Two-time Wimbledon singles champion Kitty McKane Godfree, 96, in London. McKane, one of the first women to rush the net, was the only player to beat Helen Wills at Wimbledon, winning 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the final in 1924. In '26 she won another All England singles crown and her second mixed doubles championship, playing with her husband, Leslie Godfree. McKane, who reaped five Olympic medals, including a gold in the women's doubles in '20, played tennis into her 90's and became the first woman vice-president of the All England Club, in 1989. Among friends and colleagues she was known as the Queen of Wimbledon.
By a French team for the first time in 12 years, The 24 Hours of Le Mans, as Peugeot drivers Yannick Dalmas, Derek Warwick and Mark Blundell led from the second hour. They covered 352 laps of the 8.45-mile circuit at an average speed of 123.89 mph to beat the runner-up Toyota team by six laps.
By Academy Award-winning actor Jack Palance, 72, his Oscar-night one-handed push-up performance, in front of the Senate select committee on aging. Before testifying as to the benefits of art and dance therapy for older people, Palance dropped to the floor of the hearing room and gave the committee nine, this time with his left hand. "I felt I had to do these here, as I didn't get the opportunity to use each hand at the Oscars," he said.
MVP—Master Vendor of Peanuts—by the National Peanut Council, Kansas City's James Holmes, 82. Holmes, an Arkansas farm boy who raises goobers in his backyard to this day, began a career as a steelworker in K.C. in 1946. In '73 he started moonlighting as a peanut salesman at the new Royals Stadium, and he has worked the stands along the right-field line ever since. As to the secret of his success, he said, "I don't ever holler. I just hold my product up. People know what I sell. They are listening to the game, and they can't hear it if you're hollering." Amen.
Jim Nance, 49, the 1966 American Football League MVP; of a heart attack; in Quincy, Mass. Nance, who was a fullback and two-time NCAA heavyweight wrestling champ at Syracuse, played for the Boston Patriots from '65 through '71. At 6'1" and 235 pounds, he set an AFL single-season rushing record of 1,458 yards in '66. In '83 he had a mild heart attack while playing touch football with some neighbors, and the following day he suffered a stroke, which left him partially paralyzed. "When people die, their exploits, their deeds, suddenly seem larger than life," said Nance's friend Bill Bates. "This was not the case with Jim Nance. His exploits, his deeds, were real. He was larger than life."
McKane was on top of her game in '24.