Entertainment

Covering the action

Channel 9 Olympic commentary team members Cameron Williams and Leila McKinnon.
Channel 9 Olympic commentary team members Cameron Williams and Leila McKinnon. Channel 9

THE Olympics are the pinnacle for the world's athletes.

For many it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete at the top level of their sport.

It's also the penultimate event in the careers of many sports reporters.

But for Nine's Cameron Williams, London will be his sixth Olympics.

It has been 20 years since Williams called Matt Ryan's equestrian double gold for Australia in Barcelona.

He told The Guide he believed the London Games would be an event for the history books.

"It's going to be the best Olympics ever I think," he said.

"Australia did a fantastic job (in 2000) but being in a different country just adds a different element for me.

"Barcelona was the first Olympics I worked at in 1992 and I've got really vivid memories. I think London will do the same thing to people."

Williams was the last member of Nine's commentary team to fly to London after hosting one last edition of Weekend Today.

The former Today show sports editor will have to draw on all of his previous Olympics experience as he hits the ground running in London.

"I can remember when these Olympics were still four years away and we were saying 'yeah, we'll worry about that later'," he said.

"There's a clock in the reception at Channel 9 in Sydney that just keeps ticking down. I'm sure it's running faster than it used to."

Because of the time difference, many of the events will happen while Aussies sleep.

On competition days, Nine will air 10 hours of live coverage overnight.

Williams and his Weekend Today co-host Leila McKinnon will then continue live coverage of the action in the Today show timeslot from 5.30am to 9am daily.

Highlights will then air from 9am to 11am each morning, and replay from 4pm to 6pm.

"The show Leila and I are doing, London live, will be the perfect way to catch up," he said.

"There will be some live events during our show, as well as us doing interviews with athletes."

The 2012 Games will also be a visual feast, with events being held at iconic London venues like Wimbledon and Wembley Stadium as well as the new, purpose-built Olympic Park.

"Seeing archery at Wimbledon is going to be so good," Williams said.

"And to do beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade right in the centre of London with all that history around you, that's the thing I'm looking forward to."

With Channel 9 broadcasting Australia's first-ever 3D Olympics footage, it's going to be the most technologically advanced Games yet.

"Cameras and TVs have improved so much. Something people will notice at these Olympics is the technology bringing them everything is just so vivid," Williams said.

"You can really see the leap forward in human progress.... it's a slice of life every four years."

Let the Games Begin - Nine/WIN - Thursday at 7.30pm (7pm Brisbane)

Topics:  cameron williams, channel nine, entertainment, london olympics, media, sports


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