Why Isn't Bob Costas Hosting the Olympics This Year? And Learn More About the Man Taking His Place

When NBC’s 2018 Winter Olympics primetime coverage began Thursday evening, many longtime viewers noticed a familiar face missing: sportscaster Bob Costas, who has hosted every Olympic Games since 1992.

In his place was Mike Tirico, who joined NBC in 2017 after a long career at ESPN. Tirico previously helped out on Olympic coverage during the 2016 Olympics in Rio, when he had daytime duties and hosted the closing ceremonies.

The move to replace Costas with this specific successor is fitting, since Tirico was the first student to receive the Bob Costas Scholarship at Syracuse University —  Costas’s alma mater — back in 1987.

Keep Following PEOPLE’s Complete Coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

“It has been both a privilege and an incredible personal and professional experience to have been part of NBC’s Olympic coverage all these years,” Costas said in a statement announcing his departure last year.

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“I’m especially appreciative of all the talented and dedicated people I worked for and with on those broadcasts,” he added. “I always felt that, in a certain sense, I was carrying the ball for them. It’s been a wonderful run, but I just felt now was the right time to step away and I’m grateful that NBC left that decision to me.”

Olympic viewers will be in good hands, however: Tirico has decades of experience, and has hosted a wide variety of sporting events, such as The Open, The Ryder Cup and Breeders’ Cup horse racing. He also served as play-by-play announcer for Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football.

 

In all, 65-year-old Costas has hosted 11 Olympics televised by NBC over the last three decades (he was also a late-night host at the 1988 games in Seoul). According to sports media reporter John Ourand, Costas was planning the Olympic exit since his last contract negotiations in 2012.

In his statement, Costas reflected on his Olympic hosting career, and said his favorite moment was watching legendary boxer Muhammad Ali light the flame at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, despite the legendary boxer having Parkinson’s disease.

“Somehow even in that condition,” Costas said, according to ABC, “he was just as charismatic and magnetic as he’s always been.”

With Costas’ Olympic duties at an end, it is probably safe to say his least favorite moment happened during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, when he famously kept up his reporting duties while battling a pinkeye that captured the nation’s attention.

“My eyes can’t get any redder, no matter what I do,” Costas joked while taking a vodka shot on air with fellow sportscaster Mary Carrillo in attempt to make light of the situation.

“I’ll drink to that!” she replied with a laugh before they both emptied their glasses.

Mourinho calls on his players to fight for second place

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho attempted to discuss the club’s position in the Premier League following their loss to Newcastle.

The Magpies managed to grab a single goal which was enough to secure them all three points in their bid to avoid relegation this season.

United meanwhile failed to not only close the gap on fierce rivals and league leaders Manchester City but also failed to open up a gap on the teams below them.

Mourinho will certainly be furious with his players following the result, particularly as they struggled to even score a single goal.

Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez were guilty of missing chances at crucial moments and the Portuguese manager warned his players about the future.

The Red Devils face both Chelsea and Liverpool in their next three Premier League matches in what will surely prove a difficult period to navigate through.

Jose will certainly aim to improve his record with the club vs opponents in the top six as he has been disappointing so far since arriving at Old Trafford.

Manchester United fans are yet to see their players truly dominate one of their title rivals under the Portuguese boss’s management.

Wins against both teams will be crucial if Jose Mourinho wishes to build up a gap on the teams below them and secure second place.

Should the results go against his favour, United could suddenly find themselves out of the Champions League spots in what will certainly be considered a disaster.

The Red Devils have been in second place for much of the season and anything less will represent regression in a manner similar to what Louis Van Gaal experienced in his second campaign in charge of the club.

This Island Just Became The First Place In The World To Repeal Same-Sex Marriage

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Bermuda has become the first national territory in the world to roll back same-sex marriage.

The British overseas territory's governor signed legislation into law Wednesday night that replaces same-sex marriages with domestic partnerships.

Rights groups said the move was unprecedented on the world stage, and stripped same-sex couples of the right to marry, while politicians in Britain expressed profound disappointment, calling it a “backwards step” for human rights in Bermuda.

Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global, said: “Despite this deplorable action, the fight for marriage equality in Bermuda will continue until the day when every Bermudian is afforded the right to marry the person they love.”

The island's minister of home affairs said the law gave same-sex couples “equivalent” rights to heterosexual married couples.

Same-sex couples had been able to marry on the remote North Atlantic Ocean island – home to around 65,000 people – since a supreme court ruling there in May last year, which led to protests on the socially conservative territory.

The previous year, two-thirds of voters had rejected same-sex marriage in a referendum, although turnout was low at below 50%.

Then last December, Bermuda's senate and house of assembly passed legislation by wide margins to replace same-sex marriage with domestic partnerships.

Bermuda's tourism authority warned last year that the proposed law posed an “unnecessary threat” to the tourism industry, the island's second biggest.

“It’s not only LGBT travellers that care about equal rights based on sexual orientation. Our research indicates many companies, consumers, and travelers, including the overwhelming majority of the younger visitors powering Bermuda’s growth, care about this issue,” Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Kevin Dallas wrote in a letter to lawmakers last December.

But on Wednesday, the island's governor, British diplomat John Rankin, said in a brief that “after careful consideration in line with my responsibilities under the constitution, I have today given assent to the Domestic Partnership Act 2017.”

Bermuda's minister of home affairs, Walton Brown, said in a longer statement that the new law gave same-sex couples the “equivalent” rights of married heterosexual couples, including over inheritance, access to property rights, and the ability to make medical decisions on a partner's behalf.

“While the majority of Bermudians do not agree with same-sex marriage – as evidenced by the referendum – it is the government’s belief that this Act addresses this position while also complying with the European courts by ensuring that recognition and protection for same-sex couples are put in place,” Brown said.

“The Act is intended to strike a fair balance between two currently irreconcilable groups in Bermuda, by restating that marriage must be between a male and a female while at the same time recognising and protecting the rights of same-sex couples.”

The minister added that the same-sex couples married between last May's supreme court decision and the new law coming into effect would continue to be recognised as being married.

Bermuda's official status is as a British overseas territory, meaning it is self-governing but the UK has responsibility for foreign policy and defence.

In the UK, opposition politician Chris Bryant said that British foreign secretary Boris Johnson had not opted to intervene in the Bermudian legislation being passed, something that he said “totally undermines” British efforts to advance LGBT rights.

After Bryant raised the issue in Parliament on Thursday morning, UK government minister Harriett Baldwin said: “We are obviously disappointed about the removal of same-sex marriage in Bermuda.”

She said that after “full and careful consideration” of Bermuda's constitutional and international obligations, Johnson had decided that it would “not be appropriate” to block the legislation, something she said only took place in exceptional circumstances.

Bryant responded by saying: “However the government tries to dress this up, it is a backwards step for human rights in Bermuda and in the overseas territories.”