Today host Karl Stefanovic introduces this profile on the Paralympic sailing dream team of Liesl Tesch AM MP and Daniel Fitzgibbon OAM, after a mention of Matt Cowdrey’s spectacular success at the London 2012 Paralympics. Cowdrey is Australia’s most successful Paralympic medallist with 23 medals in total, 13 of them gold.
Longer profiles like this offer viewers a chance to get to know the athletes they will be watching compete at the Paralympics. It was filmed in the lead-up to the 2012 Games and it’s the perfect thing to broadcast on the day of an event. The pair went on to win a gold medal in the Mixed Two Person Sailing SKUD18 division that day.
This is a great example of the playful, positive stories reporter Mike Dalton contributes to Nine’s news and current affairs offerings including Today and Nine News.
Dalton is an affable character and the story follows his formula of inserting himself into the stories and building strong rapport with his interviewees. His enthusiasm for the subject and his awe and respect for the sailors is palpable.
The story engagingly combines technical information about the craft Tesch and Fitzgibbon are sailing, human stories about the athletes and gorgeous vision of Sydney Harbour.
Tesch became an incomplete paraplegic after a mountain biking accident when she was 19 years old. She started out as a wheelchair basketball player and later turned to sailing and then politics. She is currently the State member for Gosford in NSW.
She represented Australia at the Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. She has won a total of 5 Paralympic medals – 2 of them gold, which she won alongside Fitzgibbon, who is a quadriplegic.
Excerpt from Today, 6 September 2012.
Notes by Beth Taylor