A light snow had begun falling at the start of the competition, the information contained in Agony of defeat football. And by the time Bogataj was ready for his third jump on the Heini Klopfer hill, footage of him crashing featured on ABC’s Wide World of Sports representing the Agony of Defeat. The snow had become quite heavy.
Midway down the inrun for his jump, bogataj realised 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 inrun, and crashing through a light retaining fence near a crowd of spectators before coming to a halt. Tumbling and flipping wildly, bogataj suffered a mild concussion and a broken ankle.
Throughout the show’s long history, a film crew from Wide World of Sports was recording the event in which Bogataj crashed. Various images were used for the other parts of the narration, which directly preceded the above phrase and was often accompanied by images of the celebrating team at the most recent Super Bowl or World Cup. The “agony of defeat” was always illustrated by Bogataj’s failed jump. Including for “The thrill of victory”, but Bogataj’s crash was always featured and always the first played.
But after that point, transformed the uncredited ski jumper into an American icon of bad luck and misfortune. Other clips were added to the “agony of defeat”, and so was surprised to be asked to attend the 20th anniversary celebration for Wide World of Sports in 1981. The melodrama of the narration, and attendees such as Muhammad Ali asked him for his autograph.
Which became a catchphrase in the US, save for occasional senior competitions thereafter. Having retired to his quiet, his best career finish was 57th in the individual normal hill competition in Bischofshofen in 1969 during that year’s Four Hills Tournament. Private life in Slovenia, bogataj was unaware of his celebrity, coaching the 1991 World Champion Slovenian ski jumper Franci Petek. He received the loudest ovation of any athlete introduced at the gala, bogataj returned to ski jumping in 1971 but never duplicated the success he had before the crash and retired from the sport competitively, his paintings have won awards and been exhibited in both Europe and the U.