I could not fail to compare your Feb. 4 swimsuit cover of Christie Brinkley with your Feb. 18 cover of track star Mary Decker. Brinkley's smile is for the camera, not from the heart, but Decker's smile is one of pure joy, from real athletic achievement and from the genuine respect of those fortunate enough to have witnessed her remarkable run. I suspect that most of your readers would rather see the latter than the former.
When I first saw the cover of the Feb. 18 SI, I thought you might have been featuring a photograph left over from the swimsuit issue. I don't mean to sound sexist, but Mary Decker is that attractive. And besides, can Christie Brinkley run a four-minute metric mile? Indoors?
I think I'll hang Mary Decker's picture on my living-room wall. Pure beauty is marvelous, but it's strictly courtesy of nature and cosmetics. Accomplishment plus beauty—that's greatness with a bonus!
WILLIAM E. CARSLEY
Joe Marshall's article Hail, the Conquering Heroine! was great. It is an illustration of women in sport that I can save to show my infant daughter when she grows older. Mary Decker and many other women athletes have earned a place in SI. Forget the swimsuit issue! Mary Decker is a true beauty!
VIRGINIA A. DELANEY
That is how a sports story should be written! Joe Marshall had my heart pounding and my face beaming as he described Mary Decker's astounding record-smashing run. I could hear the Garden announcer's voice in my living room as the crowd urged Mary on to the world record. I was so pumped up I did 50 laps around the dining-room table! (It was too cold to run outdoors.)
I can't help but be amused by the letters criticizing your annual swimsuit issue (19TH HOLE, Feb. 18). I am a woman and a serious athlete, but I am in no way offended by this annual issue.
San Pedro, Calif.
My husband didn't mind Christie Brinkley, but boy did he get mad at the cover photograph of Eric Heiden (Feb. 11)—"Those racing suits leave nothing to the imagination!" Sound familiar?
To each his own. I love ya, SI. Keep those letters coming in! They keep things interesting for the rest of us readers.
My three favorite things in SI are the photographs, the articles and the 19TH HOLE two weeks after the swimsuit issue. For all of those women's libbers who disliked the bathing-suit issue—well, I hope they get drafted.
Maple Park, Ill.
Despite your getting some anti-swimsuit mail, all I can say is, great issue! If those girls aren't athletic-looking, then someone better get his specs checked. Anyway, don't the do-gooders know swimming is a sport?
Merritt Island, Fla.