Bob Costas Steps Aside From Olympic Coverage, Eye Problem Grows Worse


It was only a matter of time.

Last night I posted that Bob Costas, the NBC sportscaster, looked dreadful as both eyes were swollen and red.  He discussed with honesty as the 2014 Winter Olympics opened last Thursday that his situation was uncomfortable but with medicine should soon clear up.  It did not, and instead took a turn for the worse.  The swollen red eye that forced the sportscaster to wear glasses spread to both eyes, and he looked dreadful.

Today it was announced the Costas will step down from Olympic coverage for NBC due to the eye situation.  The absence will end Costas’s streak of anchoring 157 consecutive Olympic prime-time broadcasts for NBC, dating to the Summer Games in Barcelona, Spain, in 1992.

The infection in Bob Costas’s left eye appeared Thursday and spread to his right eye Sunday. When he woke up Tuesday in Sochi, Russia, with both eyes swollen and crusted shut, he told NBC that he could not host that evening’s prime-time Olympics broadcast.

“Both eyes were red and angry on Sunday and Monday,” Costas said by telephone Tuesday morning. Matt Lauer, who is in Sochi as the co-host of “Today,” will fill in.

Costas has been wearing glasses, instead of contact lenses, since NBC’s Winter Olympic coverage began Thursday night.

“It was increasingly uncomfortable with each passing night, but I could cope with it,” he said. “But last night until today, it got to where I couldn’t look in the bathroom light without squinting and blinking and my eye watering.”

On Tuesday, after waking up, he gingerly washed the eyes “to open them to a slit.”

He added: “You hear it called pinkeye or conjunctivitis, but, as a practical matter, I haven’t had it before. You have swelling and stinging and burning and eventually tearing. And last night was the most difficult night of the five. But when I left I fully expected to be back tonight.”

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