Michael Phelps to Join NBC Announcing Booth for Select Races at Tokyo Olympics; NBC Confirms

Michael Phelps -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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Michael Phelps to Join NBC Announcing Booth for Select Races at Tokyo Olympics

At last month’s U.S. Olympic Trials, 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps donned a headset at times over the meet’s first six days to offer commentary on the racing for NBC Sports. Now, Phelps will join the NBC crew of Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines to provide commentary for select races at the Tokyo Olympics. On an NBC Sports conference call previewing coverage of the Olympic Games, Gaines revealed that Phelps will be calling some races in Tokyo.

“As most of you know, this will be the first Olympics since 1996 that we haven’t had the GOAT, the greatest of all time, Michael Phelps,” Gaines said. “He will be joining Dan Hicks and (me) in the booth on a lot of races. And I know he’s going to offer some incredible insight on especially those races that he has won so many gold medals in.”

The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch was the first to publicly announce the news in a Tweet sent Tuesday afternoon.

NBC Sports confirmed the news in a press release Monday, that Phelps will announce select races and also serve as a “Primetime Correspondent” on the broadcast. Three-time U.S. Olympian Elizabeth Beisel will also be in Tokyo as part of the NBC team, while Patrick Kinas and Amy Van Dyken will call preliminary races from NBC Sports’ base in Stamford, Conn.

Phelps was in attendance at Olympic Trials with his wife, Nicole, and the oldest of his three sons, Boomer, and he frequently walked down a few rows from his seat to join Gaines and Mike Tirico for races. Among the races Phelps called was the 200 IM, when longtime rival missed out on making his fifth Olympic team, and after the race, Phelps took off his headset and went down to the pool deck to embrace Lochte.

While Phelps was often guarded with his public comments during his career, he has a very strong swimming acumen and was more willing at the 2021 Trials to offer his thoughts and analysis, including about why he thinks 200 IM winner Michael Andrew has trouble finishing strong on the freestyle leg.

Phelps’ swimming career spanned five Olympics, from 2000 through 2016, and Hicks and Gaines were the primary announcing team for all five Games and all of the signature Olympic moments of Phelps’ career. The duo has called Olympic swimming for NBC Sports since the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Read the full press release from NBC Sports here:

Michael Phelps, who has won more total Olympic medals (28) and gold medals (23) than anyone in history, will join the NBC Olympics team in Tokyo, it was announced today.

Phelps, who joined the NBC Sports team on several nights at the U.S. Olympic Trials for Swimming last month in Omaha, Nebraska, will serve as a primetime correspondent in Tokyo and will also join Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines in the booth for select swimming competition.

“From the moment he joined our team at Trials, Michael’s ability to provide insightful analysis, thoughtful commentary and tell entertaining stories was apparent,” said Molly Solomon, Executive Producer & President, NBC Olympics Production. “We’re thrilled to have him join us in Tokyo and our audience will benefit from hearing the perspective of the most decorated Olympian of all time.”

Phelps competed in five Olympic Games from 2000-16 and holds the world record in the 400m individual medley. He is also the subject of the Peacock Original Series, Michael Phelps: Medals, Memories & More, a three-part, NBC Sports-produced retrospective on his historic career. Click here for more information on the series.

In 2008, he established the Michael Phelps Foundation to promote healthy, active lives, especially for children, primarily by expanding the opportunities for participation in the sport of swimming.