COSTAS & WILLIAMS TO HOST OLYMPICS OPENING CEREMONY
COSTAS & WILLIAMS TO HOST NBC'S COVERAGE OF TORINO OLYMPICS OPENING CEREMONY FRIDAY AT 8 PM ET/PT
NBC News Anchor Brian Williams Makes Olympic Debut
TORINO, Italy - Feb. 5, 2006 - NBC Olympic primetime host Bob Costas will host the Torino Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony alongside co-host Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News anchor, this Friday at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Mary Carillo will join them in a featured role along with reporters Andrea Joyce, Melissa Stark and Jimmy Roberts. Jim Lampley, working his 13th Olympics, which surpasses the legendary Jim McKay for most-ever Olympic broadcast assignments, will man the anchor chair in the main studio. NBC Universal's unprecedented 418 hours of Winter Olympics coverage actually begins at 6 p.m. ET with the debut of "Olympic Ice" on USA Network, hosted by Carillo and co-host Dick Button.
"The Olympic Opening Ceremony is the most important event for the vast majority of the athletes here. Most won't come close to a medal, and for them, this the pinnacle of their athletic careers," said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics who is working his eighth Olympics and sixth as executive producer of NBC's coverage. "There is the obvious curiosity of people all over the world wanting to see their athletes come into the stadium, but this event is much more than that. In a world that has as many tensions as our world today, there is a moment of hope that comes from seeing all the world's best, young athletes gather peacefully together. It represents a greater sense of nations working together than we ever get from the U.N."
Katie Couric, co-anchor of the "TODAY" show and co-host of the Sydney, Salt Lake and Athens Olympics Opening Ceremonies, is unable to take part in the Torino Opening Ceremony as she will miss this week's Opening Ceremony rehearsals in Torino due to her live anchoring of the "TODAY" show from Rome, Florence and Milan beginning tomorrow (Monday). Williams will begin anchoring "NBC Nightly News" from Torino on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
The 2006 Torino Winter Games will be Bob Costas' seventh for NBC Sports and his sixth as primetime host. After serving as late night host in 1988 from Seoul, Costas has won acclaim and Emmy Awards each year for his work as primetime host from Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Salt Lake City and, most recently, Athens for the 2004 Summer Games. The 17-time Emmy Award winner is one of the most respected and honored broadcasters of his generation. Most recently, Costas was named host of NBC's "Football Night in America," an exclusive and complete look at each Sunday in the NFL. Costas, who has the longest tenure of the network's sports announcers, joined NBC in 1980.
Williams became the seventh Anchor and Managing Editor in the distinguished history of the broadcast "NBC Nightly News" on December 2, 2004. Now, more than one year at the helm of "Nightly News," Williams is the nation's most-watched news anchor on a broadcast that represents the largest single daily source of news in America. Williams was the first and only network evening news anchor to report from the region before Hurricane Katrina hit and was the only network news anchor to report from the Superdome during the storm. He remained in New Orleans to report on the aftermath and destruction of Hurricane Katrina, and continues to travel back and forth to the region to cover the recovery and rebuilding efforts.
The versatile Carillo is working her eighth Olympics and fifth with NBC serving as the host of "Olympic Ice," a daily figure skating show on USA Network. At the 2004 Athens Games, Carillo earned critical praise in her debut as a fulltime Olympic host on Bravo's coverage in addition to anchoring USA Network's live coverage of the tennis gold medal finals. Carillo co-hosted the 2002 Closing Ceremony alongside Dan Hicks and served as a tennis analyst for NBC's broadcast of the Sydney and Athens games. A former professional tennis player, she is regarded as one of the premier tennis analysts, working on NBC's coverage of the French Open and Wimbledon. Carillo has been a correspondent on HBO's "Real Sports" since 1997.
NBC Olympics Opening Ceremony Facts & Figures:
Bob Costas (7th Olympics, 6th as Primetime Host)
Brian Williams (1st Olympics, 1st Opening Ceremony)
Mary Carillo (8th Olympics, 1st Network Opening Ceremony)
Jim Lampley (13th Olympics)
Reporters: Melissa Stark, Andrea Joyce, Jimmy Roberts
Executive Producer: Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics
Producer: David Neal, Executive Vice President, NBC Olympics, Executive Producer, NBC Sports
Director: Bucky Gunts, Head of Production, NBC Olympics
Cameras: 52 total: NBC has 21 of its own unilateral cameras (including a blimp camera) and access to an additional 31 host broadcaster cameras (including a cable camera that runs across the stadium).
Parade of Nations: The 85 nations will enter the Opening Ceremony in Greek alphabetical order. According to Olympic tradition, Greece marches first and the host nation, Italy, enters last. The USA will march 73rd between Spain and South Africa.
Did You Know? The Olympic Stadium in Torino, the former Stadio Comunale, built in the 1930s, was used as the historic home of football matches by the Torino Calcio and Juventus FC football teams until the 1980s. Torino, the fourth largest city in Italy with a population of 868,000, is the largest city to host a Winter Games. There are 2,768 NBC staff in Torino including 905 local hires. Torino is also the home of the Tic Tac.