Sheikh Gabriel Gemayel, 65, of Lebanon, is a pharmacist by trade, but perhaps not by necessity. Each summer he moves from his winter town house to his summer house, a 500-year-old palace in the mountain area of Bikfaya.
There are many other titled men on the IOC: King Constantine, 32; Grand Duke Jean, 51; Spain's Baron Pedro de Ybarra y Mac-Mahon, 59; Indonesia's Hamengku Buwono IX, the Sultan of Jogjakarta, 60; Prince Gholam Reza Pahlavi of Iran, 49; Japan's Prince Tsuneyoshi Takeda, 63. The only members of the IOC who have won Olympic medals are King Constantine, who received a gold medal in yachting in 1960: Masaji Kyokawa of Japan, who won gold and bronze medals in the 100-meter backstroke in 1932 and '36: Brigadier General Sven Thofelt of Sweden, who won a gold in the modern pentathlon in 1928: and the 6th Marquess of Exeter, the former Lord Burghley, who won a gold in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 1928 and a silver in the 1,600-meter relay in 1932. A good-humored chap, the marquess has been troubled in recent years by an arthritic hip. Not long ago his artificial hip joint was replaced and he had the old one mounted on the hood of his Rolls-Royce.
But the majority of IOC members are simply wealthy capitalists—that is, not counting half a dozen fellows from the Iron Curtain countries.
However exotic their backgrounds, when members of the IOC get together they resemble a freshly barbered assembly of wealthy Masons from Ypsilanti, Mich. Thus, Douglas Fergusson Roby, 74, a wealthy Mason from Ypsilanti, Mich., fits in nicely among the dukes and rajahs. The only American member besides Brundage, Roby has said, "Some of my best friends are on the committee. It's the bluest-blooded club in the world, but they're good guys. There's no selfishness. They're not like business associates are sometimes." Roby made his money as a salesman and, later, as board chairman of American Metal Products Co.
Of the restricted and undemocratic modus operandi within the IOC, Roby said, "We just can't get into the mess of democratizing the committee. It would get completely out of hand. We only want the kind of members who will follow our principles. To be a member you have to have spare time and some money and an amateur-sports background. You can't be, say, president of the New York Yankees and belong. That wouldn't do."
THE ULTIMATE OLYMPIC SPORT: GETTING THE GAMES
It is said by reliable Washington sources that the events surrounding the IOC's selection of a host city for 1976 cost Avery Brundage the Presidential Medal of Freedom, this nation's highest civilian award. Avery Brundage has received enough decorations from other countries to cover the chest of an even larger man, but in the U.S. he has more or less had to settle for the Order of Lincoln from the state of Illinois. Brundage was believed to be in line for the Medal of Freedom until Los Angeles lost its bid, and a reliable source says, "It'll be a damn cold day now if Nixon pins anything on Brundage. The man simply shot down his own country."
Avery Brundage shot down his country? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Whatever the truth, the facts that are known are testimony to how astonishingly far the Olympics have come from the time a Greek cotton merchant had to get up the drachmas to pay for the stadium for the 1896 fun and Games.
The campaigns by the three cities under principal consideration for the 1976 honors—L.A., Montreal and Moscow—were diverse and cunning, involving, in various degrees, muscle, diplomatic cajolery, public-relations pressures and sentimentality. In Moscow, for example, the Russians pressed their bid with that old gimmick of the Western World—a press conference and cocktail party. The chief architect of Moscow appeared, as did several government ministers, lots of Soviet athletes and Mayor Vladimir Promyslov who said his city was prepared to spend more than $200 million on the Games. Each correspondent was given a photograph album of Moscow and a record of Muscovite songs. The minister of communications promised that the Iron Curtain would allow full and free transmission of news copy, and the minister of culture, Mme. Yekaterina Furtseva, her blonde curls bobbing, pleaded openly with the reporters for "favorable propaganda."
Montreal was almost entirely dependent on the wiles of its mayor, Jean Drapeau, who had produced Expo '67. Though Expo was an esthetic success, it was a financial failure and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said that the government would not provide one federal cent for the Olympics. But Drapeau kept up a barrage of brochures to IOC members and he entertained many of them in Montreal. When he appeared to make his final sales pitch before the IOC's annual meeting in Amsterdam in May 1970, he was faced with an embarrassing question: Would Montreal put up a financial guarantee for the Games? Drapeau replied: "The history of Montreal is our guarantee. It is a history of meeting and beating challenges. That is our guarantee. If there is any doubt you have about Montreal, then...do...not...choose...us."