Editor’s note: Rachael Scott, a Greensboro native and Northern Guilford High School graduate, is among 29 students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism who are providing coverage from the Rio Olympics. Scott is making contributions to greensboro.com throughout the Games.
The Olympics are known for their unique and worldwide cooperation, which can break even the strongest barriers – this time, it was the UNC-Duke rivalry.
Because I am a third-generation Tar Heel, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski brings to mind a mixture of anger and heartbreak (Duke @ UNC, 2016).
Now, thanks to Rio, I have a newfound respect for the antagonist of my basketball season.
The U.S. basketball team held a press conference, and my instinct led me to former Tar Heel Harrison Barnes. After reverently asking him a few questions, I felt it was my responsibility as a North Carolinian to visit the coach.
He was surrounded by international reporters, and I took the closest spot into which I could squeeze. After about five more minutes of answering questions, a worker told us that was the end of the conference.
Krzyzewski turned to leave. I could hardly believe these next words left my mouth: “Coach, I came all the way from UNC to talk to you.”
With his full attention, he tells me “go ahead,” answering my question eloquently and genuinely. I hate to admit this, but Coach K made my day.
I am sure there will be days in the years to come when Mike Krzyzewski will ruin my night. But for now, I will remember him not as Coach K, but as Coach USA.
Now that is an Olympic miracle.