SEATTLE, JULY 30 -- While some wonder whether Turner Broadcasting will want to continue to put on the Goodwill Games in 1994, the Soviets, who are scheduled to host the Games, want them to go on.
It's believed TBS lost $26 million in 1986 in Moscow and TBS President Ted Turner said these games, which end Sunday, could cost him a similar amount.
But the Soviets still hope to host the 1994 games in Leningrad and Moscow.
"I should say 'Yes' to them," said Anatoli Kolesov, deputy chairman of the state committee for physical culture and sport in the Soviet Union (Goskomsport). "The Goodwill Games have a future and I will persuade everyone of that."
Kolesov said Goskomsport can stage the event without TBS.
"Of course it is understood that you need a sponsor to organize the games," he said. "We believe such a sponsor could be found."
Even with help and support from the U.S. Olympic Committee and the various U.S. sports federations, the chief obstacle facing Goskomsport is the one facing TBS -- money. In particular, the Soviets look to TBS, or some other non-Soviet sponsor, to supply hard currency for appearance fees, travel and housing.
Kolesov confirmed that Goskomsport received about $7.5 million for its participation in the games and maintained that the committee is well enough funded that it will need no financial support from other arms of the Soviet government. The Soviets have not estimated how much hosting the 1994 games will cost.
In absence of Nielsen ratings, it's hard to tell how popular these Goodwill Games are with the Soviet people. Kolesov maintains they are well-received.
But Vladimir Pozner, a correspondent for Gostelradio, the Soviet Union's state-run television network, disagrees, saying viewers are turned off by anything supported enthusiastically by Soviet television.
"The thinking is that if the mass media says something is good, then it probably isn't," Pozner said.No Glasnost by U.S.
TBS officials asked every men's basketball coach to allow cameras and microphones into his huddle to show what was going on during timeouts. The Soviets said okay; the Yugoslavs went along.
But one nation did not. U.S. Coach Mike Krzyzewski not only refused to wear a microphone, he positioned players to block camera angles.
The Yugoslavian team, which started three men who either have played or will play in the NBA, defeated the U.S. team, 85-79, Sunday night in Seattle to take the gold medal. In the bronze-medal game, the Soviet Union beat Brazil, 109-103, despite 44 points from star shooter Oscar Schmidt.Reborn in the U.S.A.
Kakha Merabishvili was 17 years old when he met Bob Walsh, president of the Seattle Organizing Committee planning the Goodwill Games, during one of Walsh's visit to Tbilisi in the Soviet Union.
By then, Merabishvili had lived 16 years with serious heart ailments that left him gasping for breath and turning blue after the slightest exertion, despite a series of operations by Soviet doctors. He was born with four holes in his heart, and his heart was on the wrong side of his chest.
Walsh brought Merabishvili's medical records back to Seattle to see whether local surgeons could do anything to help. They thought they could.
It took Walsh a year to arrange for Merabishvili and his aunt, Zina Diakonidze, to come for the medical help. On May 4-5, 1988, the nine-hour operation took place.
"I could feel an enormous difference immediately," said Merabishvili, now 20 and back in Seattle for the Goodwill Games sports, cultural and trade festival.
"I consider Seattle my second home, because I was born a second time here," he said. "And Bob Walsh is like a second father to me because he gave me life again."Box Office So-So
As of Monday, 740,598 tickets to Goodwill Games events had been sold, out of about 1.1 million available. That amounts to $14.2 million in revenue, games' public affairs chief Barbara Smith said.
Boxing, men's volleyball in Spokane, and women's basketball have the largest number of tickets remaining, she said.Powering Into Medal Round
Scott Hatteberg and Jorge Fabregas each drove in four runs as the United States clinched a spot in baseball's medal round by beating Mexico, 15-2, in Tacoma, Wash., Sunday.
Hatteberg, a product of Yakima, Wash., and sophomore at Washington State, hit a two-run homer in the third inning and a single in the sixth for two RBI. He also singled and scored in the second inning.
"We knew Scott was a great player when we recruited him," U.S. Coach Jim Morris said. "I'm very glad things have worked out."
Fabregas's RBI included a leadoff homer and a two-run single, both in the second, when the U.S. squad scored seven runs before 5,544 at Cheney Stadium.
Mike Hostetler allowed just three hits over the final five innings for the victory. He gave up five hits and two walks and had one strikeout. Ten of the 21 outs were on ground balls.