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by Ken Schott

Parting Schotts

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Ken Schott blogs about college hockey & more

Winter Olympics: Tuesday's NBC highlights

As I like to do during the NFL season with the pregame shows highlights, I will try to do the same with NBC's press releases from its Winter Olympics coverage.

Here are the highlights from Tuesday. They are provided by the NBC Sports PR department.

Tuesday marked the first time since CBS presented the Nagano Olympic Winter Games in 1998 that someone other than Bob Costas hosted an Olympic primetime show. It is also the first time since 1988 that someone other than Costas hosted the Olympic primetime show on NBC, a remarkable 157 straight nights.

TODAY co-host and tonight’s Olympic primetime and late night host Matt Lauer on filling in for Bob Costas: “Bob’s been battling – that’s an understatement – he’s been playing hurt at these Olympic Games with an eye infection that’s traveled a little bit. I saw him in the hotel this morning. He looked a little like the loser in a prize fight. So if anyone deserves a night off, it’s Bob. Bob, if you’re watching, get better, relax, we’ll see you back here tomorrow night.”

Lauer (later in the primetime telecast): “Meanwhile I keep expecting Costas to follow in the footsteps of Willis Reed and hobble heroically in and take us through the second half, but so far, no action in the wings so we will move forward.”

Mary Carillo on figure skaters: “They are remarkable athletes – they have to make something very hard look very easy.”

Lauer on ballet elements in figure skating: “A handful of people can understand doing those things – the beauty, the grace, the strength, the precision – on a hardwood floor. Taking those skills and transferring them to the fine edge of a figure skate is almost unimaginable.”

Olympic snowboard halfpipe gold medalist Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland (in feature that was taped prior to the Sochi Games): “I just want to beat Shaun [White]. If he gets fourth, I want to get at least third. No, if he gets fourth, I want to win.”

Shaun White on placing fourth in the snowboard halfpipe final: “I’m disappointed in myself. I knew I had the run to win and I just, I don’t know. I’ve been here too long… I think I’ve just been thinking about it too much, and it just wasn’t my day.”

Podladtchikov after winning the gold medal over two-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White: “I love him and I love to watch him. He’s been my inspiration always.”

Cris Collinsworth on Shaun White placing fourth: “I’ve been at a lot of big sporting events and it just felt like it was setting up for one of those ‘you take it for the rest of your life’ kind of moments. Shaun White here, the greatest that ever lived at doing this, with one run to win the gold medal, maybe the last run of his career, who knows? And he starts down, and you could tell early on it wasn’t going to happen. It was sort of like watching Peyton Manning at the Super Bowl. Wait a minute now, the coronation was supposed to happen tonight and it just didn’t.

“There was tremendous pressure. The last couple of Olympics, he basically had victory runs on the second runs so he never really had to feel that Olympic pressure on the last run.

“The story is going to be he didn’t do it when he had the chance… It was a tough night for him tonight.”

Play-by-play voice Tom Hammond on Russian pairs’ team Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov: “It’s no question that they carry the pressure of expectations… the weight of their home country on their shoulders.”

Sliding sports and Formula One play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey on American luge bronze medalist Erin Hamlin, who won USA’s first-ever Olympic luge medal: “From Remsen, N.Y., and this little town has come alive and it’s all about Erin. The support is phenomenal – houses, businesses, shops, malls have got the signs up. Her friends and family gathered to watch the two runs. You can hear the cheers from Remsen here in Sochi. If support is all she needs, she’s got it.”

Diffey after Hamlin’s final bronze medal-winning run: “The drought is over. Erin Hamlin has not only delivered USA a World Championship, finally she has delivered the United States of America a luge singles medal.”

Bronze medalist Erin Hamlin on making U.S. luge history: “It’s amazing. It’s surreal really… I just had a blast. I came into this with no expectations and this is beyond what I could have hoped for.”

Luge analyst and technical director for USA Luge Duncan Kennedy on U.S. luger Kate Hansen’s Beyonce warm-up dance routine: “I love it, I think it’s a great way to get the blood moving, get yourself going. But the side of me that wears a coaching hat just wants to make sure she’s doing everything she can to get on the sharp end and stay there.”

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