Mal Whitfield, twice Olympic champion at 800 meters, is home from Africa for rest and relaxation before returning for his fifth year as a physical education lecturer at the University of Nigeria.
"You can't buy these countries any more," said Whitfield of the African nations. "You must help them develop a belief in the dignity of man."
Whitfield had to learn three native languages to carry out his duties. He found food so poor in Africa that he turned to farming. "I got myself some books on agriculture and started my own garden. Eventually I had 21 varieties of vegetables growing, including carrots as big as your arm. Then I got some baby chicks from Holland, and before you knew it I had 250 laying hens going for me."
Whitfield developed an NCAA-type competitive program among the five Nigerian universities. "I'm trying to get the U.S. State Department to send over more coaches, and I don't mean armchair coaches. I mean high school coaches who will get right down and work with the kids. Sport is the best thing America has left with which to sell good will and democracy."
He was sharply critical of the current fight between the AAU and the NCAA for control of U.S. track and field. "This hasn't left a good taste in the mouth of our foreign friends," he said. "They don't understand how we can have become so confused."
PULL OVER TO THE FEEDER
Man has always wondered how fast birds can fly and has argued endlessly about it. Men have chased birds with cars, flown alongside them in planes, tried to clock them with a stopwatch. Crawford H. Greenewalt, the ornithologist president of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., put a hummingbird in a wind tunnel.
But it took Dr. Wesley E. Lanyon of the American Museum of Natural History, and a friend of his named Orville Dunning, a radar engineer, to settle the age-old arguments. You know those radar things cops use to snare speeders? Well, they used a somewhat similar device and caught birds dragging, so to speak. The champion thus far is a ring-necked duck, which was clocked at 66.1 mph. Second was a black duck (55 mph) and third a quail (44.5 mph). It went down from there through pheasant, coot, wild turkey, herring gull, blue jay, house finch and white-throated sparrow to the black-capped chickadee, which putted along at a sedate 17 mph.
THE INSIDE TRACK
? Bob Cousy, Boston Celtic star who is playing his last season in the NBA before taking over as basketball coach at Boston College, has already recruited himself some of the East's best prospects for his 1963 team. Among them: Washington, D.C. guard John Austin.