First Three Gold Medals of Winter Games Awared on NBC in Daytime; "We Are The World 25 For Haiti" Full Length Debut

Categories: Network TV Press Releases,TV Sports Ratings & News

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February 13th, 2010

via NBC press release:

FIRST THREE GOLD MEDALS OF THE WINTER GAMES AWARDED ON NBC IN DAYTIME

Al Michaels Interviews “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky

“We Are The World 25 For Haiti” Full Length Video Debut

VANCOUVER - February 13, 2010 - Al Michaels returned to the Olympics for the first time in 22 years as a host during today’s daytime weekend coverage of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. At the top of the show, Michaels introduced the seven-minute full-length music video of “We Are The World 25 For Haiti” as part of an unprecedented international “roadblock simulcast” of the video on broadcast and cable networks.

Saturday’s “roadblock simulcast” follows last night’s world premiere broadcast of a specially created three-minute video of “We Are The World 25 For Haiti” which debuted during NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver Games, which drew 67.5 million viewers, the most-watched Opening Ceremony ever for a non-U.S. Winter Olympics.

NBC’s daytime Olympic coverage of the Vancouver Games began today on NBC and CNBC. Below are highlights from the daytime broadcast:

NBC COVERAGE:

LUGE ANALYST JOHN MORGAN ON CHANGES TO THE LUGE TRACK:

“The first thing they did is took the men’s competition and they lowered it down to the woman’s doubles luge start. That is like a vertical drop of a couple hundred feet difference, so that was a big, drastic change. Yesterday the speeds were approaching 93, 94 miles per hour, but today they are 86 miles per hour, so the speed has definitely changed. They also altered the exit of the curve, and the ice is a little bit different to give athletes a better chance to get off the curve. The big change though is they put a wall up. It’s about a one hundred foot wall. This wall will totally enclose the area in question. You can see the front part of the wall, it is all fresh white paint. I just touched it and the paint is still wet. That was the biggest change they’ve done out here.”

MORGAN ON NEW CRASHES:

“Things are very, very mellow. They are going the speeds they are used to.  They are going the mid 80’s and that’s the speed that these guys are used to in the World Cup circuit. It’s not the 95 miles per hour speed the men’s luge got at last year’s World Cup here, I can tell you that.”

AL MICHAELS AND WAYNE GRETZKY INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:

GRETZKY ON BEING A TORCH BEARER:

“We were all called October 1st and told basically what the plan was. It was very ironic because we were told two things: one, don’t tell anybody, which we didn’t. Second, they didn’t want to tell us who the other people were because they didn’t want it to get out. So when we rehearsed the last couple nights at one in the morning, the first time we walked in the green room, that’s when we saw everybody and we were like, ‘Wow, this is pretty cool.’ So obviously we were all pretty excited. To have Rick Hansen actually bring out the torch in the first rehearsal when he brought it in, that was really emotional. That’s when it hit me that it was pretty cool.”

GRETZKY ON LIGHTING THE OUTDOOR CAULDRON:

“We’re really proud Canadians up here. I know the Vancouver people, the Canadian people, especially in British Columbia; we really rally around these games. So that was really a moment where we could show people that weren’t in the stadium -- they’re part of the Olympic Games here in Vancouver. To be part of history with two lightings, one indoors and one outdoors, it’s a moment I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.”

GRETZKY ON THE CANADIAN HOCKEY TEAM:

“There’s a tremendous amount of pressure on this team. I think their leadership and their coaching staff and their management will do a great job. Ultimately, the best thing that can happen for hockey in North America is if we can get the U.S. and Canada to get to at least the semifinals. A Canada-U.S. final would be the best thing to happen. Although a lot of people want to see Canada-Russia in the final. For our sport in North America, it would be outstanding to see Mr. Burke get his team in a gold medal game with all the issues he’s had to go through in the past couple weeks. He is a tremendous general manager and I know the American team is going to be very strong. So, if we can get a Canada-U.S. final, it will be great for hockey.”

JIMMY ROBERTS ON GRETZKY LIGHTING THE CAULDRON:

“There was number 99. It was as if he scooped up a loose puck and went end-to-end. And when his joyous human convoy reached the goal, this time, there was no misfire. Just a flame. Just a symbol. Score one more for the Great One.”

Men’s Speed Skating 5000m Gold Medal Final:

Dan Hicks (Play-By-Play), Dan Jansen (Analyst), Andrea Kremer (Reporter)

Gold: Sven Kramer, The Netherlands

Silver: Lee Seung-Hoon, South Korea

Bronze: Ivan Skobrev, Russia

HICKS ON THE DUTCH: “Well they tend to dominate the venues wherever they go, pretty much a sea of orange here at Richmond Olympic Oval.”

JANSEN ON KRAMER: “Kramer has been so dominate over the last four years. We watched him in Torino. He won a silver medal there, and ever since has won the world championships every single year. We’ve been waiting four years for this. But more so, so has the whole nation of Holland.”

Ski Jumping Individual K95 Gold Medal Final:

Matt Vasgersian (Play-By-Play), Jeff Hastings (Analyst)

Gold: Simon Ammann, Switzerland

Silver: Adam Malysz, Poland

Bronze: Gregor Schlierenzauer, Austria

VASGERSIAN: “Simon Ammann’s comeback story is complete.”

“The story here is Simon Ammann who has made Olympic history by becoming the first every jumper to win multiple gold medals on the normal hill.”

HASTINGS: “It’s very emotional. I’ve got to think that when he won gold in Salt Lake it just came out of the blue. He’s had so many struggles in the years between Salt Lake and now, and, boy, he has earned this one and he knows it.”

MICHAELS ON AMMANN: “Well Matt and Jeff chronicled it perfectly. From the top of the mountain in ’02 to the bottom in ’06 and now the gold again in 2010.”

Simon Ammann with Peter Alexander after victory:

Ammann: “Unbelievable. You know, it’s always upcoming, because I have such strong memories from eight years ago. It’s difficult to keep them down and concentrate on the jumping. I was always trying to keep it down, but just in front of the two jumps it was so important to me to have been there in this situation before. You can’t believe it. Flying out in the second round, I knew it was going to be far, but I forced so hard that I got the landing normally. I haven’t done any landing on that distance.  It’s perfect of course.”

Alexander: “How are you going to celebrate this victory?”

Ammann: “There’s a lot of program going on in the afternoon and in the evening. But it’s so easy. The big pressure is away. The first competition has passed. And of course it’s great to be the gold medal winner of the first event here in Vancouver.“

Alexander: “Does this set the tone for the Swiss going forward in these games.

Ammann: “Yeah, it is. I’m sure.”

Women’s Biathlon 7.5 km Sprint Gold Medal Final Al Trautwig (Play-By-Play), Chad Salmela (Analyst)

Gold: Eugenia Kuzima, Slovakia

Silver: Magdalena Neuner, Germany

Bronze: Marie Dorin, France

TRAUTWIG: “How crazy is this Kuzmina gold?”

SALMELA: “Nobody expected Kuzmina to do this, everyone expected Neuner. So this is a fairytale dream come true for Kuzmina.”

CNBC COVERAGE:

Women’s Ice Hockey

Sweden 3 vs. Switzerland 0

Bill Patrick (Host), Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), AJ Mleczko (Analyst), Cammi Granato (Studio Analyst),

MLECZKO ON THE PRESSURE OF THE CANADIANS PLAYING HOCKEY AT HOME:

“That’s something that can’t be emphasized enough, how important it is. It’s such a big deal. This stadium is almost packed. Probably mostly Canadian fans are here. They just like to watch hockey.”

GRANATO ON THE PRESSURE OF BEING HOST COUNTRY:

“These people [Canadians] really, really want to see a gold medal.  They expect a gold medal.  The women’s team faces a lot of pressure, and I know in Salt Lake City in 2002, when we (U.S.) were the host country, we felt that pressure.  Sometimes you squeeze your stick a little bit too hard. Sometimes you want it so badly that it takes over and you can’t try to deny it. So it will be interesting to see how this team [Canada] handles it.”

 
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