Bob Costas
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Bob Costas to host NBC Olympics primetime, late night in Sochi

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Bob Costas is serving as the NBC Olympics primetime host for a U.S. TV record 10th time in Sochi. He’s also going to host late night coverage.

Costas, 61, pulled double duty once before, hosting primetime and late night in Sydney in 2000.

“With unmatched experience in the host chair, Bob’s historical perspective and expertise will serve as a foundation for our Sochi coverage both in primetime and late night,” said Jim Bell, Executive Producer of NBC Olympics. “There is no one better than Bob to lead us in telling the stories of the athletes and competition that captivate fans around the world.”

Costas has been the primetime host at every Games on NBC since 1992 — six summer and three winter. He was the late night host in Seoul in 1988, too. Jim McKay hosted eight times for ABC.

“The Olympics are a unique television event,” Costas said. “They involve classic sports coverage, of course, but also many elements of storytelling and travelogue aspects that are not part of the usual sports broadcast. They are a three-week miniseries which, if done well, should bring viewers not only compelling athletic performances, but a sense of the host city and country, and an appreciation of what is a truly global gathering.”

The Olympics begin on Feb. 6 on NBC with primetime coverage the night before the Opening Ceremony for the first time.

Maria Sharapova to join NBC Olympics in Sochi

Syria-born Olympian takes advocacy role at U.N. refugee agency

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GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency has chosen as a goodwill ambassador a Syrian teenage girl who helped save a boat carrying fellow refugees and later became an Olympic swimmer.

Yusra Mardini was appointed as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador on Thursday, joining other notables like actress Cate Blanchett and author Khaled Hosseini in the unpaid advocacy role.

UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said Mardini “represents the hopes, the fears and the incredible potential of the more than 10 million young refugees around the globe.”

Mardini and her sister Sarah jumped overboard and swam for hours alongside their overloaded boat to reach Greece from Turkey in 2015.

She swam on the first Refugee Olympic team in Rio last year and has discussed refugees’ challenges with leaders like Pope Francis and President Barack Obama.

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Rafael Nadal recreates famous 1992 Olympic cauldron lighting

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Rafael Nadal, owner of two Olympic gold medals, recently parroted arguably the most famous moment in Spanish Olympic history.

Nadal and Marc Lopez, the 2016 Olympic doubles champions, took up bows and arrows and joined archer Antonio Rebollo on Monday at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Stadium. It brought back memories of Rebollo’s unforgettable cauldron lighting from the only Olympics held in Spain.

Nadal is in Barcelona for an ATP Tour event as he prepares to vie for a 10th French Open title next month.

Rebollo, now 61 years old, was one of 200 hundred archers considered to light the cauldron in 1992. He learned that he was chosen for the role over four other finalists two hours ahead of time, according to an NBC Olympics profile in 1996.

The cauldron would be 195 feet away. Fearing Rebollo would miss the target, organizers instructed him to fire his arrow beyond the stadium walls. As the arrow soared, a technician lit the natural gas flame with a remote control.

The illusion worked. The true story wasn’t revealed for another 20 years.

“There were no fears,” Rebollo, a Barcelona native who contracted polio at age 8, told NBC two decades ago. “I was practically a robot. I focused on my positioning and reaching the target. That was all. … My feelings were taken from the people who described to me how they saw it. What they felt, their emotions, their cries. This is what made me realize what the moment actually meant.”

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