When the International Olympic Committee planned a series of short television commercials to celebrate its athletes in 2000, officials thought Robin Williams would be perfect for the voice-overs.
But they never expected him to do it.
Not only did Williams sign on for the “Celebrate Humanity” campaign, he refused to be paid, requesting only to be a torchbearer in the relay before the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.
And he gave his spot to a disabled child.
“His voice and the inspiration of his voice just made such a difference and contribution to the Olympic Movement,” former IOC marketing director Michael R. Payne told aroundtherings.com.
One of the 30-second spots shows skier Hermann Maier’s famous and horrific crash with Williams saying: “Falling is easy. Getting back up ... that’s the hard part.”
Payne said the "sheer diversity and beauty of his voice captured the pure magic of the stories being told.”