THE BIG HEARTBREAK
James Henry Peters, 35, is England's champion marathoner. At Vancouver's Empire Games he was winning again. Behind him lay a run of 26 miles—ahead, only a few hundred yards to the official finish. His nearest rival toiled along at least 15 minutes behind. The crowd, still flushed from the fantastic mile of Bannister and Landy, watched expectantly as Jim Peters appeared on the crest of the stadium ramp. Then the crowd stiffened.
Jim Peters began to weave and stagger. Grotesquely, like a figure in an impossible fantasy, he fell, rose, fell again, racked with ultimate fatigue and the cramp of aching muscles. Ten times he fell, only to pull himself up and try for a few more yards.
The crowd shouted encouragement. "Go it, Jim!" cried a girl athlete. "That's what made England great!" Others tried to halt the heartbreaking wasting of a man. "Stop it, for Heaven's sake!" called Roger Bannister, a doctor.
August 15, 1954
Peters fell across what spectators thought was the finish line and was placed on a stretcher. But as the crowd cheered, a voice rasped over the public address system: "The finish line...is on the other side of the track." Peter's race was over.
Graceful champion Pat McCormick made a clean and beautiful sweep of women's diving honors at A.A.U. swimming championships in Indianapolis. In three years of Olympic and national competition, Mrs. McCormick has been beaten only twice.
Strongest man in Vancouver was Canadian Doug Hepburn, world's heavyweight lift champion handicapped since childhood by shrunken left leg. Hepburn sipped brandy-spiked coffee between lifts, hoisted a total 1,040 pounds for new Empire Games record.
Formful shotputter Jacqueline MacDonald, 21-year-old Toronto schoolteacher, braced injured right knee and won second in British Empire Games women's competition, only to be suspended later for publicly endorsing Orange Crush.
Mass Joy describes the Munich crowd which shouted itself hoarse when the West German soccer team returned victorious from the world professional championships—and from one of the great sports upsets of the year. Not in a long time had the ordinary German felt such a lift of spirits. His team had defeated "unbeatable" Communist Hungary, champions for four years and crushing favorites in the 16-nation tournament at Bern, Switzerland. Across West Germany the scene was the same: jubilant crowds—at Lindau, Immenstadt, Kempten, Kaufbeuren, Buchloe—hysterically welcoming the Fussball heroes. One Munich man tried to buy the air from the football to bottle for his mantelpiece; thousands poured into the streets to dance and sing; and in one beer hall overjoyed celebrators downed 12,000 quarts of beer, 15 hogs, three bulls, 5,000 Weissw√ºrste, 5,000 Vienna sausages and 5,000 Regensburger sausages. Free Germany was back, triumphant, in the world of sport.
Hambletonian winner Newport Dream politely nuzzled his prize, held by driver Del Cameron and owner Octave Blake, after 29th running of the Goshen classic.
Dramatic spill came on the last lap of the last race of the day, with Keith Hall, 20, only seconds from victory at London's Crystal Palace. Instinctively shielding his face when his Cooper-Bristol hit a barrier and spun, Hall was thrown but suffered only a broken collarbone.
800 games since 1899 make John ("Scissors") McIlvaine at 71 the oldest consistently active pitcher in baseball. He is shown here in a Pittsburgh sandlot game in which he struck out four batters while allowing only six hits, two earned runs. When not playing ball he is employed as a paper hanger.
Circus-style softball players of Los Alamos Clowns, most of whom hold down regular jobs at the A-bomb project, shot craps at third base while pitcher Bun Ryan handled infield defense against regulation softball team. Clowns got so wrapped up in zany stunts they lost for first time in two years.
Soviet union games in Moscow's immense Dynamo Stadium, unlike British Empire games, emphasized militant group athletics like the precise marching of these Uzbek Republic girls, who looked more like women out of a-sultan's harem than athletes on a field day. Thousands of picked gymnasts performed in the games, officially called the USSR Physical Culture Parade, while an estimated 80,000 spectators spelled out their approval with mass card tricks as neat as any that can be seen between halves of a U.S. college football game. As a final political note, gymnasts formed up on the soccer field to spell out the word "Peace" in English, French and German while Premier Georgi Malenkov and a line of party officials nodded paternally from their official box.
Unladylike footwork was crude but potent victory weapon for June Beyers during Butte, Mont. match against surprised lady known professionally as the Mexican Spitfire.
Young golfer Steve Forrest demonstrated confident backswing that would make many an old duffer envious. Steve, 3, was practicing in Silver Springs, Md.
66-pound King Salmon and a king-sized smile belong to Moore McKinley Jr. of Seattle, who had just made the catch off Hope Island in Puget Sound. Fifty inches in length, 32½ inches in girth, it stood as the year's record for just 36 hours. Then Mrs. Howard E. Little of Seattle hauled in a 70-pounder. The king is the largest of the salmon which run in the bays of the Northwest.
8,386-foot grind up Col du Galibier is toughest and highest near end of 25-day Tour de France bicycle race. Thin line of cyclists winding toward summit was led into Paris by last year's champion Louison Bobet, who crossed the finish line almost 16 minutes in front to win the 51-year-old race again.