View Full Version : Jim McKay RIP
06-07-2008, 11:53 AM
This guy was a sports broadcasting legend. His work at the '72 Olympics was some of the greatest TV journalism ever put on the screen.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Jim McKay, the veteran and eloquent sportscaster thrust into the role of telling Americans about the tragedy at the 1972 Munich Olympics, has died. He was 86.
McKay died Saturday, said ABC, the network with which he was long affiliated. The cause of death was not immediately given.
McKay was host of ABC's Wide World of Sports for decades. The influential weekend series introduced viewers to all manners of strange, compelling and far-flung sports events.
But he was suddenly placed in the role of a newscaster in 1972 when Israeli athletes were kidnapped in Munich. As viewers followed the gripping story, McKay told how the hostages were killed in a commando raid.
McKay was the father of Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports.
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06-07-2008, 12:06 PM
Most people here won't remember him and his work starting from the 60s on the Wide World of Sports. A broadcasting great!!!
Jim McKay, 86, a longtime television sports journalist, has died of natural causes in Maryland, according to a statement from the McKay family.
McKay is best known for hosting "ABC's Wide World of Sports" and 12 Olympic Games.
McKay won numerous awards for journalism, including the George Polk Memorial Award and two Emmys -- one for his sports coverage, the other for his news reporting -- for his work at the 1972 Munich Olympics, which were tragically affected by the Black September terrorists' attack on the Israeli athletes in the Olympic Village.
In 1988, McKay was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.
In 1968, McKay won the first of his 13 Emmy Awards, becoming the first sports commentator to receive that honor.
His 12th Emmy, in 1988, was not for his talents as a broadcaster but as the writer of the openings for ABC Sports' coverage of the 1987 Indianapolis 500, the British Open and the Kentucky Derby. He is the only broadcaster to have won Emmys for sports and news broadcasting and for writing.
06-07-2008, 12:14 PM
The Wide World of Sports theme (http://www.ilovewavs.com/TV/Sports/TV%20Theme%20-%20ABC,%20Wide%20World%20of%20Sports.wav).... RIP Jim McKay.
The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat
The human drama of athletic competion
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06-07-2008, 04:09 PM
The highest compliment I could give a broadcaster:
I'd want him giving my eulogy.
06-07-2008, 04:21 PM
I remember the announcement on the fate of the Israeli hostages came in around 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. Central time. The drama had been going on all day and ABC did not have much of a news department presence in Germany at the time so the decision was made to let the sports department do hard news - a daring decision at the time.
If it was that late at night back in the states, it was probably around 3 a.m. or later in Munich. You could see the exhaustion on McKay's face as he tried to anchor the coverage all night which explains why he stumbled through the explanation leading up to the stunning announcement. I've always felt "They're all gone" was said more out of fatigue than a sense of drama.
McKay wrote later that he was aware one of the Israeli wrestlers was actually from Ohio and that he knew the wrestler's family would be watching and would hear the fate of their loved one through McKay's words. He wanted to try to break the news gently, rather than the way a hard news reporter would have said it. I think it was the right way to handle it.
06-08-2008, 01:04 AM
How many big sports (and non sport with the '72 Olympic games) memories were soundtracked by Jim McKay? For me, as an olympics fan...countless. He'll be missed. From an era of class as opposed to hype, the understated as opposed to the hyperbole, the athlete in the arena NOT the self promoting idiot covering or discussing the event. God Speed, Jim...We'll miss you.
06-08-2008, 05:58 AM
he'll be best remembered for the '72 games. i remember his broadcast like it was yesterday.
and some think yasser arafat is a hero. i hope he's desrvidly(sp) burning in hell.