If you’ve ever seen ABC
’s sports anthology Wide World of Sports
, you’ve seen Vinko Bogataj. "The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat," the announcer intones over a montage of sports clips, and there’s Vinko to illustrate the latter.
On March 21, 1970
, Bogataj, a Yugoslavia
n skier, was competing in the International Ski
Flying Championship in Oberstdorf
, in then West Germany
. Right off the ramp, he took a spill and spectacularly tumbled all the way down to the finish line.
, a producer for the show, stuck the clip in the opening credits to demonstrate the agony of defeat. The choice was controversial to some: skiers, for one, were pissed and thought their sport was getting a bad name, and many felt they were exploiting Bogataj. But the clip was immensely popular and helped open the show for almost 30 years.
Bogataj is still remembered for that spill. At a ceremony celebrating the 20th anniversary of the show in 1981
, Bogataj received a standing ovation
and Muhammad Ali
even asked for his autograph.