Longtime Olympic broadcaster Tim Ryan was honored Saturday by the International Ski Federation for his decades of service as a commentator for alpine ski racing. Ryan, the voice of alpine ski racing since 1992, was recognized by FIS and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) during the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup races in Beaver Creek.
The FIS Journalist Award is presented by the sport’s international governing body for career contributions to the sport. Selections are made by national ski associations on behalf of the FIS. Ryan is the eleventh U.S. journalist honored since the award was initiated in 1996.
“Tim has become a part of the alpine ski racing family,” said Tom Kelly, chairman of the FIS PR and Mass Media Committee. “He’s a skier himself so he understands the uniqueness of our sport and has always put a special passion into his work.”
The traditional crystal trophy was presented by U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Bill Marolt, also a FIS Vice President.
Longtime NBC correspondent Tim Ryan (right) receives the FIS Journalist Award from USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt.
“It is a thrill for me to be included in such a lineup of exceptional ski journalists,” said Ryan. “Of all the sports I have covered, ski racing means the most to me.”
Ryan’s career has spanned more than 50 years, 40 of those with both NBC and CBS. He began working in ski racing in 1977. While he’s covered dozens of sports, he’s most known for his work in boxing, NHL hockey and skiing.
The Notre Dame graduate made a key decision in 1992 when he chose alpine ski racing over hockey and figure skating for his CBS’ entry to the Albertville Olympic Winter Games. In the mountain venue of Meribel, he called the action for silver medals by Hilary Lindh and Diann Roffe.
Longtime NBC correspondent Tim Ryan joins other past recipients of the FIS Journalist Award during presentation ceremonies at the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup in Beaver Creek. Left to right: Hank McKee, Ski Racing; Gary Black, Ski Racing; Tim Ryan, NBC; Bob Beattie, ESPN/ABC; Joe Jay Jalbert, Jalbert Productions.
Ryan went on to cover seven straight Winter Olympics for CBS and NBC. He was on the mike for historic gold medals by Tommy Moe, Picabo Street, Bode Miller, Julia Mancuso, Ted Ligety and Lindsey Vonn. And he’s also remembered for his dramatic live call of Austrian star Hermann’s Meier’s spectacular crash at Nagano in 1998. Tim has also been in the broadcast position at six FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and worked with World Cup greats Billy Kidd, Andy Mill, Christin Cooper, Cindy Nelson and Todd Brooker.
Ryan is now a notable part of a list that includes some of the greatest names in wintersports journalism in America. Sport Illustrated’s venerable William Oscar Johnson was the first recipient in 1996. Others have included ABC/ESPN commentator Bob Beattie, longtime Ski Magazine editor John Fry, Ski Racing Magazine publisher Gary Black and one of the sport’s most prolific writers, the late Paul Robbins. Last April he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Ski History Association.
Tim and wife Patricia divide their time between homes in Sun Valley, ID and Mont-sur-Rolle, Switzerland.
FIS JOURNALIST AWARD
2011 – Tim Ryan, NBC
2010 – Hank McKee, Ski Racing
2010 – Paul Robbins, Freelance Journalist
2008 – Mike Clark, Associated Press
2007 – Gary Black, Ski Racing
2002 – Peter Diamond, NBC
2002 – Joe Jay Jalbert, Jalbert Productions
2001 – Anita Verschoth, Sports Illustrated
1999 – Charlie Meyers, Denver Post
1998 – John Fry, Ski Magazine
1997 – Bob Beattie, ABC/ESPN
1996 – William Oscar Johnson, Sports Illustrated