Paul worked for 38 years around the world as a foreign correspondent for Reuters News Agency. He’s covered eight summer Olympics from Los Angeles in 1984 all the way through to London in 2012.
From horse racing to Wimbledon, the Irish Golf Championships to the World Ice skating championships in Ottawa if it’s a big sports event Paul’s been there reporting back as a journalist. He’s read your posts on the blog and written to you all! Find out what he had to say.
Greetings to everyone in the Burnet News Club blog.
First of all I have to say congratulations. The posts are well written, intelligent and thought-provoking. Well done you.
In my reporting career at Reuters News Agency I covered eight Olympics all around the world from Los Angeles to London. All the issues you raise are important ones that I had to deal with and cover myself.
Your comments are all really well balanced. You think of both sides of the argument when making your case. That is one of the first and most important rules for being a good journalist. You have already understood that. You think things out carefully.
Are the Olympics or the World Cup good for a city? This is an important question you raise and a difficult one to answer. I think the basic conclusion is YES. They help tourism in that city and make the world sit up and take notice of what a special place it can be.
But, of course there are bad sides too. Montreal hosted the Olympics and then spent years afterwards paying for what they could not afford. The games in Atlanta were very badly organised and the city did not look good. They looked incompetent. It was bad for its reputation.
Traffic can cause chaos, hotels can be overbooked and some of the very expensive stadiums may never get used again. These are downsides that are important to consider.
The other big, big issue is drugs and how they are ruining the reputation of so many sports. You all seem to be saying Enough is Enough. It is very depressing that every time an athlete wins a race brilliantly, people are wondering — were they on drugs?
I loved one particular comment from your posts which said it all brilliantly — “Is it time we stopped making exception after exception for our need to win. ” Well done. That says it all.
But here again you show from your comments how well balanced you are in thinking about the issue. You have demonstrate an impressive ability to think for yourselves and be creative.
What about the clean athletes who do not cheat? Why should they not be allowed to complete in Rio? They deserve their chance. Why should they be dragged down into the mud with the cheats? This is an important point that has to be made.
You show real talent and a real ability to ask serious and important questions. Maybe at the Olympics after next I shall be sitting down and reading the wonderful articles that some of you have written!!
You are superstars. Congrats and good luck.