segunda-feira, agosto 04, 2008

Piérre de Coubertin

No Financial Times, mas essencialmente um Kuper de qualidade:

While saying goodbye at Prague airport in 1966, the great Czechoslovak runner, Emil Zátopek, slipped a packet to the Australian Ron Clarke. Clarke had just been visiting Zátopek behind the Iron Curtain, and the Czech had been a wonderful host, Clarke later recalled.
He and Zátopek were friends even though the Czech had had a renowned career and Clarke a strangely disappointing one: the Australian had set many world records, yet had only ever won one Olympic medal, a bronze.
As they said goodbye, presumably forever, Zátopek whispered that Clarke shouldn’t open the packet until he’d left Czech air space. He added: “Not out of friendship but because you deserve it.” Clarke recalled: “I wondered whether I was smuggling something out for him. I retired to the privacy of the lavatory. When I unwrapped the box, there, inscribed with my name and that day’s date, was Emil’s Olympic 10,000-metre gold medal. I sat on that toilet seat and wept.”

The one thing that makes the games worthwhile are all the Dorandos. They never forget the moment they peaked as human specimens, even if everybody else does. At 7pm on July 7 1924, Harold Abrahams won gold in the 100m and the New Zealander Arthur Porritt won bronze. After that, and until Abrahams died in 1978, he and Porritt dined together every July 7 at 7pm.

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