The Index-Journal from ,  on February 5, 1984 · Page 19
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The Index-Journal from , · Page 19

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Sunday, February 5, 1984
Page 19
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I Th IndOT-Joumat, GrMnwood, S.C, Swu Fab. 5. 1M4 53 To Sarajevo , local history is worldly i A Ci,.t r. K By MURRAY OLDERMAN SARAJEVO, Yugoslavia (NEA) - During the desperately cold winter of 1942, Nazi Germany had overrun the Balkans and the Wehrmacht was entrenched in this ancient capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The First Proletariat Brigade, core of the Yugoslav resistance movement, was encircled in the mountains above Sarajevo and cut off from the main body of Gen. Tito's forces to the south. In a historic march, regarded as one of the highlights of this country's history, the raggedly clad, poorly equipped Yugoslav partisans moved stealthily across the Igman plateau on a promontory above the city. In the dead of night, with the temperature dropping to 10 degrees below zero, they slipped past elite German ski troops. The Yugoslavs descended into the valley through which courses the Mil jacka River in the heart of Sarajevo and boldly skirted the Nazi garrison while it slept. They rejoined Tito ( Josip Broz) and his partisans at Foca, some 30 miles away, to continue the resistance to the German invaders. The toll was severe: Almost 50 percent succumbed to frost bite and the rigors of the march. But the heroism of the escape is commemorated in small, pyramid-shaped stone memorials that dot the earth of the plain across which they moved. It is exactly here, at Veliko Polje (pronounced VEL-l-ko POLE yea), which means "large field," that the cross-country competition of the XlVth Winter Olympic Games will be held. Below, in the middle of Sarajevo, walking distance from the modern Skenderija, where the media of the sporting world (an expected 5,000 accredited journalists) will congregate in the press center, a modest bridge traverses the tranquil waters of the Miljacka (MEEL-YOTS-KA). As Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was crossing it one late June day in 1914, a young Serbian nationalist named Gavrilo Pincip stepped from the shadows of a building at the north end of the bridge and fired bullets that killed both the archduke and his wife. The assassination triggered World War I. Austria-Hungary declared war on neighboring Serbia a few days later, setting off a domino effect throughout Europe. This re mains the main reason people throughout the world know of Sarajevo. At the time of Princip's attack, this was a somnolent little city whose chief historical value was as a cultural meeting place of East and West. Through here has passed caravans from both directions, on their ways to and from the Ottoman and Roman empires. I Through here have coursed the Romans, Slavic hordes from the north, and Turks all bent on conquest. Finally it came under the thumb of the Austro-Hungarian rulers in the late 1800s. The residue of the Turks is a Moslem architectural influence seen in 100 sprinkled mosques from which rise distinctive minarets that dot the city's landscape. Bas-carsija the old city which forms the corps of the metropolis and contains an old-fashioned bazaar where craftsmen pound copper plates into intricate designs as they did centuries ago denotes the ancient traj ditions of Sarajevo, first settled in 1 ,000 B,C Around it, however, has risen a teeming, modern urban sprawl which has pushed its tentacles into all sections of the valley. Sarajevo, which had 80,000 residents when Tito's partisans came down from Igman in World War II, is now a beehive with a population of nearly 450,000. The dominant ethnic group is the Serbs, a dark-eyed branch of Slavic peoples. But also sprinkled here are the other ethnic branches which compose the heterogony of Yugoslavia the Croats (Olympic and communist leader Branko Mikulic is one of them), Bosnian Moslems, Slovenians, Macedonians, Montenegrins and Dalmatians. I asked Sanya, a tourist guide who was escorting us down Copper Alley in the Bas-carsija, "Are you Serbian?" "No," said Sanya, a student at the University of Sarajevo, enrollment 37,000. "I am atheist." This is the Iron Curtain. But for visitors from the West, the curtain is partially rolled up. They are greeted and treated amiably. Accommodations aren't luxurious, but they are adequate, for tourism is an important industry. There is even a new Holiday Inn on the main route, distinguished by a gaudy yellow exterior. Handicraft goods, especially copper and leather, are plentiful and reasonably priced. Like all sprouting Eastern bloc cities, Moslem influence The skyline of Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, host of the XlVth Winter Olympics, is dotted by Moslem mosques. Fif teenth-centry Turkish settlers from the east had a strong cultural and architectural influence. Today a modern urban sprawl dominates the city of nearly 450,000 people. (NEA photo) there are endless rows of boring, monochromatic high rises, clustered in complexes. And there are the ills of urban growth : Coal and kerosene are burned in Sarajevo in the winter, sending a gray pall over the city. In can be cold and grim. The mountains which form a necklace around Sarajevo are subject to the whims of sudden storms. Winter sports are relatively new here. Of the four mountains that contain most of the Olympic venues, only Jahorina (JA-hor' eena), where the women's Alpine events will be staged, was previously developed for skiing. New facilities for such varied activities as men's Alpine races, ski jumping, biathlon, cross-country skiing, bobsledding and luge have been carved from Bjelasnica (Byay- LAHSH-nit-sa), Igman aand Trebevic (Treh-BEV-itch) since 1978. Skiing in Yugoslavia used to be restricted to the province of Slovenia, north of the city of Ljubljana, nestled close to the Austrian and Italian Alps. Staging the Winter Olympics around a hub city such as Sarajevo is a modern development. Only Sapporo, Japan, site of the 1972 Games, exceeded it in size for a host location. The Olympics have drifted away from cozy places like St. Moritz and Squaw Valley (Lake Placid was a small-town exception, and not a totally successful experiment). Now Vucko (VOOCH-KO) the Wolf, the official mascot of the XlVth Winter Olympiad, welcomes one and all to his lair in the Balkans. Eligibility of several hockey players questioned Egyptian skier breaks new ground SARAJEVO, Yugoslavia (AP)-If the ancient disciplinary ritual of the Upper Nile still carries any power, beware of 18-year-old skier Jamil el Reedy during the XIV Winter Olympics. The only Egyptian ever entered in the Winter Games, Jamil is ready -after being left in a cave in the middle of the Sahara Desert for 40 days, surrounded by snakes and scorpions, and later forced to spend two hours scrubbing a bathroom with a toothbrush and detergent. "Physical preparedness is one thing," said his father, bearded Hatem el Reedy, "but it cannot compensate for mental training. This has nothing to do with skiing only the mind and soul. "It's a science handed down by generations It will make Jamil a more formidable competitor." Jamil's full name is Jamil Omar Hatem Abdullaleem Jamiul Abdul-malik Omar Mohammed el Reedy. "Just call me Jamil el Reedy for short. My friends do," said the 145-pounder who long has called Pittsburgh, N.Y., home. He speaks very little Arabic. When the men's Alpine events are raced down Mount Beljasnica during the Games, Jamil will compete in all three disciplines the downhill, the slalom and the giant slalom. And his route to the top of the mountain is a story that would excite the most gifted of fiction writers. His father, a Muslim, is a writer who worked for a Middle East feature service in Cairo. His mother is an American, the former Judith Marie Ryan of Pittsburgh, who taught English at the American university in Cairo. Jamil was very young in 1967 when his mother packed him and his younger sister, Anna, and fled to the United States to escape the Six Day War. The father came later. The mother had the children baptized as Roman Catholics. Jamil entered school in Pittsburgh and learned to ski on Whitef ace Mountain in nearby Lake Placid. "It wasn't easy at first," Jamil said. "I was different from the other kids. I had a lot of fights. But after a while they accepted me." He became one of the star skiers of Mai High, a parochial school. When the 1980 Winter Games were staged at Lake Placid, Jamil virtually lived on the slopes. He took life-saving training and worked with the Blue Ski Patrol, a support service. "I would ride up the lifts with the skiers and talk with them," he recalled. "It was a great experience. Once I was in a seat just behind Ingemar Stenmark. We talked about 15 minutes, 10 minutes about skiing." Jamil decided he wanted to compete in the Olympics. Never having skied on the World Cup tour, he and his father knew he had no chance to make the U.S. team. So they resorted to Jamil's Egyptian citizenship. "I know an Egyptian skier in the Olvmpics sounds weird," the father said. "Wehear Jokes. 'Did he train by sliding down the Pyramids?' I laugh and say, 'Didn't you know? The pyramids have snow on top.' " Jamil had not returned to his birthplace since moving to the U.S., but his father quickly changed that. "I decided that Jamil's hopes lay in strengthening his mind with the regimen Egyptians follow in Upper Egypt," he said. "It seems very cruel and pagan but it is just the opposite. It is a cleansing process that brings the man to the real earth and to God. " Two months ago, the father flew his son to the cauldron heat, sands and wind of his native land. He took him to a remote spot in the desert and left him in a cave alone, equipped only with food, water and other basic provisions. There he was to sit and meditate for 40 days. "The ritual was broken down into four parts," the father said. "The first, a little more than a week, was the hell part. It was the "Trial of Fears.' He was to get adjusted to the sounds of the desert, the whispers of the wind, and blowing of the sand, the crawling scorpions. He was to sit and meditate. "The next phase was acclimatization of the environment. Aloneness with God. A feeling of miniscule importance. Next came the draining of all prejudices and fears with a buildup of an energy force. "Lastly, it involved plugging into this energy. It was like filling an empty cup with things that have meaning the sun, breathing, wind, dust, the natural elements. "The final of the 40 days involved an exercise in prayer what we call mantra, a humming of 'Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar' to store the spirit." Returning to Pittsburgh, the father felt that the discipline built up in the desert must not be lost at home, v, "We made Jamil wash dishes after every meal," he said. "That's a woman's job. It kept him humble. Then I gave him a toothbrush and a can of Comet (detergent) and told him to spend two hours cleaning the bathroom. If he could do it in half an hour, he failed. He had to brush for two hours." Jamil, a typical-looking teen-ager, with a shock of curly black hair, dark eyes and a boyish face, admitted that he was frightened at first by the desert ordeal. "I was afraid of the snakes and I kept expecting creatures to come out of the darkness," he said. "Sometimes I took short walks, but mostly I Sat. It was good. I learned that the only security is in the mind. "Today, I go to Beljasnica to ski. Maybe I will like it better than White-face. I won't worry about bad creatures." ; ' ' ' the same situation doesn't arise in 1988. "There shouldn't be a separate set of rules for any one country, ' ' he said. "And if the rules say you cannot use players who have signed contracts and are not reinstated amateurs, whatever the rule says, then just follow the rule ... If you want to change it, get together after these Olympic Games so everyone starts out equal. But don't try to change it in September when some people's programs are underway in June." Costello said that, if the International Olympic Committee disqualifies the four Canadian players, "then we would ask them to give us the same answer for other clubs. At least eight or nine of the 12 clubs could be questioned the same way." The U.S. Olympic Committee has said it would protest the presence on the Canadian roster of Mario Gosse-lin, Dan Wood, Don Dietrich and Mark Morrison. All signed professional contracts, and Morrison played nine games with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League. Costello said the four players would be included on Canada's final 20-man roster, which must be submitted by 2 p.m. EST Monday. The Canadians, who play the United States in their opening game Tuesday, have 24 players on their current roster. Asked whether the Canadian hockey team would withdraw if an American protest was successful, Costello said: "We'll have a hard decision to make. That's a possibility." He said he expected several protests against players on other teams if the Americans protest, regardless of the outcome. "Because of the time element involved, they will all be thrown into the hopper. There would be a number of nations protesting," Costello said. The Canadians contend that, because their own Olympic committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation had approved the four players, they should be allowed to participate in the Winter Games. Each nation is allowed to draw up its own eligibility rules, subject to IIHF approval. The Canadian rules allow players who have been in fewer than 10 NHL games to retain Olympic eligibility. Morrison is the only one of the four with NHL experience. Finland was thrust into the controversy Thursday when Willi Daume, head of the IOC's Eligibility Committee, questioned the eligibility of Finnish goalie Hannu Kamppure. He played one game in 1979 for the Edmonton Oilers of the old World Hockey Association. The Finns then said they were prepared to protest the amateur status of at least nine players from at least six other countries. Costello refused to identify either players or countries that might be involved in a Canadian counter-protest. But, when asked if it would be erroneous to say that four Amer icans would be included, he replied: "No." He also said that, with Soviet and other Eastern bloc players professionals in all but name, it was ironic that Canada was being questioned. "When was the last time anyone questioned the Soviets' eligibility?" he asked. He said Canada might take such action, but not at the 1984 Winter Games. Vairo and the U.S. team arrived Saturday from Vienna, just hours after the chairman of Hockey Canada, Justice W.Z. Estey, said Canadians were "the only good friends the Americans have on the face of the earth. They lose us, they won't have any friends left." Estey 's remarks seemed to strike Vairo the hardest. "I haven't read anything where we have said anything anti-Canadian, and that piece I read that this judge said Canada is the only good friend the United States has on the face of the earth. You better believe that that bothers me," Vairo said. "We have nothing to hide and no guilty consciences. We play by the rules." Vairo said international amateur hockey officials should now begin to clarify the eligibility matter, so that Could you Rebuild your House at Today's Prices? mm CaN on us tor .H your insurance. MIKE MEREDITH OiKptaza.DurftAv ttS-MNHomnt-iost I'll II HWW NATIONWIDE INSURANCE Nrtonwda on your nda NMommtt Mutual mturanc Company. NMontMd Mutual Fwa Wwuranoa Co . Nmcmw Lit "wane Company HomaOnica Columbua Orwj GREATER GREENWOOD YOUTH SOCCER LEAGUE 5 of the Month SARAJEVO, Yugoslavia (AP) -Canada may withdraw its hockey team from the Winter Olympic Games if four of its players are declared ineligible, the director of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association said Saturday. Murray Costello, the official, also said that, if the United States follows through on its threat to protest the players' eligibility, Canada would challenge the eligibility of players on eight or nine of the 12 teams in the Olympic hockey field. Four of those players are Americans, he said. Meanwhile, Lou Vairo, coachof the U.S. hockey team, said he was angry over the eligibility dispute "because it's degenerated ... into a name-calling, mud-slinging international disagreement between two friendly nations." U.S. hockey team arrives SARAJEVO, Yugoslavia (AP) -The U.S. Olympic hockey team, defending gold medalists, arrived here Saturday after having made its final roster cut to reach the 20-man limit. The team confirmed that its final cut was Tim Thomas, a utility man who played both forward and defense. Thomas flew home to the United States from Vienna Friday. U.S. Coach Lou Vairo brushed aside questions about a dispute between the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Canadians over the amateur status of four Canadian hockey players. Off Friday, that war of words escalated to include at least seven countries and perhaps a dozen players. "The guys are here to play hockey," Vairo said. "They're not worrying about who is eligible. We're in good shape, and we're playing well." "All of our players are eligible, so we're not concerned with any controversies," said Team USA General Manager Larry Johnson after the Americans arrived by train from Vienna. Soviets offer photo display at Winter Games SARAJEVO, Yugoslavia (AP) '1 An exposition of sports photography by the Soviet news agency Tass will be on display throughout the XIV Olympic Winter Games, the news agency announced Friday. The photographs, which will show the development of sports in the Soviet Union as well as the training of the athletes competing here, will go on display Saturday at the Saravejo Chess Club. The display will be updated throughout the next two weeks with fresh work of the Tass photographers covering the Games. - Player Registration Thru Feb. 11 Under Counter Light Parks & Recreation Dept. - Civic Center Reg. $14.59 $15 Registration Fee Registration - Mon.-Fri. 8:30-5:30 pm Sat. Feb. 4 & Feb. 11 - 10:00-2:00 pm Players must have state birth certificates. For information: Call 229-6622 ext. 215 or 229-4131 after 7:00 pm Interested coaches please call Gene Loos -229-41 31 after 7:00 pm 024-711 OILD CO. 233 Maxwell Ave. Greenwood Phone 223-4121 P

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