DON WITTMAN, CBC Winnipeg – 2002 – AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SPORTS BROADCASTING

It is because of his outstanding work at the 2001 championships in Edmonton that Don is being recognized for Outstanding Sports Broadcasting this year.

Over the course of a distinguished 40-year career, it’s hard to recall a sport that Don Wittman hasn’t covered. Most recently, at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Wittman was the curling voice for the CBC-TV network. At the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, he covered all the action from the track.

Don is a veteran of 16 Olympics, winter and summer; 9 Commonwealth Games; 4 Pan American Games and all but one of the World Track and Field Championships since they were begun in 1983. He has covered World Hockey Championships; World Junior Hockey Championships; 35 consecutive Grey Cup Games and the Canada Summer and Winter Games. He has been on Hockey Night In Canada since 1979 (including 4 Stanley Cup finals).

His voice has been inextricably linked to curling coverage since 196l which included the Brier, the Scott Tournament of Hearts, Junior and Senior World Championships, “plus every event on the CBC: horse-racing, Canadian Open golf, rugby, basketball, tennis, soccer, water-polo.” You name it and Don Wittman has likely been involved at one time or another.

At the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, he called the most-watched races of the Olympics, Donovan Bailey’s 9.84 seconds record-breaking 100m and the Canadian men’s 4 x 100m relay, both gold medal winners. Wittman regards those two races and “the 1998 gold medal win by Sandra Schmirler as the two highlights of my career.”

However, when it comes to hockey -- Wittman reflects on a time he considers was special. “Having covered the NHL during the time Wayne Gretzky played in Edmonton is indeed a memory I cherish”, he says.

But as surely as there is a Canadian Football League in this country, Don Wittman’s name is closely attached to the game. It was his voice Canadians heard calling the play-by-play of numerous Grey Cup classics. Two stand out for him. “The 1961 Grey Cup game, my first, and still the only overtime game, and the 1989 game, arguably the most exciting ever played.”

A native of Herbert, Saskatchewan, Don Wittman attended the University of Saskatchewan and began his broadcasting career as a radio news reporter in 1955 at CFCQ in Saskatoon.

A resident of Winnipeg since 1961, Wittman is a two-time ACTRA award winner and has been inducted into the Canadian Football League’s Hall of Fame as well as Manitoba’s provincial Hall of Fame.

Wittman and his wife of 35 years, Judy, have two daughters – Karen and Kristen – both of whom are lawyers and a son, David, who is studying architecture.


 



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