A Letter From the Publisher: Sep. 19, 1988

The airport immigration agent was suspicious when Senior Writer Tom Callahan landed in London to interview Daley Thompson, Britain's two-time Olympic decathlon champion. "Does he know you're coming?" asked the agent, pointing out Thompson's notorious avoidance of the press. "He doesn't give interviews, you know." He did to Callahan, and the result is part of our special section on the Summer Games of the XXIV Olympiad in Seoul.

The section, which fills XXIX pages, is one of the most elaborate such previews TIME has ever produced -- and a reflection of what we gauge to be unprecedented global interest in this...

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