The bookies, of course, were delighted at not having to pay off on Red Craze. And the rest of Australia, having witnessed another historic day, was ready to turn attention to the Games.
SAYS THE A.M.A.
The editors know of only one other weekly magazine in the country which has devoted an entire issue to honoring the Olympic Games. It, too, appears this week, but not on newsstands, for it is The Journal of the American Medical Association.
The Journal's method of saluting the Olympics is its very own and manages to be original without departing an inch from tradition. There, as always, are the learned articles punctuated with tables and charts; there are the X-rays which (to the layman's eye) look like snapshots of doom. But this week the articles are about injuries, nutrition, longevity, etc. as they are connected with sports, and the X-ray is of Dr. Roger Bannister's heart.
Like a doctor with a new patient, the Journal records a brief medical history of the Olympic Games and finds that fitness was achieved in the centuries before Christ very much as it is achieved now. "At the site of the games, training table meals were provided. Fried and boiled foods and cold drinks were forbidden. Cheese, figs, and wheat bread were staples of the training diet, and most of the competitors abstained from wine.... Only light conversation was permitted at meals to encourage proper digestion."
All through history, in fact, doctors seem to have urged physical activity on their patients, though not always for the right reasons. In the 16th century, for example, one man prescribed exercise because it tended to "calm the humours," and another ruled that, while swimming was beneficial in many cases, it was positively not to be used in the treatment of melancholy.
Along with the ancient and the modern medical lore, there is one article in nontechnical English that almost anybody can understand. It was written by Robert Kiphuth, the swimming coach at Yale, and its title is "Physical Fitness for All." Mr. Kiphuth offers a modern prescription for fitness and—encouragingly—offers it to everyone, of whatever age or condition:
"...even if the body has not been given sufficient exercise, nature quickly helps to repair this past neglect.... The organic systems begin to show more energy, the muscular system begins to become better toned.... Gradually the body shows greater endurance and more capacity for work, and there is a rapid recovery from fatigue."
It sounds like an old, old story, familiar to nearly everybody from high school on. And yet Mr. Kiphuth in writing his article, and the American Medical Association in honoring sport, seem to indicate a hope that the message will get through and that a few more people will discover that simple fitness is the best available substitute for sleeping tablets, vitamin pills, chemical aids to digestion and the drugs that ease the tense.
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