Two of Australia's greatest Olympians Ian Thorpe and Anna Meares join Seven’s unrivalled commentary team as the Home of the Olympics unveils the biggest broadcast undertaking in Australian television history: 43 dedicated HD channels across 7, 7TWO and 7p

7OLYMPICS
Last updated 13 March 2020
Seven Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 crop

Seven has assembled a world-class team of hosts and commentators to lead its coverage of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in what will be the country’s biggest broadcast and digital event ever seen.

Australia’s most loved and respected sports broadcaster Bruce McAvaney returns for his 11th Olympic Games coverage, with team Seven featuring 14 of Australia’s greatest ever Olympians who between them have racked up 14 Olympic gold medals plus hundreds of Games both as competitors and broadcasters.

After the Olympic Flame was lit in Olympia, Greece, overnight to start the Tokyo 2020 torch relay, Seven announced its coverage would be anchored by Hamish McLachlan, Mel McLaughlin, Johanna Griggs, Sonia Kruger, Lisa Sthalekar, Trent Copeland and Abbey Way.

Australia’s most successful Olympian of all-time, five-time gold medallist Ian Thorpe, is one of the exciting new additions to Seven’s commentary team, along with cycling golden girl Anna Meares, who won six medals including two gold across four Olympic Games.

They will be joined by fellow gold medallists Steve Hooker, Nick Green, Giaan Rooney, Scott McGrory, Russell Mark and Debbie Watson, while decorated Olympians Andrew Gaze, Rachael Sporn, Tamsyn Lewis-Manou, David Culbert, Kate Bates and Ash Nelson also headline Seven’s coverage.

Master broadcaster Basil Zempilas leads an impressive team of callers including the global doyen of cycling commentary Phil Liggett, the voice of hockey Dave Christison, basketball expert John Casey, and accomplished callers Michael Zappone, Mark Braybrook, Brenton Speed and Matt Hill. Pat Welsh will be trackside at the athletics, while Nathan Templeton will be poolside interviewing all the Olympic Games stars.

Edwina Bartholomew and Basil Zempilas have been given the honour of commentating the cultural components of the Opening Ceremony and will be joined by Hamish McLachlan, Johanna Griggs and Australian flagbearer at the Olympic Games Sydney 2000 Andrew Gaze for the Parade of Nations.

And running all over Tokyo will be Jason Richardson, Emma Vosti and James Tobin making sure audiences are kept up to date with all the colour of the Games.

For revered broadcaster Bruce McAvaney, anticipation is building in what promises to be a remarkable Games across 17 days featuring the world’s greatest athletes, new sports and in the perfect time zone:

“Just like our Australian athletes, our team is a mix of veterans and debut broadcasters. We have a breadth of experience, knowledge and the skills of a new generation to complement what promises to be an incredible Games in our own time zone. Tokyo is getting ever closer and we’re looking at milestone performances and practically unknown young athletes who’ll blow our socks off and become instant household names. One thing is for certain; our team and all Australians are going to experience the awe of the greatest event in sport.”

For the first time in Australian free-to-air television history, there will be 43 dedicated Olympic channels across 7, 7TWO and 7plus all FREE and in HD.

 

Exactly 16 days after the Flame is extinguished in Tokyo, a new one will be lit, signalling the start of the Paralympic Games. Johanna Griggs, Jim Wilson and Paralympic gold medallist Annabelle Williams will anchor Seven’s unprecedented coverage across 7, 7TWO and 7plus featuring up to 16 live streams.

Chief Revenue Officer and Director of Olympics Kurt Burnette said Seven will set a new benchmark as the most extensive, innovative and technologically advanced Olympic and Paralympic experience spanning all platforms – broadcast, digital, social and in print:

“The Olympics are for all Australians, and with Tokyo 2020 we’re offering more to everyone than ever before. Most incredibly of all, it will be available for free, something never before offered in Australia. We can’t wait for 24/7 to bring the biggest broadcast and digital event in Australian history to life.”

Viewers will wake up to all the latest Olympic highlights, news and exclusive athlete interviews each day with Australia’s #1 brekky show Sunrise before Johanna Griggs, returning for her seventh Olympic Games coverage, steers Seven’s morning broadcast.

Superstar of Australian television Sonia Kruger then takes the reins each afternoon in what will be her third Olympic Games with Seven.

Both women will be joined by Olympic Games broadcast newcomers Lisa Sthalekar and Trent Copeland as they bring a fresh perspective to Olympic updates and help viewers navigate the 43 channels.

Following 7NEWS, LIVE at 6.00 every night of the Games, two of Australia’s most credible sports broadcasters, Mel McLaughlin and Hamish McLachlan, will guide, inform and entertain audiences through prime-time Olympic Games coverage.

And keeping viewers completely up to date late into the evening will be Abbey Way, who has quickly become one of Seven’s most versatile hosts working across sport and entertainment.

Commenting, Mel McLaughlin said:

“Having the privilege of working on an Olympic Games is the stuff of dreams in our line of work... I can’t believe I get to do it again. When you look at our team, and dare I say it, the extraordinary high level of female participants across so many sports, the expectation tends to rise rather quickly. Our team can’t wait to bring home all the stories, the highlights, the goosebumps... and I think we’re about to do it in a way never seen before.”

Hamish McLachlan added:

“Australia has had some unbelievable Olympic Games teams in the past, but when you look at our team for Tokyo, sport by sport, it’s quite remarkable. We are so lucky to have world champions, world number ones and major winners, everywhere. It’s exciting, inspiring – and very humbling – to be part of a Seven commentary team that includes Olympic legends like Ian Thorpe, Anna Meares, Steve Hooker and the iconic Oarsome Foursome’s Nick Green. This year’s Olympic Games will see new sports, new faces, old faces, and the world’s best against each other. It’s the world’s biggest festival of sport, and I can’t wait for it to begin.”

Sunrise will be the only place Australians will be able to see all the Olympic highlights every morning. Sam and Kochie will be LIVE to Mark Beretta and Edwina Bartholomew at the centre of all the action in Tokyo, with exclusive access to every Olympic venue and the Athlete’s Village.

7NEWS, Australia’s official Olympic news service, is the only network with unrestricted access to the Games. 7NEWS Chief Correspondent Chris Reason and 7NEWS Sports Editor Jim Wilson will lead a team of reporters on the ground in Tokyo – including Alex Hart, Sharnelle Vella, Rob Scott, Max Futcher, Laurel Irving, Matthew Carmichael, Pat Welsh and Nathan Templeton – operating 24-hours a day from the International Broadcast Centre to report breaking news events as they happen.

And 7NEWS.com.au will be the #1 online destination for Olympic news and updates. The website will feature a dedicated hub for results and medal tallies, plus all the latest breaking news, exclusive content, in-depth features and the greatest stories from the Games.

Head of Network Sport Lewis Martin commented:

“Seven stands alone as Australia’s Home of the Olympics and, once again, we will bring unrivalled expertise to our coverage of Tokyo 2020. We will unashamedly get behind the Australian team with the rest of the nation, but we will never ignore the stories of the rest of the world – a compelling story is a compelling story regardless of nationality. Tokyo 2020 will be the greatest event you'll ever see and you can trust Seven and our extraordinary team of experts to take you inside every single event, to where the best action is happening at all times.”

Fans of the Olympics will be able to keep up to date with all the latest news, the biggest and best moments, and exclusive content, on the 7Olympics social channels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

THE BROADCAST TEAM 

HOSTS 

Hamish McLachlan 

Hamish is one of Seven’s most versatile broadcasters, having hosted and commentated on a wide range of sports including the Olympic Games, AFL, horse racing, tennis and Commonwealth Games. He will co-host Seven’s prime-time coverage of Tokyo 2020 each night alongside Mel McLaughlin. Hamish boasts extraordinary Olympic Games knowledge and a passion and enthusiasm for all sporting disciplines.  

 

Mel McLaughlin 

Having just pulled up stumps on an extraordinary summer of cricket, Mel now turns her attention to Tokyo. The highly respected sports anchor and live-to-air broadcaster has covered a host of major international sporting events including both summer and winter Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, the FIFA World Cup, cricket and tennis. Mel will be in her absolute element each night when she and Hamish McLachlan bring you all the LIVE action direct from the Games. 

Social – Twitter: @Mel_Mclaughlin; Instagram: mel_mclaughlin    

  

Johanna Griggs  

Joh represented Australia in swimming at the Auckland Commonwealth Games in 1990, winning bronze in the 100m backstroke, before she went on to become one of the most popular television personalities on Australian screens. Joh has been part of Seven’s coverage of almost all major sporting events including the last six Olympic Games, tennis and horse racing, as well as hosting top-rating programmes Better Homes and Gardens and House Rules. Joh will also host Seven’s coverage of the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 alongside Paralympic gold medallist Annabelle Williams and esteemed broadcaster Jim Wilson.  

Social – Twitter: @JohGriggs7; Instagram: johgriggs7 

 

Sonia Kruger  

A superstar of Australian television, Sonia returned home to the Seven Network this year as the host of Big Brother and a judge on AGT: The Champions. Her role with Seven’s Olympic broadcast team for Tokyo is also a homecoming of sorts, having been part of Seven’s coverage of the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 and Sydney 2000. Sonia’s love of sport, sunny personality and acerbic wit will shine through in all the daytime LIVE coverage from Tokyo.   

Social – Twitter: @SoniaKruger; Instagram: soniakruger 

 

Lisa Sthalekar 

The former Australian women’s cricket captain carved out an impressive career as an all-rounder that saw her honoured as Australian Women’s Cricketer of the Year in 2007 and 2008. Lisa has since made an impactful transition to the commentary box with her inside knowledge of the women’s game at the highest level. Thoughtful and articulate, Lisa brings a fresh perspective to daily Olympic updates. 

Social – Twitter: @sthalekar93; Instagram: Isthalekar 

 

Trent Copeland 

The current NSW right-arm fast bowler, who has also played three Tests for Australia, honed his laconic style and mastery of the touch screen on Seven’s cricket coverage. Trent will help viewers to navigate Seven’s 43 Olympic channels throughout the course of the Games, as well as providing deep insights and expert comments as a competitive elite sportsman.  

Social – Twitter: @copes9; Instagram: copes9 

 

Abbey Way 

Abbey has quickly become one of Seven’s most versatile hosts, having presented across the network’s cricket, horse racing and Brownlow Medal coverage with poise, grace and an infectious enthusiasm. As the granddaughter of Australian middle-distance great Herb Elliott, sport is in Abbey’s blood. She is fulfilling a lifelong dream joining Seven’s hosting team for her very first Olympic Games coverage.  

Social – Twitter: @abbey_gelmi; Instagram: abbey_way 

 

COMMENTATORS 

Bruce McAvaney 

On the world stage, Bruce is one of the greatest sports broadcasters we’ve ever seen. He returns for his 11th Olympics Games coverage – for both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and to call the athletics. In recognition of his outstanding career, this month Bruce was honoured with the Melbourne Press Club Lifetime Achievement Award. This follows his induction into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2002, and a Medal of the Order of Australia that same year. Bruce’s depth and breadth of sporting knowledge is peerless, while he brings an unbridled passion and enthusiasm to the Olympic Games and track and field. 

 

Tamsyn Lewis-Manou 

A three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, and winner of 18 Australian Championships at 400m, 800m and 400m hurdles, Tamsyn will join Bruce McAvaney for expert commentary at the athletics. 

Social – Twitter: @tamsynlewis; Instagram: tamsynlewismanou 

 

Steve Hooker  

One of Australia’s most-loved track and field stars with his famous mega-watt smile and carrot-top, Steve won pole vault gold at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 setting a new Olympic record of 5.96m. He’ll join Bruce McAvaney and Tamsyn Lewis-Manou for expert commentary and analysis of track and field events.  

Social – Twitter: @stevehooker; Instagram: stevehooker 

 

David Culbert  

A long jump finalist at the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992 and two-time silver medallist at the Commonwealth Games, Dave has established himself as a renowned Olympics Games broadcaster and will provide expert athletics commentary, along with calling the canoe and kayak events. 

Social – Twitter: @Culbert_Report; Instagram: culbert_report  

 

Pat Welsh  

Renowned as one of the country’s sharpest sports journalists and commentators, Pat heads into his seventh summer Olympic Games in Tokyo and 11th overall including Winter Olympic Games. He will be trackside at the athletics interviewing all the big stars, as well as working across 7NEWS and 7NEWS.com.au, breaking the biggest stories of the Games.  

 

Basil Zempilas  

Basil has been a commentator with Seven’s Olympic Games coverage since 2000, including his famous call of Steven Bradbury’s unbelievable come-from-behind win and Australia’s first Winter Olympic gold medal in Salt Lake City in 2002. Basil will again be a valued member of Seven’s commentary team when he dives into his sixth summer Games to lead the call of the swimming at Tokyo’s Olympic Aquatics Stadium. 

Social – Twitter: @BasilZempilas; Instagram: basil_zempilas 

 

Ian Thorpe  

Ian is Australia’s most successful Olympian of all time, having won a record five gold medals at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. At 15, he became the youngest male world champion when he won gold in the 400m freestyle at the 1998 World Championships, while he went on to set 13 long-course world records and won 11 gold medals at the World Championships and 10 at the Commonwealth Games. Affectionately known as ‘Thorpedo’ at the height of his career, Ian will be back at the pool as an expert commentator in Tokyo. 

Social – Twitter: @IanThorpe; Instagram: ian.thorpe  

 

Giaan Rooney  

A gold medallist at the Olympic Games Athens 2004, two-time silver medallist at Sydney 2000 and a former captain of Australia’s swim team, Giaan’s passion and commitment to the sport shines through in her expert commentary from the pool deck.  

Social – Twitter: @GiaanRooney; Instagram: giaan.rooney 

 

Nathan Templeton 

With close to two decades’ experience in sport reporting from events such as the Australian Open tennis, the Ashes in the UK, the World Swimming Championships in Russia and three Commonwealth Games, Nathan will be poolside in Tokyo for his second Olympic Games coverage. 

Social – Twitter: nathantemp7; Instagram: nathantemp7 

 

Andrew Gaze 

An Australian basketball legend, Andrew led the Boomers to five Olympic Games and was the Australian flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games Sydney 2000. On the 20th anniversary of that unforgettable moment, Andrew joins Seven’s broadcast team to lead the Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations and provide expert commentary at the basketball. 

Social – Twitter: @AndrewGaze10; Instagram: andrewgaze10 

 

John Casey 

One of Australia’s best-known commentators and journalists with more than three decades’ experience broadcasting both at home and abroad, John has covered multiple Olympic Games, four basketball world championships, AFL, NBL, WNBL and SANFL. He’ll be front and centre at all men’s basketball matches alongside Andrew Gaze.  

Social – Twitter: @JohnCasey2880; Instagram: johncasey2880 

 

Rachael Sporn 

One of Australia’s basketball greats, Rachael was a key member of the Opals teams that won bronze at Atlanta 1996 and silver medals at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. A dual WNBL MVP and part of five WNBL championship teams, she also played in the WNBA with Detroit Shock. Rachael will call the women’s basketball, with Team Australia an undeniable medal chance.  

 

Phil Liggett 

The global doyen of cycling commentary, Phil has covered 14 Olympic Games and 43 Tours de France and will lead Seven’s cycling coverage in Tokyo.  

Social – Twitter: @PhilLiggett  

 

Anna Meares 

A champion and true sportswoman, Anna is one of Australia's favourite sports stars. She is a four-time Olympian, having won a total of six Olympic medals including two gold in Athens and London, an 11-time world champion across four different disciplines and a five-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist. Anna was the flag bearer for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games Rio 2016, where she was also the Australian Olympic Team Captain. Anna brings unrivalled insight to the cycling competition in Tokyo.  

Social – Twitter: @AnnaMeares; Instagram: annameares 

 

Kate Bates  

Kate is a highly decorated international cyclist, Olympian and world champion. Since her retirement in 2011, she has forged a strong broadcasting career and will showcase her passion and knowledge commentating on all the action from the Olympic velodrome. 

Social – Twitter: @KatherineLBates; Instagram: katey_bates 

 

Scott McGrory  

An outstanding Australian cyclist and sports broadcaster, Scott won gold in the Madison at the  Olympic Games Sydney 2000. He will join Phil Liggett in cycling commentary. 

Social – Twitter: @ScottMcGrory; Instagram: scottmcgrory 

 

Dave Christison  

Known internationally as ‘the voice of world hockey’, Dave has commentated on hockey at the past seven Olympic Games and will step into the chair again in Tokyo to call all the men’s and women’s action. 

Social – Twitter: @Christo1953 

 

Ash Nelson 

The former Hockeyroos star forward is one of Australia’s most experienced players, with 205 caps that included the Olympic Games London 2012. Ash is also a dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist. She joins Dave Christison to call all the hockey in Tokyo.  

 

Nick Green  

One of Australia’s Olympic heroes as a member of the iconic ‘Oarsome Foursome’, Nick has won nearly every individual and team honour in rowing, including two Olympic gold medals, in Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996. At the Olympic Games Sydney 2000 Opening Ceremony, Nick was invited to carry the International Olympic Flag. Nick leads the rowing and canoeing calls for Tokyo 2020.  

   

Matt Hill 

Matt Hill is a leading Australian race caller and sports broadcaster. Recognised throughout the industry for his flair, commitment and accuracy, he has honed his art over many years calling a myriad of sports from horse racing to greyhound racing, tennis, AFL, the Olympic Games and more. In Tokyo, Matt will call the rowing, canoeing and kayaking.

 

Russell Mark 

Russell is an Olympic gold medallist having won the double trap shooting in Atlanta 1996, along with silver in Sydney 2000. Russell will deliver expert commentary on the shooting in this year’s coverage, helping viewers to understand the intellectual and psychological skill required in this demanding sport. 

Social – Twitter: @RussellMarkGold; Instagram: russellmarkgold 

 

Debbie Watson 

One of the best women’s water polo players to have graced the pool for Australia, Debbie’s the only Australian female water polo player to have won gold at World Cup, World Championship and Olympic level. She’ll provide expert commentary and analysis on our water polo teams as they vie for gold in Tokyo.  

 

Edwina Bartholomew 

The Sunrise presenter returns for her third Olympic Games coverage with Seven and she’ll be one of the busiest of the team in Tokyo. As well as commentating on the cultural elements of the Opening Ceremony, Edwina will be on location in Tokyo alongside Mark Beretta in the weeks leading up to the Games. During the Games, she will report on all the action and colour in Tokyo LIVE to Sunrise.

Social – Twitter: @edwina_b; Instagram: edwina_b 

 

Brenton Speed

Brenton is one of Australia’s most well-rounded sport commentators, having called athletics, rowing, football and swimming. In Tokyo, he will call football, beach volleyball, tennis and basketball.

Social – Twitter: @BrentonSpeed; Instagram: speedbrenton 

 

Michael Zappone

Michael has been a football host, commentator and boundary rider in Australia for more than 20 years, and brings that extensive expertise and knowledge to Seven’s football coverage in Tokyo.

Social – Twitter: @Michael_Zappone; Instagram: michael_zappone   

 

Mark Braybrook

Mark has called an impressive list of sporting events including rugby league grand finals, rugby union internationals, AFL grand finals and soccer internationals. He’ll be on deck to call Rugby 7s, tennis and shooting in Tokyo.

Social – Twitter: @MarkBraybrook 

 

MIXED ZONE REPORTERS  

Jason Richardson 

'Richo’ is a Stawell Gift winner who has carved out an impressive broadcasting career with Seven. He has hosted and commentated on various events including the Australian Open, Olympic Games Rio 2016, Melbourne Cup Carnival, Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.  

Social – Twitter: @JaseRicho; Instagram: jaserichardson7 

 

Emma Vosti 

Quickly making a name for herself as a fresh and trusted voice in sport, Emma has become a regular presenter across Seven’s sport coverage – reporting on all the colour, characters and special guests from around events including cricket, racing, tennis, the Paralympic Games Rio 2016 and the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

Social – Twitter: @emmavosti; Instagram: emmavosti 

 

James Tobin  

James is one of Seven’s most versatile presenters and hosts. Weekend Sunrise’s weather presentersince 2009, he previously worked as an entertainment reporter for Sunrise and hosted Beauty and the Geek Australia, before this year joining Better Homes and Gardens as its motoring and technology reporter. James has a keen interest in sport and this year co-hosted Australia’s most prestigious cycling event, the Tour Down Under.  

Social – Twitter: @james_tobin; Instagram: james_tobin 

 

PARALYMPIC GAMES HOSTS  

Annabelle Williams  

During her swimming career, Annie captained the Australian Paralympic swim team, broke five world records and won numerous medals for Australia, including gold at the Paralympic Games London 2012. And her achievements out of the pool are just as impressive. An accomplished sports broadcaster, international speaker and former corporate lawyer, Annabelle’s humorous and heartwarming storytelling captivates, entertains and inspires.  

Social – Twitter: @anniejowilliams ; Instagram: anniejwilliams 

 

Jim Wilson 

Tokyo 2020 will be Jim’s eighth Olympic Games and third Paralympic Games hosting and reporting for 7NEWS. He joins colleagues and good mates Annabelle Williams and Joh Griggs to bring Australians the most captivating athletic performances and the remarkable stories behind our inspiring Paralympic athletes.  

Social – Twitter: @JimWilsonTV   

 

*Seven will announce full details of its coverage plans for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in coming weeks 

**In addition to Seven’s distinguished commentary team, Seven will draw on the best international commentators in the world via the Olympic Host Broadcasting Service. 

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