Former champion figure skater Tara Lipinski is joining forces with fellow champion figure skater Johnny Weir and sports announcer Terry Gannon to form NBC’s lead figure-skating announcing team. The team was announced on Wednesday, October 22, when all three appeared on the TODAY show.
Lipinski, who won the 1998 Olympic gold medal for figure skating, was first seen announcing with Weir, three-time US figure skating champion, at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Lipinski and Weir were famous then for their banter and coordinated outfits, which NBC is hoping they will provide in all its future coverage of figure skating events henceforth.
“Johnny, Tara and Terry were breakout TV stars in Sochi. We’re excited that viewers will be treated to this team’s informative and entertaining commentary for many years to come, all while looking fabulous,” said Jim Bell, executive producer of NBC Olympics, in a statement.
Big Announcement coming on @TODAYshow! #SpoilerAlert JohnnyGWeir & @taralipinski will look amazing #Olympics pic.twitter.com/wydpfC7f1M
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) October 22, 2014
Banter between Lipinski and Weir drew praise for them onscreen and on Instagram. Lipinski, Weir and Gannon will be doing their first assignment this weekend in Chicago at the NBC broadcast of the 2014 Hilton Honors Skate America, with analyst Tracy Wilson and reporter Andrea Joyce.
“NBC gave us an opportunity of a lifetime in Sochi. I could not be more excited to continue this journey. My goal is to continue educating, entertaining and bringing the incredible sport of figure skating to a new generation of fans,” said Lipinski. “I cannot wait to begin and I’m lucky to have my talented co-pilots Johnny and Terry by my side. Being a part of this is a combination of all of my favorite things, and I look forward to the adventures in the years ahead.”
Lipinski reportedly looks up to broadcasters Dick Button and Scott Hamilton, who were both Olympic champions and long-time figure skating commentators.