Olympics stirs up memories of past

Roger Thomas pictured with Rolf Harris. Mr Thomas has been a commentator in past Olympic games.
Roger Thomas pictured with Rolf Harris. Mr Thomas has been a commentator in past Olympic games.

THE success of the Olympic Games in London has reminded a Hailsham and Herstmonceux county councillor of some fascinating stories he has to share from his media work at previous Olympics.

Roger Thomas, who lives in Heathfield, covered his first Olympics, the 1972 Munich games, by presenting and producing television content for Uganda TV.

Sadly the games were overshadowed by the ‘Munich massacre’, where Israeli athletes were taken hostage and killed by the Palestinian terrorist organisation Black September.

Mr Thomas was ordered by Ugandan Dictator General Idi Amin to support the terrorists in his broadcasts, yet he refused.

He told the Sussex Express: “I was lucky to escape with my life. it was probably because Idi Amin saw himself as a great sportsman and much admired my three times weekly sports programmes.”

Mr Thomas’ second Olympic episode took place at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

He was a successful businessman and broadcaster in Hong Kong and on the eve of the games he received a call from Hong Kong channel TVB asking him to commentate on vast swathes of their Olympic coverage.

Speaking about this opportunity, he said: “I could not believe my good fortune, to work on an Olympic Games in the host country is the chance of a lifetime.”

Mr Thomas commentated on the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, daily round-ups, and sports including hockey and boxing.

Regarding the successes of this summer’s games, he said: “London has been a tremendous achievement, Britain must learn to appreciate and build on its success. This country has much to be proud of, we should rejoice in recognising such a successful accomplishment.”