Legendary broadcaster and journalist Barbara Walters died at the of 93 on Dec. 30. She was known for her excellent interviewing skills, and she spoke to everyone from celebrities to athletes to world leaders.
Walters conducted interviews with some of the biggest stars and most controversial figures in the world of sports throughout her career. Walters sat across from legends like Kobe Bryant and Muhammad Ali, and she got an exclusive interview with V. Stiviano, the woman who recorded former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist remarks.
Through her journalism, Walters made a big impact on the sports world, and people will look back on many of her interviews for years to come. Below are some of the most significant sports-related interviews Walters conducted in her prolific career.
Muhammad Ali (1978)
Ali is one of the most recognizable and impactful athletes of the 20th century, and Walters spoke to him toward the end of his career in 1978. Ali talked to Walters about fighting Leon Spinks for the world heavyweight title, his faith, and how he feels about losing fights.
Mike Tyson and Robin Givens (1988)
Walters sat down with boxing legend Mike Tyson and actress Robin Givens to discuss their marriage. In the interview, Givens said that Tyson had a “gentle” side but also accused him of some abusive behavior. Shortly after the interview, Givens filed for divorce after less than a year of marriage.
Greg Louganis (1995)
In one of her most impactful interviews with an athlete, Walters spoked to four-time gold medalist Greg Louganis about his HIV diagnosis and competing in the 1988 Olympic Games without telling anyone he had the disease. In that interview, Louganis spoke about hitting his head on the diving board and worrying as he bled in the pool and while doctors tended to his wound.
Kobe Bryant (1998)
As part of Walters’ “Six to Watch” series in 1998, she interviewed a young Kobe Bryant, who was just two years into what would become one of the greatest careers in NBA history. At the time, Bryant spoke about the impact his father made on him, his goals and aspirations for his NBA career, and he even spoke some Italian.
V. Stiviano (2014)
In 2014, an audio clip of then Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist remarks was leaked to TMZ. The woman who recorded that conversation, V. Stiviano, sat down with Walters to share her side of the story. Later that year, Sterling was banned from the NBA for life, and the Clippers were sold to their current owner, Steve Ballmer.