Wahpeton native spent summer promoting surfing at Tokyo Olympics – InForum



NEW JERSEY – Six months ago Becky Fleischauer-Jewell from Wahpeton landed a really cool job: media contact and public relations representative for the national surfing governing body of the US Olympic Committee.

And she had a big job to do: promoting the sport of surfing in its Olympic debut during a global pandemic and after the initial event was postponed. No big deal, however.

For a seasoned communications professional who is a director at Boardwalk Public Relations, Fleischauer-Jewell approached the job with enthusiasm; she knew her background (she has an MA in Media and Public Affairs from George Washington University, in addition to her BA in English Writing and Communication from Concordia, would be very useful to her, in addition she has a personal interest in sport : her two teenage sons are amateur surfers.

After returning to the United States from a busy summer abroad, Fleischauer-Jewell took time off from his busy schedule to answer a few questions about his work, his family and how surfing has become an important part of life. his life.

What’s the version of the cliffside notes on how you got from Wahpeton to New Jersey?

I have been fortunate enough to live and work in so many great places, to get to know people that I will remember forever. After graduating from Wahpeton High School, I went to Concordia in Moorhead, then became a reporter for WDAY before moving to Washington, DC, to be Senator Byron Dorgan’s Deputy Press Secretary. I met my husband Tony in Washington and our two sons were born in Virginia. We moved to New Jersey for my husband’s job and fell in love with the beach and the ocean and just moved to Oceanside, CA. My family grew up spending summers in the lakes of Minnesota, where we developed a love for the water that is still in full effect for me.

What does your daily job involve?

I work with a bunch of great clients, doing interesting things – from health, education, and business clients to surfing. I help them tell their stories through social media, news and opinion articles, videos and other channels. I started working with USA Surfing before the Olympics and during the sport’s debut this summer in Tokyo. Having experience working with so many media and understanding what they need to do their jobs, and having immersed myself in surfing for several years has given me the prospect of being a good translator for those who haven’t. never watched the surf before.

How did your sons get into surfing?

I have two sons: Jackson, 16, and Cooper, 14. We started going to New Jersey beaches when our boys were around 4 and 6 years old. They spent the whole day in the water and we never wanted to leave.

They both love to surf and be in the ocean. Surfing is a great sport and lifestyle. It is an incredibly beautiful and athletically demanding sport, played on constantly changing terrain. Each wave is unique, so it’s never boring. Although they work very hard to improve themselves, it is fun and makes them so happy. As a parent, it’s so great to watch – especially knowing that it’s something they can do for the rest of their lives and pass it on to their kids. The experience also gives them good life skills. They learn to separate the things you can control and the things you cannot and to be fully present.

How did your sons deal with the fact that their mom spent her summer promoting the sport they love too?

My sons really thought I was a bit cooler, having traveled with the first Olympic surf team in Japan to manage social media channels and work in the Olympic surf press operation. Slightly. Ha ha. They really admire the surfers of the Olympic team: John John Florence, Kolohe Andino, Carissa Moore and Caroline Marks. They are amazing athletes and humans.

I sent photos and videos to my sons from Tokyo every day, and they followed the USA Surfing Instagram account closely to see what we were doing and how the surfers were preparing to compete. My youngest son Cooper’s favorite photo was of the two gold medalists – Italo Ferreira and Carissa Moore – standing side by side and being interviewed by the Olympic press. He was really delighted that I was at the forefront of Olympic history and surfing.

Becky Fleischauer-Jewell, right, receives a hug from Carissa Moore, the first Olympic gold medalist in the sport of surfing. Moore was waiting to be on TODAY via Zoom from the Fleischauer-Jewell laptop. Special on In the minds of mothers

Thinking back to your Olympic experience, what is your most cherished moment?

Carissa Moore wins first Olympic gold in surfing. She’s just a fierce competitor, yet also the nicest, most caring person you’ll ever meet. The pure joy on her face when she heard that she had won the gold was deeply moving. Being there for this moment in Olympic and surfing history with the world’s greatest surf ambassador was amazing.
Between his media interviews, I was able to hold his medal (it’s super heavy!).

Will one of your sons try to compete for a place on a future Olympic team?

Cooper and Jackson both love the challenge of competing and work at it every day. We just enjoy more time in the water and see where it leads. I love to see them having fun and growing up in a sport that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives.



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