insidethegames brings you the latest and most up to date news and interviews from the world of Olympic, Commonwealth and Paralympic Games.
Duncan Mackay is the editor of insidethegames.biz.
Awards include British Sports Writer of the Year (2004), British News Story of the Year (2004) and British Sports Internet Reporter of the Year (2009).
Mackay is one of Britain's best-connected journalists and during the 16 years he worked at The Guardian and The Observer he regularly broke a number of major exclusive stories, including the news that British sprinter Dwain Chambers had tested positive for banned performance enhancing drugs.
He was the first journalist to alert the world to the fact that Greek sprinters Kostas Kederis and Ekaterina Thanou were under suspicion of using drugs and deliberately avoiding doping tests. Mackay's ground-breaking stories were recognised when he was voted the British Sports Journalist of the Year in 2004 and, in the same year, won the British Sports News Story of the Year.
His impeccable contacts within the Olympic Movement were also brilliantly demonstrated when in 2005 on the morning of the vote to decide which city would host the 2012 Olympics he was the only British journalist to predict correctly that London would beat Paris.
Mackay was also the journalist to carry the Olympic Torch when it passed through London on its way to Beijing in April 2008. This was followed by him carrying the London 2012 Olympic Torch through Wimbledon where he handed the Torch to tennis star Andy Murray outside Centre Court.
Mackay regularly appears on Sky News, BBC News 24, BBC World, Sky Sports News, BBC Radio 5 live and CNBC as well as several other radio and television stations around the world including several Japanese TV stations. He has written several books, including the highly critically-acclaimed "Running Scared: How Athletics Lost its Innocence", "Linford Christie", "The History of the Olympics" and "China Gold: China's Quest for Global Power and Olympic Glory"..
In 2009, Mackay launched, and was the editor of, insideworldparasport.biz and insideworldfootball.biz. The success of insidethegames.biz, insideworldparasport.biz and insideworldfootball,biz led to Mackay being voted British Sports Internet Reporter of the Year (2009).
Mackay has attended five Summer and five Winter Olympic Games, four Commonwealth Games, 22 London Marathons, amongst many other international sporting events worldwide, including two FIFA World Cup Finals. He is looking forward to attending next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Commonwealth Games next July in Glasgow and the second Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in August.
Dan Palmer joined the company in August 2015.
Palmer started his journalism career in Scotland with the Stranraer & Wigtownshire Free Press, who he joined in 2009. He joined the Milton Keynes News as the paper’s sports reporter in 2011. This involved covering the city’s Olympians, including London 2012 long jump champion Greg Rutherford.
In March 2013, Palmer was promoted to sports editor and assumed responsibilities for sport in six further newspapers, the Bedfordshire On Sunday, Luton On Sunday, Luton & Dunstable Express, Bedford Midweek, Northamptonshire Herald & Post and Wellingborough Herald & Post.
In 2014, Palmer was part of the Milton Keynes News team which was nominated for best weekly newspaper at the Newspaper Awards and he was a member of the Bedfordshire On Sunday team nominated for best free weekly newspaper at the East of England Awards. He was named as one of the top 100 football bloggers by The Guardian in 2011 and was nominated for best newcomer at the Iliffe News Media Awards in 2011.
Palmer graduated with a Master’s degree in Newspaper Journalism from Nottingham Trent University in 2008, which was achieved with commendation. He also has an undergraduate degree in International History and International Politics which he earned at the University of Sheffield in 2006.
David Owen is a former sports editor of the Financial Times and chief columnist for insidethegames.biz.
He has had a hand in covering four football World Cups, three Summer Olympics, a G7 Summit and a string of party conferences for the FT, along with general elections in three different countries.
He also reported on the landmark 2001, 2005, 2013 International Olympic Committee Sessions, the 1999 Rugby World Cup, the 2002 Ryder Cup, Euro 2004 and the spectacular 2005 Ashes Series that gripped Britain like no other sports event in a generation. Big-name interviews have included Cathy Freeman, Philippe Sella, Shane Warne, Nick Faldo and the Spanish footballer Raúl. He has written about 30 or more sports in all.
Much of his sports writing has a business slant and he enjoys exceptional contacts with leading international sports administrators in the Olympic Movement and beyond. Under his sports editorship, Sepp Blatter, the FIFA President, became an occasional and much-read FT columnist.
Owen has broken numerous exclusives stories for insidethegames.biz. These include: The IOC’s TOP sponsorship programme was due to break the $1 billion barrier, the Rio lab had failed a "blind test", wrestling had raised its out of competition anti-doping testing in its 2020 campaign, the British Olympic Committee extends its overdraft facility post London 2012, the move by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to place a bulk order for human growth hormone testing kits ahead of 2008’s Beijing Olympics and word that FIFA was considering staging the bidding contests for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups at the same time.
He is also author of a book of cricket stories called "Rain Starts Play" and his latest book on horse racing, "Foinavon: The Story of the Grand National's Biggest Upset" (Wisden Sports Writing) has just been published.
Chief Feature Writer
Mike Rowbottom, one of Britain's most talented sportswriters, covered the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics as chief feature writer for insidethegames.biz, having covered the previous five Summer Games, and four Winter Games, for The Independent.
An assessment of his time at The Independent by the Sports Journalists' Association observed: "His well-balanced and gentle work is widely admired by colleagues and athletes alike. Indeed, for a long spell, Rowbottom had the dubious honour of being perhaps the only member of the British athletics press corps to whom Linford Christie would speak.
“His work at the paper included a highly regarded weekly column that took a humorous look at sport. His co-authored biography with Olympic silver medallist, Roger Black, ‘How Long's the Course?’ was very well reviewed.”
In 2010 Rowbottom’s book “Usain Bolt – Fast as Lightning” was published by BlackAmber Inspirations.
In 2013 his latest book, “Foul Play – The Dark Arts of Cheating in Sport” (Bloomsbury, £12.99) received widespreasd media coverage including Radio 4’s Today Programme and talkSPORT, which featured it as book of the week. It was also named book of the week in publications ranging from Rugby World to The Independent on Sunday, the latter describing it as "A timely book ... This is an illuminating, entertaining excursion into sport's moral maze. Fair play to the author."
Rowbottom has also worked for the Daily Mail, The Times, The Observer and The Guardian.
The subjects of his Olympic articles over the last 16 years have included Torvill and Dean, Linford Christie, Tonya Harding, Sally Gunnell, Steve Redgrave, Wayne Gretsky, Katerina Witt, Carl Lewis, Paula Radcliffe, Michelle Kwan, Kelly Holmes, Rhona Martin, Usain Bolt, Christine Ohuruogu, Amir Khan and Chris Hoy.
Rowbottom also writes regularly for the International Association of Athletics Federations website, covering the Diamond League as well as championship events, as well as for European Athletics. He has also been a regular contributor in the past five years to Rowing & Regatta, British Rowing’s magazine, for whom he completed a 12-part series on past Olympians.
Having run his first London Marathon in 2011, our feature writer is just getting round to running his second somewhere.
Since joining insidethegames.biz, Butler has travelled to a variety of major global sporting events, including the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He has also reported from IOC Sessions in Buenos Aires, Sochi, Monte Carlo and Kuala Lumpur.
Butler particularly enjoys studying the politics and diplomacy of the Olympic Movement, having focused upon recent developments within the IOC and SportAccord, as well as on preparations for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Butler finished in third place in the Journalistic Weblog category at the International Sports Press Association Sport Media Pearl Awards in 2015 for an article entitled: "Crash, bang, wallop as sports politics is turned on its head at SportAccord Convention".
Butler graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2013 with an MPhil in International Relations after achieving a BA honours degree in History at Durham University. He was former sports editor of The Cambridge Student newspaper.
Since joining insidethegames.biz in 2014, Etchells has covered a variety of international multi-sport events, including the 2015 European Games in Baku, the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby and the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival 2015. He has also reported from World Championships in boxing, sambo, weightlifting and wrestling.
Before joining insidethegames.biz, Etchells covered football for various national newspapers through the Wardle Whittell Agency and undertook placements writing for the official website of English Premier League football club Manchester United and BBC Sport.
Etchells graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a BA honours degree in Media and Sports Journalism in 2010.
Since joining insidethegames.biz, Morgan has covered a variety of international multi-sport events and conferences, including the 2015 European Games in Baku, 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby and the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa. He also reported from the FIFA Extraordinary Elective Congress in Zurich.
Before taking up a role with insidethegames.biz, he covered Test cricket for international news agency Reuters.
Morgan graduated from Southampton Solent University in 2014 with a BA First Class honours degree in Sports Journalism.
Since joining insidethegames.biz, Pavitt has covered a variety of international multi-sport events, including the 2015 European Games in Baku and the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.
He has also reported from both Canoe Slalom World Championships in London and World Judo Championships in Astana in 2015. He also covered the 2016 Track Cycling World Championships in London.
Pavitt previously worked at BBC Essex, producing a series of interviews with Paralympic athletes to mark two years until Rio 2016.
Sarah Bowron is the Managing Director of insidethegames.biz.
Sarah has worked in many different areas, but her main background is musical theatre.
Since launching insidethegames.biz Sarah has ensured the company’s performance has made them the leading publication within the Olympic Movement and this was rewarded in 2012 when Klout, which measures level of influence across the web, named insidethegames.biz as the third most influential Olympic website in the world behind the International Olympic Committee and London 2012. And then in 2013, new figures saw insidethegames as sixth most influential Olympic website in the world behind the International Olympic Committee (IOC), United States Olympic Committee, London 2012, Sochi 2014 and NBC Olympics.
Furthermore, under her management the insidethegames.biz 2012 SportAccord International Convention Magazine was shortlisted for the 2013 British Media Awards, the only independent publishing house to be shortlisted.
Sarah’s first Olympic Games was Vancouver 2010, followed by the first ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, followed by the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 2012 and, of course, London 2012.
Sarah has attended five IOC Sessions and all the major votes that have taken place since 2009.
Business Development Executive
Natalie Wallace started working for insidethegames.biz as Business Development Executive in December 2015.
Having moved to Milton Keynes from West Lancashire in 2014, Wallace spent two years working for Mercedes Benz financial services, before joining the team at insidethegames.biz.
Wallace achieved a 2:1 honours degree in Linguistics and Spanish from the University of Newcastle in 2011. During this time, she also spent six months studying at the University of Malaga, perfecting her Spanish and going on to achieve a first class honours in a marketing and media course.
Alex Crawford, who graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BSc honours degree in Chemistry, is a website developer for insidethegames.biz.
Alex is responsible for the development and supervision of the design, layout and coding of the insidethegames.biz website and mobile site.
Alex has impeccable skills in software programming and graphics and has a vast knowledge of advances in computer technology.
When Alex is not working, he volunteers for the RNLI as a helmsman. Alex is also a keen runner and ran Plymouth Half Marathon in 2011, London Marathon and National Lottery Olympic Park run in 2012, and the National Lottery Anniversary run in 2013.
Social Networking Manager
After graduating from Oxford University, Louisa spent five years working as an account handler for two of London's biggest advertising agencies (Bates UK and Ogilvy & Mather), and then left the advertising world behind to go to drama school.
Louisa has provided advertising and marketing consultancy in a variety of business sectors and was also instrumental in the development of two small but successful sports clothing websites, where she first developed her social marketing skills. She has advised a number of organisations on their social media strategy and execution, ranging from a small comedy festival to international sporting federations, via national and international media, journalists & sport teams.
Louisa has also worked as an actor and voiceover in TV, film and stage and also uses her acting skills and business experience extensively in the world of corporate training. Her recent clients include: Nintendo, Pantene, Combat Stress, Viking River Cruises, Esso, First Choice, Virgin Atlantic, Channel 4, More 4, Sunday Telegraph, The Sun & The History Channel. She was the winner of the VOX Awards 2013: Best Female Voiceover Award. The VOX Awards has become one of the most recognised awards in the Commercial Radio Production industry in the UK.
Her involvement in London 2012 ranged beyond her work with insidethegames.biz - she was one of the volunteer performers in the Opening Ceremony, in the Pandemonium section.
When she isn't working, she is a huge sport fanatic, and a season ticket holder at Bath Rugby.