Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Vol. 3 No. 79 A Long Forgotten Post Olympics Meet in 1948
Harrison Dillard

I recently found this story from the US Forces newspaper Stars and Stripes dated August 21, 1948.
It describes an exhibition meet some of the Olympic team members ran against US servicemen in Germany after the London games.  Several of the races were handicap affairs with up to 15 yard advantages given to the soldiers.  In the 4x100,  discus thrower Fortune Gordien ran the lead off leg and high jumper Verne McGrew ran second leg, before Dillard finished off the field making this truly an exhibition meet.    However the 100 was more businesslike as Dillard ran 10.4 sec. He had won the 100 in London in 10.3.    A good picture of  Dillard beating Barney Ewell appears with the story.  Remember Ewell thought he had won the 100 meters over Dillard in London.  In this picture, the race is close again, but Dillard looks very relaxed, and Ewell appears resigned to being second fiddle. (The camera doesn't lie.)   Equally poignant is the fact that Dillard was an army veteran having served in Europe during WWII.  Here he is returning to postwar Germany, triumphant in a different uniform.  Note also in the 100m  picture the incredibly smooth surface of the cinder running track.  The meet was held at a sports club in Frankfurt  The public may not have been invited as the spectators appear to be mainly US servicemen in uniform. 

Another notable effort was by Dick Morcom in the pole vault setting a German all comers record at 14'2".    Many of the times in other events were pretty modest if not pedestrian.

I found this article by accident while looking for information on Steve Seymour the US javelin thrower who was a pre Olympics favorite and was sixth in the games.  He was the person who refined the throwing efforts of Earlene Brown early in her career. 

If you click on the picture of Dillard, it will open four other photos from this meet.

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