Q&A: Running for presidents

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The Independent Online
Q. Bill Clinton is reported to run three miles each morning "in around 18 minutes". I do not believe it, seeing him on TV. What evidence is there of the President's level of fitness and/or sporting achievements, or indeed of any other US President?

A. Perhaps Clinton has learnt from the experience of the last Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. Shots of him suffering on a run hardly helped an ailing image; Carter lost the next election.

Dwight D Eisenhower (1890-1969) played American football in his army days, and was known as the "Kansas Cyclone", but a knee injury in his second season ended a promising career. Gerald Ford (1913-) did even better, turning down professional offers from the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions after a successful stint as centre at Michigan. He went on to coach boxing and football at Yale.

Richard Nixon (1913-94), despite his fanaticism for American football, had limited abilities. At Whittier College he made the team in his freshman year - when only 11 men tried out for it. - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby

Q. What is the record for an amount raised by a cricketer's benefit/testimonial?

A. According to The Cricketer magazine, the record is Mike Gatting's pounds 205,000 in 1988 (worth pounds 256,250 in 1993). In real terms Geoff Boycott sets the record with two benefits, in 1974 and 1984 (though The Cricketer makes it 1985), which by 1993 were worth pounds 329,931. - David Rimmer, Middlesbrough

Q. Stockport County played Ipswich on 19 September for the first time. County have now played every team in the Premiership and Endsleigh League, plus every club to have left the League since the Second World War. Can any club match this?

A. If we extend the criteria to include all former League clubs since 1888, the following clubs have claims of interest: Lincoln City have met all the present clubs, and of former clubs, all but Aberdare Athletic, Merthyr Tydfil, Thames and Accrington (the latter were in the League from 1888-93, as opposed to Accrington Stanley, who joined the League in 1921).

Walsall have met all but Tottenham Hotspur of the present clubs and all but Leeds City and Accrington of the former clubs, while Grimsby Town have played all but Barnet and Wycombe of the present clubs and Aberdare, Accrington and Thames of the former clubs. - Andrew Kirkham, Knaresborough


Q. Which British footballer has won most domestic and European winner's medals? - Tim Mickelburgh, Grimsby

Q. Which sport held the first world championships? - Miss K Brown, London W10

Q. When did the practice of footballers swapping shirts after matches begin? Who were the first players to do so? - Adrian Brodkin, London N2

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a sporting question of your own, write to: Q & A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL.

Fax: 0171-293 2894