Glendale man makes fourth trip to the Olympics

Posted at 9:39 PM, Aug 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-04 23:32:11-04

Lee Pfannerstill gets paid to go to the Olympics.

He works for NBC and if he is doing his job right, you won't even notice.

Pfannerstill is in charge of audio at Olympic events such as gymnastics. He says there are over 85 microphones placed around the different apparatus.

"It's like when the ball goes through the hoop during basketball. You hear it. That's because there's a microphone right by the hoop for the games," he said.

When Lee isn't in remote corners of the globe covering sporting events, he is the director of video services for the BMO Harris Bradley Center. He started there two weeks after the arena opened and from there launched his way to providing audio at major sporting events.

"I've done eight Super Bowls. I've done five Stanley Cup finals. I've been nominated for six Emmys and won two, and this will be my fourth Olympics."

Pfannerstill said his favorite Olympic experience was the London games in 2012, "Our hotel was a ten minute walk through the queen's gardens so it was just a beautiful experience."

In Sochi, Russia, he ran into a language barrier with a coffee maker. "Well, it was all in Russian so nobody had a clue. So we kinda huddled around to watch it and all right, you push this button and see what comes out."

In Rio, Lee and his hand-picked crew will be working in the gymnastics venue. They have used the last week and a half to set up and rehearse.

"The only day where we'll kind of get a break is the opening ceremony because that's the only thing going on at least at night," he said.

Then he and his crew will put in twelve hour days for sixteen days straight.

He said things get really exciting when the medal rounds begin. "There's one girl, I think she just turned 17, and you think about what they're going through and just winning that medal has got to be just awesome," he said.

The month away from his family is hard, but Pfannerstill said it is worth it.

"To be a part of something like that, it's an incredible thing to be a part of."