Beginning our 7th year and over 2500 pages. A blog for fans of Track and Field from the 1950's and 60's, culled from various articles in sports journals of the day with added commentaries from readers who lived and ran and coached in that era.
We're the equivalent of an American Legion post of Track and Field but without cheap beer. You may contact us directly at email@example.com or write a comment at the end of a given posting.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
V 6 N. 61 Still More Olympic Wrapping Up
I'm trying to adjust my life back to normal after two weeks of binge watching Olympic programming and wondering where my mind was going.
I think I watched this O Games more than any other previous, though there are ones in the past that I might have wanted to watch more than this one. Most of you have been to O s, I have not. The most possible one for me was 1976 in Montreal when we were living in Quebec, but I was in the process of moving from there down to Muncie, IN to attend grad school at the same time, so couldn't justify doing both things. Lots of events to talk about in retrospect, but not enough time here. I guess to me, a middle distance guy, the 1500 was the most anticipated, even more than Clayton Murphy in the 800, which is one of the few races I missed. In the 1500, a USA win was pleasing in many ways, but I was also disappointed that a 4:08 equivalent in the mile would do the job. However I think that the option to make a lot of money through endorsements for a gold, silver or bronze, not to mention national monetary handouts greatly affected the way the race was run. Remember Camacho got $1,000,000.00 from the Spanish government for winning the 1500 in Barcelona? Every guy in that race in Rio knew or felt he had a chance for at least a bronze and some financial security, so no one was willing to go for it from the get go or run some reasonable opening laps. Really are 66 and 70 reasonable in the Olympics? Jeez, 2:16 at the 800 would shame most high school milers. Instead it turned into an great 800 meter race. I found the 50 Km race walk more interesting, and more guys really pushed each other from the get go, and there were only maybe 30 seconds difference between 1st and 5th which mathematically over that distance is a closer race than the 1500.
The Grace Butcher article on the blog was a long time in the making. Got the idea three years ago when Steve and Bill and I visited a friend of hers, Les Hegedus in Cleveland. I've been corresponding with Grace since January to put this together. Lots of procrastinating, and then I was nervous about what she would have to say about it. She helped me with some corrections of fact and some punctuation. Think I may have gotten a B+ from her, the former English professor. Now I have time to start a similar one on Diane Palmason, who is in our club up here on Vancouver Island.
The Ryan Lockte mess. I think everyone reading this is guilty of some youthful indiscrection and truth fabrication when under the influence except maybe my colleague Roy Mason. And that's a big maybe. OK, Lockte has been on the international stage a long time, but Rio was also his last international stage and no doubt he had made tremendous sacrifices to be where he was, so maybe his acts are more understandable and even excusable. No one got hurt, a door was broken. How many doctors, lawyers, salesmen representing corporations, company VPs, CEOs, oh and yes, politicians and sportscasters have done much worse and gotten back into their respecteive games. OK, Roger Ailes of Fox got booted, for sexual harassement, but how much money did he get to leave with? The only thing he lost was power, which in his social world was terrible, but he hasn't got a long life expectancy anymore like Lockte has.
On the lighter side if you were a corporate sponsor, how could you use Lockte to sell your product now? As hypocritcal beer companies produce their sales pitches, surely they could find a way to 'use' Lockte. Coors or Annhueser Busch usually follow their ads with something about drinking responsibly, but always show a bunch of attractive young people having a good time. How about showing beautiful young people having a bad time as a result of alcohol abuse? What about drivers' insurance companies? Condom ads?, Mouthwash?, Gun safety? Lockte might be good for one gig on Saturday Night Live, and if he's really good, maybe a whole new career. Lord knows plenty of entertainment industry people have made come backs after acting stupid, except Mel Gibson.
Clayton Murphy may well turn out to be the best 800 man in American history. Too bad you missed his wonderful performance George. He got shoved around in the first round, but in the semis and final he was doing the shoving. He’s composed, smart and has the best kick I’ve seen among any US runner dating back to Mal Whitfield. I see 1:41.0 for him if he does not get hurt.
This was the best OG for me ever on TV. I went to LA, but was really into this one and there was a thrill a minute. Crouser and Carter among my favorites. Neikerk WR thrilling. Simpson and Coburn super. Tim Hutchings the best announcer by a wide margin in my book. Ashton Eaton a pleasure to watch.
Chelimo blew me away getting second in 5k with a 13.03.90 right behind Farah. Christian Taylor and Will Claye both excellent as were the women 100 hurdlers. Tori Bowie and Allison Felix both exceeded expectations, especially Felix in overcoming injury.
I don’t knock Centro at all. He took full advantage of what was handed to him. I hate to see that kind of race, but he ran one hell of last 800. I was really happy for Rupp and Jaeger.
Keep up the good work George and Roy. Tokyo will have to go some to top this.
Here's the JimFixx question of the day for Superintelligent People The Splintered Circle
What is the maximum number of parts into which a circle may be divided by drawing 4 straight lines? Answer below.
Good observations, George. What I got out of the Rio Games was that the Americans are now willing and able to run with the East Africans, occasionally beating them. Although the Africans get the most medals in the distances, they no longer get all of them. I am very impressed with the US competitive spirit which so often rises to that of the competition. I believe that was started by Bob Kennedy and now others. Training groups with good coaches, financed by shoe companies, have paved the way. That is the current trend although in many ways that was an older model as well.
Of course, Kenyans were entered about 15-20 times in each distance race, wearing different uniforms including the red, white, and blue of the USA, Yet they still did not get all of the medals as they did at one time. My one disappointment was that the people representing the countries are often not from that country. I liked it when African countries were represented by Africans and European countries were represented by Europeans. With that in mind, in what continent can we expect to find France or Quatar. Steve, what about Bahrain? Are they still in the Middle East or have they moved closer to Tanzania?
It was interesting to compare swimming and track. If you take Africans and Carribean athletes out of the T&F events, our results would be much like swimming with plenty of victories as well as 1-2 or 1-3 finishes. As Stan Huntsman said to Sam Bell at a pre-Montreal banquet in 1976 when the swimmers were really living it up, "they wouldn't be so cocky if the Kenyans had a pool."
It was interesting to see China beat the US in the men's 4x1. Has that ever happened before? How about the US beating China in diving? The world is changing with no more "sure things" anymore. I guess that's a good thing. Any interesting question posed on Mike and Mike yesterday was this: Which will come first? The US winning a World Cup in men's soccer or another country being equal to the US in basketball.
Wasn't it Japan that beat us in the 4 x 100 Relay?
Correct me if I'm wrong. John Bork
We stand corrected and will have a word with Mr. Schnier at the next board meeting. George
Bill and everyone,
Remember there was an incident of the US upsetting England in the World Cup way back in 1950 and doing it with import players. Admittedly they didn't import with the intent of performing well in soccer, but there were at least three non US citizens on that team. There was a movie about it a few years ago as well. So giving up your nationality and representing your new country is nothing new.
Also Keiti Son a Korean national won the Olympic Marathon running for Japan in 1936.
Here is how Sports Reference describes it. "Son Gi-Jeong, who was forced to compete at the 1936 Olympics under the Japanese name Kitei Son because Korea had been annexed by the Japanese, became the first Korean to win an Olympic gold when he finished first in the Berlin Olympic marathon. Son started as a track runner in the 1,500 and 5K, but a win in an 8-mile race in October 1933 turned him to longer distances. Between 1933 and 1936, Son ran 12 marathons, winning 9 of them, never finishing worse than third. On 3 November 1935 in Tokyo, Son set a world best in the marathon with a time of 2-26:42 and this record remained unbroken until Son's own trainee [Seo Yun-Bok] won the 1947 Boston marathon with a time of 2-25:39. After finishing his sporting career Son worked as an athletics coach in Korea, training the national marathon squad. He also became the chairman of the Korean Sporting Association. In 1988 Son was chosen to light the torch at the Opening Ceremony of the Seoul Olympics.
Personal Best: Mar – 2-26:42 (1935). Sohn was a proud Korean. When the Japanese anthem was played at his victory ceremony, he bowed his head and refused to acknowledge it. He told reporters that he was ashamed that he had to run for Japan. The next day, a leading Korean newspaper showed a photo of the victory ceremony, but covered the Japanese rising sun from his uniform singlet. For that, the Japanese jailed several of its employees and closed down the newspaper. Korea did not forget its first Olympic champion. In 1988, when Seoul hosted the Olympic Games, the Olympic torch was brought into the stadium by Sohn Kee-Chung, now running proudly under the Korean flag. Answer: The Splintered Circle
Eleven segments may be formed with the 4 lines. The key of course is that each successive line must divide as many segments as possible.