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NBC News Taps David Remnick for Sochi Gig

The New Yorker editor, a former Moscow correspondent for The Washington Post, will contribute to coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

David Remnick

David Remnick

Photo By Courtesy Photo

REMNICK GOES RUSSIAN (AGAIN): The New Yorker editor David Remnick is going back to his roots — well, sort of.

Remnick, a former Moscow correspondent for The Washington Post, will contribute to NBC News’ coverage of the opening ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The gig gives Remnick, who will be on assignment covering the event for his own publication, the chance to talk about the cultural and political scene in Russia as it is hosts the global event, which begins Feb. 6.

“They [NBC] approached me,” Remnick said. “I think they wanted someone who knew something about Russia and who would be able to talk about issues such as post-Soviet Russia, Vladimir Putin and the controversy about LGBT [lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender] issues.”

Despite his background in sports — he began as a sports reporter for the Post and has published stories on athletes — Remnick won’t serve as a commentator à la Bob Costas. “I’m not going to be out in a ski jacket analyzing whether Lindsey Vonn is going to make the split time,” he said. “That would be idiotic, that wouldn’t be interesting at all.”

Instead, expect insight into the “nonathletic component” and the “controversy” surrounding the Olympics, the editor said, pointing to the Munich games and the more recent Beijing Olympics, in which the Chinese made a “big spectacle” to show the country’s proficiency as it entered the world’s spotlight.

“David is a distinguished journalist who knows Russia very well and we’re excited to have his expertise on the host country of our Sochi coverage,” offered Jim Bell, NBC’s executive producer of the Olympics.