Gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes got an early Christmas
present on Dec. 13 when she opened her e-mail and learned she'd
been accepted into Harvard's class of '07. But though the school
has graduated some of skating's brightest--including two-time
gold medalist Dick Button (class of '52) and 1992 silver medalist
Paul Wylie ('91)--Hughes may not wind up on the Cambridge quads.
That's because turning Crimson would mean splitting with her
coach, Robin Wagner, who's also Hughes's mentor and best friend.
"I can't move to Boston, I've got a family," Wagner, 44, told
SI's E.M. Swift. "If she went to Harvard, she'd have to find
someone else."

The brainy 17-year-old (she's an honor student at Great Neck
[N.Y.] North High and received the Presidential Award for
Academic Excellence, which requires a GPA of at least 3.5)
applied to Harvard "early action," which is nonbinding; she's
also considering Princeton, Yale and Columbia. Wagner is lobbying
for the latter, where Hughes's oldest sister, Rebecca, is in law
school. "Columbia's just 20 minutes from where we train in
Hackensack (N.J.)," says Wagner. "It's the only school that works
for both of us." Hughes, who'll try to win her first U.S. title
next month in Dallas, has until May to decide on Harvard. "She'd
like a lifestyle where she can study at a high level and skate at
a high level," says her father, John.

Who let the dog out? John Elway did--and his 150-pound malamute,
Kimo, is proving to be as impressive a scrambler as his owner.
Elway has received five citations in the past two years after
Kimo has been seen running freely on the streets of Cherry Hills
Village, the gated Denver community where the Broncos great
lives. Last week Elway appeared before municipal court judge
James Turre, who fined him $500 and warned that Kimo could be
taken away if it is found wandering loose. Said a contrite Elway,
"The dog got out, and we won't let that happen again."

Naked handstands, anyone? Three former Romanian
gymnasts--including Olympic medalist and five-time world champ
Lavinia Milosovici--have been banned by the Romanian Gymnastics
Federation after the organization discovered that five years ago
they appeared in an adult movie in Japan. Milosovici, Corina
Ungureanu and Claudia Presacan performed gymnastic routines nude
for a film that aired on a private cable network.... While on a
goodwill visit to the Dominican Republic earlier this month,
68-year-old Sadaharu Oh (868 career home runs in the Japanese
Leagues) visited Sammy Sosa (499 career homers and counting) at
the Cubs star's home in La Romana.... Kryptonite isn't all that
can overcome Superman. Bethune-Cookman defensive back Rashean
Mathis finished the season with 14 interceptions, breaking the
Division I-AA record held by Dean Cain, the Princeton star who
played Superman for four years in ABC's Lois & Clark: The New
Adventures of Superman.... Kurt Russell will portray Olympic
coach Herb Brooks in the upcoming Disney movie The Miracle, about
the 1980 U.S. gold-medal hockey team.... Snake-fondling rocker
Alice Cooper, a former minority owner of the Diamondbacks, will
sponsor the Alice Cooper/Montgomery Racing team in the ARCA
series next season. His driver, Chase Montgomery, 19, was
runner-up in this year's rookie standings.

COLOR PHOTO: GREGG DEGUIRE/WIREIMAGE.COM (HUGHES) Smart Sarah COLOR PHOTO: ROCKY WIDNER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (BOYKINS) COLOR PHOTO: DITA ALANGKARA/AP (SWIMMING SANTA) PICTURE THIS There is a place, boys and girls, where the sharks face off with the marlins, and the dolphins mix it up with the terrapins, and the devil rays are as good as everybody else. It's called the ocean, and it's reproduced, with some seasonal variations, at Sea World, in Jakarta, Indonesia, where last week Santa Claus made sure every little fish's stocking was filled to the gills.


Today show weatherman Al Roker has been named an honorary member
of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team.


Warriors 5'5" guard, after the public-address system at the Arena
in Oakland blared It's a Small World in honor of him: "Never play
that again. It irritates me."

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