On this day at the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics….the outstanding crew of ABC Sports broadcasters….including the elegamt and eloquent Jim McKay as the host of the telecast….with figure skating being covered by a young Jim Lampley….plus the ever so talented mens’ figure skating Olympic champion and absolutely “spot on” analyst of figure skating competition, the ireplaceable Dick Buttons…..and the graceful Madame Butterfly of ice and former USA Olympic Individual Figure Skating Gold Medal winner, Peggy Fleming….along with the “master word merchant” of broadcast sports, Jack Whitaker, reporting on the Men’s Biathlon….. being followed by the energetic and effervescent Bob Beattie bringing the 2-man bobsled competition…while Sam Posey and Jeff Turner cover the womens’ singles luge competition….and finishing out with Keith Jackson covering the nordic combined ski jumping (70 m) competition…..and with a line-up of that sports broadcasting crew alone….makes this video well worth the watch.
However, the competitors in each of the sports covered by this ABC crew are the real story of this video. First, in figure skating with the incomparable British ice dancing team of Jayne Torvil and Christopher Dean….competing against the legendary Soviet Union pair of Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin….along with the very capable 4 time USA champion pair of Judy Blumberg and Michael Seibert….and what more could a figure skaking fan ask for!?! So, when Jack Whitaker reports on the mens’ biathlon competition….the viewer not only gets an inside look at the competition going on….but also gets a quick education of the course the competitors are attacking and a quick understanding of what it takes to be a world class biathlete. As the video switches to Bob Beattie at the 2-man bobsled competition….our viewers get to see the strength of the East Germans… who are in process of sweeping the competition, unless the sled from Switzerland can crack the top three. Then when Sam Posey and Jeff Turner takes us down the track for the womens’ singles luge competition in the snowy foggy weather conditions that made the course difficult to see….for viewer and competitor….we get to see the dominance of the East German team once again ….as Ute Weiss, Bellina Schmidt (largest female in the competition at 190 lbs.) and teammate Steffi Martin lead the medal competition. As legendary sports broadcaster Keith Jackson….of NCAA football fame….takes the viewer to the mens’ nordic combined 70 meter ski jumping competition….it becomes obvious that ABC Sports was once again the best at bringing “the wide world of sports” to the live television audience.
Something that I really get a kick out of in watching these vintage videos are the commercial advertisements….cuz they really show just how far things in the world have come just 34 years….as seen the the Southwestern Bell Telephone ad where it begins with a family getting their first ever land-line telephone at the house in 1906 while taking you visually in the progression of the home telephone in 1983, where there are extensions in almost every room…..so,this ad covers the 1st 80 years of the home phone….now, think about wht the smart phones of today have been able to accomplish in just 35 years….and dare you imagine what the phone just 17 years from now will be able to do…..but one thing is for sure….your telephone of today guarantees that you have NO PRIVACY regarding anything ANY MORE.
This video also has an ABC News Brief….with the two subjects being covered are of the evacuation of Beirut due to the threat of terrorism and the return to Earth of the Space Shuttle from space….now folks, the world is still evacuating folks due to the present threat of terrorism….and the Space Shuttle is Columbia is now on display at the NASA Space Museum.
Oh my….how times have changed….and this video provides unquestionable evidence of how true that statement has become….which makes this video dang near MUST SEE TV.