The XVIII Olympiad

By Franklin L. Orth, NRA Executive Vice President

On October 24, 1964, a proud and happy group of American athletes mingled with those form other countries at the impressive Closing Ceremony at the XVIII Olympiad held, for the first time in Asia, in Tokyo, Japan. Among the very proudest - and justly so - was the squad of shooters when represented the United States against the best marksmen of all nations. When "cease firing" had sounded on the ranges, the tally showed an American total of two gold medals, two silver medals and three bronze medals gathered in the six shooting events on the Olympic program. This represented one-third of the gold, one-third of the silver and one-half of the bronze medals available in the shooting competitions of the Olympic Games in Tokyo [October 15 - 20]. No other national shooting squad even approached this record.

I had the very great pleasure of working with this outstanding Olympic team of ours in action at Tokyo. Because I served in several capacities during the Olympic Games, I had a unique opportunity to observe the over-all operations of the Games and all of our American Olympic athletes, as well as our fine team of shooters. I had the rare privilege of being selected by the United States Olympic Committee board of Directors as one of a five-member Administration Committee charged with the over-all direction of the hundreds of American representing this country in all events in the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Committee consisted of Robert J. Kane, Director of Athletics, Cornell University, Chairman; Admiral Thomas J. Hamilton, USN (Ret.), Commissioner, Pacific Coast University Football League; Franklin L. Orth, Executive Vice President, National Rifle Association of America; Pincus Sober, New York Attorney, Past President, AAU; and Albert F. Wheltle, Baltimore Attorney, Past President, AAU. This Committee worked in complete harmony throughout the Olympic Games in Tokyo under the inspired leadership of its Chairman, Robert Kane. In this connection it should be understood that President "Tug" Wilson and other officers were busily engaged with numerous official functions including meetings of the International Olympic Committee. U.S.O.C. Executive Director, J. Lyman Bingham, acted as Team Chef de Mission and Art Lentz, Assistant Executive Director, did a splendid job with TV, Radio and Press.

The results - shown by the steady parade of Americans to the gold medal award dais and in the unprecedented number of shattered Olympic and World records - testified both to the effective training which brought out team members to the peak performance at the right time and to the determination by the individuals to win. This was not lackadaisical team. Athletes, coaches and all had responded tremendously to public debates and desires expressed so often over the past several years. Remember, U.S. Olympic prospects were not considered at all rosy a year ago - in fact "dismal" was the descriptive term bandied about most frequently on the home front.

This XVIII Olympic Games, for the first time in history, was being held in an Asian city. Tokyo and Japan did such an outstanding job of preparing for and conducting the Games that future Olympic hosts will be hard put to match their accomplishments.

A tremendous building program, in preparation for the Games, was instituted several years ago. New hotels were built. Unique expressways and wider streets were constructed - called the "Olympic Roads," they are the first stage of gigantic civil projects for the modernization of the Tokyo transportation system. The new 310-mile Tokaido Line of the Japan National Railways ran super express trains in the Tokyo-Osaka area. The first commercial mono-railway began operation between the International Airport and Central Tokyo.

The Japanese also took this opportunity to demonstrate their friendship and hospitality. In addition to the established contests of the Games they presented demonstrations of baseball, Kyudo archery, Sumo wrestling and Kendo swordsmanship. An Olympic Variety Festival provided performances of Kabuki and Gazaku theater, intricate puppet shows, classical and folk songs and dances, and special art and commercial exhibits. A large number of young Japanese students served as interpreters for all nations.

Since my return from the wonderfully organized Olympic Games in Tokyo the question most frequently encountered has been this, "How do you account for the tremendous resurgence of American athletes in the XVIII Olympiad?" This is not a simple one to answer. It varies from sport to sport. It is most complex as it involves not only 20 odd sports, but the individual athletes in each event. Before I discuss any of this detail one observation is called for and is, without contradiction, - the "espirt de corps" of the United States teams and officials was superlative!

I suppose that it might be fairly said that the victories in Tokyo were forged in Rome. The entire U.S. Olympic Delegation left Rome with a determination to correct our deficiencies. It was apparent that the United States traditionally concentrated and did well in track & field (athletics), swimming, rowing, shooting, yachting, basketball, boxing, wrestling and modern pentathlon, but that we were completely out classed in cycling, fencing, field hockey, canoeing, soccer football, volleyball and Greco-Roman wrestling. The U.S. Olympic Committee has grappled with this problem for four years and some improvements have been made. In the interim a thorough management study has been undertaken by the Olympic Committee in the best American free enterprise tradition. An analysis of the problems faced in building up participation in amateur Olympic sports in a country that loves its own sports (e.g., football and baseball) has been undertaken by engaging the services of an outstanding management engineering firm, Arthur D. Little, Inc., of Boston, Mass. This organization has General James M. Gavin (former Chief of Research & Development, Department of the Army, and former Ambassador to France) as Chairman of the Board. He is a very keen intellectual, alert to spotting and solving knotty problems, and his staff, headed by Dr. Bruce Old, are also razor sharp.

It is anticipated that the management report will be ready before the end of 1964 for consideration by the Olympic Committee Board of Directors. As Chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee Sports Foundation Study Committee, I will have the opportunity and responsibility to review the report and recommendations of General Gavin's fine organization with my Committee for final presentation to the U.S.O.C. Board of Directors. I am extremely anxious that our efforts be meaningful and helpful to the Olympic movement in the United States.

Since Rome another very important development has occurred - namely, the appointment of the Interagency Committee on International Athletics in the Federal Government, by Executive Order No. 11117, signed by President John F. Kennedy on 13 August 1963. This Committee is headed by an able, tough-minded former athlete form Harvard University, Nicholas Rodis, of the State Department. The objectives of this Committee are to assist amateur athletics in the International field as a way of presenting democracy and the American way of life to foreign nations. The purpose of this body is not to interfere with the operations and control of sports by the sports governing-bodies having the franchise to select and train the teams in International sports in the United States, as some have alleged.

The Interagency Committee has been very helpful in obtaining visas for sports groups and in informing our U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad of the arrival of our teams and the importance of their proper acceptance with appropriate honors and recognition in foreign lands. They have also served a most useful function in keeping U.S. Delegates to International Sports Assemblies abreast of current U.S. foreign policy in all areas of interest to the United States.

An article about the Asaka rifle and pistol ranges appeared in the August 1964 issue of THE RIFLEMAN. At that time the ranges pictured were under construction. By October they were finished, painted, grass had grown, and all installations on these five ranges were complete. The Tokorozawa Clay Pigeon ranges, built in what had been a rice paddy, were a fine, modern shooting installation.

Organization of the rifle and pistol events was supervised by the National Rifle Association of Japan. Score keeping and range operations were accomplished by the officers and men of the Japan Ground Self Defense Forces. The Clay Pigeon Association of Japan organized the shotgun event and operation was handled by the officers and men of the Japan Air Self Defense Forces. There were no complaints of official protests from the standpoint of organization and operation during the entire period of practice and competition, which constitutes a great tribute to our Japanese friends.

Weather was excellent with the exception of one day. On the day of the firing of the free pistol match it turned cold and rainy, but in all other respects nothing more could be desired by the competitors.

Our U.S. riflemen dominated the three rifle events. A gold medal (Gary L. Anderson) and a bronze medal (Martin I. Gunnarsson) in the 300 meter free rifle match; a silver medal (Lones W. Wigger, Jr.) and a bronze medal (Tommy G. Pool) in the prone, small bore match; and a gold medal (Wigger) in the 3-position small bore match represented the United States rifle awards. This gave the American team five of the nine possible medals in the rifle events, together with three new World Records. We were allowed only four competitors in six entries in the rifle events and five Olympic medals were garnered. The hardest pill of all to swallow was that of Lones Wigger who tied for the new World Record with 597 in the Small Bore Porne Match and received a Silver Medal. The tie breaking procedure gave not only the same score (597) but the same number of pinpoint X's (15). The officials then awarded the match to the Hungarian on having shot one more point in the final string of ten shots.

Our pistol shooters were not equally fortunate. Franklin C. Green shot extremely well to capture the silver medal in the free pistol, outranking Yoshikawa of Japan who had won second place in this same event during the World Championships at Cairo in 1962. It should be noted that Bill McMillan fired a score of 586, just one point under his gold medal score at Rome which had tied the Olympic record. At Tokyo the first seven competitors broke the existing Olympic record and the next three tied it.

The shooting at Tokyo produced another rather unusual result. Although strong in these events throughout modern history, riflemen from Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Great Britain and Norway failed to win a single medal. Finland, however, won two gold medals, capturing first place in both pistol events.

The clay pigeon or international trap event was most exciting and wound up with a dramatic conclusion. The great Italian trap shooter, Mattarelli, produced a new Olympic record of 198. The next three high shooters ended in a three-way tie - (Senichev, U.S.S.R., Morris, U.S.A., and Rossini, Italy). This required a shoot off and the crowd in the viewing stands were wild with enthusiasm. Galliano Rossini had taken the Olympic Gold Medal in 1956, when he had established the previous record, but on this day he dropped 2 birds on the shoot off thus eliminating him and putting him in fourth place. Our own Bill Morris dropped one while Senichev went clean. Thus the silver medal went to the U.S.S.R. and the bronze medal to the U.S.A., our first Olympic Medal in Clay Pigeon since 1920. William C. Morris, III did a fine job for the United States and will be a power to be reckoned with in all future International events.

Our hats are off to Colonel Tom Sharpe, U.S.A., and Lieutenant Colonel Fred Keifer, U.S.A., for the fine job they did as Captain and Manager of a wonderful shooting team. Otto Finley and Mike Tipa acted as I.S.U. officials and performed a splendid service for all International shooters in a spirit of justice and true sportsmanship.

There was something about the quiet determination of Gary Anderson that affected the whole team. I saw some of their scores in the final practice periods and they were unbelievably excellent. I was afraid that they might have gone past their peak before the competitions, but they did not. They were calm, controlled - the long months of training paid off. I can only say that no man on that team let us down - they were tremendous - not only by themselves, but in supporting each other.

The outstanding showing by our shooters is not only attributable to the skill and effort by these exceptional team members but it also is proof that the development plans instituted and emphasized after the World Shooting Championships at Cairo, Egypt, 1962, have been fruitful. By introducing a modified course of fire similar to international course into our competitive program, (especially in the collegiate field) and by our national international-type championships, encouragement has been given to this style of shooting.

Our two gold medal winners at Tokyo - each with new Olympic and World Records to his credit - Anderson and Wigger - both young college men. Although military-connected in our National Guard and Army Reserve Forces, these champions are essentially civilians.

The outstanding help given and participation in international shooting by the military cannot be discounted. The international shooting game has benefited greatly because of this fine coaching. The Army gave polish to the skill of these two riflemen, but the greater part of their development toward this pinnacle of success in marksmanship came to them as civilians.

As a member of the Executive Committee of the International Shooting Union I attended meetings devoted to the programs and plans for the future. Judge Barlett Rummel, NRA President, also most ably represented our American shooters in the meetings of the I.S.U. General Assembly, which governs all international shooting competition. During these meetings it was decided that the 1965 Moving Target Championships should be held at Santiago, Chile in the month of November and the 1966 World Shooting Championships would be held at Wiesbaden, West Germany in July, 1966. We all remember that the Continental Games will be held in 1967 - the Pan American Games in August in Winnipeg, Canada. The Olympic Games will be held in Mexico City, Mexico, in October, 1968. Thus our four year International Program has been set and stands approved for all of us to contemplate. It is my sincere hope that many of our young shooters will train and prepare themselves for the International Elimination Trials in order to qualify for representing the United States in these International events.

While we may justifiably be very proud of our present victory, the great task still lies ahead. The USSR and the satellite States are embarrassed at the failure of the regimented system of mass athletic participation to succeed in Tokyo. The boast that the USSR alone would take 50 gold medals was rudely shaken for all the world to see in Tokyo. Our 36 gold medals compared with 30 gold medals for the USSR is now established in history. We may therefore expect to see in shooting and all other fields of sport a redoubling of efforts by the Soviet Union, Communist satellites and Communist oriented countries to win at Mexico City. Our own challenge it temporary - we must continue to analyze our problems in each sport, increase the facilities in areas where we presently have little or no participation, furnish the best coaching available for our eager youngsters and the future will take care of itself. Each sport governing-body must determine its own requirements. With the fine example of successful administration in sports like swimming, no sport should lack free advice, guidance and assistance. There is no state-oriented regimentation of athletics desired or necessary in the United States. We do, however, have the job of making international-type shooting and 20 other Olympic sports available from coast to coast to our fine young American athletes.

Healthy competition and a desire to win are good for producing excellence in any field. This is very true in sports and marksmanship in particular, as in other areas. We all recognize that underlying all of this fine Olympic effort is a true feeling of brotherhood among all men. The shooters of the world have been well led by a fine group of International Shooting Union officers headed by the President, Dr. Kurt Hasler. His service has been outstanding. We also recognize the fine organization and financial responsibility resulting from the administration of Ernst Zimmermann, as Secretary General. With the prospect of further gains in sportsmanship and good fellowship in the years to come, all the fine shooters representing the many nations of the world should be welded together to produce peace and good will among men.

American Rifleman, Vol. 112, No. 12, December 1964


U.S. Shooting Team

Rifle Members

Gary L. Anderson, Martin I. Gunnarsson, Tommy G. Pool and Lones W. Wigger, Jr.

Pistol Members

Franklin C. Green, William W. McMillan, Jr., Thomas D. Smith, III and Edwin L. Teague

Trap Members

Frank Little and William C. Morris, III

Team Management & Support

Thomas J. Sharpe (Team Captain), Frederick J. Keifer, Jr. (Team Manager & Adjutant)
and Louis J. Willing (Team Armorer)

McMillan To Defend Olympic Pistol Title

Quantico's Captain William McMillan Jr., who has won just about every pistol title known, will be Olympic bound for the second time in his career as a Marine officer.

McMillan, who is recognized as one of the all-time pistol greats, won his Olympic berth after bettering Armed Forces shooters in the U.S. Rapid Fire Pistol Match held at Ft. Benning, Ga., Monday, July 6.

His blistering score of 1766 out of 1800, besides insuring him a trip to Japan this fall, will also give him a chance to defend the title he won during the 1960 Olympics held in Rome, Italy.

McMillan won his rapid fire gold medal during the '60 World Games in a special shoot off after he and two others had tied scores of 587 out of 600 over the regular course. The captain supplied the knot breaker with an astounding 147 out of 150.

During his pistol shooting career, McMillan's travels have taken him to Egypt where he participated in the World Championship Matches; Brazil, where he faced international shooters in the Pan American Games; and in 1958, McMillan garnered the World Championship Pistol Match in Moscow, Russia.

A pistol isn't the captain's only specialty. Like all Marines, McMillan has shown proficiency with a rifle. In 1961, he fired with the Marine team that won the famed Edson Trophy and then joined forces with the Elliott Trophy winners. During May of the same year, at the Marine Corps matches, McMillan fired a pistol aggregate of 581x600 and a rifle aggregate of 586x600 to win Individual Championship. He was also awarded the Lauchheimer Trophy for the third consecutive time.

His Distinguished badges include Pistol (USMC), Rifle (USMC) and Pistol (International).

Some of McMillan's other accomplishments include: The National Pistol Trophy (1963); Mid-Atlantic Pistol Tourney (1963); and a commendation by the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, General David M. Shoup.

Quantico Sentry, July 10, 1964

McMillan Again Wins Olympic Pistol Berth

WASHINGTON - Capt. William W. McMillan, Jr., the Marine Corps' premier handgun marksman, again has won the U.S. rapid fire pistol title at the 1964 United States International Shooting Championships and Olympic tryout finals at Ft. Benning, Ga.

McMillan's 1766x1800 score also assured him a trip to Japan this fall to defend the Olympic title he won at Rome in 1960.

McMillan, who is recognized as one of the United States' all-time great pistol shooters, won the rapid fire gold medal in Rome with a 147x150 score in a special shoot off after he and two others tied at 587x600 over the regular course.

McMillan is a member of the Marine Corps Marksmanship Training Unit at Quantico.

Navy Times, July 29, 1964

U.S. Pins Hopes on Marine

Marine Shooter Eyes 2d Gold Medal

TOKYO (AP) - A sharpshooting U.S. Marine who in 1960 won a gold medal in the Rome Olympics looms as America's biggest hope to win another this October in the 50-meter [Correction 25-meter] automatic pistol event during the 1964 Tokyo Olympiad.

He's Capt. William McMillan - a tough pistol shooter of Turtle Creek, Pa. - who blasted his way to victory with a score of 587 points in the Rome shoot offs to send top-rated Pentti Linnosvuo of Finland, and A. Zabelin of Russia down to defeat.

McMillan, who emphasizes physical conditioning as the key to successful shooting, will share the 1964 Olympic shooting spotlight with Gary Anderson, a 24-year-old Hastings, Neb., Theological College senior and Nebraska National Guardsman.

Anderson, of Axtell, Neb., wears a six-pound shooting jacket and two additional sweat suits when he goes on the firing line to insure himself that nothing - not even his heartbeat - will disturb his firing.

"My greatest thrill would be winning an Olympic gold medal," says Anderson, "because I've won just about every other medal." Neither of America's shooting stalwarts will be alone when the time comes to "put it on the line" at the Tokyo Olympics Asaka shooting range.

They'll be backed up by some of the finest shooting talent in American today - seven military and one civilian - who all won their shooting spurs in the U.S. international shooting competition and Olympic tryouts staged recently at Fort Benning, Ga.

In addition to McMillan and Anderson, they are:

- Army Sergeant Martin Gunnarsson of Sedalia, Colo.

- Frank Little, Endicott, N.Y.

- Army 1st Lt. William Morris, Bartlesville, Okla.

- Air Force S/Sgt. Edwin Teague, Chandler, Ariz.

- Air Force Capt. Franklin C. Green, Phoenix, Ariz.

- Air Force Capt. Thomas Smith, San Antonio, Tex.

- Army Capt. Tommy Pool, Groom, Tex.

- 1st Lt. Lones Wigger, Carter, Mont.

Gunnarsson will be Anderson's running mate in the free rifle competition during the Olympics. Little, a tool making and tool designing student for IBM in his home town, was 1962 and 1963 New York state clay pigeon champ and was a member of the U.s. shooting team which captured the team event at Oslo, Norway.

Morris, a runner-up during the U.S. international shooting competition at Fort Benning, is considered a tough customer who always performs steadily. An Army reservist, he'll be on active duty during the Olympics to represent the U.S.

Teague - who will be McMillan's running mate in the rapid fire pistol event - is a very steady shot with the pistol and emphasizes mental control as the key to winning any shoot. He is stationed at Lackland AFB, Tex., and the U.S. Air Force marksmanship headquarters.

Green, who also shoots with the Lackland AFB Marksmanship Unit, drives a hard bargain on the firing line.

Smith, runner-up to Green in the U.S. international free pistol event, is capable on any given day of bettering Green's score and along with Green is considered a threat for top honors in the Olympic shoot. He is also with the Lackland marksmanship unit.

Pool, a member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, was behind after the first two days of the U.S. international, but roared back to snare the international three-position small bore rifle title with an aggregate score of 3,455 out of a possible 3,600.

Wigger earned a berth on the Olympic three-position small bore team when he won a 60-shot shoot off with Capt. Presley Kendall, Myers, Ky. He is also a member of the marksmanship unit at Fort Benning.

Stars & Stripes, August 19, 1964

U.S., Russ Shooters To Duel It Out

TOKYO (AP) - About 200 crack shots from 58 nations will begin lining up their rifle and pistol sights at Japan's ultra-modern Asaka Olympic Shooting Range Thursday.

There are six gold medals at stake.

It seems almost certain that the two leading contenders - the U.S. and the USSR - will account for at least one gold medal apiece and possibly two.

But there's every  possibility that Japan, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Finland, Nationalist China, the Philippines, France and Australia will make their presence known - if not in gold medals, certainly in silver and bronze ones.

Undoubtedly the strongest entered are the U.S. and Soviet teams, both heavy in Olympic and world shooting experience.

Top man on the U.S. Olympic shooting team - if there is "top" man, is Marine Capt. William McMillan of Turtle Creek, Pa., who earned a gold medal for the U.S. by firing a 587 in a three-way shoot off during the Rome Olympics in 1960.

His counterpart on the Soviet team is Viktor Shamburkin, Leningrad teacher who fired a gold medal score of 1,149 at Rome in the small-bore rifle event in which he was world champion in 1958.

But McMillan's most direct and stiffest competition will probably come from the Soviet master in pistol shooting, Alexandr Zablin - who fired the same score as McMillan at Rome, but lost out on an technicality for failing to get his final shot off in the prescribed time. This cost Zabelin a gold medal and dropped him into third place for a bronze medal.

The net result left McMillan first and Finland's Pentti Linnosvuo second.

All three of these crack shots are tuning up at the Asaka range for what could become the greatest and most exciting pistol contest of Olympic record.

Both the U.S. and the Soviet Union will commit a great deal more talent to the firing line when shooting begins in earnest.

The American team also boasts Gary Anderson, winner of four gold medals in 1962 at the World Shooting Championships at Cairo in which he also set three new world records, and U.s. Army 1st Lt. Lones Wigger, Carter, Mont., who in practice here has already beat, unofficially, Anderson's world record 1,157 by 13 points.

On the other side of the card, the Soviets have Shamburkin and his running mate, Vladimir Chuyan, a Soviet soldier who turned in a championship performance in 1963 at the U.S.S. R. championships in the small-bore prone rifle event.

Stars & Stripes, October 12, 1964

54 in Armed Forces Compete in Olympics

LOS ANGELES - Fifty-four members of the Armed Forces are in Tokyo as part of the 290-member men's team that will represent the U.S. at the Olympics starting October 11.

Among the 54 are nine men who also represented the U.S. in the Olympics in Rome in 1960. They include Marine Capt. William W. McMillan, gold medalist in rapid fire pistol, and Army PFC Robert D. Webster, gold medalist in 10-meter platform diving.

IN THE TRIALS Armed Forces entrants display their greatest strength in decathlon, shooting, diving, boxing, modern pentathlon, and rowing. They won all three places on the decathlon team, nine of the 10 places on the shooting team, placed three men on the diving team, won seven of the 10 weight divisions in boxing, three of the four positions in modern pentathlon, and placed eight men in the rowing events.

The total of 54 compares favorably with the showing of servicemen in 1960, when 61 qualified. If some of the principals become ill or injured, more Armed Forces competitors may have an opportunity to compete as alternates in boxing, judo, gymnastics, fencing and basketball.

Broken down, the Army led placing men on the team with 27, followed by the Air Force with 14, Marines with seven and the Navy with six.

IT REMAINED for a Marine to be crowned king of the hard luck guys in this year's trials. LCpl. Dave Davis, injured in competitive trails, nevertheless missed winning a third place and a trip to Tokyo when he was beaten by the veteran Parry O'Brien by only one-foot, two-inches. In 1960, Davis made the team, subsequently was injured and missed out on the trip to Rome.

Navy Times, October 14, 1964

Boots Worth Weight In Pistol Gold Medal

TOKYO (AP) Finland's Pentti Linnosvuo, who carries his 11-month-old baby girl's boots with him for luck, took the rapid-fire pistol event Monday with a new Olympic gold medal score of 592.

Linnosvuo trumped U.S. Marine Capt William McMillan who in 1960 beat him in a three-way shoot off that gave McMillan the gold medal with a score of 587.

Stars & Stripes, October 22, 1964

25 Meter Rapid-Fire Pistol
Rank Name Country 1st Stage 2nd Stage Total Points
1 Pentti Linnosvuo Finland 297 295 592
2 Ion Tripsa Romania 295 296 591
3 Lubomir Macovsky Czechoslovakia 294 296 590
4 Hans Albrecht Switzerland 295 295 590
5 Szilard Kun Hungary 293 296 589
6 Marcel Rosca Romania 294 294 588
7 Igor Bakalov U.S.S.R. 294 294 588
8 Kanji Kubo Japan 292 295 587
9 Ladislav Falta Czechoslovakia 293 294 587
10 Anthony Clark Great Britian 293 294 587
11 Hansruedi Schneider Switzerland 294 292 586
12 Willam McMillan U.S.A. 293 293 586
17 Edwin Teague U.S.A. 293 290 583

(Source: U.S. Olympic Committee Quadrennial Report)

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