It has been 14 years since news anchor Katie Couric has covered the Olympics. But on Feb. 9, the Peabody award winner will cohost NBC’s coverage of the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Although Couric has not hosted an Olympics opening ceremony for more than a decade, she brings a wealth of experience to the job. She previously hosted the opening ceremonies in Sydney in 2000, Salt Lake City in 2002 and Athens 2004, and she also covered the games from 1991 to 2006 when she was a host at the TODAY show.
“During my years at NBC, I loved covering the Olympics and showcasing the hard work, dedication and perseverance of athletes from around the world,” Couric said in a press release shared by NBC. “The Opening Ceremony will be a chance for South Korea to share its culture and customs and for the international community to celebrate this unparalleled display of athletic achievement and sportsmanship. There’s nothing quite like it.”
Couric will be joined in her Olympic hosting duties by Mike Tirico, who is best-known for being an NFL play-by-play announcer on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. While Tirico hosted the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics, this will be his first time hosting an opening ceremony.
As to why they decided to bring Couric back to the Olympics after so many years, NBC executives pointed to her previous hosting experience and excellent storytelling ability:
“It’s beyond exciting to welcome Katie back to our Olympic booth. Katie has extensive Olympic experience, having anchored the TODAY show at six previous Games, and hosted the Opening Ceremony in Sydney, Salt Lake City, and Athens,” Jim Bell, president of NBC Olympics Production and Programming, said in a press release. “We have been eagerly awaiting Mike’s first prime time Olympic hosting duties, and now, with Mike and Katie, viewers will have two pros, and two terrific storytellers leading the way.”
Couric will be taking the place of Bob Costas, who has been the face of NBC Sports for decades. Costas will stay on with NBC Sports, but he will appear on a more limited basis.
“I’ve said—and I meant it—that I’m taking this case by case, one at a time, and see how we feel after this. But they’ve been nice enough—they being everybody at NBC—to say that it’s up to me. You know, ‘If you want to do one, two, three, four more, you can. If you want to stop after this one, you can. It’s your call,'” Costas, a 28-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, told USA Today. “So that’s very nice. I will not have to be escorted out. I’ll leave before they have to drop hints.”
The Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games will continue until Feb. 28. You can watch the games online by going to NBCOlympics.com or downloading the NBC Sports App.