The American way
of selecting their Olympic team is making a laughing stock of itself
again," snorted the London
That was the
British response to the news that the U.S.—thanks to a passing injury—might be
without the services of Dave Sime in the 200-meter at Melbourne (see page 8).
The British pick their Olympic athletes through a selection board system. The
board is not bound by an athlete's performance on any given day: the board is
simply asked, in the light of all the evidence, to pick those likely to turn in
the finest performances in Melbourne next November.
" U.S. trials
are sudden death," said Arthur Hodson, national secretary of the Australian
Amateur Athletic Union, when the Sime news reached him. "Here a topnotch
man may be eliminated in trials and still be selected if his form improves, or
if he had an off day."
of a Russian sports ministry spokesman on the subject of Sime's
disqualification: "It can't happen here."
In a rush of good
sense, the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Committee has now decided it doesn't
matter that Dave Sime could not compete in the AAU preliminary trials. He will
get a starting position in this week's final Olympic Trials at Los Angeles
after all. His leg just better be ready, though.
OXYGEN AND THE
By the hot, Muggy
afternoon of June 17, when the Milwaukee Braves showed up for their Sunday
double-header in Brooklyn, they presented all the classic signs of a team deep
in the baseball staggers. They had lost 12 of the last 17 games, had slumped
from first place to fifth and—most classic of all symptoms—had just dropped
Manager Charlie Grimm. A week later, in the most astonishing turnabout of 1956,
they had won 10 straight and were back in first place. Manager Fred Haney
denies special credit. He is convincing when he says the Braves are now
"riding the crest of the law of averages. The team was due, and we've been
getting the breaks."
On top of that,
Haney's Braves have been sniffing pure oxygen out of tanks in their dugout.
The oxygen is the
idea of the team's trainer, Dr. Charles Lacks, who has convinced a goodly
number of players that it counteracts hot-weather fatigue. He has a lightweight
portable setup that includes two tanks, mask and tube and fits into a leather
traveling case. Lacks has been carrying the gear with him all season but used
it for the first time on the day of the double-header with Brooklyn.