A bit of bittersweet news for lovers of the Olympics: Bob Costas, who has hosted Olympics coverage on NBC since 1992, is stepping away from that role. Mike Tirico will take over for Costas for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The move comes less than a year after Tirico left ESPN to join NBC. In some ways, the successor to Costas is fitting: Tirico was the first student to receive the Bob Costas Scholarship at the University of Syracuse, according to sports media reporter John Ourand.
Tirico was the first recipient of the Bob Costas Scholarship at Syracuse. Now he's replacing Costas on the Olympics. https://t.co/arke1C0xut— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) February 9, 2017
Ourand reports that Costas handing off Olympics hosting duties had been in the works since his last contract negotiations with NBC in 2012.
Lazarus said Costas first brought up the idea of stepping down from the host role during his contract negotiations in '12. At that point, according to Lazarus, Costas said, "I’m good to go through Sochi and Rio and do everything that I’ve been doing. After Rio, let’s reassess." Fast forward to early in the fall before an "SNF" telecast this season, Costas told him that he decided to pass the torch. “I said, ‘Are you sure? Why don't you think about it a little bit,’” Lazarus said. “He thought about it for another couple of weeks. We sat down again, and he said, ‘Yeah, that’s what I want to do.’"
Costas, 64, will also step away from the hosting "Sunday Night Football" as part of a decision to focus solely on big events like the Super Bowl and Triple Crown.
“He’ll have an on-going role around our big and iconic events,” NBC Broadcasting & Sports Chair Mark Lazarus said. “But in terms of day-to-day, he’s taking a step back as he heads towards slowing down his trajectory with us.”
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