Wendy Long earns Outstanding Alumni Award for groundbreaking career in sports reporting
History-making female sports reporter took challenges in stride, beating the odds to an exceptional career
Reported by Jennifer Wilson
With only a handful of women sports reporters in the industry, Wendy Long entered sports writing in the 1980s to challenge the way female athletes and writers were represented.
Long received an Outstanding Alumni Award from Langara College on Wednesday for her pioneering role as the first female sports reporter for the Vancouver Sun, and one of the first in Canada.
During her time as a reporter, she has seen respect for women in journalism and sports grow.
In the the 80s, Long said she saw how women in sports were covered and wanted to make a change.
“The coverage that was there was pretty condescending, so there needed to be a new approach and a different voice and I was one of those voices,” Long said.
After graduating from Langara Journalism, Long got a job at the Sun, Long said she could tell male colleagues wanted to get rid of her.
“Anytime anybody told me I couldn’t do something I worked that much harder just to prove them wrong.”
Long also noticed that if men made an error it was brushed off; if she made an error it was highlighted.
This double standard motivated rather than deterred Long who developed a reputation through hard work and exceptional proficiency.
Long said her competitive attitude was another asset on the job.
At one event, Long was pushed out of a prime interview spot, and into a snowbank by a photographer. She stood up, threatened him with a snowball and retook her position.
Carly Barrett, communications officer at Langara, said Long’s career has helped woman sports reporters.
“Wendy’s accomplishments really speak for themselves, she was a trailblazer for sports reporting, breaking down barriers for future female sports reporters.”
After a career in which she covered seven Olympic Games, Long now travels and writes fiction.