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