Bringing the Olympics to your computer screen -- Quokka Sports helps bring the gold home, online

By Scott Gummer
Updated March 12, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Work hard, play hard, surf hard. No one takes this motto more to heart than San Francisco-based digital-sports pioneer Quokka Sports. After designing the site for the International Olympic Committee and gaining acclaim for its online coverage of the Whitbread Round the World yacht race, Quokka’s next project will showcase the grueling Marathon des Sables. Starting April 4, fans of multimedia masochism can log onto and watch 500 lunatics, er, competitors — including Quokka’s John Johnson and Michelle Schaiman — run 150 miles across the Sahara Desert. Via satellite uplink, a team of Quokka journalists will beam news, digital photos, audio/video streams, and leader boards, plus vital signs and diaries from 10 racers who’ll chronicle their ordeal for Quokka. Says chief creative officer Michael Gough, ”By the time it’s over, the production team may be as near death as the athletes.”