SI Vault
March 04, 1968
JUST FOLKSSirs:Congratulations to Dan Jenkins and Bob Ottum for their "just folks" reports on the Olympics (Breakneck Time in France, Feb. 19). We Olympic spectators are quick to place our heroes on pedestals even higher than those on which they receive their medals. It is good to know that Jean-Claude Killy is not some superbeing come down from Mount Olympus to lend glamour to the Games. It is good to know that he is cute, sweet and cuddly; that Peggy Fleming has human foibles—and runs in her stockings. Clumsies of the world rejoice! Of course, there are the members of the American Alpine team who, woefully, seem almost too human—but they keep trying, and, at the risk of sounding patriotic, that is a most admirable quality.JUDITH F. PERRIN Smyrna, Ga.
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March 04, 1968

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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A very Brundage has said that the IOC would not tolerate open Olympics—that is, Olympics in which professionals could compete. Just who does Mr. Brundage think he's kidding? It takes an enormous amount of hard, cold cash for an athlete to properly prepare himself for the Olympics, but the Olympic rules state that he must not use his athletic skills to help defray costs if he expects to compete. This places unnecessary strains upon the athlete, because he must split every waking hour between his regular job and preparing for the Olympics.

What Mr. Brundage doesn't seem to understand is that there is a group of people other than the promoters and the pros who would benefit from the admittance of professionals to the Olympics—the spectators, who would then be seeing the greatest athletes in the world, and not merely a bunch of second-rate competitors. Granted, the skiers now competing are the best in the world, but what happens if Jean-Claude Killy "sells" his name to an American firm next year, thereby eliminating himself from Olympic and World Cup competition?

If Mr. Brundage and his stuffed-shirt buddies in the IOC really want to do something of lasting benefit for the Olympic Games, let them even things up and make the Games an open affair. Come one, come all, and may the very best man win.
Willowdale, Ont.

I was never so proud of being a Canadian as I was when I watched the final Olympic hockey game where Canada lost to Russia by a score of 5-0. We all know that the Russian team is, by any standards except their own, a professional team, and our amateur team gave them one helluva game.
Mount Vernon, Wash.

About Alfred Wright's article on Bob Hope (Golf Is a Game of Hope, Feb. 12), thanks for the memory.

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