Populating the next seven pages are 42 athletes who represent the best of this sporting epoch, six nominees in each of seven categories for our 20th Century Sports Awards. How did we narrow 100 years of extraordinary achievement to that small number? With blood, sweat and tears. More arduous still is the task of choosing a winner in each category. But we will: They will be announced on Dec. 2 at Madison Square Garden during a live broadcast on CBS at 9:00 p.m. ET. On that same evening we will also crown our Sportsman or Sportswoman of the Century.
There is yet another group of athletes deserving of special accolade, and we will honor them as well that night, under the banner of "Athletes Who Changed the Game." This superb septet comprises Peggy Fleming, whose skating artistry launched a golden era in her sport; Billie Jean King, who battled for the betterment of women's tennis and all women's sports; Arnold Palmer, who took golf out of the country clubs and gave it to the public; Pel�, whose dazzling skills kick-started soccer in North America and raised the game's standards around the globe; Richard Petty, the benevolent King who popularized NASCAR; Jackie Robinson, who famously and courageously broke baseball's color line; and Bill Russell, who taught the NBA how to play defense and how to win. In all, then, we salute 49 men and women. What we're really saying, to all of them, is thanks.
ATHLETES WHO CHANGED THE GAME
King, Pel�, Palmer, Petty, Robinson, Fleming, Russell