Avery Brundage

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Brundage (1964)
Brundage (left) with John Corbally, President of the University of Illinois, at the Avery Brundage Scholarship announcement (1974)
Brundage's signature

Avery Brundage [ ˈeɪvri ˈbrʌndɨdʒ ] (born September 28, 1887 in Detroit , Michigan , † May 8, 1975 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen , Germany ) was an American sports functionary , entrepreneur , art patron and athlete . From 1952 to 1972 he was the fifth president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He is remembered primarily as a relentless advocate of amateurism in sport, as well as for his controversial role in connection with the 1936 and 1972 Summer Games.

Brundage came from a working class family in Detroit. When he was five years old, the family moved to Chicago , where the father left his family. Raised mostly by relatives, Brundage studied engineering at the University of Illinois , where he was also successful as an athlete. He took part in the 1912 Olympics and finished sixth in the pentathlon. Between 1914 and 1918 he was three times American champion. After graduating, he founded a construction company through which he became prosperous.

After finishing his active sports career, Brundage quickly gained influence as a sports functionary in various associations. He campaigned resolutely against a boycott of the 1936 Summer Games , which had been given to Berlin before the NSDAP came to power . Although Brundage managed to get a US delegation sent there, their participation has remained controversial to this day. In the same year he was elected to the IOC and was immediately one of the most influential members of the Olympic movement.

In 1952, Brundage was elected IOC President. In this capacity, he rigorously prosecuted violations of amateurism and opposed any commercialization of the Olympic Games, even as his views became less and less aligned with the realities of modern sport. His last games as president in 1972 were overshadowed by the Munich Olympic attack . Brundage denounced the politicization of sport and refused to abandon the games ("the games must go on") - an attitude that has met with criticism in various circles. As a private person, Brundage was a collector of Asian works of art, and with his donations he founded the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco .

Youth and Athletics Careers

Avery Brundage, born in Detroit , was the son of Charles Brundage and his wife Amelia, née Lloyd. The family moved to Chicago when he was five years old. The father, a stonemason , left the family soon after. Avery and his younger brother Chester were raised mostly by aunts and uncles. In 1901, at the age of 13, Avery Brundage won an essay contest and was allowed to travel to the second inauguration of President William McKinley . In Chicago he attended the Sherwood Public School and then the RT Crane Maual Training School , a technical high school. Before he went to school in the morning by public transport, he delivered newspapers. Although the school had no sports facilities, Brundage made his own sports equipment in the school workshop, including a ball for the shot put and a hammer for the hammer throw . During his senior year at school, newspapers wrote about future athletics star Brundage. According to a 1980 Sports Illustrated article by sports journalist William Oscar Johnson, Brundage was “the kind of man Horatio Alger would have immortalized - the battered and deprived American street kid who rose to flourish in the company of kings and millionaires. "

In 1905, after graduating from high school, Brundage enrolled at the University of Illinois , where he tackled an arduous program of engineering courses. Four years later he graduated with honors. He wrote articles for various student publications and was an active athlete. Brundage played basketball and was on the university's athletics team; there were also various other school sports activities . In his senior year he contributed significantly to the track and field championship of the University of Illinois in the Western Conference , including the University of Chicago , which was coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg , was beaten.

Brundage at the 1916 All-Around Championships in Newark (New Jersey)

After graduation, Brundage worked for three years as a construction site manager for the leading architectural firm Holabird & Roche . During that time, he oversaw the construction of buildings valued at $ 7.5 million, equivalent to three percent of the total Chicago construction volume at the time. Brundage hated corruption in Chicago's construction industry; his biographer Allen Guttmann points out that the young engineer was in a position that would have enabled him to profit from influence - his uncle Edward J. Brundage led the Republican Party on the North Side of Chicago and later became Attorney General of the state of Illinois . Avery Brundage successfully participated in various athletics events. In 1910 he was a member of the Chicago Athletic Association (CAA) third in the American all- around championships (forerunner of today's decathlon ) and continued his training with a view to the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm .

In his only participation in the Olympic Games, Brundage was sixth in the pentathlon and 22nd in the discus throw . In the decathlon he was far behind the top after eight disciplines and broke off the competition, which he always regretted later. In the pentathlon he moved up a rank after Olympic champion Jim Thorpe was disqualified. Thorpe had played baseball for money and was therefore not considered an amateur. During his entire tenure as IOC president, Brundage refused to rehabilitate his compatriot. The IOC did this only in 1982 after the deaths of both men. Brundage's refusal led to allegations that he harbored a grudge for being beaten in Stockholm.

Back in Chicago, Brundage took a job as a site manager for John Griffith and Sons Contractors . Buildings he worked on for Griffith include Cook County Hospital, the Morrison Hotel, the Monroe Building, and the National Biscuit Company warehouse . In 1915 he went into business for himself and founded the Avery Brundage Company , where his uncle Edward worked as a director (see also the chapter "Building contractor" ). Brundage continued his sporting career. In 1914, 1916 and 1918 he was American all-around champion. He later started playing American handball and was among the top ten players in the country. In 1934, at the age of 46, he won one of two games against Angelo Trulio, who had recently been national champion.

Sports official

Growing influence

When his athletics career came to an end, Brundage began to work as a sports official - first with the CAA, then with the Central Amateur Athletic Association (of which the CAA was a member) and from 1919 with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). The AAU competed with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for supremacy in amateur sports in the USA. The athletes themselves suffered from this conflict, as the two associations threatened suspension of all those who took part in events organized by the rival organization. Another source of conflict was the US National Olympic Committee , then still called the American Olympic Committee (AOC). This organization, dominated by the AAU, was originally only convened every four years, shortly before and during the Olympic Games, to nominate the athletes and bring them to the venue. In 1920 there was a scandal when the AOC rented a disused troop transport to bring home the American team from the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp . However, most of the team members preferred to book a passage on an ocean liner. In response, the AAU created the American Olympic Association (AOA), which also acted between games and determined the members of the AOC. In 1928, after the resignation of the then AOA President Douglas MacArthur , Brundage succeeded him. He was also elected President of the AOC; an office he held for over 20 years.

In 1925, Brundage was elected Vice President of the AAU and Chairman of the American Handball Committee. After one year as 1st Vice President, he was elected President in 1928. He held this office until 1935 (with the exception of a one-year break in 1933). In this position, he managed to reach an agreement between NCAA and AAU. The former was granted the right to certify college students as amateurs and was able to put more representatives on the AOA's executive board.

Brundage quickly exhibited what sports journalist Roger Butterfield described as “dictatorial temperament” in a 1948 article in Life magazine . In 1929, athletics star Charles Paddock stated that Brundage and other officials were using him as a spectator attraction to make money for the AOC while mistreating him. In return, Brundage accused Paddock of spreading untruths and engaging in "sensationalism of the worst kind". Paddock eluded Brundage's influence by switching to professional sports. Soon after the athlete Mildred Didrikson at the Summer Games in 1932 in Los Angeles had won three medals, she appeared in an automobile advertisement and led by Brundage AAU suspended summarily her amateur status. Didrikson objected that she hadn't been paid and that the rules for maintaining amateur status were too complex anyway. In his first of numerous media conflicts with female athletes, Brundage countered that he had never had any problems with the rules himself when he was an Olympic athlete, adding, “You know, the ancient Greeks thought women were athletic Competitions far away. They didn't even let her on the sidelines. I'm not entirely sure, but I think they were right. ”According to Butterfield, Brundage distrusted women athletes, suspecting some of them were men in disguise. Brundage litigated and lost for the American Olympic Committee against the 1932 Games Organizing Committee because he claimed a portion of the Games surplus. The court ruled, however, that the organizing committee did not have to hand over anything as it alone bore the financial risk of the games.

Olympic Games 1936

Fight against a boycott

Brundage (left) with other officials and Captain Leopold Ziegenbein on board the Bremen , on the way to the 1936 Winter Games in Garmisch

In May 1931 the IOC awarded the 1936 Summer Games to the German capital, Berlin . Several IOC members indicated that by taking this step they would be supporting the democratic government , which was coming under increasing pressure from political extremes due to the global economic crisis . After the Reichstag elections on July 31, 1932 , the implementation appeared uncertain. The NSDAP , led by Adolf Hitler , had become the strongest party and initially showed little interest in international sport. Instead, she preferred “German games” in order not to have to compete against what she believed to be “inferior races” such as Jews, Slavs and people of African origin. After the seizure of power by the Nazis on 30 January 1933, there were considerations to award the Olympics otherwise.

The National Socialists mistrusted Theodor Lewald , chairman of the organizing committee, because he had a Jewish father (his aunt Fanny Lewald was a prominent Jew), but soon recognized the propaganda potential of the Olympic Games. Lewald had intended to play the Games on a modest budget; but now the resources of the state have been put into the project. In view of the massively increasing anti-Semitism , there have been repeated calls for the Olympic Games to be given to another country or to be boycotted. As a leading member of the Olympic movement in the United States, Brundage received numerous letters and telegrams urging him to act. A broad coalition, from which the fair play movement emerged, questioned compliance with and respect for the Olympic Charter and called for equal opportunities for all participants, regardless of religion or race. The IOC tried to meet these demands. In 1933, IOC President Henri de Baillet-Latour wrote to Brundage: "Personally, I don't like the Jews and their influence, but I will not allow them to be molested in any way." According to historian Christopher Hilton, "Baillet-Latour and those around them have no idea what to expect, and if the German [IOC] delegates kept giving them assurances, what else should they do but accept them? ”Baillet-Latour was against a boycott, as was Brundage, the 1933 learned that he was being considered for IOC membership. According to Carolyn Marvin, Brundage's political worldview was shaped by the notion that communism was an evil and all other evils were insignificant; he admired Hitler because he pushed back communism and restored prosperity and order in the German Reich .

Assertions by the National Socialists that there was no discrimination in sport were in stark contrast to their actions, which included in particular the exclusion of Jews from sports clubs. In September 1934 Brundage traveled to Germany to get an idea of ​​the situation. He met with government officials, but was only allowed to speak to Jewish representatives if they were accompanied. At a meeting in the Hotel Kaiserhof , he asked the Jewish delegation whether Jews could become members of German sports clubs. When this was denied, he replied that “Jews are also not allowed in my association in Chicago”. Since he assumed that Jews had their own sports clubs just like in the USA, he was unable to identify any discrimination. Upon his return, Brundage reported, “I received a written assurance ... that there will be no discrimination against Jews. You can't ask for more than that and I think the guarantee will be met. ”Brundage's trip only fueled the controversy over the question of American participation. Congressman Emanuel Celler said Brundage had already determined his judgment before leaving America. Regardless of this, on September 26, 1934, based on Brundage's report, the AOC approved the request to send an American team to Berlin.

In view of the widespread discrimination, it seemed more and more obvious that no Jew would be accepted into the German Olympic team. Brundage commented that so far only twelve Jews had represented the German Reich and it would therefore hardly be surprising if no one at all did so in 1936. The boycott advocates turned their attention to the AAU after the AOC's negative decision. They hoped that this organization, although also presided over by Brundage, would not nominate athletes for Berlin. At the AAU meeting in December 1934 there was no vote on a boycott; Brundage did not seek re-election and the delegates elected Jeremiah T. Mahoney as the new president. The boycott issue temporarily disappeared, but reports of new discrimination against Jews in June 1935 rekindled the mood, prompting Mahoney to support a boycott. In October 1935, Baillet-Latour urged the three American IOC members William May Garland , Charles H. Sherrill and Ernest L. Jahncke to do everything in their power to ensure US participation. While Garland and Sherrill agreed, Jahncke declined and announced that he would support a boycott. At the request of Baillet-Latour, Brundage led the anti-boycott campaign. At the AAU Congress on December 8, 1935, the delegates finally approved participation with 58 to 56 votes; Brundage had postponed the vote by one day in order to achieve a result that was acceptable to him with other delegates. The victorious Brundage called on some of his opponents to resign. Not everyone complied, but Mahoney did.

Brundage believed the boycott controversy could be effectively used for fundraising. He wrote: "The fact that the Jews are against us will pique the interest of thousands of people who were never involved before, if properly approached." In March 1936 he wrote to advertising mogul Albert Lasker (a Jew) complaining that “a large number of misguided Jews still insist on obstructing the activities of the American Olympic Committee. The result, of course, is increased support from the 120 million non-Jews in the United States, as this is a patriotic endeavor. ”In another letter, which David Large describes as“ clumsy, ”Brundage believed that the Jews were concerned with the financial Supporting American participation in the Olympics could reduce anti-Semitism in the United States. Lasker did not respond to this blackmail and answered Brundage: “You are insulting not only Jews for no reason, but also the millions of patriotic Christians in America, on whose behalf you dare to speak without justification and whom you misrepresent in your letter in such a tragic way . “With a pamphlet Fair Play for American Athletes he turned to the American public in order to be able to finance the sending of the teams to Germany.

In Berlin

From left to right: Julius Lippert , Avery Brundage and Theodor Lewald in Berlin (1936)

On July 15, 1936, the American contingent of athletes and officials, led by Brundage, embarked in New York . Immediately after arriving in Hamburg , Brundage hit the headlines when he and the AOC excluded swimmer Eleanor Holm (1932 Olympic champion in the 100-meter backstroke) from the team for misconduct on board the Manhattan . There were conflicting rumors and reports of Holm's activities. She is said to have been with the screenwriter Charles MacArthur (who traveled without his wife, the actress Helen Hayes ), "a whole night." Brundage discussed the matter with other AOC members and confronted Holm. After unsuccessfully asking to be resumed, she stayed in Berlin as a journalist even though the AOC had tried to send her home. A few years later, Holm claimed that Brundage suspended her because she rejected him when he made an immoral proposal to her. According to Guttmann, Brundage has always had the reputation of being a spoilsport. Butterfield goes on to say that through the efforts of sports journalists who accompanied Holm, Brundage became "famous as a tyrant, snob, hypocrite, dictator and bore", as well as "pretty much the meanest man in the entire sports world."

On July 30, 1936, six days after the US team arrived in Germany, the IOC met in Berlin and unanimously expelled Jahncke because of his support for the boycott movement. Two seats were vacant for the United States since Sherrill passed away in June, but Minutes specifically state that Brundage was elected to replace Jahncke.

Sam Stoller and Marty Glickman , two Jewish athletes, were originally intended for the US 4 x 100 meter relay . After Jesse Owens won his third of four gold medals, they were removed from the roster and replaced by Owens and Ralph Metcalfe . Coach Lawson Robertson justified this with the fact that the Germans had strengthened their team. The season set a world record both in the run-up and in the final and was well ahead of the Italians and the Germans. Neither Stoller nor Glickman (the only Jews on the track and field team) believed their trainer's reasoning. Stoller suspected favor, since the other two relay runners, Foy Draper and Frank Wykoff , were trained at the University of Southern California by Dean Cromwell, an assistant to Robertson. Glickman thought anti-Semitism more likely and was convinced in later years that Brundage had ordered the exchange because "he and Cromwell sympathized with the Nazis". After Stoller's death in 1998, then USOC chairman William J. Hybl said, “I was a prosecutor. I'm used to investigating evidence. The evidence was there. ”However, he left open what evidence was involved. In his final report, Brundage described the controversy as "absurd". He pointed out that Glickman and Stoller had achieved 5th and 6th place in the preliminary rounds in New York and the relay victory confirmed the decision.

The road to the IOC presidency

Brundage around 1941

Brundage's first IOC session as an incumbent member was in Warsaw in June 1937 . IOC Vice President Godefroy de Blonay had died, and the Swede Sigfrid Edström took his place . Brundage, in turn, took over Edström's position on the executive board. Edström had been Brundage's ally in the fight against the boycott. He had written to him that although he did not want the persecution of the Jews, as an “intelligent and unscrupulous people” they should have been “kept within certain limits”. Brundage wrote to a German correspondent that he regretted that Leni Riefenstahl's documentary Olympia could not be shown commercially in the USA, "since the cinemas and film companies are almost all owned by Jews".

The games in Berlin had increased Brundage's admiration for the German Reich. In October 1936 at an American Confederation event at Madison Square Garden, he said: "Five years ago they [Germans] were discouraged and demoralized - today they are united - sixty million people who believe in themselves and in their country ..." In 1938, his construction company received the order to build a new German embassy in Washington, DC , but this could not be carried out because of the Second World War . Brundage joined the Keep America Out of War committee and became a member of the America First Committee . He resigned from both organizations the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor .

The 1940 Olympic Games were canceled due to the war. Brundage aspired to organize games in the western hemisphere as a sort of substitute. In August 1940 he took part in a sports congress in Buenos Aires , where the possibility of hosting the Pan-American Games was discussed. Upon his return, he made arrangements for the AOA to be renamed the United States of America Sports Federation . This in turn would organize the United States Olympic Committee (as the AOC was to be renamed), as well as another committee that would be responsible for American participation in the Pan American Games. Brundage was one of the first members of the international Pan-American Games Commission; the hosting of the first games in Buenos Aires was delayed until 1951. Despite his role in its creation, Brundage viewed the Pan-American Games as an imitation, with no real connection to antiquity.

The war broke the IOC geographically and politically. Baillet-Latour was stuck in German-occupied Belgium , while Brundage and Vice President Edström did their best to keep lines of communication open between IOC members. According to Guttmann, Brundage and Edström saw themselves as "keepers of the sacred flame, protectors of an ideal in whose name they were ready to act again as soon as the madness ended." Baillet-Latour died in January 1942; then Edström took over the presidential duties, although he continued to refer to himself as vice-president. He and Brundage did not wait for the war to end to rebuild the Olympic movement. Brundage even sent aid packages to IOC members in places in Europe where food was scarce. In 1944, Edström was concerned about who would lead the IOC in the event of his death, given his advanced age, and suggested that Brundage be created the post of 2nd Vice President. A postal vote of those IOC members who could be reached confirmed the appointment the following year. When Edström was elected President in Lausanne in September 1946 on the occasion of the first IOC session of the post-war period, Brundage took over as 1st Vice-President.

As Vice President Brundage belonged to a 1948 by the IOC Session in London on commission established that should check that the in Athens aligned Olympic interludes 1906 should be recognized as full-fledged Olympic Games. All three members of the later so-called Brundage Commission came from the western hemisphere and met in January 1949 in New Orleans . The commission concluded that there was no benefit associated with the recognition of the interludes in 1906; such a move could potentially set an embarrassing precedent. The IOC adopted the report when it met in Rome that year .

Edström intended for the Summer Games in 1952 in Helsinki resign. Brundage's rival for President was Lord Burghley (later Marquess of Exeter), Olympic champion in the 400 meter hurdles in 1928 and President of the IAAF . The election took place on the occasion of the IOC session before the games in the Finnish capital. Although Brundage was the executive candidate, some IOC members rejected him while others preferred a European president. Notes written during the vote showed that Brundage was only able to prevail against Lord Burghley in the 25th ballot with 30 to 17 votes.

IOC President (1952 to 1972)


Brundage (center, seated) surrounded by officials of the Amateur Athletic Union (1963)

During his entire career as a sports official, according to Guttmann, Brundage was “undeniably an idealist.” According to Brundage, sport, with its fixed set of rules and the spirit of fair play, is above politics, which follow the law of the jungle. In order to achieve this ideal, an athlete has to be an amateur and compete out of love for the sport, without thinking about any kind of reward or payment. Professional athletes, on the other hand, are part of the entertainment industry. Is the amateurism turn an expression of the concept of universal scholar of the Renaissance - with skills in many areas, but nowhere a specialist.

Since the definition of "amateur" was different depending on the sport, the arguments in which Brundage was involved revolved around the question of what kind of payment or reward would still be acceptable in order not to lose amateur status. Some sports had a more liberal attitude than others. In 1948, for example, expenses up to 600 dollars per tournament were allowed in tennis and valuable material prizes in boxing. Enforcement of these rules was often the responsibility of the National Olympic Committees (NOC), which interpreted the rules as less stringently as needed if it could give their own athletes an advantage.

After becoming IOC president, and before that, Brundage was involved in several controversies in which he accused athletes of breaking amateur rules and at times excluded them. In 1932 he was a member of a special commission of the IAAF, which excluded the Finnish long-distance runner Paavo Nurmi from the games in Los Angeles because he had supposedly accepted financial compensation. Two American ice hockey teams, nominated by two rival sports associations, traveled to the 1948 Winter Games in St. Moritz . Although Brundage had threatened to withdraw the entire US Olympic team, the Swiss Olympic Committee (SOC), on the recommendation of the International Ice Hockey League (LIHG) , accredited the selection of the Amateur Hockey Association (AHA), which was supported by operators of commercial ice rinks. The IOC declared the ice hockey tournament "non-Olympic" and considered the LIHG to be no longer responsible for amateur ice hockey. Finally, the IOC accepted a compromise proposal by the SOC, not to evaluate the results of the AHA team and to let the suspension of the LIHG come into effect only after the end of the games. The ice hockey tournament was still considered Olympic. Shortly before the 1972 Winter Games in Sapporo , Brundage expelled Austrian ski racer Karl Schranz for advertising activities and described him as a “living advertising column.” The expulsion triggered a wave of indignation in Austria . On his return to Vienna , Schranz was received by tens of thousands of people and invited to the Chancellery by Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky .

Brundage's views on amateurism were more and more obviously overtaken by the development of modern sport and were increasingly viewed as hypocrisy. In particular, athletes from communist-ruled countries were actually state employees (" state amateurs ") who were effectively given the opportunity to fully devote themselves to the sport and were therefore amateurs only in name. In western countries, athletes often had the option of concentrating exclusively on training as sports soldiers . Against Brundage's will, the IOC changed the rules in 1962 and allowed the sports federations to pay the athletes compensation for loss of wages while they were training; but only if they had to support close relatives. In 1972, Brundage called for the Winter Olympics to be abolished, considering them hopelessly commercialized. In his last speech to the IOC in Munich in 1972 , he maintained his position: “There are only two types of competitors. Those free and independent individuals who are interested in sport for sport's sake and those who have financial reasons. Olympic fame is reserved for amateurs. "

Controversies about participation


In 1948 no German team was admitted to the Winter Games in St. Moritz and the Summer Games in London. After the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, Brundage was eager to reintegrate the Germans into the Olympic movement. The National Olympic Committee for Germany , founded in the same year , approached the IOC and asked for recognition, but there was still a lot of aversion to Germany. Shortly before the IOC session in Vienna in 1951 (Brundage was still Vice President at the time), the National Olympic Committee for East Germany was founded in the German Democratic Republic , which also asked for recognition. The Federal Republic and its NOK then raised the right to sole representation for both German states. Despite long discussions, no agreement could be reached in 1951. The IOC adjourned the matter to February 1952 and started a round of negotiations in Copenhagen . An East German delegation was present there, but they refused to take part in the negotiations. Edström canceled the meeting after IOC representatives and the West German delegation had waited in vain for hours. The German team that took part in Helsinki this summer consisted entirely of West Germans.

In 1954, the East Germans made another attempt to gain recognition. After Brundage had received assurances that the GDR's NOK was not run by the government, the IOC agreed to the application the following year, but made the condition that both German states put together a team in 1956 . The GDR sent 37 athletes to the 1956 Summer Games in Melbourne , who lived and trained separately from the West Germans. For the 1960 Summer Games in Rome, the IOC insisted on a joint team from both countries. The GDR provided 141 of the 321 athletes who all lived in the same area of ​​the Olympic village. To Brundage's delight, Italian President Giovanni Gronchi raved at the opening ceremony that the IOC had brought about German reunification, unlike the politicians. Brundage replied: “But we do things like that in sport.” He saw the German participation as symbolic of the potential of the Olympic Games to overcome divisions and reach agreements.

Despite the construction of the Berlin Wall from August 1961, which increased tensions between East and West, Brundage managed to secure an all-German team again for the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo . Nevertheless, with the support of IOC members from Warsaw Pact states, the East Germans strived for their own team. They achieved a breakthrough when the IAAF allowed a separate East German team to participate in the 1966 European Athletics Championships . After the GDR was able to provide its own team for the first time at the 1968 Winter Games in Grenoble , the GDR's NOK received full recognition on November 1, 1968 at the 1968 IOC session in Mexico City . From 1972 the GDR was allowed to compete under its own flag. Brundage had to bow to reality, but viewed the development as a defeat for the Olympic ideals.

Soviet Union

The Russian Empire had participated in the Olympic Games before the First World War. The newly formed Soviet Union refused to participate as it viewed it as a bourgeois event. The IOC courted the Soviet Union from 1923, Brundage visited the country in 1934. He was impressed by the progress made since his last visit in 1912, after participating in Stockholm. Despite his anti-communist stance, Brundage wanted the Soviet Union to join the Olympic movement. When, according to Guttmann, “he had the choice between his hostility to communism and his commitment to the universality of the Olympic ideals, he decided on the latter. He wanted the Russians to be there, be they communists or not. "

During the Second World War, Brundage wrote to other IOC members that he had nothing against Soviet participation in international sport, with representation in the IOC if the Soviet Union joins the international sports federations. The IOC demanded that a NOK should be independent of the government; there were concerns that this might not be the case in the case of the Soviet NOK. Problems of this kind were not limited to communist states: several Latin American countries had started to integrate their NOCs into political structures. Brundage expressed concern about this blending of sport and politics.

From 1946 the Soviet Union joined international sports federations, its NOK received IOC recognition in 1951 and the first athletes took part in 1952. Since few Soviet sports officials were internationally known, the IOC had no choice but to accept government nominees if Soviet IOC members wanted it. The Soviet members were loyal to their country and communist ideals. They quickly gained control of other members from Eastern Bloc countries , who voted in accordance with the Soviet members. In 1954 Brundage visited the country - by invitation, but also at his own expense. He said the country's sports education program created "the largest army of athletes the world has ever seen" and warned that Americans were effeminate and unsuitable by comparison (which he repeated many times in the 1950s). In his opinion, physical education and competitive sports, particularly as preparation for war, were more enthusiastically received in the Soviet Union than in the USA. David Maraniss, in his book about the 1960 Summer Games, said that Brundage's admiration for the Soviet Union's sports program was in some ways similar to that which he had shown for Nazi Germany two decades earlier.

Also in 1954, Brundage wrote in an article for the weekly Saturday Evening Post that he had confronted Soviet officials with information from defectors that the Soviet Union had year-round training camps and that athletes were given material incentives to succeed. He also repeated the response of the Soviets, who questioned the integrity of the defectors: “These men are deserters, traitors. Would you believe what they said if they were American and opposed your country? ”Since Brundage did not comment on the answer, there was an uproar in the press accusing him of being duped by the Soviets.

China and Taiwan

The Republic of China joined the Olympic movement in 1924. She took part in the 1932 Summer Games in Los Angeles, in 1936 in Berlin and in 1948 in London. When the communists won the Chinese Civil War and founded the People's Republic of China in 1949 , most of the members of the Chinese NOK fled to the island of Taiwan . So there were two rival NOCs, both of whom insisted on representing all of China.

The dispute came to a head in 1952 when the NOK of the People's Republic, which saw itself as a continuation of the NOK founded in 1924, expressed its desire to participate in the Summer Games in Helsinki. The Taiwanese also wanted to send a team, which was in contradiction to the IOC rules, according to which a country could only be represented by one NOK. Both groups were unwilling to negotiate with one another or to send a team together. After careful consideration, the IOC decided that both committees could send athletes for a particular sport if the committees were recognized by the relevant international sports federation. The Republic of China withdrew from the Games in protest in Taiwan . The People's Republic sent a team to Helsinki, but they only arrived there ten days after the start of the games. Brundage, then President-elect, spoke out against the participation of athletes from the People's Republic before the recognition of the NOC, but was overruled by his colleagues.

In 1954, the IOC recognized both committees in a close vote and thus allowed both states to participate in the Summer Games in Melbourne. Initially only the NOK of the People's Republic agreed; however, when the Taiwanese NOK changed its mind and decided to send a team to the Games, the mainland people withdrew in protest. Brundage voiced concerns similar to those of the Soviet Union about the People’s Republic’s participation and political interference, but accepted that the IOC could do nothing unless there was evidence to the contrary. He was frustrated with the ongoing controversy and saw the skirmish as a distraction from the ultimate goal, the advancement of the Olympic movement.

When further efforts to expel the Taiwanese failed, the People's Republic withdrew from the IOC in 1958. The following year, the IOC decided that Taiwan could not compete under the name of the "Olympic Committee of the Republic of China" but under a different name that did not indicate that Taiwan was the sport in China. The press interpreted the decision to mean that the Republic of China had been excluded from the Olympic movement. The anti-communist Brundage was attacked by the press for being a sympathizer of the communists. Despite efforts by the United States Department of State to the contrary , the Taiwanese decided to participate in the Rome Games. They hoped to win the first medal for China and keep the People's Republic away from the Olympic Games with their presence. The Taiwanese competed under the former Portuguese name Formosa and caused a sensation during the opening ceremony when they briefly displayed a sign that read "Under Protest". Yang Chuan-Kwang , who won the silver medal in the decathlon, was not allowed to present the flag of the Republic of China at the award ceremony.

During his tenure, Brundage gradually became friends with the position of IOC members from the Eastern Bloc countries that recognition of the People's Republic was more important than Taiwan. In 1972 the People's Republic was invited by the organizers of the Summer Games in Munich to send a delegation of observers, which they refused due to the Taiwanese presence. It was not until 1975, three years after Brundage's resignation, that the People's Republic asked again for membership in the Olympic movement. The People's Republic first took part in the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid . Taiwan participated as the Republic of China in 1968 and 1972, but boycotted the 1976 and 1980 Games. Since 1984, it has participated as “ Chinese Taipei ”.

South Africa and Rhodesia

At the end of the 1950s, efforts were first made to exclude South Africa from international sport because of the apartheid policy. In 1956 laws were passed that provided separate sports events for whites and non-whites; the inferior facilities were generally available to non-whites. Brundage initially refused any action. In the run-up to the 1960 Summer Games, events in South Africa came thick and fast , with the Sharpeville massacre and the suppression of the African National Congress (ANC). Activists tried to convince Brundage to exclude South Africa from the games. He initially took the South African sports officials at their word that all citizens had the opportunity to qualify for the Olympic team and that non-white South Africans were simply not good enough.

Support for a boycott increased with the large number of independent African states. In order to prevent the new states from overwhelming the international sports federations, Brundage proposed the introduction of weighted electoral systems, which guaranteed the previous member states a disproportionate influence; some sports federations implemented this proposal. After FIFA suspended South Africa in 1962, Brundage came to see that South Africa's racist policies were incompatible with the ideals of the Olympic movement. At the 1963 IOC session in Baden-Baden (moved there from Nairobi after Kenya refused to issue visas to South African representatives), the panel decided to suspend South Africa - unless the South African NOK and the government made non-discriminatory rules for apply the selection of athletes. Nothing of the sort happened, so South Africa did not participate in 1964. In 1968 Brundage and the IOC invited a (allegedly multiracial) South African team to Mexico City. They withdrew the invitation in the face of boycott threats and evidence of non-compliance with the rules.

On the occasion of the session in Amsterdam , the IOC decided in 1971 to withdraw recognition from the South African NOK. Brundage had hoped to keep South Africa in the Olympic movement. But he assumed that those who advocated the exclusion had better arguments. South Africa only took part in the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona after the ANC had been re-approved and the imminent end of apartheid was foreseeable.

A similar problem existed with Rhodesia , the British colony that had unilaterally declared itself independent in 1965. Rhodesia had a white minority government and followed a racist policy similar to that of South Africa. In May 1968 the United Nations Security Council condemned the Rhodesian government and urged states not to recognize Rhodesian passports. The government of Mexico , host of this year's Summer Games, complied with this request. The IOC was initially convinced that sports facilities in the breakaway colony would be available to everyone, despite government policies. The nominated 16-person team also included two black athletes. Brundage therefore endorsed the participation of Rhodesia, but was overruled by the IOC. Douglas Downing, chairman of the Rhodesian NOC, said Brundage's voice "screams in a wilderness of wickedness." Four years later, the IOC allowed Rhodesians to participate as British subjects, which they still were under international law. African states threatened again with a boycott if the Rhodesians were allowed to participate. At the session in Munich shortly before the 1972 Summer Games, the IOC decided with a narrow majority to exclude the Rhodesians. Brundage was furious with the decision and believed the IOC had bowed to blackmail. In 1974, the IOC found evidence that sports facilities in Rhodesia were racially segregated and withdrew recognition from the Rhodesian NOK. After the end of the Rhodesian state, the country took part in the Olympic Games again as Zimbabwe in 1980.

Association policy and challenger

Mon Repos, seat of the IOC until 1968

Brundage worked free of charge as the IOC president and also waived expense allowances. He paid up to $ 50,000 a year for his work. In 1960 the IOC had almost no assets. Brundage and the IOC had already considered the potential of television broadcasting rights in 1956, but did not pursue the matter for the time being. As a result, the 1960 Summer Games broadcast rights belonged to the Roman Organizing Committee and the IOC received just 5% of the $ 60,000 revenue. Organizing committee accounts showed that the games were a losing proposition. The IOC had received part of the profit due and had no money to compensate sports associations that demanded a share of the proceeds. In later years, broadcast rights sales became a significant source of income for the IOC. In 1968 it was possible to raise 10 million dollars, in 2004 even 1.2 billion. Brundage was concerned about the rising income and in 1967 warned the IOC members: "As soon as we deal with money, even if it is only to distribute it, there will be trouble ..."

NOK officials had occasionally met with Brundage and IOC senior management, but many felt that Brundage was not responding to the concerns they had raised. In the early 1960s, many NOCs, led by Italian IOC member Giulio Onesti, tried to bypass Brundage and the IOC by forming a Permanent General Assembly of National Olympic Committees (PGA-NOC). Brundage firmly opposed the organization and the IOC refused to recognize it. From 1965 the PGA-NOC demanded a share of the television revenue; she also wanted the sports federations, not the IOC, to set the rules of amateurism.

Brundage visits the Olympic facilities in Squaw Valley (1960)

In 1952, Brundage was originally elected for an eight-year term. In 1960 he was unanimously re-elected for another four years. Despite rumors that Lord Exeter would face him, it was he who nominated Brundage. In 1964 it was announced that Brundage had been unanimously elected for another four years, but Guttmann remarks that he was only barely able to avert a challenge from Lord Exeter. Some IOC members tried to remove Brundage in 1968 because they thought he was narrow-minded or too old to run the organization effectively. Nevertheless, he was re-elected with a large majority at the IOC session in Mexico City; but he promised to resign in 1972. Michael Morris, 3rd Baron Killanin , was elected 1st Vice President. The Irishman, whom many saw as a possible successor to Brundage, showed more understanding for the concerns of the NOKs and took part in the meetings of the PGA-NOC. Brundage still did not recognize the PGA-NOC, but set up joint committees to deal with the concerns of the NOKs. During the remainder of his tenure, the PGA-NOC remained a significant force. According to Guttmann, Brundage “had less than an all-out victory and Onesti suffered far from a complete defeat. The IOC had become significantly more attractive to the National Olympic Committees and their interests, and that is what Onesti had called for from the start. "

Whenever Brundage was at home in Chicago or California, the day-to-day business of the IOC was handled by IOC Chancellor Otto Meyer at its headquarters, the Villa Mon Repos in Lausanne . Brundage gradually thought Meyer was too impetuous; he fired him in 1964 and also dissolved the office. For the final years of his tenure, he promoted Monique Berlioux to IOC director and was apparently pleased with her work. Mon Repos, the former home of IOC founder Pierre de Coubertin , turned out to be too cramped for the IOC as the rooms had to be shared with Coubertin's widow. In 1968 the IOC moved to a new headquarters in Lausanne, the Château de Vidy.

Political rally in Mexico City

The political climate in the US was turbulent in 1968, with race riots and the assassination attempt on leading civil rights activist Martin Luther King . Before the summer games, which took place in Mexico City in October, various African-American activists had called for a boycott. However, they met with little enthusiasm from the athletes because they did not want to destroy the years of preparation. The mood was further fueled by the Tlatelolco massacre , which killed several dozen people.

There have been various racial tensions between black and white US athletes. Tommie Smith , an African American sprinter, told journalists, "I don't want Brundage to hand me any medal." The following day, he won the 200-meter run, while John Carlos , another African American, won the bronze medal. After receiving their medals from Lord Exeter, the two bowed their heads to the sound of the national anthem and raised one fist each, wearing a black glove. Under pressure from the IOC, the USOC suspended her from the team and later expelled her from the Olympic village. Commenting on the incident, Brundage said: "Distorted attitudes and failed characters seem to be everywhere and impossible to eliminate." The USOC's official report lacked the famous photo of Smith and Carlos with their fists raised. The official film by the local organizing committee showed the controversial scene. Brundage, who described the incident as a "nasty demonstration against the American flag by negroes", tried in vain to have the scene removed.

Munich 1972

At the same IOC session in Munich in August 1972, when Rhodesia was excluded, the IOC elected Lord Killanin to succeed Brundage, with the handover to take place after the games. Brundage cast an empty vote as he viewed the Irishman as an intellectual lightweight who did not have the strength of character to hold the Olympic movement together.

Brundage hoped the Munich games would soften his defeat on the Rhodesia issue. Munich was one of his favorite cities and the "cheerful games" were designed to let the memory of Berlin in 1936 take a back seat. In the early morning of September 5, 1972, Palestinian terrorists from the Black September organization entered the Olympic Village and took eleven Israeli athletes hostage. They demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli captivity. As soon as Brundage was informed, he rushed to the Olympic village, where he consulted with German and Bavarian authorities all day . According to Guttmann, he played a modest role in the discussions. Two helicopters of the Federal Border Guard transported hostages and hostage-takers to the Fürstenfeldbruck air base . A rescue operation failed and resulted in the deaths of nine hostages (two had previously been murdered), five terrorists and one police officer.

IOC members began to discuss the situation even before the attempt at liberation. Killanin and other officials had been to the sailing competitions in Kiel and rushed to Munich. Shortly before 4 p.m., Brundage canceled the rest of the day's competitions and announced a memorial service in honor of those who had already been killed the next morning. Numerous IOC members were critical of Brundage's involvement in discussions with the authorities. They felt the matter should have been left to the authorities and the local organizing committee. But everyone supported the commemoration, which took place on September 6th in the Olympic Stadium . In front of the audience in the stadium and in front of millions of television viewers, Brundage said in his speech:

“All civilized people condemn the criminal attack by terrorists in the peaceful Olympic area. We lament our Israeli friends who have been victims of this brutal attack. It is a sad fact that in our imperfect world as the Olympic Games get bigger and bigger, the more they are under economic, political and now criminal pressures. The games of the XX. The Olympics have been the target of two gruesome attacks because we lost the fight against political blackmail in the case of Rhodesia. We only have the power of a great ideal. I am convinced that the global community agrees with me that we cannot allow a handful of terrorists to destroy this core of international cooperation and goodwill that the Olympic Games represent. The Games must go on and we must continue in our endeavors to keep them pure and honest and to try to carry the athletes' sporting attitude into other areas. We hereby declare this day to be the day of mourning and will continue all events one day later than originally planned. "

The audience in the stadium reacted to Brundage's declaration with loud applause: According to Stars and Stripes , “Brundage's declaration that the games must go on took away a lot of the heavy gloom that Munich had experienced since Tuesday morning [5. September]. ”On his own resignation as IOC president, Killanin said,“ I believe Brundage was right to move on and that his tenacious determination had once again saved the Olympic movement. ”He added that the mention of the Rhodesia issue not inappropriately, but more appropriate on other occasions. According to later IOC Vice-President Richard Pound , the inclusion of the Rhodesia question in the speech "was universally condemned, and Brundage resigned under a cloud of criticism that undermined a lifetime of well-meaning work in the Olympic Movement." Brundage an explanation. He stressed that he did not mean to imply that the decision to exclude the Rhodesians, which was "a pure matter of sport", was comparable to the murder of the Israelis. According to historian Alfred Senn, the decision to continue the Games “went down badly with many observers.” Red Smith, sports journalist for the New York Times , was one of the critics:

“Some believed that this time around, the sand pit would be covered and the starting blocks set aside. But no. 'The games must go on,' said Brundage and 80,000 spectators burst into applause. The occasion was yesterday's memorial service for eleven members of the Israeli Olympic delegation who were murdered by Palestinian terrorists. It was more like a motivational event. "

Withdrawal and death

After the 1972 Summer Games, Brundage resigned as IOC President. Reports of his state of mind at retirement vary. IOC Director Berlioux reported that Brundage would occasionally come to the Château de Vidy to take calls or read correspondence while waiting for Killanin's help. Brundage sometimes called Berlioux from Geneva and asked her to go there; the two then walked through the streets for hours without exchanging many words. Frederick Ruegsegger, his long-time “girl for everything”, described a changed, calm Brundage, which he compared to a abdicated Japanese emperor.

In January 1974, Brundage underwent surgery for a cataract and a glaucoma . The necessary precautions had initially been taken by his protégé, the Spanish IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch . At the last moment Brundage revoked the plans and decided to have an operation in Munich, near the house he had bought in Garmisch-Partenkirchen . After a month and a half, he was released from the hospital. There are different views as to whether the operation was successful. His second wife confirmed this, while Ruegsegger contradicted her. Having become frail, Brundage made one last trip to the Far East at the age of 87. Despite the efforts made on his behalf, he was not invited to the People's Republic of China. In May 1975 he was admitted to the Garmisch-Partenkirchen hospital with the flu and a violent cough. There he died of heart failure on May 8, 1975.

Brundage considered his second wife and Ruegsegger in his will, and there were several bequests for charitable purposes. He left his documents and memorabilia at the University of Illinois. He had previously given her $ 350,000 to fund scholarships for students interested in exercise who did not actually receive an athletic scholarship.

Private and business life


When Brundage was 40 years old, he married Elisabeth Dunlap (1890–1971), the daughter of a banker from Chicago, in 1927. She was a trained soprano - a talent she demonstrated to visitors at the Brundages' house. She was very interested in classical music. Brundage himself probably did not fully share this interest. Regarding a performance of Richard Wagner's opera Die Walküre , he said: “It started at 7 pm; at 10pm I checked my watch and it showed exactly 8pm. "

Brundage married Princess Marianne Charlotte Katharina Stefanie Reuß , the daughter of Prince Heinrich XXXVII , in June 1973 . During the Munich Games, she worked as a consultant in the protocol department of the National Olympic Committee and stated that she had already met Brundage in 1955 (she was 19 years old at the time). When Brundage was approached by reporters about the huge age difference of 48 years, he replied that he was young for his age and she was ripe for hers. Frederick Ruegsegger declined to be his best man, reporting after Brundage's death that the couple had wasted a large part of their fortune. Guttmann notes, however, that this also included property purchases that could well be viewed as investments.

Brundage had no children with either of his wives. During his first marriage, however, his Finnish lover Lilian Dresden gave birth to two sons. This affair was just one of many. The children were born in 1951 and 1952, exactly at the same time as Brundage was a promising candidate for the IOC presidency. Although he acknowledged paternity in private, he did everything possible to keep the children's existence a secret. He feared the truth about his extramarital relationships would ruin his election opportunities. Among other things, he requested that his name not appear on the birth certificates. Brundage visited his two sons from time to time in the 1950s; In the 1960s he limited himself to telephone calls, in the last years of his life the contact was broken off completely. He set up a trust fund for the education of the sons; but since they were not mentioned in his will, they filed a lawsuit and received a small compensation.

Building contractor

The Avery Brundage Company was founded in 1915, with government contracts initially making up a large portion of the company's revenue. Brundage applied for an order from the Army Surveying Corps, but was rejected. After the war he was a member of the Construction Division Association , consisting of people who had built facilities for the army; from 1926 to 1928 he was president of this organization.

In the 1920s, Brundage's company was very active building high-rise apartment buildings in Chicago. He used quick construction methods, which allowed customers to quickly generate income from their investments. The Avery Brundage Company was often involved in the ownership of the apartments. For example, 3800 Sheridan Road, a 17-story building built in 1927 for $ 3,180,000, was owned by a company of which Chester Brundage, Avery's younger brother, was president and treasurer. The use of concrete mixing plants on the construction site contributed significantly to reducing the construction time. Another source of income was the construction of hotels, for which Brundage was often paid in part with shares in the new facility. A president of an engineering firm specializing in large-scale construction called Brundage's methods of building the Shoreham Hotel "progressive, brisk [and] up-to-date" and "sincere and honest."

In 1923, Brundage built a huge assembly plant for the Ford Motor Company on the South Side of Chicago . At a cost of $ 4 million, ten months to build, and 6.5 acres under one roof, it was the largest industrial building his company built. It was able to meet national demand for Ford Model T cars in the 1920s and is still in service today, making it the oldest continuously-used assembly plant in the United States. Contrary to later statements by Brundage, according to which he had avoided public contracts because of the corruption, he built the viaduct on 23rd Street; the two million dollar project involved reclamation of land in Lake Michigan . By 1925, the Avery Brundage Company had a reputation for being fast, innovative, and quality conscious; wages of $ 50,000 were paid weekly.

The start of the Great Depression in 1929 was a major setback for Brundage, but he was able to restore his wealth through real estate investments. He also accepted equity stakes in buildings he built in case the owners couldn't pay him. He later said that “you don't have to be a wizard to buy shares and bonds of distressed companies for a fraction of their value and then wait. I was just a little lucky. "According to historian and archivist Maynard Brichford, Brundage came out of the Depression with a substantial annual income, reputation and investment." In 1960 Brundage's fortune was valued at $ 25 million. Brundage secured a significant part of the construction contract for the new building of the German embassy in Washington through his good contacts with the German government. However, when the USA entered the World War, the order did not materialize.

Art collector and patron

4th century Chinese Buddha statue; the oldest known work of art in Brundage's collection, now in the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco

Brundage's interest in Asian art stemmed from an exhibition of Chinese art at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, which he had attended early in 1936. He said of the experience: "We [he and his wife Elisabeth] spent a week in the exhibition and I left them so fascinated by her that I have been broke ever since." He only started active collecting after a two-week trip together in Japan in April 1939 where they visited Yokohama , Kyōto , Osaka , Nara and Nikkō . Visits to Shanghai and Hong Kong followed , but because of the Sino-Japanese War they had to cancel the trip. This disappointment on his only trip to mainland China annoyed him for a lifetime.

On his return to the United States from the IOC session in London in June 1939, Brundage systematically set out to become a major collector of Asian art. The difficult situation led wealthy Chinese to sell family heirlooms. Prices were low, so the opportunity to collect was cheap. He bought numerous books on Asian art and said in an interview that "a great library is an indispensable tool". After the United States entered World War II , the properties of Japanese traders in the United States were confiscated; Brundage was able to acquire the best objects. Traders found he was willing to spend, but knowledgeable and a persistent haggle. Brundage was rarely fooled by forgeries; he was not deterred by the few he actually bought, since they were often a thousand years old themselves. His collection was considered one of the largest and most important in private hands in the United States.

Brundage hired the French scientist René-Yvon Lefebvre d'Argencé, who was then teaching at the University of California , as a full-time curator and advisor on acquisitions. Both agreed that no property would be purchased without the consent of the other. They built up a collection of jade objects that spanned from the Neolithic to the modern era; there were also hundreds of Chinese, Japanese and Korean bronze figures, mostly Buddhas and Bodhisattvas . The painter Brundage admired most was Song Huizong , an emperor of the Song Dynasty in the 12th century; Brundage never managed to acquire any of his works. Several times he bought objects that had been smuggled from the country of origin in order to bring them back there. When Brundage sold an object, it was mainly because he was no longer artistically pleased with it, rarely to make a profit. A 1954 annual financial statement for him put the value of his collection at over a million dollars. In an article for the New Yorker in 1960, Robert Shaplen wrote that Brundage had always found time to visit art dealers during his travels as IOC president; He estimated the collection to be worth $ 15 million.

By the late 1950s, Brundage was increasingly concerned about what to do with his collection. His homes in Chicago and California were so full of works of art that valuable objects were stored in shoe boxes under beds. In 1959 he agreed to donate part of the collection to the City of San Francisco . The following year, a referendum accepted a loan of $ 2,725,000 to build a museum for the collection. In 1966 the Asian Art Museum opened in Golden Gate Park , which initially shared the premises with the MH de Young Memorial Museum until it moved into its own building at the Civic Center in 2003 . In 1969, Brundage made another significant donation - despite a fire that destroyed numerous objects in his La Piñeta house near Santa Barbara in 1964. He bequeathed the rest of his collection to the museum in his will. Of the more than 17,000 objects in the museum's possession, 7,700 are from Brundage.

Political ambitions

After the Olympic Games of 1936, Brundage got an appetite for political clashes. He applied (unsuccessfully) for the office of governor of his home state Illinois and was together with Charles Lindbergh the figurehead of the Keep America out of the War committee, which was mainly active between 1940 and 1942, to represent an isolationist policy and despite the German Abomination to keep the US out of the war.


The retrospective reporting was sometimes ungracious with Brundage. In May 2012, the Independent described him as "an ancient IOC emperor, anti-Semite, and Nazi sympathizer eager to shield the Games from the intrusive tentacles of the real world." The Orange County Register noted that Brundages was "racism and Anti-Semitism are well documented ”and the Daily News emphasized emphatically:“ Brundage admired Hitler and infamously had two Jewish sprinters removed from the 4 x 100 meter relay because they would have exposed Hitler even more if they had won. ”

Brundage's legacy is ambiguous. On the question of amateurism, Maraniss pointed out that Brundage was “caught in a vice” between communist and capitalist states that had different goals. States of both systems were not ready to accept his vision of pure amateurism and both broke the rules in their own way. According to Guttmann, Brundage was possibly better known as an art collector in the 1960s than for his sports activities and "there are those who claim that he will be remembered not for his career in sports but for his jade and bronze figures." Richard Pound believes Brundage was one of the major IOC presidents, alongside Coubertin and Samaranch. He admits that Brundage lost touch with the world of sport towards the end of his tenure, but he credits him with holding the Olympic movement together when it was beset by many challenges. At the same time, he points out that Brundage may not have received the full recognition of those who especially remember his last years in office and the events in Munich.

Finally, Senn thinks that Brundage remained IOC president for too long:

“After Munich, Brundage left the games that had outgrown his comprehension and adaptability. The NOKs and the [international sports federations] revolted against his unauthorized actions; Violence had penetrated his holy mountain and made every move to return; Despite all his efforts to reach out to the world with sport, he was accused of bigotry and racial and class prejudice, not to mention the denunciation of being politically naive ... Few mourned his departure from the Olympic scene and the International Olympic Committee turned it down his successor, who hoped its members would be better suited to handle the new items on the agenda. "


Brundage received honors from various countries, the most important of which are:


  • Richard Espy: The Politics of the Olympic Games . University of California Press, Berkeley 1981, ISBN 0-520-04395-2 ( books.google.ch ).
  • Allen Guttmann: The Games Must Go On: Avery Brundage and the Olympic Movement . Columbia University Press, New York 1984, ISBN 0-231-05444-0 ( books.google.com ).
  • Christopher Hilton: Hitler's Olympics: The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games . Sutton Publishing, Stroud 2008, ISBN 978-0-7509-4293-5 .
  • David Clay Large: Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936 . WW Norton & Company, New York 2007, ISBN 978-0-393-05884-0 .
  • David Maraniss: Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World . Simon & Schuster, New York 2008, ISBN 978-1-4165-3407-5 .
  • David Miller: Athens to Athens: the Official History of the Olympic Games and the IOC, 1894-2004 . Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh 2003, ISBN 1-84018-587-2 .
  • Richard Pound : Inside the Olympics . John Wiley & Sons Canada, Mississauga 2004, ISBN 0-470-83454-4 .
  • Alfred Senn: Power, Politics, and the Olympic Games . Human Kinetics, Champaign 1999, ISBN 0-88011-958-6 .
  • Astrid Engelbrecht: Avery Brundage: “The all-American boy”; the American answer to the Olympic question? Cuvillier, Göttingen 1997, ISBN 3-89588-944-X .
Other publications
  • Maynard Brichford: Avery Brundage: Chicago Businessman . In: Illinois State Historical Society (Ed.): Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society . Springfield, Illinois 1998 ( dig.lib.niu.edu ( Memento from December 16, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) [PDF; 2.0 MB ]).
  • Maynard Brichford: Avery Brundage: Money and Olympic Ideology . Ed .: International Center for Olympic Studies. London / Ontario 1994 ( la84foundation.org [PDF; 93 kB ]).
  • Maynard Brichford: Avery Brundage Collection. 1908-1976 . Ed .: Federal Institute for Sport Science. Hofmann, Schorndorf 1977, ISBN 3-7780-3941-5 .
  • Roger Butterfield: Avery Brundage . In: Time . Time, New York June 14, 1948 ( books.google.ch ).
  • Gerald Chan: The “Two-Chinas” problem and the Olympic formula . In: Pacific Affairs . University of British Columbia, Vancouver 1985, JSTOR : 2759241 .
  • Carolyn Marvin: Avery Brundage and American participation in the 1936 Olympic Games . In: Journal of American Studies . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge April 1982 ( repository.upenn.edu ).
  • Robert Shaplen: Amateur . In: The New Yorker . Condé Nast Publications, New York July 23, 1960.
  • Noel Busch: Avery Brundage: Olympian of Asian Art . In: Reader's Digest . Reader's Digest Association, Pleasantville, New York October 1968.

Web links

Commons : Avery Brundage  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Guttmann: The Games Must Go On. Pp. 1-4.
  2. ^ A b c William Oscar Johnson: Avery Brundage: The man behind the mask. In: Sports Illustrated. August 4, 1980, archived from the original on March 26, 2010 ; accessed on July 3, 2012 .
  3. ^ Guttmann: The Games Must Go On. Pp. 5-7.
  4. Brich Ford: Avery Brundage: Chicago businessman. P. 219.
  5. ^ Guttmann: The Games Must Go On. Pp. 10-11.
  6. ^ Guttmann: The Games Must Go On. Pp. 26-27.
  7. Maraniss: Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World. P. 53.
  8. a b c Butterfield: Avery Brundage. P. 118.
  9. Brich Ford: Avery Brundage: Chicago businessman. Pp. 219-220.
  10. ^ Guttmann: The Games Must Go On. Pp. 30-31.
  11. ^ Guttmann: The Games Must Go On. Pp. 31-33.
  12. ^ Guttmann: The Games Must Go On. Pp. 35-37.
  13. ^ Butterfield: Avery Brundage. Pp. 118, 120.
  14. ^ Butterfield: Avery Brundage. P. 120.
  15. ^ Arnd Krüger : Neo-Olympism between nationalism and internationalism. In: Horst Ueberhorst (Ed.): History of physical exercises. Volume 3/1, Bartels & Wernitz, Berlin 1980, pp. 522-568.
  16. Large: Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936. pp. 51–52.
  17. Large: Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936. pp. 57–58.
  18. ^ Hilton: Hitler's Olympics: The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Pp. 13-14.
  19. ^ Marvin: Avery Brundage and American participation in the 1936 Olympic Games. Pp. 83-85.
  20. ^ Hajo Bernett: Germany and the Olympic movement in the time of National Socialism . Ed .: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Institute for Sports Science. Mainz June 26, 2006, p. 12 ( sport.uni-mainz.de [PDF; 889 kB ]).
  21. ^ Marvin: Avery Brundage and American participation in the 1936 Olympic Games. P. 85.
  22. ^ Hilton: Hitler's Olympics: The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. P. 17.
  23. ^ Marvin: Avery Brundage and American participation in the 1936 Olympic Games. Pp. 85-86.
  24. ^ Marvin: Avery Brundage and American participation in the 1936 Olympic Games. P. 99.
  25. ^ A b Guttmann: The Games Must Go On. Pp. 69-70.
  26. ^ Jack Kugelmass: Jews, Sports, and the Rites of Citizenship . University of Illinois Press, Champaign 2007, ISBN 978-0-252-07324-3 , pp. 19 .
  27. ^ Guttmann: The Games Must Go On. P. 70.
  28. ^ Marvin: Avery Brundage and American participation in the 1936 Olympic Games. P. 87.
  29. ^ A b Hilton: Hitler's Olympics: The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. P. 38.
  30. ^ Marvin: Avery Brundage and American participation in the 1936 Olympic Games. P. 89.
  31. ^ Large: Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936. pp. 80–81, 93.
  32. ^ Large: Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936. pp. 90-93.
  33. Ernst Piper: The boycotted boycott. In: Der Spiegel . 2008, accessed July 4, 2012 .
  34. Large: Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936. pp. 98-99.
  35. ^ A b c Marvin: Avery Brundage and American participation in the 1936 Olympic Games. P. 90.
  36. Large: Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936. p. 100.
  37. ^ Arnd Krüger: Fair Play for American Athletes. A study in anti-semitism. In: Canadian Journal of the History of Sport and Physical Education. 9 (1978), p. 1, pp. 42-57.
  38. Large: Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936. P. 180.
  39. ^ A b Hilton: Hitler's Olympics: The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. P. 105.
  40. Maraniss: Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World. P. 415.
  41. ^ Guttmann: The Games Must Go On. P. 77.
  42. ^ Butterfield: Avery Brundage. P. 115.
  43. ^ Guttmann: The Games Must Go On. P. 81.
  44. ^ Hilton: Hitler's Olympics: The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Pp. 104-105.
  45. ^ Large: Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936. pp. 240–243.
  46. Large: Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936. p. 243.
  47. ^ William N. Wallace: Marty Glickman, Announcer And Blocked Olympian, 83. In: The New York Times . January 4, 2001, accessed July 5, 2012 .
  48. ^ Hilton: Hitler's Olympics: The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Pp. 234-235.
  49. ^ Guttmann: The Games Must Go On. P. 83.
  50. ^ Hilton: Hitler's Olympics: The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Pp. 38-39.
  51. ^ Guttmann: The Games Must Go On. P. 91.
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  1. The pentathlon consisted of a long jump , javelin throw , 200-meter run , discus throw and 1500-meter run . At the Olympic Games he was on the program three times (1912, 1920 and 1924).
  2. At that time, the Olympic Charter gave the host country of the Summer Olympic Games the opportunity to host the Winter Games. The Germans made use of it and the 1936 Winter Games took place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen .
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on August 12, 2012 in this version .