Heather Fell, Olympic silver medallist, writes about her life in the media and sports world.
IT was a frustrating week for me as an Exeter Chiefs rugby fan. The day after that historic victory in the Premiership semi-final I was on a plane to Moscow for work — but could not find anyone to share my delight with.
Russia is not known for rugby union and my European colleagues are solely interested in football. As I expressed my excitement for Saturday’s final I was met with blank expressions when I referred to the Aviva Premiership final match; apparently there was an important event known as the Champions League on the same day.
To add to my frustrations the timings did not complement my working schedule and I went on air minutes before the kick off at Twickenham. It was no surprise to hear that the impressive Saracens came out as champions although this should not detract from Exeter’s fantastic performance this season.
We are now just over two months away from the start of the Olympic Games in Rio and as usual the press are focusing on the challenges the host nation are experiencing. I cannot remember a build up to an Olympics that has not had some degree of doubt or negative stories in the months building up to the event. The latest worry for Brazil has been the continued spread of the mosquito borne virus Zika. I found myself being requested for four separate interviews by the British press after this latest flare up.
Having visited Brazil earlier this year and working closely with athletes I have found myself becoming a spokesperson on the subject. The questions and answers remain the same whilst the journalists attempt to write new headlines. Unless there is a significant change in the health risk the staging of this summer’s sporting spectacle is going ahead. Suggestions of cancelling or postponing an event of this scale are incomprehensible for athletes, organisers and supporters.