" They're all gone."
The words used by the late Jim McKay, in describing the tragic conclusion of the Israeli hostage crisis during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, still resonate 36 years after the fact.
It was with those words, along with the manner in which he tirelessly reported the story as it developed, that McKay forever became the undisputed voice of the Olympic Games.
As a child, then a young adult and onward, Jim McKay was always a presence in my world of sports. Whether he was hosting another Olympics, or merely spanning the globe to bring me the constant variety of sports, McKay's class and eloquence were always welcomed. His distinctive voice and enthusiasm in whatever he did were without peer.
Jim McKay passed away on June 7, 2008.
The date will always be special to me as it was the day I was married to my beautiful wife. Upon hearing the sad news, I did pause for a solemn moment. I never met Jim McKay, but it felt as though he'd been in my living room all these many years, helping foster a passion for sports.
As I sit here, viewing the Beijing Games, I can't help but to think of McKay. I remember the time on ABC's Wide World of Sports hit a golf ball over the Great Wall of China. I guess that is the great things about memories, they can never be taken away.
Of course, as they did in Munich in 1972, the Games will continue as will life itself.
They just won't be the same without Jim McKay.
(Photo credit - ABC via Associated Press)