Another Palisades resident will be at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but instead of competing, she was hired by NBC to help broadcast the games.
Retired figure skater Tara Lipinski and her good friend Johnny Weir, also a retired figure skater, will be part of the NBC team.
Lipinski was 15 when she won a gold medal for individual skating in the 1998 Nagano Games. That was her only Olympics. Lipinski and her husband, Todd Kapostasy, a sports producer, bought their Palisades residence, which is Alphabet Street adjacent, a few months ago.
Weir has competed in the Olympics twice and is World Championships bronze medalist.
The two skaters didn’t know each other well, but when they paired in 2014 Sochi Winter Games as broadcasters for NBC, they hit it off immediately – not only with each other, but with fans as well.
A 2018 GQ story (“How Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski Became the Most Iconic Duo in Figure Skating”), explains why the two, although figure skaters, were chosen to host the the summer Olympics.
“Through some cocktail of flash, chemistry, and pure energy, Weir and Lipinski became the Internet’s darlings—the main draw of a sport that lacks the crown-jewel-of-the-Winter-Olympics luster it once had — and, most importantly, each other’s best friend.
“So effective were the emergency contacts/soulmates that, for this Pyeongchang go-round, NBC has moved them into the primetime slot. There, they’ve maintained their signature commentating style: a Gladwell-ian ability to demystify figure skating for the uninitiated and an extreme candor for which they’ve caught some heat. The outfits and social-media game remain strong as well.”
Lipiniski posted on Instagram this week from Tokyo, “When I walked out on my balcony and saw these rings, I felt a rush of adrenaline and a flood of giddiness. The only thing I can liken it to is the feeling I got as a kid when I opened my hotel window and saw Disney World off in the distance. Six Olympics, four with NBC. I’m so privileged and honored to be a part of this event. I can’t wait to bust through my adjoining room door and wake up @johnnygweir first thing in the morning!”
In January 2020 after she and Weir had ended their broadcast for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Lipinski posted on Instagram “This sport has been a part of my life for over 30 years. Twenty of those years were spent competing and touring. It was the only job I had ever known. When I retired, I thought how I will ever find something I’m as passionate about as skating?! Transitioning into the unknown is never easy but with a lot of hard work I was lucky enough to find my way into my “2nd career” A career that I can happily say gives me just as much joy as my first love. The icing on the cake is that it involves the sport I love so much. Oh, and the cherry on top of that cake is that I’m able to do it with my best friend. @johnnygweir
This will be Lipinski and Weir’s fourth consecutive NBC Olympics assignment. The opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was July 23.