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The Agony of Defeat

Updated on November 2, 2017

Who is the Wide World of Sports, Agony of Defeat Guy?

Anyone who grew up watching sports in the 70's and 80's knows the Agony of Defeat video. The classic sports show, the Wide World of Sports ran from 1961 to 1998. With the advent of ESPN and other national sports channels on cable, this show is now long gone, but the Agony of Defeat continues to live on.

Everyone knows the agony of defeat guy, but no one knows his name. So, who is the agony of defeat skier, and what is his story? Read below and find out!!

Vinko Bogataj - The Agony of Defeat Guy

Vinko Bogataj was born in what was then Yugoslavia in 1950. He was a competitive skier and skied for the Yugoslavians in various competitions. On March 21,1970, in a ski jump competition, he lost his balance and broke through a small retaining wall. He crashed in the midst of spectators.

Despite the seemingly ferocity of the crash, he only suffered a mild concussion. That makes this injury the most famous mild concussion in history.

The Wide World of Sports contacted Vinko in 1981 and asked him to be on the 20th anniversary special show. Living in Communist Yugoslavia, he had no idea that he was the famed "Agony of Defeat" guy. He was confused as to why other more famous athletes were asking him for his autograph.

Interesting fact: On his way to the taping of Wide World of Sports 20th anniversary special, he was involved in a minor car accident. His quote: "Every time I am on Wide World of Sports, I crash".

Wide World of Sports

Wide World of Sports was a sports anthology show that aired from 1961 all the way to 1998. This show was hosted by Jim McKay and Frank Gifford, among others. This show aired on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and featured all the minor sports that were not commonly aired on other network sports shows. Sports like swimming, skiing, weightlifting and others were regularly broadcast on the show.

Slovenia

Vinko Bogataj is a Slovenian. Slovenia is a small, but beautiful country nestled in the northern portion of what used to be Yugoslavia. It is about one third the size of its tiny neighbor, Austria. It has both high mountains perfect for skiing and beautiful beaches on the Adriatic sea. Its primary industries are transportation and tourism.

Who was Stanley Ralph Ross?

Ross was an actor and writer. He is responsible for the writing the clip at beginning of the Wide World of Sports:

"Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport!!! The thrill of victory!!! And the agony of defeat!!! The human drama of athletic competition! This is ABC's Wide World of Sports!

That clip was read by Jim McKay.

© 2011 Dakeas

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      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Whatever happened to WOS? It's like it just melted away. I loved that show growing up in the 60's and 70's.

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