Actually, Olympic benefits are already beginning to flow to some of these nations. Of 51 development and coaching workshops held during 1986, nearly half were funded by grants from Olympic Solidarity, which is the means by which the International Olympic Committee channels money from its television and other marketing revenues back into sports at the grass roots.
As for the competitors, despite the fact that there will be no prize money, Boris Becker, Steffi Graf, Stefan Edberg and Wimbledon champion Pat Cash have already announced their intention to compete, and Martina Navratilova may yet decide to join them.
All in all, we do not believe that any individual or organization has anything to lose from tennis's return to the Olympic Games, but many have much to gain. What's wrong with that?
The International Tennis Federation
I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the pictures of world lumberjack championships in Hayward, Wis. (Anyone Seen a Blue Ox? Aug. 10). Jos� Azel did a marvelous job of getting unique angles, adding flavor to a very colorful event.
The top performers of 1987 should be given some credit. Rolin Eslinger of McCloud, Calif., set a record in buck-sawing and won his first all-around world championship. Dan McDonough of Escanaba, Mich., won his fourth straight logrolling title, and Bonnie Pendleton of Pompano Beach. Fla., won her second straight (third in four years) women's logrolling title.
If I'm not mistaken, the picture of the pole climber is of 1986 world speed-climbing champion Dennis Butler, with whom I attended junior high and high school in Grants Pass, Ore. I am curious to know how Dennis did this year.
PAUL A. JOHNSON
?He's champ again.—ED.
I understand that the birthdays celebrated in INSIDE BASEBALL each week must coincide with the issue dates of your magazine. Nonetheless, I hope you can grant my request.
My father, George Metkovich, who played major league baseball for 10 years, will be 67 on Oct. 8. He has done so much for me and has had such a strong influence on my life that buying him a sweater or golf balls for his birthday just won't tell him how much he has meant to me. To see his baseball card and a happy birthday note in SI, however, would really make his day. Any chance?
Huntington Beach, Calif.
?For those who may not know, Catfish Metkovich was a .261 career hitter who played for the Red Sox, the Indians, the White Sox, the Pirates, the Cubs and the Milwaukee Braves between 1943 and 1954. Happy Birthday, Catfish.—ED.