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Journal of Olympic History 1/2014

Journal of Olympic History 1/2014

The first edition of the Journal in 2014 has taken shape in the wake of the excellently organised Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, even though the wonderful experiences on the Black Sea coast have been clouded by subsequent events in the Ukraine. For that very reason it is worth recalling the opening speech by IOC President Thomas Bach, in which he challenged the politicians to resolve their disputes peacefully, in direct dialogue and not at the expense of sportsmen and sportswomen.

Sport, which brings nations together, is represented by the five Olympic rings, whose centennial we celebrate this year. Karl Lennartz has analysed not only the history and origin of the symbol, but also its transformation into one of the most valuable economic commodities of the Olympic movement.

Three contributions are linked to past Winter Games. Markus Osterwalder discusses the development of the pictograms, to which the Sochi Games contributed a new chapter with a “look” inspired by typical Russian colourful patchwork blankets, I myself have composed two articles about figure skating: one about Russia’s first Olympic champion Nikolai Panin-Kolomenkin, whose bust stood outside the ”Russian House” in the Sochi Olympic Park, the other about the “Kilius/Bäumler case”, which caused a stir fifty years ago at the Innsbruck Games of 1964. As is well known, the German world champion duo lost sensationally on that occasion to the Russians Belousova/Protopopov, and the pair subsequently returned their silver medals voluntarily, after it had become known that they had previously signed a professional contract. At the time this was a serious offence with strict amateur regulations in force at the time. Perhaps this contribution will help to bring a little order to the statistical confusion.

One of the most discussed subjects before Sochi was the Russian “propaganda law”, regarded by many homo- sexuals as discriminatory, even if it had no tangible impact on the Winter Games. Matthew Baniak and Ian Jobling have considered the growing acceptance of homosexual athletes and back this up with statistical material.

Robin Voigt, the granddaughter of the Olympic 5 mile champion from London 1908, has delved for the second time into the family archive and produced another fasci- nating insight in an article well worth reading. It depicts Emil Voigt not only as an outstanding athlete but also as an Australian radio pioneer.

Our General Secretary also proved he had a good nose for a story. He used his trip to Australia to take a closer look at the winner’s prize awarded to the Dutch rowing pair at the 1900 Games in Paris. There can be few people who are aware that a century before, in the same city, sports competitions with the title “Olympiades de la République” took place. With his article, Hugh Farey helps us to fill this lacuna.

Many interesting themes then, so that all that remains for me is to wish you an enjoyable read.

– Volker Kluge, Editor

2013 Vikelas Plaque presented

Two Australian historians were honoured at a ceremony held at the headquarters of the Australian NOC in Sydney in early December. Richard Cashman and Ian Jobling were awarded the Vikelas Plaque by the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH), in recognition of their important contribution to Olympic research. David Wallechinsky and Tony Bijerk, ISOH president and secretary-general respectively, attended this event, which was hosted by NOC president and IOC member John Coates. Richard Cashman founded the Centre for Olympic Studies at the University of New South Wales before becoming the founding director of the Australian Centre for Olympic Studies at the University of Technology in Sydney. Meanwhile, Ian Jobling is the director of the Centre for Olympic Studies at the University of Queensland and a founding member and former president of the Australian Society for Sports History (ASSH).

Journal of Olympic History 3/2013

With this last edition of the year the editors of the Journal of Olympic History would like to help readers to get in the mood for the XXII Winter Games. In 2014, everyone will be aware that the Olympic Flame will after a long journey through Russia and even into space, find it’s a final resting place on the shores of the Black Sea for the first time – in the resort of Sochi.

It seemed the ideal time for Myles Garcia to explore what had in fact happened to the cauldrons of earlier Winter Games. Our readers will find the answer in this volume. He plans to look at the fate of summer cauldrons in a future issue.

Larry G. Gerlach devotes himself to another facet of Olympic marketing and promotion: the mascots. As with Myles Garcia he also intends to focus on the artificial figures that since 1972 have been popular symbols of the Olympic Summer Games at a later date.

Who today is aware that a prize for Alpinism was awarded in connection with the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924? There was no beaming victor receiving his prize from the hands of Pierre de Coubertin, but the leader of the British Himalayan Expedition, who had failed to conquer Mount Everest with his team two years before. Thomas Lippert and I are able to reveal. How a pledge to one day to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain was finally fulfilled ninety years later.

Sochi 2014 may well turn out to be the first great challenge for the ninth IOC President, the 1976 Olympic fencing champion Thomas Bach. The article by Karl Lennartz deals with the IOC Session in Buenos Aires where he was elected. In addition he examines the problems faced by Bach’s predecessors during their terms in office.

Among the greatest tests for the seventh President, Juan Antonio Samaranch was the boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles Games by the Eastern Bloc. Brad J. Congelio, a recipient of the Ian Buchanan Memorial Scholarship in 2013, has researched the role that the Reagan Administration played. His discoveries are extended by ISOH President David Wallechinsky with hitherto unknown details.

Allan Wells, the Olympic champion of 1980 over 100 m, reminded us recently that Scotland has produced some great runners. At Buckingham Palace he accepted the ceremonial baton for the Commonwealth Games which will take place next year in Glasgow. Philip Barker was there to see the relay journey begin.

Less well known is the marathon runner Thomas Jack, on whom great hopes rested at the 1908 London Olympic Games, hopes unfulfilled when he dropped out after leading the race in the early stages. Scotland’s marathon expert Donald Macgregor, himself an Olympian who finished seventh at the 1972 Games in Munich, has followed up Jack’s trail.

Our regular features include Part 15 of the IOC biographies, obituaries of well-known Olympic participants and medallists, as well as reviews of new publications which round off this edition. Hopefully a good mixture for everyone. Enjoy the magazine!

– Volker Kluge, Editor

2013 ISOH Award

2013 ISOH Award presented

On October 22nd, the ISOH Award was presented to Conrado Durántez. Durántez is President of the Spanish Olympic Academy, and has been a longtime member of ISOH. He has authored several works on Pierre de Coubertin, and is honorary president of the Comité International Pierre De Coubertin.

Berlin 36 movie trailer

Berlin 36 movie trailer

The German film Berlin 36 (published in 2009), based on the true story of high jumpers German Gretel Bergmann and Dora Ratjen, is now also available to order for the English-speaking world.

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