SI Vault
Edited by Robert W. Creamer
January 19, 1976
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
January 19, 1976


View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4 5

Dr. Dan Hanley, long involved in the U.S. Olympic program and currently a member of the International Olympic Committee's Medical Commission, says the money spent on sex and drug testing required at the Olympic Games could be better used to educate athletes (and coaches) on the futility of trying to find the magic potion that guarantees success. Moreover, says Hanley, drug testing may be too sensitive. "Nose drops taken today can be detected in the urine tomorrow," he says, "and maybe even the day after that. Nose drops can hardly be called doping." In other words, the net is too fine, and the innocent are caught with the guilty.

As for sex testing, Hanley says the procedures are complicated and expensive and the results are "the same as what any nearsighted college boy could have told you with a glance across the street." He thinks the test should be abandoned. "If a nation wants to let a man compete in girl's clothing, let it," he says.

You know about the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the World Hockey Association, whose management was unable to meet its payroll but whose players agreed to play for nothing for the time being. And whose supporters took up a collection for the team and even suggested that local churches take up a second collection on Sundays to help the Saints (the ice-skating ones). Well, you want to talk about trouble? Last week thieves climbed through a window into the club's box office and stole $250 from the meager till. It never rains but it pours—even in snowbound Minnesota.


Birders—yes, Virginia, they used to be called bird watchers—are having a tremendous time along the New England coast. Last year they spotted a Ross's gull, this past December an ivory gull and now—are you ready?—a smew.

The smew is a black and white waterfowl, a duck, whose normal habitat is Siberia and northern Finland. It was spotted at Green End Pond in Newport, R.I. by Charles Wood of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island. James Baird of the Massachusetts Audubon Society says it was the first sighting ever of a smew on the Atlantic Coast and only the fourth in North American Audubon history. The smew is so rare here that it does not even appear on the standard checklist of birds published by the American Ornithologists' Union. Europe has had a dreadful winter, and Wood feels that a vast high-pressure system stretching across the northern part of that continent may have swirled the smew around and down to Rhode Island.

It was a male smew, if you're scoring.


Beyond their remarkable physical skills, the best athletes almost always display two sometimes overlooked qualities: consistence and concentration. The two are closely related; consistence depends to an exceptional degree on the ability to concentrate one's efforts and attention on the problem of the moment. A great athlete cannot be distracted.

Bruce Jenner, who set a world record in the decathlon in 1975, recalls a bizarre example of such concentration in himself on his world-record day. "I went into the stands before the competition," he says, "and a boy asked me for my autograph. His last name was Young. I remember it because I could not remember then how to make a 'Y.' I just couldn't do it. That's intense."

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5