It has truly been an honor watching Michael Phelps bring home Olympic gold over the last eight years. A champion is someone who stares down his opponent and is dominant in winning, while still being gracious and humble in defeat. A champion works hard and uses his talent to elevate his sport while constantly pushing the competition to its limits just to keep up. Phelps's legacy will be as a champion.
Edward Steinblatt, Denver
Before we all anoint Phelps as the greatest swimmer of all time (The Last Lap), let's not forget the amazing Johnny Weissmuller. Before taking on the role of Tarzan from 1932 to '48, Weissmuller won five Olympic gold medals in swimming (three in Paris in 1924 and two in Amsterdam in '28). From 1921 to '29, he won every freestyle race he entered. Throughout his nine-year career Weissmuller won 52 U.S. titles and set 67 world records.
Arnold Shiffrin Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
Tweet and Sour
What was the point of those inane tweets from Samuel L. Jackson during the Olympics (SCORECARD)? The comments were crude and demeaning to the athletes and to the spirit of the Games. It's a shame many of the great things that happened in London were reduced to Jackson's drivel and his poor attempts at humor.
Ron Caputo, Chandler, Ariz.
I loved your article on the sacrifices made by Olympic parents (SCORECARD). U.S. swimmer Kathleen Hersey's father, Brian, should also be added to the conversation for his relentless support throughout Kathleen's career. He has traveled all over the world to see his daughter compete despite being confined to a wheelchair since the 1980s after suffering a spinal cord aneurysm. In January his wife (and Kathleen's mother), Regina, died from colon cancer. Nevertheless, Brian was in the stands at the Aquatic Centre in London, watching Kathleen finish fourth in the 200-meter butterfly.
Bruce Riefenstahl Mount Joy, Pa.
Bolt of Arrogance
While I respect Usain Bolt's athletic ability (Two for the Show), his boorish behavior and constant rants about himself detract from his epic performances. He should heed the old adage, "Pride goeth before a fall."
Jim Bates, Marshall, Texas
E-mail SI at letters@SI.timeinc.com or fax SI at 212-467-2417. Letters should include the writer's full name, address and home telephone number and may be edited for clarity and space.
Customer Service and Subscriptions
For 24/7 service, go to SI.com/customerservice. Call 1-800-528-5000 or write to SI at P.O. Box 30602, Tampa, FL 33630-0602. To purchase reprints of SI covers, go to SIcovers.com.
For ad rates, an editorial calendar or a media kit, e-mail SI at SIpubqueries@timeinc.com.
[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]
RUN THE WORLD, GIRLS
LEGACY OF MUNICH
TWEET OF THE WEEK
"DID RED SOX PLAYERS SEND A NOTE [TO THE OWNERS] THAT READ, 'CHECK THIS BOX IF YOU ARE GOING TO FIRE HIM [BOBBY VALENTINE] OR THIS ONE IF YOU ARE FIRING US?'"
STEVEN WOJ (@STEVENWOJ)
What are your thoughts on Augusta National Golf Club's admitting former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore as the first female members in the club's 80-year history?
Dennis Terry: I applaud Augusta for not bowing to the pressure in 2003, when the story was big, and waiting to do it on its own terms. It seems [club officers] admitted these ladies not because they wanted to be politically correct but because they actually wanted them as members.
James Jandelli: While I think it's good that they are finally allowing female members, I can't believe they picked Rice and Moore as the first two. It's actually a bit of an insult to the players on the LPGA tour that they're admitting women who have nothing to do with the game on a regular basis.
Ted Durling: I just wonder if this controversy would have happened if it was the other way around, with an all-female club?
Keith Grace: It's way too little, too late. Nothing more than a publicity stunt to make them look good. Besides, it is impossible for me to have an ounce of respect for Augusta or the sport of golf with its 1940s social ideologies and its destruction to the environment.
SIMON BRUTY (COVER)
FOR Aug. 13, 2012
MARK RALSTON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (RICE)