Alex Gilady

Honored: 2006
Location: Israel

Alex Gilady has been Israel’s leading sports internationalist since September 5, 1994, when he was elected his nation’s first member of the International Olympic Committee.

Gilady’s initial Olympics involvement came as deputy team leader of the Israeli television delegation to the ill-fated 1972 Munich Games. Four years later, he was head of sport and executive producer for Israel TV’s coverage of the 1976 Montreal Olympics. This successful coverage led to a promotion as executive producer of all Israel TV special events, including Egyptian President Anwar El-Sadat’s historic visit to Jerusalem in 1977, and the subsequent Israel-Egypt peace talks. To organize the coverage, Gilady was granted the first Israeli passport to enter Egypt.

Alex Gilady’s distinguished career in sports media began in 1964 when he took an entry-level position with the Israel’s daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. Less than a year later he was elevated to the position of journalist and correspondent. In 1969, he joined the newly established Israel State Television as a sports commentator and editor, and later became its head of sports and executive producer.

In 1980, Gilady became a member of the European Broadcasting Union’s Operation Group to the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, while continuing on as Israel TV’s sports chief and on-air basketball and track & field commentator.

Developing an impressive international “can-do” reputation in high level broadcasting suites, the Teheran-born Israeli was invited to join NBC Sports in 1981. Less than a year later, his expertise resulted in the network’s acquisition of the broadcast rights to the first World Track and Field Championships in Helsinki. This event marked a new era for international sports on American television.

In 1984, Gilady was promoted to network Vice-President for Liaison to the IOC Radio-Television Commission; and later, senior Vice-President of Global Operations. He played a major role in the network’s acquisition of broadcast rights to the summer and winter Olympic Games of 1988, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008.

Gilady was named chairman of the IAAF TV Commission in 1985, which was charged with the responsibility of revolutionizing broadcast coverage of track and field. In 1986, he joined the Executive Group of the IOC Radio-TV Commission, the recognized authority for broadcasting the Olympic Games. Since 2004, he has been chairman of the FIBA TV Council.

In 1993, Keshet Broadcasting, Gilady’s bid to become Israel’s first commercial television channel, was granted a franchise, with the founder its president and CEO. The transaction was completed with NBC’s blessing, and Gilady continues in the network’s service.

Among the numerous honors Alex Gilady has received: the 1977 Israel Broadcasting Association (IBA) Award for coverage of President Sadat’s first visit to Jerusalem; Israel’s 1977 “Man of the Year” honors in recognition of his production of the first Israeli broadcast from Egypt; and Emmy Awards for television coverage of the Olympic Games in 1992 (Barcelona), 1996 (Atlanta), 2000 (Sydney) and Salt Lake city (2002).

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually, honoring those individuals who have made significant contributions to the State of Israel and society through sports.

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