- 1 Mar 08, 03:49 PM
I'm Radio 5 Live's Sports News and Olympics Correspondent. I've been doing the job since moving from the BBC's World Service in 1998, just in time to get stuck in the middle of a riot in Marseille at the World Cup in France. Perhaps the tear-gas affected my mind, but I've been unable to convince myself there's a more challenging and endlessly fascinating occupation anywhere else since.
I began my career as a news journalist at BBC Radio Cumbria in 1988, before heading to the World Service in 1992. It wasn't until then that my lifelong passion for sport, (matched by a cruel and parallel ineptitude at playing almost all of them,) became woven into my professional life.
When I was asked to go to the Athens Olympics as the swimming reporter for World Service, there was no hesitation. At home, when growing up, the Olympics had always been a big deal - the colour TV set came just in time for the Moscow Games in 1980, and I followed the careers of Coe, Ovett and Thompson avidly.
Since then, I've been fortunate enough to be in Sydney at the greatest Olympic party of them all, and in Athens, ancient home of the Games. The Olympics really does bring out the best and worst in people, and the Shakespearian drama of the whole event (heroes, villains, political machinations, passion, thwarted ambition, heroic conquest... should I stop now?) I think chimes deeply, even in people who don't normally follow sport.
I suppose it's the challenge of putting all the human endeavour into context for our audience that really motivates me. Following and reporting on the London 2012 bid, with its climax in Singapore, was one of the most rewarding things I've done professionally.
After Beijing, the focus of attention will truly fall on London, and it'll be quite a ride watching it all unfold... and hopefully not unravel!
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