Publish date:

For The Record

DIED Of cancer, Gayle Olinekova, 50, a marathon runner whose
muscular moneymakers were dubbed the "greatest legs ever to
stride the earth" in the Jan. 5, 1981, SI. At the 1980 New
Orleans Marathon, Olinekova, who began racing as a teen in
Toronto, ran what was then the third-fastest time for a woman
marathoner (2:35:12) despite her unusually stocky 5'6", 125-pound
frame. "The Twiggy look is history," she said in '81. Originally
a sprinter, Olinekova embarked on a drifter's life in Europe
after missing the '72 Canadian Olympic team. At one point she was
sleeping in the high jump pit at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, where
she trained during the day. She returned to North America in '74
and began lengthening her runs, qualifying for the 1980 Moscow
Olympics in the 1,500 meters before Canada boycotted the Games.
About that time she said, "I decided to go crazy with weights."
She also subsisted on a highly unorthodox diet, eating almost
nothing but fruit. Olinekova settled near L.A., became a
chiropractor and wrote five books promoting healthy lifestyles.

RECEIVED Anonymous letters threatening them with violence if they
continue their relationships with white women, six
African-American NFL players, including Eagles wide receiver
Freddie Mitchell and Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor. FBI
agents in Cleveland have been investigating the letters, which
have also been sent to roughly two dozen prominent black men in
other fields, but after two years have no suspect. According to
the FBI the letters, nearly all of which have been sent from the
Cleveland area, are believed to have been sent by the same
person. The letters, the FBI says, direct the men to terminate
relationships with white women "or they're going to be castrated,
shot or set on fire." Taylor is married to the sister of white
teammate Zach Thomas. Mitchell, who is unmarried, appeared last
year on the reality show A Dating Story, in which he accompanied
a white model to an amusement park. "You can't do anything about
it," Mitchell said last Friday. "There's racism on the team; I've
heard racist remarks in Philly. It's sad that it's coming down to
that, but it's reality. Racism is there, it's just disguised a
lot now."

DISMISSED The 15 felony charges against Salt Lake Bid Committee
members Tom Welch, 59, and David Johnson, 45, stemming from
allegations that they brought the 2002 Winter Olympics to Utah by
plying IOC members with $1 million worth of bribes. In throwing
out the case, judge David Sam said he had "never seen a criminal
case brought to trial that was so devoid of criminal intent." The
pair's legal fees--reportedly more than $12 million--will be paid
by an insurance company that was hired by the Salt Lake Olympic
Committee shortly after the Games.

SURFACED As a volunteer assistant coach for a Denver-area high
school, Dave Bliss, 60. The ex-Baylor coach, who resigned in
August after secretly recorded tapes revealed he tried to portray
murdered basketball player Patrick Dennehy as a drug dealer to
cover up NCAA violations, is helping out at Green Mountain High,
where his son Jeff is a junior guard. "A coach is always a
coach," Bliss told The Denver Post before Jeff scored 17 points
in Green Mountain's opening-night win. "I enjoy working with
young people. If I can help, I'll collect water bottles and won't
yell at the referees."