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Top of the World

  • April 8, 2010, 6 p.m.

It's a dream for any sports fan to attend the Olympics. But go for free and even get paid for it? Even the athletes don't get that luxury.

But Sam Craig did exactly that.

Craig is the Chief Engineer for Film, Video, and Broadcast Production Services at the University of Oklahoma and he went to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. But not compete. Instead, he was there to do a job he's used to.

Craig was a venue engineer in charge and oversaw and worked on the construction of a control room, high definition video boards, sound equipment and multiple other things, done in just five days. Once everything was set up, Craig produced the video that was directed to the high definition screens. He primarily produced for the alpine skiing event and reports to a company chief engineer.

"What you see on TV doesn't come close," Craig said. "There's this insane amount of energy coming from the crowd as everyone goes crazy for their country that spectators at home never see."

Before departing, Craig had to memorize the setups and then once there, had to physically construct everything. And he said to be involved in such a capacity with an event like the Olympics was quite flattering.

“To be handling an event of this caliber is extremely eye-opening,” he said. “I was a little nervous. These types of jobs you kind of have to fly by the seat of your pants. But I was prepared and everything went off without a hitch. Everybody kept asking me if they’d see me on TV and I just say, ‘Not unless something goes horribly wrong.’”