REPORT OF THE QUADRENNIAL MEETING OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF OLYMPIC HISTORIANS ON JULY 25, 2012, AT LINCOLN’S INN IN LONDON
The meeting was attended by:
ISOH President Karl Lennartz; Vice-President David Wallechinsky; Treasurer John Grasso; Secretary-General Tony Bijkerk; Executive Committee members: Kostas Georgiadis (GRE); Volker Kluge (GER); and members: Philip Barker (GBR); Kitty Carruthers (GBR); Michael Churchill (GBR); Stephanie Daniels (GBR); Klaus Fink (GER); Harry Gordon (AUS); Fons Kemper (NED); Dr. Manfred Lämmer (GER); Thomas Lippert (GER); Peter Lovesey (GBR); Sid Marantz (USA); Peter Matthews (GBR); Roberto Mesquita (BRA); David Miller (GBR); Colm Murphy (GBR); Markus Osterwalder (SUI); Robin Poke (AUS); Pasquale Polo (ITA); Tracy Reavis (USA); Martin Rogan (GBR); Junko Tahara (JPN); a new member Dr. Kyoku Raita JPN); and further Anita Tedder (GBR); Dr. Christian Wacker (QAT/GER); Seamus Ware (IRE); Joe Weisser (USA); and several guests like Mrs. Ingrid Lennartz, Mrs. Flora Wallechinsky, Mrs. Joy Gordon; Mrs.
Catherine Murphy; and Steve Grasso.
During the meeting two more members arrived: Ian Jobling and Jaime Loucky and one left early: Philip Barker.
- At 10:05 the Secretary-General Tony Bijkerk requested all attendees to rise for the Olympic Hymn;
- Opening of the Meeting: ISOH President Dr. Karl Lennartz officially opened the meeting with a word of welcome;
- In Memory: Tony Bijkerk then once again asked the members to rise but now in the memory of the fifteen ISOH-members who passed away over the period 2008-2012. These members were: Ben Weider (CAN; 1924-2008); David Bressler (USA/ISR; 1927-2008); John Rodda (GBR; 1930-2009); Dr. David R. Marsh (AUS; 1949-2009); Stephen Brent Parry (GBR; 1943-2009); Dr. Gene Sutton (CAN; 1944-2009); Juan Antonio Samaranch, Marquez de Samaranch; Seventh President of the IOC and Honorary member of the ISOH (ESP; 1920-2010); Scott S. Davis (USA; 1943-2010); Bud Greenspan (USA; 1926-2010; recipient of the Vikelas Plaque in 2010); C. Robert Paul (USA; 1917-2011; recipient of the Vikelas Plaque in 2010); Dr. Frances Burns (GBR; 1932-2011); Dr. Paul Yogi Mayer (GBR; 1912-2011); Dr. Nicolai Pechersky (RUS; 1922-2011); Esmail Kadkhodazadeh (IRI; 1939-2011); and Dr. Donald W.J. Anthony (GBR; 1928-2012; member of the Executive Committee from 2008 until his demise).
- Apologies for absence were received from the Swedish members Ove Karlsson and Leif Yttergren from Sweden and from Ian Jobling from Australia.
- The minutes from the Quadrennial Meeting held in Beijing, China, on August 9, 2008 [see: Journal of Olympic History, Volume 16, Number 3, December 2008] were approved unanimously.
- The ISOH President reported about his activities over the past four years:
- As President, but also personally, I was able to have a good cooperation with members of the ISOH and in particular with the Executive Committee. Before all, I want to mention Tony Bijkerk, about whom I wrote in my Message in the Journal of Olympic History, Volume 20, number 2: “Without the assistance of good secretary-generals, this could not have been possible.” And Tony was one of the best, he personified the ISOH. Almost every day we spoke each other by telephone and the harmony between us was excellent.
- The Executive Committee had three meetings in this period: a. after the Quadrennial Meeting 2008 in Beijing; b. during the Olympic Congress in Copenhagen in 2009; and c. before the ISOH Symposium “Twenty Years ISOH” in Sankt Augustin” in December 2011.
- The ISOH Award for lifetime dedication was presented to: Allan Guttmann (USA) and Bob Barney (CAN/USA) in 2009; Monique Berlioux (FRA) in 2010; Ove Karlsson (SWE) in 2011 and to Manfred Lämmer (GER) in 2012.
- The Vikelas Plaque was presented to Bud Greenspan, C. Robert Paul, Harold “Rusty” Wilson (all USA) in 2009; Thierry Terret, André Drevon, Eric Lahmy (all FRA) in 2010; Åge Dalby, Arild Åge Gjerde (both NOR) in 2011; Dr. Vladimir Rodichenko and Dr. Oleg Milshteyn (both RUS) and Dongguang “Donnie“ Pei (CHN) in 2012.
- Honorary Membership was presented to IOC President, Count Jacques Rogge in 2009; Ture Widlund (Founder member, SWE) and Dr. Karl Lennartz (GER) in 2011.
- Tony Bijkerk and I were invited as guests from the IOC for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008; for the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and for the Olympic Games in London in 2012. In this way we were able to discuss the work of the ISOH in meetings with IOC-members, National Olympic Committee-members and members of the International Federations and also recruit new members for our Society.
- As a member of the IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Education, I attended the meetings in: Seoul in 2008; Lausanne in 2009; Durban (RSA) in 2010; and in Lausanne in 2011.
- During the 13th IOC Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, we presented IOC President with Honorary Membership of the ISOH, and also with a Special Issue of the Journal of Olympic History. The IOC had given us permission to distribute this “Special Issue” with the best articles from the 18 years of the existence of the “Journal of Olympic History” to the participants of the Congress. The President was so impressed by the quality of this “Special Issue” that he gave the ISOH the possibility to print the Journal in a much higher edition, which could then be circulated to all IOC-members, all National Olympic Committees and all International Federations.
- We worked closely together with several sport-historical organizations; and I also attended multiple seminars and congresses with sport-historical and Olympic themes in many countries. I was often invited to speak a greeting on behalf of the ISOH and was thus able to make an introduction of the ISOH.
- With many ISOH members, I had a regular contact, either by letter or by telephone. I could answer many questions and several times, members visited me in my home. Since my presidency I made it a tradition to send the members of the ISOH from which I had the date of birth, a greeting on behalf of the ISOH, together with a small gift. Most members appreciated this gesture and I received many answers, among these every time the ones from Monique Berlioux and Geoffroy de Navacelle de Coubertin.
- When Dr. Stephan Wassong, editor of the Journal of Olympic History over the last eight years suddenly resigned from this position in January 2012, we were very lucky that Volker Kluge, member of the Executive Committee, was willing to take over this important job. Since then we have issued two new issues, the last one even with full colored photographs! However, we thank Stephan Wassong for his marvelous work over the past eight years, during which we reached new highlights in our publishing..
- The Secretary-General reported about the ISOH membership over the past four years 2008-2012. When he made his report in 2008 at the Games in Beijing, ISOH had 6 honorary members; 337 regular members; 38 patron members and 9 student members, making a round figure of 390 members. The current membership consists of 7 honorary members; 383 regular members; 38 patron members and 23 student members; making a total of 451 members; which means an increase of 15,5 percent. There is more to say: ISOH is still not strongly represented in many countries in Asia and has, for insyance no membership in important countries like Indonesia; Pakistan, both North- and South Korea; Kuwait; Lebanon; Mongolia; Myanmar; Thailand; the Philippines; and Vietnam. The same can be stated about the continent of South America, with countries like Bolivia; Chile; Costa Rica; Guatemala; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; Suriname; Uruguay and Venezuela. The continent of Africa is only represented by two persons from South Africa; and thus we still fail to find countries like Algeria; Ethiopia; Egypt; Ghana; Kenya; Morocco; Namibia, Nigeria and Tunisia among our membership.In Europe the ISOH is still not represented in the small countries like Liechtenstein; Lithuania and Malta. Therefore we still have lot of prospective membership to be working on and every ISOH member with contacts in one of the named countries should do his utmost to find new members in those countries!There is one negative point to be discussed. In the past four years we had to delete no less than 21 regular and 2 student members for neglecting to pay the yearly subscription in time, in spite of being reminded time and again by both the treasurer and the secretary-general to pay. Instead of the period of two years, mentioned in our Constitution, we already gave these members three years to amend their negligence, but nothing helped.What else happened in the period 2008-2012?In my last report to the Quadrennial meeting in Beijing in 2008, I mentioned that the ISOH had received an invitation from the IOC to take a look at the historical contents of the IOC website; report on mistakes, and suggest about corrections. For three months, we, ISOH President Karl Lennartz and I worked on this project together and compiled a long report.When this report had been submitted, the next issue to be advised on was on the rather “controversial question”: the programme and the results of the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris.A small ISOH-commission, consisting of Karl Lennartz, Volker Kluge and myself came together; studied the subject extensively and then wrote a report for the ISOH. We also submitted the report early 2008 to the IOC. Strange enough, up to this moment we heard nothing back from the IOC; neither about the first and neither about the second report, while the website remains unchanged and no answer came back about our suggestions in relation to the 1900 Olympic Games.With regard to the various awards from our Society, I may refer to the Report of our President Dr. Karl Lennartz.
Finally, it was again rewarding to note that over the past years, the ISOH has made an even better name for itself in the international media. Most of the media have found our website as a source for information and we need to thank our webmaster Jeroen Heijmans for trying to regularly update the information!
Over the past four years, with a culmination in both the last months in 2009/early month 2010, and especially the early months of this year 2012, I received numerous requests from the media in many countries, both from Europe, North America, Australia and Asia, asking for information about certain issues, or for interviews with representatives from the ISOH, about matters pertaining to the history of the Olympic Games with emphasis on the Vancouver and London Olympic Games; either those in 1948 or in 2012.
I seldom tried to answer these requests myself; and most times referred the requests to different ISOH members like David Wallechinsky (who was often requested for by name); Bill Mallon, Peter Lovesey. Matt and Martin Rogan, and Philip Barker. This most of the times went well, but as you all know “One idiot can ask more questions than ten professors can answer”!
- Report by the Secretary-General about the elections for the new Executive Committee over the period 2012-2016 [see the Journal of Olympic History, Volume 20, Number 2];
- Report by the Treasurer about the financial situation over the past four years 2008-2012. During the period from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2011, the ISOH bank account has grown from $79, 246.46 to $86,039.83, an 8.6% increase. Of that amount, slightly more than $35,000 is invested in a certificate of deposit which earns interest at a rate that seems to be declining each year. The CD was established by investing funds received for lifetime membership fees. We now have 90 regular lifetime members and 6 patron lifetime members – about 20% of our members.In addition to our main bank account in Norwich, N.Y. (at the Community Bank, N.A.), Tony Bijkerk maintains one in euros in the Netherlands, Karl Lennartz maintains one in euros in Germany (for ease in payment of the production of the Journal), and Peter Lovesey maintains one in pounds in the U.K. (and will be writing a few checks this week to pay for this meeting and our lunch.). In addition to enlarging our Journal of Olympic History, which is now being printed in color, we’ve continued to offer the annual Ian Buchanan Memorial Scholarship, for deserving students of Olympic history and also offer several ISOH awards for excellence in Olympic writing – one for best monograph, one for best article printed in the Journal of Olympic History and a third for the best article printed in a publication other than the Journal of Olympic History. One of the reasons we have been able to enact these awards has been the generosity of the IOC. Thanks to the efforts of Dick Pound, our liaison with them, as well as our President, Karl Lennartz and Secretary-General Tony Bijkerk, we have been receiving a substantial annual stipend (which the IOC refers to as a “subvention”.). In the past three years we also have received a second subvention from the IOC which is specifically used to provide copies of the Journal of Olympic History to all IOC members, National Olympic Committees and International Sports Federations. As a result, although we increased our dues structure slightly in 2009, we have been able to retain it at a relatively modest $35 per year – with discounts for seniors, students and prepayment making the annual payment for many even less than $35. Other societies of sports historians have significantly higher annual dues. Three examples: SABR – from $45-$85; NASSH – from $30-$70; IBRO – from $45-$90. Since we implemented the system of accepting credit card payments, approximately 25% of our members have used this method for payment. This has proven to be a convenient way to pay for members in countries whose currency is not the dollar, pound or euro. Another 25% pay by cash or check to our U.S. account, 25% to our Dutch account, 15% to our British account and 10% to our German account. We are in the process of adding PayPal to our list of methods of payment. Thanks to our webmaster, Jeroen Heijmans, a Paypal button now appears on the ISOH website. It should be available by the time I return home. As we are an “Organization Exempt from Income Tax” under section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code, one of my duties as Treasurer has been the annual filing of the 10 page IRS Short Form 990-EZ Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax. This means that should you wish to make a donation to ISOH (as have some members) it will be fully tax-deductible. In conclusion, I’d like to thank the membership for again re-electing me (even if I did run unopposed again), and like to thank Karl, David and especially, Tony, for their assistance during the past four years. I’ve enjoyed meeting many of our members during this time and am looking forward to the continued success of our organization.
- Report by the Editor of the Journal of Olympic History;The first ISOH Journal appeared in summer 1992 under the title „Citius, Altius, Fortius“, published by the then General Secretary Bill Mallon, who also wrote most of the texts. The magazine had 42 pages and was spiral-bound. There were no photographs. Now the Journal is in its 20th year. The latest edition has just come out. It has 80 pages with 98 photos and illustrations. For the first time the magazine is printed entirely in colour. What a development! In the last four years the ISOH has published three editions annually, altogether 14 magazines plus two Special Issues: the first in late 2008 on Controversial questions about Olympics Paris 1900, the second on the occasion of the Olympic Congress in 2009. All in all more than 1400 high quality pages of Olympic history. For eight years Stephan Wassong was the Journal’s editor, and did an excellent job. In January 2012 he resigned from that position for personal reasons. As you know, I offered to take over the task together with Karl Lennartz. The transfer of the business brought along some irritations. Some authors had articles accepted although I knew nothing about them. I apologise for these delays. We will try to make up for the shortfall. It is a happy fact that we have considerably more articles at our disposal than we can publish. Among these are some very long texts, and, as ever, the quality is also very mixed. As the publishers we often are faced with the difficult task of having to decide which articles should have priority. We take a great deal of trouble over this. The decisive criterion should be that the theme is Olympic history and that the article is of general interest. The general rule: the shorter the article, the higher the likelihood that it will soon be published. As is known, the Journal appears in English. Neither Karl nor I are native speakers. If we do not want to restrict ourselves to authors from the Angle-Saxon linguistic area, we have to confront the problems that arise from that. To solve these the Assistant Editors Kitty Carruthers, Philip Barker, Tony Bijkerk and Stephen Harris are a great help. Many thanks. I would be glad if we could also count on you in future. If the Executive Committee permits Karl and me to continue to look after the Journal, I should like after London to send out guidelines about how the often very different manuscripts should be handled. A consistently similar form would make our work much easier. In addition the fact that we intend to continue publication in full colour compels us to make high demands in terms of illustrations. In producing the Journal we have to manage on a small budget. The highest costs arise with printing ( (3800 EUR) and distribution (2300 EUR), which is normally effected using the normal postal service. Regrettably some of our members outside Europe thus receive the Journal with several weeks’ delay. It might be considered whether especially the members in Australia should be offered a pdf version. After that we will send the printed version!After the report from the new editor, some questions were asked: one came from Irish member Seamus Ware, who asked not to print too many academic articles, but also use as usual in our Journal more non-academic articles. Both Volker Kluge and Karl Lennartz, as co-editor, stipulated that the policy to make the Journal available to all kinds of articles will remain to be used. Dr. Lennartz stipulated that other organizations like ISHPES and NASSH rarely place historical articles about the Olympic Games. Philip Barker, also an associate editor stated that articles should be short (or better not too long) and be concise.
- Planning for the period 2012 – 2016; will be explained later by the new ISOH President David Wallechinsky.
- Any other business:a. Sid Marantz (USA) suggested that the ISOH should also have a meeting during the Olympic Winter Games, like we had in Vancouver in 2010. This suggestion will be discussed in the new Executive Meeting. b. Tony Bijkerk asked Marcus Osterwalder to inform the member about the “Prolympo” plans. Marcus Osterwalder explained that “Prolympo” is an organization founded with support from the Brazilian Organizing Committee for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, to be involved with the publication of a series of catalogues and books about Olympic memorabilia, starting with a catalogue about the Official Reports, to be followed by a catalogue (for collectors) and booklet (for the public) about Olympic pins. There are plans to publish 12 catalogues (for collectors) and 5 booklets (for the public). c. David Miller asked permission to show his new Olympic book, “The Official History of the Olympic Games and the IOC; Athens to London 1894-2012”, recently published. He informed the members that every ISOH member would get a 25% discount on buying this book, which would reduce the price to £30,00 and that he brought some leaflets with him. Then were shown also: Bob Wilcock’s book: “The London 1948 Olympic Games – A Collector’s Guide”; Kitty Carruthers’ book: “British Olympic Heroes” and Robin Poke’s book: “Olympic Gold”. Philip Barker’s book “The Story of the Olympic Torch Relay” was released recently. d. Thomas Lippert from Germany, president of the IMOS, informed about “Olympex 2012: Collecting the Olympic Games”, an exhibition organized at the British Library.
- Presentation of the Vikelas Plaque 2012: As stated in the Report of the President over the period 2008 to 2012, the Vikelas Plaque 2012 was or will be presented in 2012 to: Dr. Vladimir Rodichenko and Dr. Oleg Milshteyn (both RUS) and Dongguang “Donnie“ Pei (CHN). The presentation to both Russian ISOH members will probably take place this fall in Moscow; while the Vikelas Plaque for Donnie Pei was mailed by the Secretary-General (by registered mail) to Pei in Beijing..
- Handing over of the ISOH Presidency from Dr. Karl Lennartz to David Wallechinsky. Karl Lennartz handed over the Olympic Torch from Beijing 2008, which ISOH had received from Dick Pound, on behalf of the IOC, as token of the ISOH Presidency. David Wallechinsky accepted the Torch and thus took over the ISOH Presidency from Karl Lennartz.David Wallechinsky then expressed his gratitude for the valuable work Karl Lennartz had done over the past eight years and introduced himself to the audience. He expressed the explicit wish to resume the relations with the IOC.
- Closure of the meeting by ISOH President David Wallechinsky.
After the Quadrennial Meeting, there was a lunch offered by the ISOH in the beautiful dining hall of Lincoln’s Inn, which was also attended by Dick Pound, member of the Executive Committee on behalf of the IOC, and Dr. Ian Jobling (AUS).
Fochteloo, August 15, 2012.