During the International Olympic Committee meetings in Paris the committee president, Avery Brundage, had a few words to say in tribute to Baron Pierre de Coubertin. It was 63 years ago that the Baron suggested a revival of the sports carnivals of ancient Greece and so lighted the torches for the modern Olympics.
"It took a Frenchman who was not an athlete," Brundage said, "to perceive the latent and undeveloped moral, educational and spiritual possibilities in competitive sports. Never had such an idea met with such universal approval in such a short time. The word 'Olympic' is the magic word today in all five continents. Baron de Coubertin saw in amateur sport the only common ground where the rising generations of all races might meet and mingle on an equal basis. His object was the ennoblement of humanity for a better and happier world."
On the subject of amateurism, which has been a sore spot in Olympic discussions, Brundage said:
"We can only rely on the support of those who believe in the principles of fair play and sportsmanship embodied in the amateur code in our efforts to prevent the games from being used by individuals, organizations or nations for ulterior motives."
And on the whole broad subject of international sports:
"We are trying to carry on the Olympic movement with our limited resources because sport makes the peoples healthier and happier. We are hoping to create harmony among the nations and for a more peaceful and friendlier world."
THE LONESOME GRAD
During the Philadelphia Phillies' most recent Western swing a hotel in which they were staying was host as well to a convention of Theta Sigma Phi, which is a national honorary journalism sorority. Up to the Theta Sig registration desk came a strapping lad of diffident mien. Was this, he asked the young woman in charge, a college sorority convention? If so, it would be pleasant if he could talk to some college people again.
There is an endless variety of ways by which young men strike up acquaintance with young women and this, the registrar thought, might well be one of them. The young man hastened to explain. He was a Princeton man, class of '55, had joined the Phillies about 10 days before and was traveling with the team before going into the Navy in July. He had been assigned to room with Catcher Andy Seminick, known to his mates as The Mad Russian. Seminick, he made clear, is one of the finest roommates an aspiring baseball rookie could have but his conversational range is limited. Baseball and bird shooting. Golf and fishing. Not much to say about the classics, drama or modern art.