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Original Issue


Retired male athletes, by and large, do not just fade away. They manage and coach teams, broadcast, advertise, advise large corporations and acquire restaurants and bowling alleys over which their names flicker in neon. Even if they do not do so well, you hear about them. As ex-big leaguer Jim Lemon once said, "Most of us have to get jobs, and all we have when we get out is our names."

But where do the girls go? While the men are using their names the female athletes are changing them, and the girls often disappear from the public eye like a stone dropped overboard from the Queen Mary. Fascinated by the life that Tenley Albright has chosen (page 28), we searched out some of the other women who were making headlines not too long ago.

Most of the girls proved to be as fervently domestic as they once had been athletic. Skater Carol Heiss, married to skater Hayes Jenkins, lives in West Akron, Ohio and has not had a pair of skates on for more than a year. Now 25, Carol is the mother of two and is occupied with "my housework, my children and my community activities." Wilma Rudolph Eldridge, 24, the track sensation of the 1960 Olympics, teaches the second grade of an elementary school in Clarksville, Tenn. She also has two children and says, "I couldn't run a race. I'm quite a bit overweight."

Skiers Penny Pitou and Betsy Snite are now Penny Zimmerman and Betsy Riley, and Penny has a little boy. Both still know a ski when they see one—they live in Gilford, N.H. and Stowe, Vt., and Penny and her husband run ski schools—but both are happy to be retired. "I wanted three meals a day," Penny says. "I got tired of scrimping."

Tennis player Maureen Connolly retired less voluntarily. In 1954 she was hit by a truck while horseback riding, and her right leg was so badly injured that she had to give up tennis. It was a lot to give up. At 19 Maureen was the only woman ever to win all four major tennis titles in a single year, and her game was improving. But even Little Mo does not regret quitting. She married Olympic Equestrian Norman Brinker in 1955. They live in Dallas now, have two daughters, and Maureen's present passion is gourmet cooking.

Carin Cone, the pretty swimmer of the 1956 Olympics who was our first world backstroke champion, quit swimming in 1960 because she was "too old, and my hair was always wet." Now 24, Carin is married to Captain Al Vanderbush III, a former co-captain of the Army football team who is in Korea.Carin teaches school in Ridgewood, N.J. and does much of her own sewing.

A couple of exceptions to this creeping domesticity are swimmer Chris von Saltza and Althea Gibson, the tennis player turned nightclub singer turned golfer. Chris, who retired in 1960, is a junior at Stanford University, a year behind her class because she accepted a one-year State Department assignment to coach Asian swimmers before the Tokyo Olympics. She hopes to work abroad again following her graduation in 1966. Althea, who retired from tennis in 1958, took up golf and turned pro in 1963. In 1964 she finished 38th on the tour, and an LPGA official expects her to do better and better. "She's 37," he says, "but she isn't 37 physically." Althea's name may be in lights again.