The man best known for telling us about “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” passed away at his home in Maryland on Saturday.
Jim McKay brought us sports of all sorts from around the world on ABC’s Wide World of Sports every Saturday for decades. Whether if it’s hitting a golf ball over the Great Wall of China, or covering sled dog races, he brought it home to us to see on the tube.
But he’s wasn’t just known for Wide World of Sports. He was essentially the face of ABC’s Olympic Coverage – he was there every step of the way from the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico City, to the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games, to the last one he anchored for ABC – the 1988 Calgary Winter Games.
McKay was on the air for 16 hours straight in September 1972 when Palestinian terrorists kidnapped eleven Israeli athletes during the Summer Olympic Games in Munich. It was McKay who told America the commando raid sent to aid the athletes ended in tragedy.
Throughout his career, McKay won thirteen Emmy awards and praise from everyone who worked in the industry. McKay last worked on NBC’s Olympic coverage in 2002, and produced a documentary on HBO which he wrote and narrated himself.
Jim Mckay is survived by his wife, two children (one of which is CBS Sports’ Sean McManus), and three grandchildren.