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EVENTS & DISCOVERIES
February 13, 1956
RECESSIONAL AT CORTINA, THE NECTAR CURE FOR OLYMPIC NERVOUS DISORDERS, A SUMMING UP ON SIME, WINTER SPORT GLIDES ON A SOUTHERLY COURSE, LOW MORALE OF BRITISH FOXES, TENNIS TOUR
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February 13, 1956

Events & Discoveries

RECESSIONAL AT CORTINA, THE NECTAR CURE FOR OLYMPIC NERVOUS DISORDERS, A SUMMING UP ON SIME, WINTER SPORT GLIDES ON A SOUTHERLY COURSE, LOW MORALE OF BRITISH FOXES, TENNIS TOUR

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SAILER UBER ALLES

Long before the last ski jumper thumped onto the out-run in the final event at Cortina, it was obvious to anyone who cared to keep score that Russia, in her very first appearance at a Winter Olympics, had won the Games hands down. And practically everybody kept score one way or another. The system most popular in the U.S. was the highly unofficial one proudly invented by the sports editor of the Associated Press back in 1928 when American heroes were doing handsomely in both the Summer and Winter Games. By this method, which rates the first six finishers on a 10-5-4-3-2-1 scale, Russia scored 121 points at Cortina to 78� for runner-up Austria, 66 for Finland, 62 for Sweden, 55� for Switzerland and 54� for the U.S.

The Swedish press used a 7-5-3-2-1-0 system which not only deflated the Soviet point total but placed Sweden in a tie for third. For the fundamentalists, of course, there was also the traditional Olympic method of counting only gold medals: Russia (7), Austria (4), Finland and Switzerland (3), Sweden, Norway and the U.S. (2).

At this point SI would like to offer a fresh scoring system. Taking gold medals and dividing them into population, tiny Finland comes out the winner, with one medal for every 1,333,333 people. Switzerland thus moves up to second with one medal for every 1,666,667. Then Austria with one for every 1,750,000. Then Sweden, one for every 3,500,000.

By this compilation Russia plummets among the also-rans with a dismal average of one medal for every 33 million people; but the U.S. takes the undisputed booby prize—80 million people for each one of its two medals.

Then, bringing the scoring full circle and thus blundering even closer to the original Olympic ideal of ignoring countries and crediting only individuals, you finally arrive at the real winner: Toni Sailer of Austria, handsome hero of the Winter Games. Toni won three gold medals (giving him, personally, more points than most countries at Cortina) and, as any fool can plainly see (page 20), caused an absolute sensation among the female audience every time he flashed a victory smile.

PSYCHICAL TONE AT CORTINA

Ridiculous but human little demonstrations of pinpricked national pride, incidents of sheer zaniness—these have not been lacking in the seventh Winter Olympics.

The Canada- Italy hockey game, for instance, was distinguished by a series of extraordinary decisions by the Czech referee, all directed against the Canadians, which pinned Canada's victory margin down to two goals. The crowd, which knew little about hockey, was delighted, and the Canadians were upset and resentful. Mechanically, the winners lined up on the ice to give their traditional rah-rah for their opponents.

Their cheer was barely audible. But that was not how the Gazzetta Dello Sport, of Milan, saw it. Next morning the paper told its readers: "As the Italians prepared to quit the ice, the Canadians could not contain the great cry of admiration for the gallant losers which burst from their throats."

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