You probably don’t know the name Vinko Bogataj, but if you’re a sports fan of a certain age, you’ve seen him in action more times than you can count.
If it helps to place him, Bogataj is a former ski jumper for Yugoslavia. To zero in a little bit more, even though you would have seen him so many times, you probably never saw him compete live. Does “Oberstdorf, West Germany” mean anything to you?
If that doesn’t nail it down, this will: the agony of defeat.
Bogataj is that ski jumper, whose 1970 crash became synonymous with ABC’s Wide World of Sports and the counter to “the thrill of victory,” clips of which might change from week to week. Bogataj’s crash, on the other hand, was on American television constantly until Wide World went off the air in 1988.
Although he didn’t know about his American fame for years, Bogataj wound up embracing it, and earlier this year, WFAA in Dallas caught up with him to find out that, yes, he’s a big fan of fellow Slovenian athlete Luka Dončić, and also now is an artist.
Skateboarding is new to the Olympics this year, but the agony of defeat is not. And the face of it for the 21st century… well, maybe not the face of it… is Angelo Caro Narvaez of Peru.
Incredibly, Narvaez recovered from that spill in the men’s street preliminaries to be one of the eight competitors who made it to the final. Not only that, he finished fifth, ahead of stars Aurelien Giraud of France and Nyjah Huston of the United States. As the agony of defeat goes, that’s not so bad, although Narvaez probably still is gonna want to put some ice on that when he gets back to the Olympic Village.
Yuto Horigome won gold for Japan, with Brazil’s Kelvin Hoefler nailing a 9.34 on his last trick to take silver and American Jagger Eaton claiming bronze.