Died Dick Durrance, 89, who won so many skiing championships that
the U.S. Ski Association put his profile on the medal it awarded
for national titles. (He won five in 1939 and turned the medals
into a necklace for his wife, Miggs.) Durrance (above) missed out
on a chance to win an Olympic medal when the '40 Games were
canceled because of World War II, during which he trained
ski-borne troops of the 10th Mountain Division. After the war he
moved to Aspen, Colo., where he helped turn what had been a
desolate mining town into a top ski resort by cutting new trails
and designing the race course that hosted the '50 world
championship. He also directed more than 40 skiing films. "His
real significance to American skiing was that he bridged the gap
between [the U.S.] and Europe, where the technique was far more
advanced," said John Fry, a former editor of Ski Magazine. "What
Dick brought was a racing turn that was ahead of his time."
Died of pancreatic cancer, Bobbye Sloan, 61, the wife of Jazz
coach Jerry Sloan. "I've been married to that man for 38 years,
and at least 11 of them have been pretty good," she told SI with
a laugh in 2002. Her joke was a reference to Jerry's many years
of hard living--which ended abruptly in 1997, when she was
diagnosed with breast cancer. Their last years together were
among their best. "I don't know why she stood by me," Jerry said
in '02, "but I'm glad she did."
Dropped an expletive--twice--on the crowd of one million at last
Thursday's rally in downtown Detroit honoring the Pistons' NBA
championship, by the team's grandfatherly owner, Bill Davidson.
The 81-year-old windshield magnate whose teams have also won NHL
(Tampa Bay) and WNBA (Detroit) titles in the past nine months,
took the microphone at Hart Plaza and said, "Over the past couple
of weeks there's been a lot of bull---- going on in this country.
Let me be a little more refined and say misconception. Let's
start with the 8-to-1 odds on the Lakers to beat the Pistons.
Bull----. Actually, they were lucky to win one game." Some local
radio stations carried the speech live.
Awarded to Albuquerque by the American Basketball Association, an
expansion team restricted to players of Native American descent.
"With diversity a key ABA goal, we can't think of anything more
fitting," said Joe Newman, the cofounder of the 24-team league.
Native America, as the team will be known, will hold seven
tryouts, beginning in Montana next month and ending in Phoenix in
August, for players with proof of Native American ancestry.
June 27, 2004
Broke by Alan Webb, Jim Ryun's 37-year-old record for the fastest
mile by a U.S runner on American soil. At last Saturday's
Prefontaine Classic at the University of Oregon's Hayward
Field--the same track on which Webb broke Ryun's national high
school record three years ago--Webb, 21, won the mile in 3:50.85,
topping Ryun's 3:51.1. "It's a big burden lifted off of me," Webb
said. "That time has been said over and over to me."
Played to a 5-5 draw, a soccer team composed of Thai prisoners
and an opposing squad composed of elephants. Thai corrections
officials said they staged Sunday's match as "a diversion to keep
inmates at Ayutthaya prison from betting" on the Euro 2004 soccer
championships. The pachyderms, which were ridden by humans, "are
not the best players because they are quite slow," said
Pattarapon Meepan, 19, whose father owns the local sanctuary
where many of the animals came from. "But they try their best.
These elephants can do everything."