U.S. Olympic officials, back from Cortina and looking ahead to the Summer Games at Melbourne next November, tend to agree that, regardless of skill, many American athletes at the Winter Games did not begin to approach the edge of physical condition shown by the Russians, Scandinavians and others.
Liechtenstein's Olympic hero, Moritz Heidegger, the 19-year-old motorcycle racer who, though he had never driven a bobsled, raced creditably in the two-man bobs at Cortina (SI, Feb. 6), is dead. His sled crashed through the snow wall lining the track as he trained at St. Moritz for the Swiss two-man championships. His teammate, Weltin Wolfinger, broke a leg but Heidegger, whose brother was killed in a motorcycle accident five months ago, died of head injuries.
Startled horsemen ran across an example of Florida boosterism when weights were announced for the big 3-year-old races at Hialeah and Gulf stream Park: 122 pounds for out-of-state horses, 117 pounds for the talented Needles, which qualifies as a Florida-bred colt on the ground of having been foaled there. Embarrassed stewards could only point to a little-known clause in the state racing commission rules, intended to promote Florida breeding, which hands homebreds a five-pound advantage.
The Cowes Regatta, where many a royal yacht has raced, may have a red tinge this year. Three Russian naval officers, somewhat under the impression that it was a rowing regatta, offered to send oarsmen. Major A. M. Fitzpatrick-Robertson, Cowes Council chairman, agreed it might be done, as in times past, assured the Russians they'd be welcome no matter what they came in—warships, yachts or shells. He found "the three chappies...most congenial, most appreciative, and most un-Iron Curtain."