September 09, 1996 12:00 PM

An obvious hazard of profiling a representative group of Olympic gold medal winners (PEOPLE, Aug. 19) is that, inevitably, more medalists are left out than included. Correspondents were particularly irritated by the omission of gymnast Shannon Miller.

OLYMPIC WOMEN

Shame on you for joining the media-feeding frenzy. Anyone who follows gymnastics knows that the cover belonged to Shannon Miller, the United States’ most decorated gymnast ever.

JUDY-LYNN GOLDENBERG, Towson, Md.

I hope that PEOPLE failed to include 800-meter freestyle gold medalist Brooke Bennett in its roundup only because you did not know anything about her, due to the fact that NBC virtually ignored her. But it might be nice if someone let the rest of the country know about a youngster who represented her country well and made her home state of Florida very proud.

TESSA L. KOTHMAN, Valrico, Fla.

I am proud of all our Olympic medalists and especially proud of our African-American sisters who trained long and hard to be the best in the world. But I am disappointed you chose a photograph showing Gail Devers from the back. You dishonored her by focusing on her manicuring skills instead of the athletic skills that won her a gold medal.

MADELINE L. CHINN, Rochester, N.Y.

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.

It’s sad to see such a gifted, brilliant actor as Robert Downey Jr. waste his life on drugs. Maybe it will take a fall like this to bring him back up.

JESSICA COOK, Jacksonville, Fla.

What kind of father does drugs with his child? Poor Robert. He never stood a chance.

ANNE MARSHALL, Kingwood, Texas

Where is justice? If Robert Downey Jr. had been a black male in South Central Los Angeles or a Latino in East L.A., do you think he would have been sentenced to drug rehab after being found with a loaded gun, heroin and cocaine in his car? The real “Sad Fall” is equal justice.

LOIS WATKINS, Seattle

I don’t feel the least bit sorry for Robert Downey Jr. I’m sick of celebrities and sports stars getting off easy. (If he was a nonceleb, he never would have been able to escape from rehabilitation because he would have been thrown in jail.) It’s time to lock them up and throw away the key.

CARIN LYNCH, Chico, Calif.

BOB GRANT

Bob Grant is the most dangerous kind of racist there is: one with the tools to poison the minds of others. Poking fun at a plane crash is not amusing. For WOR-radio to hire him for the sake of ratings is an insult.

TERRIANN CURTIS, Arlington, Va.

THE MACARENA

You show a step-by-step series of photographs of the American version of the Macarena that is just plain wrong. Some of the steps are out of order, and others are missing altogether. If you like, you can send a photographer to my house, and I’ll volunteer to show your readers the dance. Granted, I won’t look as good in a tank top and miniskirt since I’m a 210-pound man. But at least I know-how to Macarena.

LASZLO VARGA New Brunswick, N.J.

PICKS & PANS

I represent President and Mrs. Clinton with regard to Whitewater matters. The PEOPLE review of Roger Morris’s Partners in Power repeats some of the more false and lurid rumors contained in the book while noting these are based on “unnamed or secondhand sources.” This is both irresponsible and inconsistent with PEOPLE’S own journalistic standards. You have not reported these rumors in your news pages because they are untrue sleaze. Surely your standards for reporting scurrilous rumors are more stringent than “I read it somewhere in a book.”

DAVID E. KENDALL, Washington

KUDOS

Your recent public service advertisement for the Until There’s a Cure Foundation sold hundreds of bracelets, which translates into thousands of dollars for AIDS research, education and prevention programs. PEOPLE does not just talk the talk; it walks the walk. We are extremely grateful.

DANA CAPIELLO

KATHLEEN SCUTCHFIELD, cofounders, Until There’s a Cure Foundation

Menlo Park, Calif.

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