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US Media Communications Students Return To Olympics

A US college is sending media students to the Olympics in China.
As it has for every Olympics since 1984, Asbury College, in Wilmore, Kentucky, will send a professionally trained contingent of students to Beijing, China to help international broadcasters televise the 2008 Games.
The school has earmarked 56 students enrolled in its Media Communications department to China, all of whom have been training on professional broadcast equipment from Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) and other vendors since 2005.
Meanwhile, Asbury's 'technology-rich' Media Communications department - which produces a variety of sports and entertainment telecasts on and around the surrounding region - is now building a new 40-foot 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 then be used to train students for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
"This year's students will begin leaving for Beijing on July 15 while others will be ready for the start of the games in August," said Jim Owens, Chairman of the Asbury College Media Communications Department."
He explained that Asbury College is the only school in the US in which its junior and senior level students work in actual paid entry-level professional broadcast positions for various broadcasters at the Olympics.
They have done so for nine Olympic Games where. in support of commercial broadcasters, the students perform a number of tasks, from footage to video and audio editing to operating cameras.
Unlike other college volunteers, the Asbury students - who are trained by Asbury College faculty who have worked numerous Olympics games between them - are paid for their work with the European Broadcast Union, Canadian Broadcast Corp., the host broadcaster, and others.
"We really like Thomson Grass Valley technology and have come to appreciate its reliability and how easy it is to train students on it," said Owens. "Once our students leave here, they can operate a Thomson Grass Valley switcher anywhere in the world."
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, Utah for the Winter Olympic Games in 2002.

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