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What made chain-smoking, steady-handed Arnold Palmer's performance at San Francisco last Thursday (five birdies to climb into an early first-round lead at the Lucky International) even more remarkable was that he had given up smoking cigarettes the night before.

Of all the skiers at Innsbruck this week, one of the least likely to win a gold medal, or even a bronze one, is a 27-year-old member of the Iranian team and spiritual leader of some 20 million Ismaili Moslems. But His Highness the Aga Khan, who was 36th in the world championship in Chamonix in 1962, is far from disheartened. "I participate," he says, "because I like skiing."

The rippling back muscles belonged to YMCA gym instructor Bill Floyd, the pained expression in the seeming mirror image opposite (below) to Teamster Boss James R. Hoffa, who was keeping fit under Floyd's tutelage while a Chattanooga jury pondered the weight of his evidence.

Ike's putting green may soon be reactivated along with the neglected White House tennis court if Lynda Bird Johnson's new roommate is given her head. "She's an energetic girl," says the father of Warrie Lynn Smith, the Texas coed who has come to Washington to live at the White House and attend George Washington University with the President's daughter, "and she loves swimming, golf and tennis."

There must be something about being an executive that goes straight to the waistline. "Where can I get a steam bath around here?" demanded Vice-President Stanley Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals as he arrived in Syracuse a full five pounds overweight to attend still another banquet. Was it just the eating that did it? Could be, but then Sandy Koufax, a plain working stiff with no fancier title than Most Valuable Player, hit the same banquet circuit just as hard and he lost five pounds.

Recalling for millions of British voters that cliché of news photography, a Conservative Prime Minister sitting straddle-legged on a shooting stick, pipe-smoking Labor Leader Harold Wilson said the time had come to "sweep away the grouse-moor conception of Tory leadership." Whereupon London's Conservative Daily Express investigated the hobbies of Wilson's Socialist colleagues and found they included golf, photography, camping, walking, tennis and gardening. As for grouse-moor photography, said Tory Quintin Hogg, who was more than once snapped bathing on wintry beaches when his name was Lord Hailsham: "I am not sure that this is any sillier than getting yourself photographed sitting on a bollard in the Scilly Isles and smoking a pipe."

For once an oldtimer was willing to admit that perhaps things were not necessarily better in his day. Dropping in on Washington to pay his respects to a U.S. President for the first time since he shook hands with Calvin Coolidge in 1925, 66-year-old Paavo Nurmi said that in the '20s long-distance runners spent hours and hours walking to keep in trim. "It was a waste of time," said the Flying Finn.

Suddenly losing both speech and temper in a flash-fire argument at his restaurant with former Heavyweight Champion Gene Tunney, the sports world's most famous fat man, Toots Shor, rose belligerently to his feet, ostensibly to do battle. A self-appointed peacemaker, retired Air Force General Emmett (Rosie) O'Donnell, sought to avert bloodshed by pinning Toots's arms to his side, but the truculent restaurateur quickly set him straight. "Don't hold me Rosie," he said with eminent practicality. "Hold Tunney."

The hazards of skiing are not all on the slopes, according to Pennsylvania's First Lady. On her way to a ski vacation in Europe, Mrs. William Scranton, a snow bunny from childhood, told of the difficulties she encountered teaching her four children to ski. "It was fascinating," she said, "trying to get all the parkas on and all the runny noses wiped and all the skis adjusted at the same time."

"If you see a handsome southpaw who swings like a rocking chair and hits a three-wood from the tee with a little educated slice, don't be deceived," wrote the New York Times' James (Scotty) Reston on the resignation of the director of the U.S. Information Service. "Ed Murrow is the shrewdest first-tee negotiator in the country and the best left-handed putter in Christendom. Everywhere else in the world he's a gentleman, but on a golf course he's a scoundrel."

The world's fastest woman will have to make her Olympic contribution this year in the form of a promissory note. In June, when the other U.S. track stars are training their hardest, Wilma Rudolph Eldridge will be giving birth to a track star of the future.