On Mon, 28 Feb 1994, Gloria Monti (GD 1995) wrote:
> > The local Boston news stations 'talked to' Nancy at DisneyWorld on Sunday.
> > Apparently there was a large parade in her honor. She said she left the
> > Olympics early to get away from everything. (She was surrounded by cameras,
> > people and large mice when she said this.)
> Mark Spitz also left Munich early in 1972 and didn't stay for the
> closing ceremonies. Granted, the situation was definitely more serious
> and he felt that his life might be in danger. However. He was also
> surrounded by cameras when he said this upon his return to the US. And
> surrounded by cameras for the next few years. Do we want to fault him for
> The interesting part is that Spitz could not endorse any products
> for money until he remained in sports. Once he returned home he retired
> from competitive swimming and that's when he started making money. I am
> surprised that Nancy could do both. Any thoughts?
> Gloria Monti
The rules on amateur status at the Olympic level have changed since 1972;
note that professionals were able to compete in the figure skating
competition for the first time this year. The rules are complicated and
somewhat unclear and thus Kerrigan's representatives did submit her
contract with Disney for a TV film, other programming, and endorsements
to Olympic officials for a ruling on if it would effect her status to
compete before she signed. Olympic authorities granted her permission to
A full list of "star" American athletes who have left the Olympics before
the closing ceremonies would actually be quite long; this year the skiers
Tommy Moe and Picabo Street also did so. It is not that unusual. Also,
Disney has used the promotional technique of bringing star athletes to
Disneyworld immediately following a high-profile sporting event
often in recent years ("Joe Montana, you have just led your team to
victory in the Superbowl. What will you do next?"..."I'm going to
Disneyworld" is the formula used in the advertising. Kerrigan did the same).
Why the rules were changed on amateur status is a long and complicated
subject, and of course, the question of if this has been a postive or negative
change would be fun to debate. But for now, I did just want to point out
that Kerrigan is neither setting a precedent or doing anything unusual.
I did enjoy the reference that was made to learning that Kerrigan was at
Disneyworld through contacts. It was not hard information to get and the
Disney promotional machine did everything in its power to make sure that
everyone in the world would know that Kerrigan would be at Disneyworld.
It is an odd form of what passes for ethical behavior these days - if
Kerrigan states in a commercial that she is going to Disneyworld (as she
did in a commercial that aired several times during Olympic coverage),
then, by the rules of truth in advertising, she actually has to go.