View Full Version : Johnny Esaw, Canadian figure skating broadcaster, dead at 87

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04-07-2013, 09:01 PM
A member of the Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame, for many years Johnny was known as the voice of figure skating in Canada.

Read more here: http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/canadian-sports-broadcaster-johnny-esaw-dies-at-age-87-1.1227852

May he rest in peace.

04-07-2013, 09:42 PM
It wasn't just skating either, Johnny covered just about everything there was to cover in Cdn Sports over the years. However, it was skating he truly loved, adored and would move heaven and earth for if he could do anything to help the Sport.

He will be very much missed. God speed Sir and thanks for all of the great calls over the years. :(

04-07-2013, 09:53 PM
What a sad day --- for sports, and skating fans everywhere.
He was the producer of the special "Toller, Toller" (1975)

RIP; and thank you.

04-07-2013, 10:08 PM
Johnny Esaw was a great skating announcer, informed and enthusiastic. RIP.

04-07-2013, 10:44 PM
If Esaw were announcing today, everyone would hate him--and I would love him more for it. I loved that he predicted that Robin Cousins would get 6.0s 15 seconds into his LP at the 80 Worlds--and he was right. I loved when he would say things like "That is the best sit spin he/she ever did!" or "That is the best death spiral they have ever done!". His eagerness and enthusiasm made watching (more like rewatching) skating so fun.

I have to admit that I thought he had already left this world (too bad he could not have been part of the 2010 consortium). I hope his final years were more of comfort and tranquility. RIP.

pat c
04-07-2013, 10:50 PM
RIP Johnny Esaw. He loved figure skating.

04-07-2013, 10:54 PM
If it wasn't for him, figure skating never would have gotten the amount of TV coverage it did in Canada, and become as popular as it is. He was that influential. This is sad news.

The Accordion
04-07-2013, 10:57 PM
Oh no - so sad! I associate his voice with so much happy figure skating watching in my childhood! I loved his enthusiasm so much and his grin from ear to ear. R.I.P.

04-07-2013, 11:19 PM
Very sad news. Johnny was so influential in Canadian sportscasting, skating in particular.

04-07-2013, 11:33 PM
Awww...that is so sad.

04-07-2013, 11:53 PM
Figure skating fans in the US owe him a great debt.

http://www.thestar.com/sports/2013/04/07/johnny_esaw_canadian_sports_tv_pioneer_dead_at_87. html

Much of his success resulted from a close friendship he had with the late ABC executive Roone Arledge, who was president of ABC News and Sports. In an interview I did with him last year, Esaw reminisced about those days.
“I’d been hired to be sports director of CFTO, which was just going on the air (in 1960),” said Esaw.
“Roone was just starting his career at ABC. He wanted to televise the world figure skating championships from Vancouver and wasn’t getting anywhere with the organizers. He asked if I’d help out.”
Esaw, who was well known in western Canada for being the “voice” of both the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders and who’d been lead announcer on several Grey Cup broadcasts by that time, managed to buy the figure skating North American rights for CFTO and the ABC network.

04-08-2013, 12:06 AM
Awwww man, what sad news. I'll never forget listening to him doing commentary for skating. My condolences to his family and friends. RIP, Johnny.

04-08-2013, 12:08 AM
Aww. RIP. I loved him. I also grew up with him as my "voice of figure skating" and would say his name as Johnny Seesaw.

He was so influential in the sports world in Canada. AFAIK, he stayed behind the scenes in other sports broadcasting, but put skating on in prime time and chose to commentate on it as well. His comments were probably more in line with what people at home might be thinking, rather than politically correct. He was enthusiastic about the skaters and their performances and it was infectious. I remember him laughing during one part of Katarina Witt's program while referring to her " saucy smile, " describing Gordeeva as "beautiful, little, 16 year old, Ekaterina Gordeeva, " but nothing ever came across as inappropriate, just admiring. He really loved the whole deal.

04-08-2013, 12:27 AM
First skating broadcasts I ever watched, Johnny Esaw was one of the commentators.

04-08-2013, 12:39 AM
I can still her his voice in my memories of so many skating broadcasts in my youth. RIP.