THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
What a fine, fine job of writing by Kenny Moore. His colorful accounts of the first track and field World Championships (Splendor and Agony in Helsinki, Aug. 15 and Putting It All on the Line, Aug. 22) were absolutely riveting. The level of emotion at that meet was surely incredibly high, yet Moore put us right there. The array of great photographic work was the perfect accompaniment to Moore's masterful pen. Bravo!
The fluidity, grace of style and heartfelt excitement expressed by Kenny Moore's article Putting It All on the Line left me in awe of the accomplishments of many of the world's athletes in the World Championships. Moore has used his years of running experience and his painstaking journalistic expertise to create a moving drama that, up to now, is unequaled in track articles.
Kenny Moore's article was a beautiful piece of sports journalism. As a track and field coach and competitor, I was especially pleased that his coverage of the meet included not just American highlights, but also outstanding moments involving athletes from other countries. As an American, I was proud of the performances of Carl Lewis, Mary Decker et al.; however, the games were much more than just a showcase for American athletes. Moore avoided the pitfall of presenting them as such, and in doing so he showed respect for American fans of track and field. Bravo Kenny Moore! Long live the World Championships!
I have always been impressed by the excellent photography of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. However, the pictures of the World Championships in the Aug. 22 issue were particularly sparkling. Steve Powell's brilliant sequence of the women's 1,500-meter finish, Heinz Kluetmeier's portraits of Mary Decker and Carl Lewis in victory, Tony Duffy's shot of Lewis in midflight as the throng looks on, and Powell's of Edwin Moses, muscles flexed, eyes fixed on the next hurdle, shoelace flapping, are examples of the photographic skill that makes your magazine special. In addition, Powell's cover photo of Lewis running the anchor leg of the 4 x 100-meter relay is not only an outstanding picture, but also a fine study of my pick for Sportsman of the Year.
Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Mary Decker is the most intense woman athlete in America today. The eight-photo series of her incredible driving finish in the 1,500-meter final may be your best sequence ever. And Carl Lewis is clearly the fastest human of all time.
What pride all Americans can take in our team's performance! I can hardly wait for L.A. '84.
Camp Hill, Pa.
I was very pleased that Kenny Moore compared Carl Lewis' 4 x 100-meter anchor leg with Bob Hayes's anchor run in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Without slighting Lewis' tremendous achievements, I still think Hayes's anchor may well be the greatest single human performance in athletic history, surpassing even Bob Beamon's jump, Larry Bird's basket off his own missed shot against Houston in Game 1 of the the 1981 NBA finals, Nadia Comaneci's 10s, Bill Walton vs. Memphis State in the 1973 NCAA final, Gordon Banks's save on Pel�'s header in the 1970 World Cup, etc. According to an unofficial clocking, Hayes ran his anchor in 8.6 seconds, compared to Lewis' 8.9.
BEN A. PIERSON
The fastest anchor leg of all time? I'll take Dave Sime's at the 1960 Rome Olympics. At top speed, Sime didn't just run, he floated.
E.T. HERNDON JR.
Well now we know. It has to be either Mary Decker or Carl Lewis for Sportswoman or Sportsman of the Year. But what a decision! Both are deserving. Maybe you can give the award to one of them this year and to the other in 1984.
A LITTLE D IN S.D.
As a Washington Redskin and University of Alabama fan, I wish San Diego rookie Billy Ray Smith had chosen to play on those teams instead of on Arkansas and San Diego. As it is, I believe he will be an outstanding linebacker and may help solidify the Chargers' defense (At Last, Some D for San Diego, Aug. 22). He may not turn out to be a Ray Nitschke or Dick Butkus, but he'll surely be a Ted Hendricks—and that's pretty good. The thought of San Diego with a defense scares this defending-champion-Redskins fan.
WILLIAM H. BECK