While accusations of corruption and bribery have cast a cloud over the site selection process, the Olympic Games themselves, wherever they take place, will always have a certain mystique. Today begins the 100-day countdown until the Rio 2016 Games begin and NBC, which will broadcast the event, just made some major news by naming its hosts for the Opening Ceremony.
According to Deadline, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, and Savannah Guthrie will be the network’s masters of ceremonies when the Olympic torch is lit on August 5. Bob Costas will serve as NBC’s prime time host for the games, while Ryan Seacrest will provide late-night coverage.
The event will mark Lauer’s fifth straight Opening Ceremony and Viera’s third straight, while newcomer Savannah Guthrie is hosting for the first time. It will be interesting to see if the rookie helps to shake things up at all, as the coverage of the Sochi 2014 opening was a bit of a drag. With a controversy arising over Russia’s oppressive anti-homosexuality laws, Lauer/Vieira spent a lot of time reminding us of that country’s checkered political history, which put a damper on the festivities.
Hopefully, the focus this time around will be on the athletes and the event and not on politics, though there has been quite a bit of controversy swirling around Rio 2016 as well. Concerns have been raised over the Zika virus, polluted water, unfinished infrastructure, and a raging political corruption scandal that implicates construction companies involved in Olympic projects.
Tomorrow, the Today Show will air a special Olympics-themed beach party to celebrate being just 100 days away from the event. Lauer and Guthrie will both take part and Costas will deliver a live report from Rio de Janeiro. An interview with 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps is also planned.
Stay tuned and we’ll keep you updated as news breaks and Rio 2016 draws closer.