NBC anchors' comments on Olympics close
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NBC’s Bob Costas’ final thoughts on the Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games:
“These were the Games some thought shouldn't happen in the wake of enormous scandal three years ago. Games some thought wouldn't happen after the events of September 11th made uncertainty a daily part of our lives. But these Games now have a place in Olympic history where it will be written that Salt Lake staged one of the best Winter Olympics ever held - many say the best.
“In the end, the Games worked. And on many levels because in spite of security levels unparalleled at any sporting event anywhere, the buses rolled, the athletes played, the stands and sidewalks were filled. These Games worked because a multitude of citizens, volunteers and security personnel were relentlessly efficient and cheerful. These were the Games where the athletes came first. The decision to award double-gold to Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, prodded by IOC president Jacques Rogge, was an indication that Olympic athletes don't have to come second to the sometimes Byzantine workings of the various sporting federations. But the decision also provoked a string of protests and other events. An undisguised resentment from a number of countries, Russia most prominently, who felt that American and Canadian interests were favoured here, in part they claimed, because it made for better Olympic television. It's reasonable to assume that under Rogge's new leadership significant judging reforms will follow. It's also welcome news that the Olympics seem to now be more intent to catching up with the cheaters. Two cross country skiers stripped of gold likely assumed they were using the latest, greatest, undetectable blood booster - they were wrong.
“Overwhelmingly though the focus was where it should have been - on the men and women who in large measure came here to play for the sake of playing. Like Jonny Moseley, who unleashed the dinner roll, though he knew the judges didn't like the taste of it… and Eric Bergoust, who took off boom-or-bust and went bust because he didn't want to win any other way. So many of the stories here were tinged with humility, even a touch of the ordinary. Like the double medalist in speed skating (Derek Parra) who worked in the carpeting department of Home Depot… and the Australian aerialist (Alisa Camplin), who had to sell her car to pay for training… the fire woman who ended up sliding to silver (Lea Ann Parsley)… the Austrian cop who's now the world's
fastest skier (Stephan Eberharter)… and the sixteen-year-old high school junior (Sarah Hughes), who won the marquee event of these Games - a kid with no agent, doing her homework on her laptop while making a three hour roundtrip commute to practice.
“These athletes showed us that they deserved to have their day - they showed us why these Games should have happened. And now, for a team of 3,000 broadcasting professionals who've manned the mountains, slopes, stadiums, arenas and studios of Salt Lake, thanks and good night - this last time from Studio A at the International Broadcast Centre.???
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Jim McKay’s final thoughts on the Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games with Bob Costas: “This, in my opinion, is the best Olympic Winter Games ever - with all due respect, as the politicians say, to my home Network for 40 years now, ABC Sports. My unlikely presence here was due to two men: Dick Ebersol, my friend of 34 years, who had the seemingly impossible idea of asking me to come and Howard Katz of ABC, who allowed me to come. Thanks Dick and Howard, I am coming right home. As for you Bob, I have worked with a lot of real pros but working with you has been the best yet. The Olympic host job is, to me, the toughest job in sports.
“you and I have talked about many subjects here but as we agreed, we have not mentioned the horror of September 11 even once. I think this is the time, because, unseen, the shadow of Ground Zero has been a silent inspiration for American athletes and spectators.
“American flags are sending a message to friends and foe, not of arrogance, but to tell the world that we are still here. The chants of 'USA, USA' said the same thing. There was another message sent by the athletes of almost 80 nations who came. Their very presence here, their smiles and waves at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, their sportsmanship during the Games - they were saying this as they were with us too. It is not, believe me, a routine statement to congratulate the new International Olympic Committee spearheaded by Dr. Jacque Rogge, who became the first president of the IOC to stay in the athlete’s village. The Salt Lake Committee, of course, led by Mitt Romney, the people of Utah, and you at home watching in record numbers and perhaps losing some sleep in the process. Margaret, my wife, sharing a twelfth Olympics with me and as for me, the unexpected unique privilege of being asked to do just one more - one more Olympics to share with you.???
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NBC’s Mary Carillo during the Closing Ceremony: “You don’t need physical possession of a medal, to have these Games change your life forever.???
Hicks replied: “I think that was the point that really came through loud and clear during these Games. Where it just wasn't about winning the gold medal, we saw so many genuine feelings expressed about a silver or bronze and then a lot of people about just being here.???
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Jimmy Roberts’ ‘Chevrolet Olympic Moments’ on moments that did not happen: “A moment, by definition, is just a fleeting piece of time, grab it or it’s gone.???
On Todd Eldredge: “Todd Eldredge knows, Salt Lake was to have been his last chance in a lifetime of Olympic disappointments but the script remained unchanged and so the moment once again didn't happen.???
On Picabo Street: “Picabo Street also came to Salt Lake to say goodbye having already seen the other side. After the fall they said she could never make it back but she needed too. Sometimes fairy tales do come true but as badly as she wanted it - this was not the happy ending she had come for. This time the moment belonged to someone else.???
On Michelle Kwan: “But if there was one place we could delude ourselves into believing happy endings were owed, it was the porcelain doll, fairytale world of women's figure skating. Michelle Kwan had always done what the game had asked - smiled, behaved, worked hard. And then, just when the moment was supposed to be hers - it wasn't. And now four years later - it wasn't again. How could this elegant and gentle sport be so cruel? We only found out Friday how much she really cared.???
On moments that did not happen: “Amidst the blush of American success these were the moments that didn't happen, the ones that no one except those who were denied them will ever really remember. Only in the blind spots of our joy, a joy we were allowed because of another moment denied - a collective one. (Over video of military and security guards) Thousands of men and women stood sentry for us while we watched and we played. Sometimes the most important moments are the ones that never happen."
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NBC’s Gary Thorne on the Canadian reaction to today’s gold medal hockey victory over the United States: “For those of you from Canada I don’t have to tell you. For those of you in the United States or elsewhere, if you could sense what is going on in Canada - it is a national holiday right now in Canada because this gold medal has been won and their cultural inheritance has been saved.???
NBC's John Davidson on the tremendous talent playing in today’s gold medal game: "You are looking at over 40 of the world's greatest hockey players, two teams both extremely well coached. They carried themselves well and they gave the world a chance to look at some wonderful hockey."