East Germany's recent record in sport has been out of all proportion to its 17-million population.
TV PAN Marlies Oelsner (No.88 in lane 4) winning women's 100 metres in world record time
CU Electronic time indicator showing seconds
TV Oelsner being congratulated by other competitors
GV & SV EXTERIOR Leipzig Sports Academy (2 shots)
CU Academy emblem
LV PAN INTERIOR swimmers in pool
SV Children watching
TV PAN Diving pool with boards at both ends
LV ZOOM IN Boy poised on diving board
SV (Same Shot) Boy performs dive
GV EXTERIOR PAN OVER Sports complex buildings and track
SV & CU INTERIOR Athletes relaxing in lounge (2 shots)
SV PAN INTERIOR Library
CU Sports magazines in several languages
CU PAN Junior instruction books
LV & SV Women's handball match in progress in large gymnasium (5 shots)
SV EXTERIOR Marlies Oelsner receiving medal on rostrum
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Background: East Germany's recent record in sport has been out of all proportion to its 17-million population. In the 1972 Olympics in Munich, it came third in the medals table, behind only the two giant, the Soviet Union and the United States. Last year at Montreal, it did even better, coming second to the Soviet Union in gold medals. Now, all the resources of a massive state-run sports organisation are being concentrated on producing new stars for Lake Placid and Moscow in 1980.
SYNOPSIS: A new world record was set at the national championships in Dresden last month, when 18-year-old Marlies Oelsner won the women's 100 metres in 10.88 seconds.
No woman had ever broken 11 seconds before. Marlies, like the other young stars of East Germany, was the product of a system which provides special sports schools, for which promising children are selected from the age of eight; and special clubs, known as "high performance centres", with all the facilities for developing olympic champions.
At the pinnacle of the organisation is the Sports Institute in Leipzig, with its statues illustrating the East German ideal of Socialism developing through sport. Its name, in German: Deutsche Hochschule fuer Korperkultur.
It has first-class facilities for training, but a great deal else goes on at the Institute. It is also a research centre, where medical experts study the effects of training on swimmers and athletes, and work out how to extend their capabilities to the highest state of perfection of which they are capable.
This aspect of the Institute's work is not shown to the public. But it proudly shows its fine new diving pool, and the standards that its students achieve. Some of them go on to become the country's top coaches at the sports schools and special training clubs.
Altogether, the Institute covers 40 acres (16 hectares) and has ten indoor training halls for its students. This was holiday time, with only a few students in residence to help with the Spartakiad -- the big youth sports festival. Normally there would be about 4-thousand of them.
They have the use of a library of 75-thousand books in several languages. Though the majority of the students are German, some come from other East European countries, and a few from Asia or Africa. To coincide with the Spartakiad, an exhibition has been mounted.
The students pay nothing for their tuition and a modest sum (about 30 U.S. dollars a month) for board and lodging. But they're expected to cooperate with experiments in programming athletes for improved performance. Several athletes and one doctor who have left East Germany have alleged that these include the use of drugs. But the medical chief at Leipzig has denied this. Their methods, he said, are purely psychological, not biological or chemical.
However it is done, the object is to produce gold medallists, and world-beaters like Oelsner, for East Germany