September Woman in Media: Crystal Arnold

by | Sep 8, 2008

Crystal Arnold has just returned back from a once a
lifetime trip to Beijing where she worked as an Olympic correspondent for pay
channel, SuperSport, interviewing some of the world’s biggest stars, while
witnessing some of the greatest Olympic action of all time.

At 24, Crystal is making a name for herself in the
highly competitive world of sports broadcasting, while remaining involved with
94.7 Highveld Stereo as a DJ. Although, she insists the first 24 years of her life have only been an apetizer! No doubt, there is more to come from this highly ambitious young women…

Crystal’s advice to women who want to make it in sports
broadcasting is to pursue their passion with as much enthusiasm and ambition as
they can.

Her favourite sports broadcasters include the
veteran duo of Gerald de Kock and Arnold Geerdts.

Crystal believes femininity is a woman’s ability to
be herself without any inhibitions, and she is certainly and example of that,
always elegant and well presented on TV, while coming across as well prepared
and ready to tackle the subject at hand.

Introducing gsport’s September 2008 Woman in Media,
the multi-talented Crystal Arnold!

Crystal, how did you enjoy covering the Olympic Games for
SuperSport?

There’s a Chinese word I learnt to describe it- WA!
Which means wow! It was an amazing experience to see history in the making
right in front of me throughout my trip was just incredible.

Who are
some of the big names you interviewed while at the Olympics?

I kept a close eye on our SA Athletes and it was
something special chatting to Khotso Mokoena after his medal winning
performance and seeing the absolute elation in him was special.

At the Water Cube I spoke to Suzaan van Biljon, Ryk
Neethling Roland Schoeman, Jean Basson, Stephanie Rice, Rebecca Adlington and
Australian Breaststroke world record holder Liesl Jones:- It was such a boost
when she said Penny Heyns was one of her heroines.

Oh, there was one other athlete I spoke to…, I think
his name was … Usain Bolt! Yes it was a "quick" interview!

What were
some of the big highlight of the Games for you?

There are the obvious feats like Michael Phelps and
his phenomenal Water Cube experience and Usain Bolt’s land speed records, but
for me (and maybe it is because I appreciate the strength of a woman), It would
have to be Natalie du Toit’s marathon debut.

It may not have earned her a medal and she’d be the
first to say it was not her best day in the water, but the reception from the
spectators and the media when anyone caught a glimpse of her was something to
see. And when she got out of the water and came to me for her first of many
interviews – that made it even more exceptional.

Was it
difficult keeping your spirits up, considering how poorly South Africa fared?

I went into the Games with a realistic view and
although some aspects were disappointing, most of our athletes performed to
their best. Setting new African records and visibly pouring their hearts and
soul’s into their performances. That is what Olympic Spirit is all about.

How would
you rate Beijing as an Olympic City?

I don’t think another city could touch it! The
city’s infrastructure, the transport system, the accommodation, the technology
and, yes, even the food was superb.

How do you
expect Team South Africa to fare at the Paralympic Games?

In one word- exceptionally! I can’t wait for them to
return with a host of medals. My golden girl for the Games has to be Shireen
Sapiro just 17 years old, and already a multiple world record holder in the
pool.

How did
you first get into sports broadcasting?

When my parents moved to Kimberley in 2003 for
Business I followed … Thankfully, my journey landed me a midday-show on the
local Community Radio Station, which included Sport and Entertainment.

What did
you do prior to get involved in this industry?

Before radio it was college and before that, school!

What are
your other career projects, aside from your role with SuperSport?

I have just started working on a new show produced
by Super Saturday’s Mario Lacueva, focusing on Sport in Africa. Besides
scripting and voicing various other television programmes, I am still on radio-
a 94.7 Highveld Stereo DJ.

How do you
deal with the challenges of working in the male dominated environment of sports
media?

I think the era of the male-chauvinist is over, so I
don’t really focus on males but on people.

 Who are
some of the sports broadcasters you admire and why?

I am always in awe of two very resilient and
talented broadcasters Gerald de Kock, for his wealth of knowledge, and ability
to stay calm in any situation. He always treats everybody around him with huge
respect- excellent role model. And Arnold Geerdts, who has a way with words and
can easily think on his feet, decades of experience, but still so approachable.

Aside from
the Olympics, what have been your other career highlights?

Welcoming back the Springboks from France and
hearing first hand from them how excited they were it was an adrenalin rush.

Forget the England ODI Series when it comes to
cricket it would have to be being a part of the 438 match! Being there for
Shaun Pollock’s debut and his retirement.

Liverpool’s amazing comeback during the UEFA
Champions League 2005 final … The list can just go on and on!

What
advice do you have for women keen to follow a career in sports broadcasting?

Don’t let anyone discourage you! If it is your
passion, pursue it with as much enthusiasm and ambition you have!

Who are
some of the people who have supported you throughout your career?

My entire family definitely. My Mom is always a
motivating force behind me, My Dad who is an endless resource of Sporting
Knowledge my own encyclopaedia! My sisters and aunts keep me in check, and my
fiancé is my inspiration.

How can we
improve the state of women’s sport in South Africa?

That requires changing a mindset. And when you’re at
the Olympics you realize that Equality is possible. The same amount of cheers
no matter the gender the same amount of excitement.

I think it’s a combination of building fan bases
which can only be done if more people know about what women’s teams are doing
when- the media’s role. Sponsorship is crucial.

gsport
strives to celebrate femininity. How would you define femininity and what role
does it play in your life?

Forget the bows and pink frills I think femininity
is the ability to as a woman be yourself without inhibitions. It is a
confidence that you are wonderful in your own skin. I wouldn’t be where I am
without that knowledge.

 How do you keep fit?

I love playing tennis! Anna Kournikova move over
  Besides that, walking up 5000 odd
steps of the Great Wall of China does help!

What are
your favourite spectator sports?

Cricket, 
Tennis, Rugby – for the electric
atmosphere!

Who are your favourite sports stars? Steven
Gerrard:- read his biography and find out! Steffi Graf nobody in women’s world
tennis compares since she left the court. And Giancarlo Fisichella – a
sportsman who knows the meaning of big match temperament.

What
inspires you?

Knowing that there is an entire world out there
waiting to be discovered, uncovered and reported on!

 Who are
your role models?

My Dad and my mom.

What is
your greatest ambition?

To reach my full potential as an individual. I think
I still have so much to give, the first 24 years of my life have just been an
appetizer!

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About the Author:

<a href="https://gsport.co.za/members/kass_naidoo/" target="_self">Kass Naidoo</a>

Kass Naidoo

Passionate sports broadcaster and founder of gsport4girls

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