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Wide World "Constant Variety" Milestones and Highlights


1980
MARCH 23
-- The first telecast on Wide World of Sports of one of the most grueling athletic competitions in the world, the Endurance (now called the Ironman) Triathlon World Championship from Oahu.

1982
FEBRUARY 21
-- Ironman triathlon race leader Julie Moss collapses just 440 yards from the finish of the marathon run...she struggled to her feet and wobbled to within 100 yards of the finish where she collapsed again...she started to crawl, but only 10 yards from the finish line she was passed by Kathleen McCartney.

JULY 11 -- The World Cup soccer final from Madrid, Spain marks the first time that match was telecast live on an American television network.

AUGUST 27 -- Cody Webster leads Kirland, Washington to victory over Taiwan to win the Little League World Series.

MARCH 12 -- Mary Lou Retton makes her first appearance on Wide World of Sports at the American Cup.

APRIL 17 & 23 -- The Great American Bike Race from Santa Monica, California to New York, New York, later called the Race Across America.

AUGUST 20 -- International Special Olympics from Baton Rouge, Louisiana...it becomes the first sports show to win a Christopher Award.

1984
FEBRUARY 19 & 25
-- Lon Haldeman wins his second consecutive Race Across America.

JULY 7 -- Richard Petty wins the 200th race of his illustrious career in the Firecracker 400 Stock Car Race from Daytona Beach.His victory even prompted a call from President Reagan aboard Air Force One.

1985
AUGUST 24
-- Microminiature camera in the mask of a home plate umpire was introduced during Wide World of Sports live coverage of the Little League World Series from Williamsport. 1987
MARCH 22
-- Mountain Man Winter Triathlon from Avon and Beaver Creak, Colorado.

MARCH 29 -- The first broadcast on Wide World of Sports of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

MAY 16 -- Western States Endurance Race from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California.

JUNE 27 -- Carl Lewis wins his 50th consecutive long jump competition at the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships in San Jose.

1988
JANUARY 2
-- Harlem Globetrotters journey to West Berlin. One of the highlights of the show was when they passed through Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin and interacted with the people, especially, the children.

JANUARY 23 -- Dave Scott wins a record sixth Ironman Triathlon.

1989
MARCH 4
-- North Dakota becomes the 48th state Wide World of Sports has visited for the Virgil Hill - Bobby Czyz fight for the WBA Light Heavyweight Championship in Bismark.
JULY 1 - 22 -- Greg LeMond starts his first Tour de France in three years and battles Laurent Fignon in the greatest head-to-head race the Tour has ever seen.

1990 FEBRUARY 24 -- Mark Allen passes 7-time champion Dave Scott during the marathon to win his first Ironman Triathlon World Championship -- shattering the course record.

MAY 12 -- The U.S. International Diving Championships is won by 12-year-old Chinese star Fu Mingxia, who stands just 4-6 and weighs 75 pounds.

AUGUST 10 -- Pan American Games: ABC strikes a deal with the U.S. Treasury Department and obtains the exclusive rights to televise the Cuban hosted games. ABC WWOS exclusive interview, conducted by Jim McKay, with one of the extraordinary figures of our time, Fidel Castro.

1993
JANUARY 6
-- While South Central Los Angeles is in the midst of rebuilding from the riots, WWOS orchestrates a roundtable discussion with gang members at Crenshaw Senior High School.

JANUARY 16 -- WWOS debuts a new series about athletes living on the edge and expanding the horizons of sport, with a feature on Extreme Skiing.

FEBRUARY 13 -- Bad weather plays havoc with the World Alpine Skiing Championships. American Erik Schlopy suffers a terrifying crash in downhill training that results in a fractured sternum and two compressed vertebrae...tribute to Arthur Ashe, who died of complications from AIDS.

1993
APRIL 10
-- WWOS broadcasts the first-ever World Winter Games (Special Olympics) from Austria.

1995 MAY 28-- Jacques Villeneuve becomes the first Canadian to win the Indy 500, after his countryman Scott Goodyear is penalized in the closing stages for passing the pace car during a caution period.

JULY-- Miguel Indurain's record 5th straight Tour de France victory is saddened by the 3rd death in the race's history. (Indurain would go on to be named WW's 1995 Athlete of the Year.) Italy's Fabio Casartelli dies in the 15th stage in a crash on a descent in the Pyrenees.

1996
MARCH 2
-- Christine Witty becomes the women's champion at the 27th World Sprint Speed Skating Championships. 3-time and reigning World Sprint Champion Bonnie Blair makes her network commentating debut.

1997
APRIL 19
-- Wide World airs network television's first women's professional boxing match. Former kickboxer Yvonne Trevino wins the WIBF Superflyweight championship live from Las Vegas in a first-round TKO over Brenda Rouse. Incidentally, Rouse's trainer is the HIV-positive former heavyweight champ Tommy Morrison.

1998 MARCH 15- - Major League Soccer makes its network television debut. Tony Sanneh and D.C. United welcomed the Miami Fusion to Major League Soccer with a 2-0 victory over the expansion team Sunday afternoon before a sellout crowd of 20,450 at Lockhart Stadium. Sanneh scored one goal for United and assisted on the other, as the two-time defending champions won the opening game of MLS' third season.

AUGUST 23- - The Arena Football League made its network television debut with Arena Bowl XI championship game: the Orlando Predators vs. the Tampa Bay Storm at the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Orlando Predators won 62-31. Orlando had played in three previous ArenaBowls, losing each of them. Tampa Bay lost its first ArenaBowl in five tries.

AUGUST 29- - The 52nd Little League World Series Championship Game was one of the most exciting championship games in history, Toms River, New Jersey defeated Kashima, Japan 12-9. Toms River, or the Beast of the East as the team and the team's gorilla mascot came to be known, was the first American team in five years to win the World Series.

1999 MARCH 20- - Florida Dodge Dealers 400 NASCAR Truck Race Mike Wallace, in his Ford Truck, wins ABC's first NASCAR Truck race.

JULY 3-- Summer X Games The legendary skateboarder, Tony Hawk provided the defining moment of X Games V -- not to mention his career -- on one magical night when he executed the first '900' in skateboarding history.

JULY 10 - Woman's World Cup Final (USA WINS) Brandi Chastain converted an overtime penalty kick past China's Gao Hong and took off her uniform jersey as a record crowd for a women's sporting event in the United States (90,185 people) watched at the Rose Bowl in Pasdena and the largest U.S. television audience to watch a soccer game tuned in.

JULY 25 - Lance Armstrong, the 27-year-old cancer survivor, once the sport's boy wonder, captured cycling's biggest race, the 83rd Tour de France.

DECEMBER 26- - SportsCentury (presented by General Motors) A yearlong countdown of North America's fifty greatest athletes culminates as Michael Jordan is named the athlete of the 20th century by ESPN SportsCentury's panel of experts. Babe Ruth, the century's second greatest athlete, is also featured in the hour special.

2001
January 20
- American Figure Skater Michelle Kwan wins her fifth national Championship with two strong performances at the State Farm U.S. Figure Championships in Boston.

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Wide World "constant variety" milestones

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