Lewis is a great athlete, but his insatiable desire to win an unprecedented 10 gold medals tainted his accomplishments.
DEBBIE LINGLE, COLUMBIA, MO.
Thank you for having Carl Lewis, the greatest track and field athlete of all time, on your cover. Rick Reilly's article (Leap to Glory, Aug. 5) was a fitting tribute to an Olympian who is talented, winning, controversial—and never boring.
ANUKAMPA L. WALDEN, San Francisco
Carl Lewis may be, as you contend on your cover, "the best ever" in a particular context, i.e., as an Olympic long jumper, but is his record the equal of Paavo Nurmi's? Or Al Oerter's? Among Nurmi's nine gold-medal-winning track and field performances were Olympic record-setting efforts in three different events, two set in 1924 in the space of about 75 minutes. Oerter's discus gold medals in four consecutive Games represent four consecutive Olympic records. Lewis's exceptional career includes two Olympic records, set in different events in different years, but his personal performances in the long jump peaked in 1988. His '96 jump is the poorest of his medal-winning efforts.
RICHARD J. JENSEN, Notre Dame. Ind.
Since 1990, and despite the demands of training and athletic stardom, Lewis's efforts to promote organ and tissue donation have made him a champion to the more than 46,000 Americans who are awaiting lifesaving organ transplants. No celebrity has done more for this cause than Carl Lewis.
LISA TUNNEEL, Chairman
Georgia Coalition on Donation
The Real Dream Team
Kudos to Steve Rushin for his article on the women's Olympic softball team (Playing with Heart, July 29). This was the real Dream Team. I was rooting for the women before I read the article, but by the time I was halfway through it, I was ready to stand up and salute.
STEPHEN SWAIN, Olive Branch, Miss.
The Olympics are supposed to be about people competing because their hearts will them to, not because of the almighty endorsement dollar. I would rather watch the softball team play hard and promote the dreams of youngsters than watch athletes who make wide-eyed kids wonder if they can ever make as much money as those guys who wear those fancy shoes.
INGRID MARCELIS, Arcata, Calif.
Covering the Bomb
A big thank you to John Schulian for his Aug. 5 POINT ALTER about the NBC Olympic coverage. Bob Costas was far below his usual excellent standards, and some of the choices of courtside announcers were peculiar, but the failure to update viewers on the bomb's aftereffects was the last straw.
CAROLYN STRUG, New York City
Schulian was completely off base. Yes, it is a tragedy that a pipe bomb caused two deaths and injured many, but it would have been misguided to devote coverage to the bombing at the expense of the athletes. They worked too hard to have their time overshadowed by someone's evil act.
JENNIFER CASTO, Sacramento
I spent the final week of the Olympics in Atlanta with a friend, and other than paying our respects at the site, we hardly discussed the bombing. That wasn't why we were in Atlanta. Apparently NBC felt the same way.
FRANKIE FULLERTON, Charlotte
If you wanted coverage of the bombing, you had only to switch to one of a dozen or more networks that were covering it, but only NBC had the Olympics.
D. LURIE, Santa Rosa, Calif.