SI Vault
Edited by Jack McCallum and Richard O'Brien
May 27, 1996
Russian Roulette at Indy?
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
May 27, 1996


View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3

With that aim, Troy helped organize a squad of 62 swimmers, ages 31 to 58, nearly all of whom had swum for Counsilman and absolutely all of whom hold him in great esteem. As their mentor watched, Doc's Team—including Olympic medalists Gary Hall, 44, and Mike Stamm, 43—competed in the U.S. Master's Championship on May 9 to 12 at De Anza College in Cupertino, Calif. "To be there with all those people," says Doc's wife of 54 years, Marge, "was amazingly uplifting for him."

Troy and two other former Hoosiers, Mel Goldstein and George Quigley, came up with the concept of Doc's Team while visiting the Counsilmans in Bloomington just before Christmas of 1994 and finding that Doc was no longer the quick-witted, sprightly man they remembered. And now, at 75, he has extremely poor vision and suffers from Parkinson's disease and severe arthritis. "Sometimes you don't tell people how you feel about them until it's too late," says Quigley. "We couldn't let that happen."

Throughout the meet Counsilman was besieged by fans. The highlight came on the final day, when Counsilman, with a pull buoy between his legs to help compensate for his inability to kick (he has had metal supports implanted in his ankles because of his arthritis), went into the pool to compete in the 50-yard breaststroke and the 50 freestyle. The nearly 3,000 spectators got to their feet for those races. "Everything stopped," Troy says. "People stopped talking, vendors stopped selling. Everyone just watched Doc. When he was done with his second event, the ovation lasted a full two minutes. I think it made him realize how much he's touched people."

Bring Your Own Baton

The following appeal was sent out over the Internet's World Wide Web on May 12 by Zaki Alam, captain of the Johns Hopkins track and field team: "This is a call to all Bangladeshi runners (men). I am desperately trying to find two or three other Bangladeshi runners to put together a 4 X 400 (or 4 X 100) relay team for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. If you are or know a Bangladeshi athlete, please have him contact me immediately.... If enough people respond we will organize some sort of Olympic trial."

It turns out that officials in Bangladesh had already planned to field a 4 X 400 team, but Alam, 20, who has dual Bangladeshi/U.S. citizenship, hopes to improve the field. He says his time (an un-Olympian 48.0 for the 400) is good enough to qualify for the team, and what's more, he has gotten enthusiastic Web responses from "older guys who run 5Ks recreationally."

No Low Blows for Lobos

Imagine our shock. We pick up the new book by one of the biggest basketball stars in the country, eager to read about history-making on-court action—the rebounding, shot blocking and teamwork that go into a championship season—as seen through the eyes of a player who has been there. And what do we get? Confessions of cross-dressing and makeup use, discussions of sexuality and explicit kiss-and-tell scenes.

You say you've heard enough about Dennis Rodman? So have we. We're talking about The Home Team, cowritten by Rebecca Lobo, star of the 1995 NCAA champion Connecticut women's basketball team, and her mother, RuthAnn. The soon-to-be-released book stands as a relentlessly wholesome alternative to Rodman's best-selling Bad As I Wanna Be.

Cross-dressing? "I always felt very comfortable with myself, even in 'boy's clothes,' " writes the jeans-wearing Rebecca, who also recounts needing her teammates' help to handle the unfamiliar task of applying makeup for the ESPY awards. Sexuality? A section devoted to the topic of female athletes and femininity offers the assurance that "there's nothing masculine about being competitive." And kiss-and-tell? Well, the hot parts aren't exactly Dennis and Madonna. In sixth grade, while at the roller rink, Rebecca gives in to the pleadings of the shortest boy in her class and receives her first kiss, after which she says, "Let's go back out and skate."

Continue Story
1 2 3