Saturday, January 19, 2008

Goodbye, Don

The following, I wrote to the "Track Canada" group in regards to the passing of Don Wittman:

Martin, thank you for posting.

I'm sure I'm not alone in recognizing Don Wittman as THE voice of track andfield in this country. The article
summarizes some of his most memorable moments covering the sport at the Olympic and Worlds level (Bailey, Johnson), but here's one of my vivid memories:

1984 Summer Olympics. We were in a London restaurant having dinner, as the OTFA Bantam-Midget-Juvenile championships were going on at the old stadium at Western. I had a bet with my coach regarding the outcome of the women's 3000 metres. I said Mary Slaney, my coach had Zola Budd. Well, we all know how that race turned out for the two of them! However, I cannot forget the indelible mark left by Wittman's cries of "LYNN WILLIAMS IS RUNNING THE RACE OF HER LIFE" as she rounded the final bend to finish with a bronze medal. This one I rank alongside "Donovan Bailey is pouring it on!" and "Donovan Bailey is tearing up the track" and "Oh, if you're Canadian, you gotta' love these Saturday nights in Georgia!".

And this doesn't even begin to cover what he contributed to other sports. I will miss Don Wittman. Track and field coverage will never be the same.

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