Nobody was impolitic enough to point out to Carlos that his winning time in the 60 was two-tenths of a second more than it was in Washington, but he was questioned about the boos. Twice during the night the mention of Carlos' name over the public-address system had drawn scattered hoots from the crowd of 8,000, which half filled the Sports Arena, apparently because of his role in the notorious black-glove incident in Mexico City. "It wasn't really as much as I expected," Carlos said, "but I don't really care. Man, I don't need them. I tell them to stick their head in a bucket three times and pull it out twice."
The meet took a turnup in class with Doubell's extraordinary victory in the 1,000. The race was billed as Wade Bell's chance to get even. Bell, an 800-meter favorite in Mexico City, suffered from severe stomach cramps and didn't even make the Olympic final, which was won quite handily by Doubell. What was overlooked, however, was that, while Doubell continued training and racing in Australia after the Olympics, Bell succumbed to the general American letdown. The result was that he was never in the race—nor, for that matter, was any other of Doubell's competitors.
Hanging close to the pace until the last three laps, Doubell surged to the front, and speculation shifted from who would win to whether he could break the world record. Thrashing madly down the stretch, Doubell finished 20 yards ahead of the struggling Bell. "I wasn't really shooting for the record," Doubell said later, "but I think I would have gotten closer if somebody else had been out there in front."
While Doubell was claiming the TV set and the kiss, George Young was loosening up under the stands. During the 14 months prior to the Olympics, Young ran more than 100 miles a week. He would get up at 6 a.m. and run for two hours; in the afternoon he would run three more hours. "Some of my workouts were so rough that I wouldn't tell people about them," Young said. "I was in the best condition of my life, better, I felt, than anyone else at the Games."
Then the altitude monkey jumped on his back, as it did on Ron Clarke's, and Young finished third behind two Kenyans in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Said Young: "I will always feel within myself that anyone in the kind of condition I was in would have made it a different race at sea level."
To his credit, George didn't let all the hard work and conditioning go for naught. "I didn't have the Olympics to shoot for but I knew that it was only a little more than two months before the first indoor meet," he explained. "I knew that with a minimal amount of training I could run well, so even though I let down a little and was mentally tired I stayed in shape." Meanwhile, Clarke, who also felt he was in the best shape of his career at Mexico City, cut down his training considerably. "I had to catch up on my sporting-goods business," he said, "and for the first time I was a bit sick of athletics."
Lawson, who runs for the Pacific Coast Club, led for the first three laps of the two-mile run, with Young second, Tracy Smith third and Clarke fourth. "I planned on getting out, setting a comfortable pace for myself and dictating the pace of the race," Lawson explained afterward. "I felt that if I could dictate it at the first I would have a better chance at the end. I wanted somebody to come up and take it from me after the first few laps."
That somebody happened to be Smith, who got out front and stayed there until Clarke, with his long legs eating up great chunks of Tartan, moved ahead at about the mile mark. The race at this point was going exactly as Clarke had hoped it would. "I'll probably run the first mile or so pretty slow," he had said, "then try to pick it up pretty good."
With six laps remaining, Smith was fading badly, and Clarke tried to pull away, but Young remained squarely behind his taller rival. "I couldn't do it," Clarke said, "because I wasn't fit enough." Still, he led until the gun lap, when Young caught him on the turn. Simultaneously, Lawson, who had dropped back as far as fifth, made his move and overtook Clarke, too. "George and I moved at exactly the same time," Law-son said. "I tried to get him with half a lap to go and all I could do was keep the same distance behind. He just can't be beaten."
Making his way back to the dressing room after the race, his new typewriter tucked under one arm and his hair, which he is wearing longer than at the Olympics, sweat-plastered to his forehead, Young was stopped constantly to shake a hand here, to sign an autograph there. "Yes, I'm thinking about going back to college," he said. "If I give up running, I've got to strive toward something. I always want a goal to work for, to try and improve on." This much a man could understand. But really, George, the Grand Canyon?