Nineteen years ago, when I was in the ninth grade, I sent a letter to the editor of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED stating my disappointment regarding the exploitation of women in your annual Swimsuit Issue. But with those beautiful pictures of swimmer Michael Phelps in your Olympic Preview, I can now say that all is forgiven.
Jessica Madison, Portland
Susan Casey's story on Michael Phelps's quest for eight gold medals was excellent, and the anatomic splendor of this magnificent water vessel was captured in amazing detail in the pictorials (The Quest, July 28). But in that photo on page 76, did we really need to see the rudder?
Louis L. Glass, Chambersburg, Pa.
As a swimmer in the 1968 Olympics who also has an economics degree, I disagree with Casey's claim that "it's already over" in regard to a comparison between Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps. Mark was not a "seven-figure industry" in '68 or '72. Back then we did not have the financial support to be able to swim for three or more Olympics, as Michael does. This financial support also allows Michael to use state-of-the-art methods of training that will allow him to challenge Mark's record.
Brent T. Berk, Honolulu
Natalie du Toit's participation in the 2008 Olympic Games (What's New, July 28) is indeed noteworthy, but it is not the first time a Paralympian has competed in the Olympics. Neroli Fairhall, a paraplegic from New Zealand, competed in archery in several Paralympics and also the '84 Olympics. A number of American athletes with disabilities have also competed, including Jim Abbott, who was featured in your recent Where Are They Now? issue and who pitched at the '88 Olympics, when baseball was a demonstration sport.
David Legg, Calgary, Alberta
Looking at your medal picks in more than 300 events, including nonsports such as synchronized springboard (?!?), I think I'd be better served not watching the Olympics and instead practicing Madden 2009, since that is likely to soon become an Olympic event.
Frank Tino, Waltham, Mass.
The gold medal for photography goes to SI and Michael O'Neill's Olympic portfolio.
Michael Berberich, Galveston, Texas
Though Barry Bonds still wants to play (PLAYERS, July 28), it isn't difficult to see why no general manager will take a chance on him. Your relatively short story included phrases such as "legal issues," "surly persona," "subpar leftfielder," "clubhouse distraction," "former mistress" and "not talking." That doesn't exactly boost his cause.
Mike Patterson, Omaha
Surely it is no accident that the piece on how athletes married or engaged to Chris Evert experience a lift in performance (PLAYERS, July 28) happens to be placed between Viagra ads?
Ben Nutter, Topsfield, Mass.
Michelle Wie's disqualification from the LPGA State Farm Classic for failing to sign her scorecard after the second round (INSIDE GOLF, July 28) is ludicrous. Sorry, purists, but professional athletes should not be required to keep their own score, or sign for the result, especially when officials and TV coverage are handling that already. I can just see one of Michael Jordan's NBA championships being taken away because he failed to sign the score book.
Rick Elliott, Evansville, Ind.
Jim Gorant's report of Wie's being disqualified for failing to sign her scorecard painted Rule 6-6-b as "arcane." The uniqueness of golf is that it is primarily policed by its players. Golfers call penalties on themselves, often sacrificing an opportunity for victory and a paycheck. Golf does not rely on referees but the integrity of the individual to ensure the game is executed according to its rules.
Joe Peters, Winchester, Mass.
Your article in which G.M.'s and scouts picked a player to build their team around (INSIDE BASEBALL, July 28) is baffling because nobody was smart enough to vote for Twins first baseman Justin Morneau. Through Aug. 7 he has 89 RBIs, second in the AL, is batting .311 with 18 homers, and he plays defense with the best of them—not to mention that he won a little thing called the AL MVP award two years ago.
Ryan Leddy, Minneapolis
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