Play-by-play commentary in aboriginal languages a labour of love, creativity
By Paul Watson
Tiorahkwathe Gilbert was the first among his people to broadcast Olympic men's super-G in his native language Friday afternoon.
A rookie to sports commentary, he has spent months training for the landmark moment. He's had long discussions with elders in coffee shops and at kitchen tables to agree on the best way to express things the Mohawk haven't had much cause to say before.
Most of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit broadcasters calling the Winter Olympics action for APTN are rookies recruited from communities across the country and trained by veteran sportscaster Jim Van Horne.
Van Horne's dulcet voice is familiar to fans of hockey on TSN. He has also broadcast from the Calgary, Sydney and Beijing Olympics. During the Vancouver Games, he's working from APTN's Winnipeg studios, mentoring the aboriginal broadcasters he coached.
Below: "Tiorahkwathe Gilbert, a commentator with Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, broadcast the Olympic men's super-G event in Mohawk." (John Woods/The Canadian Press)