There's not much of a better time to be a sports fan.
The Olympic Games in Tokyo starts in earnest from Friday night with the staging of the opening ceremony and there will be few people in Dubbo as glued to their screens as Steve Gamble.
Not only is Gamble the president of the Dubbo Athletics Club and someone who's passionate about helping young athletes chase their dreams and the benefits of an active life style, he has a real connection to the Olympics.
When he was younger, Gamble was a promising athlete but had his own Olympic dream shattered by a serious injury. Today there's a focus on helping other but a real love affair with the Games remains, as is clear by the fact he currently has an Olympic torch from the 1956 Games at Melbourne in his home.
"It's magnificent," Gamble said of being in possession of the torch.
The torch came into Gamble's possession via his father, who was an avid collector of sports memorabilia and had a huge amount of items relating to the 1956 Games.
The torch came into the family roughly three decades ago but had been in storage for around 15 years before Gamble and his brother decided to take it out in the last six months and show it off in the lead-up to the Olympic Games at Tokyo.
The plan had been to visit a number of schools to help promote the Games and its history and while COVID has made that a little difficult, Gamble has still done all he can to provide the kind of inspiration it gave him as a child.
"As a kid when my father first got it, it was always an aspiration to try and make it to the Olympics and unfortunately my career was cut short but it's passed on to my two girls and they love it and like just having it around," Gamble said.
"To see the look on people's faces when they see it and get the chance to touch and hold it. They see it on TV every four years and they can see the torch from Australia's first Olympics, you can see they're reliving memories of past events and there's a bit of passion."
The family also owns a Sydney 2000 torch, among other historic items, but travel restrictions have made it that little more difficult for Gamble to get that historic piece to Dubbo.
Growing up, Gamble was a talented football player while he also showed plenty of promise in track and field, with a focus on the 100m sprint and long jump.
He was awarded a scholarship to help him chase his Olympic dream but tragedy struck just as he was primed to make a real name for himself.
"In 2001 I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship in athletics and I was due to jump my first qualifying event for the junior world championships but I broke my back the night before," Gamble revealed.
"I fractured two vertebrae in my lower spine and that was the end of my long jump dream."
The love for sport didn't end through and Gamble has enjoyed some stellar results on the masters athletics circuit while he's previously played in the NSW Premier League football competition and has even reached a high level in events like snooker.
His role as president of the Dubbo Athletics Club also keeps him involved and allows him to share his own experiences with the next generation who could potentially represent their country on home turf after Brisbane was awarded hosting rights for the 2032 Games on Wednesday evening.
"Now it's time to pass that torch, you could say, on to my kids," he said, before speaking about the Brisbane Games.
"It's is tremendous. We've got a unique opportunity this time around to make it bigger than Sydney, and bigger than Melbourne."
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