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Olympics

From Sochi to The States: Olympic Silver Medalist Rescues Stray Dogs

Close to three weeks after NBC’s Sochi Olympics coverage ended, “Today” spoke with U.S. freestyle skiing silver medalist Gus Kenworthy Friday morning about his other Olympic victory: bringing stray dogs from Sochi’s streets to America.

Kenworthy originally adopted five dogs that were stranded in Sochi. His friend, photographer Robin Macdonald, stayed in Sochi for a month getting the dogs treatment while also battling Russian politicians who tried to block the pups from leaving.

Macdonald traveled with the dogs from Moscow to New York City.  Unfortunately, not all of the rescued pups survived. The ones that did seemed quite content on the “Today” set.

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After Sochi, ‘Today’ Looks to Keep Up Olympic Momentum

today in sochiWith the Olympics coming to a close, the “Today” show crew is headed back to New York. Before they left Sochi, the anchors looked back at their favorite moments from the games, including the USA vs. Russia men’s hockey game that ended in an overtime shootout and Matt Lauer and Al Roker‘s attempt at the double luge.

This week, the show is looking to keep the momentum going: “Today” has interviews slated with several Olympic athletes, including gold-medal figure skating pair Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who will perform on the ice rink at Rockefeller Plaza. “Today” will also debut an enhanced fan experience on the Plaza, letting visitors register ahead of time when they plan to come to the show.

The show will also launch “Love Your Selfie,” a series of reports on body image. As part of the reports, the show will collect selfies and post them on the “Today” website, and the anchors will examine their own body image insecurities. The series will kick off with Jenna Bush Hager interviewing Michelle Obama.

Bob Costas Talks of Brutality in Ukraine Amid ‘Vladimir Putin’s Games’

CostasRussiaTwenty minutes into the penultimate night of Olympic competition from Sochi, Bob Costas took a few minutes to highlight today’s gold medal-winning Ukrainian women’s biathlon relay team amid the backdrop of the violence that raged in their home country this week. “There are about 40 Ukrainian athletes in Sochi,” Costas noted. “They requested to compete with black arm bands. That request was denied.”

Costas then talked about the success of the XXII Winter Olympics. Security has held up, venues have been praised and the warmth of the host country has shone through, he said, before tearing into the Russian regime: ”While Russian citizens have better lives than Soviet citizens of a generation ago, theirs is still a government which imprisons dissidents, is hostile to gay rights, sponsors and supports a vicious regime in Syria, and that’s just a partial list.”

The Sochi games are Vladimir Putin‘s games, from their inception to their conclusion, and all points in between. If they are successful on their own terms, as appears to be the case, then at least in some corners it will help to burnish the image of a regime with which much of the world takes significant issue. No amount of Olympic glory can mask those realities any more than a biathlon gold medal, though hard-earned and deeply satisfying as it is, can put out the fires in Kiev.

 

Matt Lauer Teases Bob Costas’ Travel Plans: ‘You Taking The Red-Eye?’

Lauer CostasOn the “Today” show this morning, Matt Lauer poked a little fun at colleague Bob Costas over Costas’ Olympic battle with an eye infection.

“When are you taking off?” Lauer asked, with a dark sunglass-wearing Costas responding he’ll leave Sochi on Monday.

“You taking the red-eye home?” Lauer asked while laughing. “Did I walk into that or what?” Costas replied.

Costas also thanked Lauer and Meredith Vieira for filling in for him while he battled an eye infection, which he said made him feel miserable, adding he felt he wasn’t holding up his end of the bargain while he was out and his colleagues were working so hard.

During CNBC Interview, Hockey Star Learns She’ll Be U.S. Flag-Bearer at Sochi Closing

CNBC’s Brian Sullivan was interviewing Olympian Julie Chu when the news came down that she was selected as the U.S. flag-bearer for Sunday’s closing ceremony of the Sochi Olympics. Sullivan gave her the news and captured her surprised reaction. The U.S. Women took silver in hockey. Canada grabbed gold.

‘I’m Bob Costas Sitting in Tonight for Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira’

CostasBackBob Costas returned to NBC’s Olympic coverage tonight, dry eyes — and wit — intact.

“I’m Bob Costas sitting in tonight for Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira,” deadpanned the longtime Olympics anchor at the start of Monday’s coverage.

Costas’s eye infection became one of the story lines of the first week of the Sochi games. “Too much attention spent on it,” Costas told Brian Williams earlier today. ”It just got to the point where they were so blurry and light sensitive, I couldn’t impose that on the public.”

Costas hosted the first night of coverage last Thursday, with an infection apparent in his left eye. Over the weekend, it spread to his right eye. By Tuesday, Lauer was called up to fill in. Meredith Vieira relieved Lauer on Friday and Saturday.

Before the first commercial break, Costas added: “My sincere thanks to Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, two friends and true pros who stepped in for me on short notice and my thanks to you who expressed your concern and my apologies for the unavoidable but uncomfortable circumstance of a broadcaster’s ill-timed affliction getting in the way, even for just a few moments, for what we all came here for: the Olympic games.”

Did NBC Olympics Reporter Go Too Far with Bode Miller Interview?

BodeMillerChristin Cooper, a former World Cup skier who is working for NBC Olympics covering alpine events, is getting criticism for her questions following Bode Miller‘s bronze medal-winning super-G. Cooper asked three different times, in various ways about Miller’s brother who died last April of an apparent seizure. Cooper became a Twitter trending topic in the minutes after the interview aired in full during the 9:30ET half hour of NBC’s primetime coverage.

It was Miller who first mentioned his brother during a more general question about what this medal — his sixth Olympic medal — meant compared to the others. But the follow-ups all focused on his brother, Chilly:

Cooper: Bode, you’re showing so much emotion down here, what’s going through your mind?

Miller: I mean, a lot, obviously. Just a long struggle coming in here, and just a tough year.

Cooper: I know you wanted to be here, with Chilly, really experiencing these games and how much does it mean for you to come up with a great performance for him and was it for him?

Miller: I mean, I don’t know if it’s really for him, but I wanted to come here and, I don’t know, I guess make myself proud.

Cooper: When you’re looking up in the sky at the start, we see you there and it just looks like you’re talking to somebody. What’s going on there?

At that point Miller puts his head down, then walks away from the interview. NBC ended primetime tonight showing Miller on the medal stand, where he shared the bronze with Canadian Jan Hudec. Fellow American Andrew Weibrecht took silver in the super-G. The gold went to Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud.

Meredith Vieira Back on Primetime Saturday, After Watching Team USA Hockey Thriller

Meredith Vieira will be back tonight hosting NBC Olympics primetime and late night as Bob Costas continues to recover from an eye infection. Earlier today Vieira was among the spectators as Team USA Hockey beat Russia in an eight-round shootout final. NBC says the game was the most streamed hockey game in NBC Sports and NBC Olympics history. Due to the popularity of the game, portions will air tonight in primetime on NBC. The full game will air tomorrow on NBCSN beginning at 4:30pmET. Al Michaels and Mike “Doc” Emrick will join Vieira tonight on the primetime show to talk about the game. Michaels called the Miracle on Ice at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

 

From Sochi, ‘Today’ Show No. 1 on Wednesday

RokerLauerAfter ABC’s “Good Morning America” came out on top among total viewers on Tuesday — the first time a non-Olympics rights-holding network has won a morning show since the collection of electronic records (1991) — NBC’s “Today” was back on top in both total viewers and the ad-friendly younger demo.

“Today” averaged 6.127 million total viewers to “GMA’s” 5.647 million, a +9% advantage.

In the A25-54 demo, “Today” averaged 2.435 million to “GMA’s” 2.201 million, winning by +11%.

So far, the five full weekday broadcasts from Sochi (Thurs., Feb. 6 to Wed., Feb 12) “Today” is averaging 6.076 million total viewers, up +1% from the same period of the 2010 Vancouver games.

If “Today” wins Thursday and Friday of this week, it’ll be the first weekly win in 77 tries. Final numbers will be out next Friday (delayed a day because of the Presidents’ Day holiday.)

Meredith Vieira to Make NBC Olympics History

Bob Costasbad fortune will result in history tonight as Meredith Vieira becomes the first woman to anchor NBC’s Olympic primetime coverage.

“I’m really worried because I have to host primetime tonight…I’m filling in for Mr. C,” Vieira said in a phone call to “Today” this morning. “It’s an honor to fill in for him. You think about the Olympics, and you think the athletes and then Bob Costas.”

Matt Lauer has been filling in for Costas the last three nights. Costas — who has hosted NBC’s Olympics primetime coverage since 1988 — is starting to feel better from his eye infection and hopes to return soon.

This also gives a nice boost for Vieira who begins hosting her own daytime syndicated show this Fall. NBC has been pulling in more than 22 million viewers in primetime during the Sochi games.

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