Four years ago London hosted the Olympics. There was a bid to host it that was won, then years of planning and building before two weeks of highly anticipated sporting events. They were in our city, where the sun shone and the crowds cheered for the incredible athletes that participated.
Behind the scenes professionals were organising and planning, managing projects, time and people to showcase the biggest sporting event in the world. It was such a proud time to be British.
So four years on, as this year’s Olympics in Rio comes to an end I’m reflecting on how far I’ve come in the past four years. How much time and effort I’ve put into my life, my career, aims and goals to get as far as I have. And what I plan to do in the next four to reach Tokyo.
I wasn’t inspired as a young athlete to take part in the next games. I watched the opening ceremony in London dreaming of working in production for the broadcast. Wondering what steps I needed take in order to become a part of the Olympic broadcasting production team. Whether in four years time I could be closer to the action. Instead of watching it from my living room or being a spectator in a stadium, I wanted to be an intricate part of orchestrating this huge worldwide sporting broadcast. I wanted to be part of the reason someone in a small town or village on the other side of the world could tune in.
Little did I know that by now I would know so many people involved in this year’s Rio Olympics.
After taking some time working on my American visa and moving to New York, the type of television production I was a part of wasn’t rewarding me in the way I had hoped for. I was always taught to enjoy my work, because then it wouldn’t feel like working to get paid, I’d be paid for something I enjoyed. It was harder work and more stressful obtaining the legal rights to work stateside, and it just wasn’t worth it.
Feeling defeated I returned to the UK. Only to embark on a new journey, down the path towards my real dream that I only realised existed in my subconscious until about a month ago!
I began working as a Gallery Production Assistant in Sports Broadcast. I didn’t know what I was signing up for, I just thought I’d give it a go, it was a new challenge in a different environment and it excited me. I picked up the right skills in no time and became part of a team that got live sporting action to your living room. This was just the beginning. In the past two years I have learned the world of Sports Broadcast is small. People from all over come together and apply their skills to produce a series of programmes for the viewer’s enjoyment. That’s what we do. What I didn’t realise was that in the small team of people I work with 6 of them would become a part of Rio 2016’s production team.
A few weeks ago I learned I was 2 degrees of separation away from the Director of the Opening Ceremony. I knew a BBC Production manager, sound engineers, voice over guys and the producer of home broadcast in Australia.
That subliminal dream I’d developed four years ago when the Olympics were here at home is all of a sudden within reach. So it’s time to make some new aims.
As Rio draws to an end my facebook news feed is littered with status’ about exhaustion mixed with enjoyment, team work and accomplishment. It’s a feeling I hope to experience when the next Olympics come around. Maybe even sooner at the Commonwealth games in Australia.
Just like the medal winners hoping to inspire a new generation of competitors, the production team evolves. People that took part this year retire and new hopeful staff embark on weeks of long hours, little sleep and adrenaline. The production team I once dreamed of being a part of at the London Olympics have become colleagues and friends that were a part of the Rio games. I can do this not only because of their support and recommendation but because of my hard work and qualities I know I can bring to the team Hopefully in four years time I’ll be living my Olympic dream. In Tokyo, Japan.