The NBC Sports broadcast team sat down for a press conference on Saturday to discuss the network’s upcoming coverage of the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha. Long-time producer Tommy Roy, play-by-play announcer Dan Hicks, Rowdy Gaines, and Michele Tafoya took turns talking about the aspects of the coverage they were most looking forward to.
Tommy Roy: “We have 22 cameras, two of them are underwater, one of them is a tracking camera that goes the distance, plus we have another one at the finish line for the touch. We have super slow-mo to analyze the stroke, we have an X mode to show the finish, and then a new device that we have this week is called the “Dream Catcher” … [that] can zoom in on the second-place finishers as they touch the wall and come back out and zoom in on the third-place finisher…. for us the most important and compelling part of our coverage is capturing the emotions of the athletes that make it to Rio, and those that don’t, and their families and coaches, and that’s where most of our equipment is dedicated to, to showing that.”
Dan Hicks: “I have a chance to do a lot of sports, but there is nothing like the Olympics, and there is nothing like this event, because the pressure that we see every four years of all of these hundreds and hundreds of athletes that come here, and then you get ’em up on the blocks in prime time on NBC, and you’re either going to see that dream come true or you’re not. That’s just as good as it gets in sports broadcasting and what we do.”
Rowdy Gaines: “there are going to be some events where the man or woman that gets third in an event would potentially win the bronze medal or have a chance to win a medal in Rio, and they won’t even go to the Olympic Games, and that’s how good our country is in the sport of swimming. It’s been number one for 60 years for a reason, and they have built that tradition of excellence here.”
Michele Tafoya: Tafoya mentioned how accessible swimmers and their coaches are. “I think what these swimmers understand is they get a limited amount of time to tell their story, to promote their sport and to talk about this, so they are great about just being accessible and talking to you as much as you want.”
The quartet also talked about individual events they were looking forward to (men’s 100 back, women’s 100 free, and anything Michael Phelps or Katie Ledecky swims), doping, and the size of the meet, amongst other topics. The full transcript of the presser can be found here.