As the U.S. women's gymnastics team goes for gold in Rio (perhaps a lot of gold), the voice commenting on every planted dismount and points deduction along the way is that of NBC's Al Trautwig.
Trautwig's been doing gymnastics play-by-play on television since 1982—and covering gymnastics at the Olympic games since 2000. He's made 16 Olympic trips—11 of those with NBC.
Everything is in place. Almost. pic.twitter.com/7s0mFDkMoq
— Al Trautwig (@AlTrautwig) August 2, 2016
Trautwig has an immediately recognizable voice and delivery. Yet despite all those years watching the beam, vault and uneven bars, Trautwig's the first to admit he's hardly an expert on the sport—or on the Olympic judges.
Trautwig says he considers himself a kind of Olympic "Mr. Curious." Unlike his on-air partners, Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin and two-time Olympic medalist Tim Daggett, Trautwig assumes the everyman role, asking the questions a viewer might ask. "Was that good?" "Did that count?" "What'd that score mean?"
— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) August 1, 2016
Trautwig's already run into criticism in Rio for referring to the adoptive parents of U.S. gymnast Simone Biles as "mom and dad but they are NOT her parents." He has since apologized. "I regret that I wasn't more clear in my wording on the air. I compounded the error on Twitter, which I quickly corrected. To set the record straight, Ron and Nellie are Simone's parents." Ron and Nellie Biles adopted Simone and her younger sister when they were toddlers. Their biological mother, who is Ron's daughter, battled addiction and wasn't able to take care of the girls.
- Name: Al Trautwig
- Age: 60
- Country of Origin: United States
- Occupation: Covers the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers for MSG Network.
- Twitter: @AlTrautwig
- Facebook: Al Trautwig
Each day of the 2016 Olympics, Adweek's "Who Is…?" feature will be introducing readers to one athlete, media personality or other interesting figure from this year's games. Have a name to suggest? Send a note to staff writer A.J. Katz.