A Breath of Fresh Air in Beijing: Czarniak to Host a Show on Oxygen

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ordinarily at this time of year, Lindsay Czarniak presents the preseason news of the day about the Washington Redskins for WRC-4 -- whether a sprained ankle or player acquisition. The audience for her reports are primarily male, and the local newscast focuses on Washington sports.

This year, Czarniak will spend August in China for the Olympics, where she will be a host as part of NBC's broadcast team. Czarniak's chief responsibility will be a daily program on the Oxygen network mainly about gymnastics. Oxygen's audience is mostly women -- meaning Czarniak will cover not just different sports, but for a different audience, too.

"What I like most about my job is when I hear from people who say, 'I don't like sports, but that story you did made me care about this athlete,' " said Czarniak, 30. "That's the biggest compliment. . . . This is geared to an audience that doesn't want to watch X's and O's. I want to entertain people."

Czarniak will also serve as a sports desk reporter, where she will be involved in covering a variety of events. The Olympics allow her viewers in Washington to watch her in a different light, covering stories, events and characters that she would not otherwise.

The Beijing Games are the second Olympics for the Centreville native and James Madison University alumna, but the first Summer Games. In addition to her duties in Washington, Czarniak reports on NASCAR for TNT and once worked poker for NBC.

The Olympics are an international story as much as a sports story, though, and considering the varied story lines leading up to the Beijing Games -- from pollution to protesters -- Czarniak is prepared to tap into her news background as well.

"You never know what can come up," Czarniak said. "These Games are really exciting. They're like none other because of the different circumstances."

-- Zach Berman

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