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NBC Will Not Send Sports Reporters to Beijing Due to COVID-19: Coronavirus Updates: NPR

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The staff is rehearsing a victory ceremony at Beijing Medals Plaza last week. The venue will host some medal ceremonies at the upcoming Winter Olympics. By Han Guan / AP hide caption

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By Han Guan / AP
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The staff is rehearsing a victory ceremony at Beijing Medals Plaza last week. The venue will host some medal ceremonies at the upcoming Winter Olympics.

By Han Guan / AP

With the 2022 Winter Olympics taking place in Beijing in less than two weeks, NBC Sports announced on Wednesday that they will not be sending any announcing teams to this year's Olympics - citing "COVID concerns".

"The announced teams for these Olympics, including figure skating, will be calling events from our Stamford (Connecticut) facility due to COVID concerns," an NBC Sports spokesman said in an email to NPR.

The spokesman confirmed that the network would still have a large presence on the ground in Beijing, saying that its coverage of everything related to the games would be "first class as usual."

"Our plans are evolving day by day, as they are for most of the media companies covering the Olympics," the spokesman said.

As first reported by USA Today, NBC Sports' television team planned to advertise from Beijing covering figure skating, downhill skiing and snowboarding. But as of Wednesday, those plans have been canceled.

NBC's Olympic primetime host Mike Tirico will still travel to Beijing to cover the first few days of the games before traveling to Los Angeles to cover Super Bowl LVI, USA Today reported.

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The Olympic logo will be seen on a hillside at Zhangjiakou Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou in northern China's Hebei Province on Saturday, November 27, 2021. The venue will host freestyle skiing and snowboarding competitions at the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. . Mark Schiefelbein / AP hide caption

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Mark Schiefelbein / AP
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The Olympic logo will be seen on a hillside at Zhangjiakou Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou in northern China's Hebei Province on Saturday, November 27, 2021. The venue will host freestyle skiing and snowboarding competitions at the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. .

Mark Schiefelbein / AP

Officials from NBC Sports told USA Today that the network's plan to cover the Olympics from its Stamford facility was a similar strategy used to cover the delayed Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020 last year.

"We want more staff there than in the host city," Molly Solomon, president of NBC Olympics Production, told USA Today.

Earlier this week, the International Olympic Committee said tickets for both the Winter Olympics and the Paralympic Games in Beijing would not be sold due to the "serious and complicated situation with the COVID-19 pandemic."

Instead, the organizers announced this week that they would invite groups of spectators to participate in the matches in person.

"The organizers expect these spectators to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 countermeasures before, during and after each event as a prerequisite for the safe and sound delivery of the Games," the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee said in a statement.

The International Olympic Committee previously said it would only sell tickets to spectators living on the Chinese mainland who met certain COVID-19 safety protocols.

The Winter Olympics take place from February 4 to February 20, and the Paralympic Winter Games are scheduled for March 4 to 13.

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