The ABC TV Sports's Team in Beijing
Australians will best know Adam as the host of Spicks and Specks on ABC TV. Adam's playful personality, which has taken him to the top of the international comedy circuit, has translated seamlessly to his hosting role on the small screen, making him one of the most recognisable faces on Australian TV.
When he is not on Spicks and Specks, Adam is one of Australia's most talented and well-travelled comedians. His positive, energetic comedy and rampant spontaneity have won him universal acclaim, rave reviews and a swag of awards throughout Australia, Great Britain, Ireland and Europe.
Adam's solo shows are established highlights at the Edinburgh Fringe, Adelaide Fringe and the Melbourne Comedy Festivals, receiving five-star reviews and sold-out houses. Adam is also a regular at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, having been invited to perform there the last three years.
Adam has also been known to host at least one Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala and has stuck his nose around backstage at the 2005 and 2006 Logie Awards. In 2007, Adam headed out on his most comprehensive Australian stand up tour ever, kicking off in Adelaide and stopping off in every capital city.
By early 2008, the success of Spicks and Specks had elevated to a whole new level - hitting the stage for a national-wide live tour, thrilling thousands of Australian fans, who got to participate in the show and come face-to-face with Adam and team captains Alan Brough and Myf Warhurst.
Adam will join Paralympic champion Louise Sauvage and ABC broadcasters Karen Tighe and Steve Robilliard in Beijing to host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Paralympic Games 2008 live on ABC TV in September.
Louise Sauvage is one of Australia's most popular and successful sportswomen. Growing up in Perth she began racing in 1983 and was so good, she quickly rose to the top of wheelchair racing, competing in every Paralympic Games from 1992 to 2004. Throughout her career, she has won nine gold and four silver Paralympic medals and held numerous world records. She has also had first place honours in many of the world's most prestigious road races including the Los Angeles, Boston, Berlin and Honolulu Marathons.
Named Australian Paralympian of the Year on four occasions, Louise is now retired from competition, however she remains an integral part of the Paralympic team as a coach and member of the Australian Paralympic Committee Board.
Louise will join Adam Hills, Karen Tighe and Steve Robilliard at the National Stadium in Beijing to present the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Paralympic Games 2008 live on ABC TV.
Karen has spent the last 19 years presenting sport on ABC Radio and TV. She has covered four Paralympic Games and the Commonwealth Games for ABC Radio. In 2000 Karen was winner of the Media Award at the Australian Sports Awards for her work presenting the Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Karen is a familiar face to fans of the Hopman Cup tennis tournament on ABC TV and currently presents sport for ABC TV News in Western Australia.
Steve Robilliard joined ABC TV in 1989 and has worked on the Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney Paralympic Games. His favourite Paralympic event is the wheelchair rugby.
Steve has also covered all the Olympic Games since 1992, plus the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City 2002 and Turin in 2006. He has been a commentator at the last four Commonwealth Games and has worked on major events such as the Rugby World Cup, Netball World Championships and men's and women's Hockey World Cups.
On ABC1, Steve is a regular commentator on the Shute Shield Rugby Union and the ever-popular bowls. He has done commentary on many other sports over the years including cricket, soccer, golf, netball, hockey, gymnastics, basketball, tennis and track and field.
Watching sport is not enough though. Steve is an avid golfer and insists that if only he didn't have to work, he could get down to single figures from his current handicap of 17!
Peter 'Wilko' Wilkins is the definitive all-rounder in sports broadcasting terms and has an unbridled passion for all sport, reflected in his commentary across the years. Peter's exuberant broadcast of Australia's historic world cup soccer qualification in 2005 was the perfect example of that 'passion'. He has predominantly worked for the national broadcaster for the last 28 years as a presenter, commentator and reporter in both television and radio.
Peter hosted two world cup soccer finals for ABC TV in 1982 and 1986 and was ABC's chief rugby league commentator for 9 years from 1992-2000. As ABC Radio commentator at the Sydney Olympics ' Wilko' commentated two gold medal wins - the football final between Cameroon and Spain and the archery final won by Australian Simon Fairweather.
Currently Peter is the national face of Sport on the 7pm News, one of ABC TV's most watched programs. Over the last 5 years Peter has also contributed stories to the ABC's current affairs flagship program, the 7.30 Report and to Lateline. He was an integral part of ABC TV's 'The Fat', presenting a unique view of sport from the panel desk, to high ratings and rave reviews. Peter is also a regular columnist for the Illawarra Mercury newspaper.
Peter has commentated innumerable sports across his career including cricket, tennis, golf, soccer, rugby league, rugby union, hockey and many Olympic sports including volleyball, badminton, archery, swimming, weightlifting, rowing and track and field.
In 2008 Peter published his first book. Don't Rock The Boat tells the inside story of the debacle of the Australian women's eight rowing final at the 2004 Athens Olympics and its emotional postscript.
'Wilko' has been to two Paralympic Games, Seoul 1988 and Sydney 2000 where amongst a plethora of sports covered, he commentated the entire men's wheelchair tennis final won by Australia's David Hall. He describes the experience as 'one of the most enjoyable broadcasts I've done in my career'.
Peter will be covering cycling and wheelchair rugby for ABC TV in Beijing 2008 and is looking forward to seeing whether John MacLean can cap his career with a Paralympic gold in the rowing and if resilient speedster Michael Milton can climb yet another mountain.
Quentin's voice is well-known across the country as one of the ABC's most versatile commentators. Born in the sporting heartland of Wagga Wagga in southern New South Wales, he is regularly heard as a part of Grandstand's coverage of AFL and the rugby codes. In summer he broadcasts cricket and Australian Open tennis and has twice been invited to work on BBC Radio's coverage of Wimbledon. International football and golf are among numerous other sports he has broadcast on radio and he has also worked for ABC TV commentating tennis, bowls and hockey.
Quentin formed part of the broadcast team at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and this will be his first Olympic Games coverage for ABC Radio. Quentin is the current holder of the ABC Local Radio award for Sports Broadcaster of the Year. This will also be Quentin's first time covering the Paralympic Games for television and ABC TV is pleased to have this young talent on their team for Beijing.
Beijing 2008 will be the second time Gerry Collins has worked on the Paralympic Games. Gerry did the swimming commentary for ABC TV's coverage of the Paralympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and recalls he found it 'really inspiring to see some of the amazing performances there'.
Gerry is looking forward to commentating on the swimming competition again in Beijing and reckons Australia has selected a really strong team.
"Matt Cowdrey has amazed me over the last few years with the way he has continually broken world records. I am also a fan of Ben Austin, who competed in Sydney and is in the Beijing team. He has one of the strongest kicks that I have seen from any swimmer. I can't wait to experience the atmosphere in the Paralympic pool again," says Gerry.
Gerry will be come to the Paralympics fresh from commentating on the swimming for ABC Radio at the Olympics. This will be the sixth Olympics for Gerry, whose major Games swimming coverage started at the 1986 Commonwealth Games. He has been in the same role at each Commonwealth and Olympic Games since. He has also been to five World Swimming Championships. Gerry has broadcast 17 Australian Olympic gold medal wins, including Duncan Armstrong's sensational win in Seoul in 1988, Kieren Perkins' dramatic gold medal in Atlanta and the extraordinary achievements of Ian Thorpe in Sydney and Athens.
As a rugby commentator Gerry has covered three Rugby World Cups, including broadcasting Australia's win in the 1999 final in Wales. Gerry is also a regular rugby league and cricket commentator as well as being an occasional host of Grandstand on ABC Radio. He is a regular swimmer himself and enjoys surfing and attempting to master the French language.
In 1992 in Barcelona the Dream Team hit the court against Angola and my sporting dream was finally realized. I had spent hours and hours at local sporting fields around the Victorian country town of Ballarat calling all sorts of sports in the hope that one day I would get to work behind an ABC microphone at an Olympics Games.
The buzz at such an event is mind boggling. You find yourself staring at athletes as they walk past. You feel the need to pinch yourself when Michael Jordan wanders past. But it's all about doing your job. The experienced broadcasters tell you to keep your nerve and don't rush things and, before you know it, you are on air.
The 2000 Sydney Paralympics gave me a huge buzz. The wheelchair basketballers all broke the speed limit and the burning rubber on the courts wafted through the nostrils for the next few weeks. It was hard to be silent at the goalball and I was noisy at the sitting volleyball. Rugby in wheelchairs has more than an element of danger and the spirit of all the athletes was so evident.
The Games go quickly and you soak up as much as you can. Even your colleagues become ships in the night as they go about their own business. Party time will come later, if you manage to stay awake.
The years roll on and so too do the Games. Each assignment represents different challenges. Where are we staying, what is the transport system like and what is the venue I am working at like. All athletes have goals they want to achieve and so too do broadcasters. I have always been proud to be an ABC Sport broadcaster. China - bring it on!
Clint Wheeldon worked out at a young age he wasn't good enough, fit enough, or durable enough to make it as a professional sportsman.
But his love of sport found an outlet in the media.
After stints with 2KY, 2GB and Channel Ten's Sports Tonight in Sydney, he moved across the country to Perth and worked as a Sports Reporter and Presenter for both Channel Ten and the ABC.
His working highlights include covering the 2000 Sydney Olympics and West Coast's 2006 Premiership. Clint was lucky enough to follow the Socceroos through Germany in their 2006 World Cup campaign. He counts Australia's come from behind win over Japan in Kaiserslautern as his favourite sporting memory (but only just in front of the qualification win over Uruguay and the draw with Croatia).
Beijing 2008 will be the first Paralympic Games Clint has covered. He doesn't yet know what events he'll be calling and can't wait to find out. He's a fan of wheelchair rugby and goalball and is looking forward to calling plenty of Australian gold medal winners! 'Beijing should be an amazing experience' said Clint before the games.
Clint's won a number of awards, including Best Radio Caller at the WA Football Media Guild awards. He's also claimed awards for the best news story in both the NBL and the NSL.
In 2007, Clint joined the Grandstand team and currently works in the Perth Bureau, where he predominantly calls AFL, WAFL and domestic Cricket.
He's also part of Summer Grandstand and helps present Perth's two local radio programs Sports Talk and Sports Extra.
Amanda joined the ABC TV Sport team in mid 2007 and during that time she has worked on a wide array of sporting events. She reported on the Australian Rugby Championship, the Netball World Championships in New Zealand, the Hopman Cup Tennis in Perth, the Women's Australian Open Golf in Melbourne and the Shute Shield Rugby.
Prior to coming to the ABC, Amanda worked at National Radio News and completed a broadcast journalism degree at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst. She is currently undertaking a Master of Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney.
Amanda is a certified sports tragic and this will be her first time reporting on the Paralympics. She was a mad screaming schoolgirl at the Sydney 2000 Games, and hopes to bring this form to Beijing! She's most looking forward to seeing all the Aussies in action, particularly Kurt Fearnley in the T54 marathon, Sam Bramham in the pool, and the wheelchair rugby and basketball teams.
Shaun began working for the ABC as a cadet with TV news and current affairs, in Brisbane in 1993.
Since then, he has worked with several ABC departments on numerous productions, including the ABC youth TV program, Recovery, where he started as a sports presenter/producer and finished up as the series producer.
His job has taken him from Perth to Brisbane, Brisbane to Darwin, Darwin to Sydney, Sydney to Melbourne, Melbourne back to Sydney and from Sydney back to his home town, Perth. Sorry Adelaide.
Throughout his time at the ABC, Shaun has had a close association with the TV Sport department, from presenting S'Cool Sport to producing the national Hopman Cup tennis broadcasts.
He was also the host for the 2006 Winter Paralympic Games in Torino, Italy, and has escaped the WA TV newsroom for a couple of weeks to be a part of the ABC's 2008 Beijing Paralympic coverage.