STAMFORD, Conn. -- 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 whats happening on screen -- a sort of closed captioning for the visually impaired. Most viewers wont even know the additional narrators are there; to hear them, you need to turn on special cable-box or TV 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, whos been blind since birth and has long bugged her sighted husband to describe the athletic events. Im so happy Im going to be able to sit back, watch the Olympics like anybody else, know whats going on, not have to imagine or wonder. Thats huge.DESCRIBING THE SUNSETOn a recent Wednesday, narrator Norma Jean Wick opens the Olympics broadcast in a neutral, almost robotic tone, saying Golden orange sunset in Rio de Janeiro as music swells over a shot of the city. Night has fallen, she continues, right after NBCs Bob Costas intones, Aaaand here we go.Wick and Jim Van Horne, both Canadian sports broadcasting veterans, devoted hours to studying the sports and NBC commentators speech patterns. They aim to wedge in short sentences or even a few words amid the often breathless announcing. At one point during a beach volleyball match, Wick mostly limits herself to reciting the score -- otherwise invisible to those who cant see -- in-between points.While they try not to talk over announcers, it happens. During a pause, Van Horne notes that U.S. player Kerri Walsh Jennings was waiting for the wind to die down to serve; the announcers started up again before he finished his sentence. Blind viewers say sometimes they cant hear the NBC announcers in the crosstalk.Finding the right words can be difficult, said Wick, who keeps stacks of notes in front of her. When you say a spike, what does that mean? When you say a tumbling pass, well, what are they doing exactly?CAPTIONS FOR THE BLINDWhile closed captioning for the deaf today is ubiquitous, most people who arent visually impaired have never heard of audio description or video description, as this sort of narration is formally known. It was developed for U.S. TV in the 1980s, and is now available for certain prime-time series and childrens shows on the major broadcast networks and a few cable channels. Descriptions are also available in many movie theaters, on Netflix and during some live theater.For a long time, the visually impaired didnt know how much they were missing from TV shows and movies, says Paul Schroeder, head of programs and policy at the American Foundation for the Blind. If youre trying to follow a program, you need to know the basis of whats going on. The car chase, the gun shots, the subtle or not-so-subtle look across the room.But live TV events are much harder to narrate because theres no script, and as a result narrated sports events remain rare in the U.S. All that raises the level of difficulty for NBCs narrators.The aim is to provide what and how, says Van Horne -- what an individual is wearing, the expression on their face, how did they fall, how did they twist the ankle. Not only can the blind follow the action, they can also connect with the emotional upheavals that are as much a part of the Olympics as the sports.Karen Gourgey, 68, the director of a center that trains blind people to use technology at Baruch College in New York, normally finds herself bored by the Olympics, for obvious reasons, she says. Now, though, shes getting more specifics when medals are presented -- this ones in tears, that ones hugging, all the stupid stuff. Shes learned that a gymnast used the whole floor during a tumbling routine and that swimmers perch on starting blocks before they dive into the pool.You can still get quite electrified, she says.HARD-TO-SEE CONTROLSNarration for the blind isnt always easy to find or operate on TV. Lori Scharff, a 41-year-old blind social worker on New Yorks Long Island, cant activate the setting herself because shed have to navigate a TV-screen menu. She cant just leave them running all the time, either, because they share a track with Spanish-language audio that kicks in when a show isnt narrated for the blind (as most are not).Advocates credit Comcast, which owns NBC, for producing a cable box that audibly recites menu options in a mechanical female voice. That lets the blind activate narration without help from someone who can see. All major cable and satellite TV providers are required to provide similar audio features by Dec. 20.It can also be hard to know what shows gets narrated. 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Third-seeded Murray had the easiest path to victory on New Years Eve, barely breaking a sweat during his 6-0, 6-0 win over 2,129th-ranked Qatari wildcard recipient Mousa Shanan Zayed. Wholesale Ray Ban Sunglasses . PETERSBURG, Fla. The third-seeded pair of Sania Mirza and her partner Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic advanced to the doubles final of the Wuhan Open, winning their quarter-final and semi-final matches, both of which were played in Wuhan, China on Friday. While they beat sixth-seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-3, 7-6 [7-5] in the early evening session, their semi-finals win by a score of 6-4, 3-6, 10-7 came in an hour and 26 minutes against?the second-seeded pair of Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chin of Chinese Taipei a few hours later.Sania and Strycova lost serve three times in the opening set, but broke four times to take the first set in just 27 minutes in their semi-final.?The second set saw the higher-ranked Chan sisters break their opponents early on, and they maintained that lead to open up a 4-2 lead in the process. Though Sania and Strycova broke back, they would drop serve immediately afterwards, and the set was wrapped up by the Chinese Taipei pair in a little over half an hour.?Sania and Strycova tried their best to keep pace with their opponents in the 10-point tie-breaker in the final set, despite trailing 3-1 and 4-3 at different stages. They were able to win five of the last seven points played to wrap up the match on the very first match point they got.Earlier in their quarter-final, Sania and Strycova were the first to break serve in the first set, taking a 2-0 lead in tthe process.dddddddddddd Both teams then traded a break apiece over the next two games, before the Indo-Czech pair held to go 4-1 up. There were no further service breaks, as Sania and Strycova won the first set 6-3 in 27 minutes.After the second set began with two service holds, Babos and Shvedova were broken again to give the third seeds a 2-1 advantage. But they broke their opponents immediately to restore parity. Sania and Strycova broke serve in the seventh game, however, and then had their first four match points with their opponents 0-40 down at 3-5 in the second set. Babos and Shvedova came back to hold, and then faced another match point as their opponents looked to close out the match on serve, but broke back to make it 5-5. Serving at 6-5 down, this time Sania and Strycova had to save three set points to take the second set into a tiebreak, which they won 7-5 to take the second set in 53 minutes.Sania will defend her doubles title at this event, which she won alongside Martina Hingis in 2015, against fifth-seeds American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic in the final.Sania and Strycova have already won two out of three events entered since coming together after the Rio Olympics in August, with their most-recent title coming in Tokyo last weekend. ' ' '