There is much talk about de-emphasizing nationalism in the Olympics and
eliminating it altogether in favor of honoring the individual winners. I think
this could best be accomplished not only by forgetting the point-scoring system
(E & D, Feb. 13) but with a change in approach all the way down the line,
beginning right with the Olympic ceremonies. The Americans in their white coats
and red hats, mitts and sweaters stood out handsomely this year. The Russians,
while not so handsome in brown and blue, also stood out. The same was true of
every nation there. Thus the costumes denoted, at a glance, "Russian"
or "American." If the emphasis is to be on the best individuals in each
event, why not have each class of entries dressed alike, if you will, and
likewise march together in the pre-game ceremony? Skiers together, skaters
together and so on. This way the national might and prestige of powerful
nations like the U.S. and Russia would not overshadow small delegations such as
Bolivia. Likewise the achievements of athletes could better be considered on an
individual basis instead of as just so many more points for their respective
should be purely and simply a gathering of athletes, not a conclave of nations
in competition for world-wide notice.
congratulate you on your unbiased and enlightening article on Mr. Brundage (SI,
Jan. 30, Feb. 6). For too long I have felt the lack of accurate information
about him. He emerges a capable and admirable man.
MRS. MARIANNE MAGNAN
BETTER THAN A
The 1956 Winter Olympics have well demonstrated that ample monetary support for
athletic training programs, i.e., money from the state, tends to permit more
extensive practice and improved performance. The Olympic Games are a grand show
and certainly worthy of continuation, because the various factions in the
"Cold War" meet on the athletic field rather than on a future
battlefield. And for those of us who are spectators only they provide as
thrilling a show as anything in sports.
Salt Lake City
The best country won due to better conditioning and better teams. You didn't
say, as others did, that the Russians were professionals and won because of
that. No, you made the truth obvious and made no excuses for our lack of
Thank you for
such broad-minded reporting.
NO PROS IN
The fact that so many of our greatest athletes turn professional hurt us dearly
at Cortina and other international competitions, in particular with the
have no professional athletes; thus they do not suffer the loss of any super
stars as we do. Can you imagine what our professional boxers, basketball and
hockey teams would do to the "amateur" Russian teams?
For my money, we
still are the greatest sporting nation in the world, not in need of a warning,
but of some fair adjustments!
Without SI, life
wouldn't be the same.
GEORGE D. GORDON