Carrying the Torch

Santa Clara alums served as play-by-play announcers at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Carrying the Torch
Image courtesy Wikimedia

Reaching the Olympics isn’t just a dream for athletes but for play-by-play announcers too, says Jack Benjamin ’18. The radio voice of Nicholls State University in Louisiana, Benjamin traveled to NBC Sports headquarters in Stamford, Conn., to remotely call events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this past summer.

“Athletes work their whole lives to get there. The whole world is watching,” Benjamin says. “To be one of the people to share those stories is pretty cool. Benjamin called the first event to hand out a gold medal, the women’s 10M air rifle on July 23 (China won gold), as well medals for Taekwondo, skeet shooting, and the new Olympic sport of karate.

Following a year when so many lost their lives and livelihoods, sports can offer a reprieve for the world from the realities of COVID-19. While Benjamin acknowledges the pandemic is not over, hearing the iconic “bum-bum-bum” of the NBC Olympics music for the first time in five years provided some normalcy. And to hear his voice follow that music? An honor.

Benjamin wasn’t the only Bronco to call events in the historic Tokyo Olympics. Danielle Slaton ’02, who was a member of the U.S. national team that won silver at the 2000 games in Sydney, Australia, served as a soccer commentator.

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