When last autumn I asked former IOC Director Monique Berlioux if she could write about her experiences in Lausanne for the first 2015 edition of the Journal on the theme “100 Years of the Olympic Capital“ she hesitated and replied that she had to look after her husband, the journalist Serge Groussard, who was dependent on care.
But then an essay quickly arrived, to which she had given the title “Managing a ‘Gentlemen’s Club‘“. It was exactly what I had hoped for: a splendidly readable mixture of information, analysis and gossip. In her veins there still flowed a great deal of journalistic blood.
It was also her idea to write a pen-portait of the late IOC President Lord Killanin. She wrote that she should have done it earlier – in 2014 for his centenary. She continued: “Do you (or did you) know that the French Ministry of Sports and NOC celebrated the 100th anniversary of Coubertin’s birth one year later? They were not ready in time.” Now I did know it. And on 16th March – five and a half months before her death – this article also arrived, accompanied by this short e-mail: “At last … here under is Lord Killanin’s portrait.” Merci, Madame!
It is also the anniversary of the 1940 Games, which never took place. They were supposed to take place 75 years ago in Japan, which was at war with China. The diary of Werner Klingeberg, who was sent to Tokyo as Technical Adviser of the IOC, gives many details on the background to events which forced Tokyo to hand back the Games.
As Klingeberg also moved to Helsinki to advise its Organising Committee, which had jumped in to replace the Japanese, it was appropriate to open another chapter, which is documented by Manfred Bergman, former Coordinator of the IOC Commission for Collectibles, with the numerous designs for special issue postage stamps.
There is an abundance of myths and legends still about the 1936 Games. At the opening of this year’s European Maccabi Games in Berlin, the “Glickman-Stoller-Story“ played an important part – and was the subject of much discussion. It is also reviewed in this magazine, as is Hungary’s swimmer Ferenc Csik, who sensationally defeated the Japanese over 100 m freestyle. Katalin Csik has dedicated a very personal portrait to her father, who lost his life in the war.
Less well-known was until now the Hungarian author Éva Földes, who in 1948 was awarded Olympic bronze in the Art Competitions. Her biography has been researched by her compatriot Annamaria Holler and reveals that Éva Földes had survived three Nazi concentration camps.
What else does the magazine offer? Tony Bijkerk writes about the youngest Olympic champion – the Netherlands cox of 1900, a French boy, remains unknown. Bep van Houdt remembers the Australian Anthony Wilding, who was once the world’s best tennis player. New books are presented and deceased Olympians honoured. We have reached part 19 of the IOC biographies.
– Volker Kluge, Editor