I'm used to seeing athletes who win their event in the Olympics interviewed straight after but this Olympics I've seen basically no interviews at all. Where are they all? I'm in Australia and our network only seems to get interviews with Australian athletes. If I VPN to France and watch on France TV I only see interviews with French athletes. All winning athletes seem to give interviews to a microphone which just has the Olympic rings on it so I thought it was the Olympic channel but that just seems to play documentaries all day. Where can I see or hear these interviews?

  • I think there's a case to be made for editing the title of this: something like, "Why is there no one site with all Olympic athletes' post-event interviews?"
    – pjmorse
    Aug 2, 2021 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


When athletes finish their competition, they go through a section known as "the mixed zone" (because that's where the athletes "mix" with the media). The Olympic mixed zone at the track (which is the one I'm most familiar with) is usually broken down in three sections; first there are rows of television broadcasters arranged such that the cameras show the athlete with the track in the background. Next come the radio broadcasters (a shrinking crew) and finally, out of sight of the track and into the bowels of the stadium, the print media (including websites, these days).

The television broadcasters are all "rights holders", which is to say, the networks who have paid for the right to broadcast the Olympics in their territory. (In the USA, that's NBC.) This means the athletes will be passing by crews from NBC, Eurosport, BBC, CBC, CCTV, etc. etc., any and all of which may choose to buttonhole the athlete for a quick interview or let them move on by. Because the broadcasters have their own audiences in mind, they're most likely to talk to the athletes of their country, although athletes like Usain Bolt could take most of an hour to work through the mixed zone since every single broadcaster would want a minute from him.

To your question, though, if there is an Olympic crew in place, they're unlikely to put their footage online quickly because they're limited by terms of the agreements with the right-holders. Those agreements might prevent the IOC (or the LOC) from posting video that would compete with that of the rights-holders, which would result in the post-race interviews being fragmented by broadcaster in the way you describe.

There is one central interview which is run by the LOC, but it's not video: it's what's known as the "flash quotes" team. They sit between the broadcasters and the print media and get a very brief interview (three or four sentences) with every heat winner or medalist. That interview is transmitted to the entire press corps, something like a pool reporter, so if a media outlet does not have the staff to have a reporter on hand in the mixed zone, they can still run a story with a quote from the athlete. This is why you'll often find several stories in different publications with the same quotes from an athlete. Flash quotes are a specialized skill; they prioritize speed and being able to speak to many athletes, so being multi-lingual and/or a fast typist is more important than, say, punctuation, or even solid English grammar. (One of my jobs at an event once was copyediting flash quotes in the hours after a session ended; they can be a mess.) But there is no video equivalent of flash quotes that I'm aware of.

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