Robin Williams ran the 800m in 1:58 and opened his first “Saturday Night Live” monologue by talking about the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics.
Williams, who died Monday at 63, had several ties to the Olympics and Olympic sports.
They began when he attended (Larkspur, Calif.) Redwood High School and ran for the cross-country and track and field teams. Commenters here have discussed Williams’ running exploits.
On Feb. 11, 1984, Williams hosted “Saturday Night Live” for the first of three times. He opened his monologue with jokes about the Winter Olympics.
Later in the show, Williams dressed as a bobsledder for a sketch.
In 1996, Williams went on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno on the day after the Atlanta Olympic Closing Ceremony. Other guests included the first men’s Olympic beach volleyball champions, Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes.
In 2002, Williams joked about the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics with very not-suitable-for-work language.
Also in 2002, Williams’ double for ice skating in “Death to Smoochy” was two-time Olympic silver medalist Elvis Stojko.
Later in 2002, Williams was part of San Francisco’s video presentation in a failed attempt to win the U.S. bid for the 2012 Olympics over New York (New York won the bid, and London later won the Games). From The New York Times:
Robin Williams delivered a taped 2012 weather report for San Francisco, describing a map in which San Francisco is “paradise,” and New York is “hot, caliente! I see swimmers crawling for joy in the triathlon, marathoners hardly breaking a sweat on the Golden Gate bridge.
On the Dan Patrick Show last year, Williams was asked what sports movie he would make that hasn’t been made. He immediately told the story of Ethiopian Abebe Bikila, who won the 1960 Rome Olympic marathon barefoot, then successfully defended his gold medal four years later.
Perhaps Williams’ legacy with the Olympics, though, should be a group of videos he narrated in 2000 and 2002, titled “Celebrate Humanity,” which can be found here.