Enthusiastic congratulations to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED upon that marvelous Olympic Preview Issue (SI, Nov. 19). It embodies an advance report which is staggeringly comprehensive and exceedingly well done, and the Bannister article is superb; perhaps its author should be a writer instead of a doctor—or at least in addition to.
You may wonder why this note is coming to you from Arizona rather than Australia. Through very bad management I picked the present as a period in which to be obliged to take an enforced vacation; accordingly, I am now the world's most reluctant absentee from Melbourne and the one U.S. Olympic official party member who isn't there.
But, with your able help I hope and expect to gain full information on everything that takes place at the 1956 Olympics.
U.S. Olympic Committee
Your Olympic Preview Issue will remain part of my permanent sports library long after I have used it for comparison with the actual results from Melbourne.
It is truly a superb job.
Chairman, National AAU
Track and Field Committee
WORLD IN CHAOS
This year the Olympic Games take place in a chaotic world. As the athletes disembarked from their planes and ships in Australia, the news from Suez and Budapest could not have been more disturbing. There was doubt that the Games would even take place. Yet, as you said in your Olympic Preview Issue, "a vast part of the world clings...to the stubborn conviction that the Games should go on...."
We may thank God for that stubborn conviction. For, as the Games progress, they give the lie to those who saw "absurdity" in "the idealistic concept of the Olympiad." No Olympiad has been so free of "unsportsmanlike conduct," so free of jingoism and official squabbling, so free of tension-making incidents (such as Hitler's ignoring of the great champion Jesse Owens at the 1936 Games).
Conversely, I can remember no Games which, in their friendly competition, in their opportunity for friendly intercourse between individuals and nations, have seemed to better advance the cause of world peace. And this at a time when the hopes for peace are at low ebb.
To me, at least, the XVI Olympiad of the modern era stands as a monument to man's stubborn and never-ending quest for peace and brotherhood. It seems that few statesmen in recent months have done as much to advance the interests of peace as have the athletes and officials participating in the "children's games" at Melbourne.
I hope nothing will now happen to make me retract my enthusiasm for this year's Olympic Games. If the spirit of the first weeks of the Games persists, I see no need for concern.