The Sweat War Escalates

I consider myself somewhat of a jock. I try to play a little racquetball, a couple of sets of tennis, and a few games of basketball whenever I can. I run some. I swim some. I’ve tried aerobics, the “bull-worker,” and when I was in grade school I even invested in a mail-order bodybuilding course. It didn’t work.

I also watch televised sports. I sat glued to the tube during the Olympics. I enjoyed them immensely. But after reading my morning paper, I’ve decided I’ve had enough. The Olympics have got to change and they’ve got to change now. Or I may boycott them in 1980 (I bet the Russians would be stung by that!).

What lit my fire today was a quote from Arnie Robinson, the long jumper from the United States who won the gold medal. After he had given his wife much deserved credit for putting up with him throughout four years of training, he said: “Unless the government steps in and helps out athletes, by 1980 we’re really gonna get killed. You think we’re doing badly here, we won’t win half as many medals in Moscow. We’re way behind. I think our government is wealthy enough to give the top five or six athletes in different events, maybe the first ten, $10,000 a year to live on. We need that and we need training sites and coaches. Our coaches are far below those in other countries.

The Olympics have become the Sweat War (as opposed to cold and hot wars). What was originally designed to be an event in which athletes from around the world gathered to compete in an atmosphere of brotherhood and good will has now become a giant political/propaganda campaign. And Arnie Robinson thinks he has the answer for the United States—Escalate!

But I wonder if Arnie, in the midst of his long jumping, had time to count the ...

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