From the Winter Games at Cortina beginning last January, through last week's Equestrian Games in Stockholm (see page 48), to the Summer Games in Melbourne ending next December, this Olympic year is truly a year-long story. This issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED stands at the halfway mark and seems to me a good place to mention part of what our editors have planned for you during the next few weeks.
You have already met some of the leading characters at close range: the pole vaulters (SI, May 14); John Landy (May 21); Dave Sime (June 4). This week, while Ezra Bowen sizes up the entrants for the Olympic Rowing Trials at Lake Onondaga, N.Y., June 28-30 (page 38), Roy Terrell and Jim Murray report on the NCAA Track Meet at Berkeley and the Interservice championships at Fort MacArthur and preview the National AAU Track and Field Championships at Bakersfield this weekend (page 46).
In next week's SI, with Sprinters Dave Sime and Bobby Morrow on the cover, Terrell will write the PREVIEW of the Olympic Track and Field Trials at Los Angeles, from which the U.S. team will be selected and for which Berkeley, MacArthur and Bakersfield are final elimination meets. The following week, July 9, SI will have the complete story of the Los Angeles Trials, as well as the rowing results at Onondaga. The remarkable Rafer Johnson, who last year broke Bob Mathias' world decathlon record, is the subject of a major article by Coles Phinizy in the July 16 issue. Then comes The Reds to Beat, by David Mayer, an analysis based on trackside observation of the Russians, who are determined this year to upset the traditional U.S. dominance.
This is a partial summary of what SI will bring in only the first of the five months between now and the opening day of the Summer Games on November 22. There will, of course, be much more later: swimming, weight lifting, boxing, among others. For the Olympics, as their symbol has a way of suggesting, are as complicated as a five-ring circus, and a challenge to thorough reporting.
June 24, 1956
One man who feels SI has met the challenge so far is Figure Skater Hayes Jenkins, who with Tenley Albright won the only gold medals which went to the U.S. at Cortina.
"Just about the best thing at Cortina," he told us recently, "next to being there, was reading the complete story in the SIs you flew over while the Games were on. It was the finest coverage anyone could want, and you don't have to guess how much the members of the team wanted it!"