SI Vault
 
BLAZING THE WAY AT BOULDER
Paul O'Neil
July 04, 1955
Ever since the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics unveiled its new state-suckled track and field team in Europe last spring, armies of sport fans have assumed that the "Russian Juggernaut" is certain to compel a new pattern of athletic power at Melbourne in 1956. But it was impossible to watch the 67th National AAU track and field championships—a sort of pre-Olympics war dance held here last weekend before 20,000 applauding shirt-sleeved spectators—without coming to just the opposite conclusion; without wondering, in fact, just how the Russians will keep the Juggernaut from bogging down when it is finally entered in world competition.
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July 04, 1955

Blazing The Way At Boulder

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It remained for Parson Bob Richards, the unchallenged pole-vaulting champion of the world, however, to accomplish two separate and distinct feats of communication with the crowd. In the midst of the day's activities—while two 14 feet 6 inch vaulters were getting into a tie for second, and four 14-foot vaulters were getting into a tie for fourth, Richards left the pit and strolled out on the infield near the official's stand. There he picked up a microphone and made a dandy little speech on behalf of the Olympic Games fund. "When they pass these contribution boxes around why let's everybody put in $10," said he. (Loud laughter.) "I told you," grated the voice of the next announcer, "that he was a preacher." (More laughter.) Then Bob strolled back to the runway and vaulted 15 feet for the 77th time.

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