On Saturday, Michael Phelps appropriately won the gold medal in what looks to be his final competitive event ever at the summer Olympics — and with that in mind, NBC apparently wants to ensure they send off a man who is both the most-celebrated Olympian ever and a ratings draw the right way.
At 7:00 p.m. Eastern time just before the start of their (tape-delayed!) Olympics coverage, the Olympics’ home is going to broadcast a special entitled “Michael Phelps: America’s Golden Champion,” which is going to look at more than just his accomplishments in London. Phelps’ journey started when he was just 15 years old in Sydney, and then continue on to his breakout performances in Athens, his domination in Beijing, and him further cementing his legacy on London. It’s been quite a journey for a man who has had his fair share of bumps in the road, and who said on many occasions before that he planned on retiring even earlier than at 27 years old.
In a statement, NBC Olympics Executive Producer Jim Bell had this to say about airing the special with Bob Costas:
“America’s greatest interviewer sitting down with the world’s greatest Olympian makes for an inspiring piece of television … Our feeling after seeing the interview was that this was something that every fan of the Olympics should see, and tonight they will.”
This is ironically the first Olympics since the Sydney Games were Phelps has not been the only male swimmer from America to dominate the spotlight — Ryan Lochte, who defeated him in the first race out of the gate in London, was actually the first swimmer victorious from the United States in London.
Are you planning to watch this special, and do you think it is appropriate for NBC to give the man one last send-off? To check out some more TV news concerning Lochte and fellow Olympian Gabby Douglas, be sure to visit the link here.