It’s always fun talking with people about the Olympics and Paralympics. In this episode, we bring one of those conversations to you! We sit down with Ben Waterworth and Colin Hilding, two of the three hosts of Off the Podium, an Olympics podcast from an Australian and Canadian perspective.

Learn about the moments that sucked us into the excitement of the Olympics and find out about some key Olympians and sports from Australia and Canada. You’ll also find out which Olympian doesn’t really make for a good costume in Australia.

Ben gets thrilled about this epic moment in Aussie Olympic history:

Jean-Luc Brassard capturing gold in moguls made Colin a huge fan of the sport:

Here’s the race that really hooked Jill on the Games:

And Alison was captivated by this athlete:

Off the Podium interviews athletes, compiles rankings episodes and also covers some other multi-sport events. Find their episodes on your favorite podcast app, like Apple or Spotify! Follow them on Twitter and Insta!

Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!

Graphic courtesy of Off the Podium.


Note: This is an uncorrected machine-generated transcript. It contains errors. Please do not quote from the transcript; use the audio file as the record of note.

Episode 274 – Keep the Flame Off the Podium

[00:00:00] Jill:

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast four fans of the Olympics and Paralympics. If you love the games, we are the show for you. Each week we share stories from athletes and people behind the scenes to help you have more fun watching the games. I am your host, Jill Jaracz, joined as always by my lovely co-host, Alison Brown.

Alison. Hello, how are you?

[00:00:48] Alison: Hello. I know you’re not on TikTok or Instagram much. . Mm-hmm. . There is a trend on the reels where they play this little song that says, I have friends. I definitely have friends, and this is, I, I feel like this is our show for today. .

[00:01:05] Jill: Well, we do have friends. We have friends from.

Australia and from Canada who have joined us today, they’re the gents from Off the Podium. we’re taking a little bit of a winter break, so we don’t have a normal show with for you, but we got on the line with them to hear the Ossian Canadian perspective on the games. So take a listen.

[00:01:26] Jill Jaracz: Ben and Colin, thank you so much for joining us.

[00:01:29] Ben Waterworth: It’s a pleasure. Thank you so much for uh, having us and doing this. It’s so, so exciting to be able to bring these shows together and keep the flame podium alive.

I’m trying to work . We should about

[00:01:41] Colin Hilding: off, off the flame podium, .

[00:01:43] Ben Waterworth: Yeah. I don’t know. We can come up with something by the end of this. Can’t we

[00:01:46] Alison Brown: keep the flame off the podium? I.

[00:01:48] Ben Waterworth: Hey. There you go, . That sounds also entertaining and also educational. I like that.

[00:01:55] Jill Jaracz: So it’s fun being compatriots in the whole Olympics and Paralympics podcasting space. and it’s fun because you have a different perspective being Australian and Canadian versus our rah American perspective, U usa, . You’ve got that down very well. .

[00:02:14] Ben Waterworth: I like to suck up. What can I say? ,

[00:02:17] Jill Jaracz: What made you say, Hey, let’s do a podcast.

[00:02:19] Colin Hilding: Ben and I do several podcasts and I think at the time before Rio, we were doing a podcast for a Survivor great American show, go usa. But we had just sort of talked about, oh, maybe we could do something for the Olympics.

And I remember Ben and I throwing ideas around and it was sort of like, maybe we’ll just do it just on our Survivor podcast, maybe bring some players on who had been in the Olympics. And they were like, well, why don’t we just make it our own show? And we recruited one of our other co-hosts from the Survivor podcast who we knew was a big Olympic fan.

And originally it just started like, we’re just going to do 16 episodes just for the Rio Olympics. We’ll start our own name for it, our own feed. And then by the end of that it was, This was fun. See you again in two years, guys, . But we started talking about, oh, what if we actually just talked to some of these athletes and I think the early days of our podcast were interesting because we covered all the Olympics, and I think we got more listeners than we did on any of our other shows during those 16 days.

And uh, it was probably a couple of months before we started, getting some athletes on. And the episodes are very sporadic at that point. But just, it was just like a very slow build. It just sort of built to now we got, five athletes and now we’ve had 10, and now let’s see if we can get one every month.

And now let’s see if we can get one every two weeks. And now it’s to the point where, Ben’s done enough interviews to ban us for a couple months and we could just sit back and relax again.

[00:03:37] Ben Waterworth: It was entertaining and fun and I think we just, it was just a great time during Rio and it was very sporadic at the beginning.

And I think Colin had tracked down a couple of people. I had tracked down a couple of people and I had interviewed several Olympians back during my radio career. So it was sort of something that had always been that sort of side, like, oh, I’m interviewing an Olympian today. But it just took off and we continued it for Pyeongchang and then continued it for Tokyo and then Beijing and then yeah, as Colin sort of mentioned, just in between we interviewed athletes and that’s kind of the bread and butter now what we do.

[00:04:07] Jill Jaracz: you’ve got some other like, special episodes interspersed with the interviews and, Ben, you do most of the interviewing.

[00:04:15] Ben Waterworth: Yeah, no, it’s sort of, I do the majority of ’em, but Colin all generally joining Jared’s lazy. Jared’s just like, I don’t think he’s no . I just, I just show up when I, I, that’s why he is not here today, let’s be honest. And the other sort of episodes, I think it just comes down to, you know, all Jake’s side about Jared.

Jared’s fantastic. We like to have it so we can have a bit of a. From the interviews and, and because we love covering the Olympics every day during and actual games, we want to kind of use that passion and, fun nature that we like to bring to the show, to other aspects of it. So initially we just sort of did a, it’s a year to go until a certain Olympics.

Let’s come in with some news and everything along those lines. We expanded that to some rankings episodes, because through Colin and our other shows, we love to do rankings and then just some other [00:05:00] ideas kind of flow from there. And, and we added sort of through that too. We were like, oh, Commonwealth Games, it’s sort of big deal in Australia and Canada.

So we covered back on the Gold Coast in 2018 and then Birmingham last year. Then we’re like, oh, cool, the World Cup, this is technically the biggest event, bigger than the Olympics, so let’s give this a crack. And so then we look at say maybe a PanAm games this year and kind of just add a little bit of outside of the Olympics of big sporting events, which I, I dunno, like, do you guys sort of like to do that as well?

Do you dip your toes in some of these other biggest sporting events outside of the Olympics?

[00:05:29] Alison Brown: We’ve gone back and forth on it. We did do minimal coverage of the World Games. We did a couple shows of that because they do have an i o connection and of course we’ve. Pretty strongly into the Paralympics.

We’re doing a lot of coverage of that, but we’ve talked a lot about, do we cover the regional games, the Commonwealth, the PanAm, because we certainly watched them and a lot of our listeners, you listen to Commonwealths as well too. We did watch The Commonwealth. They were a big hit. We had a lot of discussion on our Facebook page about the Commonwealth Games and how much we could see and what could we see and what was happening.

But we made the decision to not cover the regional games because then we felt like we were spreading ourselves too thin. And we’re saying, okay, there is so much material with the Olympics in the Paralympics. If we just start covering all of the multi-sport games, we are two people who can’t possibly cover all of it.

And yet, of course, if some of our, what we call our fulanis, the people that we’ve interviewed are competing, we’ll always mention. Who’s competing when they’re competing, how they did. So yeah, the Commonwealth, game last year, we had a great time on the state side watching it.

I mean, there was a, there was a bull in the arena,

[00:06:43] Colin Hilding: yes. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. The

[00:06:44] Ben Waterworth: Birmingham, the Birmingham Bull. That’s like the greatest thing we’ve ever seen. Yes. Come on. How good

[00:06:48] Alison Brown: was it? That was fantastic. And now it’s got a home, so Yes, it was, it was a hit here. And

[00:06:55] Ben Waterworth: was the Osborne and Duran Duran, like, I mean, Birmingham put it

[00:06:58] Alison Brown: on.

We are of a certain age where when Duran Duran showed up, our hearts got a little fluttery.

[00:07:05] Colin Hilding: But I mean, you mentioned like spreading cells too thin too. Cause I, I know one of the things that you do on your show, you, you branch out, know, beyond just, I mean, you have interviews too.

I remember, I think the first time I discovered your podcast was uh, You, you interviewed who I think was the first athlete we interviewed, interviewed on our show, which was Evan Dunphy. And besides the athlete interviews, you know, you you got books that you cover in movies and stuff like that. Do you have a certain criteria where it’s like, okay, we wanna do this many episodes per month and one will be checking this box when won’t be checking that box.

[00:07:35] Jill Jaracz: Yeah. So we have weekly episodes. We always drop sometime on Thursday. so once a week and that’s gonna be a regular show, whether it be an interview or four times a year. We have book club four times a year. We have movie club when we need vacations, we put together what we call lightning rounds, we ask all of our interviewees the same five questions, and then we put those together in a l a shorter episode for a holiday.

So that we still have new content. That’s cool. And then during the games, it’s.

[00:08:05] Ben Waterworth: Nice. So you’re our rivals. Come on. Yeah. Yeah. . .

[00:08:10] Jill Jaracz: We also have on every episode we have a little history segment, so every year we choose a games to follow and tell stories of the history that you may not remember or you thought you remembered this year.


[00:08:23] Alison Brown: you two young for.

[00:08:24] Colin Hilding: Yeah.

[00:08:25] Ben Waterworth: Have you done Antwerp yet? Have you

[00:08:27] Jill Jaracz: done Antwerp? No, no. Our listeners, decide what gains we’re gonna do and we always, rotate between summer and winter, and then They, they get to choose from a, a short list of like three to five based on if it’s a major anniversary of the games.

Right. Cuz then there’s usually something about it. So this year is the 35th anniversary of Soul 1988. So that is our games of the year. And then, yeah, like Alison said, we have news from Shlahan and then we look at any kind of future games news as well.

[00:08:55] Ben Waterworth: Can I just ask on that? Shk Plasan, I’m glad you keep saying cause I was gonna, I was worried about my pronunciation.

But tell us the idea behind this, cuz this is kind of like a, a unique thing, sort of creating a little, I guess, country to kind of attach to your show.

[00:09:07] Alison Brown: Well, originally our show was called Olympic Fever and we had to change the name for , various

[00:09:12] Ben Waterworth: reasons. You get the, the nice little email from a certain, uh Yep.

[00:09:16] Alison Brown: Yes, yes.

So we had a little segment on there that we called Tofu, which was Team Olympic Fever update just to let people know what our former guests were doing since so many of them were still competing.

And so then when we changed the name, we were like, Tk, team keep the flame alive. The letters really didn’t form anything. And then Jill and I were looking at it and she said, well, if you add STA to it, it sounds like a former Soviet Republic . And then we sort of played with it a little bit and then it just snowballed into, well, how do we pronounce this?

And we had Jason Bryant, who’s a um, wrestling announcer of and deals with many, many. , Eastern European [00:10:00] names. He said, oh, I would pronounce this shk based on this other name. And so then we just, went with it and now we have a flag and we have a flower.

Yeah. And an animal, and people get a kick out of it. We had pins for Beijing, just like the, you did the pins you make for a country. We had fulan pins and people who did not speak English would come up, show us pictures of somebody else’s pin and say, you have one . it became a thing. They had no idea what it was.

They didn’t care. And it’s just a lot of fun to, to have this name for the community because our listeners are also shk on Citizens . And it just, I think it’s a great way to, to have the community involved.

[00:10:45] Ben Waterworth: That is very fun. And, and so did you both go to Beijing? Beijing? Was that just you, jewel

[00:10:49] Jill Jaracz: that went.

I went for the Olympics and Paralympics and then Alison came for the Paralympics.

[00:10:55] Ben Waterworth: Nice.

Wow. Colin, I’m getting ideas off this uh, episode, just saying Paris next year. dunno about creating a country, but we could, cut. Well, we need a mascot, I think for off the plane. Jared is

[00:11:06] Colin Hilding: the mascot jar. Jared is a mascot. Jared is a plush. That’s a good shout.

[00:11:11] Ben Waterworth: I like that little Jared and a plush mascot.

Maybe he’ll actually have time to hang out with me with that after that. Maybe he’s not always busy. I don’t know.

[00:11:19] Colin Hilding: Maybe you, what? You know what I, I wonder about is where. A lot further apart than, than you two are. I mean, typically way you hour distance. But when Jill, you’re in Beijing, Alison, your back, state side, what were those recordings like?

Daily? Because I remember while all the Olympics we cover, never been lucky enough to be in the same time zone, even though I think Ben was supposed to be in my time zone for one of them. So it always ends up being, I’m recording it five in the morning. It’s 10 o’clock at night for them. None of us are happy to be up at that hour.

I mean, but the Olympic people go insane. During that

[00:11:50] Alison Brown: time, , we were just about 12 hours apart. Wow. So it was, you know, Jill would finish her day and go back to the media center and then I would start my day. But I say start my day having stayed up most of the night watching things so we could talk about them.

Mm-hmm. . Um, So I was here in the States, but living very much on China time and Jill just wasn’t sleeping.

[00:12:17] Ben Waterworth: Have you caught up yet, Jill? It’s been like a bit of reunion now. It’s,

[00:12:20] Jill Jaracz: I’ve, I’ve starting to get to catch up ,

[00:12:22] Colin Hilding: you know, But Does that, does that fanaticism of the Olympics? I mean, it’s gotta help cuz I know during um, Beijing. I got Covid like the day of the opening ceremonies. And also I had work stuff going on during the entire Olympics where I was supposed to be on vacation for two weeks, so it ended up being like a day-to-day thing where my boss would be like, I don’t think we need you tomorrow.

Do you wanna take the day off? And then I would be sick with Covid, but staying up till three in the morning and that, that, that’s one of the things that has to help a little bit because you’re gonna be staying up at all hours, like you said Alison. Anyways, just watching everyth.

[00:12:52] Alison Brown: So Tokyo was actually, I remembered this this morning when I was thinking about, what stories I wanted to tell that I don’t think we’ve ever even told on, our show.

So, opening ceremonies of Tokyo, we’re watching it, we watch the opening ceremonies and then we go to record. And I said to Jill, Jill, I’m not feeling well. I’m having a lot of trouble, but we’re, we’re gonna record the show. I’m gonna be okay. Midway through recording I said to her, we have to stop. And I went and I got sick and then came back and finished recording.

Wow. So it was just one of those, you know, 24 hour bug had a migraine. It was just one of those crazy days. And I remember getting off that recording and thinking, I’m so glad we weren’t live and , what is wrong with me That I just, go to the bathroom, vomit, and then come back and finish the show.

It was like, that’s what’s gonna get me through. Yeah, it is. And I think that’s the show very much got us through covid, the pandemic time and being able to work together and having something to look forward to and having that. So, I don’t know if there’s an illness for this , but clearly there is something that keeps

[00:13:59] Ben Waterworth: you going.

I, I’ve always had when an Olympics finishes, I think there is an illness then I like to call it Sal, severe Olympic Withdrawal Syndrome because you’re so attached during a 16 day period to an event that when it just ends it’s so abrupt and it’s so sad. I don’t know, maybe Jill, when you sort of were waiting in Beijing between.

The Olympics and the Paralympics. If you had a sort of a bit of a downer on that Monday, cuz I remember when I worked at the Commonwealth Games in 2018, gold Coast is a buzz and alive, and you’re at the train station, you’re like, where are you going today? And oh dear, oh, there’s a Fiji and netball team.

Like, oh, there’s an athlete from this sport. Like, it’s just, the whole thing is buzzing. And then Monday morning you just go to the train station. They’ve put back in all the benches, the vending machines are there, everyone’s back in business suits. Everyone’s back to, I don’t want to talk to you. I’m going to work.

I’m grumpy. Like, it’s that instant flick of a switch where it’s like a city’s alive and then it’s just like up back to normal and you’re like, wow, this feels really weird.

[00:14:56] Jill Jaracz: I don’t think I really had that because we were. [00:15:00] in the closed loop. So the closed loop kind of kept going. They did want to shut down in between the Olympics and Paralympics, and then all of a sudden all these media people said but we still have to stay here.

Where are we gonna go? What are we gonna do? Because they didn’t let us do much of anything. And so, the day after, I think there was some recording, we, we, talked with some people in different countries for some stuff. and then eventually I had to move hotels. So that took a couple of days to.

Deal with. And then I got like a weekend off and must be nice, you know, read books. I went to a different hotel for dinner, which you, that, that took like three hours round trip. , and just tried to sleep until Alison came and it was time to, prep again really almost immediately.

[00:15:46] Ben Waterworth: I loved your updates during Beijing, your daily, was it your breakfast or your dinner you’d always post your food?

Oh, yes. , because I, I’ve been to in Malaysia and Thailand and I know it’s sort of that, that culture shock sometimes when you go to some of these countries where it is like, oh, this is what they eat for breakfast. And I used to love that during, it was, I’d go to Malaysia for the Grand Prix back in the day and yeah, every day you’d have these different breakfast and it was so, it wasn’t just cereal that we eat in Australia, like we’re not a breakfast country, but it was just like, wow, they’re having fried rice and noodles for breakfast.

This is interesting. So it’s kind of a bit of a fun thing with this country like that. The breakfast I have isn.

[00:16:19] Jill Jaracz: Oh, it was fabulous. I had bowel every day for six weeks. Oh, it was delicious. I had dragon fruit

but you, you just tried to eat as much as you could in the morning because I didn’t know when I was going to eat again. Really? Yeah. And

[00:16:31] Ben Waterworth: the media, media center foods, well,

[00:16:33] Jill Jaracz: the media center food was kind of cool because they had all these robot machines and some of the food was really good.

I didn’t get to eat in the media center very much because there was a lot of travel involved getting to venues. So if at the food, at the venue was not all that great, not much to choose from. And if there was a line and the competition was gonna start, you were just kind of stuck. Yeah. So there was a lot of power bars in my life and a lot of breakfast.

[00:17:00] Ben Waterworth: What was the favorite event you got to go to in Beijing?

[00:17:03] Jill Jaracz: Let’s see. I loved Big Air I, I only got to go to the men’s final. I couldn’t get up early enough to go to the Women’s final, but the big air venue was really, really cool. I like that industrial kind of steam punky look, and that’s really what it looked like.

It was kind of a shame because there was a really beautiful park right on the back of the venue that you couldn’t go to, The competition was really fun. The attitudes of freestyle skiers are really refreshing and it’s a lot of fun to watch ’em.

And I know during the Paralympics, one of my favorite, one of my best days there was seeing snowboard cross because I love snowboard cross. And the announcers there were phenomenally fun.

[00:17:46] Colin Hilding: Great.

[00:17:47] Ben Waterworth: Wow, you, you’re making it. I, I, I know you are looking at Paris next year, and I’m very much looking at Paris next year as well, so we might be able to do this in person, but I mean, it’s just, I’ve never been to an Olympics.

Colin’s never been, well, Colin, Colin sort of nearly went to an Olympics. He nearly got to be in an opening ceremony of an Olympics, so, he got the closest out of. All of us, I think .

[00:18:09] Colin Hilding: So as well, sort of, I mean the 88, the anniversary, the 88 Soul Olympics that was the year that TaeKwonDo was a demonstration sport.

And I was in TaeKwonDo at the time, and I guess our academy, which was like a national academy, was going to go there. And they were saying like, okay, anybody is allowed to come. But you know, obviously you have to have your parents’ permission. I was seven years old, I think, at the time. So there was no way my parents were going to take me out.

Ultimately, what came down to is, well, we can’t do this because we got two other kids and your dad’s got work and whatever. But I would’ve been able to be on the opening field and all that, and I, I. Definitely hold a grudge to this day for that. But Vancouver was even r more disappointed though because I, I was off work for that entire winter and if it wasn’t for the fact that I had plans for the spring that I needed money for, I was like, I’m gonna go down there, even if it’s a day trip, I wanna fly out there in the morning, see one event to come back just so I can go to the Olympics and just didn’t have the money to do it.

But I mean, just crush, I mean, have either of you out outside of this, just as fans been able to attend Atlanta, anything?

[00:19:14] Jill Jaracz: I went to Salt Lake City for two days. Aw. It kind of in the same thing. Well, I mean, Atlanta was at a bad time because I was in between jobs and had no money. Vancouver also at a time, had no money.

And then we’re running trend

[00:19:28] Colin Hilding: here. If anybody wants to donate to either of our shows, we’ll take it .

[00:19:32] Jill Jaracz: But Salt Lake City, like two weeks beforehand I heard on the radio, oh, we still got tickets. And I looked and they did have tickets. And that was a time where if you lived in the host country, it was a lot easier to buy tickets than going through the authorized ticket reseller.

So I looked and there was biathlon tickets for like 20, $27 and. . Oh, we can go. And I had friends in Colorado, so I flew out to Salt Lake. They drove from Colorado. We slept in a [00:20:00] car one night. And then the second night we stayed at a days in, which is kind of lower end for 500 bucks a night. Wow. And well, that’s why we slept in the car one night but we saw Biathlon was fabulous. First time I’d ever really been exposed to it. Love the sport now. And then we got short track tickets, so we got to see Apollo Anton Ohno

[00:20:20] Ben Waterworth: skate. Did, did you see Bradbury? Were you at, were you there when Bradbury won the gold for Australia?

Were you there

[00:20:25] Jill Jaracz: that night? I should look and see if I was there that night, but I do remember Apollo, Anton

[00:20:29] Ben Waterworth: Donno. Yeah, that’s, I mean, I, I saw a Utah jazz game in Salt Lake City, and I was more excited for the fact that that was the arena where Stephen Bradbury won Australia’s first ever win to go.

Everyone’s like, oh yeah, the jazz. And I’m like, yeah, cool. Basketball. But do you know what happened here in 2002?

Alice, have you, your been Olympic experiences, have you outside of the Paralympics?

[00:20:47] Alison Brown: I have not. I was supposed to go with Jill. Jill invited me. We were working together at the time, but unbeknownst to her, I was seven weeks pregnant and very sick.

It seems to be a running theme for me, so I just had to politely decline and not tell her why. And it just had never come up. Like Placid back in 1980 was within driving distance of where I grew up, but that wasn’t what we did, even though it was four or five hours away, it just seemed very, very far.

But that’s the one. I wish I had been to, because that’s the one where I really fell in love with it. And just when we got to go to Lake Placid uh, at the beginning of the podcast, I was walking around like a little kid. It was probably embarrassing. I just, this is where they skated.

[00:21:35] Ben Waterworth: Oh, I remember this. You do.

Like, that’s um, Yeah, I, I was, I’m showing my age here. I was 13 for Sydney, and I remember when Sydney was announced and parents like, yeah, absolutely, we’re gonna go to Sydney. We’re gonna go to Sydney. And long story short, we didn’t go to Sydney. But I mean, the best thing about Sydney though, for Australia, they aligned all the school holidays for that two week period in September.

So the entire country was, so basically my entire life as a 13 year old on school holidays, was living, breathing, everything Olympics. But I’m gonna obviously make sure that Brisbane happens no matter what. But I, I’m in Sydney now. I’m 22 years late, 23 years late, so, hey, I’m, I’m at least here, but I, it’s.

It’s that fandom like out at where, you know, Homebush is in the Olympic area. Like I, I was there the other night to see a comedy show and literally when you get off the train, you are walking right next to the Olympic stadium and still I’m just in awe. And then you actually walk under the cauldron.

They’ve got, it’s called Kathy Freeman Park and they’ve literally got the cauldron right there and people are just walking past, yeah, whatever. I’ve just been to going home, catches the train and I’m standing underneath these like, this is the cauldron everyone, do you not understand what this is? And all on the ground they’ve got literally all little plaques for every gold medalist from the Paralympics and, Olympics as well.

And every time I go to an Olympic city, you, you mentioned Salt Lake when I was there. I’m like, take me to the stadium, take me to here, take me to there. And I saw the cauldron there and still amazes me that you have an opening ceremony in a university stadium. But go America, . And then when I was living in Victoria, in, in Canada, and I’d go to Vancouver a lot.

Every time I’d go to Vancouver, go to see the Cauldron, go to BC place Calgary Montreal, my first visit to Montreal, I’m straight in the train. I’m transported back to the seventies cuz they’ve basically kept that almost like, it’s still 1976. It’s fantastic. I’m, I’m such a fan. Even Melbourne.

I go there all the time. But like the M c g greatest sporting venue in the world, in my opinion, they’ve got like the big plaques and they’ve got a museum there to do with the Olympics. So I, yeah, every time I go to an Olympic City, I’m like, where were the Olympics? Take me there now.

[00:23:29] Jill Jaracz: I have actually been swimming at the Sydney Olympics.

[00:23:32] Ben Waterworth: Ah. It’s a nice pool,


[00:23:34] Jill Jaracz: it? It’s a really nice pool. It’s really deep. Yes.

[00:23:37] Colin Hilding: Really, really

[00:23:38] Ben Waterworth: deep. Yeah. We like to be deep in Australian, throw people in. It’s like you learn to swim. Uh, the one , that’s how we win gold medals. It’s no choice.

[00:23:46] Colin Hilding: Like I, I know with, with Calgary, every time I go there, I’m going there just to go to the Olympic Park. But even in the airport you, you probably saw it there too, Ben. Yeah. There’s mannequins in the airport that are in the opening ceremony U uniform.

The mascots are in Thess there. Yeah. Yeah. And this is decades later. And Calgary’s got a lot of things that they could be showcasing, but even in their airport, we’re like, we’re gonna brag on the Olympics from 30 years ago

[00:24:09] Ben Waterworth: Well,

[00:24:09] Alison Brown: to be fair, Calgary was pretty fantastic.

[00:24:12] Colin Hilding: Oh yeah. . I was

[00:24:15] Ben Waterworth: one I saw Cool Runnings and Eddie the Eagle ,

[00:24:18] Colin Hilding: well that look at how many movies they made

[00:24:20] Ben Waterworth: about it. Half the reason I go for the Calgary Flames is because of those Olympics and the fandom of, you the Jamaican bobsled team and all that as a kid. Does that count? ?

[00:24:30] Alison Brown: We’ll, forgive you.

[00:24:31] Colin Hilding: what it was that got you into and which Olympics? Well,

[00:24:36] Alison Brown: the, the first memory that I have been told about and I think is recreated is of course Nadia from Montreal 76.

I was the little kid who went, at the barbecue and would not come in until I learned how to do a cartwheel . But the, the Olympics that I know are my memories is 1980. I remember the miracle on Ice with the US hockey team the heartbreak kids, Thai, [00:25:00] Babylonian, and Randy Gardner who couldn’t compete.

They were the reigning parish championships champions and ice skating. And because it was in New York State where I lived, I had that very strong connection to it.

[00:25:12] Jill Jaracz: So I had a friend who loved Dorothy Hamel, and she had the Dorothy Hamel haircut. She had the Dorothy Hamel doll. So I knew who Dorothy Hamel was when she was at the height of her popularity.

But the games that really sucked me in were LA 84, because I was an age group swimmer at the time and, and was fairly competitive in my little area. And I just remember watching the opening ceremonies, not knowing who Rayford Johnson was, when everybody got excited that he lit the cauldron.

But the swimming competition, especially when the women’s a hundred meter free win, Nancy Hogshead and Carrie Stein Cipher tied for gold. That just blew my mind and I was

[00:25:53] Alison Brown: just, for Ben, was it like, last year was your first Olympics since

[00:25:58] Ben Waterworth: you Camp , 12 years.

I, I was gonna say

[00:26:01] Colin Hilding: how not, how about real? When he had no idea what was going on.

[00:26:03] Ben Waterworth: I, I actually like this because generally now, the, the recent spade of guests we’ve got on and we generally ask the question like, what was the first Olympic I watching? They’re like, oh, London 2012. I have brief memories of, and I was, oh geez.

All right. Um, No, for me it was actually Barcelona. Five. But I remember sort of watching, going like, what is this? This is unique. And I remember like Kathy Wat winning the road race for Australia sort of the Kiran Perkins height that was sort of around then and everything. And the awesome force I’m in the rowing, so I sort of remember that.

I think what got me, like Atlanta was the real first one where it was like, okay, I am, I’m watching the opening ceremony. I remember, cause I played field hockey growing up and I remember having a game in the morning. The famous 1500 meters, but Kiran Perkins ultimately won and everyone was all like, ah, he’s snuck in.

He won’t win. It’s all about Daniel Kowalski. And I’m all like, no, Kirin’s gonna do it. Kirin’s gonna do it. And he ultimately, famously did from lane eight. you know, Winter Olympics coverage in Australia was very sporadic. Growing up Lila Hamma, they sort of went a little bit all out.

And I remember us winning our first ever medal in, in 94 with a short track relay. So I remember the coverage that got and it, it’s the Olympics, but I do remember the Commonwealth Games in 94 and Victoria kind of really hooking me into multi-sport events. So it was, it was, Atlanta was sort of really the, the main one.

And then Nagano obsessed with that. And then obviously Sydney was the one that really kind of, you know, set a lot of people on fire. in Australia, just, that obsession. Cause I think it’s the unique thing obviously about Australia is it’s that You know, when Sydney got announced as the Olympics and how big of a deal that was for the country, cuz it obviously had been since 56, since we had had an Olympics and now we’re in a unique position for most of us in our lifetime, we’re gonna have two Olympic games in a lifetime.

For a country like Australia is a little bit unique, whereas I used to always look at like, oh, America, they’ve got an Olympics every two or so years. But now you’ve had a big gap before LA obviously now between Salt Lake, And I guess Colin, you’ve, you’ve had two in your lifetime though, quite quickly in Canada in 88 and 2010 of.

[00:27:59] Colin Hilding: Yeah. And I think my earliest memories of knowing what the Olympics was was Calgary and Calgary and Seoul, those two combined. I remember with Seoul, them showing us the opening ceremonies during our TaeKwonDo class and showing us some of the, TaeKwonDo coverage from there. But uh, similar to Ben, I think Barcelona’s, when I started actually really watching, not that I knew anything about it, it was sort of like my brother and I had a TV in our room and we would just spend all hours watching and just picking a country, you know? this is whatever long jump I’m gonna go for now, the unified team. Unified TVs, ,

[00:28:34] Ben Waterworth: underrated country of the Olympics. We need to talk about them more .

[00:28:37] Colin Hilding: But then Lila Hammer, I had a little bit more knowledge obviously with the Tanya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan thinking me, the entire world was watching that.

And I think it was during Lila Hammer when I saw the moguls for the first time, which to this day is my number one favorite sport in the world. I mean over anything. And Jean Luke Passard winning the, the gold and that, but similar to Ben Atlanta was when I’m like, okay, I’m gonna watch everything. I’m watching the opening ceremonies and I remember Donovan Bailey winning the, the gold for the a hundred meter.

And my friend and I, we had a sleepover that weekend and we literally just watched that same 10 seconds over and over and over again. Instead like an hour watching the event over and over and over again. Just get enough of it.

[00:29:15] Ben Waterworth: I wanna ask you guys about land, cause I know you guys have done a lot of sort of flashbacks and I, I love reading about it.

In terms of that obsession and love to find out from you. Like I was that kid who back then our newspaper every day would have the Daily Olympic lift out. So I’ve still got that to this day. I’ve got the, the folders filled with it and just everything you would buy like a newspaper preview, things they don’t do anymore, which is kind of, you know, sad.

But like I was out and says, I’ll get notebooks and I would write the results out in my notebooks. I’ve still got all of them, little nine year old Ben writing out, who won the, decathlon that year and stuff like that. So, did you two do that as well? And also in the transition? Atlanta, talk to me.

I love your love of Atlanta in the show that you guys have.

[00:29:53] Alison Brown: Well, Atlanta was our first historical mm-hmm. , Olympics that we did. So we spent [00:30:00] a year going through what we remembered, what we didn’t remember, and finding new stories. I am not by nature a collect. . So I was never one to write things down, save things put it in notebooks like that.

That’s just not my personality. But Atlanta I was a grownup. I was an adult living in my own apartment and I remember sitting in the heat cuz there was no air conditioning in my apartment and my little television and staying up too late cuz I had to get to work at eight o’clock the next morning and watching so much of it.

And really it was, fun. That was a fun Olympics until, of course the bombing. Um, Which we covered but didn’t cover because we wanted people to remember the joy of it more than everybody talks about the bombing, which was so horrific Of course. So it was a strange Olympics in that it was so much joy and yet you’ve got this one thing that everyone remembers.

[00:30:57] Jill Jaracz: Atlanta’s very interesting because it’s always fun to have games on home soil. That was the first games since LA 84 that was in America. it was just really cool. And you wanted to have that magic back. the over commercialization was a deal.

and I don’t think I, I’ve wrote stuff down in that same way. I do collect a little bit more, but I don’t have a ton of stuff from Atlanta that I know of. But you never know. I do have the dailies from Salt Lake when I was there. Mm-hmm. , I grabbed all the dailies I could. But like, I just remember watching Muhammad Ali light the torch and I will still cry whenever I see that clip.

Just all the amazing performances and we were sucked into the gymnastics. I was kind of in between jobs at the time, and then I started at the company where Alison and I would end up meeting each other and just talking the gymnastics with my coworkers and the horrific Commentary that we had here in the United States from that event.

there, it just kind of culminates and you can’t help but like it, but you understand a little bit more of America being America and maybe the I o C didn’t appreciate some of America’s. Not so good points with the over commercialization. And then we find out, you know, later we’ve got some bribery scandals and all

[00:32:23] Ben Waterworth: that jazz.

Yeah. What’s an Olympics without a bribery scandal? Come on. Like this just, this goes hand in hand with hundred meters. I got two quick questions cause I, I actually, I’d love to learn about you two, how you two met, and going back to I think the initial question about how you two got into doing the podcast, but just on commentary and, and like, I dunno how much you’ve listened to our show.

We like to make a bit of a sport of it. Like, oh, channel seven, aren’t they, you know, this way during Olympics, which is funny that somehow I got a job working for them during the last Olympics, but that’s another story. But when it comes to, say, talking during the coverage, like, do you sort of, you know, maybe do a segment where you’re talking about like n b nbc, like, this is, you know that?

Or do you just kind of accept that it’s nbc they’re gonna, this is how they do the Olympics and we don’t wanna talk about it?

[00:33:03] Jill Jaracz: Well, I, I will say during the Tokyo. Paralympics, we had a whole segment called Feed Beefs because we had a lot of questions and a lot of issues with the coverage that those Paralympic games got.

And we were so used to getting everything for the Olympics and not understanding why the Paralympics didn’t have everything. We’ve just found out why, and that will be on a future episode. Oh. But it was a little disconcerting. And of course we do talk about some commentators and some commentators we really love and are thrilled when they’re back on.

But there’s always a learning curve with becoming a commentator, that’s something we, we try to be somewhat nice about. I don’t know, Well,

[00:33:46] Alison Brown: I, I will say, if anybody goes and listens to say our first 50 episodes, They will hear our learning curve, of doing the show.

And I, and I and I,

[00:33:55] Ben Waterworth: nearly a 300, we are hoping to get a learning curve done eventually. ,

[00:33:59] Alison Brown: you know, And I, I say that with, both humility and humor and yeah, there were certain things that we did very well early on and things that we are just horrified that that’s what the show sounded like. So I get when, commentators really struggle, and I’m always so thrilled when I get to hear the O B s commentators, the Olympic Broadcasting Service.

Mm-hmm. Because they do tend to be better. But my sympathy ends when I see their paychecks in the sense of these Olympic broadcasters and, Australia, Canada, the United States, Europe, there’s a lot of money flowing around. And you would think with that much money, we could do better for these athletes.

[00:34:41] Ben Waterworth: And it’s, it’s fascinating here in Australia, they just in the last couple of weeks basically announced that a different network has got the rights now to broadcast the Olympics for 10 years. Channel nine, who is not renowned, like you think it’s, it’d be the same in the States if all of a sudden ABC got the Olympics tomorrow, you’d be like, oh, this is, it could be different, but you assume [00:35:00] NBC is your Olympic broadcaster.

C B C in Canada, channel seven is the Olympic broadcaster in Australia. They lost it for 20 10, 20 12, and 2014, but then it, they got it back. We’ve got a decade now of channel nine and it’s going to be interesting because some of those really iconic commentators at a Channel seven, you know, stores, it gonna not probably be there.

[00:35:19] Colin Hilding: I, I, I would actually say some of our, some of our most fun interviews have been with the commentators. Yeah. Um, Like even just the Canadian, you mentioned Devin Harre, who, I mean even just following social media.

Forget about commentary and everything like that. the one curler I spoke to. I mean, he, he’s a former athlete Mike Harris. But then the other fun thing was um, when we had Britney McClain, who was a swimmer, she had done, well, she won in a relay and she was just working.

She was one of the people helping us set up interviews and Ben’s like, oh, I think that she’s an athlete too. So we asked her to be on the show, and the next thing you know, she’s on C B C, she’s not just doing commentary, she’s doing hosting and everything like that. And we’re like, man, she’s made for this.

So the, the commentators are definitely fun


[00:35:58] Ben Waterworth: got, we’ve got coming up bales Polis who iconic voice and face in Australia of, of media is actually now the mayor of Perth. he was the man behind the Steven Bradbury call. So, they did a great package on Channel seven during the Beijing Olympics, cuz that was the 20th anniversary of Stephen Bray.

And they sort of had Bradbury on talking about memories, but then they also got Basil on to like, well this is my memories of how I even got to call it. Like, I got a last minute call from Channel seven. Do you wanna go to Salt Lake tomorrow? What do you know about Short Track? And he’s like, oh, I know everything about it.

And was like researching it on the plane. So during the interview as a bit of a teaser, I get him to recreate the call. So it’s kind of that I iconic moment really with that. you talk about you, you worked together. Did you, and then sort of, do you just sort of sit around the lunchroom and go, so did you watch the Olympics?

You like the Olympics? I like the Olympics too. And it’s kinda like that Spider-Man meme where you’re pointing at each other.

[00:36:48] Alison Brown: Well,

[00:36:48] Jill Jaracz: we worked is even better because we worked in the same department and literally it was an open office plan for our department. So we’d turn around and talk Olympics. Wow. And annoy our coworkers.

[00:37:02] Alison Brown: Yeah, we were, diagonal from each other. So we did this also with our work. So one of us would turn around, usually me and say, Hey Jill. And she’d turn around and say, Hey Alison. And then we would work out whatever issue we were dealing with of our work. But then when Salt Lake City came around, it became, What is going on?

And we had a boss who was horrified with ice dance, particularly the outfits in one morning we were talking and she just looked at me because she knew I was a figure skating fan and said, Alison, why are they wearing rags, ? And so she became involved in the conversation. So later on I had my daughter and I moved away and we were no longer working together, and I was home by myself.

It’s very lonely and I wasn’t working. And Jill had left that job and she was working from home and she was lonely and. It just sort of evolved in that way. Where we met up, we were visiting and she said, I think I’m gonna do a podcast. Would you like to do it with me? And I said, I listened to podcasts.

Sure. , having no, no idea what, I was getting into. And also what it would mean when you hit a pandemic. And I mentioned this before, there were weeks where just talking to her on Zoom was the only other outside contact I think both of us had. Mm-hmm. or the interviews that we did. And it was an absolute lifeline to sanity to be doing the podcast, to be interacting with the listeners, to have that connection to the outside world was.

Tremendous in so many ways. I’m sure you guys had had similar experiences cuz you’re locked down. Yeah,

[00:38:38] Ben Waterworth: Colin’s my only friend, so,

[00:38:39] Colin Hilding: Well that’s true. But we know Jared doesn’t count, but, but what’s interesting we mentioned about the pandemic because like I said, I got. Covid on the day of the opening ceremonies.

I think that was the only episode I actually missed during,

[00:38:49] Ben Waterworth: No, you missed cuz you got it. I got it during Beijing as well. You got, so there was one day where basically we were like, ah, so two of us are down. We’ll be back tomorrow for a double episode.

[00:39:00] Colin Hilding: and Ben was literally locked in a hotel at that point.

So that definitely made it a lot easier too. And it’s funny cuz when I, when I think about fact, like Ben and I had been doing another podcast together since before Sochi, and I don’t even think that we even realized we were as big Olympic fanatics during those Olympics, or maybe it was during those Olympics.

It’s like, oh, Ben’s posting a lot about it and you’re, oh, I’m, I’m posting about it a lot. But uh, I kind of wish that we’d had those Olympics, because there’s nobody to talk to. Like for me, I know a few people who might check out an event here or there. I don’t know anybody personally who’s like an Olympic fanatic.

And I remember every single day I’d be saying, oh, this went on, did you see it? And people are like, no, no, I didn’t see it. And then they’d be humoring me, you know, they’re like, oh, oh yeah. That’s interesting. I remember trying to arrange a mogul’s party during Sochi for like the finals of like, who wants to come to my mogul’s party?

It’s like, oh, I think I’m, they pulled the Jared, I think I’m busy that day. Or when knowing it, it is not necessarily something like. Soccer or football or hockey where you just turn around and the first person you see, they’re gonna know [00:40:00] everything about it. You know, it being able to have anybody to talk to about it, I mean, is definitely, it saves your sanity.

[00:40:05] Ben Waterworth: cause it’s one of those things you, that’s a great comparison to like soccer and that, because generally every four years or every two years, you know, obviously with the winter and summer cycle, you’ll get people who are like tuning in and watching it. But between those cycles, you know, no one’s really sort of caring.

And that’s obviously what we do on our shows is to get the athletes on and they’re still competing in between Olympics, you know, they’re, they’re still out there working their butts off to try and make an Olympics and, and win medals and that. But yeah, I, it’s through the people I’ve known in my life and that, like my dad might be like, oh cool, who wanna gold medal today?

I remember after Rio um, my mom and I going to sort of a famous market in Hobart on the same day that they had a, a welcome home parade. And I’m like, mom, I’m going to go, you know, meet these Olympians. And she’s like, who, what are they doing here? But like as a kid, like. Dragging my parents. I had all these Sydney parades and everything in the lead up.

And afterwards uh, I remember going to a, I think at high school after the Sydney Olympics, we had sort of like a school dance between, cause I went to an all boys high school, so they got the all girls high school and we came together and called like a social or something and it was a fancy dress.

So I dressed as Peter Van and Hogan Band of all the people. It didn’t go as like Ian Thorpe or Kathy Freeman. I went as a Dutch swimmer cuz why wouldn’t I? And everybody put you in with

[00:41:12] Colin Hilding: the Speedo as the real Thor ,

[00:41:15] Ben Waterworth: everyone’s, you know, dressed up as like Batman or like, princess Jasmine or something like that.

And I’m in these like orange shirt with goggles with like a fake gold medal around my, they’re like, who are you? I’m like, Peter Man and Hogan Band. And they’re like, who? ? They’re like, did you not watch the Olympics? Clearly, I’m the only 13 year old here who did so. Yeah, right. Kind of unique finding people you can talk about.

[00:41:34] Jill Jaracz: Right. And, and I lived in Boston for a long time, and friends there, we would have opening ceremonies, parties. Mm. And people would be like, oh yeah, I love the Olympics. We’d have an opening ceremonies party. It’d be a lot of fun. we’d do food contests, like we’d call it Top Chef Food Contest, where you you were assigned a sport and you had to create a dish around that sport.

No, and that was a ton of fun. But then like, the day-to-day nitty gritty, in the 15th hour of coverage that day, Can you still talk about it? And the answer is not very many people can.

[00:42:04] Ben Waterworth: Yeah. And it’s even sort of through my current job where I, I work for a major sporting organization, an Olympic sport, mind you.

And it’s still kind of people like you mention it and they sort of like, ah, the Olympics. Oh yeah. And it’s like , well, this sport is at the Olympics but it’s not, the Olympics is not the, it’s, it’s soccer. So like obviously the World Cup is more their peak sort of, body there when it comes to that sort of stuff.

But it is interesting and, and particularly in Australia, we’re such a sporting nation that, we saw during the World Cup with the soccer rs how much we get behind it because like, we really don’t have. A sport where everything stops because even like say Australian football, it’s only really regional.

There’s, two states don’t really give two hoots about it, cricket. Yeah. But like, it’s not sort of like we’re all sitting around watching it religiously because that’s a whole other story. So an Olympics in a World Cup are kind of those two ones that’s sort of do that. But then obviously with an Olympics because you know, there’s so many sports it’s not like we’re, oh, the modern pentathlon world cups on Let’s All Stop, which I wish we would, cuz that’s the best Olympic sport.

We all agree with that, but it’s just, it’s interesting how there are people out there who are just like, oh, the Olympics. Sure. . Mm-hmm. .

[00:43:16] Alison Brown: one of the big questions that I get when people find out what I do and what the show is about is what do you do when the Olympics and the Paralympics are not on a hundred percent.

Yeah. And I look at them like they have seven heads. It’s like, do you know how many sports there are in this event? Do you know how many people are involved that we can talk to? And it amazes me that even though people watch it, don’t realize how big complex and how many people are involved. Even though you must understand when you’re looking at 16 days of, 18 hours of a day of competition.

There’s a lot of people involved, but it doesn’t seem to register except when it’s on. It’s that out of sight, out of mind. Do you find that as. .

[00:44:00] Ben Waterworth: Absolutely. And it’s, crazy kind of when you explain what exactly what you’re saying, because people Yeah. Had that vision. It’s just 16 days every four years, basically.

So yeah, that’s all they’re gotta, I mean, I, I dunno if they think that just, you know, people are just sitting around like, Michael Phelps just sat around for four years and go, oh, and the Olympics are in two weeks. Better go. I mean, they’re not Dale Beg. That’s kind of what he did. But it’s, it is that uniqueness of.

That because there is just so much into it and even outside of the sporting things, like sort of, you know, you touched on the behind the scenes sort of interviews. I know you had Dick Pound on, recently. Yeah. Things like that. Like just the organization that goes into bidding foreign Olympics and, and planning.

And then even outside of the, the games themselves, you know, the cultural aspects of it, you know, the Olympic movement, the education that goes into it. And, people can get degrees in the Olympic movements and things like that, which people I don’t think are aware of. And as Colin touched on the, the broadcast side of things, you know, like I’m sure we all harbored ambitions to be an Olympic athlete and yet we’re all sitting here doing a podcast.

So clearly that’s worked out for us. But like, I think I clicked on that mindset [00:45:00] as a, as a kid, knowing that it’s not gonna happen for me. But I love talking. I wanted to be a commentator. I wanted to be the next Bruce McCovey, so that’s where I switched my focus. So when I’ve got a Basel’s empl on the show, a Devon Haru, like somebody who talks about the Olympics and is covering them.

I’m almost as excited because I love learning about what it takes to be a broadcaster during the Olympics. So yeah, there’s so many stories. I mean, we did the mascots episode, like there’s design teams who have to come up with branding for the Olympics, and as you can tell, I get passionate and excited about this because it is like, there’s so much to learn that it just, it doesn’t stop.

[00:45:35] Colin Hilding: I’m curious, even Ben’s answer for this, I mean, from all the different people you talked to, is there any time where you got starstruck? Because I mean, you kind of just reach a point where, okay, this is an interview and even if, like when we interviewed Apollo Ohno, I’m, I knew that one was a big deal, but it’s not like I was like, oh no, what are we gonna ask Apollo Ohno and stuff like that.

But I, oh no, what are we gonna ask? Oh, no, . Good pun there. But uh, I mean there’s definitely those times though where you’re like, this is a person I’ve looked about. How am I gonna hold my cool in this interview? Yeah. Dick pounds. Dick pounds

[00:46:06] Alison Brown: was Dick really? So, when we landed that interview, we both kept saying, we won’t believe it until this actually happens.

And that was probably the only interview where we really talked ahead. I mean, we always have a show sheet, we always have our questions planned. but where we really had a meeting. To figure out how we were going to approach this interview. And I was a wreck. I was an absolute wreck in that interview.

And of course then we started having audio problems.

[00:46:33] Ben Waterworth: It’s always away, right? It’s always those big ones

[00:46:35] Alison Brown: to He couldn’t really hear me and so Jill had to take over and, so that we were nervous. But I get excited, I think with every athlete we’ve talked to, I get excited and a little starstruck and I try not to, and yet also to be starstruck cause that’s kind of our approach.

we get to talk to and see and do things that I certainly never thought would be part of my life, and I never wanna lose that.

[00:47:02] Ben Waterworth: But like, I think like with guest side of things, I think, through a lot of my career in broadcasting and that sort of stuff, you know, it’s been my job to interview a lot of people where I’ve been fans of that and sort of, it, it, you do get to a point where it’s very rare that I get starstruck anymore because it’s.

Your job and you, you are used to it, but there’s definitely been some, like Kiran Perkins, like, I mean, when I landed that interview, he was my biggest idol as a child. I absolutely loved everything to do with him. So that was kind of a, a cool thing to be able to do. But even sort of in the initial days when we were doing interviews, and as I said, I’d interviewed Olympians before, but like, it was sort of when we got Jamie Sark on the show, I mean, I was obsessed with that whole figure skating controversy and in love with Jamie.

I wrote off to her and David Peltier and got an autograph as like a 15 year old, in Australia. So that was a big deal. I remember getting Sally Steegle, who won Australia’s first ever individual Winter Olympic medal in Nagano in 98. She’s now a, prominent politician in this country. I don’t think many people realized she won an Olympic medal in Alpine skiing.

But getting her on the show, that was like, wow, Sally Steegle, you know, this. A big deal. Penny Alexia, who we had on recently, that was sort of a big deal. And the one that, to me, I’m still kind of, annoyed that I wasn’t there for the uh, the interview, but I’m so jealous of Colin is when we got Tessa Virtue on the show.

And I was unavailable for that one, but and it’s not necessarily even sometimes a starstruck thing. It’s when you can get athletes or guests of a certain caliber who, no, they’ve been interviewed 500 times, and what’s new for them, but when you can surprise them, when you can give them something and even they’re like, oh, that’s, that’s a good question.

Or you can make them have a bit of a giggle or something along those lines. It’s, it’s fun and you feel for once you may be good at what you do . So, yeah. But like, definitely some of those, and sort of as, as you touched on that, Alison, being so lucky for what we can do with this, because, you know, we’re not hired by N B NBC Channel seven, cbc.

You know, we’re doing this as purely a, as a hobby, as as a fandom. And you know, until recently I was interviewing these athletes from my bedroom, . Like, I wake up and I’m interviewing Kieran Perkins from my bedroom, who would’ve ever thought, but like, it’s just, it’s things like that, which is, makes it so much fun to do what we.


[00:49:05] Colin Hilding: it also helps, sometimes you will get an interview where the person’s like, I’ve done this a million times. And like with Tessa Virtue, I remember Ben asking me afterwards, like, oh, please tell me it went well. And I’m like, you could, like, she was basically on a break in a hallway and I told him like, you could tell she’s done a million of these things.

It was, it was the easiest thing and it was one of the easiest interviews in the world because she’s so experienced with that. But sometimes you get these athletes and they’re in their bedroom, you know, and you’re like, this is so easy because. . It’s so natural. You expect, you look up to these people and you’re like, oh, they’re this massive superstar.

And then when you actually connect the call, you’re like, oh, oh yeah, sorry, I didn’t clean up Behind me. There’s one famous one I always mentioned to Ben, right? She asked, oh, is this gonna be on video? And I’m like, yeah. I’m just like, oh, maybe I should clean up. Then she looks behind, she’s got closed dang language.

She’s like, nah, I’m not gonna bother you. . You know, When they’re relaxed, it makes you relaxed. I mean, for me, the, big one, which is an episode yet to air is the deferral appoint system A, [00:50:00] because the moguls is my all-time favorite sport B.

[00:50:03] Ben Waterworth: He’s got photos of him with behind him, which we had to point out during

[00:50:06] Colin Hilding: which I Ben decided to bring up on the episode.

Do you know that you’re in photos with Colin and there’s a and

[00:50:11] Ben Waterworth: nutty wife, family?

[00:50:12] Colin Hilding: There’s not my family. There’s on my kids are off to the side, but you know, that one was such a big deal. Cause I remember when we started this show, They were one of the first ones that I had reached out to, and that you never get a response.

And then Ben had tried several times and it didn’t look like what happened. And at one point it was like, okay, they’ll come on the show, but then it’s like, oh, but maybe you can get one of them. And then somehow we managed to land all three sisters, all three Olympians in the exact same time. And I remember being like, this is 4:00 AM I’ll be there.

And you know, it’s not even necessarily like you’re starstruck, like, what am I gonna say? What am I gonna say? But you’re like, all right, I want to come prepared for this one. And then they’re so relaxed that it’s just, it puts you at ease. And that’s the best thing about athletes, I would say, compared to even some of, like some of the actors we’ve interviewed for our other podcasts, big stars, and they’re like very natural.

And then other times it’s like, oh, this is an interview. You could see their assistant in the background. You never really get that with the athletes.

[00:51:03] Ben Waterworth: I interviewing politicians. It’s always that’s fine. , I’ll go onto a joke in a minute that we have that we are a curse every time we get someone on the show, they, they don’t do well at the Olympics. Um, we’ve kind of broke.

It’s, it’s mainly a me thing. We’ve, we’ve established it’s, but. One, one that always stands out for us as an example where it was kind of the opposite and they’ve gone on to bigger and better things. At the time we had them on, they were so unknown, but now they’re sort of doing stuff and I’d love to hear if you’ve had that case.

We had two Canadian ski jumpers on the show Ali Ludi and Abby Strait, who were part of the, the mixed team that won Canada’s first ever ski jumping medal at the Olympics in Beijing. And have since gone on to win World Cups and Junior World Championships. They’re doing fantastic things out there in the ski jumping community in a sport that really isn’t that big in Canada.

Do you, you’ll never be back on our show again. Never be back on the show again. And the great thing is like, Ali’s like, oh, listen to your show all the time. And it’s like, wow, this is great. So like, do you find that you’ve had sort of athletes like that where maybe at the time they were say, getting started or unknown and then they go to an Olympics, win a medal, and they’re sort of now a bit more of a household and you discovered them basically?

[00:52:04] Jill Jaracz: I wouldn’t say we discovered Erin Jackson. Because I also officiate roller derby and Erin Jackson plays roller derby, a speed skater who won gold at 500 beaters in Beijing. so she was kind of a known quantity to me. And you know, you talk about being starstruck, I got to officiate her one tournament and I was a little starstruck at that.

But you know, we talked with her when she was first starting on skates and she was shocked that. Made it because she had just started on skates a few months beforehand, and she just had this inline career that was incredible.

But, and she still does inline skating as well. But, she didn’t expect to do well and she didn’t do well at pyeongchang. That was just a learning tournament for her. And then it was nice to see her go and do big things at Beijing. And we’ve gotten, I was lucky enough to be able to talk with her a little bit there, but, now she’s, she is a, a big rockstar.

[00:53:07] Alison Brown: We did get to talk to her in between, so we’ve had her on the show. Mm-hmm. twice. Yeah.

[00:53:12] Ben Waterworth: So you don’t curse your guests. I’m hearing this,

[00:53:14] Alison Brown: this , it’s so funny you say that because I think it was during Tokyo and then it happened in Tokyo.

We were really starting to feel like. Shlahan is gonna have zero medals. people kept getting hurt. That was, they weren’t making the team because, or they would get there and then they wouldn’t compete. We were really starting to feel bad. And the, guest that comes to mind about the Gone on to, do big things was the first interview we ever did, which was uh, Josh Williamson, who was one of the winners of the US Olympic Committee, did a reality show to find next Olympic hopefuls.

When we spoke to him, he had not even been in a bobsled yet. Wow. And he was, Named to the team for Beijing and promptly got Covid. Mm-hmm. So we were like, this is all our fault. We did this to him. . Thankfully he got well enough that he was able to compete and we’ve talked to him almost every year since. So he’s kind of our shook plasan citizen, number one that still comes back on the show, even though he’s, now Josh Williamson, o l y.

But he still talks to us ,

[00:54:16] Ben Waterworth: the one that comes to mind, the worst one I think was when we had Derek Drew on, who basically, yeah, I was gonna bring that up. Gold medalist in, in Rio World Champion, you know, dominating the high jump.

And I think at the end of it I’m like, well, we’re gonna guarantee you’re gonna be back to back gold in Tokyo. You’re gonna do it. And I was like, a month forehand. Derek Trun has drawn from the Tokyo Olympics,

[00:54:33] Colin Hilding: so it, it was worse than that. I mean, he was a lock for another gold medal before Tokyo, and we had him on, he was still competing.

I don’t even remember what year that was. And Ben decided to bring it up. I think that was the first time you ever brought up, you know, we have a bit of a curse on here. Nobody who’s ever been interviewed has actually won. Although I think it’s just people who were interviewed by Ben hadn’t won. Yeah.

Be like, I’ve never

[00:54:54] Ben Waterworth: had, I’ve never had one of my, that I’ve been on win a gold. I’ve had medals that have been won. [00:55:00] Um, uh, Well, I guess we had Jack and the Paralympics won a gold, so I, I’ll take that. But like in terms of the non Paralympics, never had a gold medalist that I’ve interviewed and gone on to Olympia.

So, yeah.

[00:55:09] Colin Hilding: but then Ben brings it up on the air to him and says, you know what? We, I’ve never interviewed somebody who’s actually won a medal. Stop. I have a good feeling. I have a good feeling about you. I have a feeling you’re gonna be the guy to break my curse. And he actually says, yeah, you probably shouldn’t tell that to people.

And next Mo he’s withdrawing from Tokyo due to injury. Hey,

[00:55:27] Ben Waterworth: I think we all wanted to share for all of our listeners on both shows.

Obviously we’ve got a big catalog. Everyone should listen to all of our shows, clearly all of our episodes. But the three maybe episodes that you two would recommend that if somebody listening to our show right now is never listen to keep the Flame Alive. What are the, what are the three that if they listen to, they would, they’d get in that zone and that they’d become Shani?

Very nice.

[00:55:49] Alison Brown: Right? We did not, you did it. We did not discuss this. So I’m curious to see if Jill’s three are the same as my three.

[00:55:56] Ben Waterworth: All right. Ah, a lot. Niece .

[00:55:58] Alison Brown: So I said Ben Ryan, which is episode 1 93. Oh. Rugby coach. Very well known. Marni McBean was an athlete.

That’s episode one 14. Canadian. She was the se the chef Deion for Tokyo. Mm-hmm. and really became a, a rockstar there. Talk about a woman who literally, cuz she played the drums, she played the drum and she was everywhere. And she was able to talk about both being the Chef de Michan and her experiences in Atlanta as a medal winning rower.

And then from our daily shows, Jill’s story of mine was from the Beijing Paralympics, day seven. I had a little trouble in the mountains and. . Jill particularly enjoys that one. .

[00:56:43] Ben Waterworth: All right. I like the teasing there. I need to definitely check that out. .

[00:56:47] Jill Jaracz: Well, we have not matched on any episodes. .

[00:56:52] Ben Waterworth: Well, there’s six that people can listen to.

That’s better. Right? Extra promotion.

[00:56:56] Jill Jaracz: So I picked Michael Payne, episode 2 69, which is a recent interview, but Michael Payne was the first director of IOCs Marketing, and he’s been in the movement for ages, and it’s a really good way to get a whole bunch of the history there. I also picked John Register.

He was on a couple of episodes, but I picked 1 57. he did two Paralympics. He did Atlanta. For swimming and then Sydney for long jump. And he’s got a velvet voice, which is always fantastic . but b we really got into kind of the mechanics of long jump and we always love how sports work.

So he was really good about that. And then I also picked episode 1 59, Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shay, who are sailors, they do the 49 er FX category. Oh my gosh. uh, you know, I didn’t think much about sailing as an Olympic sport before, just cuz it’s It’s hard to watch on tv. Mm-hmm. , it’s really hard to watch. Yeah. But Watching those boats and wa and talking to them really made me appreciate the sport a whole lot more. And it makes me want to try the sport too.

[00:58:03] Ben Waterworth: Parts of Caribbean music we’ve discovered is the secret. Yeah. That’s what they need for it.

that makes it more exciting. We did a commentary of that during Tokyo and, it made it exciting.

[00:58:12] Colin Hilding: yeah. I’m,

I’m gonna put the plug of there for a soon to be aired episode when I say soon to be aired at. Probably still a few months away. The deferral point sisters there’s three of them. There are all three Olympians. There’s three medals between them and they are amazing and they’re pictured behind me , which everybody could see, and they saw one Ben that you did and I wasn’t able to be on, which, was devastating to me was we keep mentioning the name Devin Harrow.

He’s basically a curling fan who became a curling show host and C B C correspondent and really, Kept the, the Pandemic Olympics alive by trips to 7-Eleven and stuff like that. And it was probably one of the most entertaining people we’ve ever had on the show. He was just fantastic. Third one. come back to me, Ben, I’m gonna hear your list and

[00:58:57] Ben Waterworth: then come back. Um, I think just in terms of going back a little bit a lot of this comes down to humor. A year to ago before, before pyeongchang episode, I think that really kind of set our love for mascots because uh, we were sort of talking about the the Pyeongchang mascots and back to my pronunciation fails, I ended up just calling them Boo Ang and Sue rang, like, I just, I didn’t even bother to go on their actual pronunciations.

And that kind of just set off a, a target in terms of just our love for the mascots. And that was a, that was a good one. I think that,

[00:59:26] Alison Brown: um, That somebody

[00:59:27] Jill Jaracz: doesn’t like Sue Harangue . Oh, dare you.

[00:59:34] Ben Waterworth: That’s another one I’ve got in there, the mascot rankings. You can hear kind of that I think too, it’s sort of a, it’s a combination.

One because it’s sort of, it paid off in the end. So our Penny Alexia interview, which is a fairly recent one, Canada’s most decorated Olympian of all time during the Tokyo Olympics. We would do a daily award where we’d, you know, who’s your athlete of the day? And I believe it was day eight during Tokyo.

And that was the day that Penny had cracked the, the record. She had won what? Eight medal and, and, became Canada’s most [01:00:00] decorated Olympian of all time. Some are all winter. So Colin, of course, is a proud Canadian. He is like, this is history, this is, this is Summer Olympian doing this. This would be like, if, Stephen Bradbury won this for Australia.

This is a rare feat, it’s a summer athlete. Jared and I were very enamored by the French boxer at that point, had famously sat in protest in the uh, the ring after he lost. So we were like, no, we’re voting for the French boxer and then co. Got to the point where he got so mad, he got a chair, he threw it.

He’s like, I’m gonna sit here for an hour and say, penny, Alex. So we played that clip to Penny during the interview. Yeah, which was quite a funny one. And also during Tokyo we, we sort of liked to do a bit of commentary. You know, we sort of expanded a little bit during Tokyo where we would sort of pre-record, doubled over some stuff, try to be a bit fancy, you know. but during some of those events, back to Colin saying different time areas and that sort of stuff, we were on air when Canada won the penalty shootout in the women’s soccer against Sweden, the penalty shootout that nobody wanted to win. And so we have live reactions that’s on day 14 essentially of Jared and I, Colin wasn’t even on that episode, but that was absolutely fantastic.

And, and just, I wanna give a shout out. A recent one we did actually with Gerard Kalon breaker who talks up and you, you’re talking about sort of learning about sailing Jill. uh, breaking, coming to the Olympics is sort of that bit confusing.

Like, oh, how’s this gonna work? And Gerard just explained it amazingly and just kind of talked about how it’s even, you know, a bit divisive in the breaking community, whether they want this in the Olympics. Cause like, it’s not a sport, it’s an art form, things like that. And we actually will have another breaker on the show in the coming weeks as well.

One of Australia’s top female breakers. So if you want a bit of an education on breaking or break dancing you can check those out as well.

[01:01:40] Jill Jaracz: I did listen to that interview. It was really good. And until we can get a breaker on. . There

[01:01:45] Alison Brown: you go. Yeah. And you got ketchup. Talk to my favorite name from Tokyo.

Zack’s Double Ty Cook.

[01:01:53] Colin Hilding: Oh

[01:01:53] Ben Waterworth: yes. Yeah. . We all go gobbly. Go go. And that that, the fun thing is just ties into that Basil one I was talking about cuz he’s famous call was like, we all go gobbly gok for Zack’s Doty Cook .

[01:02:02] Colin Hilding: Uh, I, I wanna put a plug for one of your episodes cause I’m, I’m only on the first part.

I haven’t listened to the second part yet, so depending on when people are listening to this, but Dick pound fantastic just to get ’em on there. An incredible interview too. I’m going to match with Ben here. For my third one, I’m gonna go with the Penny Alexia act cuz it, it really does tie into that of the day, which, let me just add on that being the only non-US Australian, when you got two Australian co-hosts and its majority wins for an athlete of the day, let’s also just say that there had been four athlete of the days chosen by the majority throughout those Olympics, and we hadn’t had any, barely anything but Australian.

So when I was protesting Penny Alexia Act, it’s like, listen, I’m gonna get one Canadian finally here. I I’m, I’m gonna make it Penny Alexia Act. And the chair was real. The protest was real. Partly in humor but play that clip for her partly in humor, . But what I eventually got Jared ACOs to change his vote and I sent him a box of Penny Alexia Act Cheerios all the way to Australia as a reward for that.

but that was a perfect example too, cuz Penny Alexia act rarely gives interviews even here in Canada, like very rarely. And then when we had her, you expect her to be like one of these very serious and then she was like, so fun so energetic.

[01:03:15] Ben Waterworth: And the most Canadian, the most Canadian answer ever, which I’ll give a shout for, was basically like, so Penny, like you broke the record.

Like Justin Trudeau’s tweeting about you like, was this amazing? She. Yeah, that was fine. It was cool when Drake tweeted about me though. Yes, .

[01:03:31] Colin Hilding: It’s like,

[01:03:32] Ben Waterworth: all right, that’s Al Canadian. You go for Drake rather than Trudeau. Fair enough.

[01:03:36] Alison Brown: Well, we got, we got very Canadian during Tokyo. We had a whole segment to where in Tokyo is Marnie McBean.

Yeah. Because she was everywhere. So every day on our Tokyo shows it was where she had been and what event she had been to and how she was Team Canada’s mom for the whole, games. It was really incredible. She’s amazing.

[01:03:58] Colin Hilding: Another kind of cross thing here, y’all. I’m pretty sure it was the first interview we ever had.

Ben was Evan Dunford. It was Evan, Yeah. And then I remember when you, it was one of the times you’ve had Evan Dfi on and it, that was after the whole announcement about what was gonna happen with race walking. And I even remember your interview with him. You had audio issues or something. So you aired some off air conversations in lieu of that and not technically off air, but it was Evan Dfi unloading.

And I remember as we went into the second interview with him, I was saying, oh, I wonder if he’s just like, no, he, when we interview them second time, that is Evan Dfi. He, he is no holds barred. I’m gonna tell you exactly how I feel about this.

[01:04:35] Jill Jaracz: and there’s a lot of athletes in smaller sports or smaller events who, once they get confidence in where their place is, I would say in the sport mm-hmm.

they understand that They can do what they want and they’re not gonna get a whole lot of heat mm-hmm. . And they can say what they want and that helps them make change. So I, I applaud Evan Dfi for being unspoken on our show. [01:05:00] That was great. . But No, but I, I applaud him for realizing what his position in the sport can do.

Mm-hmm. and what he can do for the,

[01:05:08] Ben Waterworth: Yeah, it’s always fascinating when you kind of get them speaking out and doing that and, and all the education. I, I wanna you to give all the plugs cuz you know, I want, I want people listening to our show right now to learn where they can listen, what they can do, how they can join the, the crew and everything along those lines, because they should be, they should be tuning in.

It’s, it’s far more entertaining than our show. Come on, give me, talk yourselves up .

[01:05:30] Jill Jaracz: Well, you can find You will be on your podcast Player of Choice. So look for us there. we’re at Flame Alive Pod on Twitter and Insta and Facebook. And we also have a Facebook group where all of the fun is at, and that is Keep the Flame Alive.

Podcast Facebook group.

[01:05:49] Ben Waterworth: For us, Off the podium Instagram, Twitter Facebook. We’re there YouTube as well?

We’re doing a bunch of sort of video. Uh, Pretty much all of our athlete interviews now are, they’re also on video form. We don’t put our non interview ones up cause no one wants to stare at me for that long outside of an an Olympian on the show. And yeah we’re all good podcasts are found.

Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, and all the fun ones. I feel like so monotonous. You say that at the end, right? We are hoping to get a website so, we’ll, we’ll join the 21st century eventually maybe by Paris issue, which I’m hoping that, like, are you both gonna go to Paris or is that kind of the idea

[01:06:20] Alison Brown: for both of you?

we’ve applied, unlike Beijing, where , Jill Drunkenly applied for credentials without telling me,

[01:06:30] Colin Hilding: What’s a good thing to do when drunk?

[01:06:31] Alison Brown: Yeah. Just, you know, had a few drinks, put ’em in, and all of a sudden I find myself lost on a mountain in China. we’ve worked very hard putting our Paris application together, so hopefully we will have a credentials for there, but I think we’ll probably both end up there anyway, whether we’re

[01:06:46] Ben Waterworth: credentials or not.

Similar story, I think right here. the application’s been put in, but no, I’ve set myself the goal. Accredited or not. I’m going to Paris. I’ve put in for the the ticket lottery as well as a backup. yeah. Well we can do this together. Like, Colin, you’ve gotta take some time off work next year in July.

Come on. I’d, I’d have

[01:07:04] Colin Hilding: to get the okay. From four other people in my house. Just don’t tell ’em. Los Angeles. Los Angeles. I’m a hundred percent there. I already, I, the second that was announced, I told my wife I’m going to Los Angeles with or without you so you can bring the kids.

[01:07:15] Ben Waterworth: And

[01:07:15] Alison Brown: then Brisbane. Brisbane, Brisbane. I am so ready for Brisbane.

[01:07:19] Ben Waterworth: Nine years to get some time off of that. Colin as well. I think we’ve got, Ben,

[01:07:23] Colin Hilding: you need to get a couple spare bedrooms then. So everybody can save on hotels

[01:07:26] Ben Waterworth: for Brisbane. Gotta count. I mean, I’m a bit far, it’s a bit of a long drive from here, like a 15 hour commute to Brisbane.

Uh, so might need to get somewhere a little bit closer in the next nine years, but we’ll see. I’ve, so thoroughly enjoyed being able to do this with you both.

[01:07:39] Alison Brown: thank you so much. And, and this is, you know, when we get to talk to other people who, do what we do and, and, this is so cool that we get to do this and get to talk to these people and then get to talk to each other. and share that with our listeners. This is just cool. Seriously .

[01:07:56] Ben Waterworth: I agree.

But no, this has been fun. I agree. So we really appreciate you being able to sort of join us here and, and, and do this. Excellent.

[01:08:05] Jill: Thank you so much Ben and Colin. You can find Off the Podium on your favorite podcast app and follow them on social at off the podium pod. Hey, don’t forget, our book club is coming up and we’re reading Inaugural Ballers by Andrew Marinas.

But the other cool aspect of this is that Andrew is coming on to have a q and a with us live, for the listeners, it won’t be. A regular episode of the show. This is a special event. it will be on Monday, March 27th at 9:00 PM Eastern, 8:00 PM Central. This is free, but we do need you to sign up in order to send you the link to rsvp.

You can email Flame Alive and please click book Club in the subject line, but look for more on our socials so that we’re gonna be promoting this a little bit more. And we’d love to see you there and chat with Andrew about his. All right. That is going to do it for this week. Hey, let us know what you think of our crossover episodes.

We’ve been having fun with some friends and there’s some other Olympics podcasts out there. should we do more of these?

[01:09:08] Alison: You can email us at flame alive pod Call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s 2 0 8 Flame it. Our social handle is at Flame Alive Pod. Be sure to join the Keep the Flame Alive Podcast group on Facebook.

And don’t forget, our weekly newsletter is filled with other fun stories about this week’s episode. And you can sign up for that At Flame Alive pod dot com.

[01:09:36] Jill: Next week, we are getting into the Paralympic movement with Alexis Schäfer, the former commercial and marketing director of the International Paralympic Committee.

Get excited about this because, we get some answers to feed beefs. And if you haven’t listened back to our Tokyo 2020 daily Paralympic shows, go listen to one or two kind of in the middle because you’ll understand what Feed [01:10:00] beefs are. But Alexis has the answers for us and it’s really fascinating.

So we’re excited to share his conversation with you. thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive.


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