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A Symbol and a Word

Through the year or perhaps in a single superlative performance he has achieved that degree of excellence which is suggested by the ancient Greek concept of arete—a unity of virtues of mind and body to which the complete man of every age must aspire. The victory may have been his, but it is not for the victory alone that he is honored. Rather, it is for the quality of his effort and the manner of his striving. Whether it was over an extended period or only for an hour or an instant, his performance was such that his fellowmen could not fail to recognize it as the revelation of pure excellence—arete. His ideal, if only at the instant of rising above himself, was the ageless ideal that in giving his best of body and spirit, he was honoring all men. Thus, it is fitting that the symbol of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's annual award to the Sportsman of the Year is a Grecian amphora, or vase, with a sport motif. It has been dated by Dietrich von Bothmer, Curator of Greek and Roman Art at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, at about 510 B.C. Its decoration, by an unknown artist of Attica, the peninsula which was the site of the city-state of Athens, portrays discus and javelin throwers and a sprinter and a trainer. The original, which has been acquired by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, is on permanent display in the Time & Life Building in New York. A reproduction is presented to each Sportsman of the Year. Those who have already qualified for this award are:

1954 Roger Bannister
1955 John Podres
1956 Bobby Joe Morrow
1957 Turn the page to meet the man SPORTS ILLUSTRATED believes best exemplifies the ideals of arete.