Koznick has endured knee surgery, frostbitten toes and chronic back pain to be among the best in the world. A Koz victory in Nagano would have been a great story, but instead Koznick became a nonstory, just another loser left clinging to her father as tears rolled down her cheeks. "Kris was 10 years old when she told me she wanted to go to the Olympics," said Koznick's mother, Mary Jane Steneman. "I said, 'Well, somebody has to. Why not you?' "
So all you kids out there, go for it. Bring home that gold. Or don't come back.
Byline for the Ages
Fred Russell's Banner Career
With the folding of the Nashville Banner last Friday, sportswriting's most enduring byline has relocated. Fred Russell, 91, who had spent his entire journalistic career—68 years—at the Banner, will take his once-a-week "Sidelines" column to Nashville's morning paper, The Tennessean.
Talk about a guy who has seen it all. At spring mining one morning in the 1930s Russell interviewed Babe Ruth as Ruth played bridge with Lou Gehrig. He helped an unknown football coach he had befriended—a fellow named Paul Bryant—get an assistant's job at Vanderbilt in '40. At a '54 party honoring Russell for 25 years of service at the Banner the revelers included Jack Dempsey, Red Grange and Bobby Jones. When Tennessee-born Wilma Rudolph died in '94, Russell, who had chronicled much of her career, including her Olympic triumphs in '60, delivered a eulogy at her funeral.
Russell's last column appeared on Feb. 19, hammered out, as usual, on his gray Royal manual typewriter. At the end of the column Russell wrote this succinct farewell: "Today marks my last column. Thanks for the memories." Russell's first column at The Tennessean will appear on April 2.
"One of the luckiest things that can happen to a fellow is to write sports," Russell once said. Sports is lucky to still have him.
Gauging the Waves
He Calls 'Em and Rides 'Em
Twenty years ago surf bums like Sean Collins had to get lucky to catch the perfect wave. "Surf fore-casting was like black magic," says Collins, now 45 and still chasing the big ones. So Collins decided to make some magic of his own. He surveyed maritime charts, culled ham-radio weather reports and slowly assembled a mental map of distant seas. On trips to Baja California in the early 1980s, he would string antenna wire over the cactus, print satellite weather photos on his truck-mounted, first-generation fax machine and tell his buddies which beach to hit the next day.
Today he is the world's leading surfcaster, the co-owner (along with Jerry Arnold who is based in Melbourne, Fla.) of Surfline/Wavetrak, a phone and fax service that reaches 1.5 million surfers a year. From his high-tech seaside headquarters in Huntington Beach, Calif., Collins presides over a Web site (www.surfline.com) that each month spits out 1.5 million pages of forecasts, surfing news and killer photos. He and his five meteorologists provide predictions to makers of surf films (Point Break, Endless Summer II), surf-mad Hollywood types like ER's Anthony Edwards and X-Files creator Chris Carter, and ad execs for Nike and Anheuser-Busch (who call when they need tasty waves for a commercial) as well as the general public.