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Volume 6 No. 215
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ABC Broadcaster Stephanie Brantz Talks London Paralympics

With coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games begining on Thursday, THE AUSTRALIAN's Amanda Meade sat down with ABC Broadcaster Stephanie Brantz to discuss the event. Below are some highlights of the interview.

Q: What does the Paralympics mean to you?
Brantz: The theme for the Australian Paralympic Team has been "Inspire," and that's what springs to mind when I think of the Paralympic Games. Men and women (and children, to be fair - our youngest athlete is 13 years old), who have overcome enormous hurdles and in some cases life-changing accidents to not only cope with whatever life throws at them, but also excel and impress in their chosen sport.

Q: What will your role be?
Brandtz: I will be hosting the Opening and Closing Ceremonies with Adam Hills and Beijing triple Gold Medalist Heath Francis.

Q: What is your favorite event?
Brantz: In the past I have said wheelchair rugby - formerly known as Murderball - but I'm very much looking forward to seeing the Australian goalball team take the court for the first time at a Paralympics since 2000.

Q: You will be hosting the Opening Ceremony with Adam Hills. Are you the "straight girl?" What is the key to narrating all the action without being annoying?
Brantz: I think I have been hired as the straight chick! But working with Adam should be great fun and we'll enjoy, hopefully, enhancing the viewing experience for everyone back in Australia. The lessons I am taking from the feedback of the "warm-up opening ceremony" is that less is more; if you have nothing to say, then don't. And at no time should one read from the written brief supplied. I hope in the excitement I'll remember at least one of those points.

Q: Is there enough women's sport on TV?
Brantz: There is never enough women's sport on TV. I hope that this summer, all the women's sport fans tune in for our coverage of the football, basketball, golf, cricket and hockey so we can prove the demand is there.

Q: What can viewers expect from the ABC's coverage this time?
Brantz: Hopefully many, many Gold Medal ceremonies, but let's not speculate on that - we've seen how it can backfire. We will have over 100 hours of coverage and highlights, with a different feel between each program (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/27).