Olympics opened at Melbourne with usual fanfare and galaxy of outstanding performances as early events bore out predictions of experts (SI, Nov. 19). U.S. was off and running in competition for gold medals, displaying expected strength in track and field and providing mild surprises in weight lifting, where records fell with almost every heft of a bar bell (see page 12).
Melbourne held firm monopoly on week's record breakers as world and Olympic marks were shattered with furious frequency. Weight lifters rewrote world record book with following achievements: Bantamweight Chuck Vinci of U.S., 753.5 pounds; Featherweight Isaac Berger of U.S., 776.5 pounds; Middleweight Fedor Bogdanovski of Russia, 925.75 pounds; Light Heavyweight Tommy Kono of U.S., 986.56 pounds. Norway's Egil Danielsen also rifled javelin 281 feet 2� inches for world standard. Olympic marks which fell: Winner Glenn Davis and Eddie Southern (in semifinal) of U.S. each clocked 50.1 for 400-meter hurdles; Tom Courtney of U.S. surged to front in 800 meters in 1:47.7; Bob Richards of U.S. soared 14 feet 11� inches in pole vault; Harold Connolly of U.S. tossed hammer 207 feet 3� inches; Charlie Dumas of U.S. leaped 6 feet 11� inches in high jump; Russia's Vladimir Kuts earned brilliant tactical 10,000-meter victory in 28:45.6; Czechoslovakia's Olga Fikotov� won women's discus with heave of 176 feet 1� inches; Australia's Betty Cuthbert set 100-meter mark of 11.4 in trial heat; Russian Lightweight Igor Rybak lifted 837.5 pounds; Heavyweight Paul Anderson of U.S. raised 1,102.3 pounds.
Holland's wondrous Robben Club water sprites, denied their chance to compete in Olympics, continued to churn up world records. Backstroker Lenie de Nijs, Breaststroker Rita Kroon, Butterflyer Atie Voorbij and Freestyler Greetje Kraan swooshed 400-meter medley in 4:54.3 at Hilversum (Nov. 19).
Oklahoma and Tennessee continued unbeaten march, the Sooners routing Nebraska 54-6 for 39th straight while Vols turned to Johnny Majors in last quarter to beat Kentucky 20-7, but Yale and Iowa also made big-time news. Elis hopped all over Harvard 42-14 to win Ivy League title; Iowa, headed for Rose Bowl date with Oregon State (unexpectedly tied by Oregon 14-14), thumped much-beaten Notre Dame 48-8, heard good news that Michigan had beaten Ohio State 19-0 to give Hawkeyes first clear-cut Big Ten championship in 35 years. Among other notable results: TCU edged Rice 20-17 for Cotton Bowl berth; Orange Bowl-bound Colorado warmed up by beating Arizona 38-7; Clemson won 7-0 squeaker from Virginia to clinch Atlantic Coast Conference crown; Columbia out-scored Rutgers 18-12 for retiring Coach Lou Little; Pitt and Penn State played 7-7 tie; USC held off UCLA 10-7; California came through for Coach Pappy Waldorf, who had announced retirement five days earlier, scoring over Stanford 20-18.
Chicago Bears staged spine-tingling rally in closing minutes to tie New York 17-17, but both teams held on to lead in respective NFL conferences. Chicago Cards stayed right behind Giants in East, outscoring Pittsburgh 38-27 while Detroit lost ground to Bears in West after 24-20 Thanksgiving Day upset at hands of Green Bay. Washington continued to streak, coming from behind to beat Cleveland 20-17 for fifth straight; Baltimore overwhelmed Los Angeles 56-21; San Francisco and Philadelphia played to 10-10 deadlock.
Edmonton Eskimos, hard-pressed in first half, cranked up their version of Oklahoma split-T in third and fourth quarters, turned loose Americans Jackie Parker and Johnny Bright and Canadian Don Getty to rout Montreal Alouettes 50-27 for third straight Grey Cup title at Toronto.
Boston's nine-game unbeaten string was snapped by New York 4-3 for Rangers' first win in 11 starts, but Bruins outskated Toronto 3-2, 3-1 for two-point NHL lead over Detroit, which tied Maple Leafs and Chicago and beat Black Hawks, and six over still sputtering Montreal.