Last night during the Minnesota Vikings-Philadelphia Eagles game, Bob Costas announced that NBC’s sister network, Universal Sports will air a nine day tribute to Olympic documentarian Bud Greenspan who passed away over the Christmas holidays. Greenspan made great films on the Olympics and also directed the official movies for the Games dating back to 1984 in Los Angeles. In his films, you can see where Greenspan could find stories other people could not and finding the athletes to tell their stories added insight to the event footage.
We have a press release from Universal Sports. For many of you, it’s the secondary digital channel on your NBC affiliate. For others, you may have it on your cable provider. I had for literally a month on DirecTV. I hope one day to get it back, but it won’t be in time for the Bud Greenspan tribute. Here’s the schedule of films you’ll see starting this weekend.
Universal Sports Presents “Nine Nights of Glory” – A Tribute to Iconic Olympic Filmmaker Bud GreenspanNetwork To Air Nine Consecutive Nights of Greenspan’s Official Olympic Films Beginning this Saturday at 9pm ETWestlake Village, CA – December 29, 2010 – Universal Sports will pay tribute to iconic Olympic filmmaker Bud Greenspan in the coming days with “Nine Nights of Glory.” Beginning this Saturday, New Year’s Day at 9 p.m. ET, Universal Sports will air a different award-winning Greenspan Olympic film for nine consecutive nights. The tribute comes days after the death of Greenspan, who passed away on Christmas Day after a long fight with Parkinson’s disease.“Bud Greenspan represented the spirit of the Olympics and his films captured the amazing accomplishments of Olympic athletes from all nations,” said David Sternberg, CEO of Universal Sports. “We are honored to pay homage to such a distinguished filmmaker. His passing is a major loss to the Olympic movement, but he will live on forever through the majesty of his documentary films.”Greenspan, instantly recognized by his trademark black-rimmed glasses on a shaved head, began his engagement with the Olympics after putting together a short film on U.S. Olympic weightlifter John Davis in 1948. His passion for the Olympic Games sparked his filmmaking career and he became the official Olympic filmmaker in 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics, a title he carried with him for seven more Olympics. Greenspan, who won eight Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award, also received accolades as a recipient of the Olympic Order, which is the International Olympic Committee’s highest award, and in 2004 was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame.“Nine Nights of Glory” Television Schedule:
January 1, 2011 Los Angeles ‘84 9:00 PM ET January 2, 2011 Calgary ‘88 9:00 PME T January 3, 2011 Lillehammer ‘94 9:00 PM ET January 4, 2011 Atlanta ‘96 9:00 PM ET January 5, 2011 Nagano ‘98 9:00 PM ET January 6, 2011 Sydney ‘00 9:00 PM ET January 7, 2011 Salt Lake City ‘02 9:00 PM ET January 8, 2011 Athens ‘04 9:00 PM ET January 9, 2011 Torino ‘06 9:00 PM ET
If you have the opportunity to watch or DVR the documentaries, by all means do so. You’ll get hooked on Greenspan’s storytelling and his way of weaving a storyline together. His films were love letters to the Olympics. It’s one reason why I stop and watch the Olympics every two years.