Broadcasting diploma helps grad go the distance to Winter Olympics

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NC Broadcasting grad (2007) Ryan Mahle was in the heart of the action in Pyeongchang, working at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

When Ryan Mahle graduated from Niagara College’s Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film program in 2007, he never imagined how far it would take him.

Now, as a supervising technician for foreign operations and field production support for the CBC, Mahle’s job takes him around the world – including Pyeongchang, South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. It was the second Olympic gig for the Fenwick native who currently lives in Toronto.

InsideNC caught up with the NC grad and asked him what it was like to work at the Olympics, in addition to his time at NC, and his career. Here is what he had to say:

How do you feel about the opportunity to work at the Olympics?  

It’s a fantastic opportunity. The team that does the Olympics is filled with some of the most brilliant minds in broadcasting and to work with these people is a truly amazing experience.

What is your role at the Olympics?

My main role is as an ingest operator;  we take the raw footage (interviews, scenics, feature material) from our crews and feed it back to Canada where it’s edited and put on air and online. I’m also providing technical support for our 10 portable video transmitters (which work using cellular technology) as well as other assorted technical support for our news personnel here on the ground.

What’s it like to be there?

It’s a pretty amazing experience. I like to joke you can travel the world just by visiting the International Broadcast Center (IBC). Coming into our space, we walk past broadcasters from all the other countries; plus, riding the media buses you have the opportunity to chat with people from all over the world.

The vibe is a very positive one, despite the long hours and rapid pace of the Games.

What do you find rewarding about the experience?

Being part of such a talented group of people, and knowing that we are making sure Canadians have access to such an important event.

What are the challenges of working at the Games?

The big challenge is the distance between venues and using a lot of remote workflows to get the footage back to the IBC. Thankfully, the internet and cellular service has been pretty amazing thus far making things a bit easier in that regard.

Do you feel your experience at NC helped get you to where you are today?  

The technical knowledge I have is largely founded on the things I learned while at Niagara College. The industry has been changing at a rapid pace and I don’t think I’d be able to keep up if it wasn’t for the solid foundation I got from the BRTF program.

Have there been any personal highlights for you at the Olympics?

Just getting the opportunity to meet and talk to other broadcasters from all over the world. There’s a great knowledge exchange that happens at large events like this, and that is a very cool part of being here.

Do you feel your experience at NC helped get you to where you are today?

The technical knowledge I have is largely founded on the things I learned while at Niagara College. The industry has been changing at a rapid pace and I don’t think I’d be able to keep up if it wasn’t for the solid foundation I got from the BRTF program.

What drew you to NC’s Broadcasting program?

The reputation, mainly. The program was well regarded among the people I had spoken with – and still is today, I should add – and the fact it was very close to home was a nice bonus.

As a student, did you have a career goal in mind?

My main career goal, originally, was to work as a video editor, which I did for a while, but I was offered an opportunity that led to my current role.

In truth, I never suspected I would end up in a job like I have now.  The fact I get to travel a lot is something I really love.

Related article:

Broadcasting grad helps set the stage in Pyeongchang

 

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