NBC Vet Takes Over Olympics Full-Time; BMW Builds U.S. Bobsleds

(ATR) Jim Bell leaves "Today" show to direct NBC Olympics coverage ... German car giant engineers two-man sled ... Colangelo reelected USA Basketball chair ... More inside this Olympic Newsdesk ...

NBC Vet Takes Over Olympics Full-Time

"Today" show veteran Jim Bell will direct NBC’s coverage of the Olympics full-time following his success at London 2012.

After more than seven years running the flagship morning franchise, he was named Tuesday as executive producer of NBC Olympics.

Bell, who has covered every Games since Barcelona 1992, takes on the Olympics gig full-time as NBC Sports ramps up its planning for Sochi 2014.

"London just happened but in 13 months, it will be go-time in Sochi," he told The New York Times.

"We don’t want to just look at London and say, ‘Let’s do that again,’ but we want to look at Russia and then Rio and see how we can challenge ourselves to get to the next level."

Bell served as coordinating producer under Dick Ebersol at Olympics prior to London 2012.

German Car Giant Builds U.S. Bobsleds

BMW is building the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation a new two-person sled as part of its sponsorship of the USBSF.

According to an Associated Press report, a prototype was tested earlier this year by top athletes at the 2002 Olympics track in Park City, Utah.

Whether the sled will see its first competition action during this season’s World Cup – or will be ready in time for Sochi 2014 – remains to be seen.

"I happen to think these are going to be very good," USBSF CEO Darrin Steele told AP.

"They've helped us think outside the box on what they can do to extend the sponsorship past cash and tap into what they do really well, and that's technology and high-performance. They took a chance with this."

USA won four-man gold at the Olympics in 2010 and two-woman gold in 2002 but has not won the two-man title since 1936.

Colangelo Reelected USA Hoops Chair

Jerry Colangelo will captain USA Basketball through the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The longtime NBA executive was reelected Tuesday as chairman of USA Basketball’s board of directors for 2013 through 2016, a term that also includes 2014 FIBA World Cups in Spain for men and Turkey for women.

"I'm proud of the many successes USA Basketball's coaches and players achieved over the past four years, and I'm looking forward to helping keep that momentum going," he said in a statement.

After a disappointing bronze medal finish at Athens 2004, the U.S. men are 62-1 since Colangelo came aboard in 2005, including gold medals at Beijing 2008, the 2010 world champs and London 2012.

U.S. women won their fifth straight Olympics gold in London, keeping alive a streak of 41 straight wins at the Games.

Reported by Matthew Grayson

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