NBC made a giant-sized oopsie while covering the women’s Super-G skiing competition at the Winter Olympics on Saturday by prematurely announcing the gold medal winner, who turned out not to be the winner at all!
Austrian World Cup alpine skier Anna Veith’s (above left) time down the course put her in the top spot in line for the gold, and NBC commentators Bode Miller and Dan Hicks apparently thought she had it locked up. They were wrong.
“Four straight Olympic golds in the women’s Super-G for the skiing powerhouse of Austria. I just about can’t believe it!” Hicks said of Veith. And then the network cut away to men’s figure skating finals. When NBC eventually switched back to the slopes, it was Czech Republic’s Ester Ledecka (above center) who won the race by .01 of a second.
“Well, these are the Olympics, and anything can happen,” Hicks joked. But Twitter didn’t think it was funny. Sports Illustrated media analyst Richard Deitsch called the mistake “brutal.”
“Stunning. Have never seen that before in Alpine at the Olympics. Brutal for NBC. No other way to put it,” he tweeted.
Stunning. Have never seen that before in Alpine at the Olympics. Brutal for NBC. No other way to put it. https://t.co/xWrKQLstQe
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) February 17, 2018
Others chided the network for the blunder.
Good thing fox had the 2017 Super Bowl. Otherwise nbc would have turned it off when the falcons were up 25 in the third quarter.
— Mark (@m_raymond74) February 17, 2018
NBC: "We don't think anyone past bib 19 can win the Womens super-g…Anna Veith wins gold!"
*They cut to figure skating*
NBC: "Actually the 2-sport athlete Ester Ledecká from The Czech Republic came from bib 29 to win the super-G, our bad"
— Kyle St. Aubin (@kylestaubin) February 17, 2018
Ledecka was considered an underdog in the event because she had only been competitively racing in alpine skiing for two years as a way to challenge herself.
“I really don’t know what happened. You tell me … I was riding. I really don’t know what happened. It was great,” she said later that day at a press conference. Was it luck, skill or the skies she borrowed from gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin? Most likely, all of the above.
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