EXCLUSIVE: NBC has picked the hosts for its coverage of Sunday’s Closing Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics — and two of them have been in the news this week.
Figure skating announcers Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir will be joined by Terry Gannon to call the expected extravaganza from Chinese capital, we’ve learned. The trio also handled announcing duties for the Closing Ceremony of the Tokyo Summer Olympics last year and for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
This weekend, Lipinski, Weir and Gannon will be hosting from NBC Sports HQ in Connecticut. Over the course of this year’s Winter Games, the Comcast-owned network has held the majority of its coverage of competition in Beijing from studios in the U.S.
Lipinski and Weir went viral this week with their call of Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva’s short program, during which she fell and ended up placing fourth after being allowed to compete despite a positive drug test. Gannon also was part of the announcing team that night. Watch it below.
Olympics TV Schedule: How To Watch Every Televised Event At The 2022 Beijing Winter Games
The Closing Ceremony of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games will air live Sunday at 4 a.m. PT/7 a.m. ET from Beijing, where it starts at 8 p.m. local time.
Social media was abuzz this week after 15-year-old gold medal favorite Valieva fell multiple times during her skate. Lipinski and Weir, both of whom are former Olympians, pulled no punches in their commentary during Valieva’s turn on the ice. “There is no gray area,” Weir said during NBC’s coverage early Thursday. “If you fail a drug test you can not compete.”
Said Lipinski during the performance: “I can’t imagine how tough this has been on Kamila, and it makes me angry that the adults around her weren’t able to make better decisions and guide her and be there for her because she’s the one now dealing with the consequences and she’s just 15 — and that’s not fair.”
Later, after Lipinski noted that the favored Valieva would not medal in the event, Weir added: “Thank God. Thank goodness for all the other medalists to have that moment, and to have done it quickly.”
Gannon kept his comments to what was happening on the ice.
Lipinski won a gold medal in figure skating at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, while Weir competed at the 2006 and 2010 Games. They and Gannon have been working Olympics together since Sochi in 2014.
Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir weigh in on Kamila Valiyeva's short program. pic.twitter.com/LdjY4LQOvv
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 16, 2022
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