Seven has assembled a world-class team of hosts and commentators to lead its coverage of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in what will be the country’s biggest broadcast and digital event ever seen.
Australia’s most loved and respected sports broadcaster Bruce McAvaney returns for his 11th Olympic Games coverage, with team Seven featuring 14 of Australia’s greatest ever Olympians who between them have racked up 14 Olympic gold medals plus hundreds of Games both as competitors and broadcasters.
After the Olympic Flame was lit in Olympia, Greece, overnight to start the Tokyo 2020 torch relay, Seven announced its coverage would be anchored by Hamish McLachlan, Mel McLaughlin, Johanna Griggs, Sonia Kruger, Lisa Sthalekar, Trent Copeland and Abbey Way.
Australia’s most successful Olympian of all-time, five-time gold medallist Ian Thorpe, is one of the exciting new additions to Seven’s commentary team, along with cycling golden girl Anna Meares, who won six medals including two gold across four Olympic Games.
They will be joined by fellow gold medallists Steve Hooker, Nick Green, Giaan Rooney, Scott McGrory, Russell Mark and Debbie Watson, while decorated Olympians Andrew Gaze, Rachael Sporn, Tamsyn Lewis-Manou, David Culbert, Kate Bates and Ash Nelson also headline Seven’s coverage.
Master broadcaster Basil Zempilas leads an impressive team of callers including the global doyen of cycling commentary Phil Liggett, the voice of hockey Dave Christison, basketball expert John Casey, and accomplished callers Michael Zappone, Mark Braybrook, Brenton Speed and Matt Hill. Pat Welsh will be trackside at the athletics, while Nathan Templeton will be poolside interviewing all the Olympic Games stars.
Edwina Bartholomew and Basil Zempilas have been given the honour of commentating the cultural components of the Opening Ceremony and will be joined by Hamish McLachlan, Johanna Griggs and Australian flagbearer at the Olympic Games Sydney 2000 Andrew Gaze for the Parade of Nations.
And running all over Tokyo will be Jason Richardson, Emma Vosti and James Tobin making sure audiences are kept up to date with all the colour of the Games.
For revered broadcaster Bruce McAvaney, anticipation is building in what promises to be a remarkable Games across 17 days featuring the world’s greatest athletes, new sports and in the perfect time zone:
“Just like our Australian athletes, our team is a mix of veterans and debut broadcasters. We have a breadth of experience, knowledge and the skills of a new generation to complement what promises to be an incredible Games in our own time zone. Tokyo is getting ever closer and we’re looking at milestone performances and practically unknown young athletes who’ll blow our socks off and become instant household names. One thing is for certain; our team and all Australians are going to experience the awe of the greatest event in sport.”
For the first time in Australian free-to-air television history, there will be 43 dedicated Olympic channels across 7, 7TWO and 7plus all FREE and in HD.
Exactly 16 days after the Flame is extinguished in Tokyo, a new one will be lit, signalling the start of the Paralympic Games. Johanna Griggs, Jim Wilson and Paralympic gold medallist Annabelle Williams will anchor Seven’s unprecedented coverage across 7, 7TWO and 7plus featuring up to 16 live streams.
Chief Revenue Officer and Director of Olympics Kurt Burnette said Seven will set a new benchmark as the most extensive, innovative and technologically advanced Olympic and Paralympic experience spanning all platforms – broadcast, digital, social and in print:
“The Olympics are for all Australians, and with Tokyo 2020 we’re offering more to everyone than ever before. Most incredibly of all, it will be available for free, something never before offered in Australia. We can’t wait for 24/7 to bring the biggest broadcast and digital event in Australian history to life.”
Viewers will wake up to all the latest Olympic highlights, news and exclusive athlete interviews each day with Australia’s #1 brekky show Sunrise before Johanna Griggs, returning for her seventh Olympic Games coverage, steers Seven’s morning broadcast.
Superstar of Australian television Sonia Kruger then takes the reins each afternoon in what will be her third Olympic Games with Seven.
Both women will be joined by Olympic Games broadcast newcomers Lisa Sthalekar and Trent Copeland as they bring a fresh perspective to Olympic updates and help viewers navigate the 43 channels.
Following 7NEWS, LIVE at 6.00 every night of the Games, two of Australia’s most credible sports broadcasters, Mel McLaughlin and Hamish McLachlan, will guide, inform and entertain audiences through prime-time Olympic Games coverage.
And keeping viewers completely up to date late into the evening will be Abbey Way, who has quickly become one of Seven’s most versatile hosts working across sport and entertainment.
Commenting, Mel McLaughlin said:
“Having the privilege of working on an Olympic Games is the stuff of dreams in our line of work… I can’t believe I get to do it again. When you look at our team, and dare I say it, the extraordinary high level of female participants across so many sports, the expectation tends to rise rather quickly. Our team can’t wait to bring home all the stories, the highlights, the goosebumps… and I think we’re about to do it in a way never seen before.”
Hamish McLachlan added:
“Australia has had some unbelievable Olympic Games teams in the past, but when you look at our team for Tokyo, sport by sport, it’s quite remarkable. We are so lucky to have world champions, world number ones and major winners, everywhere. It’s exciting, inspiring – and very humbling – to be part of a Seven commentary team that includes Olympic legends like Ian Thorpe, Anna Meares, Steve Hooker and the iconic Oarsome Foursome’s Nick Green. This year’s Olympic Games will see new sports, new faces, old faces, and the world’s best against each other. It’s the world’s biggest festival of sport, and I can’t wait for it to begin.”
Sunrise will be the only place Australians will be able to see all the Olympic highlights every morning. Sam and Kochie will be LIVE to Mark Beretta and Edwina Bartholomew at the centre of all the action in Tokyo, with exclusive access to every Olympic venue and the Athlete’s Village.
7NEWS, Australia’s official Olympic news service, is the only network with unrestricted access to the Games. 7NEWS Chief Correspondent Chris Reason and 7NEWS Sports Editor Jim Wilson will lead a team of reporters on the ground in Tokyo – including Alex Hart, Sharnelle Vella, Rob Scott, Max Futcher, Laurel Irving, Matthew Carmichael, Pat Welsh and Nathan Templeton – operating 24-hours a day from the International Broadcast Centre to report breaking news events as they happen.
And 7NEWS.com.au will be the #1 online destination for Olympic news and updates. The website will feature a dedicated hub for results and medal tallies, plus all the latest breaking news, exclusive content, in-depth features and the greatest stories from the Games.
Head of Network Sport Lewis Martin commented:
“Seven stands alone as Australia’s Home of the Olympics and, once again, we will bring unrivalled expertise to our coverage of Tokyo 2020. We will unashamedly get behind the Australian team with the rest of the nation, but we will never ignore the stories of the rest of the world – a compelling story is a compelling story regardless of nationality. Tokyo 2020 will be the greatest event you’ll ever see and you can trust Seven and our extraordinary team of experts to take you inside every single event, to where the best action is happening at all times.”
Fans of the Olympics will be able to keep up to date with all the latest news, the biggest and best moments, and exclusive content, on the 7Olympics social channels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.