Olympic espionage: US sprinter Dave Sime, the CIA and the 1960 Games
Some in the US saw the 1960 Olympics in Rome through the prism of the cold war, leaving Dave Sime to hunt both 100m glory and Ukrainians who might defect from the Soviet Union
In the late 1950s the greatest all-round athlete on the planet was a college kid called Dave Sime, from Fair Lawn, New Jersey. After high school he knocked back a $65,000 offer to join Major League Baseball’s New York Giants so he could go to Duke, where he played centre field and led the league’s batting averages. While he was there he took up track and field, and set world records over 100 yards, 220 yards and the low hurdles. He also played American football as wide receiver, and did it so well that the Detroit Lions drafted him after he graduated. Sime turned them down too, because he wanted to go to medical school, which he planned to do right after he competed at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.
And Sime had a secret. He also worked for the CIA.