This media release is courtesy of Lachlan Moorhouse, Athletics Australia.
The seamless operation of competition at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games is a credit to those who work behind the scenes, including the six Australian officials entrusted to uphold fair competition at the pinnacle of athletics.
Brian Roe (ITO – Start), Helen Roberts (Jury of Appeal), Janet Nixon (Photo finish) and Zoe Bryson (Race Walking Judge) were appointed positions at the Olympic Games, whilst Caroline Jackman (ITO) plied her craft at the Paralympic Games. Peter Hamilton (ATOS) was involved in the results program across both the Olympics and Paralympics.
Roe is the most experienced of the quintet having acquired roles at seven Olympic Games and two Paralympic Games – a credit to his unwavering support of both Australian and world athletics.
A proud Tasmanian, Roe’s start in his officiating endeavours came after being encouraged by local “gurus” – the late Noel Ruddock and the late Graeme Briggs. Through a desire to learn and incidental experience, Roe developing an expansive knowledge of all events and event groups to bolster his versatility as an official – a proven formula that has seen him become a mainstay at major competitions.
Roberts’ appointment in Tokyo was her third Olympic Games, having also completed one Paralympic Games. Coming from an officiating background with both parents volunteering as officials as she grew up, Roberts says the support and guidance she received as an up-and-coming official is something she hopes to pay forward – citing upcoming international competitions on Australian soil as an exciting opportunity for aspiring officials.
Having begun her volunteering in athletics as a basket handler at the 1982 Commonwealth Games and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Raelene Boyle, Nixon has gone on to officiate at three Olympic Games and four Paralympic Games.
Widely regarded for her photo finish prowess, Nixon embodies a passion for athletics at all levels – delivering the same effort for grassroots athletics as she would for an occasion like the Olympic Games in Tokyo. With over 25 years of international experience, Nixon has developed a reputation as one of the world’s most respected photo finish judges.
In 2014, Bryson was appointed to the IAAF International Panel of Race Walking Judges after missing out on her first attempt years earlier – a feat that has witnessed her progress to one Olympic Games and one Paralympic Games.
With her involvement in the sport stemming from competing in both the javelin and discus whilst having a partner who did race walking, Bryson progressed from assisting with recording and timekeeping to becoming a race walk judge through the mentorship of Bob Cruise.
Jackman once represented Australia and both junior and senior levels in the javelin and looked to the officials ranks over 20 years ago as a suitable pathway to remain involved in the sport after her competitive days.
With a passion for throws, Jackman says her role as an official granted her the best seats in the house at this year’s Paralympic Games – taking a moment to reflect on the significance of her achievement having made it to the big stage.
Jackman says the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane present an exciting opportunity for people to join Australia’s family of officials and immerse themselves in the action on home soil.
Hamilton worked in his role for ATOS in order to provide real-time results across a range of Olympic and Paralympic pursuits, enabling functions such as live results for broadcasters and fans alike. Hamilton has already started working towards the Beijing Winter Olympics.
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