The ESPN veteran is a commentator for ABC’s ‘Winter Games’ of love
“The biggest game is the game of love.”
So says Hannah Storm, and with all the sports she’s covered, it’s hard to argue with her take on “The Bachelor Winter Games.” The ESPN personality joins host Chris Harrison as a commentator for the ABC franchise’s newest iteration, which starts a two-week Tuesday and Thursday run on Feb. 13. Alums of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” compete against – and, of course, possibly find romance with – international singles at Vermont’s Hermitage Club.
“I had heard rumblings about it, and I thought it was a great idea,” the friendly Storm says of the show, which also involves sports anchor Ashley Brewer of Los Angeles’ KABC-TV and figure-skating veterans Nancy Kerrigan, Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner. “I love the idea of people competing on the field of play to win someone’s heart, so I thought it was a fun twist on the franchise. That was my first thought: ‘Wow, this sounds like a lot of fun.’ ”
Indeed, Storm confirms, “My approach was to just have a good time. It’s not what you would consider serious sports commentary, and these aren’t professional athletes. We were putting them in situations that, for the most part, they were completely unfamiliar with – so it was a huge challenge for them, and it made for some pretty hilarious moments. And there’s the whole aspect of human nature that’s a really interesting part of ‘The Bachelor,’ so I loved seeing how that played out.”
Also the filmmaker behind such projects as the recent Epix documentary “Danica,” Storm notes she strictly was involved in covering the “Bachelor Winter Games” sports elements, not in observing the potential joys and heartbreaks of the players’ courtships. During the taping, she was happy to find a solid colleague in Harrison, who was a sportscaster himself before making his name on a national level as a host of reality and game shows.
“I think Chris really enjoyed it,” Storm reflects. “I couldn’t have loved working with him more, and his sportscaster’s hat definitely shone through. He was really falling into the play-by-play, and I was just cracking up. I was like, ‘Chris, you are totally in your element!’ There was a lot of byplay back and forth, and I hope some of that makes it into the show.”
It’s no mystery to Storm – as it shouldn’t be to anyone – that “The Bachelor Winter Games” is being used specifically to counterprogram the Winter Olympics. “Listen, it’s a month when a lot of people are indoors and watching television,” she reasons, “and I think any kind of TV that has snow in it is attractive to watch, so to provide people with this kind of option is really smart.”