RIP Jim McKay

For those of us old enough to remember, he was pretty much the voice of the Olympics, as well as stuff like the Kentucky Derby and the Indy 500. His anchor work at the 1972 Olympics in Munich was the signature of the tragic events of those games, and one of the iconic moments associated with that decade, and his sorrowful, choked up “They’re all gone.” is one of the most incredible, real moments in broadcast history.

Saw him at the Kentucky Derby about 10 years ago, and he looked quite frail. Died today at 86 after a long illness. May we all have such wonderful lives.

You forgot the thing I remember him most for – Wide Wide World of Sports… “The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat!”

I still remember his voice well throughout my childhood, as my dad of course watched every kind of sports show there was.

Yeah, a big part of my childhood was him intoning “…and the agony of defeat!” while poor Vinko Bogataj spins off the ski jump (he was unhurt, btw.)


I was just going through some old footage from the Indy 500 last night and ran across his call of the start in 1973 when Salt Walther flipped on the frontstretch and spewed fuel everywhere including into the stands. McKay was just great at his job, though he often took a backseat to Cosell on the broadcaster popularity scale of the time.

McKay let the sports be the story; Cosell often tried to make himself the story.

Allegedly Cosell was furious that ABC stuck with McKay during the incident at the Munich olympics.

RIP Jim, you will be missed.