Veteran television host Katie Couric is set to return to NBC to host the opening ceremony of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The opening ceremony is scheduled on Feb. 9, and will be live-streamed around the world for the first time. “I’m really excited to dive in and start really educating myself about this particular Olympics,” Couric said. “For this one I think the geopolitical backdrop is so much more intense than previous games.”
Couric will be hosting the opening ceremony along with Mike Tirico, who will be replacing Bo Costas as NBC’s prime-time host of the games.
While Tirico has had nearly one year to prepare for the task, Couric will only have weeks, as she only found out about the hosting job last week. Thankfully, the veteran journalist says she’s a fast learner.
“Some of the athletes of course I know, but luckily I’m a quick study and a fast learner and hopefully I’ll have everything under my belt,” said the former “Today” show host.
Previously, Couric co-hosted opening ceremonies for three Olympics, the ones in the following cities: Sidney, Australia; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Athens, Greece.
The seasoned broadcaster says that despite the geopolitical backdrop of what has been happening around the globe, she feels that politics will take a backseat during the Olympics.
“I feel that this is one instance when domestic politics are really going take a back seat,” said Couric. She added that this will be a great opportunity for the nation to be united in support of the athletes, and to celebrate their stories.
The opening ceremonies will start at 6 a.m. EST in the United States and will be available for free to cable subscribers. In 2016, NBC received criticisms for not showing the Olympic opening ceremonies live on television.
The upcoming Winter Olympics will see the North and South Korea march together and form the first united Korean Olympic team.