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"Inside Athletics" interview with Almaz Ayana

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  • "Inside Athletics" interview with Almaz Ayana

    I just watched "Inside Athletics", hosted by Ato Boldon, who interviewed W 10,000 WR hold Almaz Ayana. She looked quite nervous and uncomfortable as he introduced her. He asked her about losing the 5000 after setting the WR in the 10; she said she was very upset and disappointed to lose the 5, but didn't say anything about why she lost or how the race went for her. He asked her whether she was going after the 5000 record or to improve the 10 even more; her answer was "I want good results from 3000 to 10,000". In neither case did Boldon press her for a more complete answer. In fact, all of her answers were pretty evasive and didn't really address Ato's questions, which were delivered in English, whereas her replies were in (I presume) Amharic with English translations as subtitles. I could not hear any translation of the questions, so perhaps she was not fully understanding them. I don't know how much English she speaks. Anyway, somewhat disappointing in terms of getting into her head. Here's a link to the program:
    https://www.iaaf.org/news/series/alm...ideo-interview

    Cheers,
    Alan Shank
    Woodland, CA, USA

  • #2
    Ayana, like a lot of Ethiopian athletes, does not speak much, if any, English. This is pretty typical for Ethiopian athletes (to be fairly shy and nervous during interviews). I, too, watched Ato's interview with Ayana and wondered how much time took place between Ato's questions and her answers. It almost appeared that Ato never actually saw her answers to his questions. I believe that's why you didn't see any follow-up questions from Ato. It would have been much better to have had the interpreter sitting with Ayana so the audience could see Ayana's reaction to Ato's questions.
    Last edited by DoubleRBar; 03-28-2017, 09:35 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DoubleRBar View Post
      Ayana, like a lot of Ethiopian athletes, does not speak much, if any, English. This is pretty typical for Ethiopian athletes (to be fairly shy and nervous during interviews). I, too, watched Ato's interview with Ayana and wondered how much time took place between Ato's questions and her answers. It almost appeared that Ato never actually saw her answers to his questions. I believe that's why you didn't see any follow-up questions from Ato. It would have been much better to have had the interpreter sitting with Ayana so the audience could see Ayana's reaction to Ato's questions.
      I agree. As it was, it came off as super-awkward (maybe that couldn't be helped) and very superficial. Almost absurd. Sad, because we would love to hear some real talk from her instead of canned responses.

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      • #4
        Just to clarify, I am second to none in my admiration for Ayana's ability and her attitude towards racing. It's too bad that, for whatever reasons, the interview was so superficial.
        Cheers,
        Alan Shank
        Woodland, CA, USA

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        • #5
          What if someone who is fluent in both English and Ethiopian was to write out questions and send them to her? That kind of interview would probably yield far more interesting insights into the mind of the athlete and person.

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          • #6
            Agreed. Disappointing interview. The background music didn't help too.

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