“I can feel my blood fizzing with excitement again just thinking about it,” says Vicky Cotton, BBC Sport’s executive producer for live streaming, reminiscing on the 2012 London Olympics. “I’d set myself a little goal in 2007 when we were awarded that games that I would be one of the BBC1 programme editors, and I was.
“I remember watching that brilliant opening ceremony and then the next day when the viewing figures came in – I think it was about 23 milliion – I had to run out of the office and throw up because you suddenly realised that this was going to be huge.
“It was the best couple of weeks; I was in the chair when Team GB won their first gold medal and the atmosphere was just incredible.”
Cotton’s first full-time contract at the Beeb was was for a job titled sports assistant, for BBC TV Sport. She says: “I’d just graduated and I saw this role advertised. I applied on a whim really. I didn’t think I’d even get an interview, but I did, passed the infamously difficult sports quiz, and before I knew it without even really thinking I’d packed up my life in Manchester and moved to London.
“Its always felt collaborative and creative. There’s so much variety and you never do the same thing the same way twice (you may have noticed by now that I like change and opportunities, even if that comes with a side of chaos!)”
“I didn’t know until I started that I was the first woman to get that job and it was a brilliant entry level position,” she continues. “In the space of a week you’d research a story for the Grand National, write notes for presenters and commentators and write live seat of your pants copy for programmes like Grandstand and Match of the Day. Within a year I was in Sydney working on my first Olympics after a summer working on Queens and Wimbledon. It felt mad that someone paid you to do this job. It was the best grounding for anyone wanting to start in sports broadcasting. It’s still the best job I’ve ever had.”