SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- For the real sports fan, the name of the game is competition.
Measured by that yardstick, who is to say Juergen Kolenda of West Berlin, Steve Rajeff of San Francisco, Tom Peterson of Tacoma, Wash., Kathy Arendsen of Holland, Mich., and Ana-Marie Rouchon of Paris aren't the equal of Reggie Jackson, Earl Campbell or Tom Watson.
Everyone has heard of Jackson, Campbell and Watson, but Kolenda, Rajeff, Peterson, Arendsen and Rouchon are known only among their peers and the fans who follow such sports as fin swimming, casting, roller speed skating and softball.
During the past 11 days they were the stars of World Games I, a competition in 16 non-Olympic sports which attracted 1,400 athletes from 58 countries.
Kolenda won four fin swimming gold medals, while Rajeff took four golds in casting. Peterson won three in speed skating while Rouchon won three in women's fin swimming and Arendsen pitched four shutouts in women's softball, including a perfect game Sunday when the United States won eight gold medals to wrap up the show.
It's doubtful Campbell and Watson are aware of any of the Games stars but Jackson knows who Arendsen is. Last week, while killing time during the baseball strike, Jackson attended the National Sports Festival at Syracuse, N.Y., and, just for laughs, faced Arendsen.
All the 6-2, 170-pounder, who throws a softball at 95 miles an hour, did was strike out Reggie three times.
'In fairness to Reggie,' said Arendsen, 'he hasn't been playing softball.'
'She sure is some athlete.'
So were the others of World Games I, which were an athletic success in every sense of the word. They didn't set any box office records but sponsors were more than pleased, especially at how well the competition was received in its final three days.
The Games' executive committee will meet in Monte Carlo in October to pick the site of the next World Games -- in 1983 -- and chances are they will select London.
The United States, competing in every sport except fin swimming, won 37 gold medals, 35 silver and 23 bronze for a grand total of 95. Italy was second in total medals with 39 -- seven gold, 14 silver and 18 bronze.
Korea won the next most golds -- nine -- and they all came in taekwondo. The Republic of China, only communist country taking part, sent over its best badminton players, and they went home with four of the five gold medals.