Why isn't Bob Costas hosting the Winter Olympics for NBC?

Why isn't Bob Costas hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics?

The longtime broadcast personality has hosted every Olympic Games on NBC -- 11 Olympics, to be exact -- since the Barcelona Summer Olympics in 1992, but he's been noticeably absent in the opening days of the network's first several days of coverage of the PyeongChang games.

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Costas actually announced his departure from Olympics coverage last year -- an off year for the Olympics -- stating that the reason for his decision to step aside was simply that he "felt now was the right time to step away."

"It has been both a privilege and an incredible personal and professional experience to have been part of NBC's Olympic coverage all these years," he said in a statement last February. "I'm especially appreciative of all the talented and dedicated people I worked for and with on those broadcasts. I always felt that, in a certain sense, I was carrying the ball for them."

See photos of Bob Costas:

24 PHOTOS
Bob Costas out and about
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Bob Costas out and about
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Event Master of ceremonies Bob Costas attends the 32nd Annual Great Sports Legends dinner at New York Hilton Midtown on September 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Bob Costas speaks onstage during the 32nd Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner To Benefit The Miami Project/Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis at New York Hilton Midtown on September 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis )
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Sportscaster Bob Costas participates in Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at Cantor Fitzgerald on September 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Sportscaster Bob Costas attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at Cantor Fitzgerald on September 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 12: Bob Costas and Jill Costas attend 2017 Education Through Music Children's Benefit Gala on June 12, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NBC SPORTS EVENTS -- Pictured: Bob Costas (right), who has served as NBC?s primetime host for a U.S. record 11 Olympics, passes the Olympic torch to Mike Tirico (left), who will make his debut as NBC?s primetime Olympic host at The Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, in 2018 -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC Sports/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11: Sunday Night Football commentator Bob Costas sits on set before the NFL game between the New England Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. New England won 23-21. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
2016 SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES -- Pictured: Bob Costas, Primetime Host -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 407 -- Pictured: Sportscaster Bob Costas during an interview on August 23, 2016 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
2016 SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES -- Pictured: Bob Costas (center) poses with U.S. Gymnasts (l-r) Simone Biles and Aly Raisman on August 17, 2016 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: Sportscaster Bob Costas, Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo and Autism Speaks co-founder Bob Wright attend Lead Off For A Cure: Autism Speaks and Major League Baseball join forces at The Metropolitan Museum Of Art on May 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Autism Speaks)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: Bob Costas and Jill Sutton attend Lead Off For A Cure: Autism Speaks and Major League Baseball join forces at The Metropolitan Museum Of Art on May 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Autism Speaks)
PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 16: Bob Costas announces for NBC before the Arizona Cardinals game against the Green Bay Packers at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Packers 26-20. (Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 16: Bob Costas of NBC Sports talk before the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Sportscaster Bob Costas and wife Jill Sutton arrive at the AFI FEST 2015 Presented By Audi Centerpiece Gala Premiere of Columbia Pictures' 'Concussion' at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 10, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 10: (L-R) Actor Will Smith, Jill Sutton, Sportcaster Bob Costas and director/writer Peter Landesman attend the Centerpiece Gala Premiere of Columbia Pictures' 'Concussion' during AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 10, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI)
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 13: Television announcer Bob Costas watches the Houston Texans warm up before playing against the New England Patriots on December 13, 2015 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Bob Costas attends the Sports Business Awards 2015 at The New York Marriott Marquis on May 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 11: Bob Costas of NBC covers the Andy Lee Peter versus Quillin fight during the Premier Boxing Champions Middleweight bout at Barclays Center on April 11, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0200 -- Pictured: (l-r) Sportscaster Bob Costas during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on January 22, 2015 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
December 7, 2014: San Diego, California; USA; NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas during the NFL football game between the New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. (Photo by Tom Walko/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Sportscaster Bob Costas (L) and Creator of TV show 'Mad Men' Matthew Weiner attend the 24th Annual Broadcasting & Cable Hall Of Fame Awards at The Waldorf Astoria on October 20, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 28: NBC Sports personality Bob Costas does the pregame broadcast from the sidline in the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints at AT&T Stadium on September 28, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
28 SEPTEMBER 2014: NBC Sports Cris Collinsworth and Bob Costas during a regular season NFL football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by Ray Carlin/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
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"It's been a wonderful run," he continued. "But I just felt now was the right time to step away, and I'm grateful that NBC left that decision to me."

The 65-year-old made sure to note that he's not retiring, but rather entering the "Tom Brokaw phase" of his illustrious career. In other words, he'll now have more freedom to do selective special coverage for the network.

Replacing Costas is Mike Tirico, who contributed coverage at the 2016 Rio Olympics before joining NBC full-time last year. He had worked at ESPN for 25 years from 1991 through 2016. He covered Monday Night Football for 10 years and has covered a variety of major sporting events throughout his decades-long career.

In fact, as People notes, Tirico being chosen to replace Costas as the host of the Olympics has a special meaning: Tirico was the first recipient of the University of Syracuse's Bob Costas Scholarship back in 1987.

See photos of Mike Tirico:

16 PHOTOS
Mike Tirico out and about
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Mike Tirico out and about
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 29: NBC's announcer Mike Tirico gets ready for the Sunday night NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 29, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBCUniversal Press Tour, August 2017 -- 'The Winter Olympics' cast -- Pictured: (l-r) Mike Tirico, Primetime Host, NBC Olympics; Jim Bell, President, NBC Olympics Production & Programming; Apolo Ohno, Short Track Speed Skating Analyst -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Mike Tirico and Al Roker on Thursday, July 13, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 25: Sportscaster Mike Tirico poses for a portrait during the Team USA PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics portraits on April 25, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
RANCHO MIRAGE, CA - MARCH 31: Judy Rankin the Golf Channel Analyst and Mike Tirico the Golf Channel Host on set during the second round of the 2017 ANA Inspiration held on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at the Mission Hills Country Club on March 31, 2017 in Rancho Mirage, California. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBC New York Midseason Press Day, March 2017 -- Pictured: Mike Tirico 'Golf/Olympics' on NBC Sports -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 11: NBC/Golf Channel set at The Perch with Mike Tirico during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on May 11, 2017, in Ponte Vedra Beach . (Photo by Cy Cyr/PGA TOUR)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 02: NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBCUniversal Portrait Studio, March 2017 -- Pictured: Mike Tirico, 'Golf / Olympics' at the Four Seasons Hotel New York. (Photo by Maarten de Boer/NBC/NBC via Getty Images)
25 SEP 2016: NBC Sports Sunday Night Football announcer Mike Tirico on the field prior a NFL game between the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Cowboys won 31-17. (Photo by Ray Carlin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHASKA, MN - OCTOBER 02: TV personality Mike Tirico looks on during singles matches of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club on October 2, 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11: Sportscaster Mike Tirico sits on the Sunday Night Football set before the NFL game between the New England Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. New England won 23-21. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 1: Hubie Brown and Mike Tirico analyze during the game between the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 1, 2016 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Anchor Al Roker and Mike Tirico appear on NBC's 'TODAY' show at the Rio Olympics on Monday, August 8, 2016 -- (Photo by: Joe Scarnici/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
COLLEGE PARK, MD - FEBRUARY 24: ESPN announcer Mike Tirico on the air before a college basketball game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Wisconsin Badgers at the XFinity Center on February 24, 2015 in College Park, Maryland. The Terrapins won 59-53. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 16:ESPN TV Sportcaster Mike Tirico attends the inaugural Tony LaRussa Leaders and Legends Gala benefiting Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation at MGM Grand on November 16, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic)
SYRACUSE, NY - DECEMBER 2: ESPN commentator, Mike Tirico talks on camera before the game between the Syracuse Orange and the Florida Gators at the Carrier Dome on December 2, 2011 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Nate Shron/Getty Images)
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