NBC’s Molly Solomon Offers a Behind-the-Scenes Peek into the Summer Olympics

above: Executive Producer and President of NBC Olympics Molly Solomon. – Photograph: Kyle Norton

Molly Solomon began her NBC career as a researcher for its Emmy-winning coverage of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona. Following eleven years as executive producer at the Golf Channel she came full circle in 2019 to take the helm of Games coverage as executive producer and president of NBC Olympic Productions. We sat down with the sometimes Harbor Point resident to discuss the behind-the-scenes efforts she leads to bring the quest for athletic gold to viewers.

The 2024 Olympic Games From a Local Perspective

Stamford Magazine: You studied International Politics at Georgetown. It seems leading Olympic Games coverage might require its own kind of global diplomacy?
Molly Solomon: Very much so! When you think about it the Olympics really is this confluence of athletics, culture, geography, history but also international relations. There are 207 delegations coming to Paris. International rivalries in sports and world issues collide, even when you hope they won’t. We work so closely with the International Olympic Committee, so all of those things require a level of diplomacy, negotiation and a lot of cooperation.

STM: What brought you to television sports?
MS: I always knew I wanted to work in sports journalism. When I went to college, I wanted to study something else so I would have a different perspective and broaden my horizons. In print journalism and broadcast journalism in particular, everything is very much about practical experience. So I did a lot of internships to get that experience. And now I have been here 34 years, [having worked at] no other company.

STM: What does it mean to have NBC Sports headquartered in Stamford?
MS: Stamford has really been so supportive of this headquarters since 2012. And it’s really been the perfect place because it’s just outside of the city, but close enough that many people coming here can visit New York. Our partners can come out here because everyone wants to see this facility. It’s been such a great home for 12 years now.

STM: Are you living here?
MS: I lived in Connecticut from 1996 to 2012. We were in Southport, but I had my triplets in 2003 at Stamford Hospital. So, Stamford is very, very special to me. I keep a place in Harbor Point now. I love this community.

STM: How does Paris feature in your coverage?
MS: We consider the host city the co-star alongside the athletes. And [Paris] is the ultimate lead. Not only are we there to tell the story of the athletes, but also the story of the host city. Many times, [viewers] have not been able to experience [a place]. Paris is just so aspirational and inspirational. If you’ve been there, you’ll want to enjoy it again through our content, and if you haven’t been there, there is so much to see.

STM: What have you learned from previous Olympics coverage that informed your plans for this one?
MS: There were some lessons from the Covid pandemic. In Tokyo in 2021 and in Beijing, six months later, because there were no spectators in the stands, we sent out these camera crews to all these different living rooms in America to make sure that we had a family reaction.

We really focused on the athlete’s stories. We’re thrilled that all the stands are going to be full of fans again, but not everybody gets to travel. There are people who are part of an athlete’s story—a grandmother, an elementary school coach, a lot of people who are incredibly meaningful to a competitor. And we will continue to be focused on bringing that element into our coverage. It really adds something.

STM: It’s probably like asking you to pick a favorite child, but is there an event you are most looking forward to?
MS: That’s a tough one, but I think it’s the 100 meters. It’s 10 seconds and it’s everything. The quiet before the gun goes off—it’s just electrifying. I don’t think you can beat the drama and then, to be crowned the fastest person in the world, it’s amazing.

Editor’s note: Edited for length and clarity.

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