But the team's greatest asset may be Robert (Pappy) Gault, whose medallion reads SOCK IT TO ME in art nouveau script. Gault, a fervent, genial man of 46, is the first Negro head coach of the U.S. Olympic boxing team. Not only is he a fine teacher and leader, but since nine of the 11 boxers are Negro he has rapport. Says Gault: "My fighters believe in me. They do what I say."
Gault's major obsessions are the international rules and what he calls unity. "Boxing is usually considered an individual sport," he says. "I'm trying to make it a team sport. I don't want any stars or individualists. I believe in unity. I think this will show a new side of the U.S. We are never individuals when we support the U.S. This is one of the greatest teams—not talentwise, but unitywise. Through their unity they make themselves greater than they are.
"The boys from the foreign countries don't have us abilitywise. They have us gentlemanwise. We've gotten beat on the rules. You've got to abide by the rules. In 1964 not one U.S. boy did the right thing. They say the foreigners are cheating us. We're cheating ourselves. I'm not going to come back from Mexico City and say we was robbed. If we lose all 11 bouts and my boys abide by the rules, I'll be happy."
To which Gentleman George Foreman adds, "Pappy Gault, man, he taught me. Pappy worked wonders. If I can just do in the ring what he said. Doing the right thing is more important than winning. More important than winning is that I perform correctly."