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Track and field's greatest dual meet is turning 50

Original post made on Jul 20, 2012

==I (This month marks the 50th anniversary of the famed 1962 U.S.-U.S.S.R. track and field meet at Stanford Stadium. This story originally appeared in the Peninsula Times Tribune in 1992.)==

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 19, 2012, 3:04 PM

Comments (4)

Posted by John , a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 20, 2012 at 10:58 am

A really great two days. I'll never forget it.


Posted by john, a resident of Woodside
on Jul 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Jordan Payton was incredible. Plus it's amazing what people can do when their governments get out of the way. Thanks for posting this uplifting story.


Posted by James Opp Smith, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Feb 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm

That was an excellent article that really captured the moment. I was in attendance as a 12-year-old with my parents. We lived in Los Altos Hills at the time; however, I now live in Montgomery, Alabama. My recollection of Valery Brumel's world record high jump remains seared into my memory as if it happened yesterday. Your description of the atmosphere leading up to and following it was spot on. It was the height of the Cold War and only a few months before the US and the USSR would face each other down over missiles in Cuba and move the nuclear clock to with a fraction of a second of doomsday. Although 99% of the spectators were US Citizens who had lived the past decade in the shadow of impending doom, there was a palpable sense of anticipation in the air that you could cut with a knife as Brumel readied himself for that jump. Although it certainly was unspoken as the stadium fell silent, there was an unmistakable feeling that 80,000 souls were collectively waiting for him to give us an opportunity to tear down the walls that divided the world. Seconds later, he did his part, and 80,000 spectators responded by doing theirs as they exploded in celebration. That moment was and remains magical.


Posted by Carl, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 22, 2014 at 5:32 pm

"Although 99% of the spectators were US Citizens who had lived the past decade in the shadow of impending doom, there was a palpable sense of anticipation in the air that you could cut with a knife as Brumel readied himself for that jump. Although it certainly was unspoken as the stadium fell silent, there was an unmistakable feeling that 80,000 souls were collectively waiting for him to give us an opportunity to tear down the walls that divided the world. Seconds later, he did his part, and 80,000 spectators responded by doing theirs as they exploded in celebration. That moment was and remains magical."

James Opp Smith,

Your summary captured the moment. I wasn't there, but I heard about it on the news. The Soviet system was on a roll, and it was, indeed, evil in many ways, but many of its people were not. That track meet captured the spirit of people meeting people.

Even Ronald Reagan, who won the Cold War, would probably have been among those who would shake Brumel's hand, if he had been there.


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