NBC’s Tirico Delivers Harsh Monologue On The Adults Who ‘Failed To Protect’ Kamila Valieva

“The adults in the room left her alone,” NBC Olympics host Mike Tirico said from a studio during the network’s Thursday night coverage of the Games. “Portrayed by some this week as the villain, by others as the victim, she is, in fact, the victim of the villains. The coaches and National Olympic Committee surrounding Kamila Valieva, whether they orchestrated, prescribed or enabled all of this is unclear, but what is certain: They failed to protect her.”

How NBC Handled One Of The Most Gut-Wrenching Scenes In Olympic Figure Skating

One of the most stunning moments in the history of Olympic defeats unfolded Thursday after Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old Russian figure skater largely expected to waltz to a gold medal, fell twice during her free skate to finish in fourth place. The scene on NBC’s broadcast on the USA Network was excruciating to watch and quickly devolved into teary disbelief and chaos that was unlike anything in recent Olympic memory. “This is my 18th Olympic Games,” NBC’s Jimmy Roberts said as he closed the live coverage, “and I can honestly say I do not think I have ever seen anything like this. Raw emotions everywhere. A stunning resolution to the story, and it’s one I can’t imagine anyone saw coming.”