via press release:
INTERNATIONAL TENNIS STAR MARIA SHARAPOVA TO JOIN NBC OLYMPICS IN SOCHI
Four-Time Grand Slam Singles Champion & Olympic Silver Medalist Learned to Play Tennis in her Hometown of Sochi
STAMFORD, Conn. – November 13, 2013 – Tennis champion Maria Sharapova, winner of four Grand Slam singles crowns and a silver medal for Russia in women’s singles at the 2012 London Olympics, will join NBC Olympics for its Winter Games coverage in Sochi, Russia, it was announced today.
Sharapova, the flag bearer for her native Russia at the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony, will serve as a correspondent offering insight and commentary on Russia’s first Winter Olympics.
“Maria transcends sports as one of the world’s most recognizable stars,” said Jim Bell, Executive Producer of NBC Olympics. “Growing up in Sochi until she was six years old and with family and friends still living in the area, Maria will offer a unique and personal perspective on a place she knows so well.”
Currently the fourth-ranked women’s tennis player in the world, Sharapova is one of 10 women to achieve a “Career Grand Slam” winning singles titles at Wimbledon (2004), U.S. Open (2006), Australian Open (2008) and French Open (2012). She has won 29 Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) singles titles, appeared in eight Grand Slam finals, and held the No. 1 World ranking five times. In June 2011, Sharapova was recognized as one of the “30 Legends of Women’s Tennis: Past, Present and Future” by Time magazine.
From 2005-2011, Maria was annually named one of the 100 most powerful celebrities in Forbes’ “Celebrity 100.”
THE OLYMPICS BEGIN FEB. 6, 2014
With more Winter Olympic events than ever before, competition for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games from Sochi, Russia, will begin one day prior to the Opening Ceremony. As a result, NBC will begin its primetime coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Thursday, Feb. 6, one night before the broadcast network provides its traditional primetime coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7. This marks the first time NBC will air Olympic primetime coverage before the Opening Ceremony. The primetime broadcast on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, is scheduled to include competition in snowboard slopestyle (men’s and women’s), in which two-time gold medalist Shaun White is expected to compete in the slopestyle’s Olympic debut; team figure skating, which is also in the Olympics for the first time; and women’s freestyle moguls.