games the world’s greatest gathering of young people. It’s just that Bohnert’s unique role gets the news of American competitors out quickly, accurately, and creatively. Even to the point of reporters calling Olympic news alerts “Bohnerts.”
Bohnert will speak about his experiences at 10 a.m. Friday, November 11, in the State Farm Hall of Business, room 357. His appearance is sponsored by the School of Communication Promotion and Development team (SoC PD) at Illinois State University. The event is free and open to all Illinois State students, faculty, and staff, as well as media representatives.
Bohnert has spread breaking news for seven Olympiads since 2004, from locations including Beijing, London, Athens, and Rio. He will talk about the process of being “fast and accurate” with results and sound bites, as well as the challenges which emerge in the process—like the USA men’s swim team members’ encounter with law enforcement.
After a few years on college campuses doing sports public relations, he joined the Olympic Movement as public relations director for USA Gymnastics and communications director for the U.S. Canoe and Kayak Team. After that, he was an administrator for the United States Soccer Coaches Association while maintaining his ties to Olympic sports.
These days, between Olympiads, Bohnert is marketing and operations director for the Inn on Crescent Lake in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.
Early on in his days of breaking sports news, Bohnert’s post-game evaluation email bulletins earned the nickname “Bohnerts” by the media due to their detailed nature and frequent appearance in reporters’ email inboxes.
As a master’s student at Illinois State in the 1980s, Bohnert worked in Redbird Athletics Communications with current School of Communication instructor Tom Lamonica. Their experiences in sports information and sports media relations led Bohnert to pursue a career in athletics’ communication.
Bohnert appreciates that experience and Lamonica’s mentorship.
“My time at ISU helped to broaden my perspective as to what athletic career opportunities were possible for me,” said Bohnert. “Tom pushed me, as he does all of his students, to pursue my dreams and find my passions.”