History awaits Shani Davis in the 1,000 meters, and the American speedskater relishes the opportunity to burnish his Olympic legacy with a record third straight victory.

Davis could become the first male speedskater to win the same event in three consecutive games when he competes on Wednesday. Already the owner of four Olympic medals, Davis would tie Eric Heiden and Chad Hedrick for the most by an American male speedskater if he gets on the podium.

The 31-year-old skater from Chicago calls the 1,000 "my baby," and Davis has been focused on defending his title since his victory in Vancouver four years ago. He won three gold and three bronze medals in the last six single-distance world championships.

"The 1,000 is going to be an intense competition, a lot of people want to win," he said.

Among his rivals are medal contenders Michel Mulder of the Netherlands and current world champion Denis Kuzin of Kazakhstan.

Mulder is looking to join Heiden as the only male skaters to sweep the 500 and 1,000 races at the same Olympics.

Costas out: With Bob Costas sidelined with an infection that has reddened both his eyes and blurred his vision, "Today" show anchor Matt Lauer filled in Tuesday on NBC's prime-time Olympics coverage.

Lauer, opening the broadcast, said Costas "looked a little like a loser in a prize fight." Costas has been wearing glasses since the start of the Sochi Olympics because of an infection in his left eye, and on Monday it spread to his other eye. Costas said he simply couldn't do the job because his eyes had become blurry, watery and sensitive to light. "I'm walking around, I might as well be playing 'Marco Polo,'" he said in a telephone call to the "Today" show Tuesday. "I have no idea where I am."

He said it's a viral infection that has to run its course, and he hopes things improve enough in the next few days so he can return to the broadcast.

Figure skating: Four-time Olympic medalist Evgeni Plushenko drew the seventh spot for Thursday's men's short program. Three of the medals favorites landed in the 19th through 21st spots: Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu, Spain's Javier Fernandez and Canada's Patrick Chan, a three-time world champion.

American champ Jeremy Abbott will go 11th and teammate Jason Brown drew the 16th spot. Daisuke Takahashi of Japan, the 2010 bronze medalist, will be 29th, followed by countryman Tatsuko Machida to round out the field.

No new snow: Sochi Olympic organizers see no need to bring in stored snow to cope with the warm temperatures in the mountains -- but are ready to do so if necessary.

Dmitry Chernyshenko, head of the local organizing committee, said that contingency plans are in place for covering slopes with snow preserved in reservoirs from previous winters. Organizers have stored about 700,000 cubic meters (25 million cubic feet) of snow.