Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Paris 1924

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

The America was fitted up in style for the athletic argosy. A 220-yard cork track for the runners was put down on the promenade deck. The swimmers -- this included a strong delegation of women -- had a canvas tank rigged for them. But it was a small one and they had to practice their strokes while "anchored" from above by a rope so that they were "swimming" in the same place all the time. The boxers had several rings and the wrestlers had all the mats they needed. Only the hammer throwers were at a disadvantage. As yet, no ship has been built big enough to provide a hammer thrower with a sea-going exercise ground for his favorite athletic occupation. [...]

Then came, to borrow a title from G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday. It was on the fifth day of competition, Thursday, July 10, that the great Nurmi won the 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter championships within two hours, setting Olympic records in each event, running in the form that was the marvel of the athletic world for years and getting no opposition worth mentioning except from Ritola, his countryman, in the 5,000-meter run....In the longer event the United States nominees were not expected to figure and they lived up to expectations.

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