We’re super excited about the Winter Olympics, especially now Team GB’s squad, including Aimee Fuller and Jenny Jones has been announced, so we were very interested to chat to Anna Thompson a BBC Sport reporter who is about to attend her fourth Winter Olympics. She talks about her love of ski, the privilege of her job, and how she’s backing Jenny Jones in Sochi
I’ve been at the BBC since 2000 – so 14 years now. I studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and worked in local newspapers until I moved to the BBC. Originally I worked for the BBC News website but in mid-2000 they launched a separate BBC Sport website and I successfully applied for a job, having been sports editor of a newspaper in Blackpool and a massive sports fan!
I’m lucky that this will be my fourth Winter Olympics, my first one was Salt Lake City in 2002. There will be a team of four of us covering the Games for the BBC Sport website. I’m the editor and I will liaise with my team and television and radio colleagues about who is going to what event , what news stories need covering. The BBC Sport website is launching a new, innovative way to access live content and Sochi will be the first major event to use it and the web teams will feed entries into that too to bring the Sochi experience home to everyone. Social media is also important and I’ll work with the BBC Sport social media team to make sure Sochi is featured highly on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram .
I love watching sport so to be able to report on it and interview sportsmen and women is a huge privilege. There aren’t really any downsides but it’s not a Monday-Friday 9-5 job! There’s always a great buzz and banter when there’s live sport on, especially during football at the weekends.
I am a skier. I first went skiing on a school trip to Austria and loved it. I’ve been going regularly for more than two decades, even skiing 10 weeks after the birth of my first child and while five months pregnant with my second – nothing gets in the way of skiing!
How do I rate our medal chances? Well Britain has never won a Winter Olympic medal on snow and I think in Sochi that stat has a very good chance of being consigned to history. Jenny Jones has been at the top of her sport for a decade and I’m so pleased for her that slopestyle will be making its debut. She has the talent and the experience and could certainly win a medal. We’ve also got chances with Billy Morgan, James Woods and Katie Summerhayes – and I wouldn’t write off Zoe Gillings either.
I think the success of 2012 does mean more people will get behind this Games, coupled with the fact we have more athletes in the medal zone then ever before, it will certainly catch the casual viewers attention.
I didn’t see the “snowboarders are jackasses” comment from the US NBC anchor but it isn’t a view that I share. I’ve been covering the Brits since 2003 and have total admiration for the talent and dedication of our freestyle skiers and snowboarders
Will we be able to cover any protests? All topical issues surrounding the Games will be addressed in our coverage and other BBC outlets will also report on all stories, news and issues surrounding the event.
I think a few years ago the X Games would have been the pinnacle for freestyle skiers and snowboarders but nowadays they recognise just how massive the Winter Olympics are on a global scale and what that exposure can do in reaching new audiences and sponsors. Aimee Fuller gave me a great quote when she says the X Games is about winning for yourself whereas the Winter Olympics is more about representing your country.
As a child I was very boisterous and my parents knew that I needed to let off energy so I was always involved in sport, swimming, netball, rounders, gymnastics. I’m into cycling and I’m a ride leader for Breeze, which is a British Cycling initiative to get more women on their bikes. I love the outdoors – walking, cycling or skiing – thankfully my kids do too!
I want to be a positive role model for my children, especially my daughter, so it’s important she sees me being active and having a good job.
I’m just so excited about the Winter Olympics and having seen the impact ski cross made last time, I can’t wait to see what people make of slopestyle!