Bel Air Olympic Figure Skater Lands in Sochi with NBC
Kimmie Meissner is working behind the scenes at the Winter Games.
Meissner, 24, flew to Russia on Jan. 30 for a week of training at NBC's International Broadcast Center before the Winter Games began Feb. 7, according to PressBox.
As a research analyst, Meissner keeps the facts straight about professional skaters. The Olympian told NBC it was "a little weird" not being on the ice.
"I still feel like I should have my skates with me and be out there skating," Meissner told NBC. "It was so strange not packing costumes or anything like that."
Meissner placed sixth at the Olympics in 2006 and was the World Championship winner that year. In 2007 she received the U.S. national title in figure skating, before injuries cut her competitive skating career short.
Now, she is a senior majoring in English at Towson University who also coaches skating at Ice World in Abingdon, according to The Baltimore Sun, which reported she was receiving college credit and a paycheck for her work in Russia.
Meissner was at an ice show in New York in the spring—she does about 20 exhibition shows a year—when she met NBC's editorial director for the Olympics, according to The Baltimore Sun.
In conversation, Meissner mentioned how much she loved to write, and a week later, NBC contacted her, she told 105.7 FM The Fan.
"I fell into it," Meissner said on the radio show, defining her role as NBC's "resident figure skating expert" at the Winter Games.
She works 12-hour days, finding out details about skaters and the sport that others may overlook, NBC said.
"I'm totally inside their heads," Meissner said of the Olympians, in an interview with The Baltimore Sun, noting since she had "been there and done that, she could understand the athletes emotionally.
"Words just can't do it," Meissner said when The Fan asked her to describe being an Olympian. "I was so proud of myself and my country. You've reached the pinnacle of sports. It's crazy to comprehend that."
On opening day of the 2014 Winter Games, Meissner addressed the athletes via Twitter: "Olympians, this is your time. Your moment. Be brave and courageous. You inspire us all!"