Thursday, August 21, 2008

Amsterdam 1928

Wherein from this book: The Story of the Olympic Games, 776B.C. to 1960 A.D.

There were twenty-two track and field events on the Olympic program at Amsterdam. Except for the two relays, the United States won just a single race, the 400-meter event. Finland won four races and also captured one of the field events. Altogether, the United States took eight first places in track and field. Eight first places for the United States; five for Finland. At that time the estimated population of the United States was 120,000,000; the estimated population of Finland was 3,500,000. "Comparisons are odorous" as Constable Dogberry so sagely asserted. Let the figures speak for themselves. [...]

There was also a fearful row over the amateur status of Charley Paddock, the famous Coast sprinter and veteran of two previous Olympic campaigns. Just before the team sailed from New York his amateur status was called into question for approximately the ninety-ninth time, the allegations being that his writings, lectures and moving picture exhibitions constituted a violation of the amateur rules. When the committee absolved Paddock, George W. Wightman, one of the vice-presidents of the American Olympic Committee, resigned as a protest against Paddock's inclusion with the team. Great Britain also challenged Paddock's status again when the team reached Holland but that challenge was quickly tossed out of court.[...]

Levi man for the United States in the hop, step and jump, was beaten by an inch in the final test by Mikio Oda of Japan. It was the first victory ever scored by Japan in a track or field event at Olympic games. [...]

The time between the closing of the track and field program and the presentation of medals was taken up with the many other sports on the Olympic program such as swimming, rowing, football, wrestling, polo, boxing and so on. Of these it can only be set down here that it would take another volume or several volumes to cover any considerable part of that wide field....

So I guess that the title of this book -- The Story of the Olympic Games -- is mostly a lie. Really all they've written is A Partial History of the Track and Field Events of the Olympic Games with Occasional Mention of Other Events.

Again with the Shakespeare -- Constable Dogberry is from Much Ado about Nothing. Watch Michael Keaton in the role of Dogberry:


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