12 July, 2016

Why do I love Athletics?

As is customary for quite some time now, the IAAF published a special edition of their Statistics Handbook as a bedside (or is it tv-side?) reading for the Rio Olympiad which is just one month away. The book, produced in collaboration with the Association of Track & Field Statisticians (ATFS), is a goldmine of data. And since one can download the pdf for free, there is no reason why one should deprive oneself of such a precious guide for the Games.

While perusing the Handbook, one thing drew my attention. On page 12 one finds the chronology of the Olympic Games

and there, to my surprise, the 1906 Athens Games did figure in the same list as the remaining Olympics. This spurred my curiosity and I searched the IAAF website. And, of course, the Athens Games do figure among the Olympics. They are given as Intercalated Games without number but still they figure in the same list as the other Olympiads. It goes without saying that in the IOC website there is no mention whatsoever of the 1906 Olympics. So, there you have it: this is one more reason I love Athletics.

I have written about the wrongdoing of the IOC concerning the recognition of the Athens 1906 Olympics in my article on the man who orchestrated this (perhaps channeling the infamous de Coubertin) but so as to hammer home the scurrilous fact here are the names of the commission that decided to shamelessly delete a page of the olympic history:

Avery Brundage (USA)
Sidney Dawes (Canada)
Miguel Angel Moenck (Cuba) 

While Dawes was a skier (and thus one can understand why he wouldn't care about the 1906 olympics), Brundage and Moenck were T&F athletes. A real shame!

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