When CNN Came Calling

Ashley Fiolek CNN air time

I was recently featured on two different CNN shows: Breakthrough Women and Road Warriors.

If someone has a request for me to do a photo shoot, a video or some kind of press, it usually goes through my mom. Red Bull, Honda and all of my big sponsors know to contact either mom or dad, and then one of them will talk to me and try to set something up, if there is time in my schedule.

A lot of press requests go through Red Bull, which created my website and still maintains it; so if someone is looking for me, that’s a good place to start.

The CNN request came through Red Bull, which forwarded it on to my mom, and then the scheduling process began. My mom talked to Jessica Moskowitz from CNN and tried to figure out what kind of time they would need from me, and if I might be available. Setting up shoots normally takes time, unless it is with one of the sponsors that I’ve been with for a while.

When CNN called, they had a bunch of questions they wanted to ask me about my riding and my life. The Breakthrough Women show was supposed to highlight what I have done for women in the sport of motocross and the way I’ve inspired others.

The CNN crew came down to Tampa to shoot me riding and working with my trainer. Then they interviewed me, my mom, my trainer and my mechanic. CNN also interviewed
Hannah, a little girl who lives near me whom I ride with and help out when I can.

A while later, when I went to the SX race in Georgia, I took a side trip to Atlanta to sign autographs for fans. Since the CNN offices are there, they shot some footage of it and also of Hannah, who was at the SX because she and her dad were going to watch the races, giving us a chance to meet up.

Jessica and the cameraman were with me for over two days, and the end result was a 5-minute segment! It’s crazy, but that is often the way it goes with television.

The other show that they interviewed me for was Road Warriors, which showcases people who travel a lot for their jobs. The series gives people different tips on how to make travel easier and more enjoyable.

In my segment, they wanted to show different things I might use because I am deaf, and also because I have to pick up and go at the last minute for training or testing. They shared how I pack light so I can get out the door and on the road quickly.

During the taping, I had a friend staying with me who shoots videos, so the day that I was preparing to go to the SX training, she came into my room early and shot me using my bed-shaking alarm. Later I explained how it worked on camera. I can set the time that I want to wake up, and the bed-shaking device goes between the mattress and box spring and gently wakes me up!

I normally travel with other people, but if I am alone I usually alert the flight attendant or someone sitting close to me that I am deaf, so if there are any important announcements they can let me know. I also try and let the hotel staff know I am deaf so they don’t just knock and come into the room or try and call me for anything.

The last thing I showed them was how I can use IP relay (web-text-based relay systems) to order food, schedule appointments or call down to the front desk if I need to.

I call through the relay and give them the number I need to contact, and then I can sign to them and they talk to the person on the other end!

It is an amazing time to be a traveling, deaf, professional.

Ashley Fiolek in an interview with CNN
CNN Interview

by Ashley Fiolek

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