Apolo Ohno Hosts Olympic Tribute on PBS's A CAPITAL FOURTH Tonight, 7/4
Today, July 4th, America's biggest Independence Day celebration kicks off our country's 236th birthday with a special salute to our Olympians and Paralympians as they prepare for the London games. Eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Anton Ohno will host the tribute to Team USA, honoring present and past athletes of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, and featuring five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams conducting his "Olympic Fanfare and Theme."
Acclaimed British tenor Russell Watson will perform "Because We Believe" (written and performed by Andre Bocelli for the closing ceremony of the 2006 Olympic games in Turin, Italy) in celebration of the Olympic spirit and to welcome the athletes to his native England. With the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop, more than a dozen competing Olympians will be cheered on by a crowd of hundreds of thousands, including:
Khatuna Lorig - Archery (and most recently credited as Jennifer Lawrence's teacher for the recurve bow for HUNGER GAMES);
Jennifer Gillom - Basketball (Olympic Gold medal winner and assistant coach to the U.S. Women's Team);
Sarah Robles - Weightlifting (and top ranked U.S. women's weightlifter in ALL weight classes and top U.S. finisher in men and women in 2011 World Championships);
Daryl Homer - Fencing (ranked #1 in the U.S.);
Rachel Dawson – Women's Field Hockey (Captain of the U.S. team);
Bobby Lea - Cycling (competing in his second Olympics);
Marti Malloy - Judo (Gold winner in the USO Judo National Championships);
Arielle Martin - BMX Cycling (and whose husband is currently serving in the Army);
Amanda Clark - Sailing (competing in her second Olympics);
David Wagner and Nick Taylor - Wheelchair Tennis (doubles partners who won gold medals at the 2004 Summer Paralympics and the 2008 games);
Corey Cogdell – Shooting (Bronze medal winner); and
Suzanne Stettinius – Modern Pentathlon (and whose father is a retired Navy Captain).
A CAPITOL FOURTH is the country's premier birthday party, celebrating our nation's independence as well as the many things that make America great, which, this year, includes our Olympians. The multi award-winning event will air live in HD from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on PBS tonight, July 4 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network. A CAPITOL FOURTH can also be heard live in stereo over NPR member stations nationwide.
The event is hosted by Emmy Award-winner Tom Bergeron (DANCING WITH THE STARS), and also features: AMERICAN IDOL winner Phillip Phillips; two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick performing songs from the hit Broadway musical NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT with four-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara; acclaimed Broadway and television starMegan Hilty (SMASH); singer-songwriter Javier Colon (winner of THE VOICE); country music star Josh Turner; R&B superstars Kool & The Gang; and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly, topped off by the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation.
The program is a co-production of Jerry Colbert of Capital Concerts and WETA, Washington, D.C. For the event, executive producer Jerry Colbert and producer Michael Colbert have assembled award-winning production teams that feature the top Hollywood talent behind some of television's most prestigious entertainment awards shows. The team includes: Emmy award-winning producer Walter C. Miller, whose credits include the GRAMMY AWARDS and COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS; award-winning director Paul Miller whose credits include THE COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS and SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE; and veteran television writer Jon Macks.
About Capital Concerts
Capital Concerts is the production force behind two of television's longest-running and highest-rated live programs commemorating America's most important holidays. THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT, the nation's tribute to our men and women in uniform, and A CAPITOL FOURTH, our country's biggest birthday party, have consistently ranked among the highest rated programs on PBS over the past decade. Both holiday specials have been honored with over 70 awards including the New York Film Festival Award, the Telly Award, the Golden Cine Award, the Videographer Award, the National Education Association Award, the Aurora Award, the Christopher Award, the Communicator's Award, the AXIEM Award, the Omni Award and the Writer's Guild of America Award.
A CAPITOL FOURTH is made possible by grants from The Boeing Company, the National Park Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Department of the Army, PBS and public television stations nationwide. Air travel is provided by American Airlines.