TORONTO — Veteran sports broadcaster Brian Williams announced his retirement Thursday, ending a five-decade career that saw him rise to prominence as one of Canada’s leading authorities on the Olympic Games.
Williams covered his first Olympics in 1976 in Montreal and was the principal studio anchor for 13 Games with both CBC and CTV.
Williams was also a longtime host of CFL coverage on CBC and later TSN.
“As I look back on my career, what’s most meaningful is that I have had the privilege of working with so many wonderful and talented people on both radio and television,” Williams said in a statement. “Over the course of the last 50 years, I’ve been fortunate to cover so many great athletes and amazing events, both at home and abroad. I’d like to express my sincere thanks to all.”
He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2010 and in 2012 was given the Commissioner’s Award at the 100th Grey Cup in recognition for more than 40 years of contributions to the game.
Knowledgeable no matter what the sport, Williams also lent his voice to coverage of hockey, Major League Baseball, Formula One racing, World Cup soccer, horse racing, figure skating and more during his half-century of broadcasting.
The Winnipeg native was named to the Order of Canada in December 2011 for his broadcasting career and community and volunteer work.
He has also won eight Gemini Awards, two Foster Hewitt Awards, and one Canadian Screen Award.
TSN says it will celebrate Williams’ career on Dec. 12 in advance of the 108th Grey Cup broadcast.
Williams began calling university basketball play-by-play in 1967. He started his professional career in radio with Toronto’s CHUM.
After a year at CFRB Radio in Toronto, Williams joined CBLT, the CBC’s English-language flagship channel.
He remained with CBC until his move to CTV and TSN in June 2006.
“Brian is a true legend who has brought extraordinary knowledge, warmth, and humour to TSN broadcasts,” Bell Media senior vice president Stewart Johnston said in a release.
“A remarkable storyteller with a generous spirit, Brian has dedicated so much of his time to causes close to his heart. We miss him on-air and around the office, but are grateful for all the incredible years he has spent with TSN.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2021.
The Canadian Press