THE SEOUL GAMES / DAY 6 : Notebook : These Olympic Games Even Manage to Draw Visitors From Space

Space isn’t the only place astronauts meet.

Two Soviet cosmonauts, Alexei Leonov and Vitaly Sevastyanov, bumped into American astronaut Eugene Cernan at Kimpo International Airport upon arriving to watch the Olympics this week, the Soviet news agency TASS reported.

Seoul Mayor Kim Yong-nae greeted the trio the next day, presented them with keys to the city and proclaimed them honorary citizens. The cosmonauts also met South Korean scientists and spoke to 1,000 university professors and students.

American Olympic stars fill the media sections at Gymnastics Hall.


Bart Conner, a member of the U.S. men’s 1984 Olympic championship team and the parallel bars gold medalist, and 1984 women’s all-around champion Mary Lou Retton are providing expert commentary for NBC’s coverage of the gymnastics competition.

Peter Vidmar, another member of the 1984 team who won an individual gold and a silver, is providing radio reports for ABC and has written columns for USA Today. Kurt Thomas, star of the 1980 U.S. gymnastics team that missed the Moscow Games because of the U.S. boycott, is doing commentary for the U.S. Radio network.

Brian Boitano, the 1988 men’s Olympic figure skating champion, also spent time in the gymnastics media section during a brief visit to Seoul. Boitano was credentialed as a behind-the-scenes worker for NBC.

Two recently developed gymnastics moves were given their Olympic debut during the men’s team finals.


Vladimir Gogoladze of the gold medal Soviet team performed the first triple somersault of Olympic competition in floor exercise, and teammate Sergei Kharikov completed the first successful handspring, double-front somersault on a vault. A Cuban gymnast was seriously injured attempting that vault during the 1980 Moscow Games.

Despite the increasing difficulty of gymnastics moves, there was only one serious injury through the first 3 1/2 days of competition.

A physician at the Gymnastics Hall clinic confirmed Wednesday that Hungary’s Balazs Toth ruptured an Achilles tendon during his floor exercise routine Tuesday night.

Canadian Phillipe Chartrand aggravated a knee injury Tuesday night, and West German Isabell Von Lospichl sprained an ankle during the first round of team optional finals Wednesday morning. The clinic doctor said neither Chartrand’s nor Von Lospichl’s injuries was serious.


U.S. tennis player Pam Shriver says she is enjoying life in the international Olympic Village, but wishes she had brought one more thing with her: command of a foreign language.

“I feel badly because I speak only English,” Shriver said. “But most people speak enough English so you can pretty much find ways to communicate.

“I’m having fun meeting the other athletes. This is the most unique experience of my life.”

The tennis stadium in Olympic Park is less than a mile from the athletes’ village, a leisurely walk for most. Shriver bought a bicycle to make the trip faster and less taxing.


She says she has found that life in the village is far different from the solitary life of a tennis professional used to hotel room service. “There is a strategy to eating. You have to avoid crunch time, and pick your lines carefully.

“The people who do the best in the athletic events are the ones who cope with the circumstances.”

An American travel agent is spending five days in jail for scalping Olympics tickets, police said.

James K. Rush, 30, of Madison, Wis., is the first person arrested for selling Summer Games tickets at a profit. He was caught selling five tickets for a diving event for a profit of about $33.


Police also say they are on the alert for the theft of Olympic-related items. Two American teen-agers were booked for investigation of charges they removed a large Olympic flag from a roadside pole. The duo reportedly told police they wanted the banner as a gift for friends.

Just when it seemed as if her Olympic dream was over, Ravital Sharon, a raven-haired Israeli gymnast, found help from the most unlikely of sources.

For the first time in Olympic history, the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur and the Games coincided. Boxer Yehuda Ben-Haim already had withdrawn after boxing officials refused to reschedule his bout from Yom Kippur morning.

The 17-year-old Sharon was scheduled to compete in the morning session with other gymnasts whose countries could not field full teams. She prepared herself for disappointment.


East German Ellen Burger, president of the Women’s Competition Committee for the International Gymnastics Federation, helped Sharon, finding her a place in the evening rotation competing with the Hungarian team. An injury to Agnes Misko left the Hungarians with five athletes out of the six-person limit and Sharon was more than happy to join them.

“I like them very much and they like me,” said an excited Sharon after finishing the optional competition. She knew the Hungarians from attending their training camp last year.

“I want to thank them and I don’t have words,” she said.

Berger is the judge who gained a one-half point penalty against the U.S. team for a minor infraction that eventually kept the United States from a bronze medal.


A Swedish weightlifter, who failed to qualify for the Olympics, has been tested positiviely for drugs, and three track and field athletes, one of whom was to take part at the Seoul Games, were accused of buying anabolic steroids Wednesday.

Sweden’s Olympic team has been plagued by doping scandals in weightlifting and track and field. On Monday, John Christensen, a weightlifter, was positively tested for anabolic steroids and sent home from Seoul.

The Swedish weightlifting association Wednesday announced a positive result from a test this summer on Tuomo Kellokoski, who just missed qualifying for the Olympics.

Each will receive a 24-month suspension from competition and a lifetime ban from the national team.


The three track athletes, whose names were not released, were accused of buying illegal hormones by suspects arrested in a police investigation into a drug smuggling ring.