Behind the Scenes in the Mixed Zone

Home > Blog > Olympics > Behind the Scenes in the Mixed Zone

After every round in Deodoro Olympic stadium at the Rio Olympics, athletes are required to go through the Mixed Zone. It’s the media equivalent of running the gauntlet. Athlete on one side. Hoards of journalists on the other, repeatedly hitting them with slightly different versions of the same question over and over again.

The Mixed Zone starts with back-to-back (or, if you’re Charlotte Dujardin back-to-back-to-back-to-back) television interviews and works its way down through the print publications. The Olympic Broadcast Network. Thompson Reuters and the Associated Press. English, Foreign, and so on.

Depending on how things go in the ring, it’s either a chance to revel in the glory of a spectacular performance or a special brand of public torture.

You can ask any question in the Mixed Zone. What you cannot do is film the athletes. TV networks pay a hearty sum for that privilege. We’ve got the next best thing. A dramatic reenactment.

Because when you interview 40 athletes in four hours, you start to notice a few trends…

Never change, Olympians. Never change.

About the Author

Author Profile Photo

Carley sees the world through horse-colored lenses. They’re like rose-colored lens, but with more show jumping. Carley’s mission is simple: to make show jumping more popular than hockey, football and ice cream. Combined. Carley lives in Toronto with her partner, daughter and son.

Follow Horse Network

Official Media Partners

Sports & Racing

April 8, 2020

McLain Ward vs Kent Farrington: The Push Up Showdown

With COVID-19 cases in North America soaring to nearly a third of the global total this week, you'd be forgiven if you're feeling a little stressed right now. And if,...
April 6, 2020

Kathy Kusner, Equestrian Rebel

Kathy Kusner is celebrated in American history for her show jumping prowess. Born in 1940 to a family of modest means and zero horse connections, she was an unlikely candidate...
April 3, 2020

Confessions of a Polo Groom

Polo: the game of kings. We've all seen it depicted on TV at some point—gorgeous horses galloping madly after a tiny white ball, players swinging cane mallets, while spectators clad...
March 27, 2020

3 Online Horse Shows to Help Fill the Self Isolation Hours

The [horse] show must go on online! COVID-19 restrictions have led to the cancelation or rescheduling of competitions nationwide. But, a new trend is rising in their absence—online horse shows....

Haru Urara: Japan’s Lovable Loser

"Winning isn’t everything; it's the only thing."  Henry Russell Sanders, UCLA Bruins Coach 1950 “Do your best” Ganbatte (Japanese) Ever since Commodore Perry’s “black ships”—so-called because they belched black smoke...
March 24, 2020

Canceled by COVID-19: How Event Organizers Are Coping

COVID-19 restrictions have led organizers to cancel equestrian competitions and other events nationwide—but at what cost? We caught up with Derek Braun, founder and president of the Split Rock Jumping...