Saturday, June 7, 2008
Jim McKay: "The Thrill of Victory" Is Gone
By Allen Bacon
The Daily Bosco
Long before ESPN and it's cornucopia of sports programming was Jim McKay and a program every Saturday and Sunday on ABC called "Wide World of Sports". And in the opening title sequence was McKay's wonderful voice over..."The thrill of victory..." and as some poor English downhill skier went careening down backwards on his ass, crashing into pole after pole McKay said "And the agony...of defeat".
We lost Jim McKay last night. I feel the "agony of defeat" today. For some of you that doesn't mean a lot. But to me, the wannabe sports broadcaster, Jim McKay was one of my idols. He was professional, smooth and adventuresome. And when ABC had the Olympics he was our eyes and voice at the Games.
He's probably best noted for being thrust into the role of a news commentator at the 1972 Olympics during the horrible hostage and massacre of the Israeli team. McKay was our voice of reason, explaining to us, to the best of his ability what was happening and announcing late one night with a tear and choking back emotion.."They're gone...they're all gone."
I think it's ironic that McKay, who said that horse racing was his favorite sport will not be around today when Big Brown no doubt becomes the first triple crown winner in 30 years.
McKay was 87 years old.
Photo Credits: ABC Sports Archives