Two people in a recording booth deep inside a Connecticut office park are helping millions of blind Americans feel part of the Olympics like never before.
For the first time in the U.S., NBC is airing the Olympics in prime time with additional narrators who simply report what's happening on screen — a sort of closed captioning for the visually impaired. Most viewers won't even know the additional narrators are there; to hear them, you need to turn on special cable-box settings to activate their audio track. But their running blow-by-blow can open things up for the blind, who at best get an incomplete picture from traditional sportscasting that takes visuals for granted.
"I love the Olympics," says Marlaina Lieberg, 66, who's been blind since birth and has long bugged her sighted husband to describe the athletic events. "I'm so happy I'm going to be able to sit back, watch the Olympics like anybody else, know what's going on, not have to imagine or wonder. That's huge.