Jimmy Roberts previews Sochi Olympics
Wed, 6 Feb 2013|
It is a year to the day from the beginning of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia
Sochi Russia as the site of the 42 Olympic Winter Games. Thank coverage begins 1 year pro am today February 6 one to fourteen on NBC. The International Olympic Committee has netted twelve new events including several. Freestyle skiing and snowboarding and go watch eighteen days of Olympic programming on the NBC. Family of networks on there and on line and joining us now there's an inside access to talk more about it a man who's about to cover his fifteen. Olympics one of the premier commentators. And sports essayist. About I've. That that's -- eroded and think Jimmy Jimmy Roberts -- -- front and these days well. It's there it's there is there another guest you're gonna have on Michael only a must read and it's great to talk to you could -- but also there is this what position you you've covered everything I mean Super Bowls horse races US opens -- get to that both tennis and golf where where does this rank covering an Olympic Games. Whether it's summer or winter where does that rank for you. You know the -- the Olympics are the best thing you could possibly cover of sports is what you do for a living the Olympic Games there where where you wanna go to. The dimensions will be my fifteenth Olympic Games and I mean I. I've covered a lot of things that when I look back on the things that I've been apart over Ive been witness to. The most memorable thing I've ever seen in sports happened in an Olympic Games 1994. When Dan Jansen finally won his gold medal in the thousand meters. I mean this was a guy who had labored. For so many years under such scrutiny and had you know so many instances a disappointment and heartbreak that started. With him having to race on the day that his sister died of you know of leukemia at the 1988 games in Calgary. And then his story was so scrutinized and followed throughout the process and he just kept on coming up short. And you know finally in 1994 in a race that he really was not supposed to win he not only one. But he set a world record. And I saw something I never have seen before or since I saw the people who were competing against. This man I saw the ball standing. And applauding and then I saw them. Take his baby daughter and hander down over the crowd. Over the security fence and into. I -- stuff like that doesn't happen too many other places but the Olympic Games. Jimmie out of your call Witten -- a sideline reporter for CBS covering that event we see. Barca can -- that we were there together he was that came -- and he was that dashing young man -- time at at the time I would have thought back then we'd be talking about the 2014 games in Sochi Russia but so we are one. Year from -- night NBC will begin its coverage which is a first normally it is the opening ceremonies for those of us who are unfamiliar with Sochi Russia give us a little primer what we can expect from the city. The backdrop and these games. Well I think it's gonna be beautiful I mean the amazing thing to me is. That it's going to be the first Olympic Games in my lifetime. Excluding the Moscow games in 1980. That the entire world is gonna actually -- and think about that I mean think about the size. Of Russia and before that the Soviet Union. Nobody certainly in the United States has seen an Olympic Games there you know probably in their lifetime. You know I think it's really going to be a momentous event I mean they're gonna be what is it 98 events some told 98 events. When the first Olympic Games I went to in Lake Placid there were 38 events and meanwhile the Olympic Games have exploded. And I just think about all the things that. You know. Over the past several years have become not only popular but must see events you're gonna see Shaun White compete we may see him compete. On that very first night which precedes the opening ceremonies in one -- opening ceremony actions and that's an important distinction. For all you Olympic fans out there it's not 00 excuse me. It's not opening ceremonies. It's opening ceremony we get slapped on the wrist for stuff like that around here let's David and yes noble. Yeah right we think we're gonna see snowboard slope style on that first night. And along with team figure skating that's gonna be one of the events where we may see Shaun white's it's going to be very very exciting what do you -- It happened it would Lindsey Vonn who is a gold medalist who was airlifted out. Of the world championships -- -- Austria yesterday torn ACL toward NCL. A broken tibia. And we we've seen comebacks before certainly but this looks catastrophic what are you hearing about this. Well if Vaughan is able to compete notably her fourth Olympic Games the first time she competed with Salt Lake City she was just seventeen years old. She's an extraordinary athlete she is the most decorated American skier of all time. When you take into account the Olympic Games in World Cup and world championships she's really. She's just an extraordinary athlete and I've gotten a -- a little bit because she also is a big tennis fan so we would see here every year at Wimbledon. And I'll tell you something she's just built differently in many many ways there aren't too many people that have the determination. That she does and the consistency in a sport where just. Hundreds of thousands of seconds separate winners and losers and there are so many conditions. Which can play a part in whether or not you're successful things that don't have anything to do. Would your own control she's been so remarkably consistent over the years. So I didn't you know I can't tell you for sure but I would imagine that she's out for the rest of this year but I would be shocked if she didn't work as hard as she possibly could to get back next year will be. It would be her fourth games we hope. That she is there certainly also the NHL there's a question -- mark around. The NHL's players and whether or not they will take another break. For the Olympic Winter Games then what are you hearing on that do you think. They will and you'll like that that that the NHL breaks in the best of the world are on display. They have to send the NHL. I mean I certainly hope the decision that is made since the NHL players. Because you wanna see the best players in the world playing on that big ice sheet which is bigger than what we see here. In the United States it's just a different game and I think -- get to appreciate. The artistry of it I remember one of the first Olympic hockey tournaments that I covered -- in 1992. Back then it was the unified team. And there was this guy who we hadn't really seen in the United States he was skating for again the unified team then because it was after the breakup of the Soviet Union. And his name was Alexi Kovalev he didn't speak very much English but we got to see a guy who was basically the Michael Jordan. Of ice hockey at the time and it's a beautiful thing to -- so I hope they can figure it out. There's nothing better then you know -- ice hockey at the Olympic Games is just it's just really spectacular. What are you hearing about Sochi itself regarding climate there were some experiences or at least concerns. With -- unseasonably mild temperatures not the first time certainly. In winner Olympic history that that would indicate to happen in Calgary there was a little bit of -- certainly in Vancouver a what's the climate going to be like as far as you know. Well it's it's going to be we would imagine somewhat like Vancouver it's what I am told is a subtropical. Climate. Just for those who were interest did two days from now the predicted temperature down. In the area in town. Where some of the indoor events will happen. Is predicted to be about 63 degrees so it's mid fifties -- I had about an hour away from town in the Caucasus mountains. That's where you know the Alpine events will happen to the outdoor events. And you know that's a typical mountain climate so I would imagine that you know they're not gonna have any problem with this believe me this has been carefully. Considered and you know as they have in the past you know I've seen I've seen events canceled at the Olympic Games for too much snow. I've seen events. Postponed for too little snow but they always end up going on and they're always spectacular.