Sochi 2014: The Joy Of Discovering Jack Nicholls

In the very first event of the Sochi Olympic games, I nestled into my easy chair, put a steaming cup of Five O’Clock Coffee to my lips, and dialed up the NBC Sports Live Extra app. The snowboarding slopestyle event caught my eye, as I had recently witnessed it’s transformation from goofy fringe, snow sport to legit medal sport at the Winter X-Games a few weeks ago. As those ladies and men tore down the slope, Shaun White excluded, I sorta held my breathe at the Hot, Cool, and Yours section of the slope. The man guiding us through this adventure was a gentleman, a Brit in fact, named Jack Nicholls.

Jack was consistent, simple, informative, and exciting – a rare four-headed beast in the analysis business. His accent rolled beautifully over mentions of 360’s, 720’s, and 1080’s. I felt like I had heard him before, but upon further revelation, I hadn’t. His familiarity was present because he wasn’t overzealous. He let the uniqueness of the sport dictate what was said. In short, the sport is what it was meant to be, the showpiece, he was just the tour guide.

It has been a joy discovering Jack Nicholls. A motorsport commentator by nature, he has the legit skills in various extreme sports including slopestyle and half-pipe events. He’s a jewel in the otherwise dull Olympic Broadcast Services quiver of arrows.

He’s relatively new to the announcing game, but is a breathe of fresh air. Via his website:

The first motorsport I ever saw was qualifying for the 1997 British Grand Prix. That short glimpse of the greatest sport in the world got a little 7 year old hooked on F1, and from then on-wards I hardly ever missed an F1 race, including saving the money to follow the circus to Monza, Spa, Melbourne and Valencia.

As soon as I turned 18 I began marshalling on the banks of the UK’s circuits, and soon decided I’d like to become involved in circuit public address commentary. After getting in contact with a number of working commentators in the summer of 2009 a couple were kind enough to help me out, and towards the end of the year opportunities started to crop up which allowed me to pick up the mic myself.

A self-made fella, who has caught the eye of the Olympic broadcast decision makers. I approve, and will continue to do so.

Keep your eyes peeled for Jack Nicholls, he’s a keeper.

3 comments on “Sochi 2014: The Joy Of Discovering Jack Nicholls”

  1. Wow…am I the only person on the face of the planet that thinks Jack Nicholls is awful? I’ve been scouring the internet looking to read up on his terrible performance, but all I’ve found is this piece on how great he’s doing.

    I’m watching the his halfpipe semi-final/final commentary as we speak, and he’s not commentating on jack. His commentary on every run is…
    1. “xyz placed 20th at Turrin and xyz at the X Games.”
    2. “Let’s see what he can do as he drops in as the Men’s Half-pipe final .”
    3. Dead silence during the run
    4. “That was a solid run. That’s the best run of his in the competition thus far.”
    5. “There are the fans.”
    6. “And let’s see his score.”

    What a dope.

    The point of a sports commentator is to give a running commentary of the event/sport itself. They’re supposed to describe each play or the event itself on a fast-moving event. We, as an uninformed audience, want to know what the tricks are called. What’s happening on screen. We want to know the degree of difficulty of each trick. What is the point if he’s not doing any of that?

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