How Will Mary Carillo Top the Badminton Rant and Guido The Zamboni Guy?

By Chris Ariens 

Mary Carillo is back in Olympics action in Rio. So far she’s been calling tennis, including Serena Williams‘ singles match win on Sunday.

Carillo has also been a studio host for past Winter and Summer Olympics. And it was during the 2004 Athens games, as Carillo was anchoring coverage of badminton, that she regaled with a story about how Olympic badminton is nothing like the game your kids play in the backyard. Mostly because the shuttlecock doesn’t get stuck in a tree, and every kid from the neighborhood comes over to try and rescue the “birdie.”

“You’ve got Colleen Clark up in the tree, trying to get down a Sponge Bob Square Pants beach ball with a hockey stick. There’s pool sticks flying through the air like javelins and you hear yourself saying, ‘someone’s gonna poke an eye out.’ Then you see Christopher Burr. And it’s always Christopher Burr. He takes a roller blade throws it up in the tree and hits your car. And you got a dent in your jeep.”

Deadspin reached out to Carillo who says moments like that keep her employed. “That sort of nonsense got me a hosting gig on Torino’s Olympic Ice show, which is still one of my all-time favorite scams. Don’t know if it’s still kicking around, but maybe my salute to Guido The Zamboni Guy is still out there from that wackadoodle show.”

It is.

By the way, coverage of Badminton in Rio kicks off Thursday on USA and CNBC and continues Friday and Saturday on MSNBC.