LET THEM EAT ICE CREAM
To celebrate National Nutrition Week, Indian schoolchildren of Bethel, Alaska have chipped in $500 to have a cow flown in from a dairy in Palmer, Alaska—the first cow ever to be seen in Bethel. The idea is to teach the kids to drink milk, or something.
The trouble with this notion is that most Alaskan Indians and Eskimos have had little or no experience with cow's milk and would seem to need none.
The Bethel project reminded an old Alaska hand, our own Dolly Connelly, of a similar experiment in the remote Siberian Eskimo village of Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island. Dolly got there just in time to observe the week's lessons in the village school. Subject: the seven basic foods and the vital necessity of including them in a proper nutritional program. Blackboards were covered with large pictures of fresh strawberries, oranges, butter, beef, eggs, asparagus, lettuce, carrots, whole grains and such stuff, plus instruction on how to milk a cow. The children were required to memorize the nutritional benefits of all these foods, though none of them had ever seen them or were likely to.
What they did and do eat are seabird eggs, gathered from cliffs of the Kookooligit Mountains in the nesting season, but all the rest of the foods were totally incomprehensible to children whose diet revolves seasonally around walrus meat, Arctic char, dried cormorants and puffins, seal grease, seaweeds and, for a brief season, sour, wild cranberries. No cow's milk.
Add swimming to your list of endangered Olympic species. If the IOC gets its way, swimming will be a watered-down affair at the 1976 Games, and there is even a possibility that there won't be any swimming at Montreal at all.
The International Olympic Swimming Committee and the International Swimming Federation (FINA) are at odds over the importance of swimming as an Olympic sport. The IOC wants to eliminate 12 events, and the Olympic committee in Montreal wants to reduce the seating capacity at the swim stadium to 5,000. FINA says, through its president, Dr. Harold Henning of Naperville, Ill., "We are discriminated against. We don't want to go backward. They haven't shown us that they are serious even about wanting us at the Olympics. I have indicated, and 600 coaches around the world agree with me, that we would rather pull out than give up a number of events."
Dr. Henning is planning to present a protest by FINA at a meeting of the executive committee of the IOC in Lausanne on June 23.
In 1936 the Germans seated 20,000 around the pool, but in Tokyo in 1964 the seating capacity was 18,000, in Mexico in 1968 it was 16,000, and in Munich last year it was about 10,000—with all seats sold out a year in advance. During the Games, tickets were scalped for as much as $200 apiece. Montreal's projected aquatic complex physically limits the seats to 5,000. "Swimming will just have to be happy with 5,000," Technical Director Pierre Charbonneau said.