CNN Sport Editors Note

CNN Sport - More than a sporting moment

CNN Sport Editors Note

By Andrew Demaria, Vice President, Editorial

Wearing a full-body jumpsuit, Australian Cathy Freeman sprinted away to claim a historic gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

It’s a race that’s as fresh in my mind today as it was 18 years ago.

It was one of the most remarkable sporting moments I, and many others – and not just Australians – have witnessed.

This wasn’t just about an athlete winning a 400m final.

This was about the pressure of performing on the ultimate stage in front of a home crowd; the backstory of the trials, the tribulations, all the effort and support to get her across the finishing line; the lessons learned along the way; of the people that supported her; of a great rivalry with Marie-Jose Perec; of new technology woven in the attire she wore; of a legacy of peoples persecuted and racially vilified; and a unifying moment of an entire nation.

“One of the greatest points in my story is that it doesn’t matter where you are from or the isolation of the town you live in, with the right support, if you are willing to follow your heart and do what makes you happy or pursue your curiosity, then anything is possible,” Freeman has said.

You win, draw or lose in sport. But sport offers us so much more than a result or scoreline. It shows us, among other things, how to cope with setbacks and how to work together as a team. Trying again, failing again, failing better. Of humans becoming heroes. Of passions and shareable moments.

That intersection of sport with life and culture is the proverbial sweet spot for our global audiences — and we know it engages more than just sports fans. It’s why the world was as interested in the story of Iceland reaching the World Cup as it was in France winning Russia 2018. Our EPPY Award-winning video on Iceland’s football passion is a great example of this.

Using data and analytical tools, our digital team understands what drives our audiences, what fuels their interests and what transcends results. We combine that knowledge with a dedicated team of designers, web developers, reporters, social media experts, videographers, editors and digital producers the world over to create inspirational and passionate storytelling.

CNN's brand gets us unique access to the top names and events. We are one of the few unbiased media organizations, with no country affiliation swaying our coverage. All this culminates in a bespoke editorial strategy that differs from market to market – that covers the day’s big talking points, or details the remarkable backstory of Brazilian skier Victor Santos in our Daring to be Great Olympic series; provides an in-depth look at the all-conquering All Blacks from our experienced rugby unit, or unique profiles around more niche sports and individuals like judo’s Uta Abe; the expert NFL opinion of Hines Ward and Coy Wire, or a design-led look at one of golf’s great tournaments – the Ryder Cup

On our social media platforms, we can see how much people want to talk – and talk passionately – about sport. Before the World Cup we worked with Becky Anderson and her producer Alireza Hajihosseini on a Mo Salah documentary – three clips totalled 2.5 million+ views on the Sport Facebook page.…

As Japan gears up for three incredible events – the Rugby World Cup, the Olympics and Paralympics -- we can’t wait to be there and use our expertise to bring the many moments that surround sport to our millions and millions of global viewers.