I had all but forgotten about true sportsmen. My faith in athletes has been restored.
ALLISON SAARELA, KENOSHA, WIS.
Congratulations on your selection of speed skaters Bonnie Blair and Johann Olav Koss as your Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year (Out of the Shadows, Dec. 19). With their dedication, solid values and extraordinary vision, these two super Olympians define the meaning of sportsperson. They're true heroes and role models for all of us.
JIM NUXOLL, Houston
Thank you for the wonderful stories about two great athletes. It renews one's spirit to read them. I'll pass them on to my children to remind them of the true meaning of sports and the Olympic spirit.
DON BRADLEY, Appleton, Wis.
I was extremely happy that you picked two speed skaters. Athletes who compete for the sole reason of competition are too often forgotten. Anyone who criticizes you for your choices does not know what a true champion is.
MELISSA SHAW, Wilmington, N.C.
January 23, 1995
My original choice for Sportspeople of the Year was the people of Norway, hosts of a marvelous Winter Olympics. They demonstrated true sportsmanship in cheering for athletes from all nations, not just their own. Norwegians also showed us their humanity by conducting a relatively environment-friendly Games and sponsoring charities such as Olympic Aid.
However, I have to admit that your choices were inspired—and an inspiration. How refreshing to read about athletes who compete for the joy of competition not the money. Blair and Koss are special people away from the ice as well as on it.
CLAIRE E. GORDON, St. Louis
Wait a minute! Not once did I see either Blair or Koss taunt an opponent with an in-your-face victory dance. Docs Koss even know how to trash-talk? No $40-a-pop autograph session? No threats of boycotts or strikes? Come to think of it, I don't recall hearing either skater moan and groan about anything. All this, and you have the nerve to call Blair and Koss athletes?
BOSKO TODOROVICH, Canton, Mich.
I'll bet this is the first year that you do not get any letters disagreeing with your choices for Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year.
JAMES BUDDE, Kamuela, Hawaii
Blair and Koss are outstanding choices. However, a third skater should have joined them on your cover. Where was Dan Jansen? He also deserved the honor.
JIM ROGERS, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Although Blair and Koss are amazing athletes, they do not deserve the honor. Nobody is more deserving than George Foreman. He pulled off the single greatest feat of 1994 by knocking out Michael Moorer to become the heavyweight champion of the world—at 45, the oldest ever. In a sport filled with controversy, there is finally a champion that everyone can look up to. Considering his greatness in the ring and colorful personality out of it, Foreman should have been your choice.
JEFF PERELLI, Trenton, N.J.
With seven Winston Cup championships, Dale Earnhardt belonged on the cover.
RICK CAMPBELL, Chesnee, S.C.
I would have liked to see New York City Marathon founder Fred Lebow named Sportsman of the Year. He showed us that we can all be champions.
MARTIN L. FRISCH, Massapequa Park, N.Y.
My choice: The New York Rangers, winners of the Stanley Cup for the first time in 54 years.
NAFTALI OLIVSTONE, New York City
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.