Jim McKay courtesy ABC
Jim McKay, the popular sportscaster who became the face of ABC's Olympic coverage, passed away Saturday at age 86. According to the Associated Press, McKay died of natural causes at his home in Monkton, Maryland. McKay's son, CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus, confirmed the news to the AP.
McKay is perhaps best known for his calm and heartfelt coverage of the hostage crisis at the 1972 Munich Olympics. With the memorable words, "Our worst fears have been realized tonight they're all gone," he solemnly relayed the news that all 11 Israeli athletes taken hostage had been killed. He won both news and sports Emmys for his work that day.
McKay worked for CBS at the 1961 Rome Olympics and then covered 10 Olympics for ABC and was a special commentator for NBC during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. He also was the host of ABC's
Wide World of Sports
, an anthology series that debuted in 1961 and famously showcased, according to McKay's iconic voiceover,
"the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat."
McKay served as host of the program until its cancellation in 1998.
In a statement, McKay's longtime ABC Sports colleague Al Michaels said: "He was the personification of class and style. There has never been a more respected individual in the business and deservedly so 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."