‘XXX Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony’:
7:30 p.m. Friday, Channel 5
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.”