On their way to the Norwegian polar islands of Spitsbergen, 85-year-old Avery Brundage and his 37-year-old bride, Mariann Princess Reuss, stopped off at Tromso for a bit of sightseeing. "Surprisingly friendly," pronounced baffled inhabitants, who chatted with the former Olympic Games chief. Brundage, apparently determined to be the perfect guest and free at last of Olympic responsibilities, complimented Norwegian skiers as "the truest amateurs in the Olympic sense" and, when asked if he were properly equipped for the cold in the polar regions, quipped: "Of course. Mariann and I shall know how to keep warm. After all, we are not newlyweds for nothing."
"Before a big event involving my powers I will fast, abstain from sex and utter Islamic prayers," wrote Shariff Abubakar Omar, an African witch doctor, in a letter to England's soccer team manager, Sir Alf Ramsey. Witch doctor Omar would like to sign a contract to help England win next year's World Cup by so befuddling her opponents that they will see either "two balls or a snake." Omar does not think much of England's chances without his hexes. England does not think much of Omar's chances. Besides, how do you suit up a witch doctor?
Dale Cross of Yuba City, Calif. umpired the only game the North Yuba Little League team lost after 16 wins. So it goes, but Dale happens to be married to Josie Cross, who manages the team. Said Dale after Josie made him walk home, "It doesn't bother you to have the losing team get on you, but this time I have to live with the losing manager."
Exhibiting a muscular torso seldom seen in public is champion race driver Jackie Stewart, one of several British athletes who participated in a Superstars of Sport competition at the Crystal Palace in London recently. Events in their version of the new pastime included weight lifting, gymnastics, lawn tennis, cycling, the 100-meter sprint, a 600-meter steeplechase and a soccer penalty game. Olympic gold medal hurdler David Hemery won the $10,000 first prize. Jackie won admiring looks.
It may be the air age, but an estimated 25 million Americans still are afraid to fly, among them actress Maureen Stapleton, folk singer Joan Baez, comedian Bob Newhart, spokesman for conservatism William Buckley Jr. and—fasten your seat belts for this one—Evel Knievel. A nice safe flight over the Grand Canyon on the seat of a motorcycle is one thing, but a death-defying leap across the continent in a 747? Evel prefers to be grounded.
Bill Bangert, mayor of Champ, Mo., not far from St. Louis, earned his reputation as a strong man when he started winning a gaggle of weight-throwing titles three decades ago. He also carried 775 pounds' worth of rocks known as the Dinnie Stones across the River Dee in Scotland in 1971, a feat that had not been accomplished in 116 years. Now Bangert, who keeps in shape by tossing telephone poles around, plans to move the famous Naha Stone in Hawaii (shown here), which will automatically make him King of the Islands. The last man to move the 3½-ton stone was Kamehameha, who became King of Hawaii centuries ago. It's one way to solve the problem of free elections.
The august old U.S. Naval Academy has turned its all-male class of 1977 over to two pistol-packin' mamas for instruction on the firing range. Data Processor Third Class Julia Taylor of Texas and Aerographer's Mate Second Class Karon Schulz of Ohio are the first female pistol instructors in the 100-year history of the Naval Academy. Vetterans of numerous civilian and Navy pistol matches, Instructors Taylor and Schulz have scored 260 and 276, respectively, out of a possible 300, on the Academy range. They say the plebes are coming along nicely.
Paul Blair of the Orioles overcame his fear of knockdown pitches after consulting a hypnotist; Willie Davis of the Dodgers has joined a Buddhist sect to improve his attitude and average; Angels' Pitcher Bill Singer and Minnesota's Dick Woodson study Psycho-Cybernetics, which almost convinces one that a foul is as good as a base hit; and the Royals' Ed Kirkpatrick has improved his concentration on the ball with a course in visualization. This is known as mind over batter.
Thailand's Pichai Sinpatanasakul, who for the past seven years has been attending school in this country—including Jack Riley's All-American Hockey School in Lenox, Mass.—thinks that ice hockey, as a game of skill, body contact and controlled violence, would appeal to the average Thai, who likes his games rough. "I don't see how it could fail," he said. Exactly. Long as they're not playing for, say, the Bruins. The Boston fans would have to learn to chant, "Kill 'em, Pichai Sinpatanasakul."