After two and a half weeks of triumph, loss, and all kinds of controversy in and out of competition, the Winter Olympics in Beijing come to a close on Sunday.
At the Closing Ceremony, the Olympic flame will be extinguished, and the Italian cities of Milan and Cortina D’Ampezzo will be welcomed as the hosts of the next Winter Games in 2026. There will also likely be recognition of Paris, France as the host of the 2024 Summer Games — certainly by NBC, which can’t wait to get there after three straight Olympics overall in Asia.
The United States’ flag bearer will be Elana Meyers Taylor, who on Saturday rwon a record fifth bobsledding medal with bronze in the two-woman competition.
Her total of five career Olympic medals is the most by Black athlete in Winter Olympic history, the most by any women’s bobsledder at the Olympics, and two more than any other Olympic bobsledder, male or female, has won for the United States.
Meyers Taylor was to be one of the U.S.’ flag bearers at the Opening Ceremony, but she had to miss it due to testing positive for COVID-19.
Unlike with the Opening Ceremony, NBC won’t have the Closing Ceremony live on television. It will only be available live online, with the streaming broadcast to start Sunday at 7 a.m.
As with all the Beijing Olympics events NBC has streamed online, there are two ways to access the live broadcast: at NBCOlympics.com, free with pay-TV provider authentication; or through subscription service Peacock’s premium tier.
Interestingly, the live online stream will have what NBC calls “natural sound,” which means there won’t be any announcers. You’ll just hear what’s on the sound system in Beijing’s Olympic Stadium, as if you were in the building.
NBC will televise the Closing Ceremony in an edited form on tape-delay Sunday at 8 p.m., with commentary from the network’s figure skating broadcast team of Terry Gannon, Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. It’s the third straight Olympics overall for which that trio has been the broadcast crew for the Closing Ceremony.
NBC’s reporters at the event will be Andrea Joyce and NBC News’ Sam Brock and Anne Thompson.
Before the Closing Ceremony broadcast, NBC’s Olympics host Mike Tirico will present an hour-long look back at highlights from the Games, starting at 7 p.m.