International sports events bring people from all over the world to compete together - English being their common language of interaction. Some speak it better and some speak it worse but somehow, even basic communication illustrated with explicit gestures is sufficient for them to understand each other. The real problem arises when the cameraman makes a closeup of your face while someone interviews you live about your performance.
I travel around a lot to follow my children in their international speed skating events. We are just returning from Holland after an eight day European Speed Skating Championship from which I can proudly say my daughter is returning with one silver medal and one gold!! She confirmed herself European Champion in exactly the same race as she won gold in last year. A part from my children, who I made sure speak fluent English (bilingual with Italian), all the other athletes from different nations had varying degrees of difficulty and/or shyness to let themselves be interviewed. Those from Mediterranean countries having many more difficulties expressing themselves in English & so avoiding interviews or speak telegraphically: 'Yes', 'No', 'Very good', 'Very happy'.
I have therefore decided to prepare some basic questions and answers with which athletes can prepare themselves to face a television camera with more confidence and answer the interview questions a little more professionally, making the interview also a little more interesting to listen to:
Interviewer (I): "Hi, you have just won a gold medal in this race. How do you feel?"
ATHLETE (A): "I'm really excited. I trained really hard to reach this level and this is the result."
Interviewer (I): "Was the race difficult?"
ATHLETE (A): "Well, it was a little fast/slow/tricky but I managed to come first."
Interviewer (I): "What are your next goals?"
ATHLETE (A): "With these results I hope to be able to take part in the .... Championships."
These questions were conceived to be very general so they can be used for various sports. If you have any interview questions & answers you'd like to prepare specifically for your sport then please contact me through my website or also here.
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My name is Susan Brodar, born in London into a multilingual family and brought up bilingual English / Italian.