Marco Smits recognized by Rideau Lakes for Emmy-award winning coverage of 2022 Olympics

Emmy Winner Marco Smits with his Emmy Award.
Marco Smits is pictured with a Sports Emmy Award for his associate producer coverage of the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games. He just received the award in the mail last month, and was recognized by the Township of Rideau Lakes on Feb. 12 for such an accomplishment. Photo credit: Marco Smits/Facebook
Posted on: February 12, 2024

Fiber optics in Rideau Lakes was the Emmy award winner at a regular meeting of the municipal services committee. 

Marc Smits won a Sports Emmy Award for his work as an associate producer/researcher at the 2022 Beijing Olympic, in the category of Outstanding Live Performance. He said he was but a “small part on such an amazing team.”

Smits said it wouldn’t have been possible without having fiber optics in the village of Portland, where he lives. He’s covered seven other Olympic Games; two others remotely, but this was the first time working from his home. 

“It is a bit of a long story how I got involved and there is definitely no clearcut path to landing a gig like this,” he told this publication later that day. “I have a degree in physical education and sport sciences at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, and sports has always been a big part of my life. Eventually, I got to cover sports as a journalist, locally, nationally and internationally.”

Smits covered three Stanley Cup finals and one NBA final, “and through some of the contacts I made I got in touch with CTV who hired me as their long track speed skating researcher for the Vancouver Games,” he said. 

On Feb. 12, Smits was recognized by the township for this work with NBC on the Olympics and Paralympics coverage at Beijing. Smits only recently received the Emmy by mail, even though he’d won it in May last year. 

Smits brought the trophy to the council chambers in Chantry, and after being presented a scroll in recognition of the achievement by Mayor Arie Hoogenboom, the trophy made its way around the table. 

“I just want to say how proud we are that someone who has been awarded an Emmy is from our area. You certainly bring honour to your profession and honour to your community, Marco,” the mayor said. 

“I have a small scroll – it’s not another Emmy – indicating our appreciation on a great accomplishment.”

Smits said it was exciting learning of the win. “At first, I couldn’t believe it, but it’s just really nice. And I’ve said this before … I clearly couldn’t have done it if I didn’t have fiber,” he said. “It wasn’t until a couple of weeks before that it was actually connected.”

Smits said when he saw the employees from WTC Communications installing the fiber in the village, he approached them to see if he could get his name on the list early for the installation to his home. 

“This came very last minute,” he said. “When I got the offer (to do the Olympics), I had so much equipment in my living room.”

Smits said he was able to get connected to the fiber optics that enabled him to do his work for the Olympics remotely, as WTC Communications was able to accommodate the request. 

Hoogenboom took that opportunity to say that financing fiber optics across the township is one of the ways that an investment in Rideau Lakes has paid dividends for its people. 

“There is much to do and we’ll continue to work on that,” Hoogenboom said. 

“Yes, I’m hearing that from friends on rural roads,” Smits said. 

As for the Paris Olympics this summer, Smits said a lot has changed in the industry. He would like to be in Paris as opposed to working the Games remotely. It’s hard though, he said, as working out of country costs a “few thousand” in working permits. 

“We’ll see,” he said about working in Paris. “There is always a possibility, and these contracts don’t usually get finalized until a couple of months before.”

Smits added his thanks “very much” for the recognition by the township, before leaving the municipal office.

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News