‘XXX Sum­mer Olympics Open­ing Cer­e­mony’:

7:30 p.m. Fri­day, Chan­nel 5

TV Week - - FRONT PAGE -

NBC’s Bob Costas read­ies to host the XXX Sum­mer Olympics in Lon­don, which kick off with the Open­ing Cer­e­mony Fri­day on Chan­nel 5.

NBC and its var­i­ous prop­er­ties will pro­vide more than 5,500 hours of cov­er­age of the 2012 Sum­mer Olympics run­ning through the Clos­ing Cer­e­mony on Aug. 12, of­fer­ing live and de­lay cov­er­age of all 26 sports and all 302 medal com­pe­ti­tions.

Costas will serve as prime-time host of the tele­casts. For Costas, 60, this Olympics rep­re­sents his 10th Games, Win­ter and Sum­mer (and ninth as prime-time host), dat­ing back to the 1988 Sum­mer Games in Seoul.

His fa­vorite all-time Olympics mo­ment, or as close as one gets for him, came in At­lanta in 1996, when Muham­mad Ali lit the Olympic torch at Turner Field to open the XXVI Sum­mer Games.

“It was such a well-kept se­cret,” Costas re­calls, “... and in truth Dick En­berg and I did not know. We had be­gun to sus­pect, but we didn’t know for sure.

“But when Ali kind of stepped out of the shad­ows, you heard a sound that you don’t of­ten hear in a gi­gan­tic, filled-to-ca­pac­ity sta­dium, and that was a gasp, an au­di­ble gasp that was then fol­lowed by a short bit of si­lence while peo­ple kind of pro­cessed this, and then this enor­mous roar both of ex­cite­ment and ap­pre­ci­a­tion and re­spect.”

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