But a part of the script strikes home. Injuries are accepted as a part of the game. Since no substitution is allowed in Rugby Union, I have seen a player beg to go back on pitch until he was shown his own anklebone sticking out of his sock. No, I would not describe Rugby Union as "gentler" than Rugby League. Cleaner, perhaps, but equally rough.
Still, I thank you for giving mention in your pages to rugby. Perhaps it will result in an increased interest in our game. If not, we'll continue to play for ourselves and our present followers. But I don't think the general public knows what it is missing.
Milwaukee Rugby Football Club
It was a pleasure to read Martha Duffy's informative article on one of the most interesting sports in existence today. Rugby has long deserved such attention from SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and you should be congratulated for presenting this excellent article on not only the play, The Changing Room, and its author but the game itself.
It would be nice, though, if you could go into the game as it is played in the U.S. on the college level. There is an annual national collegiate rugby tournament and the game is increasing in popularity every year.
AGONY AND ECSTASY
Many thanks for the personal view of Janet Lynn (This Is It, For Heaven's Sake, March 5). William Johnson's poetic style is certainly appropriate for the-presentation of both Miss Lynn and figure skating. Perhaps the reader will now more fully realize the amazingly intense devotion, discipline and anxiety that are characteristic of a skating champion, for when one watches Janet skate it is easy to forget the hard work and agony that have led up to the performance. Instead, the viewer catches her charisma in her execution of "poetry in motion."
Although Janet lost to Karen Magnussen in the world championship, we trust that she will continue "to do her evangelizing on ice."
Thank you for the excellent, albeit long overdue, article on one of the most charming women in the world of sport, Janet Lynn. This young lady has captured the hearts of millions of sports fans. I hope that those who prefer bone-grinding impact and muscle will appreciate the fact that skill and grace are also signs of a champion.
Loud applause and accolades to you; roses and happiness to her.
Studio City, Calif.
I wish to congratulate William Johnson on an intuitive and astute article on a world-class figure skater. How refreshing to get an understanding viewpoint on the hard work and depression a skater goes through without the political braggadocio that is usually thrown at the public. The article was about Janet Lynn, your fine champion, but it could just as easily have been about our champion, Karen Magnussen. Aside from other shared characteristics, both girls display immense character drive and talent in unmeasurable amounts. The one thing they do not share is style, as each is utterly distinctive. One may prefer Janet's pixie, Fantasia-like brilliance or Karen's flying-through-the-air grace. Either way North America is fortunate to have two such fine skaters, or should I say fine young women, representing our great continent. We are ecstatic that Karen reached her golden goal this year, but we sincerely hope that Janet will stay on to reach the top next year.
Your article on Janet Lynn was most enjoyable and welcome recognition for an athlete who has spent so much time and effort in becoming a star. In no other sport are so many years of endless toil and dedication required to reach the top. Her faith in God is truly beautiful and inspirational. Finishing second in this year's world championship takes nothing away from her wonderful achievements. Whether she continues as an amateur or turns pro Janet Lynn has already given me a great deal of enjoyment, and for this I will be forever grateful.
WAYNE VER NOOY
Ann Arbor, Mich.