Vinko Bogataj (pronounced Bo-ga-tie) (born 1950) is a former ski jumper from Slovenia who became noted on US television in the 1970s for a moment of spectacular failure that was featured on ABC's Wide World of Sports as the infamous Agony of Defeat.
Bogataj was competing as a Yugoslavian entrant at the Ski-flying World Championships in Oberstdorf, West Germany (now Germany) on March 21, 1970. A light snow had begun falling at the start of the event, and by the time Bogataj was ready for his third jump, the snow had become quite heavy. Midway down the ramp for that jump, Bogataj realized that the conditions had made the ramp too fast. He attempted to lower his center of gravity and stop his jump, but instead lost his balance completely and rocketed out of control off the end of the ramp, tumbling and flipping wildly, and crashing through a light retaining fence near a crowd of stunned spectators before coming to a halt. Despite the ferocity of the crash, Bogataj suffered only a mild concussion.
By kjfitz @ 2010-01-08 09:33:25