American swimmer Matt Biondi, the winner of seven Olympic medals, warmed up for the Seoul Games by swimming with dolphins. Real dolphins.
"I wanted to see what they could teach me," said Biondi at the press conference after he won his fifth gold medal (to go along with one silver and one bronze) in the 400 medley team relay. "They helped me with my technique," he said. "What I learned watching them was an awareness of how the water moves across their bodies."And he learned another thing - if they ever allow dolphins in the Olympics, no human will ever win another medal.
What's gold medal worth in Russian rubles? Roughly 12,000 (about $12,000), according to a news report coming out of the Soviet Union.
Every Soviet gold medalist can expect to return to Moscow and receive a 12,000 ruble bonus. Silver medalists 4,000 rubles.
But there's a rub. The bonuses are contingent on soviet sportsmen coming through on an informal "contract" drawn up before the Games. If an athlete predicts to win a gold medal, and then only wins a silver or bronze, there will be no bonus awarded.
The information was reported in a Communist party magazine called "Arguments and Facts."
The bonuses may not sound particularly significant in American economic terms, but they are in the Soviet Union, where it can take the average worker nearly five years to earn 12,000 rubles.
*** When Sean Holland, 28, of Los Angeles rides his bicycle to the entrance of the Seoul Olympic Stadium this Wednesday, officials have been told to let him enter and go ahead and lap the track.
They'd do the same for anyone else who had spent the last year and a half cycling to every city, except Moscow, where the Summer Olympic Games have been held.
Holland, who, when he isn't riding his bicycle around the world, is a law student at the University of Washington, was inspired by the positiveness of the 1984 Olympic Games in his native L.A. and determined then to ride his "Force for Peace" odyssey that took him to Olympia, Greece, in July of 1987.
He went from Olympia to Athens, Rome, Munich, Paris, London, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm and Helsinki; then he flew to North America to ride through Montreal, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Mexico City; and finally he flew to Tokyo, where he began his ride to Seoul.
*** Exposure to three billion people around the world can do wonders for record sales. "Hand in Hand," the official song of the Seoul Olympics has already sold 400,000 records worldwide.
"The song is No.1 on the charts in Switzerland, Hong Kong and Korea, No. 4 in Denmark and the Ferderal Republic of Germany, No. 9 in Portugal and No. 11 in Japan," reproted the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committe. The song was composed by Italian Giorgio Moroder, an Academy Award winner with scores from "Flashdance" and "Top Gun" and the single, "Take My Breath Away." *** SEOULQUOTE: U.S. hurdler Roger Kingdom, after dominating the 110-meter hurdles and winning the gold medal, on whether he expects to become a superstar as a result: "There are too many overshadowing people in track and field these days. Whoever thought Florence Griffith Jouner was going to become Miss America? Roger Kingdom isn't going to dominate anything."