Yevette Williams Gold at the Helsinki Games began my awareness of Olympic Games.
As a schoolboy Norman Read's Gold medal in the 50Km walk was 'Boys Own' stuff
Peter Mander who won Gold at those same Games in a Sharpie Yacht with Jack Cropp, was an old boy of my College.
Four years later Peter Snell won gold in the 800 meters in Rome only to go a whole lot further four years later in Tokyo with a double never repeated 800 and the metric mile, well a drug cheat managed at a later world Champion ships and he should have had his awards taken back
In those heady days drugs never entered the dialogue, it was truly the best the fastest the highest and sportsmanship was never far from the surface.
Watched the Sky History Channel on ,Berlin 1936 and thought I had a working knowledge of how Herr Shikelgruber, at first dismissing of the concept was brought on board by his propaganda Minister Herr Goebbels.
Then came the incident where Jesse Owens was threatened with disqualification from the long jump in the early rounds to be encouraged by German Aryan Luz Long to place his towel well short of the "board' as he would still qualify. That may be myth or truth but incontrovertible is the enduring image of the two athletes embracing in an act of sportsmanship after Owens had prevailed and Long won silver in front of the Nazi Dictator.
Then towards the end of the doco a portrayal of the exposing of just what an 'ankles,' Avery Brundage, who went on to head the Olympic international committee as a pillar of amateurism, actually was.
If any single Olympic figure was a precursor to the manipulation and propaganda aspects that spawned the Drug taking and poor sportsmanship that along with the power of commercial indulgence has contaminated so deeply all international sports administrations, it was the American who was instrumental in overcoming considerable international concerns around the clear racial depredations that were a massive problem for people of conscience as The Nazis tightened their grip on Germany, by ensuring USA participation.
He received his rewards by way of contracts back in the US from Nazi building there and that is what is known about, with his and others accepting the feting and lavish hospitality from the thugs who made ever post a winner
Brundage, then in an act of nasty, reverted to his inherent racist attitude and had Owens declared a "professional" over endorsements that left the hero totally buried back where he belonged as a poor southern negro, an act that had Herr Shikelgruber's grubby finger prints all over it.
Of course Brundage went on to wield enormous power and influence for over two decades as the Godfather of the modern Olympics.
Am I being too kind to award him "ankles" as a sobriquet.
Oh and I wonder who will win the Gold medal for Chemistry.
April 25 in history
3 hours ago