NBC Nightly News host Lester Holt continued to coverage Olympic at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games last week. This is his ninth opportunity to cover the Olympic games.
Lester, who started covering The Olympics at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, believes the event acts a unifying force for participants and audiences.
He told Business Insider,
Through nine Olympics I’ve been in Olympics when the US was in conflict in the middle east, and there is something about the Olympics that kind of transcends politics. Frankly one of the reasons I look forward to it is it gives us a little bit of a break, not that we don’t cover politics, but it gives us a chance to focus on something that is truly unifying.
Top NBC host Lester Holt, Who Covered 9 Olympic Games, Says America Needs the Olympics Right
The ability for the Olympics to bring people together looks really important, especially when American politics have more divided than ever.
The games are still not completely devoid of politics. As previously reported, there was political intrigue surrounding Vice President Mike Pence and Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong during the opening ceremony.
Although the two sat in the same box, they didn’t shake hands or acknowledge each other. Mike didn’t have to sit in the same box, he reportedly wanted to make a political point by exhibiting solidarity with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Adam Rippon, an American figure skater who is the first openly gay athlete on the US Winter Olympics team, turned down a meeting with Mike as he criticised his record on LGBTQ rights.
But Lester says the things what he feels on the ground is less political during the games, and he says that it offers reporters the opportunity to focus on the athletes that make the games possible.
It’s a really nice distraction. But more than a distraction, it’s great to see young athletes, and not just American athletes but kids from around the world, who work their butts off year in and year out and they get this shot every four years and if they’re lucky they come away with a medal and people remember their names,” he said. “It’s just fun to be a part of.