A former Olympic athlete from Windermere has been commentating at a sporting event to a massive audience of around 500 million viewers.
Ian Woods, 45, the director of Low Wood Bay-based people development company Onesimus, temporarily swapped working with managers at top UK firms for a microphone and headphones at the recent Asian Winter Games held in Kazakhstan.
Mr Woods, who represented Great Britain in biathlon at the Albertville and Lillehammer Winter Olympics, was commenting on his former sport as well as the cross country skiing event.
“It was a great adventure,” he said. “I really enjoyed doing the work and it was a fantastic experience. The people in Kazakhstan are wonderful and I was very surprised by how good the infrastructure was. They had clearly spent a lot of money to create a positive impression.”
Viewers from more than 20 different countries across Asia and Australasia tuned in to the Astana-Almaty Games. Mr Woods was helping provide the English language commentary for the International Games Broadcasting Service which provided the television footage for the events.
Mr Woods, who has previously done television commentary for Eurosport and was also the national coach of the British biathlon team after hanging up his skis and rifle, likened the competition’s standard to the Commonwealth Games.
“The standard was very high in some of the sports – particularly the ones I was commentating on, such as biathlon and cross country skiing. They are big winter sports fans in Kazakhstan, especially having taken a silver medal in the biathlon sprint at the Olympics twelve months ago, so there were huge crowds with high expectations. They have a lot of history in these sports from the Soviet era.”
Ian Woods has been the Director of Onesimus since 2001. The company is part of the English Lakes group which also includes three hotels and an inn here in the Lake District and two hotels in Lancashire.
Two years ago Ian led an English Lakes team which took a giant red nose up to the top of Skiddaw for Red Nose Day and two years earlier he travelled Around the Lakes in 80 Ways for the charity.
For more information about Onesimus please visit www.onesimus.info