THE WINTER GAMES
My thanks to Bob Ottum for an outstanding story on Scott Hamilton (Wow! Power, Feb. 6). Win or lose, Hamilton is one of the biggest men in sports today, by far.
I enjoyed your Winter Olympic preview (Feb. 6). The introductory photograph by Enrico Ferorelli was superb. You were remiss, however, in not identifying the luger.
FRASER H. THOMAS
? Ferorelli's shot was of Walter (Ty) Danco of Brooklyn Heights, NY., the 11th-place finisher in the doubles in the 1980 Games and a member of this year's team, despite the fact that he broke his left heel in five places in his last Trials race at Lake Placid, shortly after the picture was taken. Danco went to Sarajevo, foot in cast, as the team's "seventh man." However, his heel became infected, and he was sent back to the U.S., where he's now recovering at his parents' Pepper Pike, Ohio home.—ED.
Thanks to Bill Koch for sharing his definition of the Olympics with me and others who were fortunate enough to read Kenny Moore's article (A Fire Burns Fiercely Within Him, Feb. 6). The story about Finland's Juha Mieto reaching out a hand and helping Koch up the hill in the 50-km race in Innsbruck told, in a beautifully symbolic way, what the Games are all about. They are a time for nations to drop their weapons and join hands while watching their fantastic athletes do what they do best.
HEIDI REGINA SIEGMUND
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Congratulations to Bill Koch and Kenny Moore for fusing the hard facts of a sport with its spirit and substance. They have helped us to realize that it's the joyous discipline of defining and expanding one's own limits—not the domination of opponents—that keeps fire in the athlete's eyes. Moore and Koch have fleshed out the meaning of excellence—and Moore has given us a three-dimensional picture of Koch in the process.
ROBERT R. JOHNSON
Long Beach, Calif.
In the course of discussing Yugoslavia's Elan skis (ON THE SCENE, Feb. 6), William Oscar Johnson identifies Vinko Bogataj as the "longtime head of Elan's ski department." Is this the same Vinko Bogataj who's seen tumbling at the end of a ski jump during the "agony of defeat" segment of the introduction to ABC's Wide World of Sports? If so, it's apparent Bogataj's life hasn't gone downhill since his spectacular spill.
TIMOTHY P. BROWN
?According to ABC, Wide World of Sports' Bogataj, who no longer jumps competitively but is currently contributing to the Yugoslavian Olympic effort by working at the ski-jump starting gate in Sarajevo, is a 36-year-old factory worker and accomplished painter from Lese, in Slovenia, and "no relation whatsoever" to Elan's 52-year-old ski-department director of the same name.—ED.
I admired Ron Fimrite's article Dr. J Gets His Ring and Other Nice Things That Happened in 1983 in your special issue The Year in Sports (Feb. 8). I'm involved with the instruction of young athletes, and it's a pleasure to be able to show them that a true champion is measured not in grams of cocaine and injections of steroids, but by the human factors of goodwill and sportsmanship.
The unselfish deeds of such champions are a breath of fresh air and make their victories all the more gratifying.
Forest Hill, Md.
What a pleasant change to see the good guys (and gals) sharing the limelight in your special issue! In fact, I felt so good after reading Ron Fimrite's article that I was actually thinking more about sportsmanship and worrying less about brinkmanship. Now that's what I call really nice.
Chevy Chase, Md.