The arrogance of certain athletes--to think they should qualify
for the Olympics without competition because of their past
SCOTT ROSE, Olney, Ill.
Tim Layden was right on the money in his defense of the Olympic
track and field trials (Point After, July 1). Every four years
we hear the same lament over the luckless stars who somehow
don't make the team. Sure, there are always a few
disappointments, but there are usually a few surprises as well.
The fact is that Carl Lewis always did make the team when he was
the best in the world. Unfortunately the pressure to preselect
stars to the team will probably surface again. Star athletes
prefer to have a free ticket for all rides, so as not to risk
EDWARD DERSE, Santa Monica, Calif.
Tim Layden was too flippant in saying that if certain
outstanding competitors were allowed to participate in the
Olympic Games without having qualified in the trials, they would
thereby be given a "free pass." If someone has worked and
trained for four, eight or 12 years to achieve a certain level
of performance, I don't think recognition of that achievement is
a free pass. Supposing Michael Johnson had gotten sick at the
trials rather than at Barcelona or that Mary Decker Slaney had
collided with a competitor in a trial rather than in the actual
Olympic race. As for cashing in on the Olympics, what's the
matter with that? If Layden won a Pulitzer, would he turn down
the prize money as unseemly?
WILLIAM R. SHUTTLEWORTH Cedar Rapids, Iowa
It's ludicrous to put elite athletes, who have proved themselves
in numerous events over the last six months, in a
Russian-roulette qualifier. Surely a multiple-event qualifying
system is needed. That would be fair to all athletes and would
protect a Michael Johnson from missing the team because of one
bad day. Layden claims to agree with Dan O'Brien that we need to
send our best team, but he seems more concerned with the
entertainment value of the one-shot trials and the inevitable
sound bites from newly hatched Olympians.
JEFFREY BUKANTZ, Livingston, N.J.
It was pathetic to hear some of today's athletes, with their
gold necklaces and plenty of gold in their pockets, complain
about having to qualify for the Olympics. Somebody should tell
them about those of us who trained just as hard toward the 1940
Olympics only to have them canceled because of the start of the
war in Europe. Believe me, more than 50 years later we still
feel the disappointment.
JIMMY HERBERT, New Rochelle, N.Y.
--Herbert was a three-time All-America in track at New York
I enjoyed your Scorecard about suggested look-alike actors for
sports personalities (July 8). How about this one: Harrison Ford
as golfer Nick Faldo?
J. PAUL WEIDNER, Toronto
As I watched my beloved Red Wings this season, I couldn't help
but notice the distinct resemblance between Dino Ciccarelli and
CRAIG D. BARKER, Livonia, Mich.
Michael Douglas for Pat Riley?
VASSILIS DALAKAS, Eugene, Ore.
Will Smith as Robert Horry?
MARK BODENRADER, North Andover, Mass.
Sharon Stone as Suzy Hamilton.
KEITH V. CLEVELAND, Jackson, Miss.
If she can skate, Meryl Streep for Wayne Gretzky.
RANDOLPH G. BIAS, Austin
COLOR PHOTO: L.G.I. Harrison Ford and Nick Faldo[Harrison Ford]
COLOR PHOTO: J.D. CUBAN [See caption above--Nick Faldo]
COLOR PHOTO: L.G.I. Michael Douglas and Pat Riley [Michael Douglas]
COLOR PHOTO: BILL FRAKES [See caption above--Pat Riley]
COLOR PHOTO: L.G.I. Meryl Streep and Wayne Gretzky [Meryl Streep]
COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT BECK [Wayne Gretzky]