Remember Vinko Bogatej? He was a ski-jumper from Yugoslavia who, while competing in the 1970 World Ski-Flying Championship in Obertsdorf, West Germany, fell off the takeoff ramp and landed on his head. Ever since, the accident has been used to highlight “the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat” on ABCs “Wide World of Sports.” Bogatej was hospitalized after the spill, but he has recovered and now works in a foundry in Yugoslavia.
Doug Wilson, a producer for ABC, interviewed him last year for a special anniversary edition of the show. “When we told him hes been on the program ever since 1970,” says Wilson, “he couldnt believe it. He appears on Television 130 times a year.”