"There was only one thing that moved me in Rome, and that was at the closing ceremony. I felt that everyone in that stadium, when all the lights went out and people lit torches, I felt, for two minutes, as though everyone in that stadium was human. In other words, that the blacks, the yellows, the oranges and the whiles were one. And I had a sort of feeling that here I was, all of us were witnesses before our time of an inevitable world society. All of us felt in that split second what a load of bloody nonsense it was to go around chopping each other up and arguing and fighting."
Captain, 1964 British Olympic track and field team; contestant, 1960 Olympics.
On October 10 a 19-year-old Japanese boy named Yoshinori Sakai will put the Olympic flame, two months and 10,000 miles removed from its lighting at the ruins of ancient Olympia, into a cradle on the upper rim of the rebuilt Tokyo Stadium and the 1964 Olympic Games will begin. The boy was selected because he was born near Hiroshima the day an atomic bomb was dropped through the open bomb bay of an American B-29. No one alive today was born in Hiroshima that day. The exact symbolism is vague, but the torch that the boy carries is an Olympic expression of eternal brotherhood and friendly competition. The ceremony of the torch was restored to the modern Olympic pageant in 1936 by Nazi Germany, whose exercises in brotherhood will not soon be forgotten.
This is the first Olympics to be held in the Orient. Tokyo would have had the 1940 Olympic Games except that the Imperial Japanese government was at that time busy with the kind of competition that ultimately made Hiroshima possible. This is the Roman numeral XVIII Olympiad, but that is a phantom designation. Three Olympics never happened: VI (scheduled for 1916) and XII and XIII (1940 and 1944) were canceled while the world chopped itself up. "It used to be [in ancient Greece] they stopped fighting to stage the Games," said Avery Brundage, the International Olympic Committee president. "Now we stop the Games to have a war."
Twenty years ago the way for an American to see Tokyo was through his periscope or his bombsight. Now he marries Japanese girls at a rate of 2,000 a year, and has learned that the best massage is the patter of tiny Oriental feet up and down the spine. The Japanese—New Democratic Japan—have spent $1.9 billion to dress up ugly old Tokyo for the tidal wave of Olympians and tourists that is coming or has already come. There are 26,753 cab drivers ready to solve the insanities of the Tokyo address system for English-speaking visitors—house No. 14 might be next to house No. 13, but it also might be next to house No. 36. Twenty of the 26,753 cab drivers can speak English.
October 4, 1964
How much have they grown, these modern Olympic Games? The first, in 1896, in Athens, had 285 athletes from 13 nations, and the winner of the marathon, a Marousian named Spyros Loues, was guaranteed his boots blacked for life while women tore things from their clothing to give him. The next two, in Paris and St. Louis, were sideshows for trade expositions. But things got better. In Rome in 1960, 5,400 athletes from 84 nations competed, and most of them would have run five rings around Spyros Loues. In Tokyo some 6,600 athletes will be housed at the Olympic Village, which cost more to build and renovate—it was a U.S. military housing compound before—than was spent on the first nine Olympics together. The 6,600 will represent 99 nations and, most likely, every ideology, every religion, every philosophical concept known to disturb the mind of man. Five hundred miles from the Japanese coast, looking across the East China Sea, are 800 million Chinese who will not be represented.
What have we learned in 68 years? That the Olympic Games are at once the most wonderful and the most wretched of sporting events. They reflect all that is right with man and all that he cannot make right. They represent more than they should and do less than they can. They are the resolution of many schisms and the solution to hardly anything (some of the best Olympics were made memorable by the fights that went on around them).
They are the quintessence of amateur athletic prowess, though you must be up on your grammar to know that amateur, where the Olympics are concerned, is a relative noun. The Games are so couched in nationalistic pride and ideological chest-thumping that a gold medal weighing 2 ounces and worth $7 across the counter takes on such proportions that a man can scarcely hang it around his neck without feeling weighted down. A recent public-opinion sampling in Hong Kong indicated that its people are tired of showing a small-nation complex to the world, that just participation in the Olympics is not enough. "It's not important that we merely compete," said Australia's Percy Cerutty. "It's important that we excel." The chance to send star runner George Kerr and, coincidentally, the rest of the Jamaican team to Tokyo may cost the Jamaican government, beset with school, road and water-supply woes, $45,000—but it will spend the money, and Jamaicans do not object. The East and West Germanys will compete under one flag, as one team, and they both object. Avery Brundage once called the combined East-West German team "my greatest Olympic success." East Germany now says there should be three German teams, including West Berlin.
The modern Olympic Games were the inspiration of a young French nobleman, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, whose intentions were as honorable as his motive was ulterior—to help his country recover from one of its crushing defeats, the war of 1870. Baron de Coubertin is responsible for the Olympic Creed, which assures the Olympian that "the important thing is not winning but taking part." For all the baron's sound advice, the Olympics never really turned out that way. Winning is unimportant? Winning is everything. And it is not always enough to win by yourself. The group is also important. Michel Jazy, the French distance runner, could see medals practically pouring from heaven as he explained his enthusiastic endorsement of a proposal that a European juggernaut be formed from countries in the Common Market, ostensibly to challenge Russia and the U.S. for team points—points that are unofficial and contrary to the best Olympic intentions. "A European team," said Jazy, "would be world-beaters!"
Political significance? It takes a heap of naiveté to be naive enough to take the Olympics for the unencumbered sport they are supposed to be. A U.S. Senator tried to have the Russians banned from the Games in 1956. Russian victories in 1960 were not examples of individual excellence, but of the viability of a new, all-encompassing athletic system. The U.S. Army wanted to know what it could do to improve American expectations in 1964 and 1968. Recently Russian periodicals have been frantically reminding the 1964 Soviet team of the importance of "winning for the forces of socialism," that the Russian people "do not want tourists on our Olympic team" and that any falloff in performance "is difficult to explain to the population." There is some concern now, expressed by Sovyetski Sport, that the apparent collapse of the Russian team in the July dual meet with the U.S. at Los Angeles was due to the growth of such "vices" as "individualism, conceit, self-seeking, greed and a passion for Western ways of life."
The American man in the street might not know Ralph Boston from Laurel, Miss., but he finds out in a hurry if Ralph Boston somehow lets down the good old American team at Tokyo. Whatever has he been up to? Beer, do you suppose? Sometimes this perspective, though poor to begin with, gets completely fogged in and genuine harm is done. John Thomas, a nervous teen-ager, and Ray Norton, a nervous young adult, failed to win as they were expected to in Rome. They suffered a prolonged and totally unfair agony of criticism and scrutiny. It was not enough that they had been third, fourth or even sixth best in the world; they had not won.
The striking thing—the most beautiful thing—about the Olympics is the way the competitors get along. They trade hats, stories and addresses, and sometimes they fall in love and get married. But there are unhappy incidents, too, and always at least one complaint about accommodations (the U.S. team threatened to quit the 1920 Olympics after they wound up in a barrackslike schoolhouse in Antwerp). On one occasion a Brazilian water polo team was disqualified for precipitating a riot, and an Italian fencer once challenged an official to a duel. A French official was punched in the nose by a pro-German gatekeeper (the team threatened to withdraw on the spot), and a hard-checking U.S. hockey team was accused of rowdyism. Eleanor Holm was dismissed from the 1936 U.S. team on the boat going over and was a pathetic figure weeping in the stands at the opening ceremony.
But most often the trouble that makes its way into print is precipitated outside the Olympic Village, and usually by administrators. Most consistently odious for America, of course, is the jurisdictional dispute between the AAU and the colleges, a dispute that has survived the years (it has-been going on since 1896, at the first Olympics), and was twice—in 1928 and again in 1962—arbitrated by the late General Douglas MacArthur. "MacArthur restored harmony" was a way of describing failures to resolve the dispute. The most recent case of bad judgment was a quote attributed to the AAU's Don Hull implying that American athletes under college scholarships could be disqualified by the IOC as professionals. His reasoning may have been dubious but his timing was propitious—he was reported to have said it during the week of the final U.S. track and field trials, when half of the finalists were college athletes. Fortunately, no more undermining was done and the issue passed.
Professionalism has been an inevitable charge at Olympic Games from the time the Emperor Nero fell out of a chariot race and declared himself the winner. The ancient Games rotted away because of the foul trade in athletic ability and were discontinued in 393 A.D. Modern Olympians have shown they are up to the same mistakes, but more often than not the incidents are more sad than scandalous. The magnificent Jim Thorpe had to return the gold medals he won at Stockholm in 1912 when someone discovered he had played a summer of semipro baseball in North Carolina two years before; Paavo Nurmi, the Flying Finn, was shot down padding his expense account. Last month Mogens Frey, the Danish cyclist, was involved in a doping scandal and was dismissed from his team.
No two countries have the same standards of amateurism, and the professional problem is so confusing and the experience of coping with it so unsettling that this week the chancellor of the International Olympic Committee. Otto Mayer, resigned. He had threatened to do so for some time. An English sports columnist said Mayer had become "fed up with shamateurism," the absence of the Olympic-spirit, the nonexistence of the real amateur, the "blatant advertisement that makes the Games open season to a future lucrative professional career." It would be cynical to say that Mr. Mayer is not abreast of the times, but it would not be wrong to say that the problem is too broad in scope and subject to too many cultures and too many interpretations to bend like linguini into one flat pasta. A man's worth often is in direct proportion to his reputation, and therefore is it possible for a champion not to profit from his reputation? At what point do you determine that reputation has become a vehicle for "cashing in"?
Ultimately, of course, it narrows down to the individual Olympian, his excellence and what he does with it. Who are the Olympians of 1964? What do they think of their participation, the significance of their quest, the practicality of Baron de Coubertin's honorable creed, the price of a good cup of sake? Is it enough for them just to take part? The 1964 Olympians, many of the best of whom are pictured in their native countries beginning on page 43, come from Copenhagen and Prague, from Kingston, Barcelona, Belo Horizonte and Pampa, Texas. They speak in broad accents, and no accents, and some hardly speak at all. They do not all have pure hearts, and some would not argue with the poet that "If I should lose, let me stand by the road and cheer as the winner goes by," because they would think him daft. Some make great sacrifices to compete; others do not. Some are children of a great Depression, some of concentration camps. Some of them eat pheasant, and some of them eat pigeons they have caught with their hands. They are separately molded by separate societies, and they are variously motivated. They are all Olympians.
Robbie Brightwell is 25, very British and a high school geography teacher in Kingston, 10 miles southwest of London. No geography teacher in the world can run 400 meters faster than Robbie Brightwell. He was born in Rawalpindi, on the northwest frontier of India above the Ganges, the son of a British army officer. He remembers India as a place where he sneaked across a wall with his brother and sister to hunt birds and snake eggs and conduct scorpion races. At 15, at school in England, he "suddenly realized that I alone was responsible for my destiny."
"The 400 meters is an event for men," says Brightwell, who analyzes everything. "You must be calm but almost savage, have supreme confidence in yourself, be able to take punishment and still come up. Many athletes haven't the ability to punish themselves. I always feel intensely aroused when I lose. The ultimate victor is the one who perseveres."
When he trains, Robbie says, he nearly always ends up feeling ill "and very, very tired. Is it worth it? All the time you realize you are running for Britain. People expect you to win, and this hurts more than the physical punishment. My whole family is involved with this, the people up my street, the people in my town, the people at my school. Why do I inflict this pain upon myself, running in all weathers, with people laughing at the funny man? I don't know. A few years ago a psychologist said that this type of thing had one of three answers: a) you hated your father, b) you came from an insecure environment, or c) you came from an environment where there was little money. Which one applies to me? None.
"As far as I'm concerned, there's only one thing that drives me. I want to do well. I want to be the best. Sometimes, you know, I get so mixed up I don't know what I'm doing. The Olympics, I am vaguely aware of them—I know that on a certain day in mid-October I am going to run my bloody guts out."
Captain of the British team, Brightwell is also its unquestioned leader. Because of him, he says, "without being egotistical," it is a better team. He has shown them "a sense of leadership, a sense of fair play. They do not mind that I have had differences with the British board, and will have, too, as long as they act in a bloody hamhanded manner." (Brightwell goes rigid when it is brought to mind that the British Olympic Committee is financed mainly by whist drives, film premieres and garden fetes, and he was shaken recently when the government saw fit to contribute a beggarly ¬£30,000. Said Robbie, "Makes you think they're ashamed of our sportsmen.")
"I am facing perhaps one of the greatest trials in my life, a test of my character and fortitude. I am expecting nothing from Tokyo itself; it is just the place where the Games are being held. They could be held in Timbuktu, I'd feel the same. In dear old England a lot of athletes have thought their main task is getting on the team. That is only the preliminary and secondary factor."
Hans-Joachim Klein is 22, a student of industrial engineering at Darmstadt in West Germany. He is a contender for a swimming medal at 100 meters. He lives alone in a small room on the second floor of a modern house on Heinrichstrasse, with his tape recorder, typewriter, medals, cups, plaques, souvenirs. He is the son of a prosperous state judge, and likes the theater and the opera, jazz and the twist ("for training purposes"). He is the stereotype of the clean-cut college youth, short-cut hair blonder than blond falling over a high forehead, eyes clear blue, strong chin, easy smile.
Hans Klein says that swimming is not the center of his life. "If it were," he says, "I'd be bored to death. Most of my friends aren't swimmers." He has no car; the girls drive him. He has no use for the military ("Germany is just too small today"). He spent a year at the University of Southern California training, and admits that he did not—and has not and will not—kill himself in the practice pool. "I just swim." He thinks the rigorous American training routine burns out U.S. swimmers fast. "They last only two or three years, then they go psychologically stale." Klein competed at Rome in 1960, but says he was too bedazzled to do anything—he was 10th in the 400-meter freestyle.
"The fact that I am representing Germany is not particularly important to me. In a way, it's sort of ridiculous. I feel it's competition between individuals and I don't feel any burning patriotism. It's the sense of personal satisfaction that is important, not giving all for the state. I have sacrificed nothing for the Olympics. If I did win, it would probably mean some very good connections later here in Germany. But this does not mean much to me. The big satisfaction is simply swimming."
Ludvik Danek is 27 years old, a Czechoslovakian who does not talk politics because in his country it is not polite, and it might also get you tossed into the jug. On August 2, in the small Bohemian town of Turnov, Danek produced an international thunderbolt—he threw the discus 211 feet 9½ inches to beat Al Oerter's world record by almost six feet. One of the world press agencies reported the terrain there was sloped, but that was not true. Since then Danek has been consistently near that record, and now he is going to Japan to see if he can beat the American Oerter face to face.
"Olympics—for me they mean competition with Oerter," he says. "I respect this adversary. I have been reading all about him, all I can lay my hands on. The last thing I heard, his ancestors on his mother's side originally came from Czechoslovakia. That is nice. But I suppose it is nothing special because every American's ancestors came from Europe originally."
Danek was born in the village of Blansko in Moravia and has never strayed so far away that he cannot motorbike home to visit his-mother two or three times a week. Once he had an accident on his motorbike, the year he returned from the army, and the doctor looked at his torn kidney and said he would never throw the discus again. Danek did not listen. "I could not," he said, "stop being a sportsman at age 22. I started training, but really hard. Lifting weights of 150 kilos every day left blue marks on my neck. I lived like a recluse. I felt that I had to prove what man can do if he has the will to do it."
Danek works in a factory, turning a lathe. This summer he packed his wife on the back of his motorbike and toured the mountains and valleys of Slovakia. "To see Japan, to see Tokyo, the largest city of the world, that, for a small man of a small country in Europe, can only be a dream," he said. "Especially if this man is a common worker and not a businessman, a journalist, a diplomat. I wish—I wish the discus throw was on the first day of the Olympics, and that I had a chance to see Tokyo afterward. I am not very young anymore, and these arc my first but quite likely also my last Olympic Games."
Henry Da Sousa is 43 years old, a small man, born of Portuguese and Chinese parents from Macao—and of a type you notice on the street only if he has missed the litter basket. He is a civil servant in Hong Kong, and one of its leading sportsmen, though Hong Kong probably does not know it.
He did not demonstrate a facility for shooting a rifle as a member of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps in 1937, so Henry Da Sousa wound up, not unhappily, as a range tinder for six-inchers in the navy coastal defense. He was captured by the Japanese in 1941, and spent four years in a makeshift POW camp in Kowloon before being shipped to Japan to work in a coal mine. In 1951 Henry's brother lent him money to purchase his first rifle, a .22 caliber bolt-action Remington. Da Sousa was then employed as a clerk in an electrical firm, which earned him enough for his food but kept his ammunition not only dry but unpurchased.
"I spent the first six months practicing in my living room—without bullets," he recalls. "After work each evening I would lie down on the carpet and squeeze the trigger, carefully watching the movement of the gun after each shot. The idea was to control the movement and make it consistent." At the age of 30 Da Sousa, who had not fired a bullet for 14 years, took a bus to the colony's annual shooting competition and wound up in the Governor's Twenty (the winner's circle). Today one of the closets in the Da Sousa flat contains 180 shooting trophies.
Da Sousa can now afford all the bullets he wants. He is the senior land assistant in the district office of Tsuen Wan, an industrial township on the outskirts of Kowloon, and he earns $500 a month and lives expansively with his Chinese wife and six children and his German Anschutz bolt-action .22. In 1955 he cut out smoking because smoking affected his heartbeat on the firing line. Since 1958 he has never spent less than six hours a week at target practice. "I have never," he says, ' "touched a drop of alcohol. My wife does not expect to be taken out more than five nights a year. Since training for Tokyo, which began almost immediately after my return from Rome [where he was 41st in a field of 90], I've had no night life at all. Late nights definitely affect my shooting. My wife, God bless her, has never complained."
His friends know Henry Da Sousa as a man who is almost inaudible. He docs not talk about himself at all, except to say that "this Olympic business has not changed me—I'm my same old self." He does not talk, either, of what he pointedly calls "the Great Value of the Olympics," except to say that at Rome he never once heard a political discussion in the village for athletes. He has rather strong feelings about the Japanese, developed from the war. But he also remembers a day in Rome when he was doing poorly and a Japanese competitor came to him with some ammunition to help him change his luck.
George Kerr will be 27 on October 16, so he will celebrate his birthday in Tokyo, though he is no great shakes as a celebrator. He is a self-effacing, monosyllabic farm boy from the Jamaican backwoods district called Maryland, and he is very much like Henry Da Sousa in that he is the last man he ever talks about when he is talking, which is mostly never. He would rather run than talk—and he runs 800 meters almost as fast as anybody in the world.
George Kerr is the youngest of four brothers of strict Baptist upbringing. The hard life on their Jamaican farm made him self-reliant, single-minded, patient, and the Baptist upbringing made him so humble that he fairly flees when there is a possibility he might be called on to sound important. His coach, Herb McKenley, who ran in the Olympics in 1948 and 1952, speaks and schemes for him, and a few years back saw to it that he was offered scholarships to get into two universities in the U.S., Illinois and Oregon State.
"George was in Chicago when he met his wife. She was a schoolteacher, and he asked her to marry him, but he wouldn't set the date until I met her and passed judgment. I think she is right for him. She is probably the only girl he ever looked at seriously in all the years I have known him. In our travels together he is the one man you could always be sure wasn't horsing around somewhere."
George Kerr is deathly afraid of being poor again. He studied entomology at college because he could not imagine ever being too far removed from farming, and he has scouted around to see where he can put his education and reputation to best possible use. As a runner, he has been found lacking in aggressiveness, and at Tokyo it is a factor that might cost him. "It is true, he is not aggressive, I know that. He likes to be at peace with everyone and everything," says McKenley. "You watch him before the race. You will see him go off by himself and be very quiet. That is when he is praying."
Kanoko Mabuchi is the 26-year-old daughter of a Kobe painter, a graduate of Kwansei Gakuin University, where she majored in esthetics. She is now the color and design consultant for Kurashiki Rayon of Osaka, which pays her $83 a month even when she's off in formful pursuit of the high and springboard diving championships of Japan, which she has won every year since 1954. She looks like a teen-ager, Kanoko, with her short hair and her round happy face. She is married to another diver, Ryo Mabuchi, 31, who coaches her. She has a recurring dream. "What else could a childless wife dream of? Why, that's to have a child," she says. "After the Tokyo Games."
"To me the Olympics means but one thing—the finest possible festival of the finest possible youths from around the globe, the cream of the world of tomorrow," says Kanoko. She speaks with great reverence. "I learned in Rome the vital importance of the Olympics as a means of insuring the peace tomorrow. Now my own country is hosting this important occasion, an honor that very much likely will not be repeated in my lifetime. Win or lose, I am going to cherish every moment. Later, when I feel beat because of a problem which seems insurmountable, then I may tell myself, 'Have you forgotten your Olympic honor? You must do better than that, because, after all, once you were an Olympian!' "
The Games begin October 10 and last 14 days. Once they were just a handful of sports; now they are 20 men's sports and six for women, and at the final accounting the 6,600 who can later say they were Olympians will have decided the distribution of 499 medals, gold (first place), silver (second) and bronze (third). Until 1956 it was generally conceded ahead of time that a majority of the medals would go to athletes from the United States, which took the Games seriously when others did not. (In the last 14 summer Olympics, American athletes have won 1,078 medals, nearly three times as many as the nearest rival nation, Great Britain, with 445. In gold medals, the U.S. is ahead 469 to Britain's 130.) In 1956, however, the Soviet Union put its great bulk behind an Olympic effort, and the resultant competition at the top—imagine, the Americans having competition!—had a vitalizing effect on the entire world.
In 1960, when the Russians actually outscored the U.S. in total points and medals and officials here were probing through a veil of Bromo-Seltzer bubbles to get at the answer, alarmists publicly concluded that the Russians, who had scored heavily in events Americans traditionally regard with disregard (gymnastics, Greco-Roman wrestling), had caught us with our track and field down. Track and field is the showcase of, and the best reason for, the Olympics, and the U.S. has always been supreme. Indeed, the Russians had made serious inroads into our superiority, but the major blows struck at Rome were multinational and not Russian at all: Germany's Armin Hary (100 meters), Italy's Livio Berruti (200 meters), New Zealand's Peter Snell (800 meters) won in events Americans had come to think of as private property. It was embarrassing, yes, but it was also refreshing—competition from all over.
How, then, will the U.S. do this time? Better than ever, perhaps, and perhaps no better. The track and field team is the best ever assembled, one that by proven performances could break 15 of the 24 Olympic records. The Germans will not be as strong (Hary is fat and retired); the Russians have nothing new to offer (their best are older and, despite the electrical prodding of Sovyetski Sport, looking tired). From where, then, will trouble come in this world of emerging athletic awareness? From more places than ever, that's where.
Bob Hayes will have to contend with the hunger of a Cuban, Enrique Figuerola, and a Canadian, Harry Jerome, at 100 meters, for example. Henry Carr has Trinidad's Edwin Roberts, Italy's Sergio Ottolina and Malaysia's Manicka Jegathesan to press him at 200 meters. Trinidad's Wendell Mottley should beat Mike Larrabee at 400 meters. And, like a recurring nightmare, there is Peter Snell (see page 56). At 800 meters or 1,500 meters, the powerful New Zealander is practically unbeatable, this despite reports that he had a slow, beatable summer (January and February, that is). American strength is such, however, that should Snell falter he could be taken in either or both—if Morgan Groth does not beat him at 800 meters, then Dyrol Burleson or Tom O'Hara could beat him at 1,500. And at 5,000 meters, an event an American has never won, Bob Schul is favored to upset Australia's Ron Clarke. Clarke, in turn, will extract his pound of flesh from, among others, Gerry Lindgren at 10,000 meters (a pound is about all the 119-pound Lindgren can afford).
Hayes Jones, Rex Cawley and Jay Luck continue to make us the best hurdlers in the world, but we now have the German, Manfred Preussger, to bother Fred Hansen and John Pennel in the pole vault; Poland's Edward Czernik to cut us farther back in the high jump; and Danek favored over Oerter in the discus. And for the first time since 1928 we will not win the decathlon. Formosa's C. K. Yang, second to Rafer Johnson in 1960, moves up, with Johnson retired. There is no Johnson or Bob Mathias on the American horizon. There is, however, a reasonable facsimile of Wilma Rudolph. Edith McGuire will sweep the 100 and 200 meters and provide the women's team with a good enough reason to make the trip.
American swimmers, too, are better than ever, if possible, and could win more medals than all the other nations put together. The great unknown is the Australians, who could contend in any of 10 races. They are unknown because they went into training on August 1 and haven't been heard from since. In basketball we have been looking over our shoulders for some time, and now, sure enough, the opposition is catching up. The Europeans, especially, have lost their clumsiness and are better shooters. They have even added the jump shot. The American team is not as good as it was in 1960, but it is possible that no amateur team ever will be.
We get better in gymnastics every year, but where we have one good gymnast the Russians and the Japanese always can counter with 10. In sports where our performers have at best been inconsistent, there are new American names to be considered as medal candidates: Jackie Simes, the cyclist; Don Spero, a single-sculler who could be the first U.S. winner since John Kelly in 1920; and three excellent wrestlers to follow the line of American successes of 1960—Dan Brand, Gray Simons and Greg Ruth. Once dominant in weight lifting, we are now third best, for no particularly sound reason. The boxing team will be strong again, superior in technique to anyone, and led by a flashy 156-pounder named Toby Gibson who has won 64 of 68 amateur fights.
On the 14th day of the XVIII Olympiad, it will have been determined that the Americans did exceedingly well, just well enough—barely—to accumulate more medals than the Russians. This will give Sovyetski Sport cause to breathe a heavier editorial breath, but it will not in the least impress Robbie Brightwell as significant. In Brightwell's way of thinking, the elements of Olympic significance are more than just gold, silver and bronze.