The performance of Greg Louganis at the Olympics was outstanding (Good and Tough, Oct. 3). He embodies all that is good in sports: grace, strength, power, commitment and the ability to strive ever higher, even though in the world's eyes he seemingly had attained perfection. He gave Americans reason to be proud by being an inspiration to youth, by overcoming life's obstacles and by being the best that he could be. His efforts and emotions are so sincere, he must be named your Sportsman of the Year.
I want to thank SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for the thoughtful story on Ben Johnson (The Loser, Oct. 3). It cleared up a lot of rumors and untruths.
I was sorry to see Johnson lose his gold medal. I still believe that he is the best at the sprints. I just hope that one day he will get a chance to prove to the Carl Lewises and the media of the world that he can run in world-record time without a doctor's help.
Ceredo, W. Va.
Ben Johnson's testing positive for anabolic steroids and subsequent fall from the victory stand reflect the distorted view, held by too many athletes, that the Olympic Games are no more than a win-at-all-costs endorsement bonanza. Pardon my idealism, but what ever happened to competing well and representing one's country with honor?
Seven Hills, Ohio
Ben Johnson is stripped of his Olympic gold medal, banned from the Canadian Olympic team for life and is sure to lose millions of dollars in endorsement money—all for a first offense with steroids. Meanwhile, in the NFL, Dexter Manley and Lawrence Taylor are suspended for 30 days for substance abuse. It was the second such suspension for both of those players.
Since our amateur athletes usually emulate our professionals, our professionals should be setting an example. I propose that all future drug offenders in the NFL be stripped of their awards (i.e., Super Bowl rings, etc.) and be suspended for two years without pay.
Maybe Johnson is in the wrong sport.
BRYANT GUMBEL (CONT.)
Thanks for giving us a moment in time so we could get to know Bryant Gumbel (The Mourning Anchor, Sept. 26). After spending numerous evenings with our Olympic TV host, we know that if he were in a room with 100 people, we would want to meet the other 99 first.
EILEEN AND JIM CLARK
Bryant Gumbel says that, like Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson, he wants to be free of the expectations of others, both blacks and whites. It's ironic that Bryant's family, friends and colleagues are not free of his expectations.
It seems Gumbel didn't learn from his father one of life's most important lessons: compassion.
PETER M. STEIN