| by Jason Warburg

Institute professor Bill Weber, who is the chief interpreter at the Olympic Games, is preparing to hand that role off to another member of the Institute com­munity, Alexander Ponomarev maci ’00. Both will work the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.

The Institute’s long involvement with the Olympic Games began in Los Angeles in 1984. Weber, then dean of what was the Graduate Division of Trans­lation and Interpretation, arranged an ac­ademic internship for 32 translation and interpretation students, thus making the Institute the “official supplier of transla­tion and interpretation services.” The stu­dents provided both written translation of documents and simultaneous interpre­tation in English and French at the main press center.

Weber, now an adjunct professor, has played a role in providing language services at the Olympics ever since and has served as chief interpreter at 14 re­cent summer and winter games. He notes that Maureen Sweeney MPA ’94 has also been involved with the Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games, serving as a key consultant for the International Olympic Committee and working with the local organizing committees in areas including language services and venue protocol.

After 32 years, he says he will “retire from the Olympic scene” following next year’s Rio de Janeiro games. But the MIIS tradition will continue when Ponomarev takes over as chief interpreter in Rio, where a number of current students are also expected to serve as language-ser­vices volunteers.

“It has been a tremendously re­warding experience to play a role in the Olympic Games for all these years,” con­cludes Weber, “and I’m so proud to see the Institute community continuing that tradition.”

So are we.

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Eva Gudbergsdottir