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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS

For Some, Games Demonstrate True Sportsmanship

July 28, 1996

Today, when athletes' salaries are going sky-high and fans are left to complain about everything in sports, I feel blessed to have been able to witness the women's gymnastics. The courage and dedication that the U.S. team displayed in winning the gold medal was truly inspiring. Kerri Strug's courageous performance brought tears to my eyes. I wish there were more people like her not only in the world of sports but in the world, period. I hope that everything she does turns to gold.

CARMELO MONTALBO

La Puente

*

Congratulations, ladies, you did it . . . and they said you didn't have a leg to stand on.

DANNY SANCHEZ

Huntington Beach

*

Reporters use words like pixie and tinkerbell to describe the women's gymnastics team members, particularly the U.S. team. They are not pixies or tinkerbells, they are young women, girls actually, and they have been manipulated.

Kerri Strug's valiant effort to complete her final vault Tuesday night, despite an apparently moderate leg injury, was a fine example of character and determination. It was also an embarrassment to the U.S. team, her coaches, her parents, and the American people. Many will say Ms. Strug's near-perfect landing personified the Olympic spirit. I believe it personifies all that is wrong with youth sports.

STEVEN R. POSEY

Hesperia

*

Two days after the Magnificent Seven won the Olympic gold and one day after the L.A. Times' cover-page photo of Bela Karolyi carrying Kerri Strug, The Times comes out with harsh words for the female gymnastics coaches. The Times should look in the mirror before it prints.

CONRAD A. CORRAL

West Hollywood

*

I guess it shouldn't surprise me that the L.A. Times would come up with a negative spin on the incredible story of Kerri Strug. Of course, the concept of courage and commitment is foreign to a guy who thinks a day's work is getting out of bed by noon, turning in a column that takes all of 15 minutes to write and freeloading his next meal at the press tent.

MARK SHRADER

Palm Desert

*

Although your overall coverage of Olympic Games results is complete and comprehensive, I was disappointed that only a line score was printed for women's softball and not a box score.

A box score was printed for men's baseball; moreover nearly all the players on the women's softball team are either from Southern California or have some connection to the area, so there is interest in how the individual players are performing.

If I didn't know better, it would seem that The Times considers men's baseball a more important event than women's softball.

RYAL HAAKENSON

Covina

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