6:54am PT by Ashley Lee
Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski Named 2018 Winter Olympics Announcers
Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski have been named NBC Sports Group’s new lead figure skating broadcast team, along with play-by-play announcer Terry Gannon, for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. NBC announced the news Wednesday morning during Today.
"I am so honored to be a part of the NBC family, and I hope to bring figure skating and the Olympics into America’s living rooms for many years to come," Weir said in a statement. "I could not have asked for a better first experience than in Sochi, and along with my broadcast partners Tara and Terry. I cannot wait to start a fresh new era of commentary and analysis that will entertain and inform. I love my sport and I can’t wait to go on more Olympic journeys!"
"NBC gave us an opportunity of a lifetime in Sochi. I could not be more excited to continue this journey," said Lipinski. "My goal is to continue educating, entertaining and bringing the incredible sport of figure skating to a new generation of fans. It is an honor to be a part of an Olympics. I cannot wait to begin and I'm lucky to have my talented co-pilots Johnny and Terry by my side. Being a part of this is a combination of all of my favorite things, and I look forward to the adventures in the years ahead."
"I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to cover skating at the highest level on NBC with partners that are informative, unpredictable and uniquely stylish. ... Time to upgrade my wardrobe," Gannon said.
Three-time U.S. figure skating champion Weir and 1998 Olympic gold medalist Lipinski noted that they had no idea their back-and-forth, which drew praise onscreen and on Instagram, would take off the way it has. Weir, Lipinski and Gannon will make their fall debut in Chicago on Sunday during the NBC broadcast of the 2014 Hilton HHonors Skate America, alongside analyst Tracy Wilson and reporter Andrea Joyce.
"Johnny, Tara and Terry were breakout TV stars in Sochi," said Jim Bell, executive producer of NBC Olympics. "We’re excited that viewers will be treated to this team’s informative and entertaining commentary for many years to come, all while looking fabulous."
Weir, Lipinski and Gannon replace NBC Sports Group’s previous lead figure skating team of Tom Hammond, Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic. Olympic gold medalist Hamilton will remain a special NBC contributor for figure skating events. He has provided commentary for NBC Sports Group since 2002.
"We thank Tom, Scott and Sandra for their many years of excellent work on Olympic figure skating. They set the bar high," Bell said. "We are looking forward to hearing more of Tom’s signature track and field calls at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio."
Watch the announcement below.