Journal of Olympic History – Vol. 23/No. 1 – 2015

Posted in: Recent Journals

joh201501This time we did not have to search too hard for a dominating theme, for we could hardly ignore this anniversary. On the10th April it will be exactly 100 years since the City of Lausanne declared itself ready to accept the IOC Archives into its stores. Philip Barker describes in chronological order the transition of Lausanne from the home of the IOC to a city which has the status of “Olympic Capital.”

That the IOC was a “Gentlemen’s Club” for almost 90 years might well come as a surprise to many. Madame Monique Berlioux was the woman who found herself at the heart of the “Club” as she managed the affairs of the IOC from1969 to 1985. It makes her memoir all the more exciting and entertaining.

By contrast, Frederic “Fred” Auckenthaler is much less well known. In 1922 he became the first chancellor of the IOC at the age of 23. For three years he assisted IOC President Pierre de Coubertin, who in the meantime had moved his residence to Lausanne. Auckenthaler, a Swiss did not only sit at his desk, but in 1924, he also took part in the first Winter Games as an ice hockey player. His team set a record of an unwanted kind: they lost 0-33 to Canada.

On the subject of Coubertin. Yvan de Navacelle de Coubertin, one of the great-grand-nephews of the IOC’s founder, has written “a short history of a noble French family” – his family. This is supplemented by Christian Wacker’s portrait of Julien Bonaventure de Coubertin, a French career diplomat, who is nonetheless considered the first artist in the Coubertin family. More important for Olympic historians is however that he was Pierre’s grandfather: and in 1816 spent some months in Rio de Janeiro, the 2016 Olympic city.

In This Issue:

“Managing a ‘Gentlemen’s Club'”

by Monique Merlioux

We remain true to the intention of giving young authors a chance to be published in this Journal. The Canadian Jason Winders has devoted his research to William “Bill” Bradley, a gold medal winning basketball player for the United States in 1964. Bradley later had a career in politics and in 1980 he supported President Jimmy Carter’s stance in the debate over a Moscow Olympic boycott.

The Finn Lauri Keskinen has examined morality at the 1912 Games, taking as an example the encounter of the American and British teams. The Briton Luke J. Harris has written about the Olympic traditions of Birmingham, which applied unsuccessfully for the 1992 Games.

And finally there is a ‘troika,’ consisting of Canadians Michelle Rutty, Daniel Scott and Austrian Robert Steiger, who reflect on the future of the Olympic Winter Games from the viewpoint of meteorologists and environmental protectionists. They look at the demand to the IOC: to offer world-class conditions for their outdoor competitions to world-class athletes by the choice of venue. The journalistic “climate change” is however left to Canada’s professor Frank Cosentino. He discusses the history of hockey in both forms – on ice and on turf.

As announced in the last edition, thanks to the help of Ove Karlsson, the biographical series of IOC Members is able to continue with part 17. As always the magazine is rounded off with our regular reviews and obituaries of deceased Olympians.

– Volker Kluge, Editor

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