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For more than two decades, Scott Hamilton was the voice of figure skating during the weeks of the Winter Olympics. The former gold medalist moved from the rink to the broadcast booth after retiring from competition, and he shared his commentary on the various figure skating events with audiences. His combination of the technical know-how of skating and sheer excitement for the sport endeared him to viewers everywhere, but he lost his lead announcer spot for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, replaced by former skating medalists Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinkski. Hamilton has this to say about his replacement:
The decision to bump Scott Hamilton from the primary commentator role came after Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir teamed up to provide commentary on skating at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Their commentary was certainly different from what viewers were used to from Hamilton, and it seems that NBC deemed it the right time to swap Lipinski and Weir in for Hamilton. Judging by Hamilton's comments about the replacement to the New York Times, he wasn't utterly devastated by the decision. He clearly enjoyed his years as commentator and was unhappy that he wouldn't return to the lead role in the broadcasts, but he also moved past the sadness quickly.
Of course, his reaction might have been different if he'd been asked to leave Olympic figure skating commentary altogether. Throughout the Pyeongchang games, Scott Hamilton could be found hosting a show called Olympic Ice on NBC Sports Network along with former ice dancing Olympic medalist Tanith White and sportscaster Liam McHugh. While he may not have been calling the shots for viewers on NBC every night of figure skating, viewers could still find him (as long as they had access to NBCSN). Hamilton shared his thoughts on his replacements as well:
Scott Hamilton's broadcasts certainly weren't lacking in fun in 2018. He still shared his thoughts on skating, and he teamed up with Leslie Jones and Adam Rippon (who declined an offer from NBC) for a delightful commentary on Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir's intense short dance. It made for a entertaining contrast to the commentary from Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, who some viewers felt were too hard on the skaters. All things considered, we have to hope that Hamilton will contribute to the next Winter Olympics in 2022, which will take place in Beijing. Only time will tell.
Sadly, the Olympics are over for 2018, but the good news is that the networks are finally bringing new episodes back to primetime now that there's no competition from the Games. For your viewing options, be sure to swing by our midseason TV premiere guide. If streaming is more your style, our 2018 Netflix premiere rundown and 2018 Amazon Prime schedule can help you out.