Roughly a million residents of the west coast of Canada will be able to follow the trials and triumphs of the Estonian Olympics team in Sochi next month thanks to the decision of a local radio station to make Estonia the special focus of its Winter Games coverage.
Evolution 107.9, a community-licensed radio station based in Burnaby, B.C., will be spotlighting Estonia during the games with a barrage of Estonian-interest sports stories, while the on-air hosts present the country and the athletes in the lead-up to the games. The station's Musical Roots show will also be featuring Estonian music once a week before the Opening Ceremony.
The station's sports director, Mark Dunn, told ERR News that the decision to highlight a lesser-known country was part of an effort to incorporate serious sports coverage into the upcoming programming at the station, whose format is adult album alternative.
"Of course we’re all Team Canada fans, but I wanted to do something more. I thought, Canada has an overwhelming amount of support so let’s find a smaller country to cover," he said.
From there Dunn picked seven countries, including Andorra, Azerbaijan and Chile, then researched them and presented them to the station's staff, most of them British Columbia Institute of Technology students, for a vote. Estonia won by a landslide.
"In the end we decided on Estonia based on how interesting the country and culture are as well as the number of athletes your country is sending to Sochi," he said.
"I’ll be honest - there weren’t a ton of us here at Evolution that were completely familiar with Estonia," he said, adding that he and other staff members are now busily learning all they can about the Baltic state, particularly about members of the Olympics team.
"I can’t say I have any favorite athletes yet, but we’ve started by looking at figure skating. I’m hoping Jelena Glebova can find the podium this year. After placing 7th at the European Championships I think she definitely has a chance. She has all of Evolution rooting for her!"
Evolution 107.9 can be heard via live stream here.