Social media was a buzz during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympics— particularly the coverage offered by the American broadcaster NBC, whose commentators told millions of people that Alexander the Great came from the nation they referred to as “Macedonia” which has absolutely nothing to do with historical fact.
The astonishing point during coverage was the fact that despite the fact that International Olympic Committee refers to the nation as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia— which is even indicated on the sign the athlete was carrying as the FYROM delegation entered the stadium, NBC used an on-screen graphic that listed the nation as “Macedonia” and the commentators went clearly off-script– and far away from historical fact.
The NBC commentators— including Greek American Bob Costas— noted after referring to the country as “Macedonia” that the IOC “recognizes the nation as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and went on to share the inaccurate history that Alexander the Great came from this nation and won Olympic medals in the ancient games.
Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, and Hoda Kotb were hosts, with Costas, NBC’s main primetime Olympics host.
The error enraged television viewers and many turned to social media to share their views with the American network.
The NBC commentators just presented the country of Macedonia (FYROM) as the birthplace of Alexander The Great.
Learn some history. #Rio2016
— Manos Xanthogeorgis (@mxantho) August 6, 2016