Charley Cullen Walters has been to seven straight Olympic Games, largely as part of the Olympics Or Bust duo with Tyler Duckworth. Despite much of the negative hoopla surrounding the Winter Olympics this year in Sochi, attending his eighth straight Olympics was a no-brainer.
While he clearly doesn't support the Russian anti-gay laws, Walters said the Olympics are about more than the shortcomings of the host nation.
"I would never let something like that stop me from going and experiencing something I'm passionate about.," said Walters, who will be out and proud in Sochi. "And more athletes I talk to, the more I see that perspective. I love living the Olympics through their eyes and be surrounded by them. It's so inspiring."
As such, he'll be doing some reporting for Outsports and SB Nation while he's in Sochi, covering things you might not get from the rest of the mainstream media.
"The real reason I'm going is because I want to experience a lot of the things going on there. I'm really interested in experiencing the stories and triumphs of the athletes and the people there in person. And hopefully I will uncover unique angles nobody else is looking at."
Walters is a hardcore Olympics fan, even choosing his study abroad in 2000 so he would be in Sydney during those Olympic Games. At these Games he'll also be a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight and Us Weekly.
He's not particularly afraid of going to these Games, despite the threats and warnings.
"I'm not as nervous as my parents are. My mom asks me every day if I really want to go. She's worried about the terrorist threat. For me, this is old hat. There are always reasons to not go. It's never stopped me before, and I've always had a great time.
"Frankly the biggest thing I'm worried about is the language barrier. Friends over there have said it's hard just to order food. So I'm not really worried for my safety. I'm much more excited than nervous."
He has also talked with openly gay media professionals headed to Sochi. All of them have expressed to him an excitement to make a statement by simply working in and around the Games.
"Many of them are out and gay, and I don't think any of them are worrying about this. The general consensus is, it's not going to be a problem and this is an opportunity for us to make a statement by being there.
"What you feel and the people you meet and the energy there, it's incomparable and everyone should experience it at least once int heir lives."
Check back at Outsports and SB Nation for more from Walters throughout the Olympics. Meanwhile, check out Walters' report from NBC's Gold Meets Golden event last month at the Golden Globes:
CW3PR Presents Gold Meets Golden 2014 (via CW3PRVideo)
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