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Maria Sharapova to serve as NBC correspondent at Sochi Olympics

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Maria Sharapova announced she will join the NBC Olympics team as a broadcasting correspondent when the world descends on her hometown of Sochi for the Winter Games in February. Sharapova, a four-time Grand Slam champion and Olympic silver medalist, was born in Siberia, but grew up in Sochi until her family decided to move to the United States for tennis.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the NBC family for this year’s Olympic Games in my hometown of Sochi,” Sharapova told E!. “The Olympic experience is unlike anything else, and as a past Olympian it means even more to me for the Games to be hosted in such a remarkable place. Sochi has such a rich history and culture, and I’m excited that it will now hold a place in so many athletes’ hearts from all over the world.”

The Winter Games begin on Feb. 7 and close on Feb. 23, which means Sharapova will take time away from tennis that month. After being forced to shut down her season due to a shoulder injury prior to the U.S. Open this year, Sharapova’s scheduled to begin her 2014 season at the Brisbane International before the Australian Open.

She is also confirmed for the Open GDF Suez Paris Indoors, which begin on Jan. 27 and end on Feb. 2. Her Olympic duties will rule her out of the WTA tour’s swing through the Middle East as well as the first round of Fed Cup, all of which take place that month.

So what can Sharapova — or Sochi-pova, as the case may be — add to NBC’s Olympic coverage? Well, in case NBC needs some help brainstorming, here are four things we want to see during Maria’s gig as a correspondent:

• Fashion commentator for the opening, closing and anything-in-between ceremonies: She’s a sharp critic. You’re not getting away with anything this time, Azerbaijan.

• Figure skating correspondent: Reporting from figure skating’s “Kiss & Cry” area. That’s foreign territory to a tennis player, unless you count Grand Slam trophy ceremonies.

• Heavy promotional work: Look, I love Mary Carillo, but NBC should send Sharapova around Sochi to engage in some wacky hijinks. In fact, pair them up and give them a key to the city.

• The Maria and Nastia Show: Sharapova is buddies with gold medal winning gymnast Nastia Liukin, who will also be in Sochi as a correspondent for NBC. Give the two a nightly talk show.

  • Published On Nov 13, 2013
  • 11 comments
    borisgusa
    borisgusa

    The World is open now. It is good for Maria. It is good for the USA and it is good for the world. Go Maria! Good luck!

    unifiedairway
    unifiedairway

    Nice move by NBC.   It is all about the $$$-I will not be watching but 'Pova wil probably make more cash here than if she won every tourney that month.   Hopefully she trains, otherwise, she is risking more injuries when she returns, if she returns.

    dre
    dre

    That's what she should do.  Leave Tennis alone.  She been in the USA all her life and yet she don't claim it.  She has made a lot of money all over and as well from USA.  Why continue to be claiming Russia when you been a dual citizens all your life.

    gustavus
    gustavus

    Sharapova linking herself to the Homophobic Olympics, not a very savvy public relations move.  It will be remembered.  

    mzfinfan
    mzfinfan

    She moved to the U.S. at age 7. Doubt she remembers much of Sochi. Seems like she's gearing up for her post-tennis career. The broadcast booth is usually where athletes go when they retire. She's only 26, but might just be fed up with tennis. 

    pyro21
    pyro21

    I wonder if Maria will name drop while commentating as much as she does on twitter. 

    maria_p
    maria_p

    @mzfinfan 

    Actually her grandparents and cousins live there and she is going to Sochi for a few days every year and her parents too. What do you think?  Her family doesn't have connections to their own homeland where they have been living for so many years? You are very mistaken here, she just lives in USA but her heart and relatives have always been in her home in Russia. 

    chihuahua
    chihuahua

    @pyro21  I hope she speaks  more clearly than she does in her interviews to date.

    chihuahua
    chihuahua

    @maria_p @mzfinfan    In that case I feel that she should live there.

      You see Roger Federer lives in his own country and  so do other tennis players.

     Those who don't are not exactly loyal to their countries,I feel.

     Just my humble opinion but I  think those who move, say to  Monaco, are  living in tax free havens.

    Those taxes would help their home countries if they lived at home.