Doily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, Mass., Thurs., July 29, 1976
By MILTON COLE
AMHERST - For the first time in 48 years the United States had no Olympic medal winner in the 100 meter, dash.
After 40 years of domination. the U.S., for the first time since Franklin Roosevelt's last year of his first term as president, had no medalist in the shotput.
The American men and women this Olympics have done poorly in other track and field events and while the U.S. men did superbly in swimming the U.S. women were sunk by the East Germans.
And as bad as the Montreal Olympics have been for U.S athletes. the 1980 games in Moscow could be even more embarrassing, unless the U.S. takes a bold step to put its Olympic and national athletic house into order.
That's the -valuation of a former Israeli Olympic discus thrower who just returned from the Montreal games'
Dr. Gideon Ariel. a founder and the guiding hand behind the firm that analyzes human activities with a computer and finds ways of improvin the human or the equipment he uses, feels that the U.S. athletes have not gone downhill.
R"her he feels that the other nations of the wï¿½oria. and particularly the Communistic ones, have just surpassed the U.S. in preparation of their athletes while "the United States has a hit-or-miss. everyone-does-his-ownthing kind of program."
Gideon. who earned his doctorate at the University of Massachusetts and founded Computerized Biomeciranieal Analysis Inc.. with offices on Route 9 in Amherst. feels that the 1'.S. hodge podj a system sends Americans into competition at a serious preparation disadvantage.
The other countries have national programs. The Communistic ones, in particular. set up national institutes and then tell their athletes that they have to stay And train at the institute for months on, end or they can't compete for the national teams.
"ï¿½'e see how well they succeeded at the games Are the Russians better shotputters than the Americans or the Hungarians better at :he javelin" I don't really think so front an.,ivring American athletes with the computer
"But we have a crazy system. We didn't have a throwing coach on the Olympic team for the last two games. How can a running coach train a thrower at this level of competition,
"And some of the training sites facilities are pitiful. There's to group here a group there and none really has the ' equipment and best program and I coaching available to it regularly.
eU.S. needs national. ffort to win in 1980
When the team is selected for international or Olympic competition it will be better prepared to do battle with the rest of the worldd much of which is passing the U.S. by in track and field and similar athletic activities he said.
"Of course it depends on the leaders and the people. Maybe they don't really care about a national athletic program and maybe they feel that winning Olympic meaals is not the least bit important Then they should forget the Olympics if they think sending in people with little or no chance to win is fair to the athletes or the nation
To the rest of the world. says Gideon. it means a lot to compete and win the gold. And in 1980 in Moscow the Communist world will be trying for a real showcase of success
Unless the U.S moves to otganize and improve its disjointed athletic program the Marxist nations will certainly succeed at the expense of the U.S.
Gideon also said:
That the athletes at Montreal were very upset with the Taiwan ban and the African walkout.
"Many of them had trained so long and hard they felt betrayed and those who did stay felt that the Olympics were not meant to be a showcase for politics."
That many if not most athletes at the Olympics were using a nabolic steroids even though they are banned. The steroids boost the body's ability to strengthen muscles and stamina.
Recent use is detectable by tests but the big problem is that experiments have shown that steroids work best about two weeks after being taken and can not be d"tected if not taken for a week.
So many athletes have been taking steroids up to two weeks be oie the Olympic games and have peaked at strength for their events but their steroid activity is not detectable.
Some of the success of the East German women swimmers and sprinters. Gideon
feels, is traceable to steroids as well as the
national training program.
That the word was that several leading
manufacturers of athletic shoes had,been try
ing to bribe athletes to use their shoes it
One firm. said Gideon. who has done
research leading to development of a new
athletic shoe by another firm. has put up a
fund of $5 million to try to make certain all
the gold medal winners are wearing its shoes
He said one athlete was promised up to
$50.000. although the athlete and proof of such
a claim are not available
lle did say that the firm for which he is dbi
ing research is planning an anti-trust suit to
break a stranglehold a few firms have on the
athletic shoe business. Alleged proof of
payoffs to athletes will be used in that suit
"ï¿½'e have let the world pass us by in preparation. and if we don't want it to happen at Moscow in 1980 on a far greater scale we had better do something about it now."
Gideon notes that the 11 S. is unsurpassed in auto manufacture. in space exploration and even in professional athletics, because in each case money is involved and to maximize profits and chances of success the best type of trained people are gathered to set up and oversee a program aimed at producing the best possible success
"We didn't gather a lot of scientists together and say"We want to get to the moon, so you guys figure out the best way,' and then let them go every which way with no one coordinating what each was doing.
"Why then do we think it will work for us in athletics" The athletes are like scientists They have the skills to do what is needed but they must be led and coordinated and trained."
Gideon. who competed in the 1964 Olympics. feels thata federal agency should be set up to help in the training of athletes for na' ; oral teams.
'l ce government should finance the establishment of a permanent administration to run a national institute of sport and then build a facility. perhaps in California or some other weather-worry-free area.
There would be assembled the latest and best equipment for training, all sports, trackï¿½
field, gymnastics, winter, summer etc. There. too, would be facilities for the athletes to live and eat as well as train.
And there would be gathered a top-notch coaching staff and trainers, and other scientists. involved in athletics.
"Of course there is no way that we could run such an institute the way the Communists do. We could not tell someone he has to go to the institute and train for three months or six months and give uP anythingï¿½ else.
"But we can make it available and let any athlete who can pass a minimum entrance standard of achievement in his or her athletic specialty. know that he or she is welcome to spend as much time as desired at the institute. Room and meals would be provided free of charge as well as the expert coaching and other assistance. . "There would be no pay and the athlete
would realize that he or she has to make some
financial sacrifice to attend. We are not like
other nations that pay their athletes to per
But Gideon feels that if athletes know that such a place is available and the proper coach is available and that the nation is willing to support its athletes in this fashion. then they will come and will train.