It would give me great pleasure to see some small country beat our arrogant overpaid pros.
GORDON FARRELL, COLFAX, CALIF.
Is winning a gold medal so important that we must send this group of unbeatable superstars? When the Dream Team takes the floor, the games are pointless (SCORECARD, July 29). I think other teams should consider second place as successful as first, and third as good as second. Don't even count the U.S.'s gold medal.
TENILE JOHNSON, Ladue, Mo.
In 1992 the Dream Team was a novelty, and it was nice to see players who had missed the chance to be in the Olympics during their college days, namely Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, participate. But that's where it should have ended. Many of today's college stars are failing to have the chance to compete in the Olympics because highly paid pros are taking their places.
SCOTT VERBOUT, Tempe, Ariz.
The Olympics are about each country sending its best athletes to compete in the highest caliber of competition. It is mind-boggling to me that people argue about our sending NBA players. Are they not our best players?
EARL COLLYAR II, Galesburg, Kans.
As a possible solution, how about fielding an all-star team from the CBA? Not glamorous, to be sure, but a more interesting matchup.
MATT RIFKIN, Tokyo
I agree with Gary Smith's assessment of the opening ceremonies (It's Greek to U.S., July 29). The Olympics are on their way to becoming a college bowl game: Live, from Sydney, it's the Chee-tos brand Chee-tos Olympic Games. Nevertheless, in the midst of all the hoopla and commercialism, I watched transfixed like everyone else when Muhammad Ali received the torch from Janet Evans. The organizers had redeemed themselves.
KELLEY WILLIAMS JR., Austin
Your umbrage is duly noted. You would propose, one presumes, government-financed Olympics, with taxpayers being sent the bills. I believe as many people would oppose such a system as were stressed about Atlanta's commercialism.
TIMOTHY J. STORY, Indianapolis
Smith's article is offensive to every Atlantan and incredibly insulting to those officials and volunteers who have worked for six years to make these Games enjoyable to everyone. Granted the commercialism was present, but that fact should be attributed to American society in general. It is not exclusive to Atlanta. Perhaps haughty IOC executive Dick Pound should insert a new clause in the Olympic contract that prevents those without VIP invitations or tickets or those who sell merchandise on the street from truly enjoying the Olympic spirit. Heaven forbid that people should have a good time.
JEN WELLS, Atlanta
I am delighted that you have objected to the rampant commercialism that is so in evidence at the Olympics. I look forward to the day when the Games will be commercial free, just as I look forward to receiving my commercial-free copy of SI.
BRYAN H. MICKLE, Lakeland, Fla.
Gary Smith did a fine job in addressing the complex nature of the Atlanta Games. Although we may yearn for the good old days of amateurism, raising billions of dollars (in private funds), entertaining millions of spectators and providing a forum for more than 10,000 athletes is no small task. This spectacle will grow larger and ever more dependent on the "evils" of capitalism.
MICHAEL E. MAFFETT, Atlanta