Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, when they were “Today” show co-hosts in 2006. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

With the start of spring training, NBC’s Olympics coverage is taking a page from baseball by going back to the bullpen.

Meredith Vieira will anchor the network’s Friday prime-time broadcast from Sochi in place of Matt Lauer, who filled in the previous three nights for Bob Costas.

Vieira will be the first woman to host NBC’s prime-time Olympics coverage, according to She co-hosted last week’s Opening Ceremonies with Lauer, her former co-host on the “Today” show.

Getting the night off from double duty brought out the daredevil in Lauer. He squeezed into a spandex uniform and onto a luge with  “Today” colleague Al Roker for a run down the Olympic course in Sochi, reprising their run at the 2006 Turin Games.

Costas is recovering from an eye infection that sidelined him from hosting coverage of the Games for the first time since 1988. NBC Olympics producer Jim Bell told the Associated Press that Costas is improving but is still sensitive to light.

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