Matt Barnes and Michael Burns
On the other side of the world, Ohio University alumnus and NBC4 Columbus reporter Matt Barnes ran into a fellow Bobcat he had not seen in nearly 15 years, his OHIO tour guide, Michael Burns.
Both men were in Tokyo working on the 2020 Olympics, Barnes for NBC4’s parent company Nexstar Media Group, and Burns for the Today Show. Neither man ever imagined they would reconnect over 6,500 miles away, especially when international travel and the Olympics were limited due to COVID-19.
Barnes and Burns were not the only OHIO alumni to experience this out-of-the-ordinary Olympic Games; three other alumni also worked and participated in this truly once in a lifetime event.
Joining Barnes and Burns in Tokyo were Jay Cohen, a 1999 journalism graduate who was covering water polo for The Associated Press; Preston McClellan, a 2014 Masters of Sports Administration graduate who is the director of player content for the PGA Tour and was a press officer for USA Golf; and Joe Schroeder, a 2019 Masters of Civil Engineering graduate who competed for the USA Men’s Rugby team.
“Having been to the Olympics before, this time around felt really strange because of COVID,” Burns said. “Not because of the protocols we had to take but because there were…