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Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski are changing the face — or rather, the voice — of figure skating commentary.
After a successful run in Sochi as commentators for NBC Sports Network, the pair were bumped up to primetime in Pyeongchang, serving as the lead commentators for NBC’s men’s singles, ladies’ singles and pairs skating (former skater Scott Hamilton and Tanith White, who won the silver medal for ice dance in 2006, commentate for ice dancing) alongside their less bedazzled fellow commentator Terry Gannon, who is announcer on the Golf Channel during the Olympic off-season.
Weir - Lipinski - GQ - Friendship - Stint
It goes without saying that Weir and Lipinski, who recently told GQ they cemented their friendship after a weeklong stint for Universal Sports in 2010 that ended in foot rubs, are different from other figure skating commentators.
For starters, they wear bedazzled headsets and coordinating outfits. And we’re not talking simply similar colors. They rock matching sequined ensembles with bold accessories. For the final night of the team competition, Weir wore a jeweled collar covered in massive stones, while Lipinski was in a one-shouldered dress, every inch of it covered in silver sequins. Their wardrobe is a major part of what they’re known for as a team, and it takes over 20 suitcases to fit it all.
Ensembles - Attention - Fans - Outfits - Commentary
Their eye-catching ensembles got them attention and won them fans. But what accompanies their over-the-top outfits is their equally expressive commentary, and that’s what’s so notable about Lipinski and Weir’s partnership. With it, they’re breaking new ground for figure skating commentary.
In the past, commentary has been mostly forgettable, a basic summary of what’s going on on the ice peppered with compliments. Lipinski and Weir take a different approach. They’re blunt and don’t mince words. If something goes poorly — and of course, it often does — they will tell it like it is.
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