As one who does know who Weight Lifter Norbert Schemansky is and who cares about what happens to him, I was most shocked to read of Norbert's present financial situation. I was even more shocked by the apparent smugness of the AAU.
Norbert Schemansky is truly an alltime champion. He has been a great ambassador for the U.S., winning the respect of even the Russians. It is high time Americans showed their admiration for this dedicated athlete.
JOHN F. SHIREY
Your article on the financial difficulties of Olympic Weight Lifter Norbert Schemansky brings to mind the question of financing Olympic athletes in general.
Every four years, immediately preceding the Olympic Games competition, there is a frantic campaign to provide funds for U.S. participants. In my opinion, this "tin cup" approach to an endeavor as great as the Olympic Games is certainly not worthy of our United States. I wonder if your readers are aware of a bill recently introduced in Congress by Oregon's Democratic Representative Edith Green that would enable all our citizens to participate in supporting our Olympic athletes. The bill (H.R. 17068) would make possible "the issuance and sale by the Post Office Department of a 'semi-postal' stamp to assist in financing American participation in the Olympic Games." If this bill is enacted into law, a special, permanent postage stamp of 5� denomination would be issued and placed on sale at post offices for 10�. The additional 5� would be turned over to the U.S. Olympic Committee for athlete support.
This appears to me to be a perfectly painless way of obtaining funds. No one would be forced to purchase this stamp. But those who want to see the U.S. excel would be able to chip in the additional nickel.
The bill is now in the hands of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, which is investigating its value. Of course, there are many opponents of this bill, who feel that it would merely open the door to every other kind of charity. But I see no logic in defeating this bill merely to keep others from attempting to push through a like proposition. It would still be up to the Congress to determine which propositions have merit, and to act on them accordingly.
DAVID O. JOHNSON