In this Olympic year SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is with this issue having a torch-passing ceremony of its own. Gilbert Rogin, 54, the SI managing editor since 1979, last week became managing editor of our sister publication DISCOVER, the largest circulation general science magazine in the U.S. Rogin brings to his new job a keen interest in science as well as a grace with language and a gift for imagination, qualities, we submit, that were reflected in this magazine over the past five years.

Rogin, a writer of distinguished fiction, concluded that SI readers didn't want radical change. "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has a unique following," he says. "People often begin reading it when they're very young and continue to do so into adulthood. I felt I had the magazine in trust."

Yet Rogin also broke new ground. Thanks in part to technological innovations, deadlines were extended to allow for more late-breaking news, and SI became the first weekly magazine with the capability of running color photography on all of its pages. As newspaper and TV sports coverage improved, Rogin strove for freshness and ever better use of photos. "No matter how many instant replays you see, still photography offers something TV can't provide, what I call the 'savor factor,' " he says. Rogin gave readers plenty to savor in devoting virtually two entire issues to coverage of the Los Angeles Games and with the 534-page Olympic preview issue, which generated $24 million in advertising revenues, a single-issue record for all magazines.

Editor-in-chief Henry Grunwald has chosen as Rogin's successor Mark Mulvoy, the fifth managing editor in SI's history and, at 43, the youngest. A veteran of 19 years at the magazine, the last 3½ as assistant managing editor, Mulvoy traces his interest in sports to his boyhood in Dorchester, Mass., where he and his three younger brothers played "hockey" in the cellar of the family home using brooms as sticks and a plastic cup as the puck. Mulvoy's Boston College High School yearbook said of him, "Aspires to become a sportswriter," and he realized that goal when he joined the Boston Globe upon graduation from Boston College in 1964. He came to SI in 1965 and reported, wrote and edited baseball, golf, pro football and hockey. He also found time to write a dozen sports books and acquire a family. On their first date, he took Trish Flynn (their children are Kelly, 15; Kris, 14; Mark, 11; and Tom, 7) to a BC-Holy Cross game that was, in those pre-Flu-tie days, an almost quaint affair. Trish, a Michigan State alumna accustomed to Big Ten throngs and pageantry, said, "We're watching this?"

Joining Mulvoy atop the masthead is our new executive editor, Peter Carry, 42, like Mulvoy an SI veteran of nearly two decades.

Says Mulvoy, "Gil Rogin is a very tough act to follow. His SPORTS ILLUSTRATED was a superior publication, and we intend to keep it that way."