Wiring the 2002 Winter Olympics With Tom Sahara: A Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame Sit-Down
After the postponement of the physical Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame ceremony in New York City, we honored the nine-person class during a virtual discussion back in December. In this conversation, SVG Editorial Director Ken Kerschbaumer speaks with SVG Chairman Emeritus and industry stalwart Tom Sahara.
For 21 years, Sahara served as VP of Operations and Technology for Turner Sports where he oversaw the studio and remote broadcast facilities for Turner Sport’s live event coverage, as well as its online properties. He also played a key role in Turner’s production collaboration with CBS Sports on events like March Madness and the PGA Championship. Previously, he was host of technical operations of various venues for the 2000 Sydney Summer Games and 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.
During this chat Sahara shares two important anecdotes that point out the need for solid teamwork, innovative thinking to solve a problem, and the leadership characteristics that can help ensure a team works at maximum efficiency. His stories focus on the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, where Sahara and his team faced the task of recabling a mountain in a matter of days instead of weeks. And then he takes us to the sliding center at the same Olympics where an equipment failure 30 minutes ahead of an event final required some gutsy decision making and solid teamwork.