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Olympic Golden Rings Winners of 2008


While the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games broke records in terms of participation and performances, they also beat the records in terms of worldwide television coverage, with broadcasts in more territories than ever before (over 220) and record viewership audiences in many territories. As the first Olympic Games to benefit from 100 percent high definition surround sound digital coverage, the Beijing Games were the most followed and watched in Olympic history. This participation of the world of television in the success of the Games was recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last night at the “Olympic Golden Rings” ceremony.

27 films in the running
This year, 27 films were watched by an international jury, chaired by IOC Honorary President Juan Antonio Samaranch. The winners received their prizes at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne in the presence of the IOC President, Jacques Rogge, members of the IOC Radio & TV Commission, numerous representatives from the various rights-holding broadcasters, Organising Committees for the Games in Beijing, Vancouver, London and Sochi, International Federations, the City of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud.

Four categories, twelve winners
Gold, silver and bronze trophies were awarded in four categories. NBC Olympics won gold in The Best Olympic Feature with “The clock of their lives”. Eurosport won The Best Athletes’ Profile for an inspiring story on Thai/German fencer Wiradech Kothny. Seven Network Australia collected gold for The Best Olympic Programme, while The Best Sports Coverage by the Host Broadcaster “BOB” was awarded to the coverage of sailing.

Two personalities honoured
During this ceremony, President Rogge paid tribute to two personalities from the world of television who, throughout their respective careers, have made media coverage of the Games a priority. The first, Fernando Pardo, has covered the Games since Montreal 1976, through both Spanish TV (TVE) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which he leaves this year after having occupied the role of Head of Sports Operations Group. As for Manolo Romero, in 2008 he celebrates his 40th year in the field of Olympic broadcasting. From Mexico City 1968 to Beijing 2008, he has been the key man in broadcasting all the editions of the Summer and Winter Games. Since 2001, he has been Chief Executive Officer of Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS).

History of the Golden Rings
Created in 1976, the Olympic Golden Rings is a prestigious international contest through which the IOC seeks to promote and recognise the best TV images of the Olympic Games. This contest is organised every two years, on the occasion of the Summer and Winter Games, under the aegis of the IOC Radio & TV Commission.

All the 2008 winners
The Best Sports Coverage by the Host Broadcasting Organisation, the Beijing Olympic Broadcasting (BOB)
Gold: Sailing. Producer: Gary Milkis, BOB. Director: Christopher Lincoln, BOB. Coordinating Producer: Henry Mok, BOB
Silver: Table Tennis. Director: Xue Zhaohui, China Central Television (CCTV). Coordinating Producer: Bai Li, BOB
Bronze: Equestrian. Producer: Geoff Johnson, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Directors: Christopher Elias, Lawrence Isaac, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Coordinating Producer: Ted Ayling, BOB

The Best Olympic feature
Gold: NBC Olympics, “The Clock of their Lives”. Executive Producers: Dick Ebersol. Producers: David Neal, Mark Levy, Phil Parrish, Brian Brown
Silver: ZDF German Television, “The Drama of Liu Xiang”. Producer: Peter Leissl. Director: Eike Schulz
Bronze: BBC SPORT, “China and Table Tennis”. Producer: BBC Sport. Director: Richard Gort

The Best Athletes’ Profile
Gold: Eurosport, Olympic Magazine - “Profile on Wiradech Kothny”. Producer: Christian Seychal. Director: Eveline Jandrisits
Silver: ZDF German Television, “Profile of Liu Xiang”. Producer: Peter Leissl. Director: Eike Schulz
Bronze: NBC Olympics, “Profile on Natalie Du Toit”. Producers: Dick Ebersol, David Neal, Mark Levy, Brian Brown, Phil Parrish

The Best Olympic Programme
Gold: Seven Network Australia. Producer: Andy Kay, Director: Saul Shtein
Silver: NBC Olympics. Producers: Dick Ebersol, David Neal, Tommy Roy, Sam Flood. Directors: Bucky Gunts, Andy Rosenberg, Drew Esocoff
Bronze: BBC Sport. Producer: Alastair McIntyre, BBC Sport. Director: Richard Carr, BBC Sport

Special mention
Gold: Production of Opening and Closing Ceremonies by BOB (Manolo Romero, Ma Guoli, Yiannis Exarchos, Pedro Rozas). Producer: Jose Ramon Diez, BOB. Directors: Tapani Parm, Kalevi Uusivuori, YLE Finnish Broadcasting Company


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