Student Features

Sophomore experiences learning opportunity of a lifetime at Winter Olympics

Mar 22, 2018

PA Cyber culture contributes to educational enrichment

A PA Cyber sophomore and former “Dance Moms” star was in South Korea as one of the youngest correspondents at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Nia Frazier, 16, learned in January that she was selected to cover the Olympics as a correspondent for Musical.ly and NBC.

“I could not believe it was really happening until I got my travel documents and itinerary at the beginning of February,” said Nia, who has returned home to Pittsburgh.

After spending seven seasons on Lifetime’s “Dance Moms,” Nia, the last original cast member, announced she was leaving the show. She remains engaged in music, acting, dancing and entertaining.

Experiencing the magic of the Olympic games was “incredible,” she said.

“It is so much larger than you could ever imagine.”

Traveling to South Korea as an NBC and Musical.ly correspondent, Nia was expected to engage her followers through video reporting on the Olympics, making her stories interesting and relatable. She had to post videos daily and think critically about the storytelling in each of them.

Nia had a media badge and was committed to delivering quality content. “It was an incredible privilege and responsibility to share my Olympic experience through my lens,” she said.

Some of the Olympic arenas and venues were miles apart, which required mapping out shuttle services to various events. Nia said she was fortunate to be able to see various events — short track speed skating, figure skating, free-style skiing, long track speed skating and curling.

“Over the course of several days I was able to see different stages of the sports from qualifying rounds to the finals,” she said.

Nia said it wasn’t easy to meet the athletes. She did, however, meet Winter Olympic champion and legend Apolo Ohno.

“One of the best moments was meeting and interviewing 17-year-old figure skater Paige Conners competing for Israel.”

Nia said although she didn’t meet Maame Biney, a 17-year-old U.S. speed skater, one of her favorite highlights was watching Biney compete and make it to the semi-qualifying round.

The entire experience felt surreal. Nia said there were times she would turn to her mother, Holly Hatcher-Frazier, to say, “I can’t believe I am at the Olympics in Korea.”

PA Cyber fosters independent learning and facilitates educational enrichment, and Nia considers her Olympic experience to be one such opportunity.

Experiencing the Olympics also meant experiencing the host country’s culture.  The natural beauty of South Korea was breathtaking, she said. Despite the cold temperatures and snow, Nia said she walked around and explored the sights.

“We went to a Buddhist temple, had a tea ceremony with a Buddhist monk, hiked through a forest and visited an institute for Korean cuisine. The food was really different, especially dining out. Typically, the meals were cooked tableside in front of you. Sometimes you had to do the cooking. There was a lot of fresh seafood available and a lot of new foods that I never heard of before. I tried some new dishes and found some favorites at breakfast, including Bulgogi [literally, “fire meat”], a national favorite.”

 

Media Contact

Casie Colalella / casie.colalella@pacyber.org

About PA Cyber

Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.