Sochi Olympics

Lauer to Costas in Sochi: 'You taking the red-eye home?' 

Feb. 21, 2014 at 9:48 AM ET

Bob Costas, sporting a pair of dark sunglasses due to lingering effects of an eye infection, offered his opinions on the Games in Sochi before Matt Lauer had some fun at his expense.
TODAY
Bob Costas, sporting a pair of dark sunglasses due to lingering effects of an eye infection, offered his opinions on the Games in Sochi before Matt Lauer had some fun at his expense.

If Bob Costas thought he was going to make it out of Sochi without any more jokes about his eye infection, he was wrong. 

On TODAY Friday, Matt Lauer had one last question for the NBC Olympic prime-time host about his travel plans after the Games conclude on Sunday. 

"You taking the red-eye home?"

"Did I walk into that or what?'' said Costas, who was wearing a pair of dark sunglasses. "You don’t even care when I fly home, as long as I’m your set-up man. You don’t care if I hitchhike home." 


Costas, who said that he was "miserable" during the whole ordeal, has been wearing glasses throughout his time in Sochi to shield his red and irritated eyes. Lauer filled in for him for three days last week, and then Meredith Vieira took over prime-time hosting duties over the weekend. 

"I’m grateful to you and Meredith for filling in, and feeling as if I wasn’t holding my end up for those six days when people worked so hard,'' Costas told Lauer Friday. "Plus, I had Latvia in my luge fantasy league, and that didn’t work out either. So the whole thing has been a complete washout." 

Costas also gave his take on the controversy over the women's individual figure skating competition and the heartbreaking overtime loss on Thursday by the U.S. women's hockey team against Canada. In addition, he talked about the 12 new events in Sochi, which were mainly taken from the extreme sports world.

Before the Olympics, Costas said in an appearance on TODAY that he thought “the president of the IOC should be Johnny Knoxville, because basically, this stuff is just ‘Jackass’ stuff that they invented and called Olympic sports." 

On Friday, Costas acknowledged "people got a little upset'' and revised his opinion. "The slopestyle and everything else, not only is it athletic; it’s daring, there’s audacity involved, it’s entertaining — it’s all good." 

While his personal experience at the Olympics may not have been the most enjoyable, Costas gave Sochi a favorable review overall. 

"They did a good job, all the political differences aside,'' he said. "We have to keep in mind the backdrop, the political backdrop, the suppression of human rights, what’s going on in Ukraine, the tug of war between the U.S. and Russia. These are Vladimir Putin’s games, make no mistake about that. 

"Having said all that, the venues have been terrific, logistically things have run well, the Athletes’ Village people rave about, all the athletes say they’ve had a good time, [and] the visitors say they’ve had a good time. So I’d say in that respect, it’s been a success." 


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