What's buzzing:

Fourth-Place Medal

President Obama explains to Bob Costas why he didn't attend the Sochi Olympics

Mike Oz
Fourth-Place Medal

View photo

.

(NBC)

President Barack Obama went one-on-one with NBC Sports anchor Bob Costas in an interview before the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony aired for the primetime audience in the U.S.

Obama — a tired-looking Obama, we should add — talked with Costas from the White House, not from Sochi. (The interview was recorded on Thursday.) Costas addressed it in his first question to the president. Why didn't he attend the Olympics? And why didn't the vice president, the first lady or any other high-ranking members of the president's cabinet?

Obama's response: 

Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to go to the Olympics since I've been president. There are a lot of things going on. Even when it was as close as Vancouver, I didn't attend. And the vice president and first lady, obviously, they've got pretty busy schedules themselves.

But we're sending a wonderful delegation, headed up by Brian Boitano. Billie Jean King unfortunately has a family illness she's got to attend to. But Janet Napolitano, our former secretary of the department of homeland security [is there]. So we've got wonderful Americans representing us.

The truth is, Bob, the folks that people are actually interested in seeing at the Olympics are our incredible athletes. We will be fielding the largest team ever and I'm very confident they're going to bring home some gold.

[Related: Obama: U.S. would not spend $50 billion on Olympics]

Obama dismissed any notion that he has an "icy" relationship with Russia President Vladimir Putin and that his not being in Sochi has anything to do with it:

“I wouldn’t call it icy. The truth of the matter is that when we are in meetings there are a lot of exchanges, there’s a surprising amount of humor, and a lot of give and take."

On that note, here's a Vine the White House posted of Obama giving Team USA some brief rah-rah talk. At least he doesn't look as tired here as he did talking with Costas.

To see more of Costas' talk with Obama, watch it at NBCOlympics.com.

More Olympics coverage on Yahoo Sports:

- - - - - - -

Mike Oz is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

View Comments (2576)
  • Barca coach tight-lipped about team to face Valencia

    Barca coach tight-lipped about team to face Valencia

    Barcelona coach Luis Enrique refused to give any hints about his line-up for Wednesday's King's Cup semi-final second leg against Valencia. Barcelona lead 7-0 from the first leg which should give Luis Enrique the chance to rest players including … More »

    Reuters - 17 minutes ago
  • Third member of London 2017 board quits

    A third resignation in less than a week has hit the organising committee for the London 2017 world athletics championships with managing director Sally Bolton the latest to leave her post. Last week two board members, deputy chair Heather Hancock … More »

    Reuters - 25 minutes ago
  • European Club Association backs Infantino for FIFA job

    European Club Association backs Infantino for FIFA job

    PARIS (Reuters) - Europe's biggest soccer clubs have given their support to UEFA interim chief Gianni Infantino's FIFA presidential campaign, the European Club Association (ECA) said on Tuesday. ECA vice-chairman Umberto Gandini announced the … More »

    Reuters - 27 minutes ago
  • Athletics-Third member of London 2017 board quits

    A third resignation in less than a week has hit the organising committee for the London 2017 world athletics championships with managing director Sally Bolton the latest to leave her post. Last week two board members, deputy chair Heather Hancock … More »

    Reuters - 29 minutes ago
  • Raptors alum Jerome Williams preps Property Brothers for All-Star celeb game

    Vancouver natives Drew and Jonathan Scott are ready to hit the hardcourt in Toronto for the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and they're hoping a Raptors fan favourite will help them take a bite out of their competition. The "Property Brothers" stars … More »

    The Canadian Press - 48 minutes ago