After having been passed over as Olympic swimming commentator by Australia’s Seven Network due to an alleged assault incident onboard a plane right after Australian Olympic Trials, distance swimming legend Grant Hackett will indeed be involved with Olympic coverage after all.
The 3-time Olympic gold medalist will be providing swimming commentary for Qatar’s beIN Sports network, having reportedly signed a two-week contract. Hackett will be reporting from the network’s studios in Qatar and not from on-site in Brazil and it’s unclear whether or not Hackett’s production will make its way to Australian audiences.
Says Hackett, “It will be more previews and reviews, but really it is just nice to do something connected with the Games.”
“After swimming at three Games and doing commentary in London, I was worried I wouldn’t be involved, but this opportunity came up and I thought ‘great.’ Hackett continued, “It’s another interesting experience that has come my way because of sport, so you have to be happy with that.”
As for Qatar, the nation itself has no significant swimmers of note, but they’ve been trying to buy them for years. South African Olympians Ryk Neethling and Roland Schoeman each reportedly turned down R 20 million (~$1.4 million) offered to change nationality and compete for Qatar back in 2005.