BEIJING OLYMPIC CLOSING CEREMONY AT 7 PM ET/PT SUNDAY ON NBC
After Opening Ceremony Success, China Celebrates In a Spectacular Fashion with Special Performances & Appearance of Michael Phelps from London
Costas to Host Alongside Hicks, Carillo & Ramo
BEIJING � Aug. 22, 2008 � A record 70 million watched the spectacular Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony and Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, who directed the Opening Ceremony, is sure to put on a spectacle for the Olympic Closing Ceremony. Yimou, known internationally for the films Raise the Red Lantern (1991), Hero (2002) and House of Flying Daggers (2004), shocked and impressed the world with 15,000 performers exuding perfect precision.
"There are high expectations for the Closing Ceremony after the amazing spectacle we saw at the Opening Ceremony," said David Neal, Executive Vice President, NBC Olympics. "I went to the dress rehearsal the other day witnessed more of Zhang Yimou's unbelievable creative vision. I've been sworn to secrecy but I will say that this will be another visual extravaganza featuring a cast of 6,800 on an unprecedented scale. Even with the high expectations, it will not disappoint."
NBC Olympic primetime host Bob Costas will host the Closing Ceremony alongside Dan Hicks, Mary Carillo and NBC's China Analyst Joshua Cooper Ramo Sunday, beginning at 7 p.m. ET/PT. Closing Ceremony reporters are Andrea Joyce, Bob Neumeier and Marty Snider. The Beijing Olympic Closing Party will follow the Closing Ceremony at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT and wrap up the unprecedented 3,600 of coverage from the Beijing Olympic Games.
Following tradition of the Olympic Closing Ceremony, Beijing will handover the Olympic flag to London, the host of the next Summer Olympics in 2012. The flag will be turned over to London Mayor Boris Johnson. Michael Phelps, the swimming phenom who broke Mark Spitz's 36-year old record for most gold medals won in a single Olympic Games is expected to make an appearance from London.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics is Bob Costas' eighth for NBC Sports and his seventh as primetime host. The 19-time Emmy Award winner is one of the most respected and honored broadcasters of his generation.
Hicks called all the swimming events in Beijing including each of Michael Phelps' historic eight gold medals. Hicks, also NBC's golf host said, "Phelps is Tiger Woods in a Speedo." Hicks made his Olympic debut with NBC at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
The Beijing Olympics are Carillo's ninth Olympic assignment and sixth with NBC. As an Olympic Correspondent during these Games, Carillo has provided features on various aspects of Chinese culture including the famed Night Market where she ate scorpion on a stick, and the long history of Chinese acrobatics. As host of the NBC Late Night show, Carillo showcases some of the sports that are not as familiar to the American public. When asked about one of the most unique sports she's seen Carillo said about steeplechase: "It's the nuttiest sport you've ever seen. It looks like everybody in the race has stolen a woman's handbag and they're running away over bushes and into their neighbor's little plastic pools." At the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Carillo hosted "Olympic Ice," the critically acclaimed daily figure skating show on USA Network.
Joshua Cooper Ramo joined NBC as a China analyst for the Beijing Olympic Games making his debut with Bob Costas and Matt Lauer in the booth for the Beijing Opening Ceremony. Ramo was a journalist and became the youngest senior editor and foreign editor in the history of Time Magazine. Among his nearly two-dozen Time cover stories were the 1997 Man of the Year profile of Andy Grove and an award-winning profile of Kofi Annan.