HARD HEADS, SOFT BODIES
We in the Erie County YMCA are currently engaged in a capital-funds campaign for $3,070,500 to build three new branch buildings and to rehabilitate our present buildings. Mr. Kennedy has said much in his article (The Soft American, Dec. 26) that strengthens and supplements our campaign story.
JAMES C. KURZ
Congratulations on the excellent article by President-elect Kennedy. It displays his keen insight and your alert reporting. I am delighted to see the fitness problem recognized at the highest level.
CECIL W. MORGAN
Dean, School of Health and Physical Education, Ithaca College
It is encouraging to read that President Eisenhower's program to improve the fitness of all Americans is to be carried further.
It has been two years since I bought a copy of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and I am sorry I wasted a quarter on the issue on The Soft American by J. F. Kennedy. History has repeatedly shown that the great ideas which control our lives today came from the minds of some of the worst physical specimens in history.
R. E. McKEE
?Or from borrowed magazines. The special issue containing the Kennedy article cost 35�.—ED.
Whoever wins out in the cold war will do so because of scientific superiority supported by intelligent policies. The mind and not the biceps is going to be the weapon by which we will win or lose.
During the past several years I have traveled for the U.S. State Department, primarily in Asia, as a roving track coach. Asia is a land of contradictions, political phenomena, 1,000 ethnic groups and languages. It is an area where people suffer from hunger and 15th century diseases, where they can't read or write, have never heard of democracy, have never known of civil liberties, are not Christians, but where they love sports as all people do. In much of the East, national leaders are active in sport. The Prime Minister of Malaya, Tengku Abdul Rahman, is the active head of the Malayan football association. President Sukarno of Indonesia just got $12 million from the Soviet Union to build sports arenas for the 1962 Asian Games. In Laos or Thailand a good student may be a good student, but if he is also a sportsman, strong in body and sound in mind, he's a leader, a potential Prime Minister.
In Asia, youth is a prime target for the Communists, and sport offers a natural approach and a normal situation for organization, for youth clubs. The Chinese Communists have flooded Southeast Asia with pamphlets on sport. They have reprinted American track books with their own propaganda slant, and they sell them for a fraction of the cost of the original American version. What we have tried to do is fight the Communists on the field of sport for the youth of the world, in Asia, in Africa, in the Middle East. We coaches have become aware of the broader implications of sport; we have seen it from an amazing angle; we have seen it in a new dimension—even greater than the Olympics—in the backward areas of the world.
In his article Mr. Kennedy cites the challenge of "a powerful and implacable adversary determined to show the world that only the Communist system possesses the vigor and determination necessary to satisfy awakening aspirations for progress," He once spoke of a "civilian peace corps." As a former marine, let me say that a civilian peace corps, working in engineering, medicine and especially the common ground of sport, would do more good than 10,000 Marine Corps.
THOMAS P. ROSANDICH
?Former Quantico Marines Coach Tom Rosandich is well known in track and field circles, teaches history and international relations in a Wisconsin high school between trips to Asia.—ED.