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THE INSIDE TRACK | THE HOT CORNER

September 17, 1997|BILL DWYRE

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

What: The Olympians' Guide to Winning the Game of Life (Bud Greenspan, General Publishing Group, $12.95).

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This quick-read book of inspirational Olympic moments and quotes is not for the cynical, but then, neither is the man who compiled the moments and quotes, Bud Greenspan.

Greenspan is an internationally known author of books and magazine articles, a noted public speaker and, first and foremost, the producer of inspirational and emotional films about the Olympic Games. He has made the official films of the Olympics in Los Angeles, Calgary and Lillehammer and his film on the 1996 Atlanta Games will be released soon.

Greenspan makes no bones about his approach to the Olympics. He sees them as a world of great sacrifice and effort, as athletic achievement and memory unsurpassed, as a massive collection of Whitney Houston's "One Moment in Time." And as proud as he is of his work, and the Olympic legacy he has left, he is just as proud of his view of the Games as something seen through rose-colored glasses.

He is fond of saying, "Let everybody else find the bad things. I'll find the good stories."

For this book, something that can be read in less than an hour and is designed to be kept close at hand for quick, uplifting recharges, Greenspan has drawn from his massive film library for just the right words. Some samples:

* Jamaican sprinter Lennox Miller, talking to his daughter, Inger, after her near-miss at a medal: "Fourth place in a world of 4 billion people isn't so bad."

* Cuban middle-distance runner Alberto Juantorena: "It is the most important thing for a champion to be a good human being."

* Swimmer Janet Evans: "I can go fast, even if I am little."

If you like upbeat, lump-in-the-throat, good-overcomes-evil stories, this little book is for you. If you don't, it's not.

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