NBC's Meredith Vieira Speaks To KHQ About Sochi Olympics - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

NBC's Meredith Vieira Speaks To KHQ About Sochi Olympics

SPOKANE, Wash. -

The opening ceremony of the Olympics Friday night may prove to be the biggest spectacle in the sports world this year, and Meredith Vieira will be front and center as she co-anchor’s NBC’s broadcast with TODAY Show co-host Matt Lauer.

“How can you not be excited,” she told KHQ. “These young people have worked so hard from the time they were little to reach their dream, and now they’re here. They’re really here. It’s about them, and that’s what we celebrate.”

Vieira says tonight’s spectacle may be unlike any the world has ever seen, with scenery eight stories tall that will be lifted up to the roof of the stadium using rails that can handle 137 tons.

“It’s extremely complicated and anything can go wrong,” she said. “But as George Tsypin, the production designer [of the opening ceremony], said to me, ‘I only have to get this right once.’”

Tsypin is a Russian American that grew up in New York. Vieira met with him multiple times in preparation for her broadcast. She says his goal is to tell a story.

“You’re going to see the history of Russia play out, and he said don’t focus so much on one element,” she said. “Let it wash over you, because this is about the spirit of Russian people, who have had such hardship, and gone through so many different reinventions in their society, and it’s really about them dreaming about a better world, and keep aspiring to it.”

While the opening ceremony will steal the headlines tonight, one of the major issues surrounding the Olympics has been its security, and the terror threats against the games.

“When you’re in the states it’s on a loop, the terror alerts, and everyone’s talking about it,” she told KHQ. “I’m not saying it’s not real, but since I’ve been here, I have to say, Gabe, I’ve felt safe since I got here.”

Vieira says her safety concerns have been tempered because of the very real presence of the “Ring of Steel,” the name given to Russia’s intense security in and around Sochi. But Vieira believes a terror attack could still happen.

“There are so many police and so many military folks that I want to believe we’re safe, but somewhere, I think if the terrorists have the opportunity to disrupt the Olympics and embarrass [President] Putin they will do it, and we need to be prepared.”

Vieira will be a special correspondent for NBC throughout this Olympics, but her assignment remains a secret.

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