Healthy wind again filling Jobson's sails

Work for TV underlines his recovery from cancer


Athens 2004

August 18, 2004|By Candus Thomson | Candus Thomson,SUN STAFF

ATHENS - Gary Jobson has a bad comb-over. And that's a good thing.

Sixteen months after a diagnosis of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the Annapolis man known as sailing's greatest ambassador is back, providing commentary of the Olympic regatta for NBC.

"I had scans just before I came over, and I'm clean. My stamina's getting better. I'm skinny, but I just about have enough hair to comb over," he said, laughing.

Jobson is producing and hosting a 30-minute nightly Olympics sailing program for NBC, which is being broadcast at midnight on the Bravo network.

The show highlights a different class of boat each night and profiles the sailors. Jobson tries to explain sailing tactics and equipment in terms even landlubbers can follow.

It means long days in the production studio, editing tape and polishing scripts.

"It's a good thing it's every four years," Jobson said, "because it gives you time to forget how hard it is."

Even the optimistic Jobson never thought he would be at the Summer Games after the cancer diagnosis in April 2003.

He had six chemotherapy treatments over six months, followed by a stem cell transplant last October. After hospital quarantine, he began a slow recovery. Pneumonia and a measles-like virus put him back into the hospital again.

The network held open an announcing spot for him through treatment and setbacks.

"NBC made a commitment to me and kept it. I'm appreciative of their support," he said.

Last October, Jobson was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame. As Ted Turner's tactician, he won the Cup aboard Courageous in 1977. He received an Emmy Award in 1988 for his Olympic sailing coverage for NBC and was the analyst for ESPN at last year's America's Cup.

While recovering, he wrote another book - his 14th. Championship Sailing will be on the shelves by the time he returns from Greece, and Jobson expects to be doing promotional appearances this fall.

"I'll be around Annapolis a lot, going to Redskins games, racing Etchells," he said. "And enjoying life."

Jobson, 53, also will resume the role he created long before his illness: chief cheerleader and fund-raiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Leukemia Cup regatta.

During the past decade, he has helped build the Leukemia Cup regatta from a single event in Annapolis that raised $30,000 to 45 events that last year raised $2.2 million.

Just before the diagnosis, he told the charity's directors he would like them to find someone else to take the lead role.

"I told them 10 years was enough," Jobson said. "But now I think I'll be with them forever."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.