South Coast man has a rare ticket to be in China for 2022 Winter Olympics
Brad Jay is working his seventh Olympics as an announcer. He's doing international broadcast coverage of a number of snowboarding events.
The Winter Olympics are now in full swing in China.
While the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has led to restrictions on who can be there in person, a Ventura County broadcaster is among the limited number of Americans at the games.
Brad Jay is doing the play-by-play of a number of events for NBC, and for English-language broadcasters in places like the United Kingdom and Australia.
"Growing up, seeing 'Miracle on Ice,' seeing Bill Johnson win a gold medal back in the 80's, and all of the stuff I witnessed as a kid," said Jay. "I was so enthralled by the Olympics, and the Olympics coverage back in those days as a kid, it just stuck with me," said the broadcaster.
"And, the fact I'm actually doing it now, and I'm going into my seventh Olympics, I'm so honored," said Jay. "I get teared up over the whole thing."
Jay’s voice is a familiar one to tens of thousands of radio listeners on the Central and South Coasts. For more than two decades, he’s been one of the disc jockeys at Santa Barbara based classic rock radio station KTYD.
But, he’s also worked is an announcer at sporting events like the X-Games, and at places like Dodger Stadium as a DJ.
In past Olympics, much of his time was spent at contest venues as an announcer. But, because he’s now doing international English language broadcasts for some of the events, he’s working at the massive International Broadcast Center in Beijing.
"I'm a commentator for OBS, Olympic Broadcast Services, for all of snowboarding," said Jay. "So, NBC's app is where I can be heard. Whatever NBC doesn't cover, and they'll cover a lot of the finals, it'll go on the app." said Jay. "As far as other countries, I'll be on their main TV feed," said the Ventura County man.
Jay says as you’d expect, COVID-19 is having a huge impact on the Games. Tight safety protocols mean in most cases there will be no spectators at events. Even NBC, the home of the Olympics in America, is having most of its announcers do the play-by-play of events from the United States.
Jay says while it would be fun to be able to travel, and see events in person, he gets the need for the safety protocols. He's doing his broadcasts from the International Broadcast Center, using onsite video feeds.
Even though he’s halfway around the world, in addition to his Olympics work he’s continuing to do his popular nighttime radio show on KTYD. He's set up a portable studio in his Beijing hotel room.
The Ventura County man says he feels incredibly lucky to have been a part of so many Olympics, and to play a part in sports history.
Jay’s hoping to continue his Olympic streak.
In 2024, the Summer Olympics will be in Paris, and in 2028, the Games will be close to him, and all of us, taking place for the third time in history in Los Angeles.