Concerning Bob Costas's pull-out from the Olympics, Daniel D'Addario wrote this:
Costas had spent the early days of the Olympics sick in a manner that was particularly visible. Were he ill with bronchitis, say, he might have soldiered through, waiting for a commercial break to stick his head in a humidifier but with no visible signs of distress the audience could notice. With his eye infection, his malady was written across his face. Surely I’m not the only audience member who grabbed at my own eye in painful recognition.
And yet, until now, Costas has gone through with a job he’s both contractually bound to and, more notably, one he seems to enjoy. […] But he’s also a testament to the very sort of fortitude we celebrate in Olympic athletes. […]
Those who are sick in their workaday lives shouldn’t feel bad about taking days off, of course. But the biennal spotlight of the Olympic games is different than an office job; just like the athletes, Costas has only so many Olympics in which he’ll be able to participate, and he clearly wants to take part in as many as possible. […]
So much of NBC’s Olympics coverage is about constructing narratives around victory that often ring false. One gets the sense that Costas’s producers won’t be satisfied until they cover every bad thing that’s happened in an athlete’s life — and not every athlete, frankly, has overcome that much! There’s not always a redemption narrative that actually works. But Costas’s illness has cut through the Olympics cant. In persevering on-air and reserving comment on the matter until it was absolutely necessary, the anchor showed he’s actually learned from the champions he covers. ("Bob Costas's Red Scare," Salon)-----
What we need to know is that you can be a great Olympic athlete, without actually having had to overcome that much -- for a lot of us, if that's not new it's something we're hesitating to acknowledge, and perhaps becoming more inclined to just expunge/expel. More evidence of people volunteering to sacrifice their lives for the games, if you please!