Two days before the final stage, a confident Fignon told Steve Brunner, the media director for the Tour de Trump, "Greg believes he can win, but it's impossible. I'm too strong in the mind and the legs." But not, perhaps, in the handlebars and the hat.
THE CIRCUMFERENCE FACTOR
After seeing oh-so-heavyweight George Foreman on the
Late Night with David Letterman
show, USA Network boxing commentator Al Albert came up with a Letterman-like Top 10 list of reasons why Mike Tyson should give Foreman a shot. Our favorite: Because it would take Tyson at least 93 seconds to circle Foreman.
REACHING NEW HEIGHTS
Mark Wellman attracted considerable attention last week, and properly so. Wellman, the 29-year-old director of the disabled-visitors' program at Yosemite National Park, reached the top of the park's El Capitan mountain, having made a 3,569-foot ascent that is treacherous enough for an able-bodied climber. Wellman has been paralyzed from the waist down since 1982, when he suffered injuries in a 50-foot fall on another peak in the Sierras. For him to have completed one of the world's most difficult climbs is almost unthinkable.
Wellman's feat, remarkable as it was, should not overshadow the contribution of his climbing partner, Mike Corbett, who ascended El Capitan just ahead of him. It was Corbett's task to set the ropes with which Wellman hoisted himself up El Capitan. Progress was torturously slow, and the climb took seven days, four hours. "For Mike it was even tougher than for me," said Wellman at the summit. "He had to pull out all the pins from the mountain, haul all of the gear and handle all the logistics. In effect, Mike climbed this mountain twice."
Actually, Corbett, 35, has climbed this mountain a record 42 times. Corbett is a world-class rock-climber who ordinarily sprints up El Capitan in a couple of days, chain-smoking cigarettes nearly every step of the way.
The publicity that Wellman's ascent generated has had a serendipitous side effect for Corbett, a native of Houston. He had been estranged from his family since his parents were divorced 10 years ago. But the Texas Corbetts recognized him in news photos, and now his dad and a dozen other relatives are reuniting in California. "I've got to fill my family in on a lot of things that have happened in my life," said the elated Corbett.
A BULLISH PORTFOLIO
A stockbroker in Durham, N.C., is offering clients a unique investment package: the Michael Jordan portfolio. Chris Harrell of J. Lee Peeler & Co. writes, "Everything he [ Jordan] touches turns to gold. So as an investor, why not participate in the Jordan phenomenon? Invest in Michael Jordan by investing in the companies whose products he endorses."
Jordan, the Chicago Bulls star, currently endorses McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Wheaties for General Mills, a backyard basketball game for Ohio Art and, of course, Air Jordans for Nike. All five of these companies have had strong earnings increases in the recent past. Harrell cites an average earnings growth rate over the past five years of 15% for McDonald's, 17% for Coca-Cola, 44% for both General Mills and Nike, and 131% for Ohio Art. He says that he expects them to continue to perform well.