This is an article from the Aug. 25, 2008 issue
1976 DECATHLON CHAMP
The reality TV star (Keeping Up with the Kardashians) was a pretty fair athlete in his day.
Dan Patrick: Are you still the world's greatest athlete?
Bruce Jenner: I didn't have to give the medal back, so I guess I would be considered that. But you obviously haven't seen my golf swing.
DP: I believe one of your daughters' boyfriends wanted you to wear the medal as bling.
BJ: He also wanted me to put diamonds around the outside. I thought, You know what, that's probably a pretty cool idea. But this is why you win gold medals: In 2000 I'm sitting with my two little girls and we're watching a gold medal ceremony. And I say, "Daddy's got one of those." So we run upstairs and open up the safe and bring it down. Then for the next week, every night we had to take the medal out so they could wear it while they watched the Games.
DP: Is Michael Phelps the world's greatest athlete now?
BJ: No. He's the world's greatest swimmer. Michael Jordan is a phenomenal athlete, but basketball is not a standardized test of a person's athletic ability. The decathlon is. The basis of athletics is the ability to run, jump and throw. The decathlon tests that.
DP: If I said, Yeah, Bruce, let me train Kobe or Jordan or LeBron to be a decathlete....
BJ: They'd die. They couldn't do it.
BJ: They'd make no money, they'd train eight hours a day in virtual isolation, there'd be no hype, no nothing. I asked Michael Jordan, and he said, "Man, I couldn't run that 1,500 meters."
DP: Oh, he could.
BJ: He couldn't. Let's be honest. The guy would just fold.
DP: From a physical standpoint, they're better athletes than you, aren't they?
BJ: At what they do, yeah. They're better basketball players. A little trivia: I did get drafted in the seventh round of the NBA draft in 1977.
DP: What team drafted you?
BJ: The Kansas City Kings.
DP: That's why they went out of business. Is what you did more impressive than Tiger Woods in terms of athletic achievement?
BJ: I play golf now. Nothing's more impressive than Tiger Woods.
Found in Translation
CHINA IS HOME to some of the most rabid—and perceptive—basketball fans on the planet. That's evident in the wonderfully descriptive nicknames they've given NBA stars. (Tim Duncan, for example, is Stone Buddha.) Can you guess which of these nicknames for Olympic players are real and which we've made up?
1. LEBRON JAMES: The King of Lake Erie
2. KOBE BRYANT: Little Flying Warrior
3. JASON KIDD: The Engine
4. DIRK NOWITZKI: German Race Car
5. DWYANE WADE: Barkley's Little Buddy
6. CARLOS BOOZER: Betrayal Skull Dude
ANSWERS: 2, 3, 4 AND 6 ARE REAL. (BOOZER'S STEMS FROM WHEN HE ALLEGEDLY RENEGED ON AN AGREEMENT TO RESIGN WITH CLEVELAND.) JAMES GOES BY LITTLE EMPEROR; WADE IS THE FLASH.
It's Only Fair
AT LEAST Jason Turner didn't get cheated out of a medal. The 33-year-old from Rochester, N.Y., finished fourth in the 10-meter air pistol but got bumped up to third when winner Kim Jong Su of North Korea was stripped of his bronze for testing positive for a banned substance. Yet Turner did miss out on what might have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience: standing on the podium and receiving his medal. (The USOC presented him with his bronze in a makeshift ceremony a week later.) So I think Kim should have to give his medal back just as publicly as he received it. Hold a special de-medaling ceremony for him. For good measure, as an official takes the medal from around Kim's neck, they should play the North Korean anthem. Backwards.
He Says No to New Jersey
PACKERS FANS who haven't gotten over Brett Favre need to follow the lead of David Witthoft, the 12-year-old Connecticut kid who famously wore the same Favre jersey for four years. He told me that even though Favre is now playing in his backyard, he doesn't want a Jets number 4 jersey: "I'm a Packers fan, but not just because of Favre," said the Cal Ripken of jersey-wearing. He's moved on. Brett's moved on. Time for other cheeseheads to follow suit.
THE FINE PRINT: The U.S. beat the world's No. 1 team, Croatia, in water polo. To give you an idea what a galactic upset this is, you would have to move to Croatia.
Go to DANPATRICK.COM for more from Bruce Jenner and other recent interviews, and hear live audio of Dan's radio show, 9-noon ET, Mon.-Fri.