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CBS director has Tampa Bay ties

It's been a long time since Andy Kindle was paid for play-by-play, but while watching the Olympic women's figure skating free program on Friday, he couldn't help but fall back into that mode.

"Katarina Witt just had a bobble _ hey, you're the first person in America to get this information," Kindle told a reporter over the telephone from Lillehammer, Norway. "Ooh. She just fell out of a jump. She's out of medal contention. She won't be on the stand."

Kindle, a resident of the Tampa Bay area, is one of CBS Sports' senior directors. While in Lillehammer, he has directed Pat O'Brien's late-night Olympics wrap-up show. But a much greater challenge awaits Kindle on Sunday, when he will direct CBS' coverage of the closing ceremonies. "It's the biggest thing I've done in my whole career," Kindle said. "It's very exciting for me because this is not just sports direction, its artistic direction."

Kindle, 47, has been involved in sports broadcasting for 24 years and has lived in the Tampa Bay area for the past 22. A Vietnam War veteran and graduate of the University of Southern Illinois, he worked with Chs. 10 and 44 in the early 1970s before joining CBS in 1980.

He has won 14 Emmys for his direction at CBS and in 1987 won the Directors Guild of America's best sports directors award for his coverage of the Tour de France. His job has taken him to 67 countries and 48 states. Kindle also directed National Football League games for CBS.

Curiously, Kindle didn't wish to focus on those accomplishments. The biggest thrill he's had in his professional career came earlier Friday, when he watched Nancy Kerrigan skate to a silver medal.

"This is the greatest thing I've seen," he said. "For Nancy to be able to overcome everything that's happened is just incredible."

On Sunday, Kindle will direct 27 cameras, in addition to one in the Goodyear Blimp, to capture the excitement of the closing ceremonies, which Kindle called "an artistic program about Norwegian culture."

"I'll be deciding what you see," he said. "I'll be coordinating a crew of 180 people and watching 65 TV monitors. It's an unusual situation to be in, like being in a giant TV store and having control of every set. A closing ceremony itself is so huge in scope, and I'll have to decide what is the best picture at the best time."