The U.S. Olympic Committee presented the broadcaster and former sprinter Marty Glickman with a plaque Sunday in lieu of the gold medal it prevented him from competing for 62 years ago.
This marked the first time the USOC has conceded that because he was Jewish, Glickman was kept off the 4x100-meter relay team that captured the event at the 1936 Games in Berlin.
In emotional ceremonies at the New York Jewish Sports Hall of Fame’s annual presentations, the USOC president, William Hybl, gave Glickman the Olympic committee’s first Douglas MacArthur Award. MacArthur was the USOC president in 1927-28.
Although Hybl said he had never seen written proof that the USOC, which was headed in 1936 by Avery Brundage, had kept Glickman off to appease Adolf Hitler, Hybl said: “I was a prosecutor. I’m used to looking at evidence. The evidence was there.”
Glickman recounted how, on the morning of the final trial heat, he and Sam Stoller, who was also Jewish, were told by their coaches that they would be replaced by Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe, even though neither had practiced on the relay team.
“Jesse said, ‘Let Marty run,”’ Glickman recalled after accepting the award from Hybl. “But the coaches said, ‘You’ll do as you’re told.”’ The coaches, Lawson Robertson and Dean Cromwell, told the team members the Germans had been hiding their fastest sprinters for the relays and the Americans had to counter with theirs. But the German relay team was composed of the same men who always competed.
Owens and Metcalfe teamed with Foy Draper and Frank Wycoff to win the heat by an astonishing 15 feet. The next day, they repeated the victory to take the gold medal, also by a comfortable margin and in world-record time. Thus, the presumably slower Glickman and Stoller still would have been successful.