Thursday, August 18th, 2016


Usain Bolt to Run in What is Expected to Be His Final Individual Olympic Race Tonight in Primetime on NBC

American Ashton Eaton Seeks Second Gold in Decathlon

STAMFORD, Conn. – August 18, 2016 – Coming up tonight on NBC Olympics’ coverage of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

  • Primetime coverage, which begins at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on NBC, is highlighted by track and field, featuring defending two-time champion Usain Bolt and American LaShawn Merritt, who won a bronze medal last Sunday in the 400m, in the men’s 200m gold medal final. Bolt won a third consecutive gold in the men’s 100m earlier this week, maintaining his position as the fastest man in the world.
  • Tonight’s program will feature a time trial granted to the U.S. women’s 4x100m relay team after a baton pass in the third leg of the race was impeded by a Brazilian runner veering into the U.S.’ lane. The team must beat China’s time of 42.7 seconds in order to secure a place in the finals. Coverage also includes the conclusion of the decathlon as American Ashton Eaton seeks to become only the third man ever to win consecutive gold medals in the event.
  • Additionally, primetime coverage on NBC features platform diving finals, as Jessica Parratto competes to win the first American medal in women’s individual platform since current NBC Olympics diving analyst Laura Wilkinson in 2000; and the men’s beach volleyball final, as Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo battle Brazil’s Alison and Bruno for the gold.

Click here for a preview of tonight’s primetime action.

During NBC’s daytime coverage, host Mike Tirico gave an update on the ongoing investigation involving Ryan Lochte and three other members of the U.S. men’s swimming team, and interviewed U.S. Women’s soccer team member Megan Rapinoe.

Tirico: “An update on the ‘Ryan Lochte, was he or was he not?’ story. Lochte is back in the United States, whereas Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from the airplane by the Brazilian authorities shortly before their flight back to the Unites States was set to take off. Earlier this morning, the United States Olympic Committee issued a statement, ‘The three U.S. Olympic swimmers (Bentz, Conger and Feigen) are cooperating with authorities and in the process of scheduling a time and place today to provide further statements to the Brazilian authorities. All are represented by counsel and being appropriately supported by the USOC and the U.S. Consulate in Rio.’ The swimmers have reportedly gone to meet with local authorities already today. So far, Brazilian police have been unable to find evidence to substantiate the swimmers’ original account. You might remember the USOC put out a statement saying that the swimmers were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning.”

Note: This was followed by a report from NBC News’ Gadi Schwartz.

Tirico: “A complex, confusing and ever-changing story. We’ll keep you updated as the events become official and real.”


Tirico, in an interview with Rapinoe: “What are the emotions that start coming back (following the loss to Sweden)?”

Rapinoe: “My heart just started going. Right from the last PK, it was just sad. We have very high expectations for this team, and we’re fiercely competitive. It was sad to look around and see all of the first-timers that were there, some people maybe this was their last, and it was just a heartbreaking locker room after that.”

Tirico: “Can we deal with the elephant in the room? Hope Solo said Sweden played like a bunch of cowards because they took a defensive tactic, something teams have been doing for centuries…what was your reaction?”

Rapinoe: “Really disappointed, to be honest. That’s not our team, that’s not the way this team has always been and that’s not what this team will be in the future. It’s frustrating, sometimes as an athlete, you’re thrust into the spotlight. I think this team has always done an amazing job, that we have this incredible platform, let’s do something good with it. Let’s inspire, let’s be bad ass, let’s be fierce, let’s be competitive, but we’re gracious and we’re humble and we play the game a certain way. Whether we win or lose, and we’ve be winning quite a bit, but when we see ourselves on the other side, we need to handle that graciously, and unfortunately that wasn’t the case.”


Following are highlights from today’s coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on NBC and the networks of NBCUniversal:

Tirico on the decision of the appeal by the U.S., as a baton pass in the third leg of the women’s 4×100 relay was impeded by a Brazilian runner veering into the U.S.’ lane: “The U.S. team has won that appeal, but they are not yet in the final. The U.S. has to do a time trial at 7 p.m. ET, they’ll be running alone on the track, and they need to beat China’s time of 42.7 seconds in order to secure a place in the finals. Hope is not lost yet for the defending Olympic champions in this event. But, the ruling on appeal is that the Brazilian team went into the lane of the U.S., so they get to run the time trial.”

Richards-Ross on Allyson Felix dropping the baton during the women’s 4x100m relay semifinal: “I think what makes the 4x100m so hard is that there are four women trying to get through that zone at any point in time, so you have to be aware of where the athletes are. The Brazilian’s arm was definitely, obviously, out in Allyson’s lane.”

Boldon on the U.S. winning their heat in the men’s 4x100m relay semifinals: “It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to happen within those zones and get across the line without anything major happening.”

Boldon on the Dominican Republic’s false start in the men’s 4x100m relay semifinals: “It’s one thing if you disqualify yourself in a big meet or at the Olympics. If your lead-off runner does this, he has just disqualified the entire country…(Mayobanex) de Óleo commits a false start that’s going to be tough to explain to the other three guys on this 4x100m.”

Boldon on Jamaica’s Usain Bolt replacing Kemar Bailey-Cole, if they make the men’s 4x100m relay final: “How would you like to be one of the substitutes for Jamaica, who have to know that – hey, you may be the deciding factor with Usain Bolt going for this triple-triple. No pressure, but, history is relying on you here.” Note: Jamaica qualified in the event

Richards-Ross on the finish in the women’s 400m: “There’s been a lot of discussion about this dramatic finish in the women’s 400m final. But, in track and field we know it’s the torso that counts. We are actually taught to lean for the line. In the 400m, a lot of times you have so much fatigue in your legs, you almost fall, and that’s exactly what Shanae Miller did. She’s been attacked on social media, but she should be celebrated for that brave run.”

Analyst Trey Hardee on Eaton in the 100m hurdles: “He’s one of the most talented hurdlers that have ever lived as far as the decathlon goes…After the 400m last night he said he was just trying to be smooth. I think that’s out the window at this point. I think he’s going to be aggressive, and I think he’s going to be the man to beat.”



Analyst Kevin Barnett on Serbia’s Brankica Mihajlović, as Serbia defeated the U.S. to move on to the women’s gold medal match: “I don’t care if you’re a fan of the United States or some other team besides Serbia, you have to enjoy and admire the play of Brankica Mihajlović in this tournament. A string of beautiful volleyball swings.”



Analyst Cynthia Potter on the women’s diving semifinals: “A lot of people like to put the Chinese in a different class. But, the Americans are very tuned into the fact that everyone is beatable on any day, depending on the conditions, and of course the mindset of the divers.”

Potter on Team USA’s Jessica Parratto: “She puts the second round dive in the water so beautifully. I can’t tell you how important it is to gain some momentum in that second round and move up the leader board from there.”



Inbee Park (10-under, Leader – Korea) to Steve Sands following her round: “I wouldn’t say it’s easy, having a lot of pressure is really hard, especially when you are playing bad or having a tough time. But at the same time, I try to think very positive. I have a lot of people on my side and people watching me and cheering me on, taking the positives out of it.”

Analyst Paige Mackenzie on Inbee Park: “I think that her sanctuary is inside the ropes… If you’ve ever listened to her, she doesn’t give up much. She doesn’t tell you what’s going on in her personal life or outside of what happens from tee-to-green… To her, that was probably stating the obvious. ‘Don’t you know what’s going on in Korea? They’re asking me or wondering if I’m going to play in the event or give up my spot to one of my other Korean teammates.’ To me, it was incredibly revealing that she was sharing that.”

Mackenzie on Lewis: “If you look at some of the close finishes she’s had, it’s because she hasn’t putted well down the stretch (that she hasn’t won). It’s been a source of frustration for Stacy, because so many times, coming down the stretch, that’s the club that has let her down.”



Analyst Swin Cash on Laura Nicholls of Spain’s ability to rebound and finish, as they defeated Serbia to go on to the gold medal game: “She is out there with Windex and cleaning the glass. Her activity alone provides opportunities for Spain. The fans are loving it and so is the bench.”


A division of NBC Sports Group, NBC Olympics is responsible for producing, programming and promoting NBCUniversal’s Olympic coverage. It is renowned for its unsurpassed Olympic heritage, award-winning production, and ability to aggregate the largest audiences in U.S. television history. The 2012 London Olympics were watched by 217 million Americans across the networks of NBCUniversal, making it the most-watched event in U.S. television history.

-RIO 2016-