For unknown reasons, a well-known sports reporter is cutting short his coverage of the Olympics.
According to the Associated Press, NBC’s prime-time Olympic sportscaster, Mike Tirico, who was originally planned to be in Beijing until Thursday, will return to the United States following the Monday night broadcast.
Tirico’s schedule was susceptible to change due to COVID-19 and other reasons, according to network administrators.
He’ll be flying from China to Stamford, Connecticut’s NBC Sports headquarters to host the Olympic coverage on Wednesday and Thursday nights. On Friday, he’ll travel to Los Angeles to host the Olympic and Super Bowl broadcasts, as well as Sunday’s Super Bowl.
After that, Tirico will return to Stamford for the last week of Olympic coverage ends on Feb. 20th, when the Games are over.
According to Deadline, the change is thought to be related to the employees. The games are being covered remotely by a large number of on-air commentators and production personnel headquartered in Connecticut. Tirico’s schedule had previously been announced by NBC Sports as being subject to change.
“The nation where COVID began,” Tirico said last week during the coverage of the opening ceremonies, and he also noted the difficulties of covering the epidemic owing to the country’s pandemic restrictions. He also mentioned the diplomatic boycott of the Games by the United States, which has been joined by other western countries. While speaking on the subject, he said the boycott was attributed to “citing China’s human rights record, and the U.S. government’s declaration that the Chinese communist party is guilty of committing genocide on the Uyghur Muslim population in that Western Xinjiang region. That is a charge that China denies.”
There’s a possibility that these remarks are part of NBC’s “other factors” that led to Tirico’s early departure from China.