The TVNZ Team

Sportspeople describe the Olympics as the pinnacle of their careers; sports broadcasters feel the same.

“I’ve been lucky to cover Rugby World Cups, cricket tours and World Cups and present big sports award shows, but the Olympics tops them all,” says Peter Williams, who clocks up his eighth Olympic Games in Beijing.
“The Games are the greatest gathering of humanity the world ever sees. The Olympic movement for its faults has endured for 112 years, is healthier than ever and is stronger than any other sporting or political movement. It is about people and nations having fun together, and the sport is usually pretty good too.”

For the anchors this is a unique job in broadcasting. Throughout each session, they must be ahead of the game, keeping an eye on all the competition taking place around the multiple venues. Peter Williams and fellow host Geoff Bryan will need to know exactly what is happening and be ready to cross to any event, at any moment, and explain it to their audience. The priorities during each day’s events can change at anytime – they have to be able to pick up on an unexpected development, take it to the audience, and show Kiwis that Olympic moment everyone wants to see.

Beijing is the sixth consecutive Olympics that Geoff has presented, and he’s very familiar with challenges. “For the duration of the Games we get drama on a large scale, but no script. It is the essential drama of sport – who is the best on the day of competition? What happens next?”

“I can remember going to air one evening and, in the final seconds before coming to me in the studio, we still had three different options from which to choose… the challenge is to be ready to respond immediately to what is going on.”

Sports broadcasters Lavina Good and Toni Street believe they will have the best jobs at this Olympic Games. As roving reporters for TVNZ they will cover the length and breadth of Beijing, taking viewers LIVE to the action; from the great stadiums to the Athletes’ Village.

Beijing will be Lavina’s second Olympic Games. She worked at Athens in 2004 as both a presenter and reporter, and admits her heart is in the reporting.

“I prefer to be out in the field. That’s what I love doing. Whether they win or lose, what I’m looking forward to most is speaking to athletes about their experience and getting the best coverage for the people back home.”

The youngest member of the TVNZ team, Toni Street has proven herself more than capable of holding her own. Broadcasting from Beijing will be the culmination of a childhood dream. “Ever since I’ve been little I’ve wanted to go to the Olympics as an athlete – pity the sports I chose weren’t actually Olympic sports! The Olympics for me is the pinnacle. This will be the best thing that has happened in my life.”

Both say nothing compares to watching the Olympics, with the world’s very best across more than 300 events competing for the ultimate sporting accolades.

“I know people who don’t watch any sport, but will be glued to their televisions at the Olympic Games because of the drama that unfolds,” says Lavina.

“It happens once every four years for us as spectators, but for an athlete it can be once in a lifetime. If you’re not going to be attending the Olympic Games running the 100 metres or throwing a shotput, the next best thing, for a sports purist, is to be talking to the people who are doing that.”

Subscribe to our mailing list

About the author

  • Barry Good

    Well what a heap of crap, I got the tv guide from 08/08/08 and it is all crap, those other dork TV stations have not given the tv viewers with above average IQ anything to watch on tv if you dont want to watch the games, it is crap on tv.

    Its not that I dont like sport, it is just that I am not a brown nose communist anus sniffer.

    Support NZ retailers, buy Chinese made SH|T.

    B.Good

  • Barry Good

    Next Friday I will de-tune TV1 off my TV while the games are on, so I dont accidentally get TV1 if I push ‘1’ on my remote.

    Judging from what I get from Throng it looks like I am the only one around that has any moral values that cares about and wanting to make a stand human race abuse. then there is the Chinese made crap, that is another issue.

    B.Good

  • Angus

    I dont like sport so never watch it..Got SKY three years ago but NOT any of the sports channels, just the “start up” package plus the movie channels..enough there to keep me happy but would like Comedy Channel, Sci Fi but think its unlikely they*re ever be shown.

  • Tui

    That’s a bit OTT don’t you think Barry? :s

  • Barry Good

    OTT?

  • bobscoffee

    over the top…

  • Barry Good

    which part is over the top?

    B.Good

  • Barry Good

      HA HA HA Only 37 hours to TV1 de-tune hour, eat your heart out all you brown nose communist lovers with no moral values. My guess is you would sell your own mother if the price was right.

      Yes I will be watching TV3 to see how many naughty Chinese citizens get killed off in the Olympic shooting event.

      B.Good