Monday, March 24, 2008

Wilson Leaves Skating

At a time when figure skating needs all the help it can get to restore flagging popularity, it will be without a man who made the sport a captivating show.

Whether capturing the golden moment that is his most vivid memory, Brian Boitano’s 1988 Olympic triumph, or making the best of competitions tarnished by the dross the sport has produced in the past several years, Doug Wilson managed to convey the beauty, difficulty and passion of skating to TV audiences for nearly half a century.

The Wilson era ended Sunday, when he directed the exhibition telecast from the World Figure Skating Championships for ESPN/ABC. After 50 years of work for ABC, in which he directed or produced 40 different sports, Wilson has promised his wife this is the finale, even if NBC were to come calling for help with its coverage of U.S. skating and the 2010 Olympics.

Speaking from Sweden, where he also directed the women’s and dance competitions, Wilson, 72, was quick to credit all the others who helped him, especially the people behind cameras who provided the memorable shots from which he chose.

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