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Allen, a 25-year-old hang-glider pilot and amateur cyclist, will be at the pedals this time, too. The Condor had a 96-foot wingspread and weighed 70 pounds. The Albatross' proportions are identical but, owing to the use of space-age materials, it is both lighter—by 15 pounds—and stronger. Allen was almost supine in the Condor; to better enable him to generate the additional power needed for the much longer Channel crossing, he will be in a virtually upright position in the Albatross.
MacCready says that, once in Dover, Allen will have to wait for a day when there are no head winds—indeed, no winds of any kind greater than six mph. And MacCready says that he is "running scared" lest somebody else beat him to the prize money.
BIG BROTHER, LITTLE SISTER
Eric and Beth Heiden, the speed-skating champions whose most recent triumphs are described on the next four pages, are scarcely the first successful brother-sister combination in sports. Others include basketball players Dave and Ann Meyers, he a Milwaukee Buck, she a four-time All-America at UCLA; Australians John and Ilsa Konrads, who both broke world swimming records in the late '50s; 1973 national figure-skating pairs champions Mark and Melissa Militano; Olympic distance runners Ron and Francie Larrieu; Olympic swimmers Jack and Shirley Babashoff; and tennis players Vitas and Ruta Gerulaitis.
Interestingly, in each of the above pairings, the brother is older. There are also brother-sister acts in which the sister is older, but in the most prominent of these, the siblings went into different sports. Like Billie Jean King and brother Randy Moffitt of the San Francisco Giants. Or Olympic hurdler Rosie Bonds and kid brother Bobby, now of the Cleveland Indians. Relatively few boys have achieved success in the same sport in which an older sister excels. Is it difficult following in Big Sister's footsteps? The experience of 17-year-old tennis player John Evert, who has grown up in the shadow of an accomplished older sister, would suggest as much. During John's matches needlers sometimes yell at him, "Hey, Chrissie. Hit some double faults, Chrissie."
Obviously, one should not be too quick to imply that an injured player is malingering, nor should players be discouraged from visiting doctors of their own choice. For violating these two precepts in the case of Doug Collins, the Philadelphia 76ers' ailing All-Star guard, team management was acting apologetic last week. As well it should.
Since mid-January Collins had been bothered by a bone spur on his left ankle. Both Dr. Michael Clancy, the 76er physician, and Dr. John W. Lachman, an orthopedist called in by Clancy, recommended rest, massage and whirlpool treatments but no surgery. Collins sat out several games but the ankle still hurt. He then decided to consult Dr. Joseph Torg, a former 76er team doctor with whom owner Fitz Dixon reportedly doesn't get along. According to Collins, Dixon let it be known that he disapproved of such a visit. Collins saw Torg anyway and was told that his ankle would heal properly only with surgery. Collins also saw Dr. Vincent DiStefano, the Philadelphia Eagles' physician, who concurred with Torg's opinion. Meanwhile, 76er general manager Pat Williams told a reporter, "He [Collins] does have a low pain threshold, no question. It's difficult for him to play hurt." Collins fumed, "I would never lay out a game if I could possibly play."
The 76ers finally sent Collins to Los Angeles to be examined by sports orthopedist Dr. Robert Kerlan—and, as one team official put it, "to break a two-two tie." Kerlan also recommended surgery and last week Torg operated on Collins for removal of a fractured bone spur. Collins may be out for the season. "There's a lot of pressure on this team to win," he said from his hospital bed. "I think professional teams operate on the idea of trying to get you back as soon as possible." Williams visited Collins and apologized for his offending remark. He also unwittingly indicted his own club—and other teams that are too eager to get injured stars back into the lineup.
"I admire Doug for taking the bull by the horns," Williams said. "He's the one who aggressively went off to get other opinions. It took courage on his part."