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  • #16
    Wasn't it the case that the reasons why Tolan was not allowed to run in relays were purely racist? If you had been the coach, could you have decided, or were there orders given by those above you?


    • #17
      It was the US team's usual approach in those days to limit the Trials top three to the individual events and to use lower-placed athletes in the relays. In '32 that resulted in an all-white men's 4x1 team; but the exclusion of Tolan and Metcalfe from it was not in any way racist, and the fastest White American, George Simpson, was also excluded by the same principle. (400-meter gold medalist Bill Carr was only used in the 4x4 as a substitute for an injured runner.)

      If anyone suffered from racism in the 1932 US men's 4x1 team selection process it was Jimmy Johnson, the Black sprinter who placed 6th at the Trials in both the 100 and the 200. Johnson was proposed for relay pool inclusion by the head coach (Lawson Robertson), but rejected by the Brundage-led Olympic Committee in favor of Hec Dyer and Bob Kiesel (4th and 5th in the 200).


      • #18
        OK, thanks for explanation, LUupunut. I seem to have had a wrong impression. And in 1936 Owens was in the relay team I believe, so the practice had changed then.


        • #19
          It's true the relay team selection rules were constantly in flux (and not using the top runners in relays was never any ironcast rule); but the inclusion of Owens and Metcalfe in the '36 relay squad was itself highly controversial. The '36 4x4 team did follow the same principle as the '32 teams and used the OT fourth- to seventh-placers; but for the 4x1 that would have meant including Mack Robinson, who qualified for the individual 200. While the official relay pool included the whole top seven (plus 200 man Bob Packard), the team "expected" to run was the OT third- to sixth-placers (Wykoff, Draper, Glickman and Stoller); and that squad trained together in the lead-up to Berlin. (It is fair to ask why the White Wykoff should be used, instead of the faster Black runners Owens or Metcalfe; especially since Metcalfe, like Wykoff, only had one individual event in Berlin. Wykoff did have previous relay experience, though; he'd even already run both events in 1928.)

          In the end, of course, both Owens and Metcalfe did get included; they were added at the last minute at the expense of Glickman and Stoller, and there's a lot behind that story. Draper was unimpressive in training leading up to the Olympics; and Robertson, who was still the head coach, publicly floated giving Draper's spot to Metcalfe, So the obvious question is: if not only was Metcalfe added but also Owens, how did Draper stay on the team with Glickman and Stoller getting shuffled out instead?

          The official version is that the team ended up using the top four from the Olympic Trials, won gold by more than a second, and set a WR that lasted for twenty years; so what need is there for asking questions? But Glickman and Stoller were definitely expected to run, even in the case of Metcalfe being added; and it's frequently speculated that as Jews they became victims of anti-Semitism. (The other whisper was that USC student Draper and former USC student Wykoff benefited from their connections to Dean Cromwell, head coach at USC and assistant coach of the national team.) Unfortunately, we may never know for sure.
          Last edited by LopenUupunut; 09-30-2021, 11:57 AM.


          • #20
            I thought Owens got put on the relay in 1936 because they decided not to use the Jewish runners.