The grace and sportsmanship shown by Apolo Ohno represent the pinnacle of Olympic ideals and competitive spirit. These qualities, in addition to his dedication and ability, mark him as a true champion.
This is an article from the March 15, 2010 issue
Ruth Wiedemeier, Ames, Iowa
Bode Miller deserves our respect and admiration, not for what he accomplished on the slopes but for how he has matured off them (The Spirit Is Back, Feb. 22). Thank you, Bode, for reminding us that life is about the journey to the podium, not standing on top of it.
Dan Forer, Encino, Calif.
I enjoyed Phil Taylor's article on the U.S. Nordic skiers (One Step Closer to the Top, Feb. 22) and was delighted to be reminded of the achievement of Bill Koch in the 1976 Olympics. When my family lived in southern Vermont, we would often see Bill moving speedily along the highways on his training skis in the nonwinter months. Bill won the silver medal in the 30K race and made Vermonters especially proud.
John Morris, Topsham, Vt.
Thank you for the profile of Zach Parise (The Great Unknown, Feb. 22). While his father, J.P., may be French-Canadian, Zach's leadership, grit and determination in leading Team USA to the silver medal was all-American! As a lifelong Philadelphia Flyers fan, I accept the fact that I must now root for at least one member of the hated New Jersey Devils.
Kyle A. Payne
One name not mentioned in Kelli Anderson's outstanding article on the Seattle basketball scene (Brand of Brothers, Feb. 22) was former O'Dea High basketball coach Phillip Lumpkin, who passed away last fall. The young men who played for Phillip had terrific fundamentals and displayed a strong drive to win, and they were always good representatives of O'Dea and the Seattle area.
Joe Barry, Oxford, Ohio
For many years I have wanted to thank Willie Mays and the other black heroes of my time (SCORECARD, Feb. 22). The journey to eliminate racism in this country is ongoing, but Mays and his contemporaries contributed significantly to that journey and paid a heavy price for doing so.
Steve Kaeuper, Denver
For me, Willie Mays's greatest accomplishment occurred in 1992 when he visited the Johns Hopkins pediatric oncology unit. There he met my three-year-old son, who was battling stage D neuroblastoma. Mays brought a smile, inspiration and hope to a small boy who in six months would have two surgeries, radiation treatment, chemotherapy and a bone-marrow transplant. My son is now a junior in college. Mays is a man of compassion on and off the field.
Bryan Rusk, Easton, Md.
Thank you for the article on two sportscasting giants who do their jobs the right way (It's Not As Easy As It Looks, Feb. 22). My favorite part was when Joe Posnanski noted how often we get "batted over the head by shtick and catchphrases and look-at-me buffoonery." This article should be required reading for all announcers.
Matt Jaffe, Norwich, Conn.
As a 10-year-old I listened to Al Michaels call Hawaii Islanders Triple A baseball games. It was a magical year because my father and I had season tickets along the third base line. During the team's road trips Michaels brought each play to the radio by my bed and kept the magic alive. Forty years later my father lives with me, and we watch Michaels call the Sunday-night NFL games—still in his singular voice. Thanks, Al, for contributing to one of the best parts of my life: bonding with my father.
We often don't celebrate our great announcers until they have died or retired, so it was nice to see these men get the accolades they deserve while we are still enjoying their work.
Jeff Appelgate, Prosser, Wash.
As a Canadian and a sports fan, I enjoyed Selena Roberts's take on Canada and the 2010 Olympics (POINT AFTER, Feb. 22). The Own the Podium scheme was a bit embarrassing. (Winning the most medals—who are they kidding?) But finally winning a gold at home was sweet, and breaking the record for most gold medals at the Winter Games felt pretty good. So maybe we still are Whoville, but we might kick your ass at the Olympics!
Leslie Treseder, Edmonton
Own the Podium is about being proud of our achievements as Canadians and doing our best, not about beating others. To borrow from the Special Olympics: Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt. Canada is proud of all of its athletes.
Sherwood Park, Alberta
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