NBC Announces Record 178 Commentators for Tokyo Olympics Coverage

NBCUniversal has announced it will have a record 178 commentators involved in the media conglomerate’s coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. NBC says it will be providing roughly 7,000 hours of coverage across each of its networks and platforms, which include NBC, USA Network, CNBC, NBCSN, GOLF Channel, Peacock, Olympic Channel, Telemundo, Universo, the NBC Sports app, and NBCOlympics.com.

The NBC commentating crew also holds a huge number of former Olympians, who have combined to win 76 Olympic medals, 41 of which were Gold. Outside of those who will be covering swimming, NBC’s coverage will include Olympic legends such as Sanya Richards-Ross, Apolo Ohno and Nastia Liukin.

The NBC crew for swimming is as follows:

Of the 6 correspondents assigned to swimming in Tokyo, 3 are former Olympic swimmers. Amy Van Dyken, Rowdy Gaines, and Elizabeth Beisel combined for 11 Olympic medals over their careers, 9 of which were Gold. Van Dyken became the first American woman to win 4 Gold medals at a single Olympics in 1996, taking the women’s 50 free, 100 free, 4×100 free relay, and 4×100 medley relay. Gaines was also a sprinter, taking Gold in the men’s 100 free in 1984, as well as Golds in the 4×100 free relay and 4×100 medley relay. Beisel picked up Silver in the women’s 400 IM in 2012, and Bronze in the 200 backstroke.

Rowdy Gaines will be in the booth alongside Dan Hicks for a 7th time at the Olympic Games. The duo first came together at the 1996 Games in Altanta. Hicks will be giving the play-by-play, while Gaines provides analysis. Michele Tafoya, of NBC’s Sunday Night Football fame, is working her 5th Olympics, and will be on deck at the pool for the 2nd time.

Elizabeth Beisel and Patrick Kinas, who teamed up to call the U.S. Olympic Trials Wave I meet in early June, are set to assist in the swimming coverage, along with Amy Van Dyken. Beisel, who acted as the analyst at the Wave I meet, will be on-site in Tokyo for analysis, while Kinas and Van Dyken will be operating remotely from NBC studios in the U.S.

Mike Tirico, who gave the play-by-play at the U.S. Olympic Trials Wave II meet, alongside Gaines, will be resuming his role as the NBC Olympics primetime host, which he did in 2016 as well. Tirico took Dan Hicks‘ place at U.S. Trials, since Hicks was covering the U.S. Open for NBC at the time.

OPEN WATER SWIMMING:

Rowdy Gaines will also be taking the role of analyst for open water swimming, where he will be alongside Mary Carillo. Carillo is a former professional tennis player, and has served in a commentary role for NBC for over 2 decades. Typically providing tennis coverage at the Olympics, this will be Carillo’s first venture into Olympic open water swimming.

DIVING:

  • Ted Robinson, Play-by-Play
  • Cynthia Potter, Analyst
  • Kelli Stavast, Reporter

Handling the diving coverage will be Ted Robinson on play-by-play. This will mark Robinson’s 12th Olympics with NBC. 3-time Olympian Cynthia Potter will be joining Robinson to provide analysis, while Kelli Stavast will be on deck reporting for her 2nd time.

WATER POLO:

  • Paul Burmeister, Play-by-Play
  • Julie Swail, Analyst
  • Tony Azevedo, Analyst

Paul Burmeister will be handling the play-by-play for water polo in Tokyo. Burmeister has spent the majority of his commentary career focused on the NFL, as well as professional lacrosse, college basketball, and the Tour de France. He will be joined by Julie Swail, another former Olympian. Swail, incredibly, won Silver on the US water polo team in 2000, then switched to triathlons in 2002. She would go on to compete in the triathlon at the 2008 Olympics.

Joining the pair will be water polo legend Tony Azevedo, who is a 5-time Olympian in water polo, and a 2008 Silver medalist. Azevedo ranks 4th on the all-time Olympic scoring list for water polo, with a total of 61 goals across his 5 appearances.

ARTISTIC SWIMMING:

  • Heather Olson, Analyst

Former Team USA Artistic Swimming Olympian Heather Olson will be holding down the artistic swimming coverage in Tokyo. Olson was a member of the 1996 US artistic team, which went on to win Gold. She has covered the sport for NBC during the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics as well.

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Comet
10 months ago

I will be using the MUTE button a lot

Last edited 10 months ago by Comet
Penguin
10 months ago

Wow, I feel bad for open water swimmers and fans. That truly seems like a terrible combo

swimapologist
Reply to  Penguin
10 months ago

Really? I rather like Mary Carillo.

As for Rowdy – I have no comment, because I don’t want him to call me a name.

Greg
Reply to  Penguin
10 months ago

Sid Cassidy would be my pick for Open Water.

Jamie5678
Reply to  Penguin
10 months ago

I imagine Rowdy talks about reaction times for the first 40 minutes of the open water.

Not Tapered 🏊
10 months ago

Oh boy, here we go with the complaints. So far Beisel seems immune to it, but give it time and someone will complain.

Stewie
Reply to  Not Tapered 🏊
10 months ago

Relax, Mrs. Gaines. It’s nothing personal.

SUNY Cal
10 months ago

I thought Phelps was planning on helping announce at the olympics? Disappointed he’s not listed.

WhoGoesHere
10 months ago

Amy Van Dyken didn’t win the 100 free in ’96; she won the 50 free and the 100 fly plus the two relays.

Sheesh
10 months ago

How many are named “Rowdy”?

He said what?
10 months ago

Can we educate Ato Boldon ASAP and get him into the swimming booth? Please?

Pvdh
10 months ago

It’s just 178 Rowdy’s all whipping their heads side to side breathing towards each other