Surfing: Up Close and Way Too Personal

Dispatches, March 1997


Surfing: Up Close and Way Too Personal
By Sarah Horowitz


All hail the World Wide Web. Not only does it give us instantaneous access to results from any sporting event we care to follow; it now also allows us to become better acquainted--friends, even--with many of the world's most accomplished athletes. Witness the exploding numbers of hero home pages, in which the immortals share the intimate details of their lives with the workaday masses.
Athlete:
Alberto Tomba, two-time world champion slalom skier
Web Address: www.alberto.tomba.it
From the Heart: "My ideal woman: Sympathetic, height 1.75 cm (sic), dark-haired, funny and with good principles; My fault: Too good toward people that are not good; Favorite actor: Me?"
Athlete:
Janet Evans, winner of four Olympic gold medals in freestyle swimming
Web Address: www.mv.com/ipusers/davewc/bpc/janetevans/index.html
From the Heart: "I've been on the verge of tears since I ended my (last) race. (My coach) came up to me before the race and said, 'Just remember that I love you.' That made me really, really sad."
Athlete:
John Tomac, four-time national mountain-bike champion
Web Address: www.usacycling.org/norba/athletes/jtomac.htm
From the Heart: "My off-season doesn't really begin until I've finalized all my contract negotiations. That whole process takes about a month and it can be as mentally draining as racing!"
Athlete:
Silken Laumann, 1996 Olympic women's sculling silver medalist and subject of a Canadian TV movie
Web Address: www.canoe.ca/OlympicsCanadaLaumann/laumann.html
From the Heart: "I'm not perfect. I have a temper. I'm glad the movie shows that."
Athlete:
Mike Powell, long-jump world record holder
Web Address: www.teampowell.com
From the Heart: "See, it's lonely at the top. There, I said it. I'm lonely. I AM LONELY! I get so lonely that sometimes when I'm alone in my room at night, I have to... Well, never mind."

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