Please extend my thanks to Martin Kane for his article on the black athlete. I myself am a black athlete on the varsity track team at my high school. I felt it was about time that the black man be recognized for his accomplishments in sport. This kind of widely acclaimed recognition has wiped out many stereotypes concerning the black man and has been a powerful unifying force in the black community.
In sport, perhaps to a larger degree than anywhere else in society, we see a dream of freedom and equality.
LAWRENCE J. GAFFNEY
St. Albans, N.Y.
I was fascinated and inspired by Yukio Mishima's remarkably sensitive and astute evaluation of the deteriorating values in sport which are, in turn, symptomatic of our deteriorating culture (Testament of a Samurai, Jan. 11).
Though the ideals he proffered are not a panacea for our athletic ills or original in their proffering, they succinctly portray what good might evolve if all of our assets were properly nurtured.
I have just finished reading the article and I have a lump in my throat. I have taken a few of those showers and agree with Mishima that those who haven't had that privilege are missing part of life. After reading this article I mourn over the fact that this superb human being is no longer with us to influence our thinking, especially for those of us over 30. I am reminded of last Sunday's scripture lesson, Romans 12, where we are admonished to "give our bodies as a living sacrifice." What an impact Mishima could have made, if we could have gotten God's word to him! I hope that Yukio's article will stir many of us to rethink our ideas about fitness.
THE REV. JERRY B. STROUD
Trinity Lutheran Church
The article on Yukio Mishima's views on physical fitness and his experiences in sport was excellent. He made me appreciate what athletic abilities I have.
My sincere congratulations to Dr. Del Meriwether ("Hey, I Can Beat Those Guys," Jan. 18), not only for a fine sprint performance at College Park, Md. on Jan. 8 but for his outstanding initiative and general success in track at the age of 27.
VINCENT H. DERR
You mentioned that Del has no coach. This is true, as I have had little opportunity to work with him. We have, of course, exchanged ideas on training over the phone and he has been given basic guidelines on general exercise and conditioning, but Del confirms the general rule that sprinters need little other than innate ability. What can a coach teach a sprinter other than how to start and to concentrate on relaxation while under pressure? As an individual with above-average intelligence, Del needed to be told only once. The speed was already there. Because of Del's laboratory work schedule, he can practice only once or twice a week at odd hours. He's just phenomenal. He's an absolute rookie in track and he thinks of the sport strictly as a hobby. He's modest, unassuming, intelligent—and fast.
Baltimore Olympic Club
In his enjoyable account of Dr. Del Meriwether's 60-yard dash to supremacy Sandy Treadwell omitted the name of the runner pictured in lane 1. He's Kent Merritt, who defeated Charlie Greene in the qualifying heat and is one of the University of Virginia's outstanding track and football prospects.
ERNEST D. DEMPSEY
The Cavalier Daily
AGONY AND ECSTASY
I would like to thank Reporter Anita Verschoth and Photographer Neil Leifer for the excellent job they have done on cross-country skiing (Don't Cry Until It's All Over, Jan. 11). The pictures were very good (although, I wasn't crying).