Being there helps at Olympics, even if you don't want to be

FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 17, 2006 file photo, silver medallist Lindsey Jacobellis, of the United States, reacts prior to the flower ceremony of the Women's Snowboard Cross competition at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Bardonecchia, Italy. Jacobellis says she’s long since moved past her misstep that cost her a gold medal at the 2006 Olympics. Jacobellis was leading in the women’s snowboardcross finals when she fell after trying to showboat a bit on her way to the finish line. The mistake forced her to settle for silver. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

Being on the scene proves valuable for NBC's Steve Porino, even if it means watching Mikaela Shiffrin vomit

NEW YORK — Highlights from media coverage of the Pyeongchang Olympics:

BEING THERE: Sometimes the secret to good reporting is simply being there, even if you'd rather not. Alpine skiing reporter Steve Porino was right near American Mikaela Shiffrin as she vomited before heading out on her first slalom run Friday in South Korea. Fortunately, he didn't have a camera. Was it nerves? Was Shiffrin coming down with something at the worst possible time? Not clear. In a high-flying sport decided by split seconds, though, her condition is valuable information. (Later, after finishing in fourth place, she admitted to anxiety that made her sick.) And while you don't want analyst Bode Miller as a relationship counselor, and he's a challenge to listen to, he's full of insight from being a recent top competitor on the ski circuit. He even has his own tales of throwing up before major races, and the pressure that can literally make you sick.

SHARP WORK: Yes, we're hard on Bode. He's new to the job. But we'll offer a couple of assignments. Listen to the work of Leigh Diffey and Bree Schaaf as they called the skeleton competition won handily by Yun Sung-Bin . They bring excitement and historical sweep to their calls, explaining the technicalities without getting lost in them. "This is one of those moments that just makes your heart feel like it's going to explode," Schaaf said over the replay of the South Korean's final run. "His form, his expression. I am blown away by not just this race but the entire season by Yun Sung-Bin." Similarly, cross-country ski analyst Chad Salmela made the women's 10-kilometer freestyle race easier to understand, despite its complexities. He captured the thrill as he and viewers tried to will Jessica Diggins over the finish line to earn the USA's first Olympic medal in the sport. She fell less than four seconds short in a 25-minute race.

TRYING AGAIN: NBC prepared a strong feature on American snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis , a four-time Olympian sadly known best to many for falling while making an unnecessary jump at the end of a race she was dominating, costing her a sure gold medal in the 2006 Turin Games. Unfortunately, producers aired it around 1 a.m. Eastern on Thursday on the East Coast, right before a men's qualifying round in snowboarding. Time constraints probably prevented NBC from showing it before Jacobellis competed Friday (she finished fourth ) and that's a shame, because anyone who saw the story would have rooted hard for her.

PRIME TIME PLUS: NBC decided this year to air its Olympic telecast at the same time across the country, and that paid off for West Coast viewers in the U.S. with Thursday's competition in Korea. They were able to see Shiffrin win her giant slalom gold medal live in a prime viewing window, right before 10 p.m. Pacific on Wednesday. In past years, West Coast viewers were stuck watching reruns of an East Coast feed that aired three hours earlier.

COORDINATION: On a busy night Thursday, NBC seemed to use the extra space of its NBCSN cable network wisely. Producers showed a wider sweep of Olympic events on the network, while letting people who wanted to see an extended look at figure skating have the chance on cable. One area to improve upon: keeping viewers better informed of their options.

RATINGS: If the ratings were an Olympic race, NBC slipped a few seconds off its pace on Wednesday. The Nielsen company said 19.2 million people watched competition in prime time on NBC, the cable network NBCSN and through streaming services, down 8 percent from the 20.8 million who watched NBC for the corresponding night at the Sochi Olympics four years ago. An estimated 17.2 million watched NBC alone, or 17 percent off Sochi.


More AP Olympic coverage:

Related News

Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah each land a Showtime series

Aug 11, 2016

Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah will each star in their own half-hour comedy series for Showtime

Bollywood's Shah Rukh Khan gets US apology for airport stop

Aug 12, 2016

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan tweeted that he gets detained at U.S. airports "every damn time" after he was stopped at the Los Angeles International Airport

Nate Parker accepts Sundance award, creates youth fellowship

Aug 12, 2016

The writer, director, producer and star of "The Birth of a Nation" says the Sundance Institute offered him encouragement and support when he needed it most, and now he hopes to pass that opportunity onto the next generation of filmmakers

Broaden News

Reporter Pass is the only access you need to get into Hollywood. No matter it’s the red carpet event or backstage access, we’ve got you covered.

Contact us:

Award ShowsCelebrityPaparazziRoyaltyMoviesMusicTelevision Programs Press Releases