SI Vault
Edited by Gay Flood
June 04, 1984
THE BOYCOTT Sir:I read with interest your articles covering the Soviet Union's boycott of the Los Angeles Olympics (Doleful Days for the Games, May 21). However, I was astonished to see that your writers consider the politicization of the Games to be a recent phenomenon. Since 1896, the Games have featured national teams, the hoisting of flags, the playing of national anthems and unofficial medal counts to determine who "won." Although it may be argued that nationalism isn't politics per se, the modern state draws its strength from the nationalistic sentiments of its population. Politics has interfered high and low in the Games—from biased judging to the cultivation of Olympic athletes from early childhood to the "shamateurism" of some national teams to the use of the Games as a national pageant and as a showcase for tyrants. Politics and the Games are inseparable.
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June 04, 1984

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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Robert F. Jones's article on Michigan morels and Boyne City's annual National Mushroom Hunting Championship (ON THE SCENE, May 14) really struck home with me. 'Roon hunting has been a tradition handed down from generation to generation in my family. Every year for as long as I can remember, the week after Mother's Day has been set aside for our annual excursion to a little town called Mesick, in northern Michigan. I've picked 'em in rain, snow, sleet and bright sunshine and enjoyed every minute of it. Because I'm now in the Navy, I unfortunately had to miss this year's trip. Thanks for letting me catch a glimpse of 'roon hunting through Jones's piece.
Lakehurst, N.J.

Was Robert F. Jones pulling that favorite fisherman's ruse of publicizing the average fishing hole, keeping the best to himself? Everyone who's ever hung his morels up to dry in discarded onion bags knows that the mushroom capital of the world is Mesick, Mich., not Boyne City.
Claypool, Ind.

I've been hunting and eating wild mushrooms for about 65 years and have yet to get my fill of the most delectable one of all, the morel. Robert F Jones covered the subject well but omitted mention of (or didn't know about) the fact that morels may someday be grown commercially.

Michigan State University mycologists announced a couple of years ago that they had found the secret, but they didn't give it away. Perhaps SI can pry it out of them and give all of us mycophagists the break we've been waiting for for so many years. It's more fun to find them, but we don't all live in Michigan or other morel habitats.
Holmes Beach, Fla.

•Alas, Michigan State spokesmen say that experiments in producing the morel commercially are still in the laboratory stage.—ED.

Six pages of coverage on mushroom hunting? Robert F Jones calls it "America's strangest sporting event," but I think he's asking too much of my imagination for me to connect that article with sports or see any merit in it.
Ewing Township, N.J.

The question raised in William Oscar Johnson's article Is There Life After Los Angeles? (May 21) is triumphantly answered 24 pages later in the same issue! Kenny Moore's article A Joyous Journey for Joan captured the spirit and excitement of the women's Olympic marathon trial. It was all there: "gutty" Joan Benoit, strategist Julie Brown, thrilled and thrilling Julie Isphording and the "innate Olympian," Lisa Larsen. Sister Marion Irvine's 132nd-place finish and Cathy Schiro's heroic attempt at third added to the color and drama. The athletes' continued efforts to participate in the Games and public support like that shown for the trial in Olympia, Wash, will ensure the future of the Olympics.

But please, publish a picture of the "joyous" Isphording taken during that last half mile. The expression on her face will serve as inspiration to thousands of boys and girls across the country who have as their goal making a future U.S. Olympic team.
Wilmington, Del.

•Here she is as she appeared just after crossing the finish line.—ED.

"It's Al Arbour-style hockey, playoff hockey, and it's the reason the Islanders will beat the Edmonton Oilers and win their fifth straight Cup. Five games? Six games? It doesn't matter. The Islanders will win it."—E.M. Swift (The Great Ones Go After the Great One, May 14).

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