Seven announces Rio Olympics presentation team

Bruce McAvaney heads up Seven's Olympic team, in his 10th games coverage in Rio.


Seven has announced its full Rio 2016 Olympic Games, presentation team featuring 15 former Olympians.

Seven will deliver coverage 22 hours a day, drawing upon 3 channels (7, 7TWO, 7mate), Live streaming on a 7Olympics app, plus Seven News and Sunrise coverage.

Renowned presenter Bruce McAvaney returns for his 10th Olympic Games coverage, to head up a team that includes eight Olympic gold medallists Steve Hooker, Giaan Rooney, Scott McGrory, Rechelle Hawkes, Russell Mark, Debbie Watson, Drew Ginn and Todd Woodbridge.

Olympians Lauren Jackson, Andrew Gaze, Tamsyn Lewis, Dave Culbert, Kate Bates, Loudy Wiggins and Vicki Roycroft also feature.

Phil Liggett leads commentators including Basil Zempilas, Brenton Speed, John Casey, Geoff Masters, Martin Gostelow, David Christison, Bill Woods, Mark Braybrook and Michael Zappone. Pat Welsh will be trackside at the athletics, while Nathan Templeton will be poolside.

McAvaney and Johanna Griggs will commentate on the Opening Ceremony from Maracanã Stadium.

Hamish McLachlan, Mel McLaughlin, Jim Wilson, Kylie Gillies and Todd Woodbridge will serve as anchors.

Hamish McLachlan will also host an evening program, Rio Today, featuring the best action from the Olympic Games that day, with Mel McLaughlin hosting each night. Todd Woodbridge will host overnight.

Jim Wilson will host mornings, with swimming and athletics finals shown Live, as Kylie Gillies hosts afternoons wrapping all of the day’s competition.

Johanna Griggs, Edwina Bartholomew, Rachael Finch and Neil Kearney will present local colour pieces from Rio.

Also hosting across 7TWO and 7mate will be Jason Richardson, Mark Readings, Michael Zappone and Aaron Noonan.

Ryan Phelan and Amanda Abate will provide updates throughout.

Saul Shtein, Seven’s Head of Sport, said, “Seven’s commentary team brings extraordinary broadcasting experience and expertise across the wide range of Olympic sports. We look forward to delivering another world class coverage that will bring viewers more options than ever before via our digital offerings.”

In addition to Seven’s distinguished commentary team, Seven will be drawing on the best international commentators in the world via the BBC and Olympic Broadcasting Service.

Seven’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games hosts

Hamish McLachlan – has extensive hosting, broadcasting and athlete management experience in sports including AFL, Olympic Games, tennis and racing. Hamish will be hosting Rio Today each night from 7pm throughout the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Mel McLaughlin – has covered many major sporting events on the world stage including the Olympic Winter Games, FIFA World Cup and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Mel will be hosting Seven’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games coverage each evening as plenty of live sporting action is unfolding.

Jim Wilson – this will be Jim’s sixth Olympic Games either reporting or commentating. This time he’ll step into the hosting chair each morning as some of Rio’s biggest gold-medal moments are decided with athletics and swimming finals contested.

Kylie Gillies – has a long history of sports reporting and presenting across Seven’s Olympic Games and Australian Open tennis coverage, as well as sports magazine programming. Every afternoon Kylie will steer viewers through all of the latest happenings from the day’s events at Rio 2016.

Todd Woodbridge – was a gold medallist at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, in addition to a highly distinguished tennis career. Todd has successfully hosted Seven’s Wimbledon coverage in recent years and will be hosting live late night and early morning coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Seven’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games commentary team

Bruce McAvaney – his depth and breadth of knowledge of the Olympic Games is unrivalled in Australia and he returns for his 10th Olympic Games coverage to call all the athletics from Maracanã Stadium.

Steve Hooker – won pole vault gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games setting a new Olympic record of 5.96 metres. He’ll join Bruce McAvaney for expert commentary at the athletics.

Tamsyn Lewis – a three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, and a winner of 17 Australian Championships at 400m, 800m and 400m hurdles, Tamsyn will join Bruce McAvaney for expert commentary at the athletics.

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

Pat Welsh – will be heading to his sixth summer Olympic Games at Rio and 10th overall including Winter Olympic Games. He will be trackside at the athletics interviewing all the big stars.

Basil Zempilas – has been a commentator with Seven’s Olympic Games coverage since 2000, including his famous call of Australia’s first Winter Olympic gold medal when Steven Bradbury won the men’s 1000m short-track speed skating event in Salt Lake City in 2002. Basil will lead the call of all the swimming at Rio’s Olympic Aquatics Stadium.

Giaan Rooney – a gold medallist at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, two-time silver medallist at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and also a former captain of Australia’s swim team, Giaan will provide expert commentary at the swimming in Rio.

Nathan Templeton – with over 10 years sports broadcast and print reporting from events such as the Australian Open tennis, the Ashes in the UK and the World Swimming Championships in Russia, Nathan is the poolside interviewer at the Australian Swimming Championships and will also be poolside in Rio.

Phil Liggett – is the global doyen of cycling commentary. He has covered 14 Olympic Games and 43 Tours de France and will be in Rio to lead Seven’s cycling coverage.

Scott McGrory – was an outstanding Australian cyclist winning gold in the Madison at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. He will join Phil Liggett in cycling commentary at Rio.

Kate Bates – is a highly decorated international cyclist, Olympian and world champion. Since her retirement in 2011 she has forged a strong broadcasting career and will use her passion and knowledge to commentate on the cycling at Rio.

Drew Ginn – Leading Seven’s rowing coverage in Rio will be triple Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion rower Drew Ginn. His gold medals came at three different Olympic Games: Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. Drew will also provide commentary on the canoe sprint.

Brenton Speed – is one of Australia’s most versatile sport commentators having called athletics, rowing, football and swimming and will join Drew Ginn to call rowing in Rio.

Andrew Gaze – led the Australian national basketball team, the Boomers, to five Olympic Games and was also the Australian flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. He’ll provide expert commentary at the basketball in Rio 2016.

Lauren Jackson – spearheaded Australia’s basketball team at four Olympic Games from Sydney to London, where she collected three silver medals and a bronze. In Rio, she’ll join fellow Australian legend Andrew Gaze to provide expert basketball commentary.

Michael McCann – is a veteran sports broadcaster with an extensive and distinguished career in sports media including commentary on eight Olympic Games. At Rio 2016 Mike will call all the diving action.

Loudy Wiggins – is a two-time Olympic diving bronze medallist, claiming the accolades in the 10m synchronised platform at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the 10m platform in Athens. Loudy will deliver expert commentary at the diving in Rio.

David Christison – has commentated on hockey at the past six Olympic Games and will step into the chair again in Rio to call all the men’s and women’s hockey action.

Rechelle Hawkes – is the only three-time Olympic hockey gold medallist to win the ultimate prize at the Seoul, Atlanta and Sydney Olympic Games. She was the captain of the Australian women’s hockey team, the Hockeyroos, and will provide expert commentary at the hockey in Rio.

Johanna Griggs – represented Australia in swimming at the Auckland Commonwealth Games in 1990 winning bronze in the 100m backstroke. Since then she has become one of Australia’s most popular television personalities broadcasting from a range of sports including tennis and horse racing, along with hosting top-rating programs Better Homes and Gardens and House Rules. Johanna will be bringing viewers all the colour, fun and characters from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Rachael Finch – will reprise her colour reporting role from the Australian Open tennis and Melbourne Cup Carnival at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. For several years she has reported on all of the personalities and entertainment at two of Australia’s biggest events.

Edwina Bartholomew – covered the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games for Seven and will be in Rio 2016 for Sunrise reporting on all of the fun and frivolities in her adventurous style.

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

Vicki Roycroft – has been a member of three Olympic and three World Championship equestrian teams representing Australia. She has been an Australian champion three times and will provide expert commentary on the equestrian in Rio.

Martin Gostelow – has been a decorated showjumping champion in Australian equestrian. He is now renowned as one of Australia’s best coaches based at Somersby Equestrian Park. His knowledge of our riders and the sport will ensure viewers are kept informed on the intricacies of equestrian.

Geoff Masters – has an impressive tennis playing record having won the doubles at Wimbledon, Australian Open and the US Open. A regular member of Seven’s summer of tennis commentary, Geoff will be on board to provide expert commentary during the tennis.

Debbie Watson – is one of the best women’s water polo players to have graced the pool for Australia. She’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 on our water polo teams as they vie for gold.

Ryan Phelan – has been a highly respected sports journalist for over 20 years covering a wide range of sports. Ryan has hosted Seven’s horse racing, rugby league World Cup among a long list of high profile sports and will be Seven’s Olympic Update host.

Bill Woods – has enjoyed a long and distinguished sports journalism career across TV and radio dating back to the early 1980s. He has covered Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games as either host or news anchor along with a wide range of other sports. He’ll be commentating on the water polo during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Mark Braybrook – has called an impressive list of sporting events including a rugby league grand final, rugby union international, AFL grand final and soccer international. He’ll be on deck to call for Seven’s Rio 2016 coverage.

Jason Richardson – is a Stawell Gift winner who has carved out a growing broadcasting career with Seven and radio. He will be hosting on 7TWO and 7mate throughout the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Neil Kearney – is a champion spinner of yarns at the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the Australian Open tennis and almost every other sporting event Australians hold dear. He’ll be reporting on all of the colour and characters at Rio 2016.

Mark Readings – is a sports journalist and AFL commentator who will perform a range of 7TWO and 7mate hosting, as well as commentary duties.

Aaron Noonan – is a motorsport industry veteran in a wide range of roles within Australian media. Aaron will be hosting on 7TWO and 7mate throughout the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Michael Zappone – has been a host, commentator and boundary rider for football coverage in Australia, as well as radio work that dates back over 20 years. As well as some football commentary duties for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Michael will also host coverage on 7TWO and 7mate.

Amanda Abate – has over 10 years’ experience in broadcast news and has worked as Seven’s LA correspondent as well as in Sydney and Brisbane Amanda will be will be Seven’s Olympic Update host.

26 Responses

  1. Where’s Roy & HG? I don’t see Roy & HG, what sort of Olympics will it be without these two giving their slant on the commentary. I wanna’ see more battered savs & dutch winks.

  2. Nine simulcast 2012 on GEM in HD – I thought at the time it might have been a requirement of having the Olympic rights that you have to show them in HD. Back in 2008 7HD was there as it was for years as an HD simulcast of Seven. I didn’t have an HD TV back then but Athens 2004 also would have been on 7HD?

    No mention here from Seven about HD though – but here’s to hoping that 7HD is up and running by then with Seven simulcast SD, 7TWO there as always and 7mate SD – otherwise 2016 Olympics first to not be in HD since digital TV started 15 years ago.

  3. Ch 7 have the Para Games too. I may be wrong, but I don’t see in this list, people who’ve got the skills and knowledge to report on the Paralympics. The rankings and classifications are quite different from how the Olympic Games classify athletes. I hope in a few weeks they release a list of people who’ll be covering the Paralympics Games as well.

  4. As an aside, are 7 leaving any commentators in Australia to cover their other sporting commitments?
    By other sporting commitments, I predominantly mean AFL but then there’s state leagues Aussie Rules and Rugby Union etc.

    1. In reguards to AFL I noticed Dennis Cometti is staying put this time, missing from Seven’s AFL will be McLachlan, McAvaney and Zempilas. There will probably be less AFL commentators missing then when Nine and Foxtel had it. Does anyone know if these are all the commentators Seven will be sending to Rio?

    2. The vast majority will be at docklands studios. No networks sends that many people to the olympics now. The costs are too high especially after what they paid for the rights. This is the same as ten and nine did for the past olympics and seven does for many of their sports now such as tennis.

    1. Their damned if they do and damned if they don’t. I didn’t see their names on that release but I’m hoping Simon Reeve and Liz Chetkovich will once again be doing the gymnastics. Also no Raelene Boyle doing the athletics with Bruce is a bit disappointing.

    2. Not if you love sport. And with all the channels available these days there are plenty of other options.
      However my wife hopes they’ll keep Home & Away going.
      Do we know if Foxtel has any Games participation?.

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