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Barcelona '92 Olympics / Day 10 : Summer Games Spotlight : Some Hobbies More Magic Than Others

August 04, 1992|MIKE DOWNEY | The Times

Like school kids at summer camp, Olympic athletes--worldly basketball professionals included--are asked to fill out biographical data forms, including: "Other Names" (Nicknames) and "Hobbies."

For example, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson's other name is "Big Ben." American gymnast John Roethlisberger is "Johnny Rotten."

Well, all the familiar basketball nicknames are present and accounted for: "Magic," "Air Jordan," "Sir Charles," "The Glide."

David Robinson, however, is officially listed as: "The Marine."

Which should come as a surprise to those who remember Robinson as a Navy lieutenant.

And Karl Malone?

He is down as "El Cartero."

The Postman.

As for hobbies, we have England's 100-meter sprint champion Linford Christie ("writing poetry and crossword puzzles"); U.S. tennis player Michael Chang ("tropical fish"); track's Carl Lewis ("singing"); and basketball's Larry Bird ("baseball, music"), Scottie Pippen ("reading") and Robinson ("computers").

Michael Jordan's, you can guess. Has to do with a putter.

And Magic Johnson's hobbies?

"Helping disabled people, charity matches and traveling."

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