Juliet Fahey is one of two Tri NZ Technical Officials attending the Rio Olympics.
Tell us about your role in the Rio Olympic Games?
My role at the Olympics is Technical Delegate which involves originally course approval, then ensuring all the infrastructure is there for the event to proceed. For an event like the Olympic Games this involves a huge amount of work with each functional area: i.e. broadcasting, venue accreditations, time & results, security, venue development, venue management, workforce volunteers, Marine Plans, Medical Plans, Contingency Planning and much, much more.
I was appointed to the role following the London Olympics and have been working, in a voluntary capacity, since then on Rio. My appointment is the first time the International Federation (ITU) has appointed a non staff member to this role therefore making history. This was then endorsed by the IOC.
Following my appointment I was very humbled by the encouragement I received from my family of technical officials around the world and their continued support.
Why is your role important for the Triathlon event?
The role is important to triathlon as it builds the infrastructure around the event so the athletes can have a safe and fair race
You have been to Rio now a few times, how do you think the preparations for the Games are progressing?
I have just returned from my seventh visit to Rio. As in any major event there are still a number of obstacles to overcome but none are insurmountable and we have good local people on the ground. We have an open venue that is over 1km long which gives different challenges than a stadium based venue. Everyone is doing their very best.
What is your background as a Technical Official?
I started officiating in 2003 and I've travelled the world officiating at many events from Continental Cups to World Cups to World Triathlon Series to World Triathlon Series Grand Finals, where I have held several senior positions. I have officiated at Major Games including 2012 London Olympics and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
As a qualified ITU Course Facilitator I enjoy "giving back" educating & mentoring other officials.
What is the Rio Olympic Triathlon course like? What will make it special for the athletes?
The Rio course is situated at the iconic Copacabana Beach and due to the nature of space available is over 1km long. Athletes will swim in the waters of Copacabana Beach before heading along the Avienda Atlantica on the bike, and turning up onto the fast & technical section with a major hill climb each lap which will suit strong riders. The run course then covers the front of the beach area where spectators will see plenty of action.
This visit I went to the Olympic Village which is looking great. During the visit the milestone of "100 days to go" was celebrated. The time will go quickly now, as athletes around the world look to secure valuable points towards final selections.
Can you give us a run-down of what race-week looks like for you leading up to and including race-day?
Pre games, I arrive in Rio on August 3 with the triathlon competition being on August 18 and 20. This time will be spent finalising last minute requirements, being able to be at the venue, and preparing for the athlete pre race Familiarisations & Athlete Briefings, Rehearsals and the arrival of the International Technical Team. During race week, work will continue with preparing for the swim & bike familiarisations, delivering the Athlete Briefing & Pontoon Draw (which determines race start positions) Race day my role will be ensuring that everything prepared over the last 3.5 years is in place and operating correctly, being at the race start and finish and ensuring any issues are addressed and solved.
For me the experience has been absolutely fantastic, working alongside people that are dedicated to their roles. The role is at times tiring and incredibly hard work, but something I am very privileged and proud to be part of.
I am looking forward to getting to Games Time to see all the work become a reality and the athletes can compete in a safe & fair race.