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Australian Open finals week – capturing the champions

Moments That Matter | By | 23 Jan 2024 | 3 minute read

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In the world of the Australian Open – where each moment unfolds unpredictably – two seasoned maestros stand behind their respective crafts, capturing the triumphs of tennis champions. As these two individuals continue their journey, their crafts intertwine, leaving their permanent mark on the tournament, ensuring the wins of today echo through the records of tennis history for years to come.

Glenn Steer, Steadicam Operator

In the fast-paced world of live sports broadcasting, capturing the essence of the game requires a unique set of skills and a steady hand – literally. Glenn Steer, the seasoned Steadicam Operator at the Australian Open, takes us behind the scenes of his 26-year journey, where every step is unscripted, and every shot is a dance with the game.

“It’s live; it’s not a rehearsed shot. You don’t know what’s coming next,” shares Glenn. The adrenaline of live broadcasting demands an exceptional level of expertise, and Glenn has been delivering just that for over two decades.

Carrying the weight of the vest, arm, and sled – roughly 23kg – Glenn gracefully maneuvers through the courts, capturing tournament-defining moments. Walking down the hall, he describes the incredible tension felt by players before the match starts, an atmosphere that only intensifies his role as the eyes of millions of viewers.

“When the champions are crowned and they hold the trophy – you want that shot perfect because it’s going to make it in all the promos for years to come.” 

Glenn Steer, Steadicam Operator, Tennis Australia

It’s not just the tennis players who need to get in shape – to prepare for the physical demands of his job, Glenn has adopted some training of his own. “I would run in the soft sand, one hundred steps. I’d walk a hundred, and then a hundred backward,” he explains. 

His craft is a dance in itself as Glenn reveals the secret to his free-flowing movement and agility is credited to ballroom dancing with this wife. “I do everything with my hips, my legs, my knees, my feet. The way you move around, that’s exactly what you get from a ballroom dancer,” he says.

Glenn acknowledges the sole reason he does what he does is to capture the champions being crowned with their trophy. “To be down there, so close to the players, and to be able to provide shots of their celebration and seeing the whole crowd, it’s just a great job.”

Michael Quinn, Trophy Engraver

Behind every trophy, lies a story – not just of victories on the court, but of the meticulous craftsmanship that immortalizes those triumphs. Meet Michael Quinn, the engraver at the Australian Open, who breathes life into history one delicate cut at a time.

“I have to stop breathing when I’m making a cut. I don’t even know how long I’m holding my breath for,” shares Michael, offering a glimpse into the focus and precision needed for his unique craft. Engraving is not just a job for him; it’s a responsibility to record the moments that define the Australian Open, capturing the essence of its champions.

Michael takes pride in working on what he considers one of the best trophies in Australia. As the engraver, he not only etches names and dates, but becomes an ambassador of tradition, preserving the symbols and stories that make the trophy unique.

“They’ll be around a lot longer than we will be. It is history. I’ve left my mark in a big way.”

Michael Quinn, Trophy Engraver, Tennis Australia

Time may not be on Michael’s side, admitting “I like to take my time.” Last year presented a new challenge when his engraving went live on camera. “After set point, it flashed onto me engraving it. I just had to shut everything else out. Making sure I’ve got that letter perfect, and the next letter perfect.”

Engraving, for Michael, is an honor – a chance to contribute to history. “They’ll be around a lot longer than we will be,” he says. “It is history. I’ve left my mark in a big way.”

As the Australian Open unfolds each year, Michael continues to etch the names of champions into the annals of tennis history, ensuring the trophies bear witness to the triumphs of today and the legacies of tomorrow.

We’ve captured more winning moments from the AO. Read on:

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