Swimming is always one of the biggest draws at the Summer Olympics, but this year’s aquatic events seem especially ripe with storylines. Missy Franklin looks to repeat her impressive 2012 showing, Ryan Lochte could emerge as the guy in American swimming, Katie Ledecky will likely become the U.S.’s next mega-star and, of course, Michael Phelps will attempt to close out his legendary career in style.
Covering all of this from up close will be Michele Tafoya, who will make her Olympic swimming debut in Rio, NBC announced Tuesday.
Tafoya is NBC’s lead NFL sideline reporter and has covered three Olympics in the past, most recently as a sports desk reporter in London in 2012. She’ll join the commentator duo of Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines, who have worked together at six straight Games. Tafoya takes over the sideline role from Andrea Kramer.
Here’s a statement from Tafoya:
“When I think of the Olympics I instantly think of all the great stories swimming has delivered over the years — from Mark Spitz to Janet Evans to Michael Phelps,” Tafoya said. “And it looks like there will be some great drama in Rio as well. I’m really excited to cover the competition with the fantastic Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines. What an assignment!”
Tafoya is a two-time Emmy winner and very good at her job, so she will surely excel in following around Michael Phelps to update us on his every sneeze. Phelps will be the story of the Olympics for the third (fourth?) straight Games, and Tafoya is as qualified as anyone to cover him, plus all the other American swimming stars.