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Dorow, Earle Heading to Atlanta As Volunteers at Summer Olympics

By Shawdee Eshghi
Staff Reporter

MIT is a world renown institution for many things, but athletics, unfortunately, is not one of them. Nonetheless, we are sending our own contingency to this year's Olympics.

Yes indeed, Associate Dean of Residence and Campus Activities and Advisor to Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups Neal Dorow and Women's Varsity Crew Coach Mayrene Earle will be heading to Atlanta this summer to take part in the pageantry of the Centennial Olympic Games.

While neither Dorow nor Earle will be competing in these Games, their paths to the Olympics have involved just as much determination, desire and hard work. Dorow, a lifelong wrestling afficionado, will be an official in the wrestling competition, while Earle will be assisting in the rowing events.

Dorow will be volunteering as a Results Control operator in Atlanta this summer. While not actually officiating the wrestling matches, his position is a crucial one. Dorow will act as a liaison between the games and the press, verifying scores before they are released to the international media.

With the onset of electronic scorekeeping in the wrestling matches, it is increasingly important to make sure that the results are completely accurate, Dorow said. "It really does require a lot of knowledge and specialization."

Dorow is not a newcomer to the sport of wrestling. He was an avid wrestler himself in high school and later college, at the University of California-Berkeley. After that, he became involved in coaching and officiating events, until he received his International Coaching License in 1983.

He has been an active referee in international events since then. In fact, Dorow worked as an official at the World Wrestling Championships last summer. "It was a great experience, a sort of prerequisite for the Olympics," said Dorow.

The Olympic Committee stipulates that each country is allowed to send only three referees to the Games. However, many more officials are needed to keep the matches running smoothly, as there are often three matches going on simultaneously. This is why international officials from all countries were invited to apply to volunteer at the Games. A training session will be held in Atlanta in May.

"I'm really looking forward to going to the Games," Dorow said. "There's nothing in the world like the Olympics."

Similar sentiments were expressed by Earle, who will be volunteering by escorting officials out on the lake for the rowing events. "It's a one-time opportunity," Earle said. "How many chances in a lifetime will I get to be involved in the Olympics at any level!"

Earle, like Dorow, has made a lifelong commitment to the sport of rowing. In addition to her duties here at MIT, Earle coaches masters leagues and camps over the summer. After volunteering at Nationals last year, she and many other college crew coaches were invited to work at the Olympics as "high priority volunteers."

Earle's role, though very much behind-the-scenes, is also crucial to the outcome of the races. she will be driving a launch around on the race course, Lake Lanier, about an hour northwest of Atlanta. Her many responsibilities include making sure the course is safe, assisting the safety teams, and helping the crews get lined up for the events. "We might even be following the races along the river," said Earle.

In return for her efforts, Earle will get a premiere seat for viewing her favorite sport. "I'm really excited about getting to see everything so close," she said.

As a coach herself, Earle said the the Games will inevitably teach a few new things about rowing. "We're going to be there for the training as well as the races, so I'm bound to pick up some new drills, new information, new words," she said.

As both Dorow and Earle express, the Olympics represent one special moment in time, be it for an athlete, an official, or even a volunteer. "I changed my mind about going several times," said Earle. "But I knew I just couldn't pass up an opportunity like this. It's really going to be something!"