Tokyo Olympics 220

The delayed Tokyo Olympics finally get under way today with the opening ceremony and NBC is making podcasts part of its media offerings from the games. It has launched a pair of limited-run daily series focused on the Olympics. Both will be featured on an NBC Olympics Channel on Apple Podcasts.

The daily In The Village podcast is hosted by three-time Olympian Elizabeth Beisel. It will give listeners an athlete’s view of what happens in the Olympic Village when they aren’t competing. Because of COVID precautious, Beisel, who is in Tokyo, will be speaking remotely to athletes who are in the Olympic Village.

The second season of The Podium, which debuted in May with weekly episodes, will switch to a daily podcast throughout the 17-day Tokyo Olympic Games until the Closing Ceremony on Aug. 8. Hosted by Lauren Shehadi, The Podium explores stories that have come to define past Olympic Games and will ultimately shape the Summer Games in Tokyo. The daily episodes will combine soundbites from events in Tokyo with athlete and expert interviews to give listeners insights beyond NBC’s television broadcast.

The In The Village and The Podium podcasts are produced by NBC Sports Audio in collaboration with Boombox Group.

Other podcasts on the NBC Olympics Channel include My New Favorite Olympian, which introduces listeners to the most inspiring members of Team USA through intimate interviews with the athletes and those closest to them. It is co-hosted by Olympic medalist and trailblazer Ibtihaj Muhammad and NBCLX storyteller Ngozi Ekeledo.

There will also be an audio version of the Peacock series On Her Turf in Tokyo, which is dedicated to covering women’s sports at the Tokyo Olympics and features hosts Lindsay Czarniak, Lolo Jones, and MJ Acosta-Ruiz. The podcast is produced by NBC Sports Audio in collaboration with Blue Wire Podcasts.

NBC Olympics’ slate of podcasts also includes The Greatness with Kareem Maddox in a partnership with USG Audio. And Olympic Dreams: San Diego to Tokyo, in which KNSD-TV San Diego anchor Steven Luke profiles dozens of San Diego athletes headed to the Summer Games to achieve their Olympic Dreams.

Beyond NBC, which holds the U.S. media rights to the Olympics, other podcasters are also talking about the Tokyo games. 

NPR Producer Ari Saperstein has created a five-episode series called Blind Landing about five U.S. gymnasts at the 2000 Sydney Olympic games. “Through original interviews with Olympic gymnasts, coaches and officials, Blind Landing reveals the untold true story of one of the biggest mistakes in Olympic history,” it teases. All five episodes of Blind Landing have been released for binge-listening. 

Slate has also released a special episode of its service-journalism podcast, How To, pegged to the Olympics. It is titled “Congrats, You Won the Olympics. Now What?” in which former Olympian Steve Mesler talks with host David Epstein about winning gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games, athlete’s mental health struggles, losing teammates to suicide, and losing your identity and sense of purpose after such a huge achievement. 

Other podcasters are getting into the act without launching shows. Ivy Podcast Discovery says whenever a user follows an athlete in their profile, its artificial intelligence platform will alert the user when there is a new podcast episode about that athlete, making it easier than ever to connect with your favorite Team USA stars.