Thrills--and Agony

Broadcaster Jim McKay, who died June 7 at age 86, traveled some 4 million miles in his 37 years with ABC's Wide World of Sports, "spanning the globe," as the show's slogan put it, to bring viewers "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." And wherever his travels took him--from the Olympics to barrel-jumping, from horse-racing to demolition derby--he brought a reporter's eye, a poet's touch and a little boy's enthusiasm.

But McKay's finest hour was sports' darkest, when 11 Israeli athletes perished in a terrorist attack at the 1972 Munich Olympics. As he reported the story over 16...