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Getting the Experience of a Lifetime at the Olympics
The opening of the Summer Olympics on Friday will mark the start of hundreds of hours of televised coverage from dozens of venues in and around London.
Among the many people working behind the scenes to make that complex technological feat a reality is University of Hartford student Joe Dziok ’14.
Dziok, who is entering his junior year as a Music Production and Technology major in The Hartt School, is working as an intern this summer with NBC Universal's Olympics engineering crew in London.
Dziok arrived in London on June 16, and his internship will continue until Aug. 19. During the past month, Dziok says, he has done everything from working with the cable crew preparing hundreds of cables for each of the Olympic venues, to cleaning more than 50 Canon camera lenses. He also was in charge of preparing engineering kits for each camera operator and sound engineer; the kits include the camera, batteries, lights, microphones, cables, and monitors. “It has been a very interesting internship so far, and the Olympics haven't even started yet,” Dziok said. “I'm learning so much from this internship, not only about sound engineering, but also about video engineering as well.”
One of the highlights of the internship so far took place on July 16, when Dziok was one of just three people to go into the athletes village to install a robotic camera and audio system in the USA athletes' residential area so that NBC can conduct interviews there.
“As you can imagine, security is pretty intense here, and they wouldn't let NBC send more than three people into the village to install our systems," Dziok said. "To be one of a very few people to go into the athletes village was incredible.”
Dziok said he was able to get the internship because he knows the vice president of NBC Olympics Engineering, Chip Adams. During the internship, Dziok has been living with family friends in London.
“One thing that has amazed me is how much work goes into the airing of the Olympic Games,” Dziok said. “As part of the Olympic engineers, we are the crew that builds the cameras, audio equipment, and video equipment that is used for NBC’s airing of the Olympics. But when I went to the IBC [International Broadcasting Center], which is home to the NBC control center, I was amazed to see how many people and how much equipment NBC had invested in that building alone, never mind the individual Olympic venues.”
Once the Olympic Games get under way, Dziok will help with repair and maintenance work on equipment, both at the field shop and on site at the venues. From now until the Closing Ceremonies, he will be working 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week, but despite the long hours, he wouldn’t trade it for anything.