One More Win from Rio

Troy Venechanos, AS’O9, MS’16, takes a Sports Emmy for his work at the 2016 Olympics.

By Magdalena Hernandez

As a manager of game services with NBC Olympics, Troy Venechanos is used to watching others nab gold medals. But in May 2017, it was his turn in the winner’s circle when his team earned a Sports Emmy for its coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics. The category was “Outstanding Technical Team Remote,” and competitors included the World Series and the Super Bowl 51. Pretty heady stuff, considering Super Bowl 51 featured the Patriots’ astonishing comeback to beat the Falcons.

What’s next? No, he’s not going to Disney World. Instead, Venechanos, AS’O9, MS’16, has been traveling regularly to South Korea, to work on the 2018 Winter Games. He heads the logistics team at Pyeongchang’s Media Village, where his group manages the travel arrangements and onsite considerations for the 2,500 people associated with the Olympics. He notes the political climate in North Korea hasn’t affected preparations, though young people in SoKo staged a demonstration in Seoul.

“It’s an extremely rewarding experience,” says Venechanos, who earned his master’s degree in Sports Leadership from the College of Professional Studies. “The travel is really exciting. I’d never seen Asia before this.”

A hockey fan who has never missed a Beanpot match, Venechanos is looking forward to watching Olympians in his favorite winter sport.

At the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, Venechanos led operations at Rio’s Media Center, which housed more than 600 journalists during the two weeks of competition in August.

Did you know: Olympic gold medals are 93% silver?—CNN Money

“There were some long days, that’s for sure,” Venechanos laughs. “There are always glitches, but your aim is to make the experience as seamless as possible.”

Despite the frenetic schedule, the self-professed “Olympics geek” relishes every moment.

“It’s really amazing the work that goes into something like this,” says Venechanos. “The scale of the games, the ceremonies, the preparation—it’s remarkable to see everything come together.”

As for how he’s developed the cultural agility to hop from country to country, Venechanos says doing his homework pays off.

“I research cultural practices and talk to colleagues who’ve been there before,” he says. “And I learn some things on the fly.”

In the fall, he’ll take his first trip to Tokyo in preparation for the 2020 Olympics. “You have just enough time to catch your breath before getting back to work on the next Games.”

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