Savannah Guthrie to co-host her first Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

NBC NewsToday” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie will co-host coverage of the 2020 Olympics opening ceremony July 23, 2021 — her first stint in the role.

Mike Tirico, who took over as primetime Olympics anchor from Bob Costas in 2018, will co-host with Guthrie.

Guthrie was slated to co-host the ceremony in 2016, but ended up staying home due to Zika virus concerns in Brazil. She was pregnant at the time.

In 2018, NBC brought in former “Today” co-anchor Katie Couric to host the ceremony with Tirico. Guthrie did travel to South Korea that year to co-anchor “Today” but did not join for primetime coverage of the opening ceremony.

NBC previously announced it will carry the Tokyo opening ceremony live from 6:55 a.m. eastern to 11 a.m. July 23. That will be followed by a special edition of “Today” until 1 p.m. A repeat of the ceremony will air later in the day.

Opening ceremony co-hosts typically provide a narration of the elaborate presentation of local culture and history from prepared notes from the creators. They are also on hand as each participating country’s delegation enters the stadium, providing information about the country and its athletes, also working from prepared material.

In past years, NBC and other broadcasters have not always been able to carry the opening ceremony live due to time zone differences. There have been instances where portions of the ceremony were edited out of the final broadcast as well, sparking controversy.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were delayed one year due to the coronavirus pandemic but are still being labeled as the “2020” games for marketing and record keeping purposes.