Slipped Disks

Heavy medal isright! Those big metallic doughnuts adorning the American snowboarders on theFeb. 27 cover have got to be right up there among the most unattractive medalsin Olympic history. I hope none of the winners tries to insert one in his orher CD player by mistake.

Lex L. Larsen,Henderson, Nev.

One problem withthe Olympics is that the athletes no longer seem to be enjoying themselves.Lindsey Jacobellis and the other snowboarders, however, were having more funthan anyone else (What a Ride, Feb. 27). She won a silver, which is prettygood, and she had fun doing it. Those who criticized her probably spend theirweekends cursing out the ref at their kid's soccer games.

Bill Fox, SanDiego

Lindsey screwedup during her race, blew her chance at a gold medal, then explained it away awith a story that would make James Frey blush--and showed up on the cover ofSI. As John McEnroe once said, You cannot be serious.

Mike Fimea,Scottsdale, Ariz.

Pax Olimpica

Thank you, S.L.Price, for telling us about the Fellowship of the Rings (Feb. 27). It seemsthat you found the true message and meaning of the Olympic Games buried deepbeneath the abundant talk of infighting, showboating, selfishness andunderachieving. A simple gesture--like U.S. hockey player Kathleen Kauth'sshaking the hand of Iranian skier Alidad Saveh Shemshaki--is worth more thangold.

Michael W.Savicki, Cornelius, N.C.

Swann's Song

According to LynnSwann Goes Deep (Feb. 27), I back Ed Rendell for governor of Pennsylvaniabecause he's an Eagles fan. I, and many other Philadelphians, vote for GovernorRendell not because of his sports affiliations but because of what he did forour city.

Craig Garcia,Philadelphia

Swann is at leastas qualified to be governor of Pennsylvania as Jerry Rice is to be on Dancingwith the Stars.

Fred Church,Naples, Fla.

Rae of Hope

Rick Reilly'ssuperb piece about U.S. freestyle skier--and adoptee--Toby Dawson was funny andcompelling (Life of Reilly, Feb. 27). But his recounting of the meeting betweenhis adopted daughter, Rae, and her biological mother in Korea was trulyremarkable. I've yet to determine who is luckier: Rae, whose parents would takeher halfway around the world to help her understand her personal history andcultural heritage, or Mr. and Mrs. Reilly, whose daughter, at age 11, embodiedthe courage and grace that eludes many for their entire lives.

Ronn Huff,Brentwood, Tenn.

Suiting Up

It's that time ofyear again when you receive letters from people disgusted by the SwimsuitIssue, which has been an annual event for 40-something years. The magazinetells people more than a month in advance what to do if they don't want toreceive the issue. To readers I would say, Please use this option if you thinkyou'll be offended. To the publisher I would say, as a representative of themajority of readers who enjoy the magazine, men and women alike, Awesome,again. Keep up the great work.

Randy Hollister,Richfield, Wis.

The 2006 SwimsuitIssue's cover was very disappointing. Not one lady of African or Asian descentattended the all-star SI cover model beach party. Is SI saying that minoritywomen are not worthy of All-Star status? What do you suggest I tell my youngdaughter when she sees she doesn't look like any of the All-Stars. BeautifulAll-Stars come in many different colors. Maybe SI should invite some to nextyear's beach party.

Zareena T.Clendaniel, Anchorage

I was excited tosee in this year's Swimsuit Issue that--with a handful of exceptions--themodels are actually wearing the swimsuits, and the patterns and styles are easyto see. Also, many of the suits chosen for this year's issue are reasonablypriced and affordable for a nearly broke graduate student like myself.Congratulations on the best Swimsuit Issue in years.

Melissa DeBiasse,Fort Lauderdale

As anAsian-American, my favorite swimsuit model this year is the beautifulBrazilian-Japanese Aline Nakashima. But if your readers are not interested inthe Swimsuit Issue, or even if they are, they should donate the magazine to alocal Veterans Affairs Medical Center. A lot of disabled veterans such asmyself would appreciate the donations.

DominadorNazareno III Surprise, Ariz.

Can I cancel mysubscription and just get the next 51 Swimsuit Issues?

Charles Davant,Blowing Rock, N.C.

You should haveput an athlete on the cover of the Swimsuit Issue. But which athlete would bebeautiful enough, and different enough from your previous cover models, toagain make SI's Swimsuit Issue the talk of the town? Moguls skier and NFLhopeful Jeremy Bloom. Selecting a male cover model would have added pizzazz andgarnered even more exposure for this yearly enterprise.

Aimee Metcalf,Bend, Ore.

Come on, couldn'tyou persuade Tom Brady, David Beckham or either of the Barber twins to slap onsome body paint? If you had those fellows at the photo shoot, they could havehelped those poor girls find the halves of their swimsuits they seem to havelost.

Melinda Petz,Olathe, Kansas

The best part ofthe 2006 Swimsuit Issue? It wasn't new faces like Carla Campbell, BrooklynDecker, Aline Nakashima, Pania Rose and Yesica Toscanini or the all-star castof Elsa Benitez, Yamila Diaz-Rahi, Rachel Hunter, Elle Macpherson, CarolynMurphy, Daniela Pestova, Rebecca Romijn and Veronica Varekova. Paint-on suitson Heidi Klum? The $30 million bikini on Molly Sims? Maria Sharapova off thetennis court? Not quite. The best part was seeing Petra Nemcova again andreading Rick Reilly's piece on her long, painful recovery.

Gerard R. Magno,Durham, N.C.

Faces in theCrowd

Congratulationsto Greg Nelson for his photograph of 5'9" New York Knicks rookie guard NateRobinson winning the NBA slam dunk championship (Leading Off, Feb. 27). Oddly,the focus of the shot isn't Robinson, but the emotional expressions on thefaces of the hundreds of fans and NBA players watching him. A truly captivatingand memorable photo.

R. LorenzoDeNino, Gaithersburg, Md.

Bald Out

I completelydisagree with Kelli Anderson, who sympathizes with Zach Lund over hisdisqualification from the Olympics for using a hair-restoration drug(Scorecard, Feb. 27). Anyone who is competing in the Olympics should bedisqualified for stupidity if they take a questionable drug without firstclearing it with the powers that be.

Taylor Lewis,Willard, Mo.

Pitching aFit

Alan Shipnuck'sfeature on golf's custom-fitting leader, Hot Stix Golf (Fit for a King, Feb.6), barely acknowledged the weakest element in its fitting system: the golfer'sever-changing physiology. Tempo and swing speeds are not a constant. If golferswere machines, the Hot Stix program would suit them to a tee. In real life,however, the readout you get one day will be different from the one youregister the next week or even the next day. Which one are you supposed tobelieve? Hot Stix has hit on a crucial vulnerability in the golfer's psyche:flashy state-of-the-art equipment and the belief you can buy a better game.

Paul Ridley,Minneapolis


I couldn't agreemore with Daniel E. Zurla about being forced to use a golf cart (Teeing Off,Feb. 20). You would think Zurla might get some support from the pros whotestified in the Casey Martin controversy, who feel that walking is an integralpart of golf and that carts should not be allowed on the PGA Tour. But as Zurlafound out, it's all about money: These same pros now design and build courseswhere walking is impossible and carts are mandatory.

Ron Anderson,Glen Ellyn, Ill.

I, too, enjoywalking. Two of the public courses I play require that a cart be rented--athinly disguised ploy to increase revenues--but they don't require that thecart be used. I would choose to pay for the cart and walk rather than go to theSupreme Court.

Richard Skinner,Scottsdale, Ariz.

Checking Figures

I always thought the Elite Eight was the quarterfinalsof the NCAA basketball tournament--until I saw the cover of this year'sSwimsuit Issue. Then I opened the magazine and noticed the pictures of MariaSharapova. Make that the Sublime Nine. And please extend my lifetimesubscription.

Phil Parker, Jonesboro, Ark.

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The Big Picture

After reading Steve Rushin's illuminating A Miraclefrom Coogan's Bluff (AIR AND SPACE, Feb. 27) on the life of blind sportsreporter and single father Ed Lucas, I realized a couple of things: You canovercome any obstacle; and don't complain, just do it. Lucas is a specialperson with a powerful drive from within and an inspiration to all.

Johnny Pennisi Jr. East Meadow, N.Y.



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