Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

"The greatest track meet of all time," plus a Quiz

Collapse

Unconfigured Ad Widget

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • "The greatest track meet of all time," plus a Quiz

    Per’s answer to my prior thread, “Strong and fast: A Quiz,” posted 16 Feb 04, inspired me to look more closely at the USA vs All-Scandinavia dual meet held on July 27, 28 & 29, 1949 in Oslo’s Bislet Stadium, the significance of which I had not really appreciated until Per's post started me to wondering what it would have been like to have attended the meet, (or lived not far from its staging, as Per did.)

    So, I looked again at Robert Quercetani’s TF&N article on the meet in the August 1949 edition. Boy, he did not hold back, describing it as "the greatest track meet of all time, outside of the Olympic Games." And why not? In addition to the 5 USA "superstar" participants noted by Per (Mathias, Richards, Stanfield, Whitfield & Craig Dixon,) who along with Fuchs won between them 16 Olympic medals (9 Golds,) there were 17 more athletes in the meet who between them won 21 more Olympic medals from 1948 to 1956!

    That makes for 23 Olympic medalists who won 37 Gold, Silver and Bronze medals competing in one dual meet. (I could not even count all the other Olympic finalists, ie, 4th-8th placers, who also competed.)

    In 1949, Quercetani could not have known that he was watching 23 Olympic medalists compete in his "greatest track meet of all time" – he based his superlatives on the sheer excitement of an eagerly anticipated meeting between two teams at the height of their dominance that lived up to its billing in a closely fought dual.

    The USA won the dual, 238 1/2 to 224 1/2. There were 3 athletes to a side in each of the 22 Olympic events (no walks), plus a 4x1500m relay. (Home town advantage?) On the last day, 26,000 fans saw the USA quickly regain the lead it had not held since Day 1 with a sweep in the first event, the 200m (Stanfield, C. Peters, D. Campbell.) The lead then changed hands three times over the next 3 events, the 4x1500m relay going to the Scandinavians (of course,) the discus giving the lead back to the US, and the Scandinavians re-capturing the lead in the 10,000m, despite Curtis Stone’s American record of 30:38.4 for 3rd place.

    Then, with just three events to go and darkness closing in, well, let the young statistician describe it: "Richards scaled 4.40 and 4.50 on his first try, then went on to try at 4.57 (15'). It was already dark and such a height – as everybody knows – requires some inspiration, which is not likely to spring forth under … gloomy conditions." He didn’t make it, but Richards' mark of 14' 9 1/8" was the "fourth best ever in track history" and enough to give the USA the event and the team lead for good. Thereafter, in the last two events, Mathias held off Norden's Oern Clausen in the decathlon and Whitfield led a USA sweep in the 400m.

    Now, the QUIZ for all who have come this far and want to participate: Who are the 23 Olympic medalists who competed in this, the greatest non-Olympic meet of all time? (Six of them are named, above.) What were their Olympic events and medals? And, for the truly driven, how did each do in the 1949 greatest track meet of all time?

  • #2
    Re:

    If I did not have to work for a living I would work on this instead! But alas, I leave it to others.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re:

      What is the proper pronunciation of "Quercetani?" I've always wanted to know.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Re:

        Excellent question. I've always assumed it was (roughly)

        Kwer-se-TAN-e (TAN with soft a, rhymes with "don")

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Re:

          I thought the first middle sylable is "che".
          "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
          by Thomas Henry Huxley

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Re:

            Kwair-chuh-TAHN-ee. The vowel in the second syllable is actually a schwa, but I don't know how to to type one in here.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Re:

              You're all wrong. As everybody here at T&FN knows well, the correct pronunciation is....

              RLQ!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Re:

                >Kwair-chuh-TAHN-ee. The vowel in the second syllable is actually a schwa, but
                >I don't know how to to type one in here

                If you know this to be the case could you please qualify yourself? You could be a WAH-KEEM CRUZ for all I know.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Re:

                  tandfman almost has it right, but syllabication in Italian generally follows a rule that you begin w/ a consonant, so rather than his

                  Kwair-chuh-TAHN-ee

                  it's Kwair-chuh-TAH-nee

                  gh (who has eaten at RLQ's house in Firenze, in case such bona fides are required to satisfy Malmo)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Re:

                    Thank you, Garry. I hate mispronouncing names.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Re:

                      You'd love dinner w/ RLQ, who in addition to having forgotten more about track than the rest of us here will ever know, pronounces EVERYTHING correctly in 7 or 8 languages.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Re:

                        Sheeesh! We can't even come close in ONE language...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Re:

                          >You could be a WAH-KEEM CRUZ for all I know.<

                          If I were, I would not pronounce the J in my first name as if it were Spanish, rather than Portuguese. It's more like zhwah. Definitely not wah.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Re:

                            >tandfman almost has it right, but syllabication in Italian generally follows a rule that you begin w/ a consonant, so rather than his Kwair-chuh-TAHN-ee, it's Kwair-chuh-TAH-nee<

                            Yes, but in Italian, his name is pronounced Quercetani.

                            Actually, I think our difference has to do with syllabication than pronunciation. I'd pronounce your version and mine the same way. I suspect you would too.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re:

                              I saw RLQ's linguistic abilities up close at the ATFS meeting in '83. He was translating things for everyone, and when he spoke in English it was precise. Even a lout such as I could understand his German. It was the only time I met him. I had intended to go to the meeting at Roma, but decided to go to the police station to report theft of our stuff from the rental car. Fun.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X