Shawn Dechant’s UIndy education started him on the road to seven NBA finals, three Super Bowls, and, now, his fourth Olympic Games. The 1997 graduate of UIndy’s Communication program is an Emmy-winning independent videographer (seen at left capturing the NBA’s LeBron James) who ran a camera for NBC at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. “I can’t believe we’re getting paid to do what we do,” he told his hometown newspaper, the Goshen News.
Shawn spent his time in Sochi at the Extreme Park Venue covering such events as snowboarding halfpipe, freestyle aerial, and mogul. His camera was running when Canadian men’s freestyle skier Alex Bilodeau captured the gold and immediately went over to hug his source of inspiration—his brother, Frederic, who has cerebral palsy. “You don’t get many opportunities in sports to cover a story like that,” says Shawn to Portico, “so it was an honor to be a part of it and to bring that story into the homes of many.” Shawn was shooting when snowboarder Shaun White concluded his final run on the halfpipe, and he was there when White earned gold at the games in Vancouver. “He remembered me from 2010,” Shawn said to the newspaper. “To be around a guy like this, when it could probably be his last Olympics, is pretty cool.”
But Shawn’s favorite Olympic moment came in 2008 at the Beijing summer games. He covered the swimming events and was on the pool deck when swimmer Michael Phelps earned his historic eighth gold medal. “Having the opportunity to be there that week was definitely a dream,” says Shawn. As an independent contractor, Shawn does work with ESPN and ABC covering college football, major league baseball, and the NBA. In addition to assisting with Olympic coverage, he also covers some Sunday Night Football. “I have been blessed beyond what I could imagine, to be doing what I love to do and to have a front row seat for some of the biggest moments in sports each year,” he says.
Shawn and his family live in Arizona, but he enjoyed his time spent in Indianapolis. “UIndy gave me quite a few opportunities that have helped me to get to this point in my career,” he says. “I’ll never forget working at the WICR radio station broadcasting games and doing the afternoon news. It is another experience that has helped me to grow as a person. I am definitely a proud Greyhound.”