Tuesday 7:30 p.m., Sep
Of all the athletes at the Olympic stadium, sprinters are the most confident. They must be, according to sports broadcaster Matt Shirvington, Australia’s second-fastest runner (after Jack Hale) and co-host, along with fellow Seven Sports, Abbey Gelmi and veteran Bill Woods, of the latest game of Seven obstacles, Ultimate label.
“In a 100-meter race, you can’t go wrong,” says Shirvington. “It’s a 10 second race. If you make a mistake, it’s over. You must therefore have absolute confidence in your abilities. If you enter with a lack of confidence or insecurity, you will be exposed.
The same goes, he said, for players facing the “Pro Taggers” in Ultimate label, an American concept based on the Eternal Playground game, filmed at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena.
“In this game, if you stumble, if you hesitate, you’ll get caught and exposed, and that’s exactly what happens a number of times. Those who have confidence in themselves, those who think positively, who react quickly, are the ones who succeed. Our slogan is “This is the fastest show on TV”. Being a former sprinter – I was on the Australian team for 15 years – it was great to be part of a show that blurs the lines between sport, entertainment and reality. The speed element of it is critical. The players themselves are so athletic. The Pro Taggers are the elite. They do things with their bodies that you have never seen before and it will blow your mind. There is an element of parkour, which is the freedom to be able to do whatever you want in an urban environment.
A player snapshot includes a single mom, bank manager, and disability aide. Pro Taggers, with names like Avalanche, Cyclone, Fire Starter, and the Dominator, typically have gymnastics and parkour experience. The subtext of David and Goliath cannot be underestimated; the personal motivations of the players a primary factor in the commentary.
“I won’t make out anybody, but there is a handful [of players] which definitely resonate with their intrigues. I’ll be brutally honest: I’ve cried over half a dozen times. On the competition floor, I struggled to hold back my tears. There are some incredibly moving stories and motivations for people, and not just for themselves or their own challenges, but for friends and family. “
Shirvington credits American actor Rob Riggle (Modern family) his co-commentator on the recently concluded Seven mini-golf game show, Holey moley, by teaching him the tricks of the light entertainment business.