N.C. A&T student East Dockery talks experience covering 2020 Olympics

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Jerry Humphrey III, Editor in Chief

The 2021 Tokyo Olympics was one to remember for N.C. A&T. Not only did two Aggies dominate the track and field, but an Aggie journalist, East Dockery, got to cover the Olympics through her internship with NBC Universal. 

Dockery, a senior journalism multimedia student from Greensboro, worked as a production and technical team member in NBC Universal’s coverage of the gymnastic events. 

“I worked with four other interns in my section,” Dockery said. “Whether it was running up stat sheets or bringing the producers coffee, we were there to assist them with anything they needed to make the production a success.

While in Tokyo, East said she would wake up at 7  in the morning and catch the shuttle to the International Broadcast Center (IBC), which is where all the media personnel would meet for breakfast and fellowship. 

“Going to the IBC was always my favorite part because you saw all the major broadcast companies like Peacock (NBC’s streaming service)一television personalities like Maria Taylor would be right next to me getting makeup done, so that was cool.”

Then, at 9 a.m., she would report to her venue and work her shift until it was time to go home一 sometimes as late as 9 that night.

“My friends called me a time traveler,” Dockery said. “Tokyo is 13 hours ahead, so I will be up working while they are just waking up or going to sleep.” 

Dockery learned of the internship during her sophomore year when she volunteered at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Short Course, which N.C. A&T’s journalism department hosts each March.  

“I look back and laugh because I was not even supposed to be at the short course, I was just volunteering,” Dockery said. “After the presentation, I went up and gave the recruiters my resume and elevator speech and applied for the position as soon as I left.”

After the interview process and months of waiting for a response, Dockery was offered the position to cover aquatics at the Tokyo Olympics. However, due to COVID-19 the 2020 Olympics were postponed to 2021. Through constant communication with NBC, she was reoffered the position, this time with gymnastics.

“The COVID-19 Olympic delay made me a lot stronger mentally,” Dockery said. “Before hit I was going to be coming off my internship with the Undefeated, and covering the NFL draft before going to Tokyo. So having that delay made me more eager to continue to work and prepare myself for the next venture.” 

Dockery witnessed first-hand the controversy surrounding Simone Biles, the U.S. Olympic gold-medal gymnast withdrew from the competition to focus on her mental health. Biles, who came into the competition as one of the biggest stars, received both support and criticism for her decision. 

“It was crazy to see how discombobulated she was having to explain herself to the media about twisties and some of the mental strains a gymnast goes through,” Dockery said. “I commend her because the media had no idea on what was going on and for them to say she was not supportive was not the case at all.” 

Dockery recalls watching Biles support the team throughout the entire Olympics.  

“She showed up to see both the men and women team compete at every event,” Dockery said.

Now in her final year in Aggieland, Dockery has no plans to hit the brakes. Currently, she’s an intern for the Culture Fusion Agency as an on-air talent, with some of her projects featuring music artists such as Morray, Big Scarr and Pooh Shiesty on the way. 

From doing social media work with The A&T Register to covering the Olympics, Dockery is a true Crosby Hall legend.

To women who want to pursue careers in media, Dockery says to do it. 

“The world is yours just as much as anyone else’s, you deserve to be in those rooms and you’re not just a pretty face,” Dockery said. “Know who you are and stand firm in your beliefs.”