ESPN Network:  ESPN.com |  NHL.com |  ABCSports |  EXPN |  INSIDER  |  FANTASY

 
ESPN  Web   

Keyword: ABC Sports 







































Wide World "Constant Variety" Milestones and Highlights


1961
APRIL 29
-- Premier of ABC's Wide World of Sports, hosted by Jim McKay. The two events: the Penn Relays from Franklin Field in Philadelphia and the Drake Relays from Des Moines, Iowa.

JUNE 24 & JULY 1 -- The National AAU Track & Field Championships become the first national championships telecast on Wide World of Sports...among the stars of the meet is the great Wilma Rudolph, winner of the 100 yard dash.

AUGUST 12 -- Wide World of Sports uses its first woman commentator, Olympic gold medalist Lynn Burke, serving as expert commentator for coverage of Women's AAU Swimming and Diving Championships from Philadelphia.

AUGUST 26 -- Wide World of Sports cameraman Dale Barringer puts on scuba gear and drops to the bottom of a swimming pool in Los Angeles to man the first underwater camera ever used to cover a swimming event, the Men's AAU Swimming and Diving Championships.

1962
JANUARY 14
-- The World Barrel Jumping Championships features Ken Lebel's successful clearance of 17 barrels, a new world record.

MARCH 25 -- Wide World of Sports first network to televise the NCAA Basketball Championship: Cincinnati - Ohio State from Louisville

APRIL 14 -- First Wide World of Sports broadcast of the Grand National Steeplechase from Aintree...Wide World returned for its 12th Grand National in 1991.

JUNE 10 -- First Wide World of Sports broadcast of the Grand Prix of Monaco, which has been a part of WWOS in the 1960s, 1970s & 1980s...the 1962 race develops into a dual between two of the all-time greats, Bruce McLaren and reigning world champion Phil Hill of the United States.

JULY 15 -- First Wide World of Sports coverage of the British Open from Troon, Scotland...the tournament is won by Arnold Palmer

SEPTEMBER 15 & 22 -- First Wide World of Sports coverage of the America's Cup from Newport, Rhode Island.

1963 FEBRUARY 2 -- The World Bobsled Championships from Innsbruck, Austria introduces Wide World of Sports to a country it would visit often.

MARCH 16 -- Broadcast of the New England Invitational Dog Sled Race.

MARCH 30 -- Wide World of Sports' first broadcast of the famed Holmenkollen Ski Jumping Championship from Oslo, Norway.

MAY 11 -- First Pan American Games telecast on American television from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

MAY 18 -- Trout Fishing Expedition from Argentina was Wide World of Sports first venture in the "outdoor" and was one of the elements that led to the creation of the American Sportsman.

JULY 6 -- First Wide World of Sports broadcast of Wimbledon, with American Chuck McKinley defeating Australia's Fred Stolle to win the men's title.

MARCH 16 -- First coverage of NASCAR 500 Stock Car Championship from Daytona Beach, FL...during its first 10 years, Wide World of Sports would televise over 30 races from Daytona Beach.

AUGUST 24 -- The first broadcast of the Little League World Series from Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

1964
JANUARY 25
-- Wide World of Sports features the World Cyclo Ball Championship from Basel, Switzerland.

FEBRUARY 1 -- Show that lives up to the billing of the constant variety of sport: Championship Tarpon Fishing from Big Pine Key, Florida and National Ice Boat Racing from Green Lake, Wisconsin.

APRIL 11 -- Challenger Cassius Clay, soon to adopt the Muslim name of Muhammad Ali, defeats champion Sonny Liston, taped from Miami Beach, Florida in the first World Heavyweight Championship fight to be televised on "Wide World of Sports"...Clay knocked Liston out in the seventh round.

MAY 16 -- Eiffel Tower Climb...a group of climbers, three Frenchmen and one Englishman, climb the northwest tower of the Eiffel Tower.

AUGUST 22 -- All-American Soap Box Derby broadcast from Akron, Ohio.

AUGUST 29 -- Danny Yacarino pitches a no hitter and hits a home run to lead Mid Island Little League of Staten Island to victory over Monterrey, Mexico in the Little League World Series.

SEPTEMBER 26 -- Oklahoma Live Rattlesnake Hunt

NOVEMBER 21 -- A.J. Foyt wins the National 100 in Sacramento on dirt.

1965
MARCH 13
-- The first Wide World broadcast of the International Toboggan Championship, better known as the Cresta run, from St. Moritz, Switzerland.

MARCH 20 -- The American Internationals features the first appearance by Jean-Claude Killy on Wide World of Sports and appropriately enough, he wins.

APRIL 10 -- One of the great shows in the history of Wide World. In addition to the U.S. National Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, the show featured Robert Kennedy's ascent of Mt. Kennedy in Canada, to place the family flag atop the mountain named in honor of his brother.

APRIL 17 -- The NCAA Wrestling Championships becomes the second NCAA contest broadcast on Wide World, the first non-basketball/football sport. In its first 30 years, Wide World telecast 70 NCAA Championships in a variety of sports.

JUNE 5 -- First coverage of the Indianapolis "500" race on Wide World of Sports after covering the time trials the four previous years...the race was won by Jim Clark, a Scotsman who became the first foreign winner of the race in 50 years.

AUGUST 1 -- First live telecast of a sporting event from the Soviet Union: USA - USSR Track & Field Meet (Special Sunday Edition).

1966
JANUARY 1
-- Horse Racing on Ice from St. Moritz becomes the first Wide World of Sports segment in color.

FEBRUARY 26 -- European Cup Basketball featuring Bill Bradley from Milan, Italy.

DECEMBER 24 -- The World Alpine Ski Championships are broadcast from Portillo, Chile, featuring the great downhill run of Jean-Claude Killy.

1967
JANUARY 28
-- Joie Chitwood's Auto Thrill Show from Islip, New York.

MARCH 25 -- Evel Knievel makes debut on Wide World of Sports by clearing 15 cars as a filler act during motorcycle races in Gardena, California.

APRIL 8 -- Mark Spitz sets the first American record of his career in the 100 yard butterfly at the AAU Indoor Championships in Dallas

APRIL 22 -- The London to Brighton Antique Car Run concludes with Jim McKay and Phil Hill pushing their car across the finish line.

MAY 27 -- The first Wide World of Sports broadcast of the English Rugby League Cup Final, a mainstay on WWOS for close to 20 years.

JUNE 3 -- British yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester completes his 28,500 mile around the world trip...he is welcomed back to his hometown of Plymouth, England by thousands of his countrymen.

1967
JUNE 10 & JULY 1
-- A.J. Foyt wins the Indianapolis 500 and the LeMans 24-Hour Grand Prix of Endurance, the first and last driver to win both in a single season. It was Foyt's third Indianapolis 500 victory and came after he drove through a crash on the final turn.

JUNE 24 -- Jim Ryun lowers his world record of the mile at the National AAU Track & Field Championships in Bakersfield.

1968
MARCH 9
-- Wide World of Sports' first telecast of the International Cliff Diving Championships from Acapulco.

JUNE 29 -- Old Man of Hoy Rock Climb in Scotland.

JANUARY 11 -- First Wide World of Sports broadcast of the Mexican 1000 Cross Country Road Racing Championships, an event WWOS would return to twice in the 1980s when it was known as the Baja 1000.

1969
OCTOBER 18
-- Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) makes his pro debut with the Milwaukee Bucks featured on Wide World of Sports.

1970
JANUARY 17
-- First Wide World of Sports telecast of World Wristwrestling Championships from Petaluma, California.

MARCH 21 -- The International Ski Flying Championship from Oberstdorf provides one of the most memorable moments in Wide World of Sports history...on his third jump, Vinko Bogataj tumbled down the jump and became forever more the "agony of defeat".

NOVEMBER 14 -- Cathy Rigby becomes the first American in history to win a medal (silver) World Gymnastics Championships in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.

1971
FEBRUARY 20
-- The World Weightlifting Championships in Columbus, Ohio features Vassily Alexeyev making history by lifting 501 1/4 pounds in the clean and jerk, making him the first man to ever lift 500 pounds in competition.

APRIL 17 -- The U.S. Table Tennis Team, following their historic trip inside the People's Republic of China, appear on Wide World of Sports live via satellite from Tokyo.

1972 FEBRUARY 12 -- This day featured an event that did not become a regular feature on Wide World of Sports: International Bikini Sports Competition from Rosarito Beach, Mexico.

FEBRUARY 26 -- President Richard Nixon and Premier Chou-en-Lai attend Chinese Gymnastics Exhibition...that performance came during's Nixon's historic trip to China, coming less than a year after the President lifted a 21-year embargo against the country.

FEBRUARY 26 -- A.J. Foyt becomes the first man to win the Indianapolis 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Daytona 500...and he did all three on Wide World.

JULY 8, 15 & 22 -- Coverage of the World Chess Championships between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky from Reykjavik, Iceland.

1973
JANUARY 13
-- The Harlem Globetrotters make their debut on Wide World of Sports.

NOVEMBER 10 -- Triple Crown winner Secretariat's final race from Toronto.

1974 APRIL 7 -- Oxford - Cambridge Regatta

AUGUST 31 -- The constant variety of WWOS: Evel Knievel Daredevil Motorcycle Jump in Toronto and Philippe Petit High Wire Walk in New York.

SEPTEMBER 14 -- Evel Knievel attempts to jump the Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls, Idaho in a machine called a skycycle in front of 33,000 fans.

1975
JANUARY 19
-- Philippe Petit High Wire Walk between the two towers of the cathedral in Laon, France.

MAY 31 -- Evel Knievel's attempt to jump 140 feet over 13 double-deck buses in Wembley Stadium in London ends in failure when he's thrown off his bike on the landing ramp and has the motorcycle land on top of him.

JUNE 28 & AUGUST 9 -- Wide World of Sports' first look at a future star -- Nadia Comaneci...the Romanian won the all-around and three of four individual apparatus finals at the European Women's Gymnastics Championships in Skien, Norway.

JULY 26 -- First Wide World of Sports coverage of the Tour de France.

OCTOBER 4 -- The National Drag Racing Championships features a great battle between "Big Daddy" and "Cha Cha".

OCTOBER 25 -- Evel Knievel jumps for the first time since his crash in Wembley Stadium and clears 15 Greyhound buses...the show, from King's Mill, Ohio, still ranks as the highest rated show in the history of Wide World of Sports.

1976
JANUARY 25
-- Harlem Globetrotters play at the Attica Correctional Facility in New York...Howard Cosell interviews prisoners and guards during the broadcast.

1977
JANUARY 23
-- The USA - People's Republic of China gymnastics meet from Peking marks the first time an American television network sports department was invited to mainland China.The show featured Jim McKay hitting a golf ball over the Great Wall of China.

FEBRUARY 19 -- Coverage of the Mr. Universe contest and an interview with former Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger.

JULY 23 -- Arthur Ashe's report on Apartheid and sports in South Africa.

OCTOBER 1 -- Pele's farewell game between the club he started his career with, the Santos, and the club he finished his career with, the New York Cosmos.

OCTOBER 29 -- The ascent of mountain climber George Willig to the top of Eldorado Canyon in Eldorado Springs, Colorado marks the first time live coverage of a climb was presented on American television.

1978
FEBRUARY 25
-- The Great Pool Shootout: $15,000 match between Minnesota Fats and Willie Mosconi at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.Mosconi won the nine-ball competition in three sets, 5-2, 5-3 and 5-2.

1979
MARCH 4
-- American Olympic medal hopeful Phil Mahre breaks his leg during a World Cup giant slalom in Lake Placid.

MAY 13 -- Wide World of Sports coverage of the World Table Tennis Championships in Pyongyang, North Korea marks the first time an American television network sports department has been inside of North Korea.

ESPN.com:  HELP |  ADVERTISER INFO |  CONTACT US |  TOOLS |  SITE MAP
Copyright ©2001 ESPN Internet Group. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and Safety Information are applicable to this site. Employment opportunities at ESPN.com.


Wide World "constant variety" milestones

The best of Wide World's figure skating

The best of Wide World's boxing

Wide World's constant variety of sport

The best of Wide World horse racing