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Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin to debut as NBC Olympics gymnastics analyst in Rio


Wed, Jun 1st 2016 12:20 pm

Working alongside two-time Olympic medalist Tim Daggett and Al Trautwig

Gymnastics coaching legend Bela Karolyi reprises role with NBC Olympics as a primetime correspondent in Rio

Five-time Olympic medalist and 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin makes her debut as an NBC Olympics gymnastics analyst in Rio, alongside two-time Olympic medalist Tim Daggett and play-by-play voice Al Trautwig. In addition, gymnastics coaching legend Bela Karolyi reprises his role with NBC Olympics as a primetime correspondent. NBCUniversal's coverage of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad begins from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Friday, Aug. 5.

After retiring from the sport in 2012, Liukin has worked as an analyst on NBC Sports Group's gymnastics coverage. Liukin will work her third Olympics with NBC Sports, previously serving as a reporter during NBC Sports Group's coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, and as an NBCOlympics.com contributor during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Daggett, who has contributed to NBC Olympics' coverage since the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, works alongside Trautwig for the third consecutive Games. Trautwig will also serve as the triathlon play-by-play announcer in Rio. Karolyi contributed to coverage as a primetime Olympic correspondent at the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 London Games.

"Nastia is the daughter of two gymnastics champions and won the all-around gold in Beijing," said Jim Bell, executive producer, NBC Olympics. "With her pedigree and passion for the sport, she will work alongside Tim and Al to not only to take viewers inside the action, but also explain what the athletes are experiencing on the biggest sports stage in the world. And we are pleased to once again have Bela on our team to offer the perspective that only a championship coach can provide."

Liukin, Daggett and Trautwig will be joined by reporter Andrea Joyce to call the P&G Men's Gymnastics Championship live this Sunday, June 5, at 2 p.m. ET on NBC. NBCSN presents coverage of the Women's Secret U.S. Gymnastics Classic later that day at 9:30 p.m.

Simone Biles will look to make her Olympic debut in Rio on the heels of three consecutive U.S. and world all-around championship titles (2013-15). Gabby Douglas, who won the individual all-around gold medal at the London Games, and Aly Raisman, who earned the gold medal on floor exercise, were a part of the "Fierce Five" U.S. women's gymnastics squad that took home the team gold medal in London. 

Danell Leyva earned a bronze medal for Team USA in the men's all-around in 2012, while three-time reigning U.S. all-around champion Sam Mikulak will look to make his second Olympic appearance in Rio. Newcomer Donnell Whittenburg, who was second at the 2016 AT&T American Cup, is also expected to be a contender.

A five-time Olympic medalist and two-time all-around national champion (2005, 2006), Liukin garnered the most medals of any gymnast at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and tied the U.S. women's gymnastics record for the most medals won at a single Olympics with five (one gold, three silver, one bronze). Liukin's gold medal in the all-around event makes her one of only four American women to win the all-around Olympic title alongside Mary Lou Retton, Carly Patterson and Gabby Douglas.

A former gymnast, Daggett has established himself as one of the leading authorities on the sport, covering the American Cup, the World Gymnastics Championships and the U.S. Olympic Trials. Rio marks his seventh Olympic assignment with NBC Sports Group. As a competitor, Daggett's "10" on the high bar at the 1984 Olympics clinched a gold medal for the U.S. men's team. He later added a bronze medal in the pommel horse competition at those Games and fought through a series of injuries to become the American Cup all-around champion in 1985 and the U.S. national champion in 1986.

Rio marks Trautwig's 11th Olympics with NBC Sports Group and 16th overall. Most recently, Trautwig served as a play-by-play commentator for cross-country skiing and Nordic combined at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. Trautwig currently covers the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers for MSG Network.

Karolyi is one of the most recognized personalities in the sport and has trained world-renowned gymnasts at numerous Olympics. He began his career in the early 1960s as the coach of the Romanian women's gymnastics team, which gained international recognition under his guidance. On his team was Nadia Comaneci, a young gymnast who astounded the world at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal by achieving the first-ever perfect scores in Olympic competition. Karolyi coached four U.S. Olympic teams from 1984 to 1996 and served as the U.S. national team coordinator at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In 1996, Karolyi's "Magnificent Seven," captured Olympic gold in the women's team competition, including a courageous final performance from Kerri Strug, who, though injured, still performed a vault and anchored the gold for Team USA.

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