Asbury College trains students for Olympics production

Asbury College, in Wilmore, KY, will send 56 students enrolled in its media communications department to China to help international broadcasters televise the 2008 Olympic Games. The students have been training on professional broadcast equipment since 2005.

This year’s students will begin leaving for Beijing on July 15, while others will be ready for the start of the games on Aug. 1. Asbury College is the only school in the United States in which its junior and senior students work in paid entry-level professional broadcast positions for various broadcasters at the Olympics. They have done so for nine Olympic Games.

The school’s media communications department, which produces a variety of sports telecasts on teams in and around the surrounding region, is now building a new 40ft HD-capable truck, complete with a new Thomson Grass Valley Kayak HD 250 switcher.

The new truck, which will hit the road in August and begin producing a variety of local events that will air on the local cable TV system, will be used to train students for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In support of commercial broadcasters, Asbury College students perform a number of tasks, from video and audio editing to camera operations. Unlike other college volunteers, the Asbury students — who are trained by Asbury College faculty who have worked numerous Olympic Games — are paid for their work with the European Broadcast Union (EBU), Canadian Broadcast Corp (CBC), the host broadcaster and others.

The Asbury College media communications department currently operates two Thomson Grass Valley 200 switchers, one in a production control room attached to its on-campus TV studios and another onboard a 24ft mobile production truck.

In 1996, for the Atlanta Olympic Games, Asbury College sent 173 students to support the worldwide broadcast, while about 75 students were in Salt Lake City for the Winter Olympic Games in 2002.

For more information, visit