03 June, 2015

I could not believe my eyes

I was looking up athlete’s results at the IAAF’s athletes’ page and I ended up on Al Oerter’s page. And there I had a major shock. You can see for yourselves.

The Tokyo, 1964, Olympics result has simply disappeared. I could easily understand a blank page, like the one for Jesse Owens, where no result whatsoever is given. One can interpret this as a page under construction (although the more I think about this the more I find it unforgivable). But having decided to present the data on one of the greatest athletes of all times they should have done it correctly. We are talking about the official site of the International Association of Athletics Federations, not some fan maintained page.

(In case you were wondering: the four olympic victories of “king” Carl in long jump do appear correctly in his respective page on the IAAF site).

01 June, 2015

More on the Kenteris-Thanou scandal

I run across an article reporting on an interview of the lawyer of Kenteris and Thanou, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, who represented the two greek athletes in their trial for the supposedly staged motorcycle accident of 2004. 

Kenteris and, on the right, Dimitrakopoulos

Dimitrakopoulos made clear that the two athletes had not ben acquitted because of the talent of their lawyer but because the report of the coroners was that their injuries could only be attributed to a traffic accident. And he added that the whole scandal has been a craftily fabricated one. Since the Games were held in Greece the local athletes did not have an obligation to reside in the Olympic Village. However somebody (a quisling, says Dimitrakopoulos, using the greek version of the expression, “efialtis”) announced that Kenteris and Thanou will be living at the Olympic Village so that once they had left they would be in violation of their “whereabout”. The rest is history. Both greek athletes paid a most heavy price, Kenteris ending his career in 2004 and Thanou attempting a come-back in 2007 found herself excluded from the 2008 Olympics.

I do not know what to think of this story. Perhaps one day we’ll know the truth. However I recall perfectly well an interview of Carl Lewis (yes, “king” Carl again) in 2004 in Athens, a few days prior to the Olympics, where Kenteris figured as the number one favourite for the 200 m, in which Lewis, in his usual dismissive manner, made clear that Kenteris did not have a chance at another olympic medal. At that moment I knew that something was brewing, something that was meant to take Kenteris out of the action. As I have already written there is a non-zero probability that both athletes had at the time used forbidden substances (although no proof of this does exist). Still, the way they were brought down was really petty. And I like the story of the “efialtis”. It is a 100 % greek story: all along our history, from the most ancient times till today, we excel at producing traitors.