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Courageous Stories about our Olympic Athletes

Have you wondered what it would of been like to be behind-the-scenes with a gold pass at the Tokyo Olympics?

In this episode with Mark Beretta, I ask him:

  1. What it was like to be in Tokyo where there was such large numbers of COVID cases each day? How did you keep yourselves safe?
  2. How did the athletes cope with not having people in the stands?
  3. What was the highlight moment and the most heart-breaking moment for you?
  4. What’s something you can share with us that you haven’t shared with Channel Seven viewers yet?
  5. And so much more.

To watch this inspiring episode, click the video link below, or if you would prefer to read the full transcript click the blue button under the video.

#tokyo2020 #tokyotogether #strongertogether #TeamAus #7Olympics

[Music]

well hello everybody and welcome to the

wine and wisdom show thank you

so much for being here i know that you

all would have had a full calendar

tonight and you’ve decided to stay in

and be with me tonight

yeah right okay well for those of you

who are here for the very first time

welcome and cheers to you i’d love to

know

what you’re having in your glass i have

a buttery chardonnay

um but for those of you who are

returning thank you again for coming

back it’s

warms my heart that you prioritise this

on a fortnightly wednesday night

the wine and wisdom show it it sounds

like we are just having a sip of wine

and sharing a bit of wisdom but it is

far more than that let me tell you

because what it really is about

is connection

and i believe that the one thing we have

all realised over the last 17 months is

that

connecting to other great humans is one

of the most wonderful things that we can

do and let me tell you do i have a great

human to connect you with tonight i have

been so lucky through my life

that

i’ve just been surrounded by all these

amazing resilient and courageous self

leaders

who are sprinkling their goodness across

the world in little ways and big ways

and certainly my guest tonight is doing

that but before i introduce him

what i’d really love to do is firstly

acknowledge the traditional custodians

and elders spread across the many lands

that we are all located on tonight

i’m personally coming to you from the

lands of the birrabirragal people

where i live in birch grove sydney

but i’d like to give my heartfelt thanks

to all the traditional owners who have

nurtured and protected

this wonderful country that we have of

that well they we we’re living in now

but they’ve been protecting for 65 000

years can you believe it oh my gosh

so that we can work live and play in it

now uh thank you

to every traditional owner uh for doing

this for us but tonight i am going to be

bringing you uh an amazing guest and

our tips tonight about courageous

stories from our

olympic athlete

who would i be able to bring on that

would be able to show you better stories

than

the most

recognisable and smiley

sports presenter and personality in this

country here he is welcome mark beretta

cheers to you in quarantine hi good to

see you thank you and cheers great to be

with you and uh

what are you what’s in your glass

tonight mark

i’ve got a little pinot noir little

french pinot noir which um my friend

gareth jones dropped in here to hotel

quarantine two weeks ago and

i wasn’t getting another supply so i’ve

just sort of been able to just just take

it a little bit by little bit and keep

it rolling so yeah that’s it

[Music]

i can see like this kind of sort of

disco lights not going on there yeah

the police will come and turn the lights

off in about an hour so it’s all over

well i’m glad emma’s having a bailey’s

and um yeah i mean manny’s having a

bailey’s so that’s pretty nice thanks

mandy for joining us uh mel’s having a

lime mineral water

good on you mel i know we should all be

having alcohol free days but uh we’re in

lockdown so i don’t know i just can’t

seem to do it i don’t know

about you

no hotel quarantine’s the same now we um

do you love a quiet drink at the end of

the day here

i bet you do hey i was listening on the

radio the other day apparently the

different um health hotels are putting

zoom

putting zoom kind of drink sessions

together of everybody

that’s what’s going on

the yeah thing i’ve found about um hotel

quarantine and how you would get this is

the disconnect with people so what

happens when you when you get off an

international flies

the first thing that you naturally

expect is that it’s exciting to be home

and you’re going home and you you know

you’ve only got people waiting there for

you this is such a different experience

because you come off um and i’ve got a

credit to our adf and our police because

they they handle this really well but

yeah

they guide you off the flight you go

through a whole number of health tests

um and then you are basically brought to

your hotel you come on a bus with a

police escort um and then when your bus

pulls up uh you can see the people in

the hotel all put on their protective

gear and they they funnel you in

basically you sign a form and two police

bring you up to your room and they they

put you in and basically say well

see in two weeks and they close the door

behind you and that’s it the only other

human contact you have in that time um

are the nurses who come you know every

four or five days to do a cover test

that’s it and even

meals and things come to the door but

what they do is they put them down

leave them or any package that comes

they leave it and then they knock on the

door

and you have to go and you know you have

to wait a minute or so to let them get

away so you don’t it’s like santa you

don’t see whoever brings the packages um

it’s quite it’s quite unusual so you

miss you just miss human contact so

what’s happening is everyone’s putting

up these these zoom calls we had a guy

from the student crew ben who had a

birthday today so we had a zoom calm we

always sing him happy birthday we had a

drink at lunch time with him um the

women’s

water polo team they’re awesome they

have zumba every day and they they um

all the teams have got their own little

chats going on all the groups we’ve got

that yeah that’s going on sometimes they

intermingle and the guys to be honest

the guys up at howard springs in the

northern territory

that they’re probably doing it better

than most because they’ve got the

beautiful weather but they can interact

with people and talk whereas you know

the rest of us are pretty much locked

away

yeah

i can’t even imagine well it’s like it’s

funny because i was thinking about it

like that the fact that you’re in

quarantine tonight while we’re talking

but you know what even on the outside

it’s a little bit like quarantine right

now because we don’t do anything

it’s quite weird i find it amazing to

think that you know it left five or six

weeks ago to go to japan to the olympic

games and we’re we’re home and you know

the things are what they are you know

that’s i’ve got to admit five or six

weeks ago that was unthinkable but

that’s what it is

and no one no one minds being here in

quarantine because you know we know

that’s responsibility of going away and

you know we’ve got to do the right thing

to protect people so but so far the good

news is heidi everyone from the seven

crew um all the olympic athletes as far

as i know there’s not been a positive

test um so yeah that’s good it’s

unbelievable and i mean that’s just a

testament to

everybody who did the right thing right

over there oh well we’ve got somebody um

uh the most contact you’ve had is your

feet on that treadmill oh hello

also in quarantine our co-captain of the

women’s rugby sevens who we’re so sorry

yeah

yeah so i have i hope you can you can

actually rent um exercise equipment

which is a great idea so i rented a

treadmill um and some weights and i

think i think shawnee might have an

exercise bike a lot of the athletes have

got exercise bikes um yeah so it’s um

it’s pretty amazing it’s it’s good and

to be honest you need it you need

something i do you know you need some

exercise you need something just to get

those orphans going and help you clear

your mind otherwise you you actually

would go nuts

without a doubt now mark i’m obviously

going to ask you a whole heap of stuff

about the olympics but before i do that

i do have a question for you

how did you go from being an engineer

to being like one of the most recognised

and smiley gorgeous

articulate

amazing

sports presenter in our country how did

that go from there to there or from

there to there

all right number one you’re really too

kind and number two when you’re a failed

engineer it’s not that hard

i was not a good engineer so i had to

look for something else no i loved it

yeah i really enjoyed it i worked for i

rolled steel for bhp for a while and

then i went to a company called

honeywell and did building fire and

security systems which i really enjoyed

and it was it was a hard thing but my

love was sport you know and i wanted to

do that and um

a few things i pushed hard it was a long

tough road it wasn’t it’s not an easy

industry to get into so i started my

local radio station in geelong i then

ended up at triple m in melbourne um i

was working with a young kid called

eddie mcguire who’s kicked on all right

too and um he got me to channel 10 you

know he begged the boss to give me a job

and i started channel 10 did some

commentary commentary in basketball i

was a commentator when andrew gays was

still playing which was awesome

and um eventually job opened up at

channel 7 and a guy called jimmy wilson

rang me and said you know you want to

come and do this and and i did but i

loved my engineering it was it was hard

to leave but um

my starting life was actually with my

dad in the plumbing business in geelong

so i come from a family of plumbers um

but my work with dad lasted two weeks

and he punted me out and he said

he said that there’s something else out

there for you i’m not sure what it is

but you’ll find it and then my little

brother took over the family business

which was good and he’s you know he’s

highly successful now and i’m you know

still working in the middle of the night

and getting up at what time 3 30.

or 2 30 in tokyo

two

is that right yeah yeah hour earlier

yeah so and we’re up at 2 35 and i mean

the nice thing was we got the coolest

part of the day because the the heat was

unbelievable it was so oppressive it was

it was really hot sun but then you had

the humidity as well

and when they did the games in tokyo in

64

they um they moved it to october so that

they wouldn’t have that problem with the

heat but here they you know they had to

get it away when the window was open and

they just went for june july and yeah

and that was it so

but it was yeah it was really hot

i mean i saw with the um

with the marathon they were you know

just decisions the day before to put it

earlier just because of the heat was so

full on yeah yeah they moved it to

sapporo which was which was cool

yeah and the funny thing was would you

believe on the on that day in tokyo

which was uh our last day um was was the

coldest day of the whole campaign it was

actually it was actually cold

yeah

so you know let’s let’s let’s go back to

you arriving in tokyo with um

i really you know what you say 6 000

covet cases a day is that what it was

yeah i mean i’ve got

i’ve got this image of you

at the opening ceremony is that is that

the opening

yes it was yeah

yeah it’s like all those people in the

stands but they’re not right

no they’re just colored seats yeah it

was quite eerie it was quite funny

that’s actually my 11th olympic games

summer and winter so i’ve been really

lucky to get and i love them they’re

they’re the highlight of your career if

you’re in sport and um it’s it’s a

privilege to be able to go

so and to get to an opening ceremony

you’re really lucky too because

generally we’re working on that night

and this night i wasn’t lucky so i got

to go but it was it was quite eerie

because there’s such a i didn’t realise

how much big events really rely on the

crowd you know we’ve sort of got used to

seeing events on tv without a crowd and

so i haven’t been to a lot of them but

at the olympics the opening ceremony you

know the crowd is such a part of it at

the track and field the crowd is such a

part of it at the basketball the crowd

is such a part of it and it was it was

really eerie and i could see the

athletes would sort of sometimes i’d

almost look around the stadium in shock

there was no noise there you know but

but yeah they they did a good job they

they pushed on and got it done and the

results for our australian team were

remarkable that was the incredible games

and um

they should be well they are incredibly

proud they ought to be and their

families and all of us should be proud

of our athletes and the way we got

behind the athletes was the other thing

that blew me away i’ve never seen that

in 11 olympic games that i’ve been to

i’ve never seen the nation get behind

the athletes like that and it was like

the timing was just right you know we

needed it and we got behind our athletes

and

i must admit i don’t know that any other

nation had that that same sort of

passion for their their national

athletes as we had this this time around

it was it was pretty special i think

brisbane probably helped that you know

the games going there in 2032

probably helped that as well

yeah

i mean i’d love to know from everybody

who was watching um you know what was

your favorite sport to watch i’m going

to ask you about your favorite olympic

moment a little later but um just at the

moment for those of you who are watching

i’d love you just to put into the chat

what was your favorite sport or you know

kind of athletics as a whole or swimming

as a whole to watch during the games

let’s see what we come up with of course

um you know rugby sevens of course

and rugby of course thank you mel yes

um good on you

mark so i mean what what really

interested me which i i found so

interesting because it was such it felt

like such a

big difference with what we were

experiencing at home which of course was

nearly the same really you know as

watching at home

was still the same we just loved it

because you know the the channel seven

was so incredible with their um

whole

televising of it uh thank you she’s

saying oh yeah logan was

yeah

surely that was awesome

i i

some things you just marvel at you know

to watch him on a bike you just go

that’s not possible you know that move

where he goes over the big jump and

flips the bike underneath himself

again and lands again you know you just

go wow and that guy is incredible and

his story that he went and um because he

couldn’t get overseas he couldn’t train

and then he went and built the track at

his home you know in his backyard so he

could he could practice and get it right

and yeah those stories are great and i

love the way he said yeah i’m sorry and

thanks to all my neighbors

it was a bit like well i hope you’re

okay now that i want to go

yeah it was great oh mandy says yes the

swimming wasn’t there and it was of

course the scheme was amazing but yeah

it must like as i say like for our

experience as a uh someone who’s

watching from here um the experience was

just incredible as it usually is um it

was televised amazingly um but yeah it

would have been completely different for

the athletes of course just not having

the the energy and the like the cheering

and like i just can’t even imagine what

that would be

like as an athlete that you’ve dedicated

your entire life

to perhaps get that one chance to be in

an olympic stadium

and not have a soul there apart from you

know just the

the skeleton crew

yeah yeah a couple of seven people

it was that was i think it was amazing

you know what was interesting and

you’ll be able to get your head around

this um

while some athletes found it hard some

athletes found it really good because

there wasn’t you know it almost felt

like a bit of a training session it

didn’t feel like the pressure was on of

a big event

so they were able to focus and i’d say

it was almost 50 50 you know half need

the crowd you know that i guess the real

competitors some thrive on that crowd

and they get up for that crowd but yeah

the other half you know sort of

they’re the quieter ones and they don’t

mind the fact that it’s there’s no one

cheering and they’re not the nerves just

just disappear a little bit easier now

the butterflies are not quite as strong

in the tummy so

you know it’s

interesting it was plus and minus

depending on what you liked

yeah of course and yeah for many who

especially being first-timers secondly

never being

having that experience of being in front

of that amount of people ever in your

lifetime

would uh yeah

normally be extremely nerve-wracking so

mark you know of course i know you would

have been asked this a hundred times

since you’ve been home um but

well i can’t help but ask it as well i’m

sorry to repeat it but what was the

highlight for you

okay

i’ll tell you why that is the hardest

question you could ever ask me

yes

i got some advice when i went to my

first

olympics in um 96 in atlanta and a guy

called sandy roberts said to me i asked

him man he’d been to many and i said we

know what’s it like what’s it like and

he said it is like four grand finals

every day for two weeks

and that is the best description of an

olympic games i’ve ever had and it’s

it’s dead true you know there’s a big

event in the morning there’s a big event

at lunch time there’s a big event in the

afternoon there’s a big event at night

and it just goes like that you know for

for two weeks 16 days in fact it’s

incredible

yeah you makes me pick a highlight out

of that

can i say i’ll have a go

for me early on i got to go to all jess

fox’s

canoe races so all the kayaking canoe

races so i was there at um at her heats

and a semis and a final when she got the

bronze and then later at when she got

the gold medal in the canoe

and i i’ve known jess you know obviously

through work and having followed her

career through the silver medal she got

in london the bronze medal in rio and

then the bronze in tokyo and then the

gold here and i got to know pretty well

so um riding along that experience with

her

was was remarkable and what tends to

happen with the athletes is um they when

they finish their event they have to go

to the uh what they call um the

international broadcaster which is the

olympic broadcasting service they

interview everyone and then

your next step is to your home nation so

we’re we’re next up so someone like jess

will come straight to seven and one of

the nice things is i i hope the athletes

would say this too is i get the feeling

that they feel a nice warm connection

when they see the seven team there and

you know there’s a little bit of home

and it’s it’s a good thing so jess was

always um and jess is a beautiful human

but she was always very generous with us

and we you know we really she was really

honest about what she was doing and how

she felt and

um so writing that journey with her was

remarkable and when when she got that

gold medal in the canoe after the bronze

um in the kayak for me that was just a

really really special moment you know i

just it just blew me away that that was

really it was emotional and

i think the thing that’s tough for me in

this job is you get involved you know

you you

can’t help but you know become involved

and you you care for the people who

you’re watching and especially when

they’re australians competing overseas

there’s a much stronger connection

of course but you can’t help but um you

know just feel a bit for them so that

was a great moment um and emma mckeon

for me in the pool was was really

special yeah interviewed emma when they

now announced the team at home bush at

the olympic pool they had a team

function there in the launch of the team

and um i looked at emma then i could

just see in her eyes she was she was

ready to go big time um and she i’ve

never seen her in better shape you know

physically she was the body was strong

and fit and she just had that look in

her eye that this was going to be big so

um

you know to see her come through and do

that and she’s such a quiet achiever too

you know like there’s never there was

never much fanfare about him but she

just all of a sudden bang she was just

collecting metal after medal after metal

and i just like the way she goes about

it and what she did was was history

making you know that was um i don’t

think i don’t think we’ll ever see that

done again maybe until she does it again

in paris

yeah i loved um i loved the interview

with her where she’s she’s so humble and

doesn’t share a lot usually and that

interview where she just said you know i

know i don’t say this often but like she

was just like really quiet did come to

get the gold medal i’ve had gold in mind

yeah it was just like yeah of course i

mean you’ve got to like you’ve got to

believe in it right you’ve got to see it

you’ve got to leave it you’ve got to

embrace it and feel it in every cell in

your

i body that that was a big part of emma

as well now remember she in london in

2012 she she quit swimming you know she

she didn’t go to the olympics in london

she could have and she pulled out she

just had enough of the sport so and

that’s the other great thing of her

story she walked away

yeah decided she missed it came back and

just just went like that you know and

they’re great stories um comes from a

great swimming family um you know

magnificent coach and michael bole who’s

you know we now call the medal maker um

coach stephen rice in beijing who

grabbed those three gold medals so yes

he’s an amazing one um and belinda yes

nicola mcdermott what a beautiful

personality what a beautiful

yeah look at yeah belinda can’t she’s

got so many amazing moments that she

loved

the australian decathlon guys i mean

seriously that was just such

a may it was so amazing seriously

it’s called doing a doobler if you if

you cheat your mate or you’re doing a

googler that’s pretty cool and that’s

you know what an amazing

sometimes moments just transcends

transcend sport and

yeah whether you get the the metal or

not um those moments just stick in

people’s minds and they’re actually more

powerful often than actually getting the

medal and that’s one of them you know

that was incredible i’ll give you

another one patrick tiernon in the 10

000 meters when he collapsed twice

[Music]

but got back up and kept going you know

that was that stuff is just the stuff of

legend you know and we’ll treasure that

forever

we really will and i’d love to know now

from everyone i know you’ve already

started some of you putting you know

logan’s bmx and belinda’s given us lots

of ones but what what was your favorite

olympic moment that you watched on

channel seven uh during that time

because they did such a great um and you

mark what i loved was all the back

stories

the back stories through the athletes

was just so beautifully done for us to

understand the kind of challenges that

they’ve had the injuries they’ve

overcome

i mean it blew my mind some of those

challenges that they could then get to

an olympic games

and step up to the mark and represent

their country to the best of their

ability blew my mind

yeah it’s pretty incredible you know i

think we took 487 athletes away our

biggest team ever toured games overseas

and their results were were just

outstanding you know just yeah it just

and momentum is a funny thing too you

know we often watch and we can get some

medals in those first few days it

actually impacts the whole team the

whole team walks taller the thing that

that actually made the team walk tall

and it wasn’t a medal this time was the

announcement of the brisbane olympic

games in 2032 and you can actually tell

especially the queenslanders in the team

all of a sudden they were you know they

were bouncing around and um and there

was a great pride in the australian team

i reckon shannon could probably tell us

about that too but

yeah yeah it was pretty yummy

yeah and i love that mel you’re right

just fox’s gold medal and a daddy

beautiful

they’ll just treasure that forever you

know mum’s a gold medalist dad’s an

olympian and uh you know and she’s got

the gold now jess and dad commentator

that’s that’s pretty cool

um

you know one of those behind the scenes

moments that i loved more than

all of them was

peter bowles family watching from perth

that was just like 3 000

and oh my gosh like i just took a

screenshot because you know in the

middle of all the kind of show that

we were going in here it seemed

it was just so joyful just to see his

whole family and the story behind that

and

you know his t his teacher just putting

him forward and just those kind of

stories were just absolutely incredible

and it’s good to when you when you get

those moments where they they feed off

each other so we’re feeding off the

peter bowles story he’s feeding off the

interest and the support he’s getting

from home and you just get this snowball

of great energy that achieves an

incredible result you know he he gave it

all that night and it wasn’t you know

wasn’t the result that he dreamt of but

boy you know cheesy can be proud because

what he put out there was was everything

and he you can have a strategy in in

those races

you can run it to place well or you can

run it to win it and if you’re going to

run it to win it you’ve got to go and

and he went and he had a crack and you

know that’s i think a huge respect for

that he really gave it a go and it

didn’t get the result that he was after

but look at him paris he’ll be back in a

big way too

oh i can’t wait to see

mark i know like leading up to the games

there was a lot of cheetah chatter about

whether they should go ahead if this was

a big risk it’s going to be this massive

super spreader why should we allow it

yet in the end like from my perspective

and no matter what anyone’s

thought process was prior to the games i

think we can all agree that

far out we needed those olympic games

we needed

those olympic games more than any other

time like

great thing edge be able to watch that

it was it was amazing the lead up

because even even getting on the plane i

you know i posted pictures at the

airport and um and and got slammed by

some people hey you shouldn’t be going

channel seven shouldn’t be broadcasting

the athletes shouldn’t be going the

olympics shouldn’t be on they were like

the key four things

and i think um you know you just you

know i i knew

what it meant to these athletes you know

for a lot of these athletes this is this

is their one and only window you know 60

of their team only go to one olympic

games so if you miss tokyo you you miss

your chance to be an olympian for life

that that’s it and everything you’ve

worked for in most cases all your life

up to that point

you know you just don’t get to that

moment and um so i knew it was important

and i i sort of i bit my tongue but it

was amazing after that three or four

days in

not a word not a woman

and and the support to be honest we’ve

never seen anything like it and i reckon

shannon and and the sevens girls would

tell you as well the support from home

the support within the team

everything around it gives me goosebumps

now just thinking about it but

how the nation the team everything came

together was remarkable and if we can

find a way to replicate that in paris

and then in la and then in brisbane

we’re going to do fantastic things

because that was that was the gold

standard now i don’t know whether it

came from um ian chesterman the head of

the team or susie o’neill the deputy

shifting michelle know how they created

that atmosphere in the team and how it

became so contagious you know to the

people at home but whatever went through

there was it was magic you know it was

honestly magic

it truly was and like i had a i saw a

stat today that um

the average day brought a broadcast

audience was up 80

on rio

in capital cities here in australia but

71 that nationally up from the people

like and yeah i should worry about i get

that more people might have been at home

but we were looking for joy we were

looking for inspiration we were looking

for some light and something that could

uplift us

and our olympic team and all of you who

were doing what you were doing in the

background and in the front um far out

you delivered and i can’t thank you

enough seriously i just was like

i wish that it just like was desperate

when it was coming to an end please

don’t end please don’t end yeah and the

good news is next tuesday night that the

paralympics get started which you know

if you want to be uplifted the

paralympics are amazing they will do

that um

but it was it was incredible because it

caught a past nine every morning we get

the we get the ratings in for each day

and um the opening ceremony you looked

at them and it was over two million

people and um to be to be honest like a

good show at the moment a good show a

blockbuster show like the voice is doing

about a million people so all of a

sudden that massive audience has doubled

and we like looking at these figures

thinking that they can’t that can’t

actually be right and we haven’t seen

numbers like that in television for for

i’d say decades you know they’re massive

numbers and um just night after night

and it got bigger as it went on you know

more and more people tuned in and

staying tuned and it was it was

remarkable like i said i was i don’t

know whatever that magic was i’d you

just want you want to bottle it because

it’s good for all of us

it truly is and we all need it right now

right what have we got here from brook

brook uh bmx was an amazing it sure was

far out swimming fantastic

oh yes

brook saying four by 100 meter relay

with the girls oh my gosh kate campbell

did this amazing interview afterwards i

don’t know if you remember it mark and

she did she had not she hadn’t had a

great uh race just before i can’t

remember which one it was but it wasn’t

what she’d hoped for

and she know that the camera’s pointed

at her face of course she’s she’s she’s

done it before but the camera’s pointed

in her face

and but she and she steps up and says

you know what

i didn’t do so well no i didn’t

but

what it takes

i i knew that

for me to be who i want to be

i’ve got to leave that i’m like changing

the words here but i i know what it

takes to just you’ve got to just step up

and do it for the team and do it for the

country no matter how you’re feeling

back here you know it doesn’t matter

what’s just gone on forget that here i

am i’m gonna give it my all and far out

did she do that it was incredible

yeah really

she’s an exceptional she’s an

exceptional human kate campbell um again

i’ve been lucky to do a lot with her and

get get to know her and i just just rate

her so highly i was really you know a

bit sad and probably the um the sevens

girls and the other athletes that are

watching would be too that she didn’t

make the um there was an international

olympic committee athletes commission

vote and kate stayed back after the

games because she was in the running for

that and and she didn’t make it and i

think that’s really that’s a loss to the

um athletes commission because kate will

be fantastic and it’s not not the time

she’s got lots of other roles too you

know she’s she’s doing a similar role

with the australian olympic committee um

but she’ll be in sport for a long time

to come and she’s he’s a diamond you

know she’s just such a superb person um

and so well respected on the team when

when her and paddy mills walked in with

that flag you know that that team was

united and behind them because they were

the two right people they were the two

that everyone would have chosen to lead

that team in and you know they’re just

both them brilliant leaders i think you

know they’ve hopefully both got great

roles in the future in the leadership of

this country would be fantastic but for

the meantime you know the leadership of

sport um they’re brilliant and same goes

for um you know at the moment ian

chesterman is the the chef to michonne

of the olympic team and he’s brilliant

he’s done an awesome job but beyond him

i think susie o’neill will go into that

role and

and same as i’d speak the same of susie

as i do with kate you know she’s just a

remarkable human and an

australian we can be really proud of not

just a great athlete but just an

outstanding person who really gets this

country and what it’s about so you know

we sport and our olympic team has

produced some amazing people and you

know they say pre pressure makes

diamonds and we’ve turned out quite a

few diamonds

we sure have and i think that’s i mean

apart from just being able to watch the

the strength and the stamina and the

endurance and the skill

i think that the camaraderie ship that

we really saw this time

um amongst the team was such a beautiful

thing because none of them had their

family or friends or you know other

australians cheering them on there they

just had each other right all they had

was each other and

to watch that camaraderie ship i mean we

saw it of course

um with the doing a double um going on

in a

good way um

but i think every australian athlete

that they were there

the one that just came to mind as i was

speaking was the um the skateboarding

actually they

they were amazing

yeah yeah

all right like talk about a

really close knit community it seemed

yeah is that

the new sports were really impressive

like that surfing was the same you know

the camaraderie between the surface was

incredible and it’s interesting i think

you hit on something that may have been

one of the things that brought the team

closer together was that there weren’t

there weren’t people outside the team

bubble you know there wasn’t family who

didn’t spend time with you know you were

your teammates and your roommates really

they were the closest people in your

world at that time so you shared

everything with them and uh it’s an

interesting experiment you know it’s um

yeah it’s proven to give us some great

results so i’ll be interesting to see

what happens from here on in but um yeah

it was amazing that that i don’t know if

you saw it but one of the best things

that would happen was an athlete would

come back into the village in the

australian team compound after competing

with or without a medal and the

reception for every athlete was

unbelievable and i can’t i don’t

remember seeing that before where they

you know the whole team would be waiting

because i guess maybe it was the weather

and the heat but they’d be downstairs in

the foyer and watching the big tv and

they would greet every athlete with a

cheer and a standing ovation when they

came back in and i think that again that

just lifted everyone but the what the

aic did in the way they constructed the

village this time around was the envy of

the world you know it was it was

remarkable um they had so much detail so

much to make the athletes feel

comfortable and at home and and and

loved and to lift them up um you know

there was

a lot of credit to ian chesterman and to

john coates and everyone at the aic who

really they just nailed it and i know

other countries were looking at us going

how did they get that team atmosphere

well yeah we know how to do that stuff

we do

mark obviously i couldn’t remember if

this has happened in past olympics but i

was really i really loved where they had

the big screens of the families like so

when the athlete came from their event

they had the families you know that they

could see and wave to has that happened

before or was that just because of the

code

now that’s something we um we we threw

in this time around because the families

were here and they were all you know and

they’re all into one location like the

great idea too by the swimming community

to get together in the one spot to watch

together that worked really well and the

fact that um normally

um we would be sort of having to chase

families around swimming pools and

stadiums at the olympics you know here

they’re all in one spot so yeah it was

good and bad it’s sort of um you know

that that reunion moment live is always

good but it actually worked pretty well

doing it on screen as well

well it was lovely from a viewer’s point

of view just to see you know because you

could see the athlete looking at the

screen knowing that they had their

family and friends with them but there

they you know they were on the screen i

don’t know i just i from a viewer’s

point of view that was amazing of course

from an athlete’s point of view would

have been better just be there but

it was the best next thing right and

that’s all we can do right now

yeah

what was

tell us what um

what broke your heart

oh good one

um

okay i’ll tell you um

the crowds in tokyo not being allowed

into the stadiums and and it was really

it would really get to you because what

would happen is people would come in

their thousands

with their kids and their whole family

and their grandparents and they’d sit on

the ground outside the stadium as close

as they could get outside the fence just

to grab a little bit of olympic magic

and you’d see him day after day and i’m

talking about at times tens of thousands

at the big events and it was just so it

was sad it was just really sad because

here is a nation that is they’re really

proud and they really get the olympics

they’ve had a wonderful olympic history

um you know they finished in the top

group of nations they had an outstanding

games and yet the people

couldn’t get in to enjoy it and

you know i i get it but these stadiums

and venues were enormous and i just

wonder if there wasn’t a way to get some

small part of the crowd in then the

japanese people are incredibly obliging

that they’re very good at following

rules um you know that’s just their

culture

and you know it just it was painful to

watch it really was because he was you

know a host nation and imagine that

happening here where you’ve got the

world’s best athletes and your

countrymen your families compete on home

soil and you just can’t get in you know

it was hard but they they would come to

to listen to the noise from outside and

you know they’d get sort of the

atmosphere with the pa inside the

stadium and the comings and goings and

the oh the most wonderful thing i saw

and i love this after a few days they

worked out the bus routes that the

athletes would take to the different

venues and people would stand on the

side of the road for hours with their

beautiful signs i’m just saying you know

good luck we love you you know you’re

doing awesome win lose or draw we

respect you and we love you and

i don’t know the japanese people just

did that so well and to me that was that

was just a really magic moment which i

don’t know if we captured back here but

um you know just it was it was beautiful

and heartbreaking sort of all in one

yeah

it would have been

so mark i’ve i’ve got a i’ve got a big

question for you you know obviously you

obviously uh you know being on channel

seven and you’re at sunrise every

morning and you’ve like having to like

tell the world all the all the ins and

outs and the back of the behind the

scenes stuff but

what can you tell us on the wine and

wisdom show uh that went on during the

olympics that you have not told a

channel 7 viewer yet okay

or a channel seven executive

yeah or a channel seven executives

i mean i don’t know where you get

slapped or anything but you know

i want to say

the first one would be the number of

times we were almost arrested um

that’s just between all of us and

between us

yeah so my trouble is i’ve i’ve been to

a little eleven olympic games tonight i

think i know the rules better than the

people who were there enforcing the

rules

and so sometimes i can test

where we can go and what we can do and

who we can talk to

and sometimes you know

they’re very stringent that we should

not um do that and um sometimes we we in

the car a couple of times uh we we got

lost and wandered into the the wrong

area and they don’t take that very

nicely in japan that you know they’re

very

very good on the rules and uh when you

find yourself in a bad spot it’s

interesting we had um one of our drivers

had an accident and having an accident

in japan is a really interesting thing

because the police have to come up um to

the accident no matter what it is if you

scratch someone’s panel the police turn

up and um it’s a big process and there’s

a big apology process to go through and

it’s it’s more about that it’s more

about the apology than anything else so

um that was really interesting but i

actually actually didn’t get arrested um

but got quite close a few times

well i’m really pleased that you didn’t

get arrested and therefore um

you actually have you you’re here in

australia again rather than in a

japanese jail

different sort of locked up yeah it’s

kind of stupid kind of lockdown they

wouldn’t have a treadmill in a jail cell

so you know that’s that’s right i don’t

want to be the japanese jail either

thanks no thank you

so i’ve got two final questions for you

mark the first one is

um you know you get up at 3 30 in the

morning holy mackerel like that would be

enough to send me over into crazy land

um

you you know you’re doing

sunrise by morning you do in

in mostly the normal times a lot of

emceeing and hosting amazing events

you’re you’re flying around the world

normally and you’ve got a family to you

know be a part of like

it must it must

take its toll at

some stage you know your your resilience

must get chipped away

sometimes where you just feeling sorry

this is all pretty overwhelming and um

it’s a lot so

my question around that because we all

feel that in our different ways for

different reasons

what what do you do to keep

to keep resilient what do you do

make sure what’s your habit and or your

go-to thing that you know

you must do in a day or in a week to

make sure that you’re feeling physically

and mentally okay

for me it’s it’s exercise so um you know

i just get such a buzz from exercise and

i find it’s it’s actually better for my

mind than it actually is for my body so

for me exercise is a must you know it

just just gives me that break that i’ve

got to have so i try and do something

every day and my my bike riding with two

of the queue has been a big part of that

because it forces me i know i’ve got to

train for events so i’ve got to get out

and do it um so that’s why here i you

know i had to have the treadmill um had

to have some weights to play with and

you know you just just got to keep

moving

i probably didn’t realise

how wound up i was and how how hard

we’ve been running until i actually was

put in this room and forced to stop and

i think it’s when you unwind sometimes

that you realise how wound up you were

and how exhausted you were and and for

us going to tokyo um we left on a

saturday so i’d done a week of sunrise

normally i’d try and catch up on the

weekend um we flew on the saturday

morning we got in late sort of by the

time we went through the process and and

everything you had to do arriving in

tokyo and the forms and 20 stops or

something on the way through the airport

it was sort of close to midnight now we

had to be up again at 4 30 in the

morning

um to be ready for weekend sunrise on

sunday morning so we probably got a sort

of at best maybe three or four hours

sleep once we did weekend sunrise we

that was off and running we were into

the rhythm then and that’s you know

there was no stopping for three weeks we

were we were up at 2 30 in the morning

we’d do sunrise we’d load the car and

then we’d be off to the next event we

were supposed to be at and then

i’d do the story every night for the 6

p.m news so this this cycle was

relentless it was brilliant and

fantastic

but it it it saps you you know it really

takes your energy out and um

i think one thing that helped me was

knowing there’s a finish line knowing

there’s a finish line

is a great thing because you can really

work towards that and you just you know

when you’re down you just push yourself

on and you know that this is coming i

think it’s probably the hardest thing

for people at the moment with where we

are with with lockdown is at the moment

we don’t have a finish line and i think

that’s really really hard and i you know

we we know why and

we’ll hit a finish line as soon as we

can

um and we’ve just got to believe in that

and and it will happen there’s no doubt

it will happen

of course but for me having a finish

line and a bit of exercise are probably

the things that get me through and i

think too when you know you’re coming

into a tough period physically and

mentally to get yourself ready for it

you know to try and prepare yourself

physically so you’ve done a bit of

exercise and you’ve got yourself in a

reasonable shape and you’ve got your

head clear and and you’ve got all those

things that that come in your mind and

cloud you like you’re sort of paying the

bills and getting the mortgage covered

and the kids school fees

you get all that sorted out and parked

so that when you’ve you’ve really got to

put in those few weeks of big effort um

you’re 100 focused on that

yeah

absolutely and and you’re and thank you

you’re right and i’m ex i feel exactly

the same i mean i i’ve been a lover of

exercise all my life but

it used to be a physical thing but truly

now it’s really to make sure i can feel

mentally healthy and yeah of course i’ve

got to fit into all my pretty dresses so

i’ve got to stay physically well

um but uh yeah my mental health is the

one that needs it the most right now so

thank you for sharing that i see that

ashani’s saying that yeah if you need to

get on that treadmill

i mean you should say that shani because

i just happened to pinch this from

mark’s uh

instagram account and look what he’s got

to get through

11 30 when he gets off there and on

saturday out of nowhere he just turned

up with all those groceries

yeah they’re mostly gone now but

you can see that there’s this just for

men there which is a dark brown i think

is it martin

it was never going to work and the nut

dummies he got with the nut dummies so i

could spit the w i haven’t had to spit

the dummy yet and the balloons and

streamers are for the last day so i’m

i’m sitting up

at the party on my last night actually

actually mark before my last question

you’re talking about i’m talking about

instagram i did notice that in your um

explanation of who you are on instagram

you refer to yourself as a d-grade

handyman

i can’t i can’t help but ask you know of

course that if you’re a d-grade handyman

um do you have a go-to person then that

you call when you need to uh you know

renovate your home or anything like that

and i highly recommend him because he’s

kim doolin from terrific for tools and

he’s your husband heidi so we should

recommend him too

yeah

you’ve got to be watching

he is watching and i promised him i

would slip that in um that’s major

brownie points for me to slip that one

in

every time i messed something up ken

fixes it so he’s he’s just busy he’s

year-round really at our place that’s it

i love it all right final question for

tonight

what has been the most important piece

of wisdom that has been handed down to

you

how has it impacted your life who was it

who was it from

and what’s the ripple effect of it

yep

i i reckon it was my dad i think or when

i reflect back you pick up great wisdom

from a lot of people but gosh for some

reason i just remember my dad’s maybe

because he had to i was not the smartest

kid so he had to drill it into me a lot

um but he he said to me one day um you

know you

you might not be the the best or the

brightest person in the room but you can

always be the hardest worker

and um i thought that’s that’s so true

and you know i i don’t think by any

stretch i’m the best person at

my profession but um you know i know

that i can work hard and i can you know

try to do my best job and and that seems

to you know that gets people through and

i just that’s something i want to really

instill in in my kids is that you know

it’s all about best effort everything is

and when you work hard and you put your

best effort into something

you’re proud of it and that’s when you i

think that’s most often when you get a

nice reward because if nothing else

you’re you know you’re proud of it um so

probably for me that was that’s been my

my motto and my gym of wisdom from dad

oh well it’s a beautiful gem of wisdom

because you know it’s something we’ve

got control of for wine isn’t it that we

can work hard when everything else

perhaps might be out of our control

that’s one thing that we can actually

control which

is an important thing for our lives to

put it i love the saying if it’s going

to be it’s up to me and you know that’s

the thing yeah

exactly what you just you’re saying that

we’re the ones who can do it we can work

hard let’s do it

mark you have been amazing uh wow brett

that’s what you’re definitely hard

working a bloody good human i agree

totally shani

cheers to you shani

sheers to you shani um

absolutely

everybody i am going to put uh mark’s

social media uh contacts in the comments

once we come off

you can join the other 27 billion people

who uh follow him in the world

and um see all the amazing things that

uh he gets to do but not just in a

it’s not in a show off look at me i get

to do all these amazing things but he

does really beautiful things giving back

to our world and i think

you know mark

we so appreciate um firstly for you

getting up at 3 30 in the morning to

bring your sparkle into the morning um

to sunrise uh to being there again later

on the night to doing what you’re doing

bringing the back story and all the

wonderful ways that you present uh sport

which is

such an important part of our society

it’s such a

important part for us as humans for our

physical and mental and social health i

think we often forget about the social

health that sport brings that whole

connection piece bringing us together

like these olympics did we were all

brought together

and um i tip my hat to you for the

amazing incredible work you do thank you

so much thanks thanks honey that’s very

kind and honestly for me it’s it’s a

privilege and i i do i don’t joke when i

say this i pinch myself every day i i

you know that alarm goes off and i get

into sunrise and i i think she’s i’m

doing this again today someone has let

me do this again i can’t believe it and

it’s um it’s a privilege i get to work

with some of the most incredible people

in our athletes you know who are doing

amazing things and and it is honestly a

privilege to be there and and be a part

of that have a front row seat for it’s a

magnificent moment so i i don’t take it

lightly and i know one day it you know

it’ll come to an end it’ll be taken away

from me and and i’m good with that

because i’ve had the most wonderful time

so you know i’m very very grateful for

every day

oh well thank you for sharing that thank

you for sharing your wisdom and a little

bit of a wine with me tonight

that cheers

and

i know it’s like this weird thing it’s

back to that um

i do well good night everybody i hope

you enjoyed our

wonderful interview tonight with the

incredible smiley sparkly experience

articulate

memory like i cannot even believe of all

the different things he remembers every

day

but i hope you enjoyed it and if there

are any comments or questions that you

would like to put in the comment box

afterwards um we’re sure to get back to

them at some stage good night everyone

thanks guys

[Music]

About Mark Beretta:

Mark Beretta is doing what he loves most – talking about sport. He presents the breaking sport stories of the day, as sport presenter for Seven’s 6pm News in Sydney, and the national SUNRISE program. He also hosts and commentates on many of Seven Sport’s major events and has been on the ground and behind the scenes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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