Sailing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has won Gold in the Best Coverage by the Host Broadcaster category of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Golden Rings Awards.
Producer Henry Mok and director Leon Sefton received the award for providing an outstanding race experience for millions of viewers around the world via Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), which produces the live television, radio and digital coverage for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Using on-board cameras to capture the highs and lows of each class, along with the athleticism and determination of the athletes, viewers got the ultimate immersive experience.
This is now the third time sailing has won gold in this Golden Rings Awards category, following Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
David Graham, World Sailing CEO, said, “Filming sailing is unique. The idiosyncrasies, the adrenaline and the fiercely competitive nature of our sport can be difficult to capture and convey to the audience. All credit goes to OBS – they did a tremendous job and while their new innovations clearly added extra complexity and workload for them, it made a huge difference, particularly the onboard cameras they could control remotely from their dedicated network and equipping our athletes with microphones.
“These aspects really brought our sport alive for million of viewers. We are indebted to OBS and particularly their sailing team for these extra efforts – it has had a hugely positive impact on our sport, and will do for years to come. A well-deserved gold, thank you OBS!”
Sailing at the Tokyo 2020 Games also marked the debut of SAP Sailing Analytics to provide added depth to live broadcasts. The wind-based leaderboard and GPS tracking gave the opportunity for fans around the world to follow the races in real-time with greater accuracy and a broader range of statistics and insights to draw from. The SAP platform was featured by more than 30 rights holding broadcasters around the world and gave commentators access to the live data to enrich the viewing experience.
Speaking at the ceremony, IOC President Thomas Bach, said, “The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were the most engaged Olympic Games ever and another landmark moment in sports broadcasting history. Through the IOC’s partnerships with leading media companies around the world, we are able to share the magic of the Olympic Games to inspire billions of people.
“Our close partnership with our broadcasters is a great reflection that we can only go faster, we can only aim higher, we can only become stronger, if we work together – in solidarity.
“There were more submissions for the Golden Rings Awards than ever before, and the breadth, diversity and creativity of the production is testament to the passion and commitment of the individuals who work with us to broadcast the Olympic Games.”
The Golden Rings Awards is a prestigious international competition organised by the IOC to promote and award excellence in the broadcasting of the Olympic Games.
The winners were selected by an international jury headed by IOC Member Anant Singh, who is a leading professional in the film and media industries, Chair of the IOC Communications Commission and a member of the IOC’s Olympic Channel Commission and the Digital & Technology Commission.
The awards ceremony took place in the IOC’s headquarters, Olympic House, in Lausanne, where the IOC is currently hosting a series of IOC commission meetings.