Film Production Technician Sarah-Jane Harrison and Sound Technician Aidan McCarthy worked with the Olympic Broadcast Service (OBS) in London for the 2012 Olympic Games before going out to Rio this year.
In 2012, along with several staff members from the School of Media, Arts and Design, they took part in the Broadcast Training Programmes, run by the OBS across London for local university staff and students to learn about live broadcast.
At the London Olympics Aidan worked as a Commentary Control Room Operator in the largest games venue, the Olympic Stadium, and Sarah-Jane was appointed as a Video Logger on the Table Tennis tournaments and was responsible for logging live feed from the venue to send out to broadcasters.
In 2014 Aidan was contacted by the OBS and invited to work on the Rio 2016 Olympics as a Deputy Commentary Manager on the Mountain Biking and Shooting Range events. Sarah-Jane again joined the archive team, this time as an Ingest Operator, making clips of each interview in every venue across the Games, checking them for quality before sending the clips out to broadcasters.
Speaking about his experience Aidan said: “There is no other sporting event like the Olympics Games on the planet and to be working alongside the world’s best athletes is simply a privilege.
“The highlight for me had to be reconnecting and working side by side with so many graduates from the courses that I teach on. To witness their transition from academia into professional work life is fantastic. It so inspiring to witness them putting theory into practice.”
For Sarah-Jane the highlights were having time off in Brazil to see the sights of Rio and working with the locals. Speaking about her experience she said: “For many of my local Brazilian colleagues this was their first job as they were still studying. They were so happy to have the opportunity to work for the Olympics and meet so many different people from around the world and were so keen to take us out and show us places.
“Working in a job like that takes a lot of concentration and attention to detail can be tough when the hours are long, there’s not always a lot going on, and then suddenly everything happens at once!”