COVER STORY The only concession Bruce made to his work schedule was to stop covering tennis, allowing a few weeks’ rest over summer. “What it’s meant for me is the opportunity to regenerate a bit and have a break mentally,” he says. “It’s been a good move; it’s meant I can spend time with my family, but my career has continued on and as far as I’m concerned I’m quite capable of working hard, certainly today and hopefully for a few years in the future.” Bruce grew up in Adelaide’s north-west in a family of sports lovers and knew from the age of five that he wanted to be a race caller. “My Uncle Leslie gave me a scrapbook of horses, and I used to pore over those, and ask questions about them, have conversations about
racing – it was my first love and still is,” he says. His career began as a 23-year-old in 1976 at Radio 5DN in Adelaide, calling races and hosting a sports show before what he calls a ‘lucky break’ – the chance to present sports news on Channel 7, and produce a racing program (Racetrack). In 1980 he covered his first Olympics for Channel 7, hosting the Adelaide end of the Moscow telecast. Bruce went on to read sports news for Channel 10 in Melbourne and covered the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, followed by the Seoul Olympics. Since then, Bruce has covered every summer Olympics, three Winter Games and continues to anchor major sporting events including AFL football grand finals, the Brownlow
Medal and the Melbourne Cup, and remains the only sports commentator to be recognised with a Logie Award. Bruce returned to Adelaide with his wife Anne in 1999 with their kids Sam (then five) and Alexandra (two), to spend time with both their parents and extended families. Today Sam works in the media in Melbourne and Alex lives ‘around the corner’ in Glenelg South.
“Growing up, I wanted to call the Melbourne Cup, I wanted to play Test cricket and I wanted to play league football. In a way I’ve been practising all my life to do the job I’m doing now.”