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Seven reveals Olympics broadcast team, confirms event will go ahead despite coronavirus fears

Seven has unveiled its broadcast team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, confirming it currently still plans for the event to go ahead despite fears of cancellation over the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Two of Australia’s greatest Olympians, Ian Thorpe and Anna Meares, will form part of the team covering the event which will be broadcast over 43 dedicated channels across Seven, 7Two and 7Plus.

Seven’s Olympic commentary team features new and returning personalities

Bruce McAvaney returns for his 11th Olympic Games coverage. Team Seven also features 14 of Australia’s Olympians who between them have racked up 14 Olympic gold medals plus hundreds of Games both as competitors and broadcasters.

Seven’s coverage of the games will be anchored by Hamish McLachlan, Mel McLaughlin, Johanna Griggs, Sonia Kruger, Lisa Sthalekar, Trent Copeland and Abbey Way. Thorpe will also join the team alongside Meares.

They will be joined by fellow gold medallists Steve Hooker, Nick Green, Giaan Rooney, Scott McGrory, Russell Mark and Debbie Watson, while decorated Olympians Andrew Gaze, Rachael Sporn, Tamsyn Lewis-Manou, David Culbert, Kate Bates and Ash Nelson also headline Seven’s coverage.

Seven has advised it is closely watching the spread of coronavirus and the growing number of domestic and international events that have been postponed, or cancelled, but that at this stage the plan is still for the event to go ahead.

“We’re obviously monitoring the situation very closely however, at this stage there’s been no official advice from the World Health Organisation or the International Olympic Committee that there will be any change to the Olympic Games. There’s really nothing further to say for now,” said a Seven spokesperson.

Broadcaster Basil Zempilas leads a team of callers including Phil Liggett, the voice of hockey Dave Christison, basketball expert John Casey, and callers Michael Zappone, Mark Braybrook, Brenton Speed and Matt Hill. Pat Welsh will be trackside at the athletics, while Nathan Templeton will be poolside interviewing all the Olympic Games stars.

Edwina Bartholomew and Zempilas will be commentating the cultural components of the Opening Ceremony.

And running all over Tokyo will be Jason Richardson, Emma Vosti and James Tobin making sure audiences are kept up to date with all the colour of the Games.

Seven has confirmed the plan is still to go ahead with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

For McAvaney, anticipation is building for the Games, which will span 17 days and feature the world’s greatest athletes, new sports and in the perfect time zone.

“Just like our Australian athletes, our team is a mix of veterans and debut broadcasters. We have a breadth of experience, knowledge and the skills of a new generation to complement what promises to be an incredible Games in our own time zone. Tokyo is getting ever closer and we’re looking at milestone performances and practically unknown young athletes who’ll blow our socks off and become instant household names. One thing is for certain; our team and all Australians are going to experience the awe of the greatest event in sport.”

Exactly 16 days after the Flame is extinguished in Tokyo, a new one will be lit, signalling the start of the Paralympic Games. Griggs, Jim Wilson and Paralympic gold medallist Annabelle Williams will anchor Seven’s coverage across Seven, 7Two and 7Plus featuring up to 16 live streams.

Chief revenue officer and director of Olympics Kurt Burnette said Seven will set a new benchmark as the most extensive, innovative and technologically advanced Olympic and Paralympic experience spanning all platforms – broadcast, digital, social and in print.

“The Olympics are for all Australians, and with Tokyo 2020 we’re offering more to everyone than ever before. Most incredibly of all, it will be available for free, something never before offered in Australia. We can’t wait for 24/7 to bring the biggest broadcast and digital event in Australian history to life.”

Viewers will wake up to all the latest Olympic highlights, news and exclusive athlete interviews each day with Sunrise before Griggs, returning for her seventh Olympic Games coverage, steers Seven’s morning broadcast.

Kruger will then take the reins each afternoon in what will be her third Olympic Games with Seven.

Both women will be joined by Olympic Games broadcast newcomers Lisa Sthalekar and Trent Copeland.

Following Seven News, live at 6pm every night of the Games, McLaughlin and McLachlan will take the helm.

McLaughlin said: “Having the privilege of working on an Olympic Games is the stuff of dreams in our line of work… I can’t believe I get to do it again. When you look at our team, and dare I say it, the extraordinary high level of female participants across so many sports, the expectation tends to rise rather quickly. Our team can’t wait to bring home all the stories, the highlights, the goosebumps… and I think we’re about to do it in a way never seen before.”

McLachlan said: “Australia has had some unbelievable Olympic Games teams in the past, but when you look at our team for Tokyo, sport by sport, it’s quite remarkable. We are so lucky to have world champions, world number ones and major winners, everywhere. It’s exciting, inspiring – and very humbling – to be part of a Seven commentary team that includes Olympic legends like Ian Thorpe, Anna Meares, Steve Hooker and the iconic Oarsome Foursome’s Nick Green. This year’s Olympic Games will see new sports, new faces, old faces, and the world’s best against each other. It’s the world’s biggest festival of sport, and I can’t wait for it to begin.”

Head of network sport Lewis Martin said: “Seven stands alone as Australia’s Home of the Olympics and, once again, we will bring unrivalled expertise to our coverage of Tokyo 2020. We will unashamedly get behind the Australian team with the rest of the nation, but we will never ignore the stories of the rest of the world – a compelling story is a compelling story regardless of nationality.

“Tokyo 2020 will be the greatest event you’ll ever see and you can trust Seven and our extraordinary team of experts to take you inside every single event, to where the best action is happening at all times.”

Fans of the Olympics will be able to keep up to date with all the latest news, the biggest and best moments, and exclusive content, on the 7Olympics social channels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

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