Jiang Heping, TV executive How did you become CCTV 5's controller? It was a great surprise when it happened [in 2005]. I was the controller of CCTV 9, the English-language channel, when I got a call to say Mr Ma [Guoli], Channel 5's controller, had been appointed the chief operating officer at the Beijing Olympic Broadcasting Company and could I fill the vacancy. I had no idea I would be appointed. I used to watch CCTV 9 all day, from morning until night. I never even watched CCTV 5. You must have been delighted It was unimaginable to me, and to most of my colleagues it was also a great surprise. I was completely unprepared. It was a great challenge and of course a great honour. We only started preparing for the Games after I started at Channel 5 and there were many, many planning and brainstorming sessions, from the grass-roots staff to the top management levels. We were brainwashed into thinking of nothing but the Olympic coverage. How are the preparations going? We are getting there. We have 2,500 staff working to get seven channels broadcasting our coverage 24 hours a day for 16 days. Nine hundred of them are specifically sports TV professionals. We have the latest in technology, such as high-definition cameras and a new non-linear editing system. We are responsible for the world feeds of seven sports - soccer, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, badminton, tennis, the modern pentathlon, plus a wushu exhibition. It is an unprecedented opportunity for sports TV people. Nothing like this will happen again maybe for half a century. How do you feel about the timing of certain events, like the swimming being changed to suit commercial interests? NBC has a lot of money. The International Olympic Committee had to listen to certain suggestions. How do you feel about the decision by some Australian athletes to skip the opening ceremony? It's their right. When a guest is invited and he simply says to the host, 'Your room is too dirty', the host must respect his decision. It doesn't matter whether they come or not, the opening ceremony will still be a great success. The loser is actually the guest, not the host. How will you deal with any problems, such as protesters and banner-wavers? We are broadcasting live. But for emergencies, we have made plans. There are proposals to deal with it and we will deal with it in a professional manner. Will China top the medals tally this time? China will be in the leading group, but not necessarily the No 1 or even the No 2. I think the US and Russia will still be first and second, then it should be China. Are you being too modest? No, no. Actually my opinion is quite reasonable. When you say you want to be No1 you must have most of the medals in athletics and swimming, and without the medals in these two you certainly can't say you are a sports power. Liu Xiang is our only athletics hope. China is not a sports power yet, but we will have our day. Will you be covering the London Games in 2012? Definitely.