STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — NBC has built a formidable team of former figure skating champions to talk about current ones in Sochi, but has left one of them — 2002 gold medalist Sarah Hughes — back in the United States to try something new.
Hughes teams with broadcaster Russ Thaler on "Olympic Ice," an hour-long television-style online daily show designed to feed interest in skating, generally the most popular Winter Olympic sport.
While Scott Hamilton, Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski and Tanith Belbin analyze performances in Russia, Hughes works out of the NBC Sports Group facility in Connecticut. She communicates with fans via social media during NBC's prime-time coverage of figure skating, and analyzes performances during "Olympic Ice."
"It's really a dream job because I get to watch skating with people who love skating," said Hughes, who's 28. Since her days as a skating champion, she's worked as a corporate spokesperson for NBC's former owner, General Electric, done philanthropic work and graduated in 2009 from Yale University. The Long Islander's TV experience includes covering stories from the Athens summer Olympics for CBS stations.
The quick-moving "Olympic Ice" on Tuesday showed social media pictures and messages from and about skating personalities, had Hughes dissect the performance of American gold medal ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, and previewed Wednesday's women's figure skating. She conducted a Skype interview with former Canadian Olympic ice dancer Shae-Lynn Bourne.