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2018 PyeongChang Olympic Coverage

Fireworks explode during the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. (Christian Hartmann/REUTERS)

I covered the PyeongChang Olympics primarily for The Washington Post. I spearheaded The Post's daily Olympics newsletter, as well as wrote features, sport guides and interviews both during and prior to the Games.

A few of my favorite pieces were about a the man who sharpens U.S. figure skates, the U.S. women's cross country team, comentators Tara Lipinsky & Johnny Weir, and the twentieth anniversial of a backflip

In total, I produced more than three dozen stories, which were shared tens of thousands of times. Below are links to that work. 

Click to read more ...


The Jamaican Apple Pickers of Upstate New York

Tik Root | The New York Times | Photo: Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist

Seth Forrence is the fourth-generation manager of his family’s apple farm, Forrence Orchards, in Peru, N.Y. He is only 41, but the business, he said, has changed drastically during his lifetime. Traditional varieties like McIntosh and Cortland are slowly giving way to the sweetness of Honeycrisp and SnapDragon, and the trees are getting smaller; up to 1,200 can be packed into one acre. But there has been one constant during his time on the farm: the Jamaicans.



Changing the Face of National Parks

Tik Root | National Geographic | Video: Paul Rosenfeld, Tik Root

Ollie Simmons first met Kieonne Dawson on the uphill leg of California’s Mission Peak trail. “She was looking kind of nervous because the route was so steep,” he remembered of the wet and dreary trek a few years back. Striking up a conversation, the two exchanged numbers, kept in touch and were soon dating.

Mountaintop love stories are rare. And, for a black couple, they’re practically unheard of. While the National Park Service (NPS) turned 100 last year, African Americans still represent only about seven percent of park visitors. In comparison, they make up thirteen percent of the national population. Latinos, Native Americans, and other non-white visitors are similarly underrepresented. The rest—some 78 percent—are white.



Life under curfew for American teens: ‘it’s insane, no other country does this’

Tik Root | The Guardian | Photo: Eliana Aponte/Reuters

Around 11pm, on a temperate Friday last August, Officer Troy Owens was patrolling south-eastern San Diego. Peering through his driver’s side window into the darkness, he scanned the streets until his eyes stopped on the corner of 47th and Market. “Somebody trying to hide from me?” he wondered aloud. “Yup,” he answered, swinging the SUV around, and turning on the flashing lights.

Owens, who has worked for the San Diego police department for nearly 20 years, pulled toward the curb and got out of his car. As he approached, three teenagers slowly slunk out from behind an electrical box: a boy, David, 15, whose identity, along with those of other minors, is being protected, and two girls. Heads hanging, shoulders slouched, they knew they were caught. All three were soon searched, handcuffed, and put in the back of cars for the ride to the command post – a local Boys & Girls Club.

Were the teenagers picked up for using drugs? No. Drinking? No. Had they fled a store without paying for their goods? Hardly. Their crime: being out past curfew.



Al-Qaida Destroyed Our Family

Tik Root | Slate and Roads & Kingdoms | Khaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi/Reuters

SANA’A, Yemen—On the morning of Aug. 30, 2013, in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, Khaled al-Dhahab’s phone rang. The villager on the other end relayed the news Khaled had long dreaded: His brother, Qaid, was dead.

Hours earlier, Qaid al-Dhahab had been returning from a wedding celebration to his home near the rural city of Rada’a, roughly 160 miles southeast of Sana’a, when a torrent of missiles flew from the sky, turning the car in which he rode into a smoldering heap. Qaid, who by most accounts was a rising leader in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)—considered the most active and dangerous branch of the global terrorist network—had been a target in a suspected U.S. drone strike.

Khaled was not vengeful—he said Qaid had “chosen his path.” He was, however, upset—distressed that his once-proud family keeps finding itself mixed up in al-Qaida and the West’s so-called war on terror.