Jay Holder

Ali on the Run Show Episode 412: Jay Holder, Olympic Stadium Deputy Venue Media Manager

“I had never done this before. I mean, I’ve done press conferences before, but at this level, this was a whole other ballgame… I mean, there were several moments where I was like, ‘This is the Olympics, so I better do this right, and I better not screw this up, and I better look like I know what I’m talking about even if I don’t. Because this is the Olympics!’”

Jay Holder knows his way around a press conference. As the director of marketing and communications for the Atlanta Track Club (remember this episode?) and as a former journalist himself (he has worked for ABC and with New York Road Runners at the New York City Marathon), Jay is the guy you want running your communications operations if you’re putting on a race. And Jay just got to work his biggest gig yet: as the deputy venue media manager for Olympic Stadium at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Jay spent nine weeks in Tokyo running all communications-related matters inside the stadium, including managing the press tribunes and moderating and facilitating 53 press conferences in a 10-day span! This is a fascinating conversation about all that goes on behind the scenes at the Olympics.

SPONSOR: AfterShokz — Visit ontherun.aftershokz.com for 15% off wireless headphones.

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What is a press tribune? (5:15)
  • Where Jay was during most of the races (7:40)
  • Jay explains his role for the press conferences (10:00)
  • What makes a great press conference question? (17:30)
  • Is Jay’s role stressful? (21:30)
  • How Jay measured success in his role at the Olympics (24:20)
  • How Jay got this job (26:40)
  • All about Jay’s quarantine once he got to Japan (40:00)
  • What it was like getting ready for the Opening Ceremonies (53:40)
  • What was the best part of it all? (59:30)
  • What’s next? (1:06:45)

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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