Publicist Nicole Wool’s trip to the Sochi Olympics wasn’t just about the athlete she was there to represent – U.S. Olympic women’s halfpipe skier Angeli Vanlaanen – but also the one who never made it there.
Wool, 38, chief executive at L.A.’s Jones Social PR, had also represented competitive skier Sarah Burke, who had worked for years before her death in 2012 to get the women’s ski halfpipe event into the Olympics.
So when Burke’s wish was fulfilled last month and the competition took place in Sochi, Wool said that it was a moment she would never forget. It also made all the challenges of getting there – including a five-hour wait at the airport, an overcharging taxi driver and numerous lost-in-translation moments – all worth it.
“It was surreal in a lot of ways to see all these girls from all around the world competing in the sport Sarah started,” Wool said. “It was a moment I will never forget for the rest of my life.”
Riqua Hailes, owner of L.A.’s Just Extensions, has been traveling for the past year to learn more about the hair that’s used in her hair-extension business.
Hailes, 40, said she faces language issues. When she visited her vendors in China late last year, for example, she had to put English in a translation app and show people her phone to communicate.
“Here I am, an African-American woman trying to explain to someone of a different ethnicity exactly what I need,” she said. “It’s very important that I’m there to navigate the hair. The curly hair might be different in another country.”
But the experiences have been interesting. So Hailes, a part-time producer, is planning to make a documentary of her visits to foreign factories and warehouses full of hair. She’ll bring a camera crew with her when she visits hair production facilities in Cambodia later this month. (Comedian Chris Rock released a comparable documentary, “Good Hair,” in 2009.)
One benefit of a documentary is that it will answer an oft-asked question:
“Everyone wants to know where the hair comes from,” Hailes said.
Staff reporters Jonathan Polakoff and Justin Yang contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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