Saturday, June 07, 2008

I grew up listening to Jim McKay

Jim McKay passed away today and what a legacy he leaves.

While I worked out on the stair climber with a light pack (probably last one I'm going to do before my climb), ESPN was on the TV right in front of me and they did a 1 hour tribute to him. A large part of my television life passed before my eyes. I was an ABC Wide World of Sports fanatic and I loved watching the Olympics.
And McKay was so much more than a sports announcer. They replayed him having to announce that the Munich Hostages had been killed and he did it with such dignity and respect and this is after he had been on the air for 16 hours.

I saw so many people and events for the first time through his eyes:
  • Olga Korbut
  • Ludmila Tourischeva (even ABC mispronouncing her name initially)
  • Kathy Rigsby
  • Mark Spitz
  • Bruce Jenner
  • Dwight Stone
  • Secretariat
  • A J Foyt
  • and the Chinese Olympic Gymnast who competed with a broken leg (and we all could feel his pain because of McKay's description.)
and on and on and on. What a great presenter and story teller he was. I remember him talking so well now even when I didn't realize it was him talking. It's such a shame he missed seeing the Belmont today and I miss that I didn't hear him talking about it.

No comments: