Once Upon a Time in the Vest

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 86 Dave Laut's wife goes on trial for his murder

Dave Laut's Wife Goes on Trial for His Murder
This article appeared in the L.A. Times August 9, 2012

Dave lautThe murder trial of Jane Laut in the shooting death of her husband, retired Olympic shot putter Dave Laut, has been delayed for at least two months.
Attorneys for both sides asked for the delay Tuesday in the Ventura courthouse where the trial had been scheduled to begin.
The new trial date is Oct. 2, although another postponement is possible, said Ron Bamieh, defense attorney for the 55-year-old Laut.
She is accused of shooting her husband on Aug. 27, 2009. Initially, she concocted a story about a prowler but months later confessed to the killing, saying she had acted in self-defense.
Laut said her husband was drunk and threatening to kill her, their young son and two family dogs when she managed to wrest a .22 handgun away from him.
As he advanced on her, she shot him five times. Laut's brother, Don Laut, said Tuesday that he was outraged by the defense's portrayal of his late brother as a violent alcoholic. Dave Laut was a world-class shot putter in the early 1980s, winning a bronze medal in the event in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. The Lauts were married for nearly 29 years.
Don Laut called his brother a reserved and mild-mannered man who would never hurt anyone.
"They are reaching, grasping for anything they can,'' said Don Laut, 46, a Long Beach physical education teacher. "She is fighting for her life and she’s lying. I have no idea why you would take another person’s life."

                                             Breaking Training         Dave and Jane in better Days

Monday, August 20, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 85 Sam Stoller , Indignity at Berlin


The following biography of Sam Stoller was sent to us from Bill Schnier, men's track and cross country coach at the University of Cincinnati.  Bill will be presenting Sam Stoller (deceased) at his induction in the Cincinnati area Track and Field Hall of Fame.  Sam was a native of Cincinnati.  


            A 1933 graduate of Hughes High School and a 1937 graduate of the University of Michigan, Sam Stoller led a fascinating life of champion and runner-up, of Olympian and non-Olympian, of athlete and singer.  Sam was born in Cincinnati and attended Hughes High School at the same time that Jesse Owens was running in Cleveland.  As a result Sam never won the state meet in high school, finishing second to the great Jesse Owens who ran for Cleveland East Tech.  The two followed each other to the Big Ten where Stoller continued to be a frequent runner-up to Owens.  Sam ran for the University of Michigan while Jesse competed for Ohio State.  During their college days they faced each other 20 times with Sam winning only once, yet the races were always close.  Sam once said “I’m the fellow you see in the movies of Jesse’s footraces.” 
                                                        Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller
  en route to Berlin
            Jesse Owens burst onto the national stage when he set four world records at the 1935 Big Ten Championships.  Sam made his national mark for the first time by setting the world record for the 60 yard dash in 6.1 seconds.  Yet it was in the 1936 Olympic Trials followed by the Berlin Olympic Games where the two earned lasting recognition.  Jesse immortalized himself by winning four gold medals in the historic “Hitler Olympics” whereas Sam became best known for qualifying for the USA 400 meter relay, then being denied the opportunity to run.  Considerably controversy surrounded that decision at the time and even to the present.
                                               Ralph Metcalfe, Sam Stoller, Jesse Owens
                                                       possibly at 1936 Olympic Trials
            At the 1936 Olympic Trials at Randall’s Island in New York City, the places were as follows:  1. Jesse Owens,  2. Ralph Metcalf,  3. Frank Wykoff,  4. Foy Draper,  5. Marty Glickman,  6. Sam Stoller and 7. Mack Robinson (brother of Jackie Robinson).  Using the logic and current thinking of United States sprinting, the top four would run the finals of the 400 meter relay while fifth and sixth would serve as backups, running only in the trials.  However, at that time, 1936, the plan was to have the headliners run the open sprints and to have the others concentrate on their handoffs, directing their entire attention to the relay.  Consequently Stoller rode the Olympic ship to Germany fully planning to run the 400 meter relay.  Once in Germany the team of Sam Stoller, Marty Glickman, Foy Draper and Frank Wykoff practiced their handoffs faithfully in anticipation of the day when they would represent the USA.  While in Berlin they heard a rumor that the Germans were hiding their best sprinters so they could surprise the world but especially the Americans in the 400 meter relay, yet in the 100 and 200 meter races they were nowhere to be seen.  Near the end of the Olympic Games and the morning of the 400 meter relay trials, a meeting took place with US head coach Lawson Robertson, assistant coach Dean Cromwell and the seven American sprinters.  In that meeting it was announced that Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe, who had placed first and second in the 100 meters, would replace Stoller and Marty Glickman.  The rationale during that meeting is that the coaches wanted to put the four fastest runners on the relay.  In a 100 meter race at the Olympic site a few weeks earlier, the places were Stoller, Glickman and Draper indicating that the two who did not run were faster than those who did run.  The interpretation by the two runners left off the relay is that they were dropped for religious purposes since they were both Jewish and the US Olympic Committee did not want to offend Hitler and the Nazi leaders.  Both Avery Brundage, the Head of the USOC, and assistant coach, Dean Cromwell, were members of the American First Committee, an isolationist group headed by Charles Lindbergh with anti-Semitic leanings.  The team of Jesse Owens, Ralph Metcalf, Foy Draper and Frank Wykoff went on to win the gold medal in the world record time of 39.8.  However, the controversy continues today.

            On Sam’s 21st birthday he did not go to the stadium to see the relay and vowed never to run again.  However he reconsidered and ran his final year at Michigan, winning the Big Ten and NCAA 100 meters.  After the NCAAs in 1937, he stayed in California, taking up a singing career in nine separate movies as Singin’ Sammy Stoller.  Later in life he was an announcer for the Washington Senators.  In 1988 the US Olympic Committee tried to atone for the Olympic slight by awarding Stoller and Glickman the General MacArthur Medal.  Sam Stoller was also inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame before dying in 1985 at the age of 69.  

Vol. 2 No. 84 Abel Kiviat, an American world record holder at 1500 meters

If asked to name some famous Jewish runners,  after Harold Abrahams of 'Chariots of Fire' fame, and perhaps Marty Glickman, most of us might quickly run out of names.  Then a few would throw in Lew Stieglitz, almost no one would remember Sam Stoller who with Marty Glickman was removed from the US 4x100 team in the 1936 Olympics and replaced by Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe.  Shot putter Gary Gubner would also be remembered for his world class  throwing in the 1960's.  Almost no one would have heard of Abel Kiviat who set and broke the world record at 1500 meters three times in the space of 13 days and was also a silver medalist in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.   Below are two accounts about this remarkable man.   A third article, actually an interview with Mr. Kiviat, can be found at the following link.  http://www.la84foundation.org/SportsLibrary/JSH/JSH1986/JSH1303/jsh1303d.pdf

Abel Kiviat, National Champion: Twentieth-Century Track & Field and the Melting Pot
By Alan S. Katchen
Syracuse University Press, 320 pages, $34.95
All Aboard: Kiviat wears his boyhood Norwood Athletic club uniform on the S.S Finland in 1912.
All Aboard: Kiviat wears his boyhood Norwood Athletic club uniform on the S.S Finland in 1912.
Saturday, June 14, 1924: Abel Kiviat twists his ankle on a barrier during the Olympic trials in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at Harvard Stadium, falling flat on his face. Then and there, the future International Jewish Sports and National Track & Field Hall of Famer decides to quit, even before the meet ends.
A little more than a year later, he once again trips and falls, this time during the 1,000-meter event at the Wilco Games, an amateur athletic event held in Brooklyn. It was his last official race. This was not the way it was supposed to end for a man once labeled one of the “greatest middle-distance runners in the world,” a man who was 0.2 seconds away from winning a gold medal during the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm.
It was a far different scene from the one almost 14 years earlier, when Kiviat set three world records in 13 days of competition. First, he set 1,500-meter world record. Then, a week later broke his own record in a race at New York City’s Celtic Park in that same distance, and, during a race just six days later, beat that time yet again, finally clocking in at 3:55.8 for the 1,500 meter. The third, which was set at Harvard Stadium, would be one of 14 world records achieved by Kiviat as an amateur athlete, a remarkable record for the high school dropout and son of Polish-Jewish immigrants.
Kiviat’s upbringing in Staten Island, and his rise to track and field glory, is explored in Alan S. Katchen’s book, “Abel Kiviat, National Champion: Twentieth-Century Track & Field and the Melting Pot.” In addition to examining the young Jewish runner and his rise to fame, Katchen considers the state of track and field competition during the earlier part of the century and the status it enjoyed in America.
But make no mistake, Kiviat is the star of this story.
Prior to his experience as a world-famous runner, Kiviat had a strong Jewish upbringing. He was brought up in a Yiddish-speaking, Sabbath-observing home and taught to read Hebrew. The Sabbath was the sole day of rest for the chaotic family of nine (Abel was one of seven children). “My parents would send us out to call a non-Jewish boy to light the lights and start the stove once the Sabbath began,” Kiviat said. After his bar mitzvah in 1905, however, his parents did not push him to continue his religious study.
Collectible: A trading card of Abel Kiviat from the 1910 Mecca Cigarettes, Series of Champion Athletes.
Collectible: A trading card of Abel Kiviat from the 1910 Mecca Cigarettes, Series of Champion Athletes.
From his early days at Curtis High School, Kiviat displayed amazing athletic abilities. Shattering stereotypes of unathletic Jews, he excelled at football, baseball, and track and field. Abel’s parents never understood their son’s interest in sports. Katchen notably points out their embrace of the European notion that “athletics [was] an arena for gentiles.” In fact, in response to an article on baseball, Moishe Kiviat, Abel’s father, wrote to the Jewish Daily Forward in 1903, stating, “I want my son to grow up to be a mensh, not a wild American runner.” Nonetheless, Abel’s parents still let him go out to play sports, which was to lead to his fame, if not fortune.
The details and personal accounts Katchen uses to tell Kiviat’s story are structured and compelling. Katchen does a particularly good job of recounting the accusation that Kiviat accepted money to race in an event, and of the ensuing effort to suspend and ban him from amateur competition altogether. The incident illustrates the deep-rooted antisemitism that existed in America at that time: a period when Fred Rubien, president of the Metropolitan Association of the Amateur Athletic Union, would intentionally look to destroy Kiviat’s career as a runner.
But track and field was such an important part of national athletics in America during the early to mid-1900s that despite antisemitism Kiviat was mentioned regularly in the sports sections of all the big New York newspapers, including The New York Times, the New York Evening Mail and the New York Tribune, as well as in papers outside the city, such as the Boston Globe, and as far away as London’s Daily Telegraph.
Keep in mind that Kiviat’s popularity arrived prior to Sandy Koufax’s Hall of Fame pitching career and swimmer Mark Spitz’s historic run at the 1972 Olympic Games. Sam Friedland, who would later make a name for himself as a supermarket mogul after founding Food Fair Inc., explained the sensation felt by younger Jews during Kiviat’s rise to fame, a time when an individual such as Friedland had felt the absence of a great Jewish athlete.
“Baseball was Irish and German in the McGraw and Wagner days….Boxing was Sullivan Corbett and Fitzsimmons. Then, out of complete void of Jewish athletics, the name Abel Kiviat started to show up regularly on the sport pages…We Jewish kids, who could read, started to walk a little straighter. We had a hero, a Jew who could beat goyim.”
Alex Suskind is a freelance writer living in Queens. He has written for International Musician Journal, Making Music Magazine and Wax Poetics.

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/120556/the-hebrew-runner/#ixzz247GNZFu7



From the New Jersey Jewish News

Loneliness of a middle-distance Jewish runner 

Abel Kiviat is not exactly a household name, even in the small universe of elite Jewish athletes. Alan Katchen hopes to change that with his new biography on the Olympic medal winner.
Kiviat was born in 1892 on the Lower East Side to immigrant parents. The family moved to Staten Island, where he excelled in baseball and track as a youth. Given his diminutive stature — he grew to five-feet, five-inches and 110 pounds — Kiviat decided to concentrate on running. As a teenager, he joined the elite Irish American Athletic Club, eventually being named captain of the group. He won a silver medal in the 1,500 meter race at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm as well as several national championships in various middle distances between 1911 and 1914.
In a telephone interview from his home in Columbus, Ohio, Katchen told NJ Jewish News his reasons for spending 10 years working on Abel Kiviat, National Champion: Twentieth-Century Track & Field and the Melting Pot (Syracuse). “I realized there has not been a lot of historical information and narrative about the history of the sport,” which was “basically invented by the British in the mid-19th century and became very popular in the United States. High school track was particularly important and received wide [press] coverage.” The author includes numerous references to dozens of newspapers stories about Kiviat’s heroic exploits when he was still in public school.
Katchen, 71, was member of his high school and college teams. When he was 16, he unknowingly met Kiviat, who just happened to be serving as an official for an event in which Katchen was running. “He chastised me and another fellow for running poorly in the race,” Katchen recalled. Years later, when he began working on the book, he came across a photo of the old legend taken in the 1950s and realized that this was “the guy who harassed me at the track meet.”
According to Katchen — a former regional director of the Anti-Defamation League and college professor — Kiviat faced a great deal of anti-Semitism as an athlete. “I think any great personality is going to have some people who are enemies of what they accomplish, but Kiviat’s situation went far beyond that,” he said.
Kiviat was accused of violating the tenets of amateurism by accepting what Katchen described as “a modest amount of money” to attend various meets. Following a hearing in 1916, Kiviat was banned from amateur competition for life at the age of 24.
The administrators of track and field were “basically upper class WASPs,” many of whom “shared the pervasive bigotry of the times,” said Katchen, who was shocked by “the casual way in which it was expressed and that it made its way into athletics, which is supposed to be about fair play.”
After serving in World War I, he applied for — and was granted — reinstatement. At the “advanced age” of 32, he still managed to make a fine showing in national championships.
Like many of his generation, Kiviat was embarrassed as a child by his Orthodox upbringing, but Katchen said, in later years “the persona of a Jewish athlete did a lot of good for the Jewish community.”
“As a number of his contemporaries pointed out, when he started there weren’t a lot of Jews in sports…and he became a role model,” Katchen said. “Over time, he not only became more accepting but embraced his Jewishness and wore it proudly. Because he was such a prominent guy not just as an athlete but later as an important official, he certainly helped make the case…that the limited perspective of the leadership of track and field was not acceptable in a democratic society. I think that helped move the sport into a more democratic structure it has today.”
Kiviat died in August 1991 at the age of 99. But he enjoyed a new-found popularity in his golden years as the oldest remaining Olympic medalist. After falling out of the limelight for almost 60 years, Kiviat was “rediscovered” prior to the 1980 summer games in Los Angeles. He was chosen to run the second leg of the torch relay across America, receiving the symbol of the games from the grandchildren of Jesse Owens and Jim Thorpe (the latter a teammate in the 1912 games) in Manhattan. “The night after he carried the torch he was on the Johnny Carson show,” Katchen said.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 83 The Value of a Bronze Medal

In the previous posting the article about Joey Greene selling his medals to a pawn shop in Las Vegas got some of us wondering about what they are worth.  

How much would you pay for an Olympic Bronze medal won in Atlanta and one in Barcelona?

Ready to put it on your credit card?

Check out this clip from the TV show Pawn Stars which has or had them for sale.


Mr. Pawnbroker    by B.B. King  (says it all)
I'm a pawnbroker, what do you want on your ringI'm a pawnbroker, what do you want on your ringSee like every woman I loaned, they want the same old thing
Have to use my tester and see if will stand the testHave to use my tester and see if will stand the testYes, I'm a pawnbroker, don't have nothing but the best
18 carat is o.k., but 14 carat will make the grade18 carat is o.k., but 14 carat will make the gradeYes, I'm a ring pawnbroker, don't have nothing but the best that's made
Yes, I'm a payin' pawnbroker, I pay the best price in townYes, I'm a payin' pawnbroker, I pay the best price in townWell, if you don't believe me, baby, just lay your ring down
Yes, you may need money, baby, on your ring some dayYes, you may need money, baby, on your ring some dayWell, you can't ever tell, what bad luck may come your way

Monday, August 13, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 82 Joey Greene, Long Jumper

Greene finds his charisma, if not his medals
One of the last times his uncle came back to Dayton, 8-year-old Isaiah Greene studied him with wondrous fascination and finally announced:“You got to be really rich.

Greene finds his charisma, if not his medals
One of the last times his uncle came back to Dayton, 8-year-old Isaiah Greene studied him with wondrous fascination and finally announced:“You got to be really rich.
  • This article appeared last week in the Dayton Daily News, my hometown.  Joey Greene grew up in this area and competed with the Kettering Striders Track Club before high school years, then went on to Ohio State and medaled in two Olympics.  ed.

Greene finds his charisma, if not his medals

  • Greene finds his charisma, if not his medals photo
Bill Lackey
Two time Olympic bronze medalist, Joe Greene, from Dayton, outside his workplace in Columbus. Staff photo by Bill Lackey
One of the last times his uncle came back to Dayton, 8-year-old Isaiah Greene studied him with wondrous fascination and finally announced:
“You got to be really rich. Only rich people get streets named after them.”
And Uncle Joe certainly does have his name paved for posterity. Joe Greene Way runs from Airway Road to Linden Avenue in Riverside. Once called Spinning Road, the thoroughfare was renamed after the 1996 Olympics when Jumpin’ Joe won a bronze medal in the long jump in Atlanta.
It was the second straight Games in which he had medaled in the event. He also took bronze in Barcelona in 1992. After that effort, he and four other Olympians with local ties were honored with a parade through downtown Dayton.
For a while that parade seemed as if it would never end for Greene. He lived part of the year in Berlin with his new wife, Susen Tiedtke, the photogenic German long jumper, often trained in South Africa and competed all across Europe, down in Rio and over in Tokyo.
Stebbins High School, his alma mater, renamed a track meet after him. AT&T; featured him in a national TV commercial. Companies in Japan sponsored him. Eventually he was ranked No. 1 in the United States and No. 2 in the world.
After winning bronze in Atlanta, he recognized the select fraternity he was in:
“The Olympics are a stage that only comes around a few times in your life. It’s about as special as it gets. When I think of the Olympic Games, I think of people like Carl Lewis and Jesse Owens … and I feel good to be a little part of that.”
And while he remains very much a part of that, he did give away a couple of its symbolic pieces.
Three years ago the popular cable show Pawn Stars debuted on the History channel. It is set in the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas that is run by Rick Harrison and his dad. The opening episode featured Greene’s two bronze medals.
They were on display there along with the Dayton Daily News article I wrote from Barcelona the day the animated, ever-smiling Greene won the hearts of the Estadi Olimpic crowd.
The Aug. 8, 1992 column was headlined:
“Amazin’ Joe Steals the Show: His medal’s bronze, but charisma gold.”
But as it would turn out, all that glitters is not gold … or bronze either.
Harrison remembers Greene showing up at his shop with his ‘96 medal. As he told an ESPN The Magazine writer last year:
“I think it’s all he had.”
Charming the world
Although he was a track standout at Stebbins and then Ohio State, where he had an All-American career, was a two-time NCAA champion and eight-time Big Ten champ, Greene didn’t really make a splash on the international stage until the 1992 Olympics.
Right before the Games, he had jumped a wind-aided 28 feet, 5 inches in Italy, but once in Barcelona he saw the interest was all on Carl Lewis — who already had six Olympic gold medals on his resume — and Mike Powell, who held the world record.
“It was the Carl and Mike Show, but to be honest I thought I had a chance to mix it up with them,” Greene said earlier this week. “I wanted to say, ‘Hey, I do exist.’ ”
With 63,000 people watching the long jump finals, Greene faulted on the first two of his six attempts, then went an unimpressive 25-10 ¼ on his third.
But before his fourth jump — with his dad James, a retired Air Force sergeant in the stands — Joe stood at the top of the runway, raised his hands over his head and with a big smile lighting his face, he began a slow, rhythmic clap and soon the crowd took its cue.
Folks loved the young charmer from America and soon everyone was clapping to his cadence. It fueled him the way spinach used to power up Popeye and he roared down the runway and then sailed 27-4 ½, good enough for bronze behind Lewis (28-5 ½ ) and Powell (28- 4 ¼.)
In the press conference afterward all the initial questions were for the other two. Finally a query came Greene’s way and that’s when he showed he certainly did exist.
“I want to get back to the weight room. I want to beat these guys. Every pump I’ll think of them,” he said before pretending to lift weights.
“Mike uuungh,
“Carl ooomph.
“Mike uuungh,
“Carl oomph.
“Mike, Carl…Mike, Carl.”
The media from around the world roared with laughter.
A year later he turned the charm on Tiedtke, proposing in Italy and then marrying her in Dayton. But soon after he was diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder and got very sick. Then, following the world championships, Tiedtke, who was trained by her ever-present father, had a much-debated positive drug test.
Through the distraction and medical debilitation, Greene pushed himself to compete and even topped Lewis at the 1996 Olympic Trials.
But on a steamy night in Atlanta with a crowd of 85,000 — including his dad and most of his seven brothers and sisters — all watching, Greene struggled until he had just one jump left.
“I just kept telling myself I’d regret this the rest of life if I didn’t lay a jump out there,” he said afterward. “We had a big crowd. All of America was watching. My family was there. I just HAD to do something.”
And he did. He jumped 27-0 ½ and took bronze behind Lewis and Jamaica’s James Beckford.
“I realized long ago God gave me a gift and that’s to jump,” he said that night. “The only thing is I don’t know how far it will take me.”
Spiraling downward
Joe’s mom died of a stroke in 1990.
“Even though I wasn’t the oldest in the family, I was the first to have children, so after our mother passed, I kind of ended up taking her place,” said Laura Cox, who is five years older than Joe. “Everybody would call me, especially Joe. He was out in the world and I think he just wanted to hear my voice and some encouragement.”
But Joe’s calls began to take on a different tone in 1997 when he went into a downward spiral that, in a year’s time, included:
• Worsening of the connective tissue disorder — which caused his immune system to break down and played havoc with his vision, his stamina, his circulation and much more — made it impossible for him to train or compete so, he said, he gave up his sport.
• He and his wife divorced in 1998. She moved back to Germany, appeared in Playboy in 2004 and then married former German tennis pro Hendrik Dreekmann.
• The company he invested in ran into serious financial difficulties. “Another guy illegally did business with one of our clients,” he said. “We ended up getting sued for $10.7 million … and I lost. There was no way I could pay that in my lifetime and eventually I had to file for bankruptcy.”
He calls it: “The toughest time in my life, without a doubt. For a while there I was upset. I was angry. I asked, ‘God, why me?’ And then I just got really down. I was very, very sad.”
Laura heard it in their phone conversations.
“It was a rough, rough time for him and I remember times when I was nervous and would shed tears, just thinking of him being out there somewhere. I knew he was walking through some very dark times.
“The Joe who used to be so happy — the one who lit up any room he walked into — disappeared for a minute. He just kind of removed himself from us as a family.”
Living in Las Vegas during part of that time, Greene decided to take his Olympic medals to Harrison’s shop.
“I didn’t pawn them at first,” Greene said. “It was just a loan and I kept paying the fee on them for a year or two. But then my life was pretty bad and I said, ‘I just can’t keep paying this. I have to make the decision.’
“I could have asked somebody for help, but it was embarrassing. And at the same time it was my responsibility, not somebody else’s.”
He gave up his medals and they ended up alongside other Harrison possessions, including Leon Spinks’ heavyweight title belt, the Super Bowl XXXVI ring of Patriots cornerback Brock Williams and Diego Corrales’ world super-featherweight belt.
Greene said Harrison told him he wouldn’t sell the medals so the whole deal wouldn’t have gotten much notice had the shop not soon become the home of that popular reality TV show.
“At first I felt pretty bad about it,” the 45-year-old Greene now admits. “I’ve regretted the decision I made when I was younger and I’d do it totally different now. It would have been better to talk to someone and figure something out. It’d be nice to have the medals so people could look at them and go ‘WOW.’
“The USOC even talked to me about getting them back, but I believe you have to live with the decisions you make. And it’s not really as bad as I thought it would be. I see them as the reward I got for doing something. Not having them doesn’t change what I accomplished. I’ll always be an Olympic medal winner.”
Shedding the demons
It’s been 20 years since his Barcelona glory days, but as Greene shared his story during lunch in Reynoldsburg — where he now lives with his wife Andrea — he occasionally showed signs of his old effervescent self.
“During his dark time he met people who lived there all the time and it made him realize ‘I don’t have it that bad,’ ” Laura said. “He realized he couldn’t live in that place because at heart he is not a dark guy. Slowly he got rid of some of those demons who engulfed him and came back to us
“And when he did it was the same Joe. Although he’d lost his way for a while, he still believed in the goodness of people.”
Some of his beliefs have been put to the test in the past couple of weeks. Laura’s son — 22-year-old Aaron Michael Cox, a Stebbins grad who had become a heralded singer and songwriter in Los Angeles and worked with Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, John Legend, Big Sean, Nas and others — died of testicular cancer a month after diagnosis.
Greene mentioned Aaron often when we talked and Laura believes she knows why:
“My son’s death really affected him. It’s probably a reminder of how bad things, quote-unquote, happen to good people who are trying to make a difference … It’s a little flashback and Joe knows he was lucky he came through it.”
Greene has been married three years now, he has a job recruiting top administrators for nursing homes across the nation and he’s woven himself back into the fabric of his Dayton-based family.
“I’ve got a lot to be thankful for,” he said. “I see that now. This made me stronger and more caring. I’ve got family and love and I feel good again.”
So while he never got his medals back, he did get his mettle back. And some of that light-up-the-room smile, too. Like the old headline said, his medal was bronze, but the charisma is gold.
So young Isaiah was right.
Considering everything, Joe Greene is pretty rich after all.

Vol. 2 No. 81 Detroit HS Distance Runners 1961-62

Fifty years later, catching up with Detroit area high school running standouts

this article recently appeared in the Detroit Free Press
It includes commentary about some major high school mile races in the early 1960's that included Lou Scott who would represent the US at Mexico City in the 5000 meters.

There they were, back on the Detroit Redford High School track after 50 years. Their heads had a little less hair. Their bellies protruded a bit more. The track asphalt gave way to patches of grass....
View the complete article at http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/201208050300/NEWS01/308050192

Vol. 2 No. 80 Milt Campbell, All But Forgotten

I mentioned in an earlier blog that Milt Campbell was shown on the Olympic Trials broadcast for about two seconds in June.  Milt was the Decathlon Gold Medalist in 1956 in Melbourne, defeated two of the world's best in Rafer Johnson and Vasily Kuznetzov.  After Melbourne, Milt went on to play in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns.  His comments in this article by Dave D'Alessandro of the Star-Ledger in New Jersey are a great tribute to Milt's achievements.  ed.

               Rafer Johnson, Milt Campbell, Vasily Kuznetsov at Melbourne

Milt Campbell still a champion 55 years after he made history at the Olympics

Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 4:30 AM     Updated: Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 5:01 PM
By   Dave D'Alessandro/Star-Ledger Columnist
To this day, one of the most vivid memories of the greatest adventure of his life involves hanging up on his mother, then snarling at the phone.
Milt Campbell — age 22, Seaman Apprentice and a world-class athlete to boot — was in San Diego, about to catch the plane to Melbourne. It was 1956, but mothers were pretty much like they are today, only more so: “Now don’t over-exert yourself,” Edith Campbell said from Plainfield. “Remember, you had a heart murmur, so don’t ...”
“Ma,” he shouted into the phone, “let me warn you now that if I don’t win this thing, I’m coming back in a box.”

Nothing personal — he adored his mother. But this was just Campbell’s way: Positive thinking wasn’t so much a winning strategy as it was a religion, and to this day it sets him a breed apart from anyone you’ll ever meet — athlete or non-athlete. He could will himself to do anything, and this is one reason we still celebrate his life and his magnum opus, which took place 55 years ago today.
It was on Nov. 30, 1956, that the man we call the greatest athlete in New Jersey history earned that distinction, and it wouldn’t surprise us in the least if it took another 55 years before it is removed from the first line of Milt Campbell’s biography.
It was the day Campbell, who grew up in Plainfield, completed his two-day rout of the world’s greatest athletes by winning the gold medal in the decathlon at the Melbourne Olympics, and if this is the first time you’ve ever read about this, you are forgiven.
Because in many respects, the ’56 Olympics remain the games time forgot.
“It was in November, during the Australian summer, on the other side of the world, and there was hardly any media coverage at all,” recalls Elliott Denman, a U.S. Olympic walker who would become the longtime columnist for the Asbury Park Press. “So everything about those Games seemed like an afterthought, and people just didn’t relate to it. For that reason, Milt never achieved the national stardom that he deserved.”
Australia had just begun television broadcasting two months earlier. So the best footage is from the late documentarian, the legendary Bud Greenspan, who told The Star-Ledger in 2000 that “Campbell was, to me, the greatest athlete who ever lived.”
He was, at least, ahead of his time. Campbell treated athletic competition like Jackie Robinson treated baseball. It wasn’t only about possessing multiple tools, it was about crashing through the artifice to flaunt the art. There was little pretense: Yes, he brought a full arsenal to the competition, and would dare you to match it; but he also had an attitude uncommon among his contemporaries, connecting the mythic power of a champion’s vision and an incendiary passion to beat whoever strode beside him.
Today, as he recovers from the effects of cancer and diabetes at age 78 at his home in Gainesville, Ga., Campbell says he “wasn’t nasty-arrogant — it’s just that I’d have told you I was going to win if you asked me.
“I didn’t come for second or third. I honestly thought I put in more time than anyone in the world. If my head wasn’t right, how am I going to deal with the physical part of it?”
To some extent, the ’56 gold was actually won in 1952, he tells you. His stellar international debut was at the Helsinki Games, where as an 18-year-old high school senior he finished second to Bob Mathias, even though the first decathlon he had ever attempted was at the Olympic Trials just weeks earlier.
So by the time Melbourne came around, he was not only ready, he made sure everyone else knew it. This is how Milt Campbell became the first black man to win the decathlon gold, and the greatest athlete our state ever produced.

We have cloudy mental images about November of ’56, but it was a heady time. It was the month Soviet tanks smashed Budapest to quell the Hungarian Revolution. It was the month Britain and France bombed Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal to their oil tankers. It was the month Fidel Castro and Che Guevera — six weeks out of Veracruz — could now see the coastline of the Cuban island they would soon take by revolution. It was the month that the Montgomery Bus Boycott, spawned by the courage of a tiny woman from Tuskegee named Rosa Parks, neared the end of its historic 381-day triumph against segregation.
On the other side of the world, in the Olympic Village not far from the Melbourne Cricket Grounds, Campbell received a visit two days before the competition began from Rafer Johnson, the UCLA sophomore who was favored to win the gold.
“Rafer sat on the bed and said, ‘So how do you think this is going to turn out?’” Campbell says. “And I just said, ‘This is a bad year for you to show up. Because this could be your two best days, but I’m still going to walk away with it.’
“And Rafer looked at me like I had hit him with a bat.”

Johnson did not return calls to share his recollection, but it was often reported that he arrived in Australia with a knee injury, and then a pulled stomach muscle early in the competition. He would get no sympathy from his chief rival.
“It was nothing personal,” Campbell says. “But I was getting a little tired of hearing that Rafer would prove he was the best athlete, and that wasn’t going to happen. I thanked him for being there, because the motivation was right for me.”
“That sounds a little over the top,” Denman says, “but if anyone would say that, it would be Milt. Rafer was a great athlete. But he wasn’t going to beat Milt that year even if he was healthy.”
And the speed by which Campbell dismissed the competition was historic.
The opening event on Nov. 29 was the 100 meters, which he ran in 10.8 seconds — one-tenth better than Johnson — to grab the lead in the standings. Then came the long jump, when Johnson reportedly suffered his stomach pull.
“I probably had the best long jump of my life (7.33 meters) and Rafer had probably the worst of his life (7.34),” Campbell says. “So I kept the lead, which was important.”
He completed the first day by finishing first in the shot put, second in the high jump to C.K. Yang of Taiwan (with Johnson placing sixth, a big slip), and second in the 400 meter. At the halfway point, Campbell led by 149 points, and on Friday, he would go for the kill.
The first event on Nov. 30 was the 110-meter hurdles. Take a look on YouTube sometime: Campbell covered it in 14 seconds flat, with a smooth efficiency that could only be described as machine-like. That time, in fact, would have been good enough to earn the bronze in the open event.
“Well, it was always my best event,” Campbell says. “And in fact, about a year later, I would set the world (indoor) record.”
With Johnson finishing fifth in the high hurdles, the rout was on. There were four events left, and they hardly mattered: Campbell finished second in the discus to stretch his lead, making the pole vault, javelin and 1,500 meters almost unnecessary. He would finish with a record 7,937 points, beating Johnson by 350 and Soviet Vasily Kuznetsov by 472.

In the years ahead, he would presage the civil rights movement, becoming as uncompromising and fiercely independent as he is today. Campbell speaks of it more with irony than anger: As a black man in 1957, he knew he’d be less appreciated than other celebrated sportsmen of his era, but he never thought he’d have trouble getting a job in America.
His peers became American icons: Mathias, who won the decathlon in 1948 and ’52, went to Hollywood and landed in the halls of Congress; Johnson, who won the gold in 1960, went to Hollywood and landed inside the Kennedy family’s inner circle.
Milt Campbell posses with his wife Linda Rusch at their home in Gainesville, Ga.
But there was no Wheaties box cover for Campbell, whose path was different. He was the Cleveland Browns’ fifth-round draft pick in ’57, but played only one season in the NFL — after which he claims he was blacklisted by owner Paul Brown for marrying a white woman — and then played in the Canadian Football League for eight.
His third act was almost preordained. He returned home to help Newark recover from the 1967 riots, he founded the Chad School and a community center, he talked thousands of kids in off the streets and into the classrooms, ran unsuccessfully for the state Senate in 2001, and became a highly valued motivational speaker.
In the end, that might be as big a part of Milt Campbell’s legacy as the Olympic gold.
But it’s not what we commemorate today. This is the day we salute an athletic master who coaxed astral-quality bursts of speed and power from his body — the only man who is in both the Track and Field and Swimming Halls of Fame, but somehow is still absent from the New Jersey Hall of Fame, though it has taken three years to get him on the ballot.
“Someone has to explain that to me,” Denman says.
Explain Milt Campbell, and his rightful place in history?
You find that only one man can do that.
“I remember a conversation I had when I was 14 with the track coach at Plainfield High,” Campbell says, referring to the great Harold Bruguiere. “And he asked me what I wanted to be. I told him, ‘The best athlete in Plainfield.’ Then it became ‘The best in New Jersey,’ and ‘The best in America’ and ‘The best in the world.’
“So I got a book on Jim Thorpe, we read through it and I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ And from that moment I was determined to be the greatest.”
Fifty-five years later, that hasn’t changed.

Dave D'Alessandro: ddalessandro@starledger.com
Members of the New Jersey Hall of Fame are voted on by the public, which can make selections by visiting http://www.njhalloffame.org/

Vol. 2 No. 79 Another Great Blog from Dr. Michael Joyner


The above blog by Dr. Michael Joyner is highly recommended.  Dr. Joyner is an anesthesiologist and also an exercise physiologist.  His commentaries about sport and science will be of interest to a wide range of our readers.  I will occasionally post something from his blog on our site.  We've gotten into a discussion about running surfaces of the old tracks and grass tracks and what they meant to performance  then and now.  I will put together some of those discussions and share them with you in the near future.

Vol. 2 No. 78 What about Stephen Kipkotich?

Yesterday I wrote a contact living in Western Kenya near Eldoret where Stephen Kipkotich allegedly trained with some of the local athletes.  I asked Dave if Stephen might have Kalenjin ethnicity or is the similar name to some Kenyan runners just a cooincidence.  I thought it might be like the Smiths of Scotland and the Smiths of England.

Dear George,

People here say that Kipkotich is really a Kenyan. There are no tribes in Uganda with Kalenjin names like his. But he or his parents (grandparents) could have moved to Uganda a long time ago. There is a lot more mixing than the tribalists like to indicate.

We have not had any of the runners in our peace activities, although some athletes have worked in northern Kenya with the Turkana/Pokot/Samburu including doing running races for peace.


I  just looked up Kipkotich on the internet and he comes from the Uganda county right next to Kenya on the back side of Mt Elgon which is inhabited by Kalenjin people. So he is closely related to many of the Kenyan runners. He trained in Kenya.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 77 Men's Marathon, London

Stephen Kiprotich

August 12, 2012

The marathon is complete, the games are all but over.

A remarkable upset, or was it, by Stephen Kiprotich of UGANDA?

Mention was made during the race that he had been training in Eldoret (Western Kenya) with members of the Kenyan team.  More will come out in that story as the days pass.  It's quite possible Stephen is closely related to the lads from Kenya, having the same surname as Kenya's number two finisher Wilson Kiprotich.  That's not always a guarantee, but the chances are good.  Northeastern Uganda borders on Western Kenya.  Some  traditions of running could easily flow over that porous border.  Indeed I've seen some fairly good looking runners training on the roads of Uganda as I passed through there in 2007.

With the example of Mohammed Farah coming to the States to train with Galen Rupp under the tutelage of Alberto Salazar, this could easily be the wave of the future unless xenophobia raises its head in Kenya and the Kenya Athletic Association puts a stop to such practice.  The tale of moving across borders to seek better opportunities has been evident with Kenya juniors mass migrating to the Arabian peninsula, western Europe and America, witness Bernard Lagat but many others as well.  Being an internationalist, I'm always prone to fall on the side of the underdog in a race and celebrate the emergence of a new star or a new country making itself known through sport.  Before today most of us probably recall John Aki Bua the 400IH winner in Munich, but after that burst of glory, all we know of Uganda is the madness of Idi Amin or the atrocities of the Jonathan Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army.  Uganda is a beautiful vibrant country, home of a grand mix of people, and a capital Kampala that never goes to bed.  Congratulations Stephen Kiprotich!  You outdueled the world's  greatest marathon team on your own.

Congratulations too to Mebrahtom Keflezighi, you ran such a beautiful race and carried such a wonderful story of survival and family.

I did a quick tally of team scoring a la cross country and sifted out the  runners of countries that did not have three runners completing the race.   The results appear to be:
1. Kenya     1,2, 10      13
2. Brazil       3,5,7         15
3. Canada    11,12,15   38
4. Russia      8,13,21     42
5. Ukraine    6,17,25     48
6. Japan        4,23,24    51
7. Spain        14,18,,20  52 (tie)
7. Australia    9,16,27    52 (tie)
9. Mexico      22,26,28  74
10. Korea       19,29,30   78
(Track statisticians may find some errors.)

Of note     Ethiopia    3 runners  DNF'd
                North Korea  2 runners finished in lock step 2hr. 20 min. 20 sec.
                Absence of North Africans, only one Moroccan, one Tunisian, one Algerian who DNF'd
                     Could that be the effect of Ramadan?
                Expect the Brazilians to be primed in 2016 in Rio.
                Only a whimper from Western Europe.
                 Coolboy Ngamole of South Africa,   runner with best name in the race

George Brose


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 76 Some Comments on the London Games

Saturday, August 11, 2012

We've all seen some amazing track and field in the past few days, and that gives me reason to editorialize a bit.  One, Usain Bolt is an incredible athlete, who has a sense of showmanship bordering on arrogance.  Yet I can't help admiring him for is ability and self confidence and fun loving spirit. (Comparing him to Carl Lewis,   I don't think Carl had much fun or sense of showmanship, but he certainly had the arrogance.) Some say Bolt's a savior of the sport.  I'm not sure I can go that far, as several others can fall into that category to a lesser degree, but collectively they gave a lot of traction to track and field.

 Two, the less conspicuous but no less gifted athlete in the games is obviously David Rudisha.  Incredible talent and even more incredible downtoearthedness.  What a humble man!  He certainly was not afraid to stick his neck out and let anyone dare to come after him.     His courage drew courage out of a lot of great runners to up their efforts in that 800 final.  What was that, five guys under 1:43?  He is a true modern warrior from a tribe whose traditions once included killing a lion to become a warrior or moran.  

Three, Oscar Pistorious brought a sense of hope and dignity to the games and gave us all a view of man's ability to express himself and overcome great odds.

Four, emergence of a new group of distance runners from Turkey of all places, and of the female gender no less.  This country on the border of sectarian and conservative Islamic philosophies might become a leader in the fight for women's rights through sport in the Middle East.  Congrats to Asli Alptekin and Gamze Bulut, one and two in the 1500 meters, but  not likely to become household names in the West.    On the downside in that race was the American girl's tantrum after being tripped by an Ethiopian runner.  I thought the American girl would have served herself better by getting up and running in regardless.  She had enough energy to pound the track for the better part of a minute before walking off.

 Jim Ryun got up and ran the rest of his race in Munich,

 Lasse Viren got up and won the 10,000 at Munich after getting knocked down.

 Five,  Galen Rupp's great run in the 10,000 will bring some more eyes to the tube tonight to see what he and Mohammed Farah can accomplish in the 5000.

Six, the Bahamas came through in the mens 4x400 taking down a big US lead in the final leg, to the consternation of the American announcers.

  Seven, the American women putting together  three great passes in the 4x100 and adding that to their great sprinting talent, a sight not seen for quite some time.  I could go on, but will leave it there for now.

Vol. 2 No. 75 Who Was Ralph Rose?

One of Roy Mason's criticisms of the IAAF Hall of Fame inductees was the omission of Ralph Rose.  I had to ask myself, "Who is/was Ralph Rose?"  Roy answered that today with a letter including a clipping about Ralph,  a three time Olympic shot put champion in 1904, 1908, and 1912.   Ralph was a native of Healdsburg, California, near where Roy lives in Ukiah, and was the flag carrier at London in 1908 who refused to dip the US flag to the King of England, it being a time when Ireland had been refused independence by our British cousins.  Ralph, a son of Irish immigrants was most in tune with that issue.   He also won silvers and bronzes in the the discus and hammer in those three games.  He died tragically in 1913 of typhus.

Double click on images to enlarge them.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 74 Bits and Pieces


Check out the link below. Some Guts!

Read the lead in below from Joe Henderson's Friday "Running Commentary".
It's one of the real truths of the universe, if your universe includes running and sports!

John Bork
aka Buck

First Class

(The latest, and probably last, home for my magazine column was Marathon & Beyond. That seven-year stay ended in 2011. Now I have permission to republish those pieces. This one comes from the May 2005 issue.) 

Reading the book and seeing the movie Seabiscuit reminded me of Dean Roe. I didn’t connect my first coach with the racehorse but with his trainer, Tom Smith. He spoke one of the best lines I’ve ever heard about coaching: “A horse doesn’t care how much you know until it knows how much you care.” Two-legged runners feel the same way. Mr. Roe wasn’t technically savvy in running. But, oh, how he cared about his athletes. The young can sense this without being told. I think of Tom Smith’s line, and my first coach’s application of it, while greeting a new running class the first day of each term at the University of Oregon.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 73 Who da thunk it?

    Two Bahamians and two Belgians (twin brothers no less) made the 400 finals but no Americans.

    Two Americans in the top 4 of the 1500 but no Kenyans.

from Bruce Kritzler

Monday, August 6, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 72 One more time, and hopefully not the last

I tried to swear off putting anything new on this blog until the London Games (I won't use the word that starts  with an O and ends with an S for fear I might be sued for breach of copyright by the people who think they own the history of Greece along with a television network that starts with an N and ends with a C) are over.  Actually I think it's the International Monetary Fund that now owns Greece.  And this is the third posting since the London Games began.   My apologies.

Well ,  enough of you have sounded off on your displeasure of the way the news about the London Games is being presented to the US public that I feel I should publish some of your comments that have been coming in to my email address  georgebrose@yahoo.com.   I won't list the names of those who are sending in these comments to save them from litigation later in their lives.   Admittedly most of our writers are 60+ in age and remember the world when it was more provincial,  more naive, and certainly less commercial.

It would be interesting to know, how much of the commentary of the chief spokesperson for the network beginning with N and ending with C is coming from his own brain and how much from a team of writers.  Admittedly no one person could be 'expert' in all the sports that are part of the London Games.   The editor of the blog  Happy Runnings has certainly taken  Mr. BC to task on some of his pronouncements.    My chief complaints are the dragging  track and field out to the limit of my endurance to stay awake.  Of course that is reason for me to get Tivo on my set up and save all that stuff for viewing at my pleasure.   My pleasure though is when the  event is taking place, not six hours later and  squeezed between full start to finish coverage of a beach volleyball match and a waterpolo game.  So there.  I also find it disingenuous when a network can show so little respect that it only names three to four runners in a semi-final.  These are the top dogs in the world in an event that literally the whole world participates in.  I'd like to know the name of the runner from the Ivory Coast and   Azerbaijan,  and if we have an announcer who can pronounce it.   One of our readers also notes that a result is flashed on the screen for no more than two seconds.      If you are dismayed by this,   you must visit the IAAF   (www.iaaf.org )website to get all the heat assignments, the biography and progressions of every runner, and their  personal and season bests.  The only thing missing are  their blood types and shoe sponsors.

On another note, I posted the twenty-four names of the first inductees into the IAAF's Hall of Fame.  I knew those choices would produce some outcries, and my colleague Roy Mason has pounced on the IAAF for their failing to include Perry O'Brien and a raft of other stars.   I will let him speak for himself at the end of this.  It is getting late and hopefully I'll be able to stay awake to watch the 400IH and I won't mention to you the winner, as you probably already know, although the people who will be channel surfing after the Bachlorette will get the full effects intended by the network wonks.

Finally, I figured out how to watch uninterrupted coverage of a field event (women's pole vault).  Found it at nbcolympics.com.  It's so nice to see the drama of the event unfold instead of the usual 4 jumps and here's your new champion coverage on the main network.  Can't wait for the men's vault.  Here is a suggestion for all sprinters not named Bolt.  Take up pole-vaulting if you want to ever be the worlds best at something.  Bolt on the other hand should try out for the NFL.

-- Lars (one of George's former vaulters)

Thanks for the notes George.  Of all the things on the internet your Track Blog is more than a little great for us old track guys.  It is a shame to only have the olympics that generates interest in track and field.  When I ran in the 50's, track was really a big deal, little TV but the newspapers really reported it from high school through college.  Oh well.  As far as these olympics are concerned, it is hard for me to even watch them.  NBC has so many commercials it has completely ruined the games for me.  If I don't record what I want to see and be able to fast forward...... I am not sure I would just get the results and video's on the internet.  Anyway, keep up the great work on the blog, you have made a lot of friends.

class of 1958

ARE YOU F-----G  S------G ME?

Parry O'Brien doesn't make it? Bob Beamon and Ralph Boston didn't make it? Ralph Rose doesn't make it? Dan O”Brien makes it, butBob Mathias doesn't? Rafer Johnson doesn't rank ahead of somebody on this list? Junixa Wang (and Qu Yunxia) were so doped up they made the East Germans look like girl scouts. Thank God, the IAAF didn't include Flo-Jo.  Don't get me started.......Do you know the last year that no American runner reached the 400 finals?  It was 1644.  Two guys from Belgium make the finals and no American?  The 4x4 could be very interesting......Proofreading the '62 NCAA meet.  Will be along shortly.   Bob Mathias and Parry O'Brien don't make the cut?  Insanity rules the day  RM


I too am a complainer.

However, my former  teammate, R M in Flint, Michigan told me a couple of weeks ago that if you go to the NBC web site and then to Olympic Games they have a complete time schedule, (some on NBC's other networks and affliliates that will give you programming and channels, etc. sport by sport.

I must admit that since I came home from a trade show in Las Vegas... I have not taken the time to check this out yet, So, I probably have no one to blame but myself.
Also, if any of you have cable or satellite near Canada and can get the Canadian Network, they give great coverage.

I get so sick of that Lady, (Is it Hanna Storm?) who B C interviews most nights, on her little "Kitch" visits to Olympic "Nitches", when I'd like to be watching prelims, semis and finals of track and field -  when they are run and regardless of whether or not there is an American medaling in the event.

I refer daily to the IAAF web site for start lists and results. I do not mind seeing results and, certainly start lists prior to watching the race.
I love seeing the race unfold and feel more informed than if I get the TV coverage with their 2 sec. listing of competitors and then another 2 seconds of the results.
(I do not have a photographic memory.)  I have been printing out start lists and studying them so, I get a little used to the difficult names that come mostly from the middle Eastern and N,. African Countries.

John B

John I think you might mean Mary Cirillo but since I don't watch the NBC  BS as long as B C is on I could have missed Storm if she is the one you actually do mean.
The problem is:  TV coverage has taken the center stage.   I have always hated B C because of his 1980 deification  of the Ice Hockey team. You both could look this up, BUT the 1960 team was way ahead of the 1980 team.  They beat the Czechs  and Austrians in the prelim  rounds. Then they beat the Swedes and Germans in their lst two Championship rounds which set up matches with the Canadians and OH my the Soviets which the US won both.  The final win was against the Czechs which they won for the Gold.   All of this should sound familiar since it is almost the same path as the 1980 team but it was the lst ever win vs the Soviets which would surprise alot of people since Costas seems to tell everyone that the 1980 team was the greatest and they defeated the Soviets which was a Miracle on Ice.  BS    Because hardly anyone had radio or TV coverage of the 1960 win few realize how they were the pioneers and not the 1980 team.   I had a Norwegian runner on my team at Stanford and he merely drove up to Squaw Valley and went into the games free and even covered it for a Norwegian newspaper back home.  He was thrilled to see the US defeat the Soviets but few outside the Squaw Valley area were aware of what it meant.
Thus, I have never liked Bob Costas as he is a self promoter and lives off his Miracle on Ice statement.
There was a hockey coach at the AF Academy who was a silver medal winner in 56, John Matchefts,  and they lost to the Soviets.  John and I talked about the 60 vs 80 team and he said the 60 team was the lst to ever win vs Soviets plus he summarized that it was media hype that got the 80 team all the attention at the expense of the 60 team. 
End of my sermon and bitch.  The Happy Runnings blog is perfect and right on.   But with all the $$ NBC is spending on the games you know that we are stuck with Costas and his bias.  I remember  maybe 3-4 Olympics back a person had the opportunity to purchase live TV coverage at a fairly good price.  This guaranteed you the best coverage much like I expect the Canadian broadcasts are now.

Of course it was Al Michaels not B Cs who made the Miracle call.  I have heard C refer to the game etc and hung the bad guy label on him, but I still don't like him as I am sure he would have made the call if he had been in the broadcast booth instead of or along side of Michaels.  C had a big flap over the Chinese and the drugs their swimmers and runners used in the 90s.


My beef of the day is Felix Sanchez’s Dominican Nationality/Citizenship.

Has he ever been to the Dominican Republic?

 Félix Sánchez

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the track and field athlete. For the baseball player, see Félix Sánchez (baseball).

Félix Sánchez, (born August 30, 1977) is a Dominican [1] track and field athlete who specializes in the 400 meter hurdles event, where he is the reigning Olympic champion. He is a two-time Olympic gold medallist having also won the title in 2004. He was also world champion in 2001 and 2003. He is nicknamed "Super Felix", "the Invincible", "Superman", and "the Dictator".
Sánchez was born in New York City to Dominican parents and was raised in San Diego,California.[2] He attended University City High School and San Diego Mesa College in the city, and then went on to study psychology at the University of Southern California in 1998.[3][4] He opted to represent the Dominican Republic internationally, and made his debut for that nation in 1999.
Competing for University of Southern California's USC Trojans, he was a Pac-10 champion (400 m hurdles) and All-American relay champion (1600 m) in 1999.[3] Between 2001 and 2004 he won 43 races in a row at 400 m hurdles, including the 2001 and 2003 World Championships. He won a share of the Golden League million dollar-jackpot in 2002 after winning all 7 races.[5]
At the 2003 Pan American Games, Sánchez won the Dominican Republic's first gold medal at the competition and also broke the Pan American Games record in the 400 m hurdles.[6][7] He was named Track and Field News Track & Field Athlete of the Year in 2003. Subsequently, he won the first ever Olympic gold medal for the Dominican Republicon 28 August 2004 during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.[8]
During his 43-race winning streak, from 2001 to 2004, Sánchez was known for wearing a wristband while competing. The red flashing wristband, a souvenir from the 2000 Olympics, served as a motivation for him after failing to advance to the final in Sydney. After winning the Olympic gold medal in Athens 2004, Sánchez gave the wristband to the IAAF for auction and the profits were donated to charity. In his first race after the Olympics – and his first race without the wristband – at the Van Damme Memorial meet in Brussels, Sánchez injured his leg and had to abandon the race halfway through.[9] [10]
In 2012, Sanchez entered the London Olympics as a rank outsider after indifferent form. However, he posted the fastest qualifying time, and followed it by winning the final with a time of 47.63 seconds, the same as his winning time in Athens in 2004. Sanchez became the oldest man to win the Olympic 400m hurdles title, and the second consecutive 400m hurdles champion to have won their second title eight years after their first (Angelo Taylorhaving won in 2000 and 2008).


   This (Happy Runnings)  is a bit hard on Phelps yet I have obviously had all of these thoughts.  Excellent comments.   Bill

For those of you expecting a June 1962 report, it will be along shortly in three parts covering the NCAA, AAU, and dual meet with Poland.

V 11 N. 3 "Quicksilver: The Mercurial Emil Zatopek" by Pat Butcher, a Book Review by Paul O'Shea

When we come across books to review, we know that there is a particular skill set needed to be fair and honest and at the same time literary...