Journal of Olympic History 2/2013
We are delighted that the ISOH Executive meeting has backed our aim of developing the Journal for everyone, without losing its academic and scientific value. However to our way of thinking we should continue to favour particularly such historical themes as contribute to enlightening current discussions in the Olympic Movement.
Just such a contribution is Karl Lennartz’s article about the traditional sport of wrestling, whose future is likely to be settled at the next IOC Session in September in Buenos Aires. For a historian like him it is quite natural that he should make a plea for wrestling to remain on the Olympic programme.
When the Spaniard Juan Antonio Simón offered us a contribution about the “Franco Olympic Games“, we did not hesitate. After all Madrid, which unsuccessfully bids for 1972, 2012 and 2016 is applying in September for a fourth time to hold the Games – this time for 2020. As publishers we remain neutral in the contest between Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo.
Furthermore we celebrate three centenaries in this edition. Firstly the Spanish NOC, whose birth is described in an article by this year’s ISOH prize-winner Conrado Durántez. We also celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the Afro-American Jesse Owens and the German Luz Long, who wrote a chapter of Olympic history with their dramatic long jump duel in 1936 in Berlin which is still memorable today. My intention was to examine episodes corresponded to the truth and which represent legends.
It is not a legend that the medals were withheld by the Finnish Organising Committee from the third- placed boxers in 1952 in Helsinki – probably for reasons of frugality. That matters did not remain like that is described by Bill Mallon, who inspected an exchange of correspondence which continued until 1970 before the situation was resolved and the well deserved awards were finally delivered to the boxers after all.
The death of the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher provided a reason for Derek J. Cole, Tom Clarke and Philip Barker to recall her attempts to support American President Jimmy Carter’s call for a boycott. Happily these were unsuccessful.
In addition we have made possible for our readers indirectly to visit the very successful Olympia exhibition in Doha, Qatar, and Christian Wacker, who acts as Director there, lets us share in the opening of the Samaranch Memorial in Tianjin, China.
And as usual we close this edition with obituaries of great athletes who have left us in the last few months, as well as with reviews and readers’ letters.
– Volker Kluge, Editor