Portage native Lisa Byington lands big gig: Olympic play-by-play

Japan 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Portage native Lisa Byington’s next assignment is about as big as it gets in sports broadcasting: the Olympics.

She’ll call play-by-play for soccer in Tokyo later this summer.

“We have had a couple of Olympic seminars and to start those off and to get all the announcers excited and ready for it, they do a highlight package of some of the great calls and the great moments of the Olympics of years past, and I did get chills, because you’re thinking, ‘This is the Olympics,'” Byington said.

Byington, a Portage Northern graduate, is something of an overnight success 20 years in the making. She was the first woman to call play-by-play for football on the Big Ten Network. Earlier this year, she was the first woman to call play-by-play for men’s basketball game in the NCAA Tournament.

Above, News 8 sports director Jack Doles asks Byington which of those assignments blew her mind the most. Her answer may surprise you.

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