Contributed by Chris Farmer Olympic
I sit alone in my hotel room in beautiful Sydney (currently a ghost town). This is day 5 of 14 days in hotel quarantine. I am not complaining and understand that this is necessary to keep all safe from Covid. In Tokyo, I’ve been poked and prodded, beeped at and swabbed.
I signed a contract to work for the Olympic Broadcast Services Organisation, a department of the IOC responsible for providing the successful broadcasting services and rights of the Olympic Games.
These rights are on-sold to, say, the Channel Sevens of the world. They ensure a high standard for the coverage and that all aspects of the Games are captured with cameras, microphones and commentary in locations where it would be impossible for just anyone to access.
This coverage is unbiased, and the Channel Sevens of the world take these feeds and add their enthusiastic coverage to suit their country. In Seven’s case, the Aussies.
My role was Commentary Manager for the Olympic Stadium. At the Stadium, a truly beautiful structure dating back to the original Tokyo 1964 Games myself along with my team, who came from all around the world, provided all the technical requirements and means for the Rights Holding Broadcasters to call the various events, ceremonies and sports from the stadium as well as from, say, the Walks and Marathons.
I have been fortunate to work on the Olympic Games since 1998 when I left my permanent job at the ABC to follow a dream of technical planning and working on the Olympic Games – for me, the holy grail of sports broadcasting.
This was to be my 10th Olympic Games, having worked on Winter and Summer Games in the past. I was so looking forward to the Tokyo Games because of a long love of Japan.
These were the Games that were not meant to happen. I think it would be fair to say that the Japanese public was divided—the older folk wanting all foreigners to go from their fragile city and the younger folk happy. As soon as the Opening Ceremony hit, all in Japan were glued to their TVs and radios and I heard, it was the same back home, here in Aus. The Olympics showcased the determination, the pride in representing one’s country, the striving for personal bests, the need to push harder.
Now I look forward to being home in Galston with my wife and children, enjoying home cooking and home comforts. I miss my lawn bowls at Dural, the smiles, the company, the club, the bar staff, the green lawn and the smell of freshly mown turf. The men and women gather for company, camaraderie and polite competition. I miss being referred to as ‘the young bloke’, even though I am not young.
To all the Athletes, well done and good on you Aussies for punching so, so much above your weight. You are truly inspirational in a time that so needs inspiration.