Phill Lutton and Chris Barrett at the Olympic games in London.
Phill Lutton and Chris Barrett at the Olympic games in London.

From the Devils to Phelps

THE Gympie region might not have any athletes at the Olympic Games but we have more than our fair share of journalists covering the event.

Gympie's Olympic talent is thin on the ground in London.

Our only connections to the Games is through hockey player Matthew Swann, who has a host of relatives living in the Gold City, and Bundaberg volleyballer Thomas Edgar whose father used to live in Gympie while working in the railway.

Julie Ashton-Lucy is another former Gympie hockey player umpiring the sport in London.

But when it comes to journalists covering the event Gympie is punching well above its weight.

Former The Gympie Times sport journalists, Phil Lutton and Chris Barrett, are in London covering the games for Fairfax media.

While Phil and Chris write for digital media and newspapers, Gympie girl Roz Kelly is a member of the Nine Wide World of Sports team in London and former The Gympie Times journalist Lisa Miller has been covering the lead-up to the Games for the ABC.

Phil is the sports editor of brisbanetimes.com.au and Chris writes for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Both are part of the 40-strong Fairfax Media team in London.

Phil is the team's main live blogger and has covered every night of the swimming and other major events in real time, while Chris has covered tennis, swimming, judo, boxing, shooting and water polo.

The London Olympics may be the pinnacle of sport reporting but both got there start covering the Gympie Devils, Hammers and Cats and every other sport in the Gold City.

"The Olympic Stadium in London is a little bigger than Albert Park or One Mile but we have very fond memories of our time at the GT," Chris said.

"We wouldn't have gone anywhere in this game without the wonderful grounding we were both given at our hometown paper.

"Covering an Olympics is a dream come true - all we need is Australia to be winning a few more gold medals."

Phil, whose hometown is Imbil in the Mary Valley, said London had a "super vibe" particularly with Great Britain winning so many medals.

He has covered the Opening Ceremony, spent eight days at the swimming, writing about drug controversies, the Australians and perhaps the greatest Olympian of them all, Michael Phelps.

It's his second Olympics, having covered Athens in 2004 while working in London.

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