Mike Tirico To Succeed Bob Costas As NBC Olympic Host

Longtime Olympic television coverage host Bob Costas will be stepping down from his post, with Mike Tirico taking over as the main face of NBC Olympic coverage beginning in 2018.

Costas has hosted NBC’s Olympic broadcasts since way back in 1992, comprising 11 different Olympic Games: Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Salt Lake City 2002, Athens 2004, Torino 2006, Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010, London 2012, Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016. That also means Costas is one of a few Olympic fixtures to actually pre-date Michael Phelps, who first competed at the 2000 Olympics and announced his retirement after the Rio 2016 Games.

Sportscaster Tirico will take over the hosting duties, following in the footsteps of someone he says he looked up to early in his life and career. Tirico was also the first-ever recipient of a scholarship named after Costas at Syracuse University. Per The Today Show:

“Someone who I grew up idolizing,” Tirico said about Costas on NBC’s TODAY morning show Thursday. “I went to Syracuse in large part for college because Bob did. I received a Bob Costas scholarship 30 years ago.”

Costas praised Tirico’s abilities to carry on his Olympic hosting legacy:

“I’m going to be like the rest of the country, watching Mike Tirico, who will be an able successor in Korea for the Winter Olympics beginning a year from today,” Costas said on TODAY.

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Swimmer A

I’m alright with this

IMs for days

Can Phelps or some other retired swimmer replace Rowdy please?


Mel needs to take Rowdy’s position. No doubt about it

Stan Crump

I think Gold Medal Mel would do a great job!

Tom from Chicago

He knows not to panic on the first lap. He is breathing to his right, so he’ll see him coming home.

Joel Lin

Guys, love Mel, but some respect please. Rowdy is a legend. He was the greatest living male swimmer in the early 1980s. He’s been a tireless Make a Splash program advocate. He’s been a great ambassador for the sport. He’s also insanely populate amongst non-swimmer geeks. My elderly mother-in-law, who couldn’t care less about swimming, loves him. He’s an icon among the casual fans of swimming which come can go every 4 years. That matters because those are the viewers into the tens of millions for NBC. Dan Hicks & Rowdy Gaines with Michelle Tafoya doing deck commentary is as good as it gets. Let’s be grateful for what they contribute to make our sport so widely exposed every Trials… Read more »


Greatest living male swimmer of the early 1980’s: seems you’ve forgotten Vladimir Salnikov and Michael Gross.

Joel Lin

I haven’t.

Salnikov was the king of the 1500m. He was the first under 15:00 in 1980. But that was really his only domain.

Gross – that’s spot on, but I think relevant for, say, 1983-86. He was definitely the swimmer of the Games in 1984

Rowdy was the king of the 100 & 200 free and the best male swimmer in the world from 1980-82. He would have won 5 golds in 1980. He was the king — hard stop.

Lane Four

Four golds, not five. There was no 4X100 free relay in 1980. IOC removed it from the 1976 and 1980 Olympics and put it back in by 1984. And I agree about Mel. He would rock the color commentary.

Joel Lin

Nice catch on the 4×100 relay…I didn’t know that. Missed the 1976 one too! Great trivia.

Lane Four

Thank Goodness the IOC came to their senses and put it back in. Can you imagine the 4×100 not in the 08 Olympics? I know that I can’t.

Years of Plain Suck

During the Rio Olympics, I made a special point to watch the swimming coverage on the NBCSports App rather than on NBC TV. That way I got to hear the delightful Australian duo provide the commentary and color, and I was spared the “Rowdy and Dan” show.

Whoever replaces Rowdy Gaines will be an improvement. Maybe Tiffany Stewart will do it (she’s the co-founder of SwimSwam).


I don’t disagree with Rowdy’s greatness. I disagree with how he commentates. Like a lot of sports commentators, they seem to forget what it’s like to be an athlete and say some of the dumbest things (from an athlete and coach’s perspective). He critiques some of the weirdest things during races and in my opinion he talks too much. Commentate the race and leave the other blather for after the race. Sorry… got on a soap box a little bit, but Rowdy annoys me. I too go check out the foreign commentators to hear actual race commentating and less than ear splitting excitement.


Indeed. The Aussie commentators on the NBC online stream for the Olympics were great.


swim legend =/= good sports commentator


Indeed. I’d like to just watch a race for once, instead of have my senses saturated with incessant chatter that builds to yelling by the end of the every race.

Joel Lin

Fantastic choice.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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