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‘Road to Tokyo’ Olympic, Paralympic channel launches on Peacock

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Peacock, NBC Universal’s new streaming service, created a 24/7 pop-up channel dedicated to Olympic and Paralympic classic moments, documentaries and studio programming to coincide with one year out to the Tokyo Games.

“Road to Tokyo” features 10 NBC Olympics documentaries (detailed here) and Olympic Classics replays, including the Dream Team, Simone BilesLeBron James and Kobe Bryant and Carli Lloyd.

Three new specials are also included:

“Dreams Live On: Countdown to Tokyo” looks at U.S. stars training amid the coronavirus pandemic that postponed the Olympics to 2021. Biles and sprinter Allyson Felix are among the featured athletes.

“Lighting the Olympic Flame: Iconic Ceremony Moments” chronicles memorable moments from Opening Ceremonies. Interviews include Michael Phelps and composer John Williams.

“The Olympics & Paralympics: Inspirational Moments” showcases courage and sportsmanship from recent Games.

Peacock launched last week with sports offerings including, “In Deep with Ryan Lochte,” a documentary on the swimmer’s Rio Olympic scandal and return from suspensions.

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VIDEO: ‘In Deep with Ryan Lochte’ documentary clips

‘In Deep with Ryan Lochte’ highlights Peacock launch sports offerings

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“In Deep with Ryan Lochte,” a documentary on the swimmer’s Rio Olympic scandal and return from suspensions, premieres on Peacock on Wednesday, when NBC Universal’s new streaming service launches.

From NBC Universal PR: “[Lochte] was at the center of a scandal that has since overshadowed a decorated swimming career that includes 12 Olympic medals. Now a 35-year-old husband and father of two young children, Lochte is hoping for one more chance to make Team USA and prove he’s not the same man he was four years ago.”

Lochte’s life since his Rio gas-station incident: a 10-month suspension, engagement and marriage to Kayla Reid, the birth of son Caiden and daughter Liv, the dedication of his swims at the 2020 Olympics to Nicholas Dworet, a swimmer killed in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, a 14-month ban after he posted a social media image of an illegal IV transfusion of a legal substance, a six-week alcohol addiction rehab stint and a 2019 U.S. title in the 200m individual medley (the meet lacked top Olympic hopefuls).

Learn more about Lochte’s career at SportsEngine.com where he discusses the highs and lows of his Olympic career, and provides thoughtful advice to kids today as they struggle with the loss of access to sport and everyday challenges”

In the film, Lochte revisits what happened in Rio, when he embellished the actual story: that he, and three other U.S. swimmers, were confronted by a security guard after Lochte ripped down a sign outside of a bathroom after late-night drinking. The swimmers’ competition was over.

“I messed up before that night even started,” Lochte said in the film. “I shouldn’t have even thought about going out and getting drunk. I should have represented my country the way we were taught. It just kind of spiraled down from there.

“It was all my fault, and I have to live with that for the rest of my life.”

The security guard, who pointed a gun at Lochte but not against his forehead, and a Rio police chief were interviewed on camera for the film.

Lochte said he plans to tell his children everything that happened.

“I don’t want to lie to them ever,” he said.

After the Olympics, Lochte said he saw a headline that said he was “the worst person in the world.” Most of all, he regretted that younger swimmers who previously looked up to him said he was no longer their role model.

“This is the most pressure I’ve had in my entire life,” Lochte said. “Yes, I made a mistake in Rio, and I need to earn the respect from my fellow swimmers, from Team USA, from everyone in the world. I gotta earn the respect. If I don’t make the Olympic team, they won’t see the change that I’ve made.”

Lochte, trying to become the oldest U.S. Olympic male swimmer in history, ranks fifth among Americans since the start of 2019 in the 200m IM. The top two at next summer’s Olympic Trials make the Tokyo Games.

“It’s pretty obvious now, I’m 100 percent family,” Lochte, who shed 30 added pounds from his time away from swimming, said at last August’s U.S. Championships. “That party-boy image that I used to have, I know it kind of messed me up, and it stuck with me, but that’s not me. I could care less about that lifestyle. My celebrations are picking up my son and my daughter and playing with them.”

Peacock’s launch also includes another sports offering, “Lost Speedways,” a series on the great racing cathedrals of the past created and hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NBC Sports’ full Premier League match and studio coverage on Wednesday will be presented free on Peacock. That includes four matches, led by Liverpool at Arsenal at 3:15 p.m. ET. More information is here.

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Olympic medalists face off in Quarantine Games on Peacock

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Olympians have to get creative to train these days. Enter Seth MacFarlane, Tiktok star Alex Presley and the Quarantine Olympics.

Olympic medalists Mikaela Shiffrin (Alpine skiing), Steele Johnson (diving) and Brittany Bowe (speed skating) appeared on “The At-Home Variety Show” hosted by MacFarlane on Peacock, NBC Universal’s new streaming service.

From their separate homes, the athletes competed against Presley in the Sock Slide Challenge, seeing who could cover the farthest stretch of floor on a single sock slide. NBC Olympics primetime host Mike Tirico offered play-by-play.

Johnson won with a 229.5-inch slide, distancing silver medalist Shiffrin (191).

MacFarlane’s daily “The At-Home Variety Show” supports COVID-19 relief efforts.

Previously, the documentary “In Deep with Ryan Lochte” was announced as one of the originals that will be available when Peacock launches nationally on July 15.

From NBC Universal PR:

At the 2016 Rio Olympics Ryan Lochte (Celebrity Big Brother, Dancing with the Stars) was at the center of a scandal that has since overshadowed a decorated swimming career that includes 12 Olympic medals. Now a 35-year-old husband and father of two young children, Lochte is hoping for one more chance to make Team USA and prove he’s not the same man he was four years ago.

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