Miller was so taken with the idea, in fact, that his first choice for a date was Marilyn Elaine Van Derbur, the new Miss America. Unfortunately, she had to decline because of another engagement. Meanwhile, Maryland coeds have been giving Miller the rush of his career. But they rush in vain.
"I wouldn't want it to be generally known around here at the present moment," Miller confided, "but I've already got a date, and the girl isn't a student here."
Two other privileged students are Jack Healy and Gene Alderton, co-captains of the football team. They will receive the football from Queen Elizabeth during the pregame ceremonies.
"I'm really excited," Healy said. "It's going to be one of the highest honors I've ever had. But you know, my grandfather, Thomas Hogan, had to leave Ireland because he hauled down the English flag in his town square and burned it. That was 50 years ago, though. I hope nobody tells the Queen about him."
ALL ROADS LEAD TO 1960
The International Olympic Committee, a wonderfully antiquated but curiously hardy sort of multilingual men's club, has now met in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria, and has addressed itself to an impossible task: cutting down the scope and size of the Olympic Games. They did so, after a fashion—although the effects of their labors will not be particularly noticeable at Rome in 1960; it was, however, fascinating to watch them.
Sofia, most placid of the satellite capitals, is a city where the bright yellow brick streets are both vacuum-cleaned and hosed down at night. It boasts a luxurious new Soviet-style hostelry, the Hotel Balkan, a building where the plumbing often fails but where a corps of female servants is kept busy, night and day, straightening the long white fringes of the lobby rugs, and where caviar is ladled out as generously as beans in Boston. It seemed like a perfect background for the committee, which includes nobility ( Denmark's Prince Axel, Italy's Count Paolo Thaon di Revel, England's Marquess of Exeter), commoners, Communists and nonparty members from the Iron Curtain countries.
There was less politically inspired controversy during the five-day meeting than might have been expected. The committee is absolutely autocratic. Nations or even national athletic groups do not send delegates—the committee invites whomever it chooses to serve, and if a Communist country forces one of its non-Communist nationals to "resign" for not adhering to the line it may well end up with no member at all. This odd power was dramatized last week by the presence of one Shou Yi-tung of Red China. Three years ago at Helsinki the committee, which has heard no word of Shou for six years, directed the Chinese government to produce him within three days. The Chinese Reds did so—but sent two policemen and an embassy man to the meeting with him on the ground that he could not speak English. The committee, which knew he spoke English well, refused to seat him. In Sofia he turned up safe and sound again and was able to leave his accompanying cop outside the hall, to take part for the first time in nine years and to speak English eloquently.
To say that all went smoothly, however, would be incorrect, if only because Russia's Aleksei Romanov made vodka-inspired amorous advances on the dance floor to the pretty wife of a non-Communist delegate and was repulsed. There was also polite but incessant difference of opinion in official sessions. The Russians agreed grandly with the idea of reducing the size of the games and then asked that two more sports, archery and volleyball, be added to the optional list (they were). Chicago's outspoken Avery Brundage once more sought stricter rules of amateurism, and with modest success: a proposed rule against direct or indirect subsidies from "government, school, college or employer" was voted down, but the IOC went on record that any athlete who "gives up work for more than 30 days to train for competitions" is a professional. Moreover, a certain commendable amount of whittling was accomplished—there will be only 140 gold medals awarded at Rome (as compared to 151 at Melbourne). But Rome is easier to reach than Melbourne, and there will be about 7,000 Olympians on hand there in 1960, or just twice as many as made it to Melbourne.