"I realize that it is still early in '94, but... Dan Jansen for Sportsman of the Year!"
JAMES R. EWING. LOS ANGELES
U.S. Ski Team
Your pre-Olympic article on the supposed weaknesses of the U.S. ski team (It's All Downhill, Feb. 7) was off the mark. Yes, the team has its problems, but to say, as you do in a photo caption, that Tommy Moe is "no soaring success story"—well, his gold medal in the downhill at the Games in Lillehammer (right) proves otherwise.
CARL HELMETAG, Colchester, Vt.
Former U.S. downhiller Doug Lewis is quoted as saying, "Until there's unconditional support of the athletes, we won't win and win again." E.M. Swift's story on the U.S. ski team is a perfect example of no support.
REIDAR SOLBERG, Bellingham, Wash.
As we have seen, Tommy Moe had just as much potential to win the gold in the downhill as anyone else. Thankfully, our athletes did not take your article to heart.
DAVID L. JACOBS, Boulder, Colo.
The article reminded me of that famous 1948 newspaper headline DEWEY
STEPHEN OBLAK, Edinburgh, Scotland
As someone else who has an unusual surname that sprang from Norwegian geography, I enjoyed Ron Fimrite's POINT AFTER on his Nordic roots (Feb. 7). Throughout my life I have had to pronounce my name and then spell it because the letters don't seem to go naturally together. Dokmo is the name of a village in northern Norway and is pronounced DOCK-moe.
Unlike Fimrite's family, my grandfather, who took the name when he emigrated from Norway at the turn of the century, and his descendants have stubbornly stuck with their unusual surname. My grandfather could have used a derivative of his father's name, Lars, but he thought it too common.
To me, my name has become a mantle of uniqueness and not a yoke of frustration. But please don't ask my wife what she thinks.
LEW DOKMO, Amherst, N.H.
I had much the same experience growing up, with my surname being mispronounced in homeroom at school and by every coach I ever had. Similar to the Fimreite family's problems with its extra e, my ancestors contemplated dropping the intrusive and bewildering j. After reading about Fimrite and his father's experience, I'm glad we kept the damned j.
LEO BRAJKOVICH, Chicago
I read your article Flight of the Finns (Feb. 7) and was troubled by your portrayal of Finland. I am an exchange student from Finland, and my father is the director of the Vuokatti Sports Institute, where the skiers of the Finnish Olympic teams train. Many of the things that you said about our athletes are restricted to only a few cases. All of my father's trainees are focused on making it to the Olympics, but they know that they can't be national heroes forever.