?The editors, who twice put Mickey Mantle on SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's cover during the '56 season, have the greatest respect for this extraordinary young man who might develop into a player of the stature of Ty Cobb. But this year's Sportsman had to come from the world's greatest sports spectacle—the quadrennial Olympic Games.—ED.
OLYMPICS: CONTEMPORARY HISTORIAN
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's decision to have Roger Bannister as a special correspondent for the Olympics was a masterly one.
I especially enjoyed his article Melbourne: A Human Story (SI, Jan. 7). Bannister's style of describing an athletic contest is reminiscent of Sir Winston Churchill writing history. Both have that intimate knowledge and years of practical experience plus beautiful exposition and choice of words.
Besides his achievements as a runner and a doctor, surely another must be added now: Roger Bannister the writer.
PATRICK A. NUTT
OLYMPICS: WESTERN APPROACHES
It was interesting to note the difference in the approach to sports taken by two of your writers in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's January 7 issue. In TENNIS, Talbert says: "If we are to maintain our position as a dominant tennis nation we must set up our own assembly line and turn them out like Fords." Bannister, speaking of the true amateur Chris Brasher, says: "Could any athlete in the future...do a normal day's work and still win an Olympic title? If he could not, then the Olympics would have lost their raison d'�tre." Me, I'm a Bannister man.
Garden City, N.Y.
OLYMPICS: NO PLACE FOR RUSSIA
The free world should break off all relations in sport with Russia until the Russians have been withdrawn from the countries they have occupied.
The Communists, like the Nazis, suffer from an inferiority complex and their prestige with their own people would suffer if they were treated as pariahs with whom self-respecting sportsmen refused to play games. It is easy to predict the immense consequences which would follow from the complete rupture of sport relations between the Free World and Soviet Russia, but let me anticipate certain obvious objections.
1) "One should not mix politics and sport." It is a degradation of words to confuse political differences with crimes against humanity. And, in any case, the Olympic Committee which excluded Germany and Japan from the 1948 Games is in no position to use this argument.
2) "All contacts between Russian and Western athletes help to counteract Communist propaganda." Maybe, but the contact is very limited. At Cortina a Russian-speaking guest in the hotel in which the Russians and I were staying began to chat informally to two members of their Olympic team. A Russian official, probably a member of the secret police, separated them by sitting down between them.
3) "The Russians will assert that the rupture of sport relations is inspired by the certainty of being beaten." Surely by now we should have learned to treat with contempt Russian lies about the West.