, Newburyport, MA


January 31, 2014

Off to Sochi

Port man makes improbable return to Olympics

NEWBURYPORT — It may be one of the city’s best kept secrets that there has been an Olympic veteran living quietly here for about seven years.

Dominique Clement is off to Sochi at the end of the week, via Boston, New York and Moscow, marking his fifth trip to the Olympic Games. He won’t return to Newburyport with a medal, though he deserves one (more on that later).

He has to annunciate names like Demtschenko, Fischnaller, Florschuetz and Fogt. That alone is worthy of a bronze, no?

Clement is the French-speaking public address announcer for three events: luge, skeleton and bobsleigh. There are three PA announcers for each event: the native language (Russian), English and French.

Clement makes his living as the director of Translation Services for the French Cultural Center of Boston. Sochi marks the third time he will do PA at the winter games, his latest stop in what has been a very cool side gig.

Clement finds it, well, pretty easy.

“But you have to be focused,” he said. “We get all the (name) pronunciations beforehand and we record them.”

Clement did PA for the same three events in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2010. He was the French PA announcer for all the men’s and women’s soccer games in Athens in 2004, and announced the biathlon, Nordic combined and cross-country skiing at Salt Lake in 2002.

Clement immigrated to the U.S. for good in 1989 with his American wife, Patricia, who moved to Paris after college. He got his start at the Atlanta Games in 1996, where he announced men’s and women’s soccer. That led to serving as the consultant for the U.S. Soccer Federation delegation at the 1998 World Cup in France.

Despite an impressive resume for PA announcing, Clement still has to apply every time the Olympics come around. He decided not to apply for Beijing in 2008 as his son Max, 11, and daughter Madeleine, 13, were very young. He was passed over for London 2012.

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