There will be no ESPN news personnel at the Winter Olympics in China due to concerns stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a company statement, the company will focus on the remote coverage of the Games with a robust plan to launch in advance of next month’s event.
A statement issued by ESPN said four journalists had planned to travel to China after sending five athletes to last year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo. However, they will be joining a larger group of reporters who will be covering the Games remotely. As with the Summer Olympics, organizers have reached out to media outlets covering the Games remotely by providing information and online interviews. ESPN has multiple reporters doing so for both television and digital.
We place the utmost importance on the safety of our employees, We decided to keep our people at home due to the pandemic being a global threat, as well as the restrictions on site that Covid imposed on the Olympics that made coverage difficult said Norby Williamson, ESPN Executive Vice President.
Beijing has stepped up its efforts to prevent Covid-19 after Omicron, a more contagious variant of the virus, was detected in Beijing. Four districts in Beijing have been reported as having Covid-19 infections so far.
February 4 will mark the start of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.