Aug 4 2012 By Paul Warburton
NOW, I don’t know about you but it grates somewhat when an American announcer heralds a long jumper with: ‘He is joint British record holder – he is Greg Rutherrrrr-forrrd’ like it was Madison Square Gardens.
It’s a sign of the times that everything gets announced like it was TV wrestling, and that obviously includes athletics at the London Olympic Games.
The rock-and-roll disco throughout is fine, but maybe you judged it yourselves it was that loud. Actually, I reckon judging by the decibels, they were getting on down in Bayswater.
But the whole point of this commentary is to inform about the stuff you don’t see or hear – and you certainly won’t see the media mixed zone.
This is the place where journos gather in the bowels of the earth to catch a word with those of interest.
It’s a bit of a maze for the first-time Olympian.
First, they’re taken up the stairs as they leave the track (TV) and then like a pinball get buffeted to another TV and radio spot when they come down.
After that, and they can’t escape I’m pleased to say, they get funneled up an aisle where we all hover Dictaphones at the ready.
Our west Londoners being all friendly souls stopped for a word, so thanks Andy Baddeley, Amber Simukonda and Julia Bleasdale, but I guess there are some out there who are thinking – lucky blighter. He gets to see the Olympics for free from one of the best seats in the house.
The view I had of the three runners in action was the same as yours at home in front of the TV.
Actually, I’m willing to bet yours was a better spec, because my press seat was four floors up at the top of the stadium, and it was risking it to watch live and try to get back to the dungeon in time.
Therefore, I was craning my neck to see the TV screen on the wall by the mixed zone whilst glimpsing an inch of day, and later floodlight at the end of the tunnel.
But I have to say the atmosphere in the stadium was dynamite – truly uplifting, and everyone said so. Maybe, everyone who benefited down on the track should say thanks to the American announcer and his successful audition as a Top 40 disc jockey.