Since he is also a well-known collector of Oriental art and a student of things Asiatic, it was perhaps only logical for the International Olympic Committee's chairman, Avery Brundage, to behave in an inscrutable manner amid the storm of criticism that followed the now-famous May 28 meeting of the IOC in Munich. It was then, you will recall, that the IOC passed a resolution advising the (Nationalist) Chinese Olympic Committee that it could "no longer be recognized under that name since it does not administer sport in China." What brought down the thunder and lightning was the implication, with all of its overtones in world politics, that only the Chinese Communists have a right to the name China.
In the weeks thereafter, the IOC chairman seemed to support this viewpoint. In interviews in Switzerland in mid-June Brundage was taking the line that "all we ask is that the Nationalists change their name.... The word China has got to go." Let them call themselves Formosa, or Taiwan, or something.
Last week, after more than a month of reflection and more than a month of stiff criticism, Avery Brundage modified his stand. He announced that he would support Nationalist China's bid for readmission under the nomenclature offered by the Nationalists themselves: "The Olympic Committee of the Republic of China."
Brundage's decision has still to be ratified by the IOC itself (its next scheduled meeting is in February), but it should satisfy most of Brundage's free-world critics, who have included the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Congress and President Eisenhower. The principle that Brundage is now ready to espouse seems to us close to the one expressed in this magazine on June 15: " Brundage and his IOC fellows can and should say to both Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Tse-tung, 'Gentlemen, your athletes, by whatever name you choose to call them, are welcome in our games, provided they conduct themselves as sportsmen.' "
A Matter of CO
When three runners collapsed at Philadelphia in the 10,000-meter run last week, they were suffering from 1) cerebral anoxia and 2) metabolic imbalance. The first is insufficiency of oxygen in blood reaching the brain, the second a disturbance in the delicate balance of ion chemicals in the body fluids. Oddly enough, the worst treatment they could have been given would have been the administration of pure oxygen.
"The trigger that keeps your lungs working usually is carbon dioxide, CO," Dr. Paul Schrode of the University of Pennsylvania explained. "These boys, running the 10,000 meters, blew out so much CO that their breathing was triggered instead by simple oxygen hunger. But had pure oxygen been supplied immediately after their collapse, and before their CO had been replenished, they might have simply quit breathing." The metabolic imbalance came about through the excessive loss of liquid during the race. Max Truex, a finely trained athlete with no excess body weight, dropped from 132 to 125 during the race. The two Americans had their liquid loss replenished by intravenous injections of a glucose-and-salt solution; by Sunday morning after the Saturday afternoon race, both were perfectly healthy and looking forward to the 10,000-meter run at the Pan-American Games.
"They would doubtless have recovered completely in any case," Dr. Schrode said. "They are young, healthy men in perfect condition. Bob Soth's blood pressure when he finished the race was somewhere beyond the limits of the gauge. His pulse was 176 a minute. But his arteries are elastic, and they can take that kind of strain with no damage. The same thing is true of Truex and of Hubert Pyarnakivi, the Russian."
The cerebral anoxia happened because, as the runners used up their CO, the heart pumped faster and faster, rushing blood through the lungs to pick up oxygen. But the blood, at its accelerated pace, could not assimilate enough oxygen from the lungs, so that the heart pumped faster to up the supply of oxygen, which then became less because of the speed of transit through the lungs. Eventually the oxygen supply to the brain became so small that the athletes began to lose consciousness, with the first faculty to suffer being the sense of balance. That's why Soth and Pyarnakivi began to run leaning backward. The courage they showed in continuing to run was, in reality, the repetition of a pattern of orders from the brain which continued after the athletes had lost conscious control of their bodies.