In terms of just who stands where on this magazine, associate editor Anita Verschoth is definitely first in mileage on land, sea and in the air, first in jet lag, first in exotic places visited—and six weeks behind on her expense account. Consider this assignments schedule: When she strolled into the office last Thursday morning, Verschoth was returning from a summer odyssey that included trips to 22 cities in 11 countries—London, Seoul, Paris, Tokyo, Zurich, West Berlin, Stockholm, Koblenz, Brussels, Rome, Lausanne, Nice and East Berlin among them. And if that wasn't exhilarating enough, she came home to yet another first.
"Oh, no," she said when she heard. "This means I've got to drop everything and go buy an evening gown."
Oh, yes. Verschoth was named winner of the first Cappy Petrash Greenspan Foundation Award for outstanding achievement among women in the sports media. This special salute—complete with banquet fanfare and a shining crystal trophy—created by Olympic filmmaker Bud Greenspan in memory of his wife to single out, in effect, the country's best woman sports journalist. Selection was made from a field of 13 well-known candidates—among them sportswriters and photographers, movie and TV producers, screenwriters and documentarians—and the trophy presentation on Monday evening was a highlight of the Women's Sports Foundation annual awards gala in New York.
Which accounts for that new evening gown. It was typically versatile costuming for this German-born globe-trotter who has been traveling around the world for SI since 1962. Track and field and winter sports are her specialty (read: passion), and Verschoth has covered every Olympics, Winter and Summer, since 1964. For the past 13 years she has handicapped the Games for us, making what Greenspan describes as "uncannily accurate" medal picks. Furthermore, she is legend for her magic news reach inside the International Olympic Committee. What's her secret? Verschoth shrugs and says that she works hard at it as "the world's greatest lobby lurker," the one who skulks behind the potted palms at the Lausanne Palace Hotel, pouncing upon Olympic officials emerging from meetings.
Indeed, about the time Verschoth finally finds a spot on her bookshelf for the new trophy, she'll have to start packing for another trip to Lausanne. Should any of you happen to pass through the Lausanne Palace about that time, check behind the potted palms. And say hello to our Anita.