With the Olympic tennis competition concluded at Wimbledon, we talk to Justin Gimelstob of NBC and the Tennis Channel about his experience calling the Olympics, the uniquness of having the tournament at Wimbledon, and the most memorable moment for him during the tournament.
Q: What are the biggest challenges in preparing for calling an Olympic sport and during the event itself?
A: My first Olympic experience has been amazing. However, being on live television for up to 9 hours a day is certainly a marathon, not a sprint. Luckily, we have an excellent team and I am very proud of the way we have been able to cover the Olympic Games and represent a sport I love very much.
Q: How is the Olympic environment different in the stadium or venue versus other events you've worked? How are you able to communicate that environment to an audience watching on another continent?
A: The fact that the Olympics are being played at The All-England Club three weeks after Wimbledon has created a unique dynamic for the athletes. There has been a level of familiarity, but by no means is it Wimbledon 2.0. The atmosphere and the environment have been much different. The crowds have been much more of an all-around sports crowd with a higher level of fan interaction and engagement. The atmosphere during Andy Murray's matches has been electric.
Q: What's the most memorable aspect of being a part of the Olympic broadcast?
A: The most memorable part of being part of the Olympic broadcast for me was when we opened the show the first day and I looked down at my mic flag and saw the NBC logo. That's when I knew I was officially part of the most important broadcast of my career. It was a very surreal, exciting moment. I have also enjoyed doing the post-match interviews. The interview with Roger Federer after his historic win over Juan Martin Del Potro, guaranteeing Switzerland’s first medal of the Games, was very emotional and poignant moment that he handled with his customary class.
Q: How much of the Olympics are you able to take in as a fan? What else will you try and take part in outside the booth in London?
A: I've always been a huge fan of the Olympics, what it stands for and what the athletes sacrifice in order to try to accomplish their goals. I was fortunate enough to catch USA Basketball and its record breaking scoring extravaganza against Nigeria. It was a memorable experience, and one that I will always cherish.