NBC Will Not Send Announcers To China For Winter Olympic Games
A man walks past a promotion for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, at the Olympic Park, two weeks before the start of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, on a snowy day in Beijing on January 20, 2022.
NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images

NBC Sports will not send announcers to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in China over growing COVID-19 concerns, according to a Wednesday report.

“The announce teams for these Olympics, including figure skating, will be calling events from our Stamford (Conn.) facility due to COVID concerns,” Greg Hughes, senior vice president communications, NBC Sports, said in a phone interview with USA Today.

“We’ll still have a large presence on the ground in Beijing and our coverage of everything will be first rate as usual, but our plans are evolving by the day as they are for most media companies covering the Olympics,” the report added.

The Associated Press reported that the announcement will mark the second straight Games NBC Sports has mostly announced from its headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, rather than the host city.

“Something significant has changed virtually every day for the last three months, forcing us to adjust our plan numerous times. And I expect that to continue as well as the challenge of doing the Olympics,” Molly Solomon, the head of NBC’s Olympics production unit, said in the report.

“With COVID’s changing conditions and China’s zero-tolerance policy, it’s just added a layer of complexity to all of this, so we need to make sure we can provide the same quality experience to the American viewers. That’s why we are split between the two cities,” she added.

The Tokyo Summer Games included most of NBC’s announcers operating in the U.S. Some events, including track and field, swimming, and gymnastics, included live announcers in Japan.

The lack of U.S. announcers in China adds to limited spectators at the Winter Games. The Daily Wire previously reported:

On Monday, the organizing committee announced that the original plan to offer event tickets to the general public has been scrapped, with tickets now being offered to “selected groups.” 

“Given the difficult and complicated work of controlling the epidemic, and to protect the health and safety of those involved with the Games, the original plan of offering tickets to the general public has been altered toward spectators from selected groups,” the statement said.

Beijing already announced that international fans will not be allowed to attend the Games, and announced in October that athletes will be in a “closed loop,” isolated from the rest of society.  

“All participants of the Games and our Chinese staff and volunteers will implement the same policy,” Beijing 2022 organizing committee official Zhang Jiandong said. “They will be strictly separated from the external society.”

Athletes that break protocol will face repercussions, such as expulsion from the Games. 

The National Hockey League also previously announced its players will not participate in the Games over COVID-19 concerns.

Many American political leaders have called for a full boycott of the Winter Olympics in China over the nation’s human rights abuses.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a strong opponent of America’s participation in the Beijing Winter Olympics, recently tweeted: “The Chinese Communist Party should not be permitted to benefit from the glory of the Olympic games.”

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