With the aura of nationalism still lingering in the air of Lake Placid, now might be as good a time as any to nail another spike in the Olympic coffin. Whereas the original Greek Games did much to transcend the narrow politics of the city-states, our present-day version of the Olympics does, in fact, do quite the contrary. This may not be a problem in the future because, as many predict, the Games could die in Moscow. In such case, the resurgence of the Olympics could be a long time coming; the world community has quite a bit of growing up to do before true Olympian ideals become world realities.
STEVEN C. WILLIAMS
We are only two months into 1980 and the book is already closed on the selection of Sportsmen of the Year. Nothing will top the performance and class of the U.S. Olympic hockey team.
ROBERT E. KINGSBURY
There's no Heiden it. Eric is Sportsman of the Year.
JEFFREY M. FISHER
Sportsmen of the Year, a tie: Superman Eric Heiden and Superteam, the U.S. Olympic hockey team.
CHARLES R. DICKERSON
Bob Ottum's The Rise and the Fall (Feb. 25) was one of the most sensitive stories ever published in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To find words for the sadness we all felt for Randy and Tai had to be a difficult task.
RICHARD W. BLAIR
Mr. Ottum describes the Russian pair as skating perfectly and flawlessly, but your picture of the two on page 35 contradicts this statement. Notice Zaitsev's hand as he hoists Rodnina. It rests on her thigh, while the rule states it cannot be on the leg.
GENE M. WRONKO
I hope Tai and Randy realize that their work, discipline and stress have not gone for naught. To those of us who love skating in its purest form, they cannot be surpassed.
MRS. JOHN S. RENOUARD
Garden City, N.Y.
Ron Rau's expos� (Valley of the Eagles, Feb. 25) of the plight of our national bird points out the self-serving attitude of too many Americans. It is truly unfortunate that the residents of Haines and the rest of us find it so difficult to take off our economic and political blinders when dealing with the environment.
The national bird must remain an eagle for the same reason the word heart must remain in all those memorable love songs. Surely, I didn't leave my liver in San Francisco. By the same line of reasoning, imagine the first man on the moon saying, "The Turkey has landed."
As a psychiatrist interested in sports and sports-related phenomena, I have long been puzzled by your yearly midwinter bathing-suit issue. It wasn't apparent to me why a magazine devoted to sports coverage would so drastically change its format.