NEW YORK Bob Costas will be back in Beijing for his seventh Olympics as prime-time host of NBC's coverage, but this time he'll be getting out a little more.
NBC announced its roster of announcers and commentators Wednesday for the Games, which begin Aug. 6. NBC's 106 on-air announcers have won 42 Olympic medals among them, including 25 gold medals.
Costas will be leaving the studio to appear more at Olympics venues, an approach tested out this summer when he was at U.S. Olympics trials for swimming and gymnastics, said NBC Sports spokesman Brian Walker. It will give viewers a better sense of place, he said.
NBC's roster includes a mix of old and new. Jim Lampley, who will anchor NBC's afternoon telecasts, is working his 14th Olympic games. Meanwhile, 2000 Olympics gold medalist Rulon Gardner is among NBC's additions, working as a commentator for the wrestling competition with play-by-play announcer Matt Devlin.
Famed gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi is also joining NBC's team as a commentator in his sport.
Cris Collinsworth, Costas' partner on Sunday night football, will join the Olympics crew as a roving correspondent. Mary Carillo, who will host NBC's late-night coverage, is doing segments introducing U.S. residents to Chinese culture. Essayist Jimmy Roberts will be back to fill a similar role.
Former ESPN voice Bill Patrick will make his debut as Olympic host, working on the MSNBC telecasts.
Former pro hockey player Bill Clement will be play-by-play announcer for table tennis, an event NBC believes may be a breakout sport in the Games. Clement, a former badminton champion in Canada, will be an analyst for that sport and also announce coverage of shooting events.
DOUBLE-AMPUTEE SPRINTER FAILS TO GET OLYMPIC TIME: Double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius fell short of the 400-meter qualifying time he needed Wednesday in Lucerne, Switzerland, to make the Olympics, though the personal best time he ran could still get him to Beijing in the relay.
The 21-year-old South African shrugged off a pre-race distraction of threatened legal action against the IAAF and finished third in his heat in 46.25 seconds.
Though still outside the Olympic individual qualifying standard of 45.55, it was 11 hundredths faster than his previous best.
"I am so excited and so happy. I really enjoyed tonight," Pistorius said. "It was always going to be a very difficult task to achieve the individual time but there is still the hope of the relay."
South Africa selectors will choose their team for the Aug. 8-24 Beijing Games by the weekend and can invite him to join the six-man roster for the 1,600-meter relay.
To do so would defy a public request from the IAAF because the body believes his prosthetic legs are a threat to his own and other athletes' safety.
"I think it is the IAAF's last desperate attempt to try to get me not to qualify," Pistorius said.
In May he won an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn an IAAF ban which prevented him competing against able-bodied runners.
HAMM'S SPOT CONFIRMED: Morgan Hamm's spot on the U.S. Olympic team is secure.
USA Gymnastics said Wednesday that a warning Hamm received earlier this month for getting a prescribed anti-inflammatory shot without proper clearance from anti-doping authorities did not affect his qualification to the team.
"It's really a relief," Hamm told The Associated Press from Colorado Springs, Colo., where he is at a training camp with the rest of the U.S. team. "Now I can concentrate on gymnastics without having any other distractions."