The Olympics: In the High, Thin Air

Ever since Mexico City was chosen as the site of the 1968 Olympics, athletes and their coaches all over the world have been concerned about how performance may be affected by the 7,434-ft. altitude. Sportsmen in low-lying Britain and Belgium, with no facilities at hand for high-altitude training, have gone so far as to suggest moving the Olympic endurance events to sea level—say, steaming Veracruz. An eminent American physiologist has proposed that the U.S. establish a base camp, Everest style, on the Mexican coast, and fly athletes to Mexico City on split-second timing to compete during the first hour...

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