Thursday, July 29th, 2021


“I can’t begin to tell you how many times Caeleb and I have sat down together and talked about his start…He wins the race in the first 15 meters.” – Rowdy Gaines on Caeleb Dressel winning gold in the men’s 100m freestyle

 “That last 50 meters will be remembered for a long time in USA Swimming history.” – Gaines on Bobby Finke’s gold in the men’s 800m freestyle

Thursday Highlights: Four Swimming Medal Events Featuring Lilly King, Ryan Murphy, and More Live in Primetime on NBC; Gymnastics Women’s All-Around Competition Live Thursday Morning at 6:50 a.m. ET on Peacock

STAMFORD, Conn. – July 29, 2021 – NBC Olympics continued its primetime coverage of the Tokyo Olympics tonight on NBC. Mike Tirico serves as NBC Olympics primetime host and opened coverage on NBC.

Highlights of upcoming coverage include:

    • Four swimming medal events live in primetime on NBC on Thursday, featuring American contenders including Lilly King, Annie Lazor, Ryan Murphy, Chase Kalisz, and Michael Andrew;
    • The gymnastics women’s all-around competition, expected to feature Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Suni Lee and Jade Carey of Team USA, will be presented live Thursday morning at 6:50 a.m. ET on Peacock, and in primetime Thursday evening at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.;
    • The opening track & field qualifying rounds of the Tokyo Olympics will be presented live in primetime at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network, which are expected to feature American medal contenders Rai Benjamin, Athing Mu, and Ajee’ Wilson;
    • In pursuit of a seventh consecutive gold medal, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and the U.S. women’s basketball team face Japan in group play live at 12:40 a.m. ET (9:40 p.m. PT Thursday) on USA Network.


Following are highlights from tonight’s primetime coverage of the Tokyo Olympics on the networks of NBCUniversal:


Rowdy Gaines on Dressel’s start in the 100m freestyle: “I can’t begin to tell you how many times Caeleb and I have sat down together and talked about his start. He just explodes off the back foot…He wins the race in the first 15 meters. But who cares? Who cares how he won it? He won it!”

Gaines on Dressel joining him as a gold medalist in the men’s 100m freestyle: “My man, welcome to our club, buddy. So glad you can join us.”

Dan Hicks on Bobby Finke’s surge in the final to lap to win gold in the men’s 800m freestyle: “He just bided his time. It looked like he wasn’t going to have it, but Finke was saving something we didn’t know he had.”

Rowdy Gaines on Finke’s final lap: “I knew he had gas left in the tank. I didn’t know he had that much…He goes by those guys like they’re standing still. What a swim! … That last 50 meters will be remembered for a long time in USA Swimming history.”

Gaines on Katie Ledecky in Team USA’s silver in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay: “She gave it a run. How do you measure the heart of a champion? … She was running her down all the way. That made for a great race.”

Gaines on Ryan Murphy in the 200m backstroke semifinal: “Ryan Murphy has looked so good here in Tokyo…I don’t want to overstate this, I thought Ryan Murphy looked better in this 200 than he did in Rio five years ago.”



Nastia Liukin on Sam Mikulak and the looseness he brings to Team USA: “He said that after these Olympic Games, he will be retiring from the sport and so he has realized that there’s so much more life beyond gymnastics, and that is what he is trying to figure out and find.”

Tim Daggett on Brody Malone in his first Olympics: “He is something else. I don’t know if I’ve seen anybody do it better than him, being just a novice in this arena and being able to deal and deliver…I don’t think (the pressure) is affecting him at all.”



Cynthia Potter on Andrew Capobianco and Michael Hixon’s final dive en route to a silver medal in the men’s synchronized springboard: “That is amazing composure. And as they walked up, it reminded me of what Tiger Woods did before this last injury, of when he would walk up the fairway very  slowly. They controlled their breathing and their composure through all the things that they’ve been working on.”



Kevin Wong on Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena’s victory over Argentina in pool play: “What’s bigger than any of the blocks for me, it’s the passion, it’s the energy, it’s the excitement. We haven’t seen this level of fire from the Americans maybe in eight years.”



A division of NBC Sports Group, NBC Olympics is responsible for producing, programming and promoting NBCUniversal’s coverage of the Olympic Games. NBC Olympics is renowned for its unsurpassed Olympic heritage, award-winning production, and ability to aggregate the largest audiences in U.S. television history. NBCUniversal owns the U.S. media rights on all platforms to all Olympic Games through 2032. NBC Olympics also produces thousands of hours of Olympic sports programming throughout the year, which is presented on NBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, Peacock and NBC Sports digital platforms.