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The Greatest Olympics Coverage in History

NBC is being criticized for its shaky coverage of the Olympics this year, so I wanted to highlight a time where the coverage was so spot on, it’s a model for all Olympics moving forward.

The Olympics in question was the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics.  And the specific moment I’m referring to is sportscaster Mary Carillo’s coverage of badminton.

badminton shuttlecock

Mary Carillo is a former competitive tennis player who apparently has very strong feelings on the sport of badminton.

Primarily, that the Olympic version of the sport gives you false confidence that it is a good sport to play at home.  But playing this sport at home will only result in destruction (and an empty garage).

Check out her rant here:

Mary Carillo is still a current employee of NBC and covers the Olympics.  You can find some of her 2016 Rio coverage here online.

She ended up explaining her epic rant later on.

From the email she sent Deadspin:

Can’t believe that thing’s still around. I was hosting a morning show in Athens that covered a lot of badminton—some table tennis too, but badminton, I’d been assured, was going to be “the curling of the Summer Games.” (!) There was no script for that rant—just a little dead time—but it got some chuckles and a head shake from my producer.

Check out the rest of her explanation here.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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2 comments

  1. I was in Greece during the Olympics in 2004, and I must say that was indeed the best coverage I’ve seen of pretty much every sport televised at some point on over 10 channels. I’m not sure if it was because I was watching at home in the host country or not. That still was the golden standard of broadcasting multiple events. I don’t see why NBC cannot have an Olympic package for subscribers to watch olympics all day, all events.

    • You cannot fairly compare Greek TV coverage of the Athens Olympics vs. NBC’s.

      But the next best thing in the US would be to use the NBC Olympics app which promises coverage of every event. I cannot vouch for this claim, but I did see the last 20 minutes or so of the 95kg weightlifting event with I think only one brief commercial break.

      But you’ll need TV provider subscription of some kind to access this. But you’ll get a free 30 minutes preview.

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