Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports... the thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat... the human drama of athletic competition... This is "ABC's Wide World of Sports! - Jim McKay
Nobody knew who this guy was, and nobody cared. When the Wild World of Sports came on, everybody just paid attention to the poor dude getting destroyed on a ski slope.
The talk around town was that he died during his tragic ski jump accident. That story was embellished, on and on, with increased damage to Vinko. This lasted almost 20 years until the internet was invented and ruined a bunch of fun stories.
He remembers that he couldn't see very good. The track was very bad, and just before he could jump, the snow or something grabbed his skis and he fell. From that moment, he doesn't remember anything.
Fans of a certain age almost certainly remember the image of Slovenian athlete Vinko Bogataj wiping out on the takeoff ramp and hurtling toward a gallery of spectators.
Bogataj, then 22 years old and competing for Yugoslavia, suffered a concussion and a broken ankle in a terrifying tumble at the 1970 World Ski Flying Championships in Oberstdorf, West Germany. It wasn't long before ABC began using the clip of the crash to accompany the phrase "agony of defeat" in the "Wide World of Sports" introduction.
After he returned home to Slovenia, Vinko remained in ski jumping, but never advanced beyond the middle ranks. Probably because he was making money from ABC and nobody likes to have their ankle crushed.
But he had become famous as “The Agony of Defeat” guy and when he attended Wide World of Sport’s 20th anniversary celebration in 1981, he reportedly received the loudest ovation at the event and no less a sports legend than boxer Muhammad Ali requested his autograph.
- HAR HAR HAR