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Tuesday, 15 January, 2002, 11:13 GMT

Games still give Steve a buzz

BBC Sport's Steve Rider explains what he loves about covering the Winter Olympics.

This will be my fifth Winter Olympics. I have also covered seven summer Olympics, and I love them all.

I personally enjoy the Games because they are always something a little bit different to the regular nature of the sporting calendar.

You get this extra little burst of adrenaline that is involved in any kind of Olympics or Commonwealth Games, or any major multi-sport events like that.

The buzz that comes from broadcasting at these events is presumably the same that happens in sporting terms - there is a lot of preparation, technical work and planning.

We also get that sense of being part of a major BBC operation which is precisely the feeling that we got to such a strong degree in Sydney.

In terms of what sports I enjoy at the Winter Games, I like all the blue riband events really.

"I think it's a very exciting thing to offer the viewers "
Steve Rider on the interactive era

I look forward to the men's and women's downhill and all the big skiing events, and I've got a soft spot for everything that happens in figure skating after the great British traditions in that respect.

Everyone remembers the audiences that we commanded through the 1980s - the 20-odd million that we got for Torvill and Dean.

Those two will always ensure that figure skating has a special place in everyone's enthusiasm.

Also, after Nagano I have a soft spot for curling.

It is something that everyone can relate to and the competition is much fiercer than everyone imagines.

There is much more adrenaline and passion involved. Nagano was a terrific introduction to curling and I think it is going to have a similar impact in Salt Lake City as well.

The 2002 Winter Olympics will be particularly thrilling for the viewers at home because of the BBC's interactive service.

Changing

We have to acknowledge to what degree people's ways of watching sports coverage are changing.

Their requirements are changing, the viewer needs to decide the priority of the event coverage that he wants now.

I think it's a very exciting time and a very exciting thing to offer the viewers.

Especially when an event like the Olympic Games, out of necessity, so often labours under a time difference, when the major events are going out at unsociable hours.

If people can sit down and design their own form of coverage and their own priority of coverage then that is progress.


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