ABC’s Alan Marks for Olympic Torchbearer honour

ABC Olympics supremo, Alan Marks, has been chosen by the International Olympic Committee as a torchbearer when the Athens Olympic Torch Relay arrives today in Sydney.

The IOC approached the Australian Olympic Committee, offering one Torch Relay spot to a journalist or broadcaster, who has covered multiple Olympic Games and is preparing for the Athens’ Olympics in August.

Athens will be Games’ number six for Marks, who is Coordinator of ABC Radio’s Olympic coverage.

“Six Olympic Games for Alan Marks is a tremendous achievement and it speaks volumes for his professionalism and staying power. I was delighted to recommend him as an Athens’ Torch Bearer,” says AOC Media Director, Mike Tancred.

Marks will be among 250 Australians to run with the Athens’ Torch when it visits Sydney today and Melbourne tomorrow.

He will be joined by Olympians, past and present, including Cathy Freeman, Susie O’Neill, Kieren Perkins, Dawn Fraser, Shane Heal and Louise Sauvage, as the Athens’ Torch winds its way from the Opera House out to Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush.

Other sporting legends will also take part along with members of the public who have been nominated for their outstanding work within the community.

While pleased to be invited, Alan Marks believes his nomination reflects the recognition by the IOC and the Australian Olympic Committee of ABC Radio’s long, unbroken association with Olympic Games’ broadcasts since 1932.

Alan Marks told radioinfo: “I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the world’s best sports’ broadcasters over the years, and many of them deserve this honour far more than I.

“So, it’s a tremendous privilege to be able to represent their considerable contribution to ABC’s Olympics’ coverage, which has gained an enviable worldwide reputation for its scope, integrity and credibility for many decades.”

Athens will actually be Marks’ 8th Games as a broadcaster/producer. He’s attended six, but he has coordinated coverage of two others from the ABC studios at home in Australia.

Sydney and Melbourne are the first stops for the Athens’ Torch on what is a truly global relay, which travels through five continents and 33 cities, before returning to Greece for the Opening Ceremony in Athens on 13 August.