Gwen Torrence seems to think that she is the only one who has worked hard to win and that others got their medals as a gift.
ELIZABETH T. BOGREN, BROOKLYN
World's Fastest Woman
Your article makes it sound as though Gwen Torrence is, more than anything else, spoiled (She Stands Alone, June 10) Her high school coach had to drive her to and from practice and coach her individually, just to get her to come out for track? It appears she started demanding the special treatment of a pro athlete at an early age. When she loses, she takes it upon herself to accuse the winners of using drugs and then defends her action as some sort of statement to "get control of the drug problem." The sad part is that it is her physical abilities alone which permit her to behave in such a manner. Our society seems willing to allow any kind of behavior in its athletes, provided they are good enough.
CRAIG N. DEARMOND, Danville, Ill.
I really enjoyed the article about my favorite active female athlete, Gwen Torrence. I would like to compare her with an athlete I used to coach. Back in 1969 and '70, my athlete was the "fastest woman on earth." Torrence has yet to set a world record. My athlete set seven world records—in six events. During one three-year stretch Torrence won 49 consecutive races. My athlete won 162 out of 163 events in '69 and '70. After the '96 National Indoor Championships, Torrence complained about how difficult it was to run five races in two days. In '70, at the same event, my athlete won seven races in one day. Torrence complains about the inadequate appearance fees and prize money. My athlete never received a penny during her running career.
I don't know what Torrence plans to do when she retires from running, but my athlete was elected to her country's congress, and she is head of her country's track and field federation. My athlete is Chi Cheng of Taiwan.
Although we are no longer married to each other, she still splits her time between her home in Taiwan and California.
VINCE REEL, Claremont, Calif.
Thank you for the SCORECARD item about Chargers running back Rodney Culver (June 10). While it is a tragedy that he and his wife died in the ValuJet crash on May 11, it is encouraging to know that there are pro athletes who can be remembered in a positive light for their lives off the field and not just for their accomplishments on the field.
BETH TOZIER, Dedham, Mass.
Father of the Year?
I was relieved to see that SI was also baffled by the choice of John McEnroe as one of the four fathers of the year (SCORECARD, June 10). The National Father's Day Committee is clearly more interested in getting notice of its existence on the sports pages of America than in garnering any respect among fatherhood advocates.
WILLIAM QUINN, Athens, Ga.
Belle of the Brawl
Cleveland's Albert Belle did not slam Milwaukee second baseman Fernando Vina to the ground for no reason, as you imply (INSIDE BASEBALL, June 10). His play on Vina was a completely legal one intended to break up a possible double play. Earlier in the game Belle and Vina were involved in a similar play, but Belle did nothing to prevent the DP. After coaches and teammates talked to Belle, he tried to break up the next double play and got suspended for his trouble.
You also fail to note that Belle was put on base before this play because he was hit by a ball. Even after he was hit again in the next inning, the pitcher was not warned or thrown out of the game.
STEPHEN LIEBENAUER, Painesville, Ohio
Tony Phillips, who goes out of his way to find a fan whom he then assaults, is fined $5,000 and is called a spark plug of the White Sox. Albert Belle, who breaks up a double play, is suspended for two games and is labeled the biggest pariah in baseball.
BILL HARRIS, Cleveland