SOCHI, Russia – Bob Costas returned as host for NBC’s prime-time Olympic coverage Monday night, if not exactly clear-eyed, at least with a sharpened sense of respect for the colleagues and crew who covered for him in a six-day absence.
The doctors told me the infection has to run its course, which is 2 to 3 weeks, which covers the entire Olympics. It’s the all-time perfect bad timing, but what can you do? It’s a curve ball and you’ve got to go with it, Costas said, even though I couldn’t spot the rotation on a curve ball right now.
Traces of his bout with viral conjunctivitis were still visible – the infection began in his left eye and spread quickly to the right – and both are still reddened.
I’m better than I was, he said, but not as good as I’d like to be.
Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira filled in, the first time anyone except Costas had hosted an Olympic primetime telecast on any American network since 1998.