Robert Dominic Ventre II
Staff WriterA recognized Olympic star will be unable to attend Tuesday night's primetime telecast due to ill-health, though this particular star isn't one of the competitors. Bob Costas, for the first time since 1988, has announced that he will be unable to host the NBC Olympic telecast, thanks to an eye infection which has now spread to both eyes. Costas' health has been a major talking point during the Sochi Olympics, since taking the air with glasses and a red and watering left eye. Matt Lauer, host of Today, will act as his replacement. Costas spoke with Lauer over the phone on Today and, when asked how he was doing, gave further details:
Costas: “Well, even worse than when you saw me this morning, Sochi time. So, reluctantly, I was trying to throw a complete game here, but I think we’re going to have to go to the bullpen. I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not, but you’re Mariano Rivera, at least tonight.”
Lauer: “So, I’m going to step in for you tonight, the master of Olympic primetime?”
Costas: “I believe that’s it. Let’s hope it’s only tonight because right now I’m walking around and might as well be playing Marco Polo. I have no idea where I am.” Lauer asked the celebrated sportscaster if he had any advice to pass on, having been the master of Olympic broadcasting for over twenty years, with only Jim Nantz acting as host on any other network when he hosted the Nagano Olympics in 1998: “Just remember, Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov,” Costas said to Lauer. “There’s your Russian dancing pair.” Lauer was grateful, adding that he plans on preparing himself to step into Costas' shoes as NBC's Olympic broadcaster by “... doing the shots of vodka, starting in 15 minutes.” This was in response to Costas enjoying vodka alongside fellow on-air personality Mary Carillo during last night's episode of “Olympic Late Night”. Costas: “My eyes can't get any redder, no matter what I do,” Carillo: “I'll drink to that,” It seems Costas may have jinxed himself, and is now resting, hoping that his pinkeye will clear in time. Get well soon, Bob!
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