Who Is Lester Holt?

It's the 8th Olympics at NBC for the veteran newsman, sports fan and musician

From the political pageantry of Cleveland and Philadelphia to the global spotlight of Rio de Janeiro, it's been quite a summer for Lester Holt. He's now covering his eighth Olympic Games for NBC News, but his first as anchor for NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt.

The host of TV's No. 1 evening newscast tries to define his newscast by a willingness to travel and "take the show to the story," so hosting Nightly News live from Copacabana Beach seems tailor-made for the program.

"It's an honor, and I'm grateful to do this job," Holt told Adweek. "This is the eighth Olympics that I'm working, but it's a very important one given the summer we've had. We've traveled with Nightly News to cover the shootings in Orlando and Dallas, as well as the truck attack in Nice, France." 

After so much negative news in recent months, Holt said, "I think the world is ready to celebrate, and the Olympics will give everyone a chance to do that. Something magical happens once they light that cauldron and the games begin."

An avid sports fan, Holt is looking forward to multiple Olympic competitions, including beach volleyball and swimming.

"Brazil has played a major role in the rise of beach volleyball, and I don't think there will be a better place to see it played than on the sands of Rio," he said. "And watching Olympic swimming is incredible—you really need to see it in person to fully appreciate the speed. It's like watching human torpedoes in the water."

The veteran newsman also happens to be an avid bass player (he even brought one to Rio), and it will be interesting to see how his newscast adds to the overall NBC Olympics ensemble.

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.

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