Jim Williams: An Olympic chat with Tom Brokaw

Jim Williams Contributor
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Legendary newsman Tom Brokaw was a big hit at the opening night of the Games in Vancouver when NBC aired his feature on the long relationship between the United States and their neighbors to the north. The moving feature was a huge hit that struck an emotional chord with viewers both in America as well as in Canada. (WATCH THE FEATURE HERE)

When I reached Brokaw in Vancouver, he was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming response to his feature.

JW: When you set out to put to together your feature on the long relationship between the US and Canada. Did you have any idea that people from both countries would be so touched by your work?

Brokaw: “No. But as I began to work on it I realized that the combination of natural wonders, long cooperative relationship, shared values and immigrant roots bound us together in a manner unmatched in the history of neighbors – and we need to be reminded of that, especially when there is so much global strife “

JW: NBC has been getting record ratings. Do you think that people in these tough times are looking for an up lifting story that seems to happen at Olympic Games?

Brokaw: “I think people are looking for the uplifting story – and more of them are staying home these days because of bad weather and economics. And, to brag on my NBC Sports brothers and sisters, they’re simply the best at this.”

JW: What sports do you like to follow at the Olympic Games?

Brokaw: “As a skier I’m always drawn to the alpine events – and I love all the new ‘boarding events. But I’ll never forget the night in Salt Lake City when I watched Sara Hughes light up the ice and win the gold. “

Brokaw, incidentally, says he’s enjoying his stint as storyteller for sports, but he’s not likely to give up his day job.

Jim Williams is a seven time Emmy Award winning TV producer, director and writer. His columns also appear in the Washington Examiner. You can reach him at