By Ilaria Tocchini at the Italian Swimming Championships in Pesaro, the first "bikini" worn in an internationally sanctioned competition. Tocchini, who caused a slight commotion when she appeared in her wine-and-black two-piece on the starting blocks, went on to win the 200-meter butterfly in 2:14.58. The suit, which the entire Italian women's swim team will wear at next month's European Championships, is made of a spandex-like material and has hydro-dynamic qualities superior to those of traditional maillots, which weigh swimmers down when they become waterlogged. And, says Tocchini, "It's funny to feel the water on your tummy."
By the New England Patriots, tight end Zeke Mowatt. The Patriots claim that Mowatt, who has yet to pay a $12,500 fine to the NFL for his part in a sexual-harassment incident involving reporter Lisa Olson, was released for football reasons, despite the fact that upon entering minicamp he was second on the team's depth chart. Mowatt remains a defendant in Olson's sexual-harassment lawsuit against him, two of his ex-teammates and the Patriots. "We hope that Zeke is employed by another NFL team soon," says Olson's lawyer, Norman Zalkind. "And, of course, we hope that he is very well paid."
The professional career of Steve Palermo, an American League umpire since 1977, who on July 7 was shot in the back while trying to break up an attempted robbery in the parking lot of a Dallas restaurant. Although the early prognosis was for a complete recovery, Palermo has been unable to move his legs fully since the incident, and doctors are now unsure whether the nerve damage he suffered is permanent.
As coach of the American Hockey League's Utica (N.Y.) Devils, former U.S. Olympic coach Herb Brooks. Brooks, who led the American team to a surprising gold medal at the 1980 Games in Lake Placid, has also coached the New York Rangers, the Minnesota North Stars and the Daro's of the Swiss Elite League. Since 1988, Brooks has worked as a color commentator for Sports-Channel America and as a salesman for the Turnquist Paper Company. When asked about accepting the job with Utica, Brooks philosophized, "Socrates says, 'Take my youth and make them better.' Besides, I was tired of selling toilet paper."
To the U.S., Ren� Arocha, 25, a pitcher on the Cuban national baseball team. Arocha, who is the first Cuban athlete in a team sport to defect, was met by family members and his former pitching coach at the Miami International Airport. The Cuban team was about to return home after competing in a series of exhibition games with the U.S., and the group simply walked away from the gate unnoticed. Arocha, who has been called the Dwight Gooden of Cuba, possesses a fastball that is regularly clocked at 92 mph. During a visit to Mexico last year, Arocha signed a baseball for an American friend with the words Nos Vemos, which translates into "Be seeing you."