FOR FITNESS A BIG LEAP
Gravity-defying leaps and graceful aerial gyrations were everyday events in Sarasota last week when 700 enthusiastic gymnasts and their families converged on the town for its seventh annual gymnastic clinic. They came from all over the country and from as far away as Hawaii, Mexico and Canada—the more dedicated and budget-conscious arriving as hitchhikers. Vince D'Autorio, clinic instructor and U.S. Olympic team member, happily spotted a trend: toward the rebirth of gymnastics in the schools as a means of winning more physical fitness for U.S. youngsters. He argued the value of gymnastics from babyhood on for developing "strength, flexibility, timing, endurance and courage."
Irritated by Russia's near sweep of gymnastics in the last Olympics, college gymnasts at Sarasota complained that the U.S. has been virtually sputniked and must catch up. One fellow who is wasting no time is Joe Gusic, 25, an ex-GI from Florida State. "Two buddies and I pitched in," he said, "and bought films showing Russian and Japanese Olympic gymnasts performing. We inspect them like a football coach studies game pictures of future opponents." But all hands, including Joe Gusic, agreed that physical fitness is not gained just from watching movies.
Stretching to touch his toes, a youngster is put through the hardest part of the Kraus-Weber fitness test by Vince D'Autorio.
Dipping gracefully on one knee, an accomplished young gymnast displays her skill on a balance board for fellow enthusiasts at the gymnastic clinic held every year under the Sarasota sun during the week of vacation between Christmas and New Year's Day.
Twisting gymnast diving in a trampolin act attracts crowd in downtown Sarasota.
FOR STIRRING UP A QUIET POOL
Champion Willie Mosconi, the world's best pool player, is discouraged over apathy in his favorite game, which he prefers to call "pocket billiards." "There's just nothing going on," said Willie last week as he prepared to go to Chicago to defend the title he has held for 15 years. "The game is dormant." Glad to stir a sleeping sport wherever it may lie, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED called in Gerard Hoffnung, an unpredictable British cartoonist whose restless drawings have been likened by some connoisseurs to "loud noises on paper."
Here, with no apologies from the artist whose rebel pen has been known to convert grand pianos to fishing pools, set myopic astronomers peering skyward through the convolute horns of tubas, and equip the inflated chests of tenors with the knobs and dials of the hi-finatic, are some Hoffnung noises expressly designed to stir up a storm on the surface of Champion Willie Mosconi's quiescent pool.