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TOKYO OLYMPICS – AUGUST 8 PRIMETIME HIGHLIGHTS ON NBC

“It’s been just such a wonderful experience to watch the world come together against all odds and celebrate peace and harmony and sport.” – Johnny Weir on the Tokyo Olympics

“A Games that began surrounded by uncertainty and doubt, but gave way – just as so many more conventional Olympics have before – to a parade of performances and moments that won’t soon be forgotten.” – Mike Tirico

“These Olympic Games are definitely a different edition. But at the end of the day…I think that it added this extra layer of emotion – a sense of gratitude and relief.” – Tara Lipinski

STAMFORD, Conn. – August 8, 2021 – NBC Olympics concluded its primetime coverage of the Tokyo Olympics tonight on NBC with the Closing Ceremony, hosted by Terry Gannon, Tara Lipinski, and Johnny Weir from Tokyo Olympic Stadium. Lewis Johnson served as reporter.

Mike Tirico opened tonight’s primetime coverage on NBC with Tokyo Gold, looking back at the Games’ most memorable performances, including Steve Kornacki with some of the Games’ most unique stories.

Following are highlights from tonight’s primetime coverage of the Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremony on NBC:

CLOSING CEREMONY – NBC

Johnny Weir on the Closing Ceremony: “The Closing Ceremony is a time for the athletes and their friends and family watching from all over the world to exhale, to enjoy the moment that this Olympics has created for them. They’ve worked their entire lives, now’s the time to be happy about it…In a world that needs some good news, Japan and the athletes at this Olympic Games have provided so many fairytales.”

Tara Lipinski on the Tokyo Olympics and Closing Ceremony: “These Olympic Games are definitely a different edition. The way that you participate, the way that the athletes competed, it’s different. But, at the end of the day, we made it through an Olympics, and I think that it added this extra layer of emotion – a sense of gratitude and relief. It wasn’t easy, but these athletes got through it, and now it’s time to celebrate… These athletes have given it their all these last few weeks, and it’s been so joyous to watch them soak in their Olympic experience”

Mike Tirico on the Tokyo Olympics: “The last 17 days were an extraordinary illustration of what the world has done best the last 17 months – find a way.”

Weir on the Tokyo Olympics: “It’s been just such a wonderful experience to watch the world come together against all odds and celebrate peace and harmony and sport. One of the most encouraging things that I noticed from these Games was, despite the fact that friends and family weren’t allowed to come and participate in these Games and watch and cheer their kids on, the fact that the athletes stood up and the camaraderie between them was so impressive. They became the friends and family for each other.”

Lipinski: “The friendships you make in an Olympic Games are so special, and they last a lifetime. I mean you have this shared experience together, but especially this year. It’s an alumni that will forever make you proud…You’re an Olympian forever.”

Terry Gannon on the Closing Ceremony performances: “The culture, the music, the streets of Tokyo, brought to the field at Olympic Stadium with the best athletes in the world watching from the front row.”

Lipinski on experiencing the Closing Ceremony as an athlete: “There are so many emotions running through your mind, through your body. You’re so happy…You feel so much, but you also feel a little sadness. It’s a little bittersweet because you had the time of your life and it’s coming to a close.”

Weir: “This Olympic Games was one of inclusivity, of bravery, of pride, of happiness, and you can see all of that displayed from the athletes. To stand down there in the midst of all this craziness, whether it’s an Opening or Closing Ceremony, you feel like such a small part of the world…Even for us now sitting in this arena, it is absolutely gargantuan but the world is trained and focused on you and celebrating those accomplishments.”

Weir on host nation Japan: “(Japan) opened their doors to the world and they allowed these athletes their shining moment in the sun while the world watched…I’m just overcome with goosebumps and gratitude for our host country for allowing our athletes to chase their dreams, to live out all of the things that they set out to do…Japan has been a gracious and brave host.”

U.S. Olympic flag bearer Kara Winger to Gannon on walking into Tokyo Stadium: “I can’t even describe it. I have been in tears for days, but this is just joy.”

Two-time Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Athing Mu to Lewis Johnson on her performance: “Honestly, I feel like I really haven’t absorbed it yet. It’s going to take some time, but I’m just happy with my performance. I knew it was possible, especially this year having such a great year and growing personally and athletically. So I mean it’s a surprise, but it’s not a surprise at the same time.”

TOKYO GOLD – NBC

Mike Tirico on the Tokyo Olympics: “A Games that began surrounded by uncertainty and doubt, but gave way – just as so many more conventional Olympics have before – to a parade of performances and moments that won’t soon be forgotten. New stars emerging, familiar ones reaffirming their greatness.”

Maria Taylor on Simone Biles and the U.S. gymnastics team: “It’s the moments of adversity that make us all sit back in awe and admiration…It was kind of like the strength of every single one of them allowed them to continue to compete, and then we saw the individual outputs of it…It was the very team-centric gymnastics experience.”

Allyson Felix to Tirico on how winning bronze in the women’s 400m final compares to her other medals: “The most joy I think I’ve ever felt. It’s my first bronze medal ever, and it’s just so different – my motivation behind it and everything. So, I think it’s probably even more joy than some golds. ”

Felix on being a part of the U.S. women’s 4x400m relay team that won gold, alongside Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad and Athing Mu: “It was really special. None of us consider ourselves 400m specialists, and it was just really unique to come together. You don’t always get to be on a team like that, and I think we all kind of felt that…Just to run with them, they’re so talented. They had such really humbling things to say just for me to hear about how I inspired them.”

Steve Kornacki on Team USA: “The headline is the streak is still alive for the United States. They came here to Tokyo – six straight Summer Olympics that the U.S. had finished with the most medals in the world, you can now make it seven.”

Kornacki on skateboarding’s Olympic debut: “The average age of a medalist in women’s skateboarding at these Olympics was 14.3 years old…I know I’m a little bit older than that, but looking at that number made me feel very old.”

***

ABOUT NBC OLYMPICS

A division of NBC Sports Group, NBC Olympics is responsible for producing, programming and promoting NBCUniversal’s coverage of the Olympic Games. NBC Olympics is renowned for its unsurpassed Olympic heritage, award-winning production, and ability to aggregate the largest audiences in U.S. television history. NBCUniversal owns the U.S. media rights on all platforms to all Olympic Games through 2032. NBC Olympics also produces thousands of hours of Olympic sports programming throughout the year, which is presented on NBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, Peacock and NBC Sports digital platforms.

— NBC OLYMPICS —