I had an opportunity to meet ABC sportscaster Jim McKay while on an ABC press trip to Sarajevo,
I had grown up listening to McKay as the voice of ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” and the Olympics. I fondly remember his “spanning the globe” intro for “Wide World of Sports,” with the ski jumper crashing out of control. His professionalism was unparalled. His coverage of the massacre at the Munich Olympics showed he could handle hard news with the same ease as a sports event. He set the standard for sports news coverage. Many sportscasters today strive to be another Jim McKay.
Here are comments on McKay from two others who rank among the best in sportscasting:
Al Michaels: He was the personification of class and style. There has never been a more respected individual in the business and deservedly so. His love for life could only be matched by his love for Margaret. His enthusiasm permeated every event he covered and thus always made it far more interesting. I always thought of him as a favorite teacher. He was so into whatever it was he was doing that he drew you into every event he covered.
Bob Costas: Jim McKay was a singular broadcaster. He brought a reporter’s eye, a literate touch, and above all a personal humanity to every assignment. He had a combination of qualities seldom seen in the history of the medium, not just sports.