Mike Costello: 'Super Saturday'

The London 2012 Olympics showcased not just some of the greatest sportsmen and women from around the world, but also the best in broadcasting and creative talent from the BBC. Mike Costello, athletics correspondent and boxing commentator for BBC Radio 5 live, remembers the atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium when Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah all won Olympic gold.

London 2012 ‘Super Saturday’ - a glorious night for UK athletics, and a special night for the BBC Sport commentary team. Mike Costello, athletics correspondent and boxing commentator for BBC Radio 5 live, remembers the atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium when Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah all won Olympic gold, and how those magical events on the track caught everyone by surprise. “Nobody could have foreseen that. I don’t know anybody anywhere in athletics who said that three gold medals would be won that night,” he says. “I was already starting to think this could be Britain’s biggest sporting celebration since the World Cup in 1966 and that is not an exaggeration.”

"The challenge is to have brought that across to the audience so that everybody listening said, ‘Wow I wish I was there’." – Mike Costello

Given the momentous turn of events, the commentary team were aware that their broadcast would probably be played back many times, so they were very conscious of what was happening. “You’re aware of the sense of the importance of the whole night,” says Mike. “It’s almost like a great drama – you just wait to that last act to see how it’s all going to end.”

For Mike, his main task of the night was to capture that drama without overplaying it. “The challenge is to have brought that across to the audience so that everybody listening said, ‘Wow – I wish I was there’."

 

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