WHILE the majority of the country enjoyed a glorious sporting summer from the comfort of their sofas, one Knutsford man spent his time recounting it to the packed crowds inside the Olympic venues.
Mark Hayward, 25, was given the honour of describing the action during the Olympics and the Paralympics in London this summer.
Mark, who grew up in Mobberley but has lived in the Knutsford area all his life, is an experienced commentator, and was invited to the events after impressing at a European tournament two years ago.
He commentated on a range of sports at the games including beach volleyball, cycling, BMX, swimming, eventing and athletics in the Olympic Stadium – and told the Guardian one of his highlights was being in the stadium on ‘Super Saturday’ when Jess Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford claimed gold.
As well as commentating for the audience, Mark was also the voice of almost 80 medal-awarding ceremonies, introducing the national anthems and winning athletes to the crowds – but having to do it in French as well.
He combined his commentating duties with helping out with PR for the games, with his experience drawn from his own Cheshire-based agency Paparazzi PR.
“It was through my interest in swimming and eventing when I was growing up that I first got involved,” Mark said.
“I commentated on both and went to the European Championships in 2010.
“It was there I got asked about London. I am always one of the youngest when I’m commentating on events and I know other people who have given it a go and the older guys haven’t been very welcoming.
“Some sports are great but events like equestrian – that’s one on its own – and those guys are worried you are going to push them out.
“The best bit was the athletics, and I commentated on the long jump and high jump and a couple of other events.”
Mark lived in the Olympic village during the Paralympics and Olympics.
“I lived there for three months and I’ve got two Olympic duvets that all my friends have seen,” he said.
“I was eating in the village as well and mixing with the athletes which was pretty good.
“The parties at night were a bit wild, but they were great. I was out partying with Usain Bolt and Ryan Lochte [US swimmer] – that was a bit surreal.”
Mark will be at Glasgow for the Commenwealth Games.