Germany's gold medal winner in the 100-meter dash is one of the most remarkable and controversial athletes in Rome. The quickest starter in racing history (tests have established that he reacts to sound—therefore to the starting pistol—three times faster than the average man), Armin Hary often is accused of jumping the gun. He proudly calls himself the Thief of Starts (see page 17). "Quick acceleration," he says, "is sheer built-in talent. It is not something you can learn. The mental reaction ends as soon as I make my first movement. It's all my body from then on." In the finals of the 100-meter there were two false starts, both involving Hary. In the first (right), Hary in the near lane and Dave Sime of the U.S. in the far lane broke before the gun, but neither was charged with a false start, since officials could not determine which runner was responsible. Next time Hary alone broke an instant before the gun. "I don't think this was a false start," he said later when shown the photograph at the right. "The others are right there with me as I am lifting up. I think the starter was undecided. I think he was trying to make up his mind whether I could possibly have got away that quickly." Hary claimed his confidence was shaken by this charge of gun-jumping. "I couldn't start normally the third time," he said, "since I was afraid of being tossed out for making two false starts. It's quite possible the officials would have called it a false start again if I had gone as quickly as I am able to. I had to be careful." In the third start (1, below) Hary was careful, getting away slowly—for him. Yet such is his explosive speed that he was passing the field in his third stride (2). A step later (3) he had a lead that he never gave up. In the words of Jesse Owens, who ought to know, "He's a champion. He can run like hell."