Katie Talks About Why We Need the Olympics Now More Than Ever

katie winter olympics

Getty Images

Plus, her best memories as a host.

Whether or not you’re a sports fan, it’s hard to resist getting invested in the Olympics every two years. It’s the only time the entire world puts all politics aside for some good old-fashioned fun. (OK, it’s fun for us viewers, but it’s serious work for the athletes.) While they’re of course competitive, the Olympics have a way of unifying the world. 

That’s one of the reasons Katie loves the Olympics — so much so that she’s covered them seven times! She’s been to the Atlanta, Barcelona, Sydney, Salt Lake City, Athens, Torino, and PyeongChang games.

“The Olympics are just so unifying,” she says. “They seem to bring out the best in us.” And while they were postponed a year because of Covid-19, maybe this year’s timing is actually fortuitous, especially for Americans. “In this divisive time, I think they’re an important reminder that at our core, we are the United States of America,” Katie points out.

Katie has covered the summer and winter Olympics, but prefers the pool over the ice rink: “I love both, but since I prefer warm weather, I guess I’d take summer over winter,” she shares. And let’s not forget that our fearless leader is quite the athlete. “I also love track and field — I was a sprinter myself as a kid — and I love gymnastics.” (Have you seen her headstand?) “And swimming is so fun to watch, too!” 

Katie has fond memories of taking her daughters to the summer games in Athens, Greece in 2004. “I remember taking Ellie and Carrie to some of the swimming and diving competitions in Athens and having so much fun.” 

Katie has also hosted her fair share of Opening Ceremonies, most recently the 2018 winter games in Pyeongchang with Mike Tirico, who took over for Bob Costas that year after his record-setting 25-year run as the primetime host of the Summer and Winter Games.  

“I loved doing the opening ceremony with Bob Costas,” says Katie, who last co-hosted the opening ceremonies with him in Athens in 2004. “He’s brilliant and such a talented, seamless broadcaster. He’s also really really funny. We thought we were hilarious.” She adds, “the Opening Ceremony is exciting to witness because the athletes are just so jubilant and thrilled to be there — you can see the anticipation all over their beaming faces. They represent the best of the best, and everything that entails.”