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24 September 2014
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The Beijing Games on the BBC
Huw Edwards

The 2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics on the BBC

BBC TV team Olympic impressions

Huw Edwards


Huw Edwards is known to millions of viewers as main presenter of the BBC's award-winning, flagship Ten O'Clock News, broadcast on BBC One and BBC News 24.


He joined the BBC more than 20 years ago, and has presented a wide range of programmes including Newsnight, Panorama and the Six O'Clock News, and he has co-hosted two General Election results programmes on BBC Radio 4.


Huw is the BBC's voice at Trooping the Colour, the Festival of Remembrance and the State Opening of Parliament. He hosted the BBC's coverage of the death of Pope John Paul and the election of Pope Benedict. In 2004, he anchored the coverage of the 60th Anniversary of D-Day.


Huw spent more than a decade reporting politics at Westminster, including a period as Chief Political Correspondent.


He has also presented a range of programmes on history and classical music on BBC Four, BBC Two, BBC Radio 3, Radio 4 and S4C. His recent projects have included a major documentary on David Lloyd George for BBC Four, and he is now working on a television series on Gladstone and Disraeli.


"The Olympics for me represents happy, shared experiences of enjoying great sport with family and friends. My earliest memory of getting 'hooked' on Olympics coverage was watching Olga Korbut win three golds at Munich in 1972, and Mark Spitz's record seven golds in the same Games.


"My sister and I were quite young, but we watched every moment. From then on, I have watched every Summer and Winter Games.


"My favourite moment from past Olympics has to be Daley Thompson's gold in the decathlon in Los Angeles in 1984 (he had also won in 1980) when he set a record points score, which stood until 1992. I was also enthralled by the Coe/Ovett battles in Moscow in 1980.


"I have been to China before, to cover News events. China has changed more in the past few years than for the previous few centuries.


"It is a fantastically exciting and vibrant country, and our Olympics coverage will have to do justice not only to what's going on inside the stadium, but beyond it, too.


"The Olympics are a showcase for modern China, and we need to give British viewers a much better sense of what this superpower is about.


"China is already a big influence on our lives in the West, and that influence is going to grow exponentially. There is very little understanding (or knowledge) of China beyond its frontiers. The Olympics can be much more than a momentous sporting event, they can also allow us to gain a better understanding of China and its people.


"As for the highlights of the actual events themselves, I'm no expert, but from what I've heard I'd have to say the diver Thomas Daley, who's just 14, but is already showing incredible promise. But I don't want to make any predictions for British glory – I don't want to jinx anyone!


"Looking ahead to 2012, it's going to be a defining two weeks for London and for all of the United Kingdom. Everyone in the BBC is looking forward to providing the best-ever coverage of the Olympic Games.


"And for Team GB, and London itself, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. China is about to present its best face to the world in 2008, and London will get that chance in 2012. The stakes will be very, very high for everyone involved."








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