Kings’ music man Dieter Ruehle earns trip to Sochi Olympics

A view of the Shayba Arena in Sochi, Russia, which will play host to Olympic hockey during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
(Anatoly Maltsev / EPA)

Dieter Ruehle had a busy day Saturday.

First, he stopped by Staples Center, as he normally would for Kings’ games since he’s the music director for them and the Lakers.

But before the game ended, he had to leave for LAX to begin his journey to Sochi, Russia, where he will play the organ at Olympic hockey games in the Shayba arena.

Ruehle said he had to bring his keyboard to the Games, unlike the previous four Olympics he has worked. He has also taken the keyboard to Las Vegas for Kings’ exhibition games.


He will play the organ and recorded music as well, likely using some of the same musical sound effects as at Kings games.

“That’s the plan,” said Ruehle, who is in his 18th season working for the Kings.

He began working the L.A. Lazers indoor soccer games when he was 15 and the Kings hired him when he was 20. He had gotten a taste for the business when he won a sports fantasy contest at Channel 7 when he was 12. He wanted to play for them — in uniform — but ended up playing the organ for them.

Ruehle has worked at the last eight U.S. Open tennis tournaments but it’s more DJ work than anything, because it’s all recorded music. He said he’s still waiting for a play list from the Sochi organizers but is prepared for just about anything at the Olympics.

“I’m very excited. It’s my first time to Russia and I’m looking forward to it,” said Ruehle, who has worked at six NBA All-Star games and the Athens Olympics.