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Vale Norman May AM

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame is mourning the passing of our esteemed Member and renowned Australian broadcaster Norman May, who passed away yesterday (September 12, 2016) aged 88.

Norman May was Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2004 as a General Member for his contribution to sports media.

May, who had a 35-year career as a sports broadcaster, commentated at 11 Olympic Games and 11 Commonwealth games for the ABC. It was during these 35 years that May called the famous Australian men’s 4×100 medley relay at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, creating a moment in history that will never be forgotten.

“Fifteen metres from the gold medal for Australia … 10 metres now, Brooks in front. Five metres now, four, three, two, one … Gold! Gold to Australia! Gold!”

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chairman John Bertrand AO said “Norman May will long be remembered for the magnificent impact he had on the world of broadcasting. The way in which he called an event was like no other; he brought a new meaning to sports commentary”. Norman, who called rugby, surf life saving, swimming, test cricket, horse racing and many more sports “was known by many as a true gentleman” Bertrand added. ”

The Board, Members & staff of The Sport Australia Hall of Fame extend our deepest sympathies to Norman’s family and friends.

Noman May AM 

14/02/1928 – 11/09/2016

Norman May was Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2004 as a General Member for his contribution to sports media.

Norman’s career as a broadcaster stretched over 30 years and covered 40 different sports.

May first worked on radio with the ABC, as part of the Australian contribution to the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast in 1954. He then worked as a TV commentator on the telecast of the Metropolitan Surf Championships in 1957. He was involved in a number of telecasts in surfing, swimming and rugby union, before joining the ABC staff as a specialist trainee on April 12, 1958.

May covered 11 Olympic and 11 Commonwealth Games on radio and television from Perth 1962 to Athens 2004. His major sport was swimming and his famous “Gold, Gold, Gold” call from the Moscow Olympic Games is one of the most talked about single commentaries in Australian broadcasting history.

May retired from full time work on February 29, 1984 after nearly 26 years of service. He worked as a freelance on special assignments thereafter. He returned to cricket commentary work during the 1991/92 season with Radio 2UE (and its affiliated stations around Australia), staying there for three seasons.

May wrote, devised, narrated, and presented a number of special programs and series on both radio and television, including ‘Sports Classics’ in 1974, a series of 17 half hour TV programs on famous sporting personalities or great events of the past.

In 1983 May was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to the media, and in 2000, was awarded the Olympic Order for services to the Olympic Movement in Australia. In 2003, the Australian Sports Commission in Canberra presented him with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual media awards ceremony.


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