Medfield’s Allan makes Olympics audible

Medfield native and lifelong resident Christopher Allan is the lead audio mixer for the NBC Olympic telecast at the Gangneung Ice Arena in PyeongChang, South Korea. He is responsible for the broadcast sound for the men’s, women’s, pairs, and ice dancing figure skating events, as well as the short track speed skating events. This is his first time working at the Olympics.

“This is a lifelong dream, working at the Olympics,” said Allan. “I jumped at the chance to go to PyeongChang even though I had to choose between the Olympics and working a likely Patriots Super Bowl appearance.” Allan also works part-time for Kraft Sports Productions, the television network of the Patriots.

“We are working very long days, sometimes 20 hours at a time if speed skating and figure skating are airing on the same day,” he continued. “I am staying the Media Village which is a 20 minute bus ride away from the ice arena and I finally had a day off yesterday [Sunday] to walk around the venue and see some sights.”

“This year, we embedded special microphones in the ice to pickup the sounds from the blades,” said Allan. “It’s a balancing act. I have to mix the right levels for the ice sounds, the crowd noise, the music selections and the commentators when preparing the final sound you hear on air but we are receiving great feedback from NBC as well as the ‘Twitterverse,’ and I am enjoying the challenge and the experience. One of the fun highlights was having to ‘bedazzle’ the headsets and microphones used by skating commentators Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir.”

A 1987 graduate of Medfield High School, Chris had his first taste of television working at Medfield Public Access (now Medfield TV) during his senior year, and started his television career working as a camera operator/studio manager for Boston Catholic Television. He later transitioned into audio while working Red Sox broadcasts for WABU TV 68 in the early 1990s. He is currently the lead traveling audio mixer for US Major League Soccer through ESPN and won an Emmy for the 2010 World Cup broadcast in South Africa.

Medfield native Christopher Allan behind the mixing board at the Winter Olympics.

Medfield native Christopher Allan behind the mixing board at the Winter Olympics.

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