July 31, 2004

Olympic Dream - Official Olympic Song

"The Athens Olympics now has its own official song.

"Olympic Dream" has been composed by Croatian pianist Maksim Maravitsa. The music video for the official song is being shot in Bucharest.

Maravitsa is a pianist renowned for his modern interpretations of classical music. His compositions are aimed at attracting young audiences to classical music, and communicating with them in new ways. His first album in fact became one of the fastest-selling classical recordings ever to be released in Croatia.

"Olympic Dreams" features on 'Harmony', one of the three official Olympic Games albums.

The three albums were launched in Athens this week, and include an official Greek music album, an official pop music album, with 'Harmony', the games' official classical music album.

Read more at NDTV.com - Croatian pianist composes Olympic song.

Posted by Darren at 05:41 PM

Kazakhstan's Boxers to eat Horse Meat and Mare's Milk in Athens

"Kazakhstan are pinning their hopes of Olympic boxing gold on traditional nomadic fare and will ship horse meat and mare's milk to Athens to boost their fighters' stamina.

Kazakh boxing team coach Yermakhan Ibraimov, who won gold as a light-middleweight in Sydney in 2000, confessed plain yet energizing nomadic food had been the key to his own success."

Read more at Trust in Mare's Milk.

Posted by Darren at 05:31 PM

Dvorak In Doubt for Athens

Czech decathlete Tomas Dvorak could be forced to withdraw from the Olympics due to an Achilles tendon problem.

The former world record holder took bronze in the Atlanta Games in 1996 and was sixth in Sydney four years ago.

"It's hurting. I need time to treat it and that's something I don't have a lot of," Dvorak told Czech newspaper Sport.

Read more at Dvorak doubt for Athens.

Posted by Darren at 05:28 PM

Olympic Insurance

"For the first time, the International Olympic Committee takes out a multimillion-dollar policy to hedge against cancellation at the 2004 Olympic Summer Games in Athens. The move ushers in a new era for the IOC, which intends to insure Games until 2010.

The decision to return this year's Olympic Games to its birthplace, Athens, has created unintended drama, as construction delays and budget overruns triggered a nightmare scenario of unfinished facilities and cancelled events. However, a renewed commitment from Greece's new government, elected in March, and frantic last-minute building work should see the Games open in Athens, as planned, on August 13 for 16 days' duration. The city is ready to play host to around 1.5 million visitors, 20,000 officials and 15,000 competitors. Their welfare will depend on 70,000 police and soldiers and the anti-terrorism measures drawn up with input from NATO and Israel's intelligence service, Mossad.

Threat of terrorist attack has boosted the security budget to almost $1.2 billion, more than three times the amount allocated for the 2000 Games in Sydney. The Athens Games represent "a spectacular concentration of global terror risk," in the words of the London-based political risk analysts and forecasters Exclusive Analysis Ltd."

Read more at Risk and Insurance : Vaulting Olympic Risk:

Posted by Darren at 05:27 PM

Are the US Men's Basketball Team Beatable?

"The world is closing the gap on the U.S., making this year's Olympic team vulnerable.

When USA Basketball consented to sending professionals to the Olympics in 1992, the idea was to showcase the NBA elite and remind the world that America had no equal as a hoops superpower.

But in the decade since that Dream Team blew out opponents by ridiculous margins and brought the NBA unprecedented global exposure, the United States has seen its dominance gradually diminish. So much so that for the first time entering a Summer Games, it's no slam dunk that Team USA will capture the gold medal next month in Athens.

"I have that fear right now," said U.S. assistant coach and North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, when asked about the possibility of losing at the Olympics.

As the American team concludes its first week of practice today with a 1 p.m. exhibition game against Puerto Rico at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, head coach Larry Brown and his staff keep reminding their players that the USA's days of invincibility are over."

Read more at America the beatable?

Posted by Darren at 05:22 PM

Blaine Wilson's last shot at an Olympic Medal

"Blaine Wilson, a gymnast who's about to turn 30 and is only months past a serious injury, is headed to his last chance for an Olympic medal.

At an age when injuries have taken their toll on most gymnasts, Wilson is working out twice a day at the Ohio State gymnastics facility near campus. But he's battling back from an injury that could have ended his career.

While performing his still rings routine at the American Cup on Feb. 28, Wilson tore his left biceps muscle off the bone. The injury normally requires six to seven months of recovery time."

Read more at Gymnast heads to third Olympics for last shot at medal.

Posted by Darren at 05:20 PM

Japan's Baseball Team to go to Athens without Coach

"With the Olympics just two weeks away, Japan has decided to send its baseball team to Athens without its manager, media reported Saturday.

The 68-year-old Shigeo Nagashima, Japan's most famous former baseball player, had been managing the squad when he suffered a stroke that partially paralyzed the right side of his body in March. Japanese Olympic officials had said they would make a last-minute decision whether to replace Nagashima, who has since regained his ability to walk through rehabilitation.

But now Nagashima won't go because the long flight and the sweltering heat in Athens might wear him out, Kyodo News agency said, citing anonymous sources close to Nagashima."

Read more at Nagashima won't coach Japan's Olympic baseball squad.

Posted by Darren at 05:19 PM

Watch Olympics Online - Video Highlights

"Viewers in the U.S. and the U.K. will be able to watch video highlights of the Athens Olympics on the Internet. Canadians will not. NBC will feature online video coverage of the Summer Olympic Games. The BBC will broadcast live coverage of the games by Internet on the BBC Sport Olympics website to U.K. viewers.

In prior Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) prohibited websites from displaying video of actual Olympic events in order to protect multimillion-dollar television broadcasting deals."

Read more Athens Olympics achieves balance between Internet and TV viewing.

Posted by Darren at 05:16 PM

Will the 'Real' Olympics Please stand up?

"The Athens Olympics begin on 13 August, but thousands are gathering this weekend in an ancient Greek stadium for what they say are the true games.

Anyone can take part regardless of age or talent, as long as they run barefooted and in traditional tunics.

The stadium in Nemea in the Peloponnese was built more than 2,300 years ago.

It was excavated in the 1970s by a team of American archaeologists, who were disillusioned with the elitist nature of modern Olympics."

Read more at 'True Olympics' begin in Greece

Posted by Darren at 04:41 PM

What's on Today

Here is a list of events scheduled for today, Saturday the 14th of August, 2004
Table Tennis
Posted by at 03:51 PM

New Drugs could Emerge in Athens

"The chemist who unmasked the steroid THG last year says similar drugs might be in circulation, and the Athens Games could spur athletes to use such performance-enhancing substances.

"The Olympics is a time when people risk it all," said Don Catlin, head of the anti-doping lab at UCLA. "I've seen for many, many years how the Olympics brings out new drugs and new techniques."

Catlin said in a conference call Wednesday "hundreds or thousands" of steroids created by drug companies in the 1960s and 1970s could be turned into performance-enhancing substances."

Terry Madden, head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said on the conference call "there are designer steroids out there.""

Read more at Sports: Chemist: New drugs may emerge in Athens.

Posted by Darren at 03:43 PM

Cool Mitts to Ease Heat in Athens

corecontrol.jpgIf you see some US and British Athletes at the the Athens walking around with gloves on its not because they are cold - quite the opposite in fact - they are hot!

"A Michigan company has developed a handheld gizmo that could help soldiers, firefighters and athletes beat the heat. The so-called CoreControl device looks a bit like a large mitten.

Researchers at AVAcore Technologies say blood passing through the hand is cooled, which then cools the whole body in just three to five minutes. It's much like the way a panting, furry animal is cooled by air passing over its tongue."

British and US Olympians will be trial the CoreControl Cooling device in Athens.

Read more at Gizmo could cool soldiers' bodies in minutes.

Also read about it at ABC News

Posted by Darren at 03:38 PM

Canada Hopes Baseball Success will Spur Grassroots Participation

"To most, Canada is the Great White North, home of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, comedians Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, John Candy, and of course hockey.

Come the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Canada hopes to be better known for baseball too.

Cuba was expected to advance at the Olympic qualifier last fall, and the Cubans did. Team USA was supposed to do the same but was edged 2-1 in the quarterfinal by Mexico, eliminating the defending gold-medal winner. Canada then beat Mexico 11-1 to qualify for the Olympics in baseball for the first time.

While its major league franchises in Montreal and Toronto have been in decline, Canada has made strides in recent years in the sport. In 1995, 55 Canadians played in the minors. In 2003, that number had swelled to 114 in the minors and 92 in independent leagues. The year before, lefthanders Adam Loewen (fourth overall) and Jeff Francis (ninth) became the highest-picked Canadians in draft history."

Read more at Canada Hopes Olympic Success Spurs Grassroots.

Posted by Darren at 03:36 PM

Cuba, Japan Stand Out In Euro-Centric Athens Field - Baseball

"Four years after Ben Sheets raised his arms in triumph following a shutout of Cuba that brought gold to the United States, the Olympic baseball landscape has changed dramatically.

The U.S. won its first gold since baseball became a medal sport in 2000 in Sydney. Team USA wont be around to defend that title in Athens because it failed to qualify for the 2004 Games, to be held in Athens from Aug. 15-25. Bronze medalist Korea, which shut down its professional league for the Sydney games, also failed to qualify for Athens.

At least baseball is still around, though. Between tournaments, the sport almost got kicked off the Olympic program. Jacques Rogge took over as head of the International Olympic Committee and immediately sought to have baseball removed. While it survived and should be on the docket for 2008 in Beijing as well, a successful tournament in Athens is a must to regain momentum for the sport within the Olympic movement.

Yet its harder to have a successful tournament when two of the best teams in the worldtwo that care deeply about baseballarent included."

Read more at Cuba, Japan Stand Out In Euro-Centric Athens Field.

Posted by Darren at 03:34 PM

US Track Team - Could win 30 Medals

"Drug scandals have dominated the Athens build-up, but in the background a great US team has formed. Now the new generation are tipped for a 30-medal haul

Years of laughably inaccurate predictions have given rise to an American phenomenon known as the Sports Illustrated curse (which deems that those anointed for greatness in the magazine's pages are doomed to flop). Yet failure has not blunted SI's predilection for forecasting, not least when it comes to the subject of US prospects on the global stage.

So it must have been with trepidation that US track and field athletes opened the latest issue and discovered they are about to embark on an enormously successful trip to Athens, winning a total of 30 medals, including 11 golds. "This is a strong team, with 28 members who have won world or Olympic individual titles," the magazine declared by way of explanation."

Read more at Olympic success sneaks up on America.

Posted by Darren at 03:32 PM

Athens Olympic Games 2004 Schedule Of Events

Beach Volleyball
Modern Pentathlon
Table Tennis
Water Polo
Posted by at 02:15 PM

Athens Olympics - Kids Resources

Hi there kids - are you doing a school project on the Athens Olympics? Do you just want to know more about the Athens Olympics that you are watching on the TV? We know a lot of kids are coming to this site looking for information so we thought we'd put some resources together that might help you find the sort of information you are after. If you find a helpful website we don't have in our list below please leave us a comment at the bottom of this page and tell us what you've found.

Have fun!

Athens Olympics Kids Resources

Posted by Darren at 02:07 PM

US defeats New Zealand - Men's Basketball

"A young United States team routed New Zealand 94-68 in a pre-Olympic men's basketball scrimmage but US coach Larry Brown was concerned about lapses that could mean losses in Athens.

Tim Duncan scored 16 points while Amare Stoudamire and Dwayne Wade each had 14 for a National Basketball Association squad that lacked starting guard Allen Iverson, out with a finger sprain, and forward Carlos Boozer, away on business.

"We had no Al and no Carlos. I'm worried who will settle them down," Brown said. "This is kind of a setback right now. But they're energy level is up and they have done the things they have to do."

New Zealand, led by 17 points from Phil Jones, went on an 11-2 run late in the fourth quarter, which the Kiwis won 31-25, and settled for a 16-16 draw in the second only because US forward Lamar Odom made a tip-in at the buzzer."

Read mLapses haunt US Olympic squad despite rout of Kiwis.

Posted by Darren at 01:18 PM

British Athletics Farewell

"Britain's athletes offered a packed south London stadium a genuinely encouraging farewell at the Norwich Union Grand Prix here last night in the kind of sultry heat they will soon be encountering in Athens.

Less than a fortnight before the Olympics get under way, and on an evening which ended with Team GB members waving a symbolic goodbye from the back of that endangered species, the London Routemaster bus, as fireworks flashed from the roof of the Jubilee Stand, several home talents offered evidence that they will rumble on to Greece as much in expectation as hope.

The most notable performers were Chris Rawlinson, Kelly Holmes, Phillips Idowu, Chris Lambert, Jade Johnson and Lee McConnell, respective winners in the 400m hurdles, 1500m, triple jump, 200m, long jump and 400m."

Read more at Rawlinson and Holmes raise medal hopes.

Posted by Darren at 01:16 PM

Australian PM Back Peddles on Athens Security Statement

"JOHN Howard yesterday moved to ease diplomatic tensions with Greece over the adequacy of protection for Australia's Olympic athletes.

The Prime Minister said yesterday he did not mean "any offence to the Greek Government" in expressing concerns on Thursday over whether Australian athletes would be "fully protected" by the host nation.

His remarks were described by a Greek government spokesman as "unhelpful", coming less than two weeks before the opening of the Olympics.

The spokesman also suggested that if Australia had any further concerns about Greece's security arrangements it should raise them now."

Read more at The Australian: Howard didn't mean to offend

Posted by Darren at 01:14 PM

South Korea defeats Australia - Men's Football

"Australias Mens Olympic Football preparations encountered a small speed bump with a 3-1 loss against Athens-bound Korean Republic in hot and humid conditions in South Korea tonight.

It was a disappointing loss for the Australians, who had looked impressive in racking up four successive victories since coming into camp, including a win over the Japanese Olympic Team in the countdown to Athens.

Australia trialled 1-0 at half time after conceding a goal in the 16th minute to Korean Republic striker Cho Jaejin and found themselves down 3-0 before Ahmad Elrich scored a late consolation goal for the visitors."

Read more at .

Posted by Darren at 12:48 PM

Austrian Sailing Team Sets Sail for Gold Medals

"Landlocked Austria's Olympic sailing team has set its sails for gold in Athens.

Roman Hagara, the champion at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the Tornado class, said Friday he knows defending gold won't be easy, "but we're good enough to make it."

"If you have won a title, you always want to defend it," said Hagara, who will carry Austria's flag at the opening ceremony. He and teammate Hans Peter Steinacher will compete again in the Tornado class in Athens.

"The situation in Greece is not comparable to that in Sydney, because due to the new regulations, the boats are different," Hagara told The Associated Press. "But that has not changed our aim in any way. We want to win gold again.""

Read more at SI.com - Austrian sailing team aims for gold in Athens - Friday July 30, 2004 1:42PM.

Posted by Darren at 12:35 PM

US Swimmers to wear Energy Patches

"Specially treated energy patches used by swimmers at the Olympic trials earlier this month will be sent to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for testing amid concerns the patches contain testosterone.

The president of the company that makes the LifeWave Energy Enhancer called the accusation ridiculous and said the patch contains only amino acids and water-based solutions.

"I can understand why coaches or athletes would have questions, because this technology is very new, very different," David Schmidt told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I think it's a very good thing for sports. It's a way for athletes to improve their performance and not endanger their health."

Officials with the anti-doping agency would not confirm they received the patches....

Six female swimmers at Stanford University wore the patches on their shoulders during the trials, held July 7-14 in Long Beach....

The patches are designed to electronically stimulate acupuncture points, inserting current into the body to help an athlete improve stamina, according to Schmidt. No substances enter the body, he said."

Read more at Treated patches on U.S. swimmers raise questions.

Posted by Darren at 12:34 PM

Olympic Archery - Cut Throat Intensity

"For a sport that draws on the imagery of fantasy, few events match archery for its cut-throat intensity.

The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy is responsible for a boom in interest in the sport, but in competition there is no room for romantic delusions. Archery is about mental toughness and technical proficiency, an event where millimetres count.

At the Olympic Games, organisers have made it even tougher. In days gone by, the individual event was something of a marathon, with shooters lining up for four days of competition, accumulating as many points as possible.

Now, it is a nerve-racking contest in which the strong are pitted against the weak, where opponents are given one chance of victory or elimination.

All competitors shoot a first round of 72 arrows to earn a ranking of one to 64. From there, a knock-out competition begins where No 1 is matched against No 64, No 2 against No 63, and so on."

Read more at Arrows aimed at Athens bullseye.

Posted by Darren at 12:31 PM

Olympic Stadium's Glass Roof - Crowing Glory

"The ugly duckling of Athens venues is about to become the beautiful swan.

For a long time, the Olympic Stadium was the butt of jokes about Greece's tardy games preparations.

Most seriously, the International Olympic Committee warned Games organisers a year ago to scale back their plans for the stadium. The stubborn Greeks pressed on, and, when the opening ceremony begins in a fortnight, they hope to reveal to the world a glorious venue.

The crowning glory of the stadium is already in place, in spite of IOC fears and rebukes. Stretching over the ground which will host the athletics, soccer, opening and closing ceremonies before a crowd of 72,000 spectators, is a grand roof that will not only be an architectural masterpiece but a shade from the scorching Athenian sun."

Read more at Ambitious glass roof to be crowning glory.

Posted by Darren at 12:29 PM

Merlene Ottey - To compete at her 7th Consecutive Olympics

"It was on July 28, 1980, that Merlene Ottey settled into her starting blocks in the Lenin Stadium for her first Olympic race. It was two days after Steve Ovett had beaten Sebastian Coe in the 800m final, four days before their epic rematch in the 1500m final in Moscow.

Running from lane seven, Ottey surged to victory in the sixth heat of the women's 200m, clocking 22.70s.

Margaret Thatcher was one year into her reign as Prime Minister. Bjorn Borg was the Wimbledon champion. And television viewers were gripped by the question of who had shot J.R.

All of which lends historical perspective to the feat Ottey, now 44, will achieve in Athens next month when she competes in her seventh successive Olympic Games.

"People always say that after a certain age you cannot do certain things, so I set my own goals," Ottey said. "I want to see how fast I can run at 44. For me the most important motive is that I can still run and that I can still run fast."

Read more at Ottey defies ageists to make it seven in a row.

Posted by Darren at 12:26 PM

Kiribati - The Newest member of the Olympic Family

"Straddling the Equator and hugged by the blue of the Pacific Ocean, the newest member of the Olympic family had a celebration last week.

Tiny Kiribati, the string of coral atolls which will make its games debut in Athens, held its national track and field championships to finalise its team.

It was a far cry from the United States trials held about the same time.

At the national stadium in the capital, Tarawa, Kiribati's athletes raced on a track of black coral sand, lanes marked out with white beach sand.

"We don't have the synthetic tracks that most countries do, so we get by with what we have," said the national secretary of the Kiribati Olympic Committee, Willy Uan."

Read more at First-time Olympians beat odds.

Posted by Darren at 12:23 PM

Anti Opening Ceremony

Guardian columnist Harry Pearson doesn't really like the idea of the impending Athens Olympics Opening Ceremonies.....

"However dreadful opening ceremonies may be, no matter what the material and human cost, they are inevitable. You can no more stop them from occurring than you can prevent the swallow from flying south in winter, or the dog from licking his nuts the moment a stranger tells him what a sweet fellow he is....

if word coming out of Greece is to be believed what is about to occur in the Peloponnese will be so hi-tech and conceptually overblown it will make Paris look like Pot Black.

According to reports last week the Olympic opening ceremony will feature an explosion of white light, a flame leaping across the roof of the stadium, a comet, a giant paper boat and 400 ancient mythological creatures, dancers and puppeteers (And was there ever a word or phrase more likely to send a shiver down the spine of right-thinking people than puppeteer? Well, apart from "Now over to Jonathan Pearce").

The stadium itself will reportedly be flooded with millions of gallons of water, while several hundred drummers simulate the sound of a heartbeat. The symbolism here is as plain as the nose on Jan Koller's face - the Olympics were born in Greece and have now returned to the mother's womb. The only surprise about it is that the designer hasn't gone the whole hog and used amniotic fluid.

Even more gut-wrenching were the words "the spectacular curtain-raiser will last over three hours". The psychological damage it will cause can only be guessed. So, as we watch on our TV screens at home we should spare a thought for our men and women who are copping it on the front line. We, after all, will at least have the BBC's Barry Davies explaining what it all means; the reporters, by contrast, will be totally in the dark, though sadly for them not literally. "

Read more at Let the games open but without the ceremony, says Harry Pearson

Posted by Darren at 12:18 PM

Haile Gebrselassie will switch to Marathons

"Olympic 10,000 meters champion Haile Gebrselassie will run his last track race at next month's Athens Games before stepping up to the marathon permanently.

Gebrselassie has won two Olympic gold medals in the 10,000m and four world titles as well as setting 18 world records.

His duel with fellow-Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, who broke his world 5,000 and 10,000m records this year, is expected to be one of the highlights of the Games.

"(He) will run his last 10,000 meters championship race at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games," Gebrselassie's manager Jos Hermens said."

Read more at CNN.com - Gebrselassieswitching to marathon - Jul 29, 2004.

Posted by Darren at 12:15 PM

Athens at Night

Heading to the Athens Olympics? This article suggests that to truely experience it you need to head out into the neighborhoods at night!

"To fully appreciate and discover Athens' many charms, do as the Greeks do: Venture out into the neighborhoods, find the packed nightclubs, eat at one of the innumerable restaurants tucked in the most unlikely places, or see Hollywood stars under real stars in a romantic outdoor cinema.

'Athens by day is unlivable, but it's magical at night'
The Greek capital is named for the ancient goddess Athena, whose favourite animal was the owl. It's a fitting symbol for the city's nocturnal nature, which often culminates in summer with a bleary-eyed rush hour just before dawn.

As native Athenian Panos Demestiha observed: "Athens by day is unlivable, but it's magical at night.""

Read more at Hidden pleasures of ancient Athens.

Posted by Darren at 11:34 AM

Should You Run Naked?

here is an interesting article examining the question of whether its better to run nude or not at the Olympics! Some people have too much time on their hands.

"If you ask me, the ancient Olympians were a lot smarter than we are. They had the good sense to run, jump, and throw in the nude. When you put anything between your skin and the environment--like shorts and a singlet, for example--you only decrease your body's cooling efficiency (even if you're more...comfortable in certain areas). The so-called "modern" Olympians of 1896 were smarter than us, too. They did their running, jumping, and throwing in April. Some athletes complained about the chilly, damp weather, but Spiridon Louis gave thanks to Zeus all the way to his (clothed) marathon victory in 2:58:50.

Unfortunately, Olympic Marathons have been getting hotter ever since. The 1900 Olympic Marathon started at 2:36 p.m. under a 95-degree Parisian sun. Twelve years later, in Stockholm, a Portuguese runner died in the sweltering Olympic Marathon. Many of us remember Gabriele Andersen Schiess staggering across the finish line in the 1984 Women's Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles. In Athens this month, both the men's and women's marathons will start at 6 p.m., when average temperatures are in the mid-80s, though the city has a record August high of 109. And the marathoners will be running on black asphalt that has been simmering for 12 hours.

"It's a terrible disservice that the marathoners will be forced to compete in conditions where they can't perform their best, and could actually hurt themselves," says Dr. William Roberts, medical director of the Twin Cities Marathon and president of the American College of Sports Medicine. To help athletes deal with the Athens weather, the U.S. Olympic Committee has been holding educational meetings since last September, when it organized a conference called "Heat, Humidity and Air Pollution: What to Expect in Athens 2004." In May, the top U.S. marathoners gathered in Colorado Springs for the latest update. "We believe the heat actually opens the window of possibilities for our marathoners," says U.S. men's Olympic distance coach Bob Larsen. "We'll leave no stone unturned in our search for scientific approaches to running in the heat.""

Enduring Questions -- Should You Run Naked

Posted by Darren at 11:32 AM

Olympic Sponsorship Opportunities

"The big corporate sponsors at the 2004 Olympic Games pay between $40 million and $50 million for the privilege. Then they often spend two to three times that much to augment their sponsorship through marketing and advertising, said Rana Kardestuncer of Carlson Marketing Group (CMG).

Several Twin Cities firms, including CMG, are capitalizing on that Olympic fallout.

Plymouth-based CMG, The GEM Group in Minnetonka and Minneapolis-based Fast Horse Inc. public relations have all been tapped by large Olympic sponsors to leverage their sponsorships through marketing, promotion or logistics -- either before or during the event."

Read more at MSNBC - Marketers seize Olympic opportunity.

Posted by Darren at 11:20 AM

US defeat Puerto Rico

'In a scrimmage called "Hoops for Troops," with the stands packed with military personnel, the USA Olympic men's basketball team routed Puerto Rico, 102-76, at the University of North Florida on Thursday afternoon.

The Puerto Ricans will be the presumed tomato can at the Americans' lone official exhibition on home ground Saturday at Veterans Memorial Arena here. In between, the USA will scrimmage New Zealand at UNF today.

Tim Duncan led the USA with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting. Lamar Odom had a game-high nine rebounds, as the USA played volleyball on the boards, outrebounding Puerto Rico, 42-12.

The Cavaliers' LeBron James scored 10 points in 22 minutes on 4-of-6 from the field. James had the two most crowd-pleasing baskets, both on dunks, both on breakaways.'

Read more at USA mighty vs. Puerto Rico

Posted by Darren at 11:13 AM

Inge de Bruijn - Netherlands

"Four years ago, Inge de Bruijn set three world records and won three gold medals at the Sydney Olympics. Going into the Athens games, she is a more experienced but somewhat less dominant swimmer. 'I'm not worried about setting world records. I just want to win' she says after a training session at the Tualatin Hills Swim Center.'The field is so much stronger that winning is enough. If a record happens, it happens.'

De Bruijn, who competes for the Netherlands but lives here most of the year, is set to swim in as many as five races: the 50- and 100-meter freestyle, the 100 butterfly and two relays. Her coach, Paul Bergen, who mentors swimmers through the Oregon Thunderbolts club program, says de Bruijn is still the swimmer to beat in at least two of her races.

"She hasn't had the same consistent training as she did in the four years prior to the Sydney Olympics" Bergen says. "But she's been pretty focused since October. And her times are still No. 1 in the world. If we get her best in the games, I think she can repeat. It's just going to be tougher because there are so many better swimmers these days""

Read more at Medal mettle.

Posted by Darren at 11:00 AM

Jana Pittman on Track for Gold Medal

"Jana Pittman, who returns to the 400 metres hurdles at a meeting in the Belgian town of Heusden-Zolder on Saturday night, is poised to step up to Olympic Games shape.

Pittman will have just one other race before the Games - a clash with this year's world fastest, Sheena Johnson of the USA, and most of her major Olympic rivals at Zurich's Weltklasse meeting next Friday - and her coach, Phil King, says she is already in similar shape to when she won the gold medal at last year's world championships.

"Jana is going really, really well," King said from her base in Switzerland on Thursday. "She has had a very good training block. She has done some really good specific sessions. She has freshened up a bit.

"Jana would be very much expecting to take the next step."

Pittman has already returned to her Paris form in one aspect. After weighing as much as 75 kilograms when she ballooned out with weight work and inappropriate diet earlier this year, she is at her world championships racing weight of 68.5kg."

Read more at Pittman's campaign taking shape: coach - Athletics - .

Posted by Darren at 10:58 AM

Aleksandr Parygin - Modern Pentathlon

"The road to Athens has been a hard one for modern pentathlete Aleksandr Parygin, Paul Daffey writes.

At Atlanta 1996, when he was 23, Aleksandr Parygin became the youngest competitor to win an Olympic gold medal in the modern pentathlon. In Sydney four years later, unable to compete, he watched from the stands as the Russian competitor who had finished fourth in Atlanta won the event.

In Athens, Parygin again will aim for gold in the modern pentathlon, but in a different uniform and after a tortuous journey to get there. At Atlanta, he competed for his native Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. In Athens, he will compete for Australia. The intervening years have produced more hardship and uncertainty than sporting achievement."

Athlete aims to honour adopted nation - Modern Pentathlon

Posted by Darren at 10:54 AM

South Korea Aims for Top Ten in Medal Table

"South Korea is aiming at finishing within top 10 at the medals tally at the Aug. 13-29 Athens Olympic Games, said a South Korea senior sports official Thursday.

"Our aim in Athens is to rank in the top 10," South Korea's Olympic Committee (KOC) president Lee Yun-taek said at a ceremony unveiling the country's Olympic delegation. "We will come back after showing the spirit of South Koreans."

South Korea announced a 376-member squad for the Athens Games at the Olympic Hall in a ceremony which was attended by South Korean Prime Minister Lee Hai-chan, Greek Ambassador to South Korea Constantin Drakakis and Rep. Lee Mi-Kyung, chairwoman of the parliamentary culture and tourism committee."

Read more at S.Korea aims at top 10 finish in Athens.

Posted by Darren at 10:52 AM

Svetlana Khorkina - Playboy Gymnast

"With her bewitching smile and alluring personality, Svetlana Khorkina has made a seamless transition from Olympic champion to Playboy centrefold.

Not one to adhere to the norm, Khorkina loves being in the spotlight, be it with her gymnastics, modelling exploits or acting.

The self-styled 'queen of the asymmetric bars' will put her non-sporting activities on hold next month as she aims to become the first gymnast to win the same apparatus title at three consecutive Olympic Games.

"I look around and I can't find any shining gymnasts now. My strongest rival is myself. If I am capable of defeating myself, I shouldn't bother with the others," the 25-year-old told Reuters in an interview.

While such a statement sounds arrogant, 13 golds in Olympic, world and European competitions prove Khorkina's superiority in her signature event."

Read more at Playboy centerfold Khorkina targets third gold.

Posted by Darren at 10:51 AM

Athens Tree Planting Frenzy

"Thousands of trees, shrubs and flowers are being transplanted to the showpiece venues of the Olympics and along surrounding roads.

Construction delays that kept everyone guessing whether venues would be ready for the Aug. 13-29 Games prevented the planting of greenery until now - the middle of summer, when daily temperatures routinely top 90 degrees and rain is a rarity.

"Moving trees this time of year is very risky business," says Harry Ponder, a professor of horticulture at Auburn. "They probably made it more difficult for themselves. They should have gotten them established in the dormant season, in the winter."

Indeed, some saplings on a terraced slope just outside the Olympic complex already are brown and withered. Others are surrounded by garbage - an empty cigarette pack, a used milk carton - or have toppled."

Read more at Late Planting May Doom Olympic Trees.

Posted by Darren at 10:49 AM

Athens Smog could be Hurdle for Olympic Athletes

"Olympic runner Ryan Tolbert-Jackson is familiar with the effects of smog. She has asthma, which was triggered after she competed at the 1997 World Championships in Athens.

She says she hopes that returning to the Greek city to compete in the 2004 Olympics won't leave her gasping for air.

"I think your body deals with allergies and pollution as if it's fighting off a virus," Tolbert-Jackson says. "Your breathing's labored. You're more fatigued."

Environmental experts have cautioned that the air pollution in Athens may be a problem for some athletes at this year's games, which begin August 13. A recent report by the World Wildlife Fund paints a bleak picture of the overall environment in the ancient city -- and the U.S. Olympic Committee isn't taking any chances with its athletes."

Read more at CNN.com - Athens'smog may behurdle for Olympic athletes.

Posted by Darren at 10:46 AM

Ulster's Olympic Seven

"Seven athletes from Northern Ireland are heading off on an Olympic mission next month.

From August 11 to 29 the Olympics return to their birthplace of Athens and Ulster's talented bunch will be there to compete with the world's best athletes.

Michael Williamson, Paul Brizzel, Richard Archibald, Frazer Brown, Sasha Harrison, Jessica Kurten and Emma Robinson are going for gold this year.

Swimmer Michael Williamson from Lisburn smashed the Irish 200m breaststroke record at the British Olympic trials in Sheffield to book his ticket to Athens.

He will be joined by Coleraine-born Emma Robinson, who was the first swimmer to achieve the A time standard in the 100m breaststroke in breaking the Irish record."

Read more at Belfast Telegraph.

Posted by Darren at 10:42 AM

Greek premier will direct missile defense during Olympics

"Any decision to use Patriot missiles to shoot down planes or other possible airborne threats during the Olympics rests with Greece's premier and will be made within two minutes of detecting a problem, a commander of one of the air defense batteries said Friday.

The U.S.-made Patriot missiles, designed to intercept incoming rockets and aircraft, are part of a record $1.5 billion security network for the Aug. 13-29 Games.

During a review of the Tatoi Air Base, 16 miles north of Athens and near the Olympic Village, Air Force Maj. Dimitris Mandilis said up to 120 Patriots are deployed at five sites around Greece: three in the Athens area, one near the northern city of Thessaloniki and another on the Aegean Sea island of Sykros.

If Prime Minister Costas Carmanlis "gives the order, then within 15 seconds the missiles will be in the air," Mandilis said.

Greek officials have refused to discuss specific aspects of the air defense strategy, but pre-Olympic drills have included preparations for Sept. 11-style attacks. "

Read more at Greek premier will direct missile defense during Olympics.

Posted by Darren at 10:36 AM

Serena Williams - Pulls out of Tournament with Injury - Olympics Doubt?

Serena Williams has pulled out of the 'Acura Classic' due to soreness in her knee.

This must shed a little doubt on her ability to play in the Olympic Tournament in Athens. She remains optimistic however that she will be right for the Olympics.

""I really want to go ahead and go to the Olympics," said Serena Williams, scheduled to leave for Athens with the U.S. team Aug. 10. "I don't want to take that chance and miss out on the Olympics and the U.S. Open.""


Posted by Darren at 10:34 AM

US Boxers Hungry for Gold Medals

"Andre Dirrell has heard the talk, and knows the expectations are low.

The U.S. boxing team is too young, too inexperienced and not hungry enough. American boxers will be lucky to win a medal or two in Athens against the talented Cubans and tough Russians.

"I just sit back and laugh at that," Dirrell said. "I know we have a strong team. I see six or seven medals for us."

Dirrell could be excused for his optimism. He might be the most naturally talented member of the U.S. team, a 165-pounder with speed and power and a legitimate shot at a medal."

Read more at Sports - theworldlink.com - Serving the Great South Coast of Oregon.

Posted by Darren at 10:31 AM

US Women's Soccer Team - End of an Era

"The Athens Games are essentially the last hurrah for several players who have defined virtually the entire history of the U.S. women's soccer program. Mia Hamm, Joy Fawcett, Foudy and probably Kristine Lilly and Brandi Chastain five players who debuted in the late 1980s for a team that didn't even exist before 1985 are ending a journey that turned an obscure women's sport into a major social phenomenon.

"They've paved the road for everybody to follow them," coach April Heinrichs said. "Without Foudy, Hamm, Lilly, Fawcett, Chastain, it just wouldn't have happened this way."

The final mission for these veterans comes with a twist hardly befitting a farewell tour: In Greece, they'll have to avoid being beaten by the very monster they created."

Read more of this article at End for a generation of U.S. women's soccer stars .

Posted by Darren at 10:29 AM

Kevin Lim - Olympics a Labor of Love

"Malaysias top sailor Kevin Lim cycled 50km to and from the Athens Olympic Games sailing venue at Agios Kosmas for three weeks; trained all alone without a coach in his last six weeks during his European stint; and was left shivering in poor quality clothing.

He just could not afford anything better. The funding he gets from the National Sports Council (NSC) can only pay for a little of his needs.

But all the misery has done nothing to douse the fire in the 28-year-old doctor, who will be taking part in his third Olympics. He is out to show he is among the best in the world in his pet event the laser class at the Games from Aug 13-29.

Kevin, who is back in Malaysia for his final preparation for the Games, has set himself a target of a top-10 finish."

Read more at Kevins labour of love despite lack of funds.

Posted by Darren at 10:28 AM

Time running out to qualify for Noraseela Khalid

"Hurdler Noraseela Khalid, who is now training in Germany, still has a chance of making the cut for the Athens Olympic Games from Aug 13-29.

The qualifying period for athletics ends on Aug 9 and Noraseela will be competing in two more competitions in a week - on Sunday and on Aug 8 - to earn a berth to the Games.

Noraseela, who has been training at the Leipzig Training Centre in Germany since April, has to beat the Category B qualifying mark of 56.25 in the womens 400m hurdles to make the cut.

Noraseela, who trains under German coach Idriss Gonschinska in Leipzig, holds the national record of 56.63, which she did in a competition in Germany in May.

Noraseela will compete in two meets in Germany and we hope she will be able to surpass the mark to win a place in the Olympic Games, said National Sports Council (NSC) athletics liaison officer Ibni Busu yesterday. The pressure will be on her to make it as time is running out for her."

Read more at Only two meets left for Noraseela to earn Olympic spot.

Posted by Darren at 10:26 AM

Asafa Powell defeats Maurice Greene in 100m

"Jamaican Asafa Powell handed Olympic 100 metres champion Maurice Greene his second defeat in eight days on Friday with an emphatic victory at the London grand prix.

Running in a field worthy of next month's Athens Olympics final Powell clocked 9.91 seconds on the Crystal Palace track ahead of Greene who finished second in 9.97.

Greene, who won the US title this month, was also beaten into second place at the Paris Golden League meeting last Friday at the start of his pre-Olympic European campaign."

Read more at Olympic champion Greene beaten again

Posted by Darren at 10:14 AM

Palestine's Sana Abu Bkheet

The Daily Star has an interesting article about Sana Abu Bkheet, a Palestinian teenager who has been selected for the Athens Olympics who is currently in training in Gaza. It would be a training regime that is in stark contrast to that of many teams like the US, Australia, Britain who are currently in training camps with amazing facilities, support staff and resources.

"When we spoke, Sana had just finished several "laps" around her "track:" a small sandy lot just outside of the central Gaza Strip town of Deir al-Balah that winds its way around greenhouses and partially built tin-roof houses. It is littered with stray copper wires, refuse and thorny wild bushes.

No more than 2 kilometers north of us was the Jewish settlement of Nezarim, a hotspot for frequent exchange of gunfire between trigger-happy Israeli Army snipers and Palestinian resistance fighters. Israeli bullets have too often found their way into a young child's head around these parts.

This was Sana's domain. A far cry, of course, from the multi-million dollar stadium where she will be competing in Athens next month.

Olympic rules allow teams whose members fail to meet the qualifying times to enter two of their best athletes in any competition. Sana was chosen for the 800-meter run. While her chances of winning are slim by her own admission - her best time being a full 30 seconds off the Olympic qualifying time - Abu Bkheet says she's honored to simply be representing Palestine.

Sana is the very picture of determination, and it is clear where she gets her tenacity from. Her mother, Amina, is by her side at every training session, and for almost every event she competes in. With her husband sick and out of a job, Amina holds the house together. She actively encouraged her daughter to continue despite the quizzical looks she received running through the winding roads of her refugee camp." Read more at The Daily Star .

Posted by Darren at 10:09 AM

Athletes Arrive in Athens

"Americans, Australians and Finns were among the first to check into the Olympic Village on Friday as the venue opened its doors to athletes.

Organizers said the village,nine miles northwest of central Athens, was to receive about 500 of the expected 16,000 athletes and team officials. On Monday, another 2,000 are to arrive.

"Today the Olympic Games begin ... because the Olympic village opened its doors," Spyros Capralos, the government's general secretary for sport, told The Associated Press.

Athens organizers gave no details on the arrivals."

Read more at Athletes begin moving in to Olympic Village

Posted by Darren at 10:03 AM

100m Competition hots up.

Asafa Powell ran the hundred metres in 9.91 seconds (the fastest time ever run in Great Britain) beating Maurice Greene who ran 9.97 in second while world champion Kim Collins could only manage fifth at the Norwich Union London Grand Prix.

"My start was shaky and although I collected myself, Asafa just ran a great race," Greene told BBC Sport.

"But this won't do anything to my confidence - it doesn't matter what happens here, it's all about what happens in Athens."

British Olympic hopefuls Mark Lewis-Francis, Darren Campbell and Jason Gardener did not qualify for the final

Source/Full Grand Prix Results BBC Powell shocks Greene

Posted by at 08:53 AM

Olympic village open. Has disco!

With thousands of athletes now arriving in Athens, the Olympic Village has fully opened. According to Greek newspaper Kathimerini, 16,000 athletes will stay there and they'll be able to take advantage of "places of worship, shops, a bank, a post office, a hairdresser, cafeterias, 24-hour restaurants, a cinema, bars and a disco, a library, and a billiards hall." Bars and a disco? A DISCO?! A place where people get drunk, stay up late and cop off? And how exactly is that going to help these athletes when they've got to get up early the next morning and run faster, throw further or judo, er, judo-ier than anyone in the whole world?

Having said that, I do like what the piece says about them having a little welcoming celebration for every nation as they arrive. Well, as long as that celebration doesn't involve everyone going down to the disco and getting hammered...

eKathimerini.com: Olympic Village opens

Posted by at 08:03 AM

July 30, 2004

Athens Olympics Declared Ready

"ATHENS (Reuters) - Athens was finally declared ready for the Olympics Friday with all venues and transport projects operational two weeks before the opening ceremony.

The final piece of the transport puzzle is in place after the opening of the rail link to the airport while the Olympic village welcomed its first athletes.

"Today is a great day, all venues have been delivered," Games general secretary Spyros Capralos told reporters.

"The Games have begun for us with the opening of the Olympic village."

Greek organizers were committed to handing over finished venues by the end of July and Capralos admitted that not all the stadiums had been completed ahead of the 16-day Games."

Read more at Athens Declares Victory in Games Preparations.

Posted by Darren at 11:34 PM

Craig Mottram to take on Ethiopians in 5000m

"Craig Mottram and Benita Johnson will test their Olympic ambitions in London tonight.

Mottram will be up against the great Ethiopian pair Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele in the men's 5000, his Olympic distance. It will be Gebrselassie's farewell track race in London.

Johnson's main Athens objective is the 10,000 metres. She will race over 5000 tonight, measuring the speed with which she is returning to form after a leg injury."

Read more at Mottram to take mark against Ethiopian duo

Posted by Darren at 11:24 PM

El Guerrouj Goes for Gold

"Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj, the undisputed king of middle distance running, is worried that Olympic gold might elude him again in Athens.

He lost a Golden League 1,500m in Rome earlier this month and only squeaked home a few days later in another race at Lausanne.

I am like a crystal. Very hard, but at the same time very fragile, said the holder of world records over 1,500m and the mile.

He has won 83 of 87 races over 1,500m and the mile since 1996, has four straight world 1,500m titles 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2003 and is a three-time World Athlete of the Year.

But the Olympics have been a nightmare for the 29-year-old."

Read more at El Guerrouj chasing elusive Olympic gold

Posted by Darren at 11:20 PM

Technology helps British Equestrian Team

Britain's Olympic riders are looking to technology to gain an edge in Athens.

They have been using video cameras and laptop computers during their training sessions to hone their performance.

The team are tipped to walk away with double Olympic gold in the three-day eventing, an equestrian triathlon that demands infinite skill and courage.

"We are all fortunate that we have got really good horses in the right year, so our confidence is good," said champion rider Leslie Law.

Read more at Technology helps Olympic riders

Posted by Darren at 11:12 PM

British Team depart sporting impressive leisurewear!

The first batch of British Olympic athletes has now departed for Athens and - goodness - what impressive leisurewear they sported.

Perhaps mindful of the hot Athens climate, the team have turned their back on traditional stuffy formal wear (like that worn by the British team in 'Chariots Of Fire') in favour of what could best be described as 'smart-casual'.

The cheery-looking team climbed the steps to their plane dressed in comfortable beige 'slacks' and stylish white T-shirts, bearing the words 'Great Britain' in a rather fancy font. Some members of the team chose to wear red, white and blue GB tracksuits which could best be described as 'natty'.

The British team may not top the medal table, but they've made an early bid to top the fashion one. In a smart-casual sort of way.

See pictures of the dapper athletes at the following link Getty Images: First British Olympic Team Members Depart For Athens

Posted by at 10:23 PM

Australian Women's Basketball Team Defeats Belgium

"The Australian women's basketball team has had a nine-point win over Belgium in Spain.

After a slow start, the Opals trailed by 15 points but closed to within six 23-29 at half-time and went on to win 65-56.

Veterans Sandy Brondello (15 points), Trish Fallon (14) and Kristi Harrower (9) all played key roles, as the Australians fought their way back into the match.

Worryingly, the Opals' shooting was poor, recording only 29 per cent from the field. They compensated for this with an intensive effort in defence that put the Belgians under pressure."

Read more at Veterans shine as Opals down Belgians .

Posted by Darren at 04:54 PM

Athens Olympic Events Schedule

The Athens Olympics Officially run between 13- 29 August. Following is the Schedule of Events organized on a daily basis.

Wednesday, 11 August
Soccer (Preliminaries)

Thursday, 12 August
Soccer (Preliminaries)

Friday, 13 August
Opening Ceremony

Saturday, 14 August
Badminton (round matches), Basketball (prelim), Beach Volleyball (prelim), Boxing (prelim), Cycling Road (medals), Diving (finals),
Fencing (medals), Football (prelim), Gymnastics Artistic (qual), Handball (prelim), Hockey (prelim), Judo (medals), Sailing (races), Shooting (finals), Softball (prelim), Swimming (finals), Table tennis (round), Volleyball (prelim), Weightlifting (finals).

Sunday, 15 August
Archery (round), Badminton (round), Baseball (prelim), Basketball (prelim), Beach Volleyball (prelim), Boxing (prelim),
Cycling Road (medals), Equestrian (dressage),
Fencing (medals), Football (prelim),
Gymnastics Artistic (qual), Handball (prelim),
Hockey (prelim), Judo (medals), Rowing (heats), Sailing (races), Shooting (finals), Softball (prelim),
Swimming (finals), Table tennis (round),
Tennis (round), Volleyball (prelim),
Water Polo (prelim), Weightlifting (finals).

Monday, 16 August
Archery (round), Badminton (round), Baseball (prelim),
Basketball (prelim), Beach Volleyball (prelim),
Boxing (prelim), Diving (finals), Equestrian (dressage), Fencing (medals), Gymnastics Artistic (finals), Handball (prelim), Hockey (prelim), Judo (medals), Rowing (heats), Sailing (races), Shooting (finals), Softball (prelim), Swimming (finals), Table tennis (round), Tennis (round), Volleyball (prelim),
Water Polo (prelim), Weightlifting (finals).

Tuesday, 17 August
Archery (round), Badminton (round), Baseball (prelim), Basketball (prelim), Beach Volleyball (prelim), Boxing (prelim), Canoe/Kayak Slalom Racing (heats), Equestrian (cross-country), Fencing (medals), Football (prelim), Gymnastics Artistic (finals), Handball (prelim), Hockey (prelim), Judo (medals), Rowing (repechages), Sailing (races), Shooting (finals), Softball (prelim), Swimming (finals), Table tennis (round), Tennis (round), Volleyball (prelim), Water Polo (prelim).

Wednesday, 18 August
Archery (medals), Badminton (round), Baseball (prelim), Basketball (prelim), Beach Volleyball (prelim), Boxing (prelim), Canoe/Kayak Slalom Racing (medals), Cycling (medals), Equestrian (finals), Fencing (medal matches), Football (prelim), Gymnastics Artistic (finals), Handball (prelim), Hockey (prelims), Judo (medals matches), Rowing (repechages), Sailing (races), Shooting (medals), Softball (prelim), Swimming (finals), Table tennis (round matches), Tennis (round), Volleyball (prelim), Water Polo (prelim), Weightlifting (finals).

Thursday, 19 August
Archery (medals), Badminton (medals), Basketball (prelim), Beach Volleyball (prelims), Boxing (prelim), Canoe/Kayak Slalom Racing (heats), Fencing (medals), Gymnastics Artistic (finals), Handball (prelim), Hockey (prelim), Judo (medals), Rowing (rounds), Sailing (races), Shooting (finals), Softball (prelim), Swimming (finals), Table tennis (round), Tennis (round), Volleyball (prelim), Water Polo (prelim), Weightlifting (finals).

Friday, 20 August
Archery (medals), Athletics (rounds/finals), Badminton (medals), Baseball (prelim), Basketball (prelim), Beach Volleyball (round), Boxing (prelim), Canoe/Kayak Slalom Racing (medals), Cycling Track (finals), Diving (prelim), Equestrian (dressage), Fencing (medal matches), Football (prelim), Gymnastics Trampoline (finals), Handball (prelim), Hockey (prelims), Judo (medals matches), Rowing (finals), Sailing (races), Shooting (finals), Softball (prelim), Swimming (finals), Table tennis (round), Tennis (finals), Volleyball (prelim), Water Polo (prelim), Weightlifting (finals).

Saturday, 21 August
Archery (medals), Athletics (rounds/finals), Badminton (medals), Baseball (prelim), Basketball (prelim), Beach Volleyball (round), Boxing (prelim), Cycling Track (finals), Diving (semi-finals), Equestrian (Grand Prix), Fencing (medals), Football (round), Gymnastics Trampoline (finals), Handball (prelim), Hockey (prelim), Rowing (finals), Sailing (finals), Shooting (finals), Swimming (finals), Table tennis (medals), Tennis (medals), Volleyball (prelim), Water Polo (prelim), Weightlifting (finals).

Sunday, 22 August
Athletics (rounds/finals), Baseball (prelim), Basketball (prelim), Beach Volleyball (round), Boxing (round), Cycling Track (round), Diving (finals), Equestrian (qual), Fencing (medals), Gymnastics Artistic (finals), Handball (prelim), Hockey (prelim), Rowing (finals), Sailing (finals), Shooting (finals), Softball (medals), Table tennis (finals), Tennis (medals), Volleyball (prelim), Water Polo (round), Wrestling (Eliminations).

Monday, 23 August
Athletics (rounds/finals), Basketball (prelim), Beach Volleyball (round), Boxing (round), Canoe/Kayak Flatwater Racing (heats), Cycling Track (rounds/finals), Diving (prelim), Equestrian (Grand Prix), Football (prelim), Gymnastics Artistic (finals), Handball (prelim), Hockey (prelim), Sailing (races), Softball (final), Synchronised Swimming (prelim), Table tennis (finals), Volleyball (prelim), Water Polo (prelim), Weightlifting (medals), Wrestling (medals).

Tuesday, 24 August
Athletics (rounds/finals), Baseball (round), Basketball (classification), Beach Volleyball (round), Boxing (round), Canoe/Kayak Flatwater Racing (heats), Cycling Track (rounds/finals), Diving (medals), Equestrian (rounds/finals), Football (rounds), Gymnastics Artistic (Gala), Handball (rounds), Hockey (rounds), Sailing (races), Synchronised Swimming (prelim), Volleyball (round), Water Polo (round), Weightlifting (medals), Wrestling (elimination/qualification).

Wednesday, 25 August
Athletics (rounds/finals), Baseball (medals), Basketball (round), Beach Volleyball (medals), Boxing (round), Canoe/Kayak Flatwater Racing (round), Cycling Track (rounds/finals), Diving (prelim), Equestrian (Grand Prix), Hockey (classification), Sailing (races/finals), Synchronised Swimming (finals), Triathlon (finals), Volleyball (round), Water Polo (classification), Weightlifting (medals), Wrestling (rounds/medals).

Thursday, 26 August
Athletics (rounds/finals), Basketball (round), Canoe/Kayak Flatwater Racing (round), Diving (finals), Football (round), Gymnastics Rhythmic (qual), Handball (round), Hockey (medals), Modern Pentathlon (medals), Sailing (medals), Synchronised Swimming (finals), Taekwondo (prelim/medals), Triathlon (finals), Volleyball (round), Water Polo (medals) , Wrestling (rounds/medals).

Friday, 27 August
Athletics (rounds/finals), Basketball (round), Boxing (round), Canoe/Kayak Flatwater Racing (finals), Cycling Mountain Bike (medals), Diving (prelim), Equestrian (finals), Football (medals), Gymnastics Rhythmic (qual), Handball (round), Hockey (medals), Modern Pentathlon (medals), Synchronised Swimming (finals), Taekwondo (medals), Volleyball (round), Water Polo (round), Wrestling (elimination/qualification).

Saturday, 28 August
Athletics (finals), Basketball (medals), Boxing (round), Canoe/Kayak Flatwater Racing (finals), Cycling Mountain Bike (medals), Diving (finals), Football (finals), Gymnastics Rhythmic (finals), Handball (round/medals), Sailing (finals), Taekwondo (medals), Volleyball (medals), Wrestling (eliminations/medals).

Sunday, 29 August
Athletics (medals), Boxing (finals), Football (medals), Gymnastics Rhythmic (finals), Handball (medals), Taekwondo (medals), Volleyball (medals), Water Polo (medals), Wrestling (medals), Closing Ceremony.

Posted by Darren at 04:00 PM

Jamaican Olympic Team

"The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) yesterday formally announced its 78-member contingent for the August 13-29 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

World Junior record holder, Usain Bolt, who has been included in the Olympic squad, will undergo a physical examination today by Dr Warren Blake at the National Stadium to determine his level of fitness."

Jamaica's delegation
Don Anderson - chef de mission
Marie Tavares - assistant delegation manager
Lloyd Gooden - assistant delegation manager
Compton Rodney - assistant delegation manager

Athletics, women

Veronica Campbell - 100m, 200m, 4x100m
Sherone Simpson - 100m, 4x100m
Aleen Bailey - 100m, 200m, 4x100m
Beverly McDonald - 200m, 4x100m
Tayna Lawrence - alternate for 100m
Peta-Gaye Dowdie - 4x100m
Kerron Stewart - 4x100m
Nadia Davy 400m - 4x400m
Novlene Williams - 400m 4x400m
Ronetta Smith - 400m, 4x400m
Allison Beckford - 4x400m
Sandie Richards - 4x400m
Michelle Burgher - 4x400m
Michelle Ballentine - 800m
Delloreen Ennis-London - 100m hurdles
Brigitte Foster - 100m hurdles
Lacena Golding-Clarke - 100m hurdles
Debbie-Ann Parris - 400m hurdles
Patrina Allen - 400m hurdles
Shevon Stoddart - 400m hurdles
Elva Goulbourne - long jump
Trecia Smith - triple jump
Kimberli Barrett - shot put

Athletics, men

Asafa Powell - 100m, 4x100m, alternate for 200m
Steve Mullings - 100m, 200m, 4x100m
Dwight Thomas - 100m, 4x100m
Michael Frater - 4x100m
Patrick Jarrett - 4x100m
Winston Smith - 4x100m
Christopher Williams - 200m
Usain Bolt - 200m
Brandon Simpson - 400m, 4x400m
Michael Blackwood - 400m, 4x400m
Davian Clarke - 400m, 4x400m
Jermaine Gonzales - 4x400m, alternate for 400m
Richard James - 4x400m
Michael Campbell - 4x40m
Maurice Wignall - 110m hurdles
Christopher Pinnock - 110m hurdles
Richard Phillips - 110m hurdles
Danny McFarlane - 400m hurdles
Dean Griffiths - 400m hurdles
Kemel Thompson - 400m hurdles
James Beckford - long jump
Claston Bernard - decathlon
Maurice Smith - decathlon

Athletics officials

Lincoln Eatmon - team manager
Ian Forbes - assistant team manager
Dennis Johnson - head coach
Glen Mills - coach
Fitz Coleman - coach
Stephen Francis - coach
Maurice Wilson - coach
Maurice Westney - coach
Raymond Graham - coach


Nigella Saunders - women's singles
Kingsley Ford - manager/coach


Dawn Kobayashi - 10m air rifle
Keith Hammond - manager/coach


Janelle Atkinson - 200m free, 400m free
Angella Chuck - 100m free
Alia Atkinson - 50m free, 100m breast
Jevon Atkinson - 50m free
John Eyre - manager
Jacqueline Walter - coach
Youth Camp
Gillian Millwodd
Vishwanauth Tolan

JOA announces team for Olympic Games

Posted by Darren at 03:17 PM

Jobie Dajka kicked off Australian Athens Olympic Team

Australian cyclist Jobie Dajka has just been told that he will not be going to the Athens Olympics after it is alleged that he lied to an Australian doping enquiry.

update - The ABC picks up the story and writes:

' Cyclist Jobie Dajka has been omitted from the Australian Olympic team after admitting he lied to a doping inquiry.

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates announced the decision this afternoon.

Dajka was questioned today by AOC director of sport Craig Phillips at the cycling team's training camp in Buettgen, Germany, after being accused of lying to the inquiry headed by retired Supreme Court judge Robert Anderson QC.

The inquiry was established to investigate doping allegations by former world junior champion Mark French who had been suspended from all competition for using a banned drug.'

Posted by Darren at 03:15 PM

Mickey Grimes - B Sample confirms Drug Use

"Analysis of a backup sample has confirmed the positive drug test for U.S. sprinter Mickey Grimes, who faces a possible lifetime ban for two doping offenses.

The International Association of Athletics Federations said Thursday night that testing of Grimes' B sample also came back positive for a banned steroid.

"The IAAF can confirm Mickey Grimes' B test confirms the A sample," IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said.

Davies said the case is now in the hands of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which must decide on any sanction."

Read more at IAAF confirms positive B sample test for US sprinter

Posted by Darren at 02:41 PM

Olympic Village Open

"The Olympic village, home to about 16,000 athletes and officials during next month's Olympic Games, officially opened on Thursday.

"Greece has made it. Greece has succeeded in doing something that many people considered as beyond its capabilities," said Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, President of the Athens Olympic Organizing Committee (ATHOC), at the inauguration ceremony.

"At Games-time we shall answer those people doubting or disbelieving what we have already achieved. We loathe our countrybeing underrated," she added.

Construction of the village in the Menidi suburb, about 15km northwest of central Athens, was dogged by the same delays that hampered Athens' overall preparations.

The 397-million-US-dollar complex has a hospital, drug test center, places of worship, a restaurant, a swimming pool, a track and two gyms."

Read more at Olympic village opens door to athletes

Posted by Darren at 02:11 PM

50,000 Athens Phones Down for 10 Hours

"Nearly 50,000 telephones at Olympic sites and parts of Athens went dead for more than 10 hours today, officials said.

The outage follows a July 12 electricity blackout across southern Greece that raised concern over the stability of public utility networks ahead of the Aug. 13-29 Games.

The phones went down during attempts to upgrade the system, officials said.

"Some 48,000 fixed-line phones stopped working during work to improve a telephone switching centre," Christos Malapanis, an official at the Greek Telecommunications Organization, or OTE, told state-run NET television"

Read more at Phones down in Athens for 10 hours.

Posted by Darren at 01:19 PM

Mexican Olympic Team take Good Luck Charms

"The Mexican Olympic team is heading to Athens loaded with amulets, charms, religious items and stuffed toys to bring good luck and the power of faith to their performance, press reports said on Tuesday.�

Record sports newspaper said that although not all of the Mexican athletes are superstitious or religious, many are.�

Runner Ana Guevara, for example, may not wear a charm or crucifix, but she will make sure that her running shoes are either red, green or white � the colours of the Mexican flag.�"

Mexicans loaded with good-luck charms

Posted by Darren at 01:16 PM

More tickets available for opening, closing ceremonies

"More than 1,000 additional tickets for the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies will go on sale Monday.

The extra tickets for the ceremonies, as well as track and field events, were made available after the seats were installed in the main stadium and counted - with 538 more than originally planned.

The stadium had faced years of delays and problems with putting in the seating.

So far, more than 2.2 million of the 5.3 million tickets have been sold. Organizers said sales have increased rapidly in the last few days with 12,000 to 13,000 tickets sold per day."

Read more at More tickets available for opening, closing ceremonies.

Posted by Darren at 01:14 PM

Irish help India prepare for Olympic Hockey

"Ask anyone which is the greatest international football nation down through the years and the chances are they'll say Brazil.

The answer in cricket would probably be West Indies or perhaps Australia; and the All Blacks from New Zealand might get the vote in rugby, again closely followed by Australia.

In hockey terms, it's maybe not so clear cut, but up until the last few decades most fans would almost certainly have chosen India.

Eight Olympic gold medals - six of them consecutively - marked them down as a truly great nation and although other countries like Australia, Holland and Germany have been more consistent in recent years, there's still an aura surrounding India.

So you can imagine the excitement mounting as 20 lucky Irish lads head off to Germany this weekend to help India prepare for the Athens Olympics at a special training camp in Bayer Leverkausen."

Hockey: Irish can takeaway indian bonus

Posted by Darren at 01:12 PM

US Spy Planes Provide Security Information for Athens

"U.S. spy planes have increased flights over North Africa and the Middle East to provide Greek and NATO authorities information about any potential threats to next month's Olympics, officials at this U.S. base on the island of Crete said Thursday.

U.S. Air Force RC-135 and U.S. Navy EP-3 reconnaissance planes have been using the small Navy base at Souda Bay, base officials told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity,

The officials would not give additional details on the flights or intelligence gathered.

Greek and foreign security officials have indicated there is no specific threat against the Aug. 13-29 Games, which is protected by the most expensive surveillance and protection network in Olympic history."


Posted by Darren at 01:08 PM

Athens Drug Tests On the Mark?

"The 2004 Olympic Games are scheduled to begin in Athens on August 13th. While there has been a lot of concern about whether the facilities and venues will be ready, there is also concern about whether the program to test the participating athletes for drugs will also be up and running.

Summary: The Athens 2004 Doping Control Program will be responsible for delivering a maximum of 3,500 tests at the time of the Olympic Games and Test Events. The negative results will be announced in 24 hours and the positive in 36 hours. These will mostly be urine tests. However, some provision is being made for blood tests for erythopoeietin (EPO) and other substances. The Program will also provide doping control services to the Paralympic Games (approximately 650 tests).

The Program will take into consideration the protection of athletes health and reputation. The samples will be examined in a professional manner to guard the confidentiality of athletes.

What Drugs: What are the drugs that the Doping Control Program is worried about? In addition to the above-mentioned EPO, another no-no is the anabolic steroid THG (tetrahydrogestrinone). A big uncertainty at this point is whether the test for HGH (human growth hormone) will be ready or not. In any case, athletes are being warned that drug testing could still be done retrospectively -- long after the 2004 Olympics are over -- meaning that winners who test positive for certain drugs could end up losing both records and their medals (and reputations)."

Read more at Athens Drug Tests On the Mark? .

Posted by Darren at 12:59 PM

Athens Visitors to get Price Guides

"Olympic visitors to Athens will be given leaflets indicating prices for commonly purchased items as part of measures to combat profiteering during the Aug. 13-29 Games, government officials said Thursday.

The material, to be distributed at airports and other entry points, will list typical prices for items and services including bottled water and a taxi fare along a popular route, Development Ministry spokesman Kleanthis Hatzinikolaidis told The Associated Press.

They will be ready next week, he said. The leaflets will list price guidelines."

Read more at MSNBC - Athens visitors to get price guides to beat Olympic profiteers.

Posted by Darren at 11:51 AM

Olympic Games flunk basic economics

"By almost any measure, the Olympics flunk basic economics. The bidders spend lavishly and make costly promises. The winning city opens the vault to build stadiums, venues and villages that may have questionable value after the games. Local commerce is disrupted for years. Then theres skyrocketing costs for payroll and security.

And it all happens with the knowledge that the whole venture will probably end up losing lots of public money.

But cities keep slugging it out to play host. Five are in the running for the 2012 Summer Games. Some cities are even gearing up a bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

"On paper it doesnt make sense," said Larry Hadley, a University of Dayton expert in the economics of sporting events.

"But with the Olympics there are many other factors than just the bottom line."

Perhaps its the seduction of being in the world spotlight for more than two weeks to promote local attractions, culture and talents."

Read more at Olympic Games flunk basic economics.

Posted by Darren at 11:51 AM

McEwan Will Compete in Road Race - despite broken Vertebra

"Australian cyclist Robbie McEwen will compete in the Athens Olympics despite suffering from two broken vertebra.

McEwen won the green jersey for best sprinter, despite suffering from a sore back since a fall on July 9."

Source - McEwan will ride on

Posted by Darren at 11:50 AM

Athens Uses Olympics to Fuel Civic Rebirth

'This summer's Olympic Games are providing Athens residents with improved communications, better roads and a brand new subway. The Greek capital is attempting to lost its reputation as one of the most polluted cities in Europe, with appalling traffic problems and a decaying infrastructure.'

Listen to the rest of this audio report at NPR : Athens Uses Olympics to Fuel Civic Rebirth

Posted by Darren at 11:50 AM

Everton Supports Tim Cahill's Olympics Campaign

"New Everton signing Tim Cahill said the English Premier League club has supported his call-up to play football for Australia in the Athens Olympics next month.

Cahill said Everton's blessing was a major factor in convincing him to sign a four-year contract last week in a move from English Championship club Millwall.

The 24-year-old midfielder, who gained his first international cap in March, will play for Australia in Friday's Olympic warm-up match against South Korea .

"There was never a shadow of doubt (of playing in Greece)," Cahill said in a teleconference from England on Thursday.

"Whatever Premier League club, they've got to deal with it and be happy for you."

Read more at Yahoo! Sports - Olympics - Everton support Olympic call-up, says Cahill.

Posted by Darren at 11:49 AM

Hotel Workers to Strike During Olympics

"Athens' hotel workers, demanding their wages be doubled, will stage a one-day strike next week and threatened to continue their protest during the Aug. 13-29 Games.

``If our proposals are not accepted the workers will decide the next protest which will probably be during the Olympics,'' said union representative Nikos Papageorgiou. The official works at the Metropolitan Hotel which will host officials from the world soccer's governing body, FIFA, during the games.

The hotel workers' union has called for a strike on Aug. 4 demanding that monthly minimum pay rise from 490 euros ($588) to 1,100 euros ($1,300).

Workers at hotels reserved for Olympic employees will receive a bonus of 187 euros ($224).

Union leader Christos Katsiotis promised union support if any protesting workers are fired. "

Read more at Workers Threaten Strike During Olympics:

Posted by Darren at 11:49 AM

Greece starts to lock down Venus for Security

"Security tightened fast around Athens two weeks before the Olympics, with the arrival of a NATO battalion trained to defend against weapons of mass destruction and the securing of venues including the city's vast port.

Security officials said Europe's biggest passenger port Piraeus would be sealed in days, ready for seven luxury cruise ships, including the Queen Mary 2, the world's largest, that will act as floating five-star Olympic hotels."

Read more at Greece Ups Security, Starts Venues' Lockdown

Posted by Darren at 11:48 AM

Greece starts to lock down Venus for Security

"Security tightened fast around Athens two weeks before the Olympics, with the arrival of a NATO battalion trained to defend against weapons of mass destruction and the securing of venues including the city's vast port.

Security officials said Europe's biggest passenger port Piraeus would be sealed in days, ready for seven luxury cruise ships, including the Queen Mary 2, the world's largest, that will act as floating five-star Olympic hotels."

Read more at Greece Ups Security, Starts Venues' Lockdown

Posted by Darren at 11:48 AM

Mali Football Team Announced

Mali have named an inexperienced 23-man squad for the country's first participation in the Olympics next month.

The likes of Frederic Kanoute, Mahamadou Diarra and Seydou Keita were expected to be selected as the over-age players allowed for the under-23 tournament.

However, the Malian Football Federation (FMF) proved unable to persuade any of its star names to play in the Olympics, which clashes with the start of the European club season.

Read more at Mali name Olympic squad

Mali's Football team is:

Fousseyni Tangara (FC Mantois, France), Cheick Oumar Bathily (Djoliba AC), Soumala Diakite (Stade Malien)

Moussa Coulibaly, Boubacar Sidiki Kone (both AS Bamako), Abdou Traore, Drissa Diakite, Adama Tamboura (all Djoliba AC), Boucader Djidani Diallo (Stade Malien)

Jimmy Boubou Kebe (Lens, France), Mohamed Lamine Sissoko (Valencia, Spain), Mamadou Diallo (USMA, Algeria), Abdoulaye Diawara (St-Truiden, Belgium), Mamadi Berthe (Sedan, France), Alain Claude Traore (Stade Malien), Oumar Andre Traore (Nianan Koulikoro), Mohamoud Fall (AS Bamako)

Dramane Traore (Ismaili, Egypt), Tenema N'Diaye (CS Sfaxien, Tunisia), Janvier Sedonoude Abouta (Djoliba AC), Rafan Sidibe (Stade Malien), Mintou Doucoure (Centre Salif Keta)

Posted by Darren at 11:47 AM

Mali Football Team Announced

Mali have named an inexperienced 23-man squad for the country's first participation in the Olympics next month.

The likes of Frederic Kanoute, Mahamadou Diarra and Seydou Keita were expected to be selected as the over-age players allowed for the under-23 tournament.

However, the Malian Football Federation (FMF) proved unable to persuade any of its star names to play in the Olympics, which clashes with the start of the European club season.

Read more at Mali name Olympic squad

Mali's Football team is:

Fousseyni Tangara (FC Mantois, France), Cheick Oumar Bathily (Djoliba AC), Soumala Diakite (Stade Malien)

Moussa Coulibaly, Boubacar Sidiki Kone (both AS Bamako), Abdou Traore, Drissa Diakite, Adama Tamboura (all Djoliba AC), Boucader Djidani Diallo (Stade Malien)

Jimmy Boubou Kebe (Lens, France), Mohamed Lamine Sissoko (Valencia, Spain), Mamadou Diallo (USMA, Algeria), Abdoulaye Diawara (St-Truiden, Belgium), Mamadi Berthe (Sedan, France), Alain Claude Traore (Stade Malien), Oumar Andre Traore (Nianan Koulikoro), Mohamoud Fall (AS Bamako)

Dramane Traore (Ismaili, Egypt), Tenema N'Diaye (CS Sfaxien, Tunisia), Janvier Sedonoude Abouta (Djoliba AC), Rafan Sidibe (Stade Malien), Mintou Doucoure (Centre Salif Keta)

Posted by Darren at 11:47 AM

Russian Aims for Top Three in Medal Table

" Russia aims to finish top of the medals table at the Athens Olympics despite having a smaller budget than their major rivals China and the United States, the country's Olympic chief said Thursday.

Leonid Tyagachyov, presenting Russia's 480-member squad, said coaches were determined to improve on their haul of 32 gold medals at Sydney four years ago, which put the country in second place behind the United States.

"We are going for first place in the medal table," Tyagachyov told reporters. "We might come second or, in the worst case, third.

"We won 32 (gold) medals in Sydney and quite clearly we will win 30 in Athens based on performances and what our coaches say. And I don't believe that will be the final figure."

But, he said, lack of money was a hindrance as Russia's team had a little over $100 million available for the four-year period, far less than American and Chinese competitors."

Read more at Olympics-Russia Aims to Top Medals Table in Athens

Posted by Darren at 11:46 AM

Malaysian Athletes Bear Heavy Burden

"The Malaysian athletes to the Olympics will carry a heavy burden on their shoulders in Athens. The fate of their national associations could rest on how well they fare.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said said yesterday that under the planned re-structuring of sports in the country, sports that do not do well in the Olympics would see their funding cut while those who deliver will receive more money and attention.

She said that they may even get government-linked companies (GLCs) to help the sports that do well. The onus, she said, was now on the athletes to get the results.

If you want your association to secure strong support and funding, you have to do what you are supposed to do as an athlete."

Read more at A heavy burden for athletes in Athens.

Posted by Darren at 11:46 AM

Melissa Morrison Eyes Medals

"Melissa Morrison, the Olympic hurdler from Kannapolis, has it all figured out.

She's going to run in her second Olympic Games in August. She's getting married in Charlotte in October.

So what would be the perfect accessory for a bride?

"I've been telling everyone that if I win any kind of medal in Athens that I'm going to wear it while walking down the aisle in my wedding dress," she said, laughing.

She's kidding, right?

"Yes, I'm kidding," Morrison said. "But I really might break it out at the reception."

Such is the power of an Olympic medal. Morrison, a graduate of A.L. Brown High and Appalachian State, knows this well. She already has one."

Read more at Morrison pursuing wedding accessory.

Posted by Darren at 11:45 AM

Ticket Sales Rise - Slowly

"Athens Olympics organisers ATHOC said yesterday they see a last-minute surge in ticket sales for the Aug 13-29 Games.

Last month we sold 3,500 tickets a day.

Now we've reached 13,000 tendency rising, ATHOC ticketing director Stephanos Kakarantzas told private radio station Flash.

ATHOC runs a massive advertising campaign in the Greek media to convince locals to attend the Games as fears mount that many events could take place in empty venues."

Source - Organisers see last-minute pick-up in ticket sales

Posted by Darren at 11:45 AM

German Athletics Team Announced for Athens Olympics

"The German National Olympic Committee has nominated 79 athletes for the Olympic Games athletics events. Neither of the German Olympic Champions from Sydney 2000, Nils Schumann and Heike Drechsler, have made the team.

While 800 m runner Nils Schumann did not even make his comeback after two operations on his Achilles tendon last year, Heike Drechsler was clearly not in the form to qualify. The long jumper, who has announced the end of her career after this season, has produced a seasons best of just 6.39 m in 2004. Drechsler may still compete in a couple of meetings at a later stage of the season, but will miss the Olympics."

Get the full list of German Athletes competing at German Olympic Committee nominates Team for Athens

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM

India's Amritpal Singh in doubt for Athens

"The Sports Ministry has dropped long-jumper Amritpal Singh from the contingent for the Athens Olympics.

According to a top ministry official, he has been dropped from the list sent by the IOA because he is carrying an injury and his performance is sub-par.

"We have decided to drop a long-jumper (Amritpal) as he is injured and his performance has not been up to the mark," said RK Mishra, joint secretary, Sports Ministry.

However, Secretary, Athletic Federation of India, Lalit Bhanot said: "He has recuperated fully from his injury and his inclusion will be decided during the selection committee meeting on Aug 9. As of now, he has qualified.""

Read more at Amritpal dropped from Athens squad.

Posted by Darren at 11:43 AM

Unnamed Jamaican fails drugs test

An unnamed Jamaican athlete has tested positive for a banned substance and could miss the Athens Olympics.

Jamaican Olympic Association president Mike Fennell said: "During this process the authorities have to keep the matter confidential."

He confirmed, however, that the sample in question was taken at the island's national trials last month.

The athlete has been informed and has five days to respond and request another test on a separate sample.

A preliminary hearing must then be held to determine the athlete's status under the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee.

If found in violation, the athlete could be dropped from Jamaica's Olympic squad and face a minimum two-year suspension.

Read more at Jamaican fails drugs test.

Posted by Darren at 11:43 AM

Unnamed Jamaican fails drugs test

An unnamed Jamaican athlete has tested positive for a banned substance and could miss the Athens Olympics.

Jamaican Olympic Association president Mike Fennell said: "During this process the authorities have to keep the matter confidential."

He confirmed, however, that the sample in question was taken at the island's national trials last month.

The athlete has been informed and has five days to respond and request another test on a separate sample.

A preliminary hearing must then be held to determine the athlete's status under the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee.

If found in violation, the athlete could be dropped from Jamaica's Olympic squad and face a minimum two-year suspension.

Read more at Jamaican fails drugs test.

Posted by Darren at 11:42 AM

Olympics Reflect Our World

Olympics reflect our world; Athens will be no different is an interesting article that argues that the Olympics (from the very beginning) have always been a reflection of the world they are held in. These games are no different.

"From the ancient games that began in 776 B.C. in Olympia to the modern games of 1896 in Athens and to the XXVIII International Olympiad Aug. 13-29 again in Athens, the Olympics have served as survey courses of their era's living conditions, world affairs, cultural attitudes and innovations.

"Throughout history, the Olympics have always reflected the life in the world at a specific time," said cultural anthropologist Orin Starn, a Duke University associate professor who teaches "Anthropology of Sport."

"We see the politics, technology, commercialism and the preoccupations of the world in each games. Athens will be no different, with worries about terrorism and performance-enhancing drugs."

The Greek government has spent a reported $1.4 billion - five times that of the 2000 Sydney Games - to secure the world's biggest, most-watched sporting event at a time of terrorism and war."

Read more at Olympics reflect our world; Athens will be no different.

Posted by Darren at 11:42 AM

USADA - Confident of Sending Clean Team to Athens

"With 15 days remaining until the 2004 Olympics opening ceremony, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief Terry Madden said his agency and the U.S. Olympic Committee have "done everything possible to send a clean team to Athens."

Of the 531 athletes listed on the U.S. Olympic team roster, question marks remain. Sprinters Calvin Harrison, named to the men's relay team, and Torri Edwards, who qualified in the 100 and 200 meters, have doping cases pending, with an outcome expected any day.

The U.S. team's biggest star, Marion Jones, has been investigated by USADA but has not been charged. She made the team in the long jump and could race in relays and possibly the 100 meters depending on the Edwards outcome."

Read more at USADA confident in sending clean team to Athens.

Posted by Darren at 11:41 AM

IOC ethics panel looking into alleged misconduct

Another ethics scandal for IOC?

The move, centred on accusations in an upcoming British Broadcasting Corp. program, comes six years after the IOC was rocked by the Salt Lake City bid scandal.

The IOC said Thursday it has asked its ethics commission to look into the points raised by the respected BBC investigative television news show ``Panorama.''

Posted by at 06:56 AM

Security the Main event for Olympic IT Specialists

""The Games have been a magnet for hackers and malicious people trying to prove to their peers they are clever," says Robert Cottam, chief integrator at SchlumbergerSema, the lead IT architect for the Olympics through the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.

Hackers probed firewalls in search of ports they could exploit to get onto the Salt Lake network, and scanned for IP addresses, says Lee Robertson, the Games' chief of IT security and principal security consultant at Schlumberger Network Solutions. Hackers typically used hijacked, legitimate IP addresses to cover their tracks and grab e-mail messages they hoped would give them intelligence about the network. They tried using standard access methods--telnet and SSH, for example--to get to the firewall's management interface or to an IDS (intrusion-detection system) box on the Olympic network, Robertson says. But they got no further than the external firewall.

When a hacker actually opened a firewall port, the action triggered alarms in the network's firewall logs and IDS probes. Then it was up to IRT members to trace the intruding IP address. If a particular firewall scan or other intrusion attempt during the Games looked threatening, the team cut off the compromised network segment, but that was rare, Robertson says. Usually, it was a matter of singling out the intruder's IP address and shutting it down."

Read the rest of this article at Security the Main event for Olympic IT Specialists.

Posted by Darren at 12:21 AM

US Gymnasts Searching for Gold

"American gymnasts have a habit of winning major events on home soil but being unable to replicate that success in other lands.

It's a history they will have to shatter at the Athens Olympics to show their stunning performance at last year's World Championships in Anaheim, California, was no fluke and the high expectations in Greece are justified.

Mary Lou Retton won 1984 Los Angeles Olympics all-around gold and led the US women to a silver medal with Soviet Union talent absent. US women won no golds and just two apparatus world or Olympic medals in the next six years.

US men won team gold in 1984 without Soviet rivals but went without a global team medal until taking second at the 2001 and 2003 worlds."

Read more at American gymnasts still searching for success away from home.

Posted by Darren at 12:18 AM

Steve Backley to retire from Javelin

"British javelin thrower Steve Backley, a three-time Olympic medalist and former world-record holder, said Thursday he will retire after next month's Athens Games.

Backley, 35, won silver medals at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics and bronze at the 1992 games. He also won silver medals at the 1995 and 1997 world championships.

Backley is a four-time European champion and three-time Commonwealth Games winner."

Read more at British javelin thrower Backley to retire.

Posted by Darren at 12:17 AM

Olympics Coverage Gender Bias

"Based on past broadcasts of the Summer Olympics, female athletes on the U.S. Olympic Team, and their sports, should receive more coverage on than U.S. television than ever before when the 2004 Summer Olympics begin in Athens Aug. 13.

However, commentators will probably still not provide equitable coverage of female and male athletes, focusing more on the females' physical appearances and personal lives than on their athletic ability, according to University of North Texas and Slippery Rock University researchers.

Dr. Karen Weiller, UNT associate professor of kinesiology, health promotion and recreation; Dr. Christy Greenleaf, UNT assistant professor of kinesiology, health promotion and recreation; and Dr. Catriona Higgs, professor of physical education at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Penn., also say profiles of female athletes that appeal to the emotional nature of a female audience may be present in this year's Summer Olympics coverage as well."

Read more at Gender bias still evident in Olympics coverage, study says.

Posted by Darren at 12:15 AM

July 29, 2004

Jobie Dajka gets a 'Please Explain' over Doping Allegations

'The Australian Olympic Committee is to interview cyclist Jobie Dajka after DNA evidence linked him with the doping affair involving team-mate Mark French.

A report from retired judge Robert Anderson said Dajka's DNA profile had been found on nine articles discovered in a needle waste bin in French's room.'

Read more at Dajka faces Athens ban.

Posted by Darren at 10:46 PM

Filip Meirhaeghe Admits EPO Use

'Belgian mountain biking world champion Filip Meirhaeghe has pulled out of the Olympics after admitting testing positive for a banned substance.

The 33-year-old said he was quitting the sport after results showed he had taken the blood-boosting substance EPO.'

Read more at Meirhaeghe admits EPO use.

Posted by Darren at 10:44 PM

We Love CoolRunning!

Thanks to Cool Running is an independent website for runners by runners.

They've been kind enough to link up to us and send a few running enthusiasts our way in the past week or so so we thought it was time we said thanks and sent a few of you back.

If running is your thing then Cool Running is the site for you! They have a great range of links and resources on a wide range of topics that will help the beginner right through to running enthusiast.

Posted by Darren at 09:38 PM

Greece unveils biggest Olympic team

ATHENS: Greece unveiled its biggest Olympic team on Wednesday, 16 days before the homecoming Games begin in Athens.

The host country will field 441 athletes led by 200 metre Olympic champion Konstantinos Kenteris and weightlifter Pyrros Dimas. Dimas will be Greece�s flagbearer before he attempts to win his fourth consecutive Olympic title.

Next month Greece will make its Olympic debut in a number of team sports with little or no domestic following, including baseball and softball. The host country is on a sporting high after the national soccer team�s shock win at the European Championship in Portugal earlier this month. reuters

Source: Greece unveils biggest Olympic team

Posted by at 06:02 PM

GB Athletics stands good chance at medals

UK Athletics president Lynn Davies is sure of a good performance from Great Britain at next month's Olympic Games.
Davies, who took long-jump gold in Tokyo in 1964, has dismissed fears that the track and field team will leave Athens empty handed.

"I think we've got five medal chances with Paula Radcliffe, Hayley Tullet, Kelly Holmes, and the two (4x400 and 4x100 metres) relays," Davies said.

Source: Davies backs Team GB

Posted by at 05:59 PM

Greene shrugs of drug talk

Sprinter Maurice Greene insists the doping scandal that has rocked the US team will not wreck his Athens dream.

"Does it shake me? No. Does it bother me? Yes, because it puts a black mark over something I love - track and field," said the Olympic 100m champion.

"I don't like any bad talk being talked about the sport that I work very hard in, but it doesn't shake me up because I have nothing to worry about.

"I'll be stronger when I walk out in Athens than I have ever been before."

Source: Green shrugs of drug talk

Posted by at 05:48 PM

Rawlinson eyes gold

Shouldn't an athlete who has been ranked in the world's top five 400m hurdlers for the past six years realise that you have to peak at the major championships - not arrive jaded and droopy-eyed?

Relax. Rawlinson will be ready.

"When I'm standing on the start-line, I usually get in such a frenzy I don't know whether I want to fight someone or start crying," he tells BBC Sport.

Source: Rawlinson eyes golden summer

Posted by at 05:47 PM

Britain bounce back in Hockey

Great Britain men's hockey team came from behind to beat Spain 2-1 and level their two-match series in Barcelona.
Beaten 5-1 in the first game, the Brits went 1-0 down on 13 minutes when Juan Escarre scored from an acute angle.

Spain continued to dominate but the visitors drew level when Rob Moore found the net on 27 minutes.

Ben Hawes then scored the winner from a penalty corner on 46 minutes to give Britain a timely boost ahead of next month's Athens Olympics.

"It's nice to finish our trip to Spain with a win, but in the context of the Olympics this result matters not a jot," said GB team manager David Whittle.

Source: Britain bounce back

Posted by at 05:45 PM

Radcliffe remains focused on marathon

Paula Radcliffe insists the Athens Olympics represent the chance to complete some "unfinished business".
Britain's brightest Olympic hope goes for gold in the marathon, aiming to make up for the agony of missing out on an Olympic medal four years ago.

"As an athlete, I feel there is unfinished business," she told BBC Radio Five Live.

"I'm a stronger person now and have more confidence - and that is the big factor the marathon has brought me."

Radcliffe is also entered in the 10,000m, offering the chance to make up for an agonising fourth-place finish in that event four years ago.

Source: Radcliffe remains focused

Posted by at 05:44 PM

Oldest Olympic champion dies

THE world's oldest world's oldest individual track and field Olympic gold medalist has passed away on the Sunshine Coast.

Bob Tisdall, who won the 400m hurdles for Ireland at the 1932 Los Angeles Games, died peacefully in his sleep at his Nambour home this week, aged 97.

Mr Tisdall, at 25, became only the second Irishman in history to win gold for his country when he completed the event in 51.7 seconds.

It was a world record time but was not recognised because he knocked the last hurdle before crossing the line the first.

Mr Tisdall, a student at Cambridge University, prepared for the Games by hurdling grazing sheep on England's South Downs.

Source : Oldest Olympic champion dies

Posted by at 05:38 PM

Olympic security watch begins

Dozens of Greek Navy vessels have started patrolling the country's coastal waters as part of a two-layer security zone to protect the Olympic Games, with NATO warships due to keep watch further out to sea, a naval official said Wednesday.
At least 35 Greek ships are monitoring the Ionian Sea along Greece's west coast, the Aegean Sea and areas off the coasts of Crete and the resort Cyclades islands.

The ships are checking "any ships with suspicious behavior,' a Navy source told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

About 70 vessels have been inspected by Greek

Source: Olympic security watch begins

Posted by at 05:35 PM

Pakistan hope for Olympic Medals in Boxking and Hockey

"Pakistan are pinning their Athens Olympic medal hopes on hockey and boxing, officials said yesterday as they announced the final squad of 26 athletes and 19 officials.

The 45-member contingent will leave on August 3 for Athens where they feature in five disciplines of the August 13-29 Games.

Pakistan earned places in hockey and boxing through qualifying rounds, while participation in three disciplines athletics, swimming and shooting is owed to wild card entries, said Brigadier Arif Mehmood Siddiqui, director-general of the Pakistan Sports Board.

Our hockey team stands a good chance of winning an Olympic medal and boxers are also well prepared for medals.

Pakistan has won only 10 Olympic medals, eight of them in hockey, since their debut appearance in the 1948 London Olympics."

Read more at Pakistan pin hopes on hockey, boxing.

Posted by Darren at 03:54 PM

Many Tickets Still Available

"Organizers of the Summer Olympics in Athens say there are still plenty of tickets for events at the games which begin in two weeks.

Travel experts say you will pay a premium for flights and hotels. John White of Mid-Atlantic Triple A says plane tickets will hit you at over $1,000, and hotels in Athens range from $600 to $2800 a night."

Source - Olympic Tickets Still Available, Getting There Costly

Posted by Darren at 03:53 PM

Anti Doping Ads

"The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency partnered with the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy on six public service spots breaking today that present the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs to young athletes.

"USADA's ads send the right message at the right time," said John Walters, director of the ONDCP. "As Americans watch the Olympics, they'll be reminded of the importance of playing clean and playing healthy."

The spots feature athletes who will participate in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, including weightlifter Tara Nott Cunningham and track and field's John Godina."

Read more at USADA, ONDCP Partner on Anti-Doping Ads

Posted by Darren at 03:52 PM

Lorraine Fenton out of Athens Olympics - Injury

" Lorraine Fenton, the 2000 Olympic silver medallist in the women's 400 metres, has withdrawn from Jamaica's Olympic team because of a hamstring injury, officials said Wednesday.

The 31-year-old, among Jamaica's most consistent athletes in the past four years, was one of her country's best medal hopes. She was the silver medallist at the World Championships in France in 2003.

The injury has kept her out of competition much of the year, and she was unable to compete in Jamaica's national trials in June."

Source - Jamaica's Fenton to miss Olympics

Posted by Darren at 03:49 PM

Officials Lay down the Law to Athens Taxi Drivers

"Olympic organisers have laid down the law to Athens' unruly cabbies ahead of August's Olympic Games, demanding they clean up their act or stay away from venues.

Only fully air-conditioned, clean and modern taxis will be allowed access to the stadiums, airport and big hotels, the Transport Ministry decided on Wednesday.

A total of 8,500 of the capital's 14,300 registered cabs will be licensed to operate in the designated areas, with a further 1,500 allowed to service Olympic venues in towns outside Athens."

Read more at SI.com: Organizers lay down law to Athens cabbies

Posted by Darren at 03:45 PM

Yelena Isinbayeva Breaks Pole Vault World Record

"Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva cleared 4.89 metres to retake the world record in women's pole vault on Saturday at an athletics meet in Birmingham, England.

Isinbayeva broke the record of 4.88 m, set by fellow Russian Svetlana Feofanova just three weeks earlier. It was the fourth world record set in the women's pole vault this summer and Isinbayeva's second.

Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva cleared 4.89 metres to set a new world record in women's pole vault. (AP Photo/David Davies)

"At the beginning it was difficult," Isinbayeva told the IAAF. "It was cold and the wind was blowing the pole away. I don't know how I managed to keep my concentration.""

Read more at CBC: Russia's Isinbayeva reclaims women's pole vault record

Posted by Darren at 03:42 PM

Beijing Olympic Stadium

An architectural design competition for the Beijing Olympic Stadium (ok we're getting ahead of ourselves now) is being held.

See some of those contesting for the prize at Presentation of Competation for the Architecture Design of National Stadium. There is some pretty amazing looking stadiums on offer there!

Posted by Darren at 02:20 PM

Williams v Sharapova duel missing from Olympics

"Serena Williams has been denied the chance to avenge her Wimbledon humiliation at the hands of Russian teen sensation Maria Sharapova after tennis bureaucrats astonishingly drew up the closing date for Olympic entries before the All England Championships got underway.

That meant the 17-year-old Sharapova, who was then just the sixth-ranking player in a new wave of Russians who are threatening to turn womens tennis on its head, could not be included for Athens.

Instead, Serenas sister Venus, the defending champion, new French Open champion Anastasia Myskina, Frances Amelie Mauresmo, Jennifer Capriati and Chanda Rubin look like posing the biggest problem.

And 47-year-old Martina Navratilova links up with Lisa Raymond as challengers to the sisters in the doubles. Just how fit Justine Henin-Hardenne will be is unknown as the world No 1 has yet to recover fully from a mystery virus."

Read more at Olympic sister act to brighten up Sharapova gloom.

Posted by Darren at 02:18 PM

Triathletes Gear up for Athens

"The triathlon, all things considered, is among the most difficult of Olympic sports. Athletes will swim 1.5 kilometers (.9 miles) off the coast of Vouliagmeni, south of Athens, cycle a hilly 40-kilometer course (24.8 miles) along the Mediterranean, then finish with a 10-kilometer sprint (6.2 miles). Oh, and it will be hot and humid and the pressure will be enormous.

"We're going to be on the Mediterranean, which has a nice breeze," said Lindquist, optimistically. "We'll get the breeze, so it won't be 100 degrees for us."

There is no downplaying the training effort required of a world-class triathlete.

Lindquist, who lives in Colorado Springs near the Olympic training center, runs and cycles six days a week and swims three days a week.

"It's definitely a full-time job when you add it all up," she said. "I swim, bike and run about 35 hours a week, and then there's another six hours of strength training and stretching. Then, on top of that, there's massages, planning meals and so on.""

Read more of this article at ESPN: Road to Athens: Triathlon

Posted by Darren at 02:05 PM

Australian PM Worried for Australian Team's Safety

"Prime Minister John Howard admitted today he was worried about the safety of Australia's Olympic team in Athens and wasn't convinced they would be fully protected.

With the Athens Games opening on August 13, Mr Howard said the government was constantly monitoring the security situation in Greece, and was currently satisfied everything was being done to keep the athletes safe.

But the self-confessed sports fanatic also said he still had concerns, and no absolute guarantees could be made about the safety of the 482-strong Australian team.

"I don't think anybody wants the Australian team not to go, I think that would be dreadful outcome, but equally people worry about the safety of the team," Mr Howard told ABC radio in Perth.

"I worry about their safety, I do. I cannot honestly say to you that I am certain that they are going to be fully protected. I can't be certain of that."

"At the moment, we are satisfied but I have to say I can't guarantee that there won't be an incident. It is very awkward situation.""

Read more at Howard: Aussie Olympic team may be in danger .

Posted by Darren at 02:03 PM

Top US Athletes Not Tested for Doping

"THE US fight against drugs in sport has come under question with revelations the nation's leading athletes including Maurice Greene, Marion Jones and Jana Pittman's main rival Sheena Johnson were not tested by their own drug agency in the first quarter of this year.

Figures on the US Anti-Doping Agency website reveal a startling number of top-level American athletes who were not tested by the agency in the critical pre-season training period of an Olympic year.

While the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Association of Athletics Federations may have conducted their own tests in and out of competition on Americans, the USADA does most of the testing on Americans."

Read more of this article at - FOX SPORTS: No US test for Jana's rival (July 27, 2004).

Posted by Darren at 01:58 PM

Australian Women's Swimming Team - Best Ever?

"AUSTRALIA's Athens-bound swimmers are capable of matching Sydney's record medal haul in the pool at next month's Olympic Games.

That was the confident prediction from national head coach Leigh Nugent as the Australian team jetted out for its pre-Olympic camp in Sindelfingen, Germany, yesterday.

Australia had its most successful result in swimming at the 2000 Olympics, winning five gold and 18 medals overall.

But in Greece, the team will be competing on foreign soil and in the middle of a European summer, making many hesitant to predict a repeat performance.

But Nugent said yesterday Sydney's haul was one of Australia's targets in Athens and a feat that was not beyond the 42-strong team.

"I think so," Nugent said when asked if the team was capable of matching Sydney's result in Athens." Read more at FOX SPORTS: Women's swim team best ever

Posted by Darren at 01:56 PM

Bomb Scanners in Place in Athens

"Olympic security officials took delivery of two U.S. bomb scanners on Tuesday as key elements began operating across a defense and surveillance grid ahead of next month's Games

The mobile X-ray scanners, on loan from the Pentagon, will be used to check for possible explosives in trucks and cargo as seaport security is strengthened.

Dozens of armed Patriot defense missiles are already in place around Athens where security is costing a record $1.5 billion and involves 70,000 police and soldiers.

In addition to the U.S. Patriot missile batteries, French-made Crotale surface-to-air rockets and portable Stinger units are also in place, said defense sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.

And nearly 300 surveillance cameras started operating on Tuesday with less than three weeks to go before the August 13 opening ceremony."

Read more at CNN.com - Bomb scanners boost Games security - Jul 27, 2004

Posted by Darren at 01:54 PM

Ian Thorpe - Australia's Most Bankable Sports Star

"OLYMPIC swimming sensation Ian Thorpe has a golden future before he even gets wet in Athens.

He has just been named Australia's most bankable sports star, worth more than $500,000 per sponsor. The news came as Thorpedo and the rest of the swim team set off for Athens.

Cutting a dash through Sydney Airport, he looked every inch the superstar.

After kissing his mum Margaret goodbye - and a brief hold-up when he got stuck in a revolving door - he met teammate Elka Graham for the flight.

Swimmers including Grant Hackett and Geoff Huegill left from Brisbane, while others flew out of Melbourne and Perth.

Hackett was named fifth in the sport rich list, compiled by Sponsorship Solutions of Melbourne.

The company evaluates the most valuable sports and athletics sponsorship opportunities.

Thorpe was top, followed by tennis star Lleyton Hewitt, Mark Webber, Adam Gilchrist, Hackett, Pat Rafter, Cathy Freeman, Greg Norman, Ricky Ponting and another Olympian Jana Pittman, now worth $230,000 per sponsor." Read more at Sponsors bank on Ian.

Posted by Darren at 01:52 PM

Romanian Olympians Test Positive for Drugs

"Two Romanian Olympians have tested positive for banned drugs but will not be named until results of second samples are known, a Romanian official said on Wednesday. "What I can say is that a Romanian Anti-doping Commission official put the case before the COR Technical Comission," said COR general secretary Dan Popper....

Unnamed sources close to the COR said a rower and a track and field athlete were waiting for the results of second samples after an anti-doping investigation held on July 21 at the Olympic training Center of Snagov, 40 kilometres north of Bucharest."

Source - Two Romanian athletes test positive for drugs.

Posted by Darren at 01:51 PM

Ian Thorpe in Trouble over Drug Claims

"Triple Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe's claim that some of the swimmers he will come up against in Athens next month will have taken drugs has landed him in hot water with the sport's governing body, FINA.

In an interview with Channel 7 on Tuesday Thorpe asserted: "It would be naive to think that everyone's going to be clean at the Olympic Games.

"Of course I've swum against doped athletes." The 21-year-old's comments were later echoed by Australian team-mate Grant Hackett.

Thorpe's remarks provoked a stinging response from FINA which said in a statement that it "regretted" the Australian swimming champion's remarks." Read more at Thorpe scolded over Olympic drugs claims.

Posted by Darren at 01:46 PM

Athens Olympic Medal - Picture

athens_medal.jpg'The main feature of the medals is the Greek character shown on both sides, since their basic side has been changed for the first time since the Amsterdam Olympic Games in 1928. This is of particular importance, as from now on all Olympic medals will reflect the Greek character of the Games as regards both their origin and their revival.

On the medals awarded to Olympic athletes from 1928 until the Sydney Games, goddess Nike was seated, holding an ear of corn in one hand and a wreath in the other. Here, she flies into the stadium bringing victory to the best athlete. The Organising Committee has chosen to show the Panathenic stadium, where the Games were first renewed in 1896.
On the obverse, the athlete�s discipline will also be engraved.

The reverse side of the medal is composed of three elements:
The eternal flame that will be lit in Olympia and will travel through the five continents by way of the 2004 Torch Relay; the opening lines of Pindar's Eighth Olympic Ode composed in 460 BC to honour the victory of Alkimedon of Aegina in wrestling and the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games emblem.

The design of the Medal was created by Elena Votsi.
The total number of medals to be produced is 1,130 gold, 1,130 silver, and 1,150 bronze.'

Source - IOC

Posted by Darren at 01:23 PM

Lin Dan - Badminton

"Lin Dan, All England champion who rocketed to the world top ranking from No. 15 in five months, has set his target on the gold medal in the Athens Olympic Games.

The 21-year-old Lin, who stands 1.76 meters, was born in southeast China's Fujian Province. Starting badminton training at the age of five, the left-hander was enlisted by the Army Club at 12, and then picked as a member of the national team at 18. Relying on his extraordinary footwork and quick mind, he mainly plays defense on the court, punctuated with sharp sudden strikes.

Since last September, Lin has swept five titles in IBF badminton open series, namely Denmark Open, Hong Kong Open, China Open, Swiss Open and All England Open. He even earned the title of"Super Dan" after Swiss Open 2004.

In 2004 Thomas Cup, playing as the first men's singles, he crushed all the opponents he met, without even losing a set. He has occupied the world No. 1 spot for about half a year, leaving his compatriot Chen Hong, No. 2 far behind.

How could the Chinese youngster emerge from nowhere into the leading role in two years?"

Read more of this article at Olympic Preview: Super Dan locks target on Olympic gold.

Posted by Darren at 01:07 PM

Final Medal Table Standings - Who will feature?

At the Official Website of the Chinaese Olympic Committee there is an interesting article about the final standings of the Athens Olympic Medaly Table. Who will win? All the smart money is on the US of course, but the next placings could be interesting this year? Russia and China could well feature according to this article:

"Russia, second overall after the United States in Olympic Games for a long time, will challenge the Uncle Sam strongly in Athens since Russians performed better last year and many U.S. sprinters sank into doping trouble.

China, the uprising sports power who posted its best ever Olympic show - third place in Sydney, will fight hard to keep the rank in Athens.

Russia won 26 golds at the 1996 Atlanta Games and 32 in 2000, twice finishing second after the United States. Russia is heading to the Athens Olympics with a strong team and high expectations.

Russian Olympic Committee president Leonid Tyagachev has set a target of 30 gold medals in Athens. The aim would not be at the level the former Soviet Union reached in the 1960s-80s, when it routinely won around 45-50 golds in the summer games.

The eclipse of the sports giant came from the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, which split the country into 15 new ones, including Ukraine, whose 50 million people had contributed many of former Soviet ace athletes...."

What do you think the final top 5 teams will be in Athens in the Medal Table?

Posted by Darren at 01:03 PM

The Rise of Asian Weightlifting

"China swept the board in women's weightlifting on a glittering Olympic campaign for Asia highlighted by the emergence of China as a medal table heavyweight in the Sydney Olympic Games.

Four years later, China saw the remarkable rises of lifters from their neighbors in Asia though they still try to assert their supremacy in the world. Asian rivalries warned Chinese strong women's squad on the Busan Asian Games in 2002 as they have stepped onto a higher level.

In women's weightlifting, China isn't as dominant as before, according to Li Shunzhu, head coach of the Chinese women's team.

"Asian strong women have shown their power these years as Thailand, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Indonesia have become our main rivals to snatch the gold medals," Li said.

After Chinese strong women got the full four berths for the Athens Olympics, they chose to give up the 53kg class avoiding facing Ri Song-hui, who delivered the first world record to the Busan Asiad to win the gold for DPR Korea in 2002."

Read more at Asia rises with top nations eyeing better

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

Manjula Kumara Wijesekera Qualifies for Olympics High Jump

"Twenty-year-old soldier, Manjula Kumara Wijesekera set a new Sri Lanka record and qualified to compete at Athens Olympic Games at the 82nd Sri Lanka National Championships concluded at Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo here last evening.

Wijesekera cleared an impressive 2.27m to win the men's high jump. It not only bettered his own Sri Lanka mark of 2.25m, established during the Colombo Grand Prix last month, but also was ahead of Olympic 'B' qualification mark of 2.27m.

A soldier who is attached to the Electrical and Mechanical division of the Sri Lanka Army, Wijesekera would now become the fifth Sri Lankan athlete to qualify for the Olympics after Susanthika Jayasinghe (women's 100m), Damayanthi Darsha (women's 400m), Rohan Pradeep Kumara Fernando (men's 400m) and Anuruddha Indrajith Cooray (men's marathon)"

Source - IAAF: Wijesekera sets national record to earn Olympic berth

Posted by Darren at 12:37 PM

Djabir Said Guerni - Algerian Flag Bearer

"World 800m champion Djabir Said Guerni has been selected by the Algerian Olympic Committee to be the countrys flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony of the XXVIII Olympic Games in Athens.

Said Guerni will lead a delegation of 59 athletes, of which 18 will compete in Track and Field events.

Bronze medallist at the Sydney's olympic Games, the 27-year-old who has been training for the past two weeks in Algiers has flown to Great Britain today in order to take part in Londons IAAF Super Grand Prix next Friday. "

Read more at IAAF: Djabir Said Guerni to be Algerias flag bearer in Athens

Posted by Darren at 12:35 PM

Andrew Bree and Steven Manley may Quit Swimming for Ireland

Andrew Bree and Steven Manley are reported to be considering not swimming for Ireland again after failing to be selected for the Olympic Games.

Both missed out on the qualifying times but still hoped to go to Athens.

Bree, from Helen's Bay in County Down, could switch to swim for Britain, his father Barney said.

Manley said it was a kick in the teeth to be rejected for the Olympics and that he might not compete for Ireland at October's World Championships.

Source - Swim duo may quit Ireland

Posted by Darren at 12:33 PM

US Men's Basketball team - Young but Talented

"They're young. They're inexperienced. They're not the names, at least most of them, anyone expected the United States to send to Athens.

Still, when the 2004 Olympics begin in a little more than 2 weeks, the United States will be the favorite to win the gold medal in men's basketball.

Certainly, the NBA and USA Basketball should be disturbed and a bit embarrassed by the number of players who bailed out on their commitments to represent the United States in the Olympics.

And if the complete roster that qualified for the games by winning the Tournament of the Americas last summer were going to Athens, Team USA would be considered a lock to win its fourth straight Olympic gold.

But the pool of talent for the United States is as deep as the Marianas Trench."

Read more at Grand Forks Herald | 07/28/2004 | Brown turns to KISS formula.

Posted by Darren at 12:32 PM

Ben Kersten Could go Dutch - Cycling

"It's D-Day for Olympic hopeful Ben Kersten, but his manager Phill Bates fears another rejection by Cycling Australia (CA) could see the young cyclist quit representing his country.

Kersten will seek to be reinstated into the Olympic team for Athens when he fronts a three-member CA tribunal in Sydney on Thursday.

The panel will be headed by solicitor Brian Doyle, former NSW Minister for Sport Gabriel Harrison, and Kevin Nichols, who was member of the 1984 gold medal winning 4000m pursuit team in Los Angeles.

Bates, who has stepped aside from his role as a CA board member during the case, believes Kersten has a strong case, but acknowledges that Kersten could turn his back on Australian cycling if his appeal is dismissed.

"I don't know what his Dutch relations are, but I know (Dutch officials) would love to have him in the Dutch team. With (the name) Kersten, there is a Dutch link," Bates said.

"But Ben's pretty committed, I think he's committed to go on, but hopefully it will start with his selection tomorrow."" Source - Kersten could go Dutch

Posted by Darren at 12:31 PM

Peja Stojakovic won't play for Serbia and Montenegro

"Peja Stojakovic said Wednesday he will not play for Serbia and Montenegro at the Athens Olympics, depriving the defending world champions of their best perimeter scorer.

The three-time NBA All-Star said he was tired and that his decision is irreversible even though people in his homeland are urging him to change his mind.

"No way. I already spoke with the team officials. We talked about it, and it's done," Stojakovic told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "I'm not going to go."

Stojakovic will be in Greece during the Olympics, fulfilling the end of a three-month stint in the Greek army. He holds duel citizenship in Greece and Serbia and Montenegro."

Source - Stojakovic Won't Play in Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:31 PM

Environment Comes Last in Athens

"The environment is the "first big loser" of the Athens Olympics because it had been ignored by the organising committee ATHOC, Greenpeace said.

"The picture of the (Athens Olympic) Games, a few days before the opening, looks nothing like the environmental commitments made in the bid," the director of Greenpeace Greece Niko Haralambidis said Wednesday.

The international environment group, which gave the Sydney 2000 organising committee a 5 out of 10, said it "could only give 1 out of 10 to Athens"."

Read more at Environment the "first big loser" of the Athens Olympics: Greenpeace.

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM

Manu Ginobili - Busy Athens Olympics Lead up

"For many NBA players, the summer months provide time to recover from a grueling schedule and get ready for the upcoming season. Not Manu Ginobili.

In the space of three weeks, Argentina's biggest basketball star has gotten married, signed a 6-year, $52 million contract to stay with the San Antonio Spurs and started training hard amid hopes of leading his country to a medal at the Athens Olympics.

He's still taking some time out to celebrate his 27th birthday on Wednesday, sort of. He has to gobble down his cake just as Argentina begins a pre-Olympic tour of Europe.

With the Olympics set to begin Aug. 13, the 6-foot-6 guard said he looks forward to getting a chance to play, and beat, Spurs teammate Tim Duncan and the rest of the U.S. team."

Read more at Ginobili hopes for an Olympic medal with Argentina

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM

Grant Hackett Confident about Australian Swimming Team

"Australian 1,500 metres world record holder Grant Hackett believes Australia is set to challenge the supremacy of the United States in the pool at the Athens Olympics.

He said both countries had selected strong teams for the Games.

But Hackett said it was important not to think too far ahead. He said the Australians would simply concentrate on ensuring their preparation was the best it could be.

"Our team looks really strong as does theirs," he said. "Right now we're just focusing on team bonding and getting together.

"We've still got two weeks to go so we can't get ahead of ourselves and think about what it's going to be like at the village, or the atmosphere at the Olympic Games."

Read more at Hackett confident of good showing against US.

Posted by Darren at 12:29 PM

Athens backdown on journo ban

"ATHENS Olympics organisers ATHOC backed down today after announcing they had banned a British journalist from the Games in retaliation for having revealed secret details of the Games' opening ceremony.

"There has been a mistake," a source from the organisers said.

Earlier, the same source had said, on condition of anonymity, that "in a communal decision with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), ATHOC decided to withdraw the journalist's accreditation"."

Read more at Athens backdown on journo ban.

Posted by Darren at 12:28 PM

NZ - Australian Olympic rivalry Fueled by Rugby

"Olympic teams from New Zealand and Australia are set for a high noon clash in Athens days before the Games open next month.

A large television screen is being set up in the athletes village so the fierce trans-Tasman rivals can watch the Tri-Nations rugby test between the All Blacks and Wallabies on August 7.

"Our Australian colleagues have done that," New Zealand chef de mission Dave Currie told NZPA from Athens.

"We have been invited down to watch...we may have to take them up on that."

If it can be picked up live, the game will screen just after midday in Athens.

Currie had no fears of the All Blacks exposing his team to Australian ribbing.

"I think we'll be fine," he said."

Read more at Trans-Tasman rivalry at Olympics to start before games open

Posted by Darren at 12:18 PM

India Names 78 Member Athens Olympics Team

"India will field a 78-member contingent (excluding officials) for the Athens Olympics, to be held from August 13 to 29. The contingent includes the womens relay squad, but the mens relay team has not made the grade. US-based discus thrower Vikas Gowda also figures in the athletics squad though the Athletics Association of India had earlier expressed its reservations regarding his citizenship status."

Source - 78-member squad named for Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:16 PM

British Swimmers Silenced

British swimming boss, Bill Sweetenham has put a ban on his swimmers speaking to the media in the lead up to the Athens Olympics.

"A phone call to the Amateur Swimming Associations Press Office in Loughborough confirmed Edmonds position. "Yes, Bills called for a media blackout," explained the communications assistant, Martin Perry.

"Its been a nightmare for us because we keep getting requests for interviews, but Bill has insisted that there are to be no such distractions. There was a final get together with swimmers and journalists at the British Long-course Championships in Manchester last week and that was it. Now Bill has said that the swimmers have to concentrate fully on the job in hand. Im just hoping Ill have plenty of requests later on for interviews in celebration of some great British success."" Read more at Scotsman.com Sport - Top Stories - Swimmers hope silence is golden.

Posted by Darren at 12:15 PM

Tim Skolnik Going to Athens

"Tim Skolnik got the word a week ago. And, he said, it still hasn't sunk in.

The 23-year-old Traverse City boxer is headed to the Olympic Games. Skolnik will be an alternate on the U.S. Olympic boxing team, backing up super heavyweight Jason Estrada.

"It's exciting," said Skolnik, who met with the media at the Trigger Boxing Gym in Traverse City on Tuesday. "But, to be honest, it still hasn't sunk in. It will probably hit me when I get there.""
Read more at TC boxer heads to olympics as alternate.

Posted by Darren at 12:13 PM

Human Growth Hormone Test Ready for Athens

"A preliminary test for human growth hormone (HGH) is ready for the Athens Olympics, British researcher Claire Hartley said on Wednesday.

Anti-doping experts had warned drug cheats that they were confident a test for HGH, believed to be widely used in top class sport, would be ready in time for the August 13-29 Games but Hartley's statement was the first confirmation.

Hartley, from the University of Southampton, told Reuters a laboratory in Munich had devised a blood test that could verify the presence of HGH up to 36 hours after it was administered."

Read more at Human Growth Hormone Test Ready for Athens

Posted by Darren at 12:12 PM

Intelligence reports no al Qaeda Terrorism Threat

"For more than a year, U.S. and overseas intelligence officials say they have picked up not a whisper that al Qaeda-linked terrorists have any interest in attacking the upcoming Olympic Games in Greece.

The latest all-clear came Monday, when Interpol Secretary General Ron Noble said no suspicious activity or conversation has been detected by the European law enforcement agency or other anti-terrorist outfits that could be interpreted as a threat to the Aug. 13 to 29 Games in Athens.

"We have received no specific information about any specific threats or planned attacks," said Noble, who oversaw the U.S. Secret Service, Customs, and other law enforcement agencies in the U.S. Treasury Department during the Clinton administration.

Greece's top police official echoed that assessment recently. "No service, secret or otherwise, has any information about a terrorist attack," Police chief Fotis Nasiakos told reporters." Read more at Despite absence of threats, unprecedented security.

Posted by Darren at 12:10 PM

Maurice Greene Tuning Start for Olympics

"Just weeks before the start of the Athens Olympics, defending 100-meter champion Maurice Greene is still tinkering with his start.

Greene will try to perfect his form at the Norwich Union meet in Crystal Palace on Friday, a race that might be his final Olympic tuneup.

Recovered from a broken left leg in 2002 and a host of injuries during his comeback, Greene said he is ready to reclaim his place as the world's top sprinter, including regaining his world record."

Source - Greene Confident Ahead of Olympic Tuneup

Posted by Darren at 12:09 PM

HGH test could be ready for the Athens Olympics.

BBC Sport | Pound backs new drug tests.

A research team from Southampton University are close to creating a test for the previously undetectable drug.

Posted by at 03:28 AM

2004 Canadian Olympic Triathlon Team

Brent McMahon
Jill Savege
Simon Whitfield
Carol Montgomery
Samantha McGlone

Runner's Web Triathlon News

Posted by at 01:44 AM

July 28, 2004

Yi Ting Hopes for Olympics Semi Finals

Malaysian women swimmer Siow Yi Ting will be out to make a breakthrough in her second Olympics appearance in Athens next month.

The 18-year-old, who is based in United States but currently training in Slovenia, is targeting a place in the semi-finals (top 16) of the 200m breaststroke event in Athens.

And to make sure that she concentrates all her effort on the objective, Yi Ting is contemplating dropping the 400m individual medley, one of the four events she has qualified for.

I want to make sure that I am totally focussed on what I am going for.

No Malaysian women swimmer has finished in the top 16 before in the Olympics and I hope to become the first to do so.

I feel I have the best chance of achieving this in the 200m breaststroke. Read more at Swimmer Yi Ting to focus on making semi-finals in Olympics

Posted by Darren at 11:38 PM

Greek navy patrols for 'suspicious' ships

'Dozens of Greek Navy vessels have started Olympic security patrols as part of a two-zone buffer that includes Greek ships in coastal waters and NATO warships farther out at sea, a naval official said Wednesday.

At least 35 Greek ships are monitoring the Ionian Sea along Greece's west coast, the Aegean Sea and areas off the coasts of Crete and the resort Cyclades islands.

The ships are checking "any ships with suspicious behaviour," a Navy source told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.' Source - Greek navy patrols for 'suspicious' ships

Posted by Darren at 11:36 PM

Hungary Provides Mobile Biological Weapons Detecting Lab

'A high-tech mobile laboratory designed to help protect the Athens Olympics from biological weapons left for Athens on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said.

The lab is due to arrive Friday at a Greek army training base 40 miles north of Athens, where it will be deployed during the games as part of a NATO protection force, said Antal Taligas, a spokesman for the ministry.' Hungary Provides High-Tech Mobile Lab

Posted by Darren at 11:34 PM

Armer Shooters Going for Gold

"Dale Parker won't have to waste much time bonding with some of the other shooters on the U.S. Olympic rifle team.

That's because Sgt. 1st Class Parker and a number of his fellow Olympians already know each other as members of the Army's elite Marksmanship Unit. Seven of the Olympic shooting team's 28 members are full-time marksmen with the Army unit based at Fort Benning.

"Some of the best shooters America has ever produced have come through the Marksmanship Unit," said John Robbins, spokesman for the National Rifle Association, which sponsors shooting competitions across the country."

Source - Army shooters set sights on Olympic gold

Posted by Darren at 11:06 PM

China leave World Champion at Home

"China, who have their sights set on a clean sweep of the badminton titles at the Olympics Games, are so confident of victory that they can afford to leave world champion Xia Xuanze sitting at home.

The Sydney Olympic bronze medal winner and 2003 world champion has suffered such a drastic slump in form that he wasn't considered good enough for the team and has been replaced by Chen Hong.

China won four of the five golds in the 2000 Sydney Olympics with Ji Xinpeng taking the men's title, Gong Zhichao the women's, Ge Fei and Gu Jun winning the womens' doubles and Zhang Jun and Gao Ling, the mixed." Read more at No world champion, no problem for confident China.

Posted by Darren at 11:04 PM

More Effort Needed in War Against Drugs

"Reigning Olympic champion Grant Hackett has called on sports governing bodies as well as governments to increase their efforts to eliminate drug cheats from sport.

Speaking on Wednesday as the Australian swimming team prepared to fly out for its pre-Olympic training camp in Germany, Hackett said more had to be done to stamp out the use of drugs, but said recent initiatives were welcome.

He said the decision to retain samples taken during the Olympics until an effective test for human growth hormone (HGH) was discovered was a positive step forward.

"I think it's great that they've made the decision to be able to hold onto the test results and test them at a later date for HGH," he said." Read more at Increased effort needed to stamp out drugs, says Hackett .

Posted by Darren at 10:51 PM

Jane Saville - Walking

Sports Illustrated has a good article on Jane Saville who was disqualified in the 20km walk in Sydney just moments before entering into the Olympic Stadium to claim her Gold medal.

'Descending the tunnel leading on to the track, the 25-year-old was given her third and final warning for failing to make continuous contact with the ground, leading to immediate disqualification.

The Sydney walker threw her arms up in horror and collapsed in tears. Asked later by reporters what she needed, Saville said: "A gun to shoot myself."

Disqualified again at the 2001 Edmonton world championships, Saville regrouped to win gold at the following year's Manchester Commonwealth Games.

In the Olympic team for next month's Athens Games, Saville will compete alongside her sister Natalie in the 20 km walk and says she has drawn positives from her Sydney setback.'

Posted by Darren at 10:47 PM

Sue Haywood Files Challenge to Olympic Omission

"Sue Haywood, a Wilmington native, filed a formal challenge Tuesday to an arbiter's ruling that gave Mary McConneloug the lone position on the U.S. women's Olympic mountain bike team for the Athens Games.

McConneloug was awarded the position last week when the arbiter overturned USA Cycling's decision to add 15 points to Haywood's total in international rankings.

The arbiter said the award of the additional points wasn't justified." - Source - Padua grad hopes to regain Olympic spot

Posted by Darren at 10:34 PM

Swimmers' modesty to be preserved

Japanese Swimmers in Athens will wear swimsuits that are made of material unable to be seen through with infrared cameras.

"OSAKA (Kyodo) Descente Ltd. said Friday it has developed swimwear material that remains opaque when filmed by an infrared camera.

The material will be used by Japanese swimmers at the Athens Olympics, which open Aug. 13.

The material, dubbed Video Proof, will be used as lining in swimwear and is intended to ease concerns by female swimmers over being shot by infrared cameras, which can make regular swimwear appear transparent, the Osaka-based sportswear company said.

"Since there are some competitive swimmers who can't concentrate on swimming (due to the situation), with their results adversely affected in the competition, we hope to back them up as much as possible (with the new material)," a company official said.

Seven swimmers including Junko Onishi, a bronze medalist at the Sydney Olympics, will use swimwear that incorporates the material, company officials said."

Source - Swimmers' modesty to be preserved

Found via Engadget

Posted by Darren at 03:02 PM

Athens Restaurants Fined for Olympic Price Inflation

Three dozen Athens restaurants fined for price-gouging:

"Some three dozen cafe and restaurant owners in Athens have been fined for price-gouging, after overcharging their customers by up to 500%, the Greek news agency ANA reported Wednesday.

Officials from the Greek development ministry have been regularly checking menus at dozens of restaurants and cafes and cracking down on overcharging, as Athens readies for the Olympic Games in just over three weeks.

The restaurants and cafes cited had profit margins of between 82 and 588% on some products, well above the state-sanctioned legal limit of 45%.

More than a quarter of all restaurants checked violated the prices law seven of the 37 establishments alone were at Athens airport."

Found via Cronaca

Posted by Darren at 02:44 PM

Athens to have No Fly Zone During Olympics

From Athens to Impose No-Fly Zone at Olympics:

"ATHENS, Greece - Athens will impose a no-fly zone over the city a week before the Aug. 13-29 Olympics and has drawn up contingency plans to shoot down hijacked planes that could be used in a Sept. 11-style attack, a senior Greek air defense official said Tuesday.

"This (no-fly zone) will start on Aug. 7, 8, or 9 close to the Olympics," Air Force Brig. Gen. Dimitris Mandilis told The Associated Press.

Mandilis is in charge of five air defense sites which include U.S.-made Patriot missiles and have been set up to protect Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki during the games.

He said an exhaustive range of potential threats would be looked within a 90-mile radius of Athens' main Olympic stadium."

Found via the Command Post

Posted by Darren at 02:41 PM

Greek PM says no Foreign armed security for Athletes

There has been a lot of confusion and mixed messages surrounding the question of whether armed guards would be allow to accompany athletes to Athens. Today the PM of Greece said it will not be allowed and that only foreign political leaders would be accepted. If I were an athlete I'd be making friends with a few dignitaries and staying close!

"Olympic athletes will not be allowed the same armed protection enjoyed by political leaders attending next month's Games in Athens, Greece's Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

His comments follow a New York Times report last week that the Greek government would turn a blind eye to foreign security staff carrying weapons to guard their athletes during the August 13-29 sporting bonanza.

When asked about foreign armed guards by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Karamanlis said: "Not for the athletes. They will be allowed for (political) leaders, as provided by law."

"Even I, for example, when I'm visiting your country, always use my own armed escort," he added.

Last week, Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis said Greece would be "exclusively responsible for the protection and guarding of the athletes"."

Read more at Greek PM bars foreign armed escorts for Olympic athletes.

Posted by Darren at 02:39 PM

Women's Baseball Olympic Warmup

The first IBAF World Cup of Women�s Baseball will be held July 30 thru August 8, 2004 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This event will give a prevue of some of the competition we will see in Athens.

Posted by at 02:22 PM

Mohini Bhardwaj - Olympic Profile

Mohini Bhardwaj is a hot favorite to bring home Gold from Athens. Post Gazette has a great profile of her - here is a taste.

'Olympic experience: None. She is quite old for an Olympic gymnast, and she had all but given up on participating in the Games in the late 1990s. But she had a strong year for the national team and impressed coach Bela Karolyi enough that he made her a surprise choice.

International achievement: She was the bronze medalist at the 2001 World Championships but otherwise lacks an impressive resume on the world stage. She finished second at the 2004 U.S. championships two months ago in Nashville. She also is an 11-time All-American at UCLA.' Read More at - America's Athletes: Mohini Bhardwaj, Women's gymnastics:

Posted by Darren at 11:08 AM

Australian Hockey Teams Head to Warm Up Tournaments

"The Hockeyroos leave for Spain to round off their Olympic preparations with a four-nations tournament ahead of their gold medal defence at the Athens Games.

The women's hockey side head to Alcala la Real, where they will meet the host nation as well as world no. 1 Argentina, and the Netherlands.

But with their opponents all chasing gold in Athens, Hockeyroos coach Dave Bell is expecting their rivals to reveal precious little in the buildup tournament.

"It's good that we get to play the top teams," Bell said.

"I think there will be a fair bit of cat and mouse there.

"There will be very few corners shown and very few structural changes made to the teams."

Bell said the main reason for the pre-Athens tournament was to acclimatise to Mediterranean conditions." Read more of this article at Source - Hockeyroos expecting a veiled tournament.

Posted by Darren at 11:04 AM

Marion Jones withdraws from London Grand Prix

"Olympic 100 and 200 metres champion Marion Jones has withdrawn from this weekends Norwich Union London Grand Prix.

Jones, who will only compete in the long jump at next months Olympic Games in the event in which she was third four years ago, made the announcement in the United States tonight.

Meeting organisers Fast Track understand that Jones, who has been under tremendous pressure off the track with the investigation into the BALCO drugs scandal, wishes to prepare for Athens in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives." Source - Jones Withdraws from Crystal Palace Date.

Posted by Darren at 11:02 AM

Olympic Death Toll

"Evidence of poor safety standards at construction sites for next month's Olympic Games in Athens has been found by a BBC radio programme.

Many workers have been killed - many more than the official death toll of 14, a Greek union representative said.

But, he told the programme, no official numbers are being kept.

The BBC team observed workers - many from Eastern Europe and South Asia - operating without protective equipment and with minimal supervision." Source - Workers in peril at Athens sites

Posted by Darren at 11:00 AM

Human Growth Hormone Test Will be Ready for Olympics

"With just three weeks remaining before the start of the Athens Olympics, anti-doping authorities are under enormous pressure to announce a test for human growth hormone.

And today the chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Dick Pound, claimed that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is pushing to meet the deadline.

But even if a test is announced, scientists and sports physicians are sceptical it will catch anyone and some are now blaming the IOC for failing to act sooner." Read more at Drug test will be ready, says Pound.

Posted by Darren at 11:00 AM

Softball Not in US Prime Time Viewing Slot

"Before you block out your television viewing calendar for the Athens Olympics in hopes of watching Mike Candrea's USA softball team, this (unhappy) news just arrived:

Because there are no lights at the new Olympic softball venue, all games must be played during the daylight hours. Therefore, given the time difference between Tucson, Ariz., and Athens, there will be no prime time TV coverage.

Instead, Candrea's Olympic softball team will play on NBC's lesser-known affiliates _ CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo and the USA Network _ at decidedly off hours.

Five of Team USA's games will begin at 2 a.m. in Tucson. The other two pre-medal round games will begin at 7 a.m. The semifinals are to be played at 11:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. Aug. 22, Tucson time. The gold medal game, Aug. 23, will be broadcast on the USA Network at 7 a.m. in Tucson." Read more at Scripps Howard News Service.

Posted by Darren at 10:58 AM

Anju George - India's Queen of the Runway

"At next month's Olympics, Anju George could become the first Indian to win an Olympic track and field medal. Leading Indian sports writer Rohit Brijnath finds out what makes Anju so focused on her dream.

The fourth-ranked women's long jumper on planet Earth is a well-grounded young woman who has spent a lifetime attempting to defy gravity. In a month's time, this Kerala girl with an award-winning giggle will stand on top of a runway in Athens and prepare to fly in front of a watching world." Source - India's queen of the runway

Posted by Darren at 10:53 AM

Japan prepares for Baseball Gold Medal Showdown with Cuba

"With or without baseball icon Shigeo Nagashima in the dugout, Japan will have to outshine its Cuban rivals in order to win its first-ever gold medal in Olympic baseball.

Japan may miss the charismatic manager who is still recovering from a stroke, but will no doubt benefit from the absence of the United States and Asian archrival South Korea.

The closest Japan has ever gotten to winning the gold since baseball became an official medal sport in 1992 is a silver-medal finish at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Four years ago in Sydney, Japan's team made up of top amateur players and a handful of professionals missed out on a place on the podium after falling to the South Koreans in the bronze medal match in a tournament won by the U.S. squad of minor leaguers.

This time, Japan fields its first all-professional roster for an Olympics, and the stage has been neatly set for its hunt for gold after the United States and South Korea made unexpected exits in the qualifying stages." Source - FEATURE: Olympics: Japan pros poised for baseball showdown with Cuba.

Posted by Darren at 10:40 AM

Marathon Route Complete

The reconstruction of the Olympic marathon route has been completed less than three weeks before the start of the Athens Games.

"We have won," said Greek public works minister George Souflias.

Read more at Athens marathon route ready.

Posted by Darren at 10:39 AM

Olympic Team Doctor - Biological Attack Advice

There have been a few references in the media recently regarding the potential of biological/chemical attacks at the Olympic games. Many Australian officials and media have been given gas masks as part of their Olympic kit in preparation for Athens.

"AUSTRALIA'S Olympic team doctor has given a blunt assessment of how quickly victims might have to act in the unlikely event of a biological terrorist attack in Athens.

"If you're still alive 30 seconds later you're probably alright. If not, you don't need my advice," said Professor Peter Fricker.

"Head for the showers, get it off your skin as quickly as possible.''

Prof Fricker has considered scenarios including use of the toxic agent ricin and the nerve gas sarin, which featured in the 1995 Tokyo subway attack, as well as terrorists "dropping a bucket of anthrax over the Opening Ceremony".

"It seems extreme, but this stuff happens," Prof Fricker said."

Source - The Australian: Olympic doctor alert for terror

Posted by Darren at 10:37 AM

Athens Security Includes Missile System

"Athens activated its security umbrella on Tuesday for next month's Olympic Games, deploying dozens of armed Patriot defense missiles and switching on hundreds of surveillance cameras.

Almost 300 closed-circuit cameras swept the main avenues and squares of Athens while three police helicopters and a Zeppelin airship, equipped with more surveillance cameras, hovered overhead.

Dozens of new Pac 3 (Patriot Advanced Capability) missiles were armed and in position at three locations around the capital, including the Tatoi military base near the athletes' Olympic Village, to provide a defense umbrella over Athens.

"This is the start of the operations. The system will gradually be operated in full," a police source told Reuters. "The helicopters and the Zeppelin will be flying almost around the clock from now until the end of the Games."" Read more at Athens Sets Up Secure Web, Missile System

Posted by Darren at 10:32 AM

Greeks defend themselves

The Greeks are getting very prepared for any attacks at this years olympics with US missiles.

Greece has placed six anti-aircraft Patriot missile ranges in a military airport here to enforce a shoot-down policy against rogue planes entering the Greek capital's airspace during the August 13-29 Olympics.

Source Channel news Asia Greece deploys Patriot missiles to safeguard Athens Olympics

Posted by at 05:04 AM

Marathon ready to run

The Marathon route that was run at the first modern games in 1896 is ready to run early after panic it would not be done in time for the 2004 Olympics.

The reconstruction of the Olympic marathon route has been completed less than three weeks before the start of the Athens Games.
"We have won," said Greek public works minister George Souflias.

"We are winners because the marathon route is the symbol of the Olympic Games in Athens. With delivery of this project we have won the first big bet."

Source BBC Athens marathon route ready

Posted by at 02:35 AM

Chelsea boss makes plea

New Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho wants Tiago in London not Athens this Summer.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho believes he can convince the Portuguese Football Federation (PFP) not to take �8m midfielder Tiago to the Olympics.
"I don't think the Olympic Games and the sub-23 national team is good for his career," said Mourinho.

Souce BBC Mourinho to make Tiago plea

Posted by at 02:31 AM

Iraqs Judo entrant

An Iraqi judoka who will represent his country in the Athens Olympics next month began two weeks of training in Tokyo on Monday.

"This is an opportunity I have dreamed of," Hadir Lazame, 29, told a news conference through an interpreter. "I hope to be in my best condition for the Athens Games."

Source Japan Times

Posted by at 01:47 AM

USA Basketball team

Want to know who the USA is sending to play basketball this year and a bit more about them read on.

The USA's basketball team is made up of some of the biggest names in the sport - or so the theory goes.
After the last Olympics there was talk that the "Dream Team" concept was going to be consigned to the past.

However, following a poor showing at the 2002 World Championships, where the USA finished a disappointing sixth, the National Basketball Association decided to send its "top possible" team.

Full Profiles Souce BBC

Posted by at 01:38 AM

Canadian women's water polo team is more confident

Buoyant about Athens

They took on water at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and sank like a torpedoed ship, finishing fifth in a six-nation tournament that was expected to end with a trip to the medals podium.

Four years, two coaching changes, several bitter retirements, a few key comebacks and a chemistry transplant later, the Canadian women's water polo team has been lifted from the ocean floor and returns buoyant to Athens - faster, stronger, happier and more confident.

Posted by at 01:04 AM

July 27, 2004

Free Medal Table

If you have your own website and would like to provide your readers with a free Medal Table of the Top 10 medal winning countries at the Athens Olympic Games then by simply adding a small piece of code to your website, you will be able to provide your readers the latest medal tally as it comes to hand.

Just copy the the following code into your webpages:

<iframe name="medaltable" src="http://www.livingroom.org.au/olympics/minitable.html" width="160" marginwidth="0" height="236" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0"></iframe>

We'll automatically update the countries that win medals so all that you have to do is sit back and watch the table for the latest results collated by Gold, Silver and Bronze. Links will be provided for more information (fully medal tally) and each country listed.

Posted by at 07:02 PM

Afghanistan Preparing for Olympics on Lesbos

Afgha.com - Afghanistan's Olympics team to train on Lesbos:
"The Olympic team from Afghanistan will spend two months on the Greek resort island of Lesbos to prepare for their return to the games this year after an eight-year absence.

The 22-member delegation has accepted an offer by a Greek aid group to train in May and June on the eastern Aegean Sea island near the Turkish coast. "We have some of the best training facilities in Greece on the island and we will provide them with the best of Greek hospitality," a government official said."

Posted by Darren at 05:00 PM

Become an Athens Olympics Blog Contributor

Do you love Sport? Do you barely leave the couch during those two and a half weeks every four years that the Olympics is on? Do you love to find and report the latest News? Do you enjoy getting a truly global perspective on the latest news? Would you like your writing to be read by thousands of people around the world every day? Ever dreamed of being a sports journalist?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions becoming an Athens Olympics Blog contributor could be right where you're at!

We're looking for a small group of people to write daily (or more if you're keen) stories for this site on the Athens Olympics. Particularly we're looking for people from around the world to add the latest Olympics news from their own country's perspective.

If you've already got a blog or website we can offer you a link back to your site for every post you make. It might not sound like much but we have thousands of people reading this site every day and you might just find a few of them becoming loyal readers of your work.

If you'd like to become a contributor simply Contact Darren with your name, country and any interest you might have in particular sporting events and we'll get back to you as soon as possible with login details to this page so you can start writing.

If you're not interested in an ongoing contribution but have a one off story, tip or piece of Olympic Gossip you can also Contact Darren with your one off contribution.

Posted by Darren at 02:39 PM

Long Distance Coaching

"To help in his athletes' training, Arkansas track and field coach John McDonnell makes long-distance telephone calls. Very long distance.

McDonnell calls London every day to help former Razorback runners Alistair Cragg and Daniel Lincoln prepare for the 2004 Olympics in Athens next month.

Giving them training assignments each day has made his summer busier than usual, but it is something he doesn't mind. After all, he has done it before.

``I talk to them everyday,'' he said. ``Matter of fact, I have to call them this afternoon.''

McDonnell, who has coached 23 athletes-turned-Olympians since he arrived at Arkansas in 1972, has four more Razorbacks competing in this year's summer games."

ESPN: McDonnell uses telephone to help athletes train

Posted by Darren at 01:43 PM

Gene Doping - Scientific American

Scientific American has a fascinating look at the new frontier of Cheating in Sport - Gene Doping.

"Gene therapy for restoring muscle lost to age or disease is poised to enter the clinic, but elite athletes are eyeing it to enhance performance Can it be long before gene doping changes the nature of sport?

Athletes will be going to Athens next month to take part in a tradition begun in Greece more than 2,000 years ago. As the world's finest specimens of fitness test the extreme limits of human strength, speed and agility, some of them will probably also engage in a more recent, less inspiring Olympic tradition: using performance-enhancing drugs. Despite repeated scandals, doping has become irresistible to many athletes, if only to keep pace with competitors who are doing it. Where winning is paramount, athletes will seize any opportunity to gain an extra few split seconds of speed or a small boost in endurance.

Sports authorities fear that a new form of doping will be undetectable and thus much less preventable. Treatments that regenerate muscle, increase its strength, and protect it from degradation will soon be entering human clinical trials for muscle-wasting disorders. Among these are therapies that give patients a synthetic gene, which can last for years, producing high amounts of naturally occurring muscle-building chemicals."

Read more at Scientific American: Gene Doping

Posted by Darren at 01:40 PM

Dutch Olympic Fans Get SMS Medal Alert

"Dutch sports' fans will have the chance to be immediately informed about any medal won by Dutch athletes at the upcoming Olympic Games. ANP, DataWireSport and Mobillion have introduced an "sms-medal-alert" which will deliver a message with the news directly to subscribed mobile users." Source - Adverblog: Olympics' medal alert

Posted by Darren at 12:57 PM

Michael Phelps and Gary Hall Jr Profiles

Sports Network has a good profile of Michael Phelps and Gary Hall Jr.
"Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz are separated in age by 35 years, but soon they may share a place in swimming history.

That's what will happen if Phelps, a 19-year-old phenom from Baltimore, can match Spitz's 32-year-old record of seven gold medals in one Olympics. If he manages to break it, Michael Phelps will be a household name.

And with so many side issues being discussed as the Athens Games approach, there's a chance that in a few weeks no one will be talking about anything but the kid with the arsenal of swimming talents.

Nobody's saying it will be easy, but Phelps is almost expected to challenge the record Spitz set during the 1972 Munich Games after missing expectations four years earlier in Mexico City."

Posted by Darren at 12:06 PM

Athens Olympics Opening Ceremony Discussion

Games Bid has a really interesting discussion going on in its forums on theOpening Ceremony of the Athens Olympics. Some of those writing in the session are purely speculating, others claim to have the inside word on opening ceremony plans. Here is a snippet of the first post in the thread:

"1. I dont believe anymore that the cauldron will pick up the flame from the inside of the stadium. Take a close look: the score board right in front of the cauldron would obstruct its passage. Then again: theres obviously an articulated joint which will allow the cauldron to move, maybe 45 degrees.

2. I also dont believe anymore that the hole in the middle has to do anything with the lightning of the cauldron. More likely it will be part of the floating, maybe it will generate a huge fountain.

3. The new pictures seem to confirm my impression that all those clamped ropes above the stadium will be responsible for "flying elements" of the show (similar to Sydneys Great Barrier Reef-theme).

4. Probably also the lightning of the cauldron might be done by a flying torch bearer?

5. Where will the orchestra sit?

6. Obviously they build up several LAYERS. "

What do you think the opening ceremony will be like? How will they light the cauldron? Who will light the cauldron? Leave your comments, rumors, speculations below in comments.

Posted by Darren at 11:59 AM

Pyrros Dimas and Kakhi Kakiasvilis Attempt Forth Gold Medal

"Pyrros Dimas and Kakhi Kakiasvilis may be virtually unknown to all but the most devout of Olympic watchers, but in their adopted homeland of Greece they are as-real-as-it-gets reality TV.

When they each compete for a fourth Olympic gold medal in Athens, records are likely to be broken, and not just on the lifting platform.

Just how big are the two in Greek culture - even if, for the moment, they're not as big as Greece's surprise European soccer champions? Greeks simply refer to Dimas with the one-word identifier Pyrros. When he and Kakiasvilis lift during an Olympics, it's not just sports fans who watch but virtually the entire country." Read more at Heavyweights face burden of expectations - The Times of India.

Posted by Darren at 11:51 AM

New Zealand defeated by Holland 7 - 0: Women's Hockey

"The New Zealand women's hockey team were hammered 7-0 by the Netherlands in an Olympics warm-up match this morning with coach Ian Rutledge describing his team's performance as "very embarrassing".

Following on the Black Sticks' 2-5 loss to Germany in Mannheim on Saturday, Rutledge told NZPA this morning it was very disappointing that the team had failed to lift from that match.

"It was very embarrassing, very disappointing," Rutledge said.

The Dutch, ranked No 3 in the world, scored the opening goal in the first minute and proceeded to mercilessly expose New Zealand's lack of intensity to take a 4-0 lead at halftime, adding two more in the second half."

Read more at Hockey: Black Sticks hammered 7-0

Posted by Darren at 11:50 AM

Kenya's Runners Preparing well

"The Olympic athletics team manager Eustace Njeru yesterday said he is impressed by the discipline and commitment displayed by the runners at the camp.

Njeru said the runners had made his work easy as he does not need to chase them around. "They are displaying maturity and seem all focused," he added.

He said even those taking part in the Grand Prix circuit have been able to control the races by themselves. "We do not need to tell them where to go and where not to go," he said.

He said every runner seems to know which race is good for him or her and they seem quite aware of the fact that too many races are counter-productive." Source - allAfrica.com: Kenya: Olympic Games: Manager Happy With Runners at the Camp

Posted by Darren at 11:42 AM

India Shooting for Gold in Team Archery

"Drawing inspiration from a second-place finish in the world junior archery championships, the Indian contingent for the Athens Olympics is hoping to win a medal in the team event. The non-playing captain of the Indian team, Pareshnath Mukherjee, said that they have a 50-50 chance of winning a medal in the mega show.

Most countries could not represent themselves in the team events since they dont have a good number of quality archers. Hence, we are hoping to do well in that category, Mukherjee said at a press conference at the Calcutta Sports Journalists Club (CSJC) on Tuesday.

The mens team consists of Satyadev Prasad, Tarundeep Rai and Majhi Sawaiyan while the womens outfit comprises Dola Banerjee, Reena Kumari and Sumangala.

Mukherjee maintained that it is a great achievement that India have booked berths in both the mens and womens sections by virtue of superb show in the world championships in the United States in July, 2003." Source - India pin hopes on team events - Olympic archery l Theres no reason why I wont produce my best in Athens: Dola

Posted by Darren at 11:36 AM

Athens is Not being Given a Fair Go

"Although the Summer Olympics are still a few weeks away, one event has already started and threatens to dominate all the others - the rush to judgment.

For more than a year now, self-appointed doomsayers and armchair Cassandras have been predicting total disaster for the Olympic Games when they begin on Aug. 13 here.

The gloomy forecasts have come in numerous newspaper articles and television features, first predicting that the venues would never be completed in time and that disaster is inevitable. Now that it is clear that the projects will be ready, there comes an array of warnings that terrorists could be a threat because the structures are being finished too late for security systems to be fully tested.

Athens has been slammed in the news media in a way that other Olympics hosts never were, even though many failed to complete projects (Barcelona) and had security problems (Atlanta). Athens has been judged and found wanting before the Games have started." Source - IHT: Athens is not being given a fair shake.

Posted by Darren at 11:35 AM

Greece Guerrilla Trial May Extend into Olympics

"The trial of five members of Greece's oldest urban guerrilla group, which Greek authorities had hoped would be over by next month's Olympics Games, could continue during the games, a court official said on Monday....

Greek authorities had hoped the trial would be over before the August 13-29 games to avoid the possibility of even a symbolic attack by supporters who might protest the verdict." Source - Greece guerrilla trial may extend until Athens Games.

Posted by Darren at 11:34 AM

Sydney is still paying for its Olympics

It something of a warning to Athens, Independent.co.uk reports today that after four years, Sydney is still paying for hosting the games in 2000.

"In the euphoric aftermath of the Sydney Olympics, the New South Wales state government boasted that the books were balanced and the venues would not be a financial burden to future generations.

Four years on, the picture looks decidedly less rosy. Under-used venues are costing state taxpayers Aus$46m (18m) a year to keep afloat, and the government said yesterday that some would need at least another decade to break even.

The extent of the losses being made by facilities at Homebush, the main Olympic site, and elsewhere in Sydney were revealed by the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. It named the former Olympic stadium and the SuperDome as being in dire financial straits, with neither having paid state tax levies since 2001." Source - Four years on, and Sydney is still paying for its Olympics

Posted by Darren at 11:33 AM

Athens Officials Angry over Opening Ceremony Speculation

Olympic officials are angry that media sources are writing what they claim are details of the Athens Olympics Opening ceremony.

" The Sunday Mirror reported that the Olympic Stadium would be flooded with millions of gallons of water to set the stage for the three-hour spectacle....

The paper added that the ceremony would begin with an explosion of white light. It also claimed the event would feature "more than 400 ancient mythological figures, dancers and puppeteers in boats."

Organisers have built a huge water pump and hole in the centre of the pitch, while large steel rods, as high as 20m, have also been positioned around the 55,000-capacity arena." Source - Fury over ceremony rumours

Posted by Darren at 11:33 AM

Carmelo Anthony - 'US will win Men's Basketball Gold'

"Carmelo Anthony has a message for Argentina, Lithuania and the other best basketball teams from around the world: The United States is going to win at the Athens Games.

"We're guaranteeing a gold medal. We're bringing it back," Anthony boldly predicted Monday on his first day of practice with the U.S. national team.

It took very little prodding for Anthony to basically repeat what he said last week on David Letterman's late-night television talk show. It betrayed a level of youthful cockiness that might seem at odds with one of the main messages the American coaching staff tried to get across at the team's welcome dinner Sunday night: Respect the competition."

Read more at Anthony Guarantees Hoops Gold for U.S. (phillyBurbs.com).

Posted by Darren at 11:32 AM

Athens Tests Security System

"Security officials tested a new communication and surveillance system Monday that will serve as the nerve center for authorities at next month's Olympic Games.

The $312 million network _ developed by a consortium led by San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp., or SAIC _ is undergoing field tests after months of delays and other disputes.

On Sunday, police practiced moving athletes and games officials from Olympic Village and another site to the main Olympic stadium _ a drill that involved 2,000 personnel and 90 buses."

Read more at Athens Tests New Olympic Security System .

Posted by Darren at 11:32 AM

Archery at the Athens Olympics

KGVO has a good preview of Archery at the Athens Olympics including a history of Olympic Archery and some suggestions of who to look out for in Athens.

'With respect to the women's records set in Olympic competition, all but one of them, the 72 Arrow Ranking Round, held by Lina Herasymenko with 673 in 1996, is held by a member of the Korean team, with all but one of those marks being established in Sydney. Needless to say, the Korean women are again the favorites to hit the mark in Greece this summer.

As with the women, the Korean men have also been dominant in the sport over the last couple of Olympics, with the U.S. holding its own in the 54 Arrow Finals combination in Atlanta in 1996. The Korean men will again be the favorite this time around, but that's not to say that the United States is out of the hunt altogether.

In terms of medals won previously in archery, Korea has the most gold (11) and silver (six), as well as the most overall with 21. The United States is the only other nation to have won more than one gold medal, having tallied eight, and coming up with 13 medals overall entering the 2004 event.

Russia has been the only other dominant participant in the sport, coming away with nine total medals (no other nation has more than four), with five of those coming in the bronze category.

The last gold medal for the U.S. came in 1996 when the men (Justin Huish, Richard Johnson and Rod White) won the team title.'

Posted by Darren at 11:31 AM

Allen Johnson - 'Athletics is Cleaner than Ever'

"Olympic and world champion hurdler Allen Johnson believes "athletics is cleaner than it's ever been," despite widespread allegations of drug use against U.S. track and field athletes.

"I want to go on record saying that it's a misperception that there's a problem with athletics, or track and field as we call it in the United States," Johnson, a four-time world champion and the 1996 Olympic champion in the 110-meter hurdles, said Monday on the eve of the DN Galan meet. "The sport was the dirtiest when nobody was talking about it. Now that everybody is talking about doping, athletics is cleaner than it's ever been."" Source - Champ Hurdler Says Track Cleaner Than Ever

Posted by Darren at 11:30 AM

Steven Lopez - Taekwondo

Sports network has a good Olympic profile of US Taekwondo star Steven Lopez.

"Although taekwondo isn't one of the more popular Olympic events, the success of Steven Lopez and his siblings are bringing the spotlight to the sport.

Lopez won the gold medal in the featherweight class four years ago in Sydney. He is probably the most decorated taekwondo competitor in the world and is ranked No. 1 in the welterweight division, in which he will compete in Athens in August.

A 25-year-old from Sugar Land, Texas, Lopez comes from a long line of family members who participate in taekwondo. All of his siblings have been at the world elite level, brothers Jean and Mark, and sister Diana. Mark was in the same weight class as Steven, but lost in the semifinals of the U.S. Olympic trials. Had Mark won he would have faced off against his brother."

Posted by Darren at 11:30 AM

Stronger Testing is Catching up with US Athletes says John Coates

"Coates said it seemed clear some US athletes had used performance-enhancing drugs at recent Olympics, but the testers were making inroads.

He said there were doubts if anyone would break a track and field world record at Athens, while there had to be concerns about previous performances, especially by US athletes.

"It just hasn't been happening (breaking of world records), so the indications are the Americans in particular were certainly receiving some assistance at recent Olympics," Coates told ABC television.

"We know that they didn't have a government testing agency that was independent of their Olympic committee as we've had now for 10 or 15 years.

"There's certainly been catch-up happening in America now and we should be pleased with that."" - Source - Stronger testing catching up with US athletes, says Aussie Olympic chief.

Posted by Darren at 11:29 AM

Szymon Koecki Banned from Olympics

"Polish weightlifter Szymon Kolecki, a silver medalist at the Sydney Olympics, will miss the Athens Games after testing positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone.

Kolecki tested positive June 26 and was suspended pending the results of testing on a "B" sample, which were released Monday and confirmed the earlier result.

"Kolecki has to forget about the Olympics," Marek Golab, an official with the Polish Union of Weightlifters, told The Associated Press. He described the absence of Kolecki as "a great loss.""

Source - Polish weightlifter Szymon Kolecki barred from Olympics over steroid test

Posted by Darren at 11:28 AM

Argentina dreaming of a Football Gold Medal

"Whether Argentina finally wins Olympic gold in Athens will depend on how it rebounds from a Copa America it failed to win only on the scoreboard.

Coach Marcelo Bielsa took a risk in bringing 13 of his Olympic squad to Peru to finally end an 11-year drought without a major title. He started eight of them in the final and despite dominating play, they couldn't disarm Brazil's individual brilliance and conceded tying goals at the end of both halves, eventually losing a penalty shootout 4-2.

In the aftermath, Argentina's players regarded themselves as unlucky, and appeared far from devastated, which puts them in the right frame of mind for Athens, where Brazil will be absent. But the Copa campaign raised a question mark over how much gas Argentina has left in the tank as it moves from Peru's cool to Athens' heat with only a two-week break."

Read more at FOXSports.com - Argentina head to Athens aiming to make up for final loss.

Posted by Darren at 11:27 AM

Patrick Johnson Loses Appeal

"Australian sprinter Patrick Johnson has lost his appeal against his non-selection for the 100 metres and 200 metres at the Athens Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Sydney decided that the selection criteria used to pick his rival, Joshua Ross, was legal and just.

Johnson will still compete in Athens, having qualified for the 100 metres relay team."

Johnson loses Olympic appeal - Athens Olympics 2004 - ABC Sport

Posted by Darren at 11:26 AM

Patrick Johnson Loses Appeal

"Australian sprinter Patrick Johnson has lost his appeal against his non-selection for the 100 metres and 200 metres at the Athens Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Sydney decided that the selection criteria used to pick his rival, Joshua Ross, was legal and just.

Johnson will still compete in Athens, having qualified for the 100 metres relay team."

Johnson loses Olympic appeal - Athens Olympics 2004 - ABC Sport

Posted by Darren at 11:25 AM

Athens Hotel Workers Threaten Strike

"Hotel workers seeking higher pay announced plans Monday to go on strike just as visitors and dignitaries begin arriving for the Aug. 13-29 Olympic Games.

The planned Aug. 4 strike by the 13,000-strong Hotel Workers Association, which covers the Athens area, is the latest in a series of protests by the group that is demanding a long-term contract that includes higher pay aimed at reaching parity with other European nations.

Members of the International Olympic Committee are to arrive next week for an Aug. 7 executive board meeting, which will include a final look at preparations for the games."

Read More at Hotel workers in Athens threaten to strike ahead of Olympic.

Posted by Darren at 11:24 AM

Olympic Cartoon Animation

Bruno Bozzetto has produced a comical flash animation of the Olympics.

Posted by at 07:14 AM

NATO approves Greek request for Troops to go to Athens

"NATO has agreed to provide extra forces under alliance command to help Greece protect next month's Olympic Games from potential terror attacks, officials said Monday.

However, unspecified "operational issues" remain to be resolved, NATO officials said on condition of anonymity. The officials said the Greek request for additional counterterrorism assistance, first considered Thursday, had been approved "in essence."

A U.S. official in Washington told The Associated Press last week that the United States had committed 400 special forces soldiers, but was still discussing with the Greek government where they would be based."

Source - NATO approves Greek request 'in principle' for additional counterterrorism help with Olympics.

Posted by Darren at 12:03 AM

'Britain may not Medal in Athletes' - Olympic Chief

"Athletics chief David Moorcroft has admitted Great Britain could come home from the Athens Olympics without a single track and field medal.

He said four medals would be a success, and admitted his job is on the line if British athletes under-perform.

Moorcroft, chief executive of UK Athletics, said the team was in a transitional phase.

He also told BBC Five Live the sport was "cleaner now than ever before" despite a series of drug scandals." Source - Moorcroft in medals warning

Posted by Darren at 12:01 AM

July 26, 2004

Portugal rejects Chelsea Request to Spare Tiago from Games

"The Portuguese Football Federation has turned down a request by Chelsea to exclude their new signing Tiago Mendes from Portugal's squad for next month's Olympic Games.

"We can't spare players who in the opinion of the national coach are important to the national squad," federation president Gilberto Madail told daily newspaper 24Horas.

Portugal's Olympic squad, which also includes Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo and Fulham's Luis Boa Morte, are scheduled to meet up on August 1, before flying to Greece a week later.

The English-based players could miss two weeks of the Premiership season if Portugal manage to reach the Olympic soccer final on Aug 28.

Portugal are in Group D along with Costa Rica, Iraq and Morocco."

Read more at Soccer - Portugal rejects Chelsea request to spare Tiago from Games.

Posted by Darren at 11:58 PM

Andy Roddick - Excited by Olympics

"Andy Roddick is familiar with the spoils that can come with being a top tennis player: a U.S. Open title, No. 1 ranking, more than $6.5 million in prize money, endorsement deals.

Funny how a $20 T-shirt got him all pumped up. Not just any shirt, mind you. One emblazoned with the Olympic rings and ''USA Team 2004'' in light blue lettering.

''All along, I kind of knew I was going to be on the team,'' Roddick said. ''But, you know, it's amazing how something as small as a T-shirt makes it real.''" Read more at Roddick has pride in the uniform .

Posted by Darren at 11:55 PM

Beezie Madden - Equestrian

Beezie Madden is confirmed to head to Athens to compete in her first Olympics in Equestrian competition.

Although the top American equestrian showjumper and the fourth best in the world, according to the U.S. Equestrian Federation, Madden unsuccessfully attempted to join the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic teams. This year, she placed first in the U.S. Show Jumping Trials in May and will finally have a chance to join the squad when it travels to Greece in August.

The only woman on the four-member showjumping team, Madden, 40, is also the only Syracuse-area athlete of the 22 New Yorkers going to Athens, according to the U.S. Olympic Committee Web site.

Madden likes her chances of earning a medal in both the team and individual events next month."

Source - CNY equestrian to compete on Olympic team

Posted by Darren at 11:53 PM

Kerri Walsh and Misty May - Injury Dilemma

"Kerri Walsh and Misty May, two months ago the clear favorite for the Olympic gold medal in women's beach volleyball, now present one of the more interesting dilemmas on the U.S. team heading to Athens.

May, who has had an abdominal strain for two months, pulled out of the final of the AVP Hermosa Beach Open on Saturday after aggravating the injury. Now her participation in Greece is in question, although those who have seen May perform injured in the past are sure she will try to persevere.

"I think Misty will play," said rival Holly McPeak, who, along with partner Elaine Youngs also will represent the USA in Athens. "She's still one of the best players in the world, even when she's injured."

Said Youngs: "She can suck it up."" Read more at Injury biggest concern for top volleyball duo.

Posted by Darren at 11:50 PM

Malaysia's Josiah Ng Recovering from Wrist Injury

"The track cycling competition in the Athens Olympics will be the first race in four months for Malaysia's Josiah Ng.

And on top of that, Josiah, who had a nasty fall in April that forced him out for six weeks, learned that he will have to face the biggest challenge of his career on a spare bike.

But having regained his full fitness and mobility in his wrist, Josiah feels he will be ready to face his rivals in next month's Olympics.

Josiah, who is the first Malaysian cyclist to qualify on merit for the Olympics, will have to rely on his French-made spare bike in the keirin and sprint competitions.

Josiah wrecked his competition bicycle in the April crash while training at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland and had to undergo surgery for a left wrist injury."

Read more at Josiah feels good after recovering from wrist surgery.

Posted by Darren at 11:48 PM

Kim Collins Clocks 10.10 in Athens warm up

"World champion Kim Collins led from start to finish as he cruised to an easy victory in the 100 meters at the Norwich Union International meet on Sunday, while Yelena Isinbayeva set another world record in the pole vault.

Collins clocked 10.10 seconds in cool, overcast and breezy conditions at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, central England. After congratulating his fellow racers, the St. Kitts and Nevis runner walked the length of the stadium waving to fans and signing autographs.

"It was an important race to win mainly because everyone wants to win their pre-Olympic competitions and lay down a marker," Collins said. "I have restricted my racing this year because I want to come fresh and ready when it really counts. I have been training hard and I really expected to win. I anticipated a fast time, but right now the time does not really matter."" Source - Collins rolls, Isinbayeva sets mark at Norwich

Posted by Darren at 11:46 PM

Athens Flame Burns in Greece

"The flame that will burn at the Athens Games was lighted Thursday amid the ruins of the ancient sanctuary where the Olympics were born 2,780 years ago.

In a ceremony held at an altar to Hera, a Greek goddess worshipped in Olympia during the original games, the torch was lit by a Greek actress playing the role of a high priestess.

Thalia Prokopiou, one of two dozen women that took part in the ceremony, placed a silver torch inside a burnished-steel concave mirror. The sun's rays then ignited the torch.

"Today the Olympic flame will be reborn yet again to enfold the whole world in its light. This is the day that all of us have been waiting for so eagerly," Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, president of the Athens organizing committee said."

Source - Sports 4 - Greece Holds Olympic Flame Lighting

Posted by Darren at 11:43 PM

Terror Cells in Athens?

"As the opening of the Olympic Games draws closer, the Greek police and foreign intelligence agencies have increased their activities in a predominately Muslim area of Athens, a district of narrow streets lined with open-air shops selling such items as cement, onions and clothes, next to international call centers and places to wire money abroad.

Greek, American and British intelligence agencies have all tried to infiltrate the Muslim and Arab communities here, Greek officials said. Doubting that the CIA and MI6, the British intelligence service, would have a great deal of success, the Greeks asked for, and received, assistance from counterterrorism teams and intelligence operatives from Jordan and Egypt, Greek officials said. And the Israelis have helped keep an eye on Arab embassies, they said.

Read more at IHT: Arab terror cells in Athens? Police are worried

Posted by Darren at 12:23 PM

Olympics Help Plasma TV Sales

With the Olympics under three weeks away, Plasma TV sellers in Australia are reporting that sales have never been better.

"At retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, orders for top-quality plasma screen TV sets - some that sell for $6000 to $10,000 each - run to the hundreds.

Page after page of newspapers now advertise "hot deals" on 106 cm plasma screen TVs, at prices that might otherwise buy a four-week holiday in Paris."

Read more at Olympics helps boost plasma TV sales - The Age

Posted by Darren at 12:18 PM

Tony Dumais and Laura Wilkinson Win US National Diving Championships

"Olympians Troy Dumais and Laura Wilkinson tuned up for the Athens Games next month by winning titles Sunday at the U.S. National Diving Championships.

Dumais won the men's 3-meter springboard by almost 100 points over his nearest challenger for his third straight U.S. title in the event.

Wilkinson took the women's 10-meter platform for the third year in a row and fifth year in the last six, defeating her closest rival by more than 50 points.

Dumais was sixth in the 2000 Olympics and Wilkinson was champion in Sydney. Dumais, of Ventura, Calif., beat runner-up Mitchell Richeson 707.07 points to 610.44."

Read More at Dumais and Wilkinson win titles at U.S. diving nationals.

Posted by Darren at 12:12 PM

US Basketball Team Camp

After being shunned by many of the NBA's biggest stars, the US Olympic team are getting tgoether for a training camp to prepare for the Olympic competition.

"This will not be a Dream Team. A more fitting moniker might be the "I Have a Dream" team. America's most eager good players will lace up their sneakers and don "USA" jerseys as training camp opens Monday for the Olympic men's basketball team, but most of the best players from the birthplace of basketball won't be in attendance.

"The players we have here want to be here. That's important," said Jim Tooley, the executive director of USA Basketball. "I think that'll go a long way."

Rejection has been the recurring theme for Tooley over the past several months as one superstar after another withdrew or turned down an invitation to represent the United States in Athens." Read More at Boston.com: U.S. basketball team to open training camp.

Posted by Darren at 12:00 PM

Jana Pittman reveals Olympic Secrets - Ice Baths, Meditation...

"JANA PITTMAN yesterday lifted the veil of secrecy on a clandestine Olympic preparation designed to peak with a 400m hurdles victory in Athens next month.

The 2003 world champion revealed ice baths, meditation and sleeping in a skin suit were part of a relentless drive for gold medal glory under coach Phil King, whose wife Debbie Flintoff-King blazed to victory in the 400m hurdles in Seoul in 1988.

Pittman has also received video of her main rivals taken by an unlikely ally - men's dual 400m hurdle world champion Felix Sanchez - at the US trials two weeks ago.

Pittman, 21, admitted using Friday night's 400m flat outing at the Golden League meeting - where she finished a strong fourth - merely as a preparation event."

Read more at FOX SPORTS | Jana reveals Athens secret.

Posted by Darren at 11:59 AM

Morocco Names Olympic Football Team

Morocco coach Mustapha Madih has named his squad for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games football tournament. 18 players will fly to Athens with the team and another 4 will remain on hold in Morocco.

The Moroccan Olympic Football Team is as follows:

Morocco's Olympic squad:

Nadir Lemyaghri (Wydad Casablanca), Omar Cherif (Mouloudia Oujda)

Sami Tajeddine and Rbati Amine (both Raja Casablanca), Jamal Alioui (Perugia, Italy), Mouncif Zerka (Nancy, France), Azzdine Orahou (Istres, France)

Otmane El-Assas (Al-Ittihad, Qatar), Yazid Kaissi (Lens, France), Oussama Souidi (Mallorca, Spain), Badr El Kadouri (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Marouane Zamama (Raja), Mehdi Taouil (Nurenberg, Germany)

Farid Talhaoui (Guingamp, France), Salheddine Akkal (Olympic Khouribga), Bouabid Bouden (Lens, France), Mustapha Alaoui (Maghreb A Sportive), Moubarki Bouchaib (Al-Wassl, Emirates)

Goalkeeper: Youssef Boutarbouch( Raja)
Defender: Abdelwahid Abdessamad (Raja)
Midfielder: Younes Zarouk (Wydad)
Striker: Jawad Akkadar (Olympic Khouribga)

Source - Morocco name Olympic squad

Posted by Darren at 11:59 AM

Sean Eadie leaves for Athens

After an ongoing saga over doping allegations - Australian cyclist Sean Eadie has left for Europe where he will join his Aussie team mates in training for the Olympics.

"Cyclist Sean Eadie could not leave Australia yesterday without a couple of dramas at Sydney Airport. At least they were nothing to do with customs, his manager Kerry Ruffels joked, referring to its involvement in the doping allegation that Eadie beat last week.

Before Eadie, 35, took off for the track team's pre-Olympic camp in Buttgen, Germany, he was delayed for almost an hour while it was decided who would pay a $2000 bill for 32 kilograms of excess baggage. Qantas and Cycling Australia came to an arrangement, Ruffels said.

And then his news conference was brought to an abrupt halt by Ruffels when one question too many was asked about Eadie's rival Ben Kersten.

Before he was cut off, Eadie scotched any chance of taking part in a "ride off" for his spot, as suggested by the Kersten camp. Kersten was called up as a replacement for Eadie after initially missing selection, only to be dropped again when Eadie was cleared of trying to import banned human growth hormones by mail." Read more at Eadie breezes through customs and off to camp - Athens2004 - www.theage.com.au

In related news - its not just Sean Eadie who has left the country - but his family also. They are exhausted by the allegations surrounding their son and have decided to get away from the media frenzy surrounding them.

'Barry and Barbara Eadie are in Sweden with daughter Sherie, 17, the youngest member of the Australian team competing this week at the Global Games, for developmentally delayed athletes.' Source Eadie's Family Flees.

Posted by Darren at 11:58 AM

Kelly Holmes Wins 800m Lead up Race

'Kelly Holmes beat European champion Jolanda Ceplak in the 800m at the Norwich Union International.

It was the first defeat of the season for Ceplak, who has recorded the fastest time of the year.

Holmes forged ahead with 200m to go and then pulled away down the home straight to win in two minutes and 0.46 seconds.

The Briton's impressive performance in Birmingham increases the chances of running both the 800m and 1500m in next month's Olympics in Athens.'

Read more at Holmes shows great form

Posted by Darren at 11:58 AM

Gene Doping a Reality

"A new generation of "genetically modified" athletes, whose performance has been improved by the injection of undetectable foreign DNA, could be competing at next month's Olympics, according to a controversial new book.

Dr Andy Miah, a leading British scientist, argues that "gene doping" has now become a practical reality, paving the way for a new wave of Olympic cheats.

He claimed that athletes had already made contact with scientists at the forefront of GM research and even predicted that the eight-second 100 metres could be achievable within a few years....

Gene doping, also undetectable at present, was considered by most experts to be a hypothetical threat. Many believed it would not register on the Olympic radar until the 2008 games in Beijing. As a result, Miah's claims will cause the International Olympic Committee serious concern."

Source - Olympics: Expert tips DNA route to cheating

Posted by Darren at 11:57 AM

Michelle Dillon wins Olympic Triathlon Lead up Event

'Michelle Dillon gained a perfect boost for the Olympics, winning the Triathlon World Cup event in Salford.

The 31-year-old Briton finished ahead of Australian Miranda Carfrae and fellow Briton Liz Blatchford.

Jodie Swallow's hopes of proving her fitness were dealt a blow when she crashed out during the bicycle ride.

German Maik Petzold won the men's race, with Briton's Stuart Hayes in second place and defending champion Andrew Johns back down the field in 15th.'

Source - Dillon wills Salford Event

Posted by Darren at 11:57 AM

Geoff Huegill - On Olympic Doping

This interview with Australian swimmer Geoff Huegill gives an interesting insight into how recent doping allegations focused on Australian Cyclists and Weightlifters have impacted the rest of the Australian Olympic Team.

"Geoff Huegill says the drug controversies surrounding cyclists and weightlifters are unlikely to taint the Australian swimming team's performances at the Athens Olympics.

Australian Olympic great Dawn Fraser last week predicted Australian athletes would be taunted by their rivals in Athens following the recent drug scandals in cycling and weightlifting.

But Huegill was unconcerned about the controversies in other sports tarring the Australian swimmers' performances in Greece.

"You'd like to think that every sport is clean and that everyone is on the same wicket but unfortunately ... it just doesn't happen like that," he said.

Huegill and Olympic gold medal contender Libby Lenton said the culture in swimming was such that any Australian caught taking performance-enhancing drugs would be ostracised."

Read more of this article at The Age: Huegill says swimmers will be okay

Posted by Darren at 11:56 AM

Bullet Proof Water Polo Suits

"MUCH thought has gone into ensuring Australia's women water polo players keep their swimsuits on at the Athens Olympics.

Four years ago in Sydney, water polo players had their swimsuits literally ripped apart, according to Speedo Australia's marketing director, Tim Lees. And it wasn't by accident.

"They weren't casually being torn," Lees said during the unveiling of the Australian swimsuits for the Athens Olympics today. "It was a strategy of the sport. It was full-on."

Water polo is considered one of the most violent sports on the Olympic program with players being pulled unconscious from the pool not an overly uncommon sight.

Lees said athletes during the Sydney 2000 Games sometimes had their zips pulled down by an opponent but great effort had gone into designing a "bullet-proof" suit for the Australian team which will seek to match the gold medal feat of the Sydney 2000 side.

"We've made the zip so it actually locks in and then we've put velcro over the top of that," Lees said." Read more at FOX SPORTS | Athens Olympics | Aussie, Aussie, Aussie | 'Bullet proof' water polo suits (July 25, 2004).

Posted by Darren at 11:56 AM

Australian defeats Japan - Men's Football

"SUBSTITUTE striker Brett Holman netted the sole goal to give Australia victory over Japan in their preparation match for Athens.

The decisive goal came only 11 minutes after Holman replaced Ahmad Elrich in the 68th minute. He had a earlier attempt on the Japanese goal after beating three defenders to fire a close-range shot, which hit keeper Takaya Kurokawa to go out." Read more at FOX SPORTS | Holman hits Olyroos winner .

Posted by Darren at 11:55 AM

Britain Defeat Spain - Men's Hockey

Britain's Men's Hockey Team have had a positive result in a lead up match to Athens against Spain.

'Great Britain men's hockey team came from behind to beat Spain 2-1 and level their two-match series in Barcelona.

Beaten 5-1 in the first game, the Brits went 1-0 down on 13 minutes when Juan Escarre scored from an acute angle.' Read more at Source - Britain bounce back

Posted by Darren at 11:54 AM

Ronaldo stays with Portugal

Christiano Ronaldo has decided to play for Portugal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, meaning he will miss the start of the Premier League campaign for his club Manchester United, this is a move sure to upset Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson has warned Ronaldo and Gabriel Heinze, the club�s new Argentina defender, that they could be jeopardising their careers at Old Trafford by playing in the under-23 tournament, but Ronaldo has declared that he firmly intends to travel to Athens

Athens call too tough for Ronaldo to resist Source Times

Posted by at 04:48 AM

Kelly Holmes beats European champion Jolanda Ceplak

Kelly Holmes beat European champion Jolanda Ceplak at a warm up event 19 days before the athens olympics.

It was the first defeat of the season for Ceplak, who has also recorded the fastest time of the year.

Holmes forged ahead with 200m to go and then pulled away down the home straight to win by 10m in 2:00.46.

Holmes' impressive performance increases the chances she will run both the 800m and 1500m in the Olympics next month in Athens.

Brits involved included newly selected Malachi Davis wearing a British vest for the first time and Christian Malcolm.

Full Results

Posted by at 04:43 AM

July 25, 2004

US Team Tries for 100 Medals

"Those same USOC bosses are boldly making book on American dominance at the Summer Games, pointing to the proverbial fence and promising an Olympic home run.

"We will try to win some 100 medals," said Herman Frazier, the American Chef de Mission for Athens. "Not only will we want to win 100 medals, we also want to lead the medal count and the gold medal count."

A triple-figure haul would top Team USA's take four years ago in Sydney, where it hoarded 97 medals, easily outstripping Russia's 88 and China's 59. For many sports fans, those numbers provide the most meaningful linescore of the year, a political tote board that our way of life is better than their way of life." Source - The great U.S. gold rush

Posted by Darren at 10:01 PM

Olympic Walking

Just found this interesting article about walking at the Olympicis.

"Nunn, a graduate of Harrison High in Evansville, Ind., qualified for the Athens Olympics in one of the games' most unusual disciplines, the 20-kilometer walk. As with any other world-class athlete, his achievement was an outgrowth of talent and training.

Still, racewalkers such as Nunn look peculiar to those who have never seen them before. They swing hips and pump arms, going so fast that onlookers might wonder why they don't just run.

Racewalking has been part of the Olympics since the unofficial Athens Games of 1906.

Respect comes grudgingly. During the 2000 Sydney Olympics, NBC broadcaster Bob Costas said a contest to see who can walk the fastest is like one to see who can whisper the loudest." Read more of this article at Walk this way.

Posted by Darren at 09:53 PM

Kim Collins warns 'Cheating is Natural'

"World and Commonwealth champion Kim Collins believes it is human nature to try and cheat your way to success, but expects a clean 100 metres final at the Olympics this summer.

The build up to the Athens Games continues to be overshadowed by the subject of drug abuse, with Marion Jones the latest high-profile name to come under the spotlight following claims by her former husband she used a number of illegal substances during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. The allegations have been strongly denied by the American sprinter.

St Kitts Nevis star Collins, who won his first major title in Manchester two years ago before claiming the world crown in Paris, is one of the favourites for 100m gold in Athens.

And the 28-year-old, who will run at the Norwich Union International in Birmingham later today, conceded you will never be able to stop people from trying to use illegal methods to win medals.

We cant control what people do, said Collins on BBC Radio Five Lives Sportsweek programme.

In the future, with technology, people could create something which is undetectable, maybe have some shoes which are unfair to the competition we cant stop that.

But as the authorities get smarter, so does the criminal.

He added: There is nothing I can do about it. You want to come and compete, have a good clean sport, but there are other things that come into play." Read more at Cheating Is Natural Warns Collins.

Posted by Darren at 09:49 PM

US Olympic Team Announced

The US Athens Olympics team has been announced and features a total of 531 athletes (257 Women and 274 Men). A number of other athletes may be added to the team as they continue to try to qualify by meeting qualifying standards.

The US Olympic Team is as follows

U.S. Olympic Team roster ... by sport
Name, Hometown

(As of July 22, 2004; subject to change)

Archery (6)
Women (3)
Janet Dykman, El Monte, Calif.
Jennifer Nichols, Cheyenne, Wyo.
Stephanie White-Arnold, Portland, Ind.

Men (3)
Butch Johnson, Worcester, Mass.
John Magera, Carterville, Ill.
Vic Wunderle, Mason City, Ill.

Athletics (111)
Women (53)
Amy Acuff, Austin, Texas
Stephanie Brown, Oceano, Calif.
Shelia Burrell, Chula Vista, Calif.
Hazel Clark, Knoxville, Tenn.
LaTasha Colander, Garner, N.C.
Crystal Cox, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Shayne Culpepper, Lafayette, Colo.
Colleen de Reuck, Boulder, Colo.
Lashinda Demus, Columbia, S.C.
Gail Devers, Duluth, Ga.
Joanne Dow, Bedford, N.H.
Stacy Dragila, Phoenix, Ariz.
Elva Dryer, Albuquerque, N.M.
Torri Edwards, Los Angeles, Calif.
Allyson Felix, Santa Clarita, Calif.
Shalane Flanagan, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Laura Gerraughty, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Erin Gilreath, Gainesville, Fla.
Joanna Hayes, Los Angeles, Calif.
Kristin Heaston, Palo Alto, Calif.
Monique Henderson, Bonita, Calif.
Monique Hennagan, Stockbridge, Calif.
Aretha Hill, Opelika, Ala.
Chaunte Howard, Atlanta, Ga.
Tiombe Hurd, Upper Marlboro, Md.
Jackie Jescheling, Ashland, Ohio
Sheena Johnson, Los Angeles, Calif.
Marion Jones, Cary, N.C.
Deena Kastor, Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
Kimberly Kreiner, Baton Rouge, La.
Muna Lee, Baton Rouge, La.
Tiffany Lott-Hogan, Pleasant Grove, Utah
Anna Mahon, Orange, Conn.
Jearl Miles-Clark, Knoxville, Tenn.
LaShaunta'e Moore, Fayetteville, Ark.
Consuella Moore, Chicago, Pa.
Melissa Morrison, Columbia, S.C.
Kate O'Neill, New Haven, Conn.
Michelle Perry, Los Angeles, Calif.
Jen Rhines, Ardmore, Pa.
Sanya Richards, Austin, Texas
Moushaumi Robinson, Cary, N.C.
Marla Runyan, Eugene, Ore.
Jillian Schwartz, Jonesboro, Ark.
Seilala Sua, Anaheim, Calif.
Kellie Suttle, Jonesboro, Ark.
Brenda Taylor, Chula Vista, Calif.
Nicole Teter, Palo Alto, Calif.
DeeDee Trotter, Knoxville, Tenn.
Grace Upshaw, Menlo Park, Calif.
Tisha Waller, Atlanta, Ga.
Angela Williams, Ontario, Calif.
Lauryn Williams, Miami, Fla.

Men (58)
Abdi Abdirahman, Austin, Texas
Kenta Bell, Kilgore, Texas
Bennie Brazell, Baton Rouge, La.
Derrick Brew, Raleigh, N.C.
Dan Browne, Beaverton, Ore.
John Capel, Gainesville, Fla.
James Carter, Hampton, Va.
Curt Clausen, Chula Vista, Calif.
Bryan Clay, Azusa, Calif.
Shawn Crawford, Raleigh, N.C.
Alan Culpepper, Lafayette, Colo.
Walter Davis, Baton Rouge, La.
Philip Dunn, San Diego, Calif.
Kevin Eastler, Chula Vista, Calif.
Anthony Famiglietti, Knoxville, Tenn.
Robert Gary, Westerville, Ohio
Justin Gatlin, Raleigh, N.C.
John Godina, Mesa, Ariz.
Maurice Greene, Granada Hills, Calif.
Breaux Greer, Athens, Ga.
Tora Harris, College Park, Ga.
Otis Harris, Columbia, S.C.
Calvin Harrison, Raleigh, N.C.
Matt Hemingway, Littleton, Colo.
Reese Hoffa, Athens, Ga.
Allen Johnson, Irmo, S.C.
Jonathan Johnson, College Station, Texas
Meb Keflezighi, San Diego, Calif.
Daniel Lincoln, Fayetteville, Ark.
Melvin Lister, Fayetteville, Ark.
Tim Mack, Knoxville, Tenn.
Casey Malone, Ft. Collins, Colo.
Derek Miles, Jonesboro, Ark.
Coby Miller, Pasadena, Calif.
John Moffitt, Baton Rouge, La.
Adam Nelson, Athens, Ga.
Jamie Nieto, Chula Vista, Calif.
John Nunn, Aurora, Colo.
Tom Pappas, Knoxville, Tenn.
James Parker, Great Falls, Mont.
Darvis Patton, Ft. Worth, Texas
Derrick Peterson, Columbia, Mo.
Dwight Phillips, Mesa, Ariz.
Dathan Ritzenhein, Boulder, Colo.
Khadevis Robinson, Santa Monica, Calif.
Andrew Rock, LaCrosse, Wis.
Jarred Rome, Boise, Idaho
Duane Ross, Garner, N.C.
Tim Seaman, Chula Vista, Calif.
Toby Stevenson, Chula Vista, Calif.
Angelo Taylor, Decatur, Ga.
Paul Terek, Livonia, Mich.
Terrence Trammell, Ellenwood, Ga.
Ian Waltz, Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.
Jeremy Wariner, Grand Prairie, Texas
Alan Webb, Fairfax, Va.
Bernard Williams, Gainesville, Fla.
Darold Williamson, Waco, Texas

Badminton (2)
Men (2)
Howard Bach, San Francisco, Calif.
Kevin Han, Orange, Calif.

Basketball (24)
Women (12)
Sue Bird, Syosset, N.Y.
Swin Cash, McKeesport, Pa.
Tamika Catchings, Duncanville, Texas
Yolanda Griffith, Chicago, Ill.
Shannon Johnson, Hartsville, S.C.
Lisa Leslie, Inglewood, Calif.
Ruth Riley, Macy, Ind.
Katie Smith, Logan, Ohio
Dawn Staley, Philadelphia, Pa.
Sheryl Swoopes, Brownfield, Texas
Diana Taurasi, Chino, Calif.
Tina Thompson, Los Angeles, Calif.

Men (12)
Carmelo Anthony, Denver, Colo.
Carlos Boozer, Juneau, Alaska
Tim Duncan, San Antonio, Texas
Allen Iverson, Philadelphia, Pa.
LeBron James, Cleveland, Ohio
Richard Jefferson, Phoenix, Ariz.
Stephon Marbury, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Shawn Marion, Clarksville, Tenn.
Lamar Odom, Miami, Fla.
Emeka Okafor, Charlotte, N.C.
Amare Stoudemire, Lake Wales, Fla.
Dwayne Wade, Oak Lawn, Ill.

Boxing (9)
Men (9)
Rock Allen, Philadelphia, Pa.
Andre Dirrell, Flint, Mich.
Vicente Escobedo, Woodland, Calif.
Jason Estrada, Providence, R.I.
Vanes Martirosyan, Glendale, Calif.
Ron Siler, Knoxville, Tenn.
Devin Vargas, Toledo, Ohio
Andre Ward, Oakland, Calif.
Rau'Shee Warren, Cincinnati, Ohio

Canoe/Kayak (17)
Women (5)
Kathy Colin, Kailua, Hawaii
Rebecca Giddens, Green Bay, Wis.
Carrie Johnson, San Diego, Calif.
Marie Mijalis, Miami, Fla.
Lauren Spalding, Maui, Hawaii

Men (12)
Andy Bussey, Pinehurst, N.C.
Chris Ennis, Bryson City, N.C.
Brett Heyl, Norwich, Vt.
Joe Jacobi, Bethesda, Md.
Nate Johnson, Seattle, Wash.
Benjie Lewis, North Miami Beach, Fla.
Jordan Malloch, Seattle, Wash.
Scott Parsons, Sylvania, Ohio
Jeff Smoke, Buchanan, Mich
Matt Taylor, Atlanta, Ga.
Bartosz Wolski, Chula Vista, Calif.
Rami Zur, Berkeley, Calif.

Cycling (18)
Women (6)
Kristin Armstrong, Boise, Idaho
Dede Barry, Boulder, Colo.
Mary McConneloug, Fairfax, Calif.
Erin Mirabella, Racine, Wis.
Jenny Reed, Kirkland, Wash.
Christine Thorburn, Davenport, Iowa

Men (12)
Adam Duvendeck, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Tyler Hamilton, Marblehead, Mass.
George Hincapie, Greenville, S.C.
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Denver, Colo.
Bobby Julich, Glenwood Springs, Colo.
Levi Leipheimer, Butte, Mont.
Giddeon Massie, Lansdale, Pa.
Jason McCartney, Coralville, Iowa
Marty Nothstein, Orefield, Pa.
Colby Pearce, Boulder, Colo.
Christian Stahl, Bethany, Conn.
Todd Wells, Durango, Colo.

Diving (11)
Women (5)
Cassandra Cardinell, Loudonville, N.Y.
Sara Hildebrand, St. Paul, Minn.
Rachelle Kunkel, West Valley City, Utah
Kimiko Soldati, Magnolia, Texas
Laura Wilkinson, Spring, Texas

Men (6)
Troy Dumais, The Woodlands, Texas
Justin Dumais, The Woodlands, Texas
Caesar Garcia, Baton Rouge, La.
Kyle Prandi, Strongsville, Ohio
Mark Ruiz, Orlando, Fla.
Justin Wilcock, Smithfield, Utah

Equestrian (13)
Women (6)
Debbie McDonald, Orange County, Calif.
Beezie Patton Madden, Cazenovia, N.Y.
Julie Richards, Atlanta, Ga.
Kim Severson, Keene, Va.
Amy Tryon, Duvall, Wash.
Lisa Wilcox, Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Men (7)
Darren Chiacchia, Springville, N.Y.
Robert Dover, Flemington, N.J.
Chris Kappler, Pittstown, N.J.
Guenter Seidel, Delmar, Calif.
McLain Ward, Brewster, N.Y.
John Williams, Middleburg, Va.
Peter Wylde, Dover Plains, N.Y.

Fencing (14)
Women (5)
Sada Jacobson, Dunwoody, Ga.
Emily Jacobson, Dunwoody, Ga.
Kamara James, New York, N.Y.
Erinn Smart, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mariel Zagunis, Beaverton, Ore.

Men (9)
Jed Dupree, New York, N.Y.
Dan Kellner, Warren, N.J.
Seth Kelsey, Brush Prairie, Wash.
Ivan Lee, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Cody Mattern, Tigard, Ore.
Jason Rogers, Los Angeles, Calif.
Keeth Smart, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Soren Thompson, San Diego, Calif.
Jon Tiomkin, Hewlett, N.Y.

Football (18)
Women (18)
Shannon Boxx, Redondo Beach, Calif.
Brandi Chastain, San Jose, Calif.
Joy Fawcett, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Julie Foudy, Mission Viejo, Calif.
Mia Hamm, Austin, Texas
Angela Hucles, Virginia Beach, Va.
Kristine Lilly, Wilton, Conn.
Kristen Luckenbill, Paoli, Pa.
Kate Markgraf, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Heather Mitts, Cincinnati, Ohio
Heather O'Reilly, East Brunswick, N.J.
Cindy Parlow, Memphis, Tenn.
Christie Rampone, Point Pleasant, N.J.
Cat Reddick, Birmingham, Ala.
Briana Scurry, Dayton, Minn.
Lindsay Tarpley, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Aly Wagner, San Jose, Calif.
Abby Wambach, Rochester, N.Y.

Gymnastics (14)
Women (8)
Mohini Bhardwaj, Cincinnati, Ohio
Annia Hatch, West Haven, Conn.
Terin Humphrey, Bates City, Mo.
Courtney Kupets, Gaithersburg, Md.
Courtney McCool, Kansas City, Mo.
Jennifer Parilla, Lake Forest, Calif.
Carly Patterson, Baton Rouge, La.
Mary Sanders, Toronto, Canada

Men (6)
Jason Gatson, Upland, Calif.
Morgan Hamm, Waukesha, Wis.
Paul Hamm, Waukesha, Wis.
Brett McClure, Mill Creek, Wash.
Blaine Wilson, Columbus, Ohio
Guard Young, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Judo (12)
Women (5)
Nicole Kubes, Fort Worth, Texas
Charlee Minkin, Halfmoon Bay, Calif.
Ronda Rousey, Santa Monica, Calif.
Celita Schutz, New York, N.Y.
Ellen Wilson, Salinas, Calif.

Men (7)
Martin Boonzaayer, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Rhadi Ferguson, Columbia, Md.
Rick Hawn, Eugene, Ore.
Brian Olson, Woodville, Fla.
Alexander Ottiano, Lawrence, Mass.
Jimmy Pedro, Lawrence, Mass.
Taraje Williams-Murray, Bronx, N.Y.

Modern Pentathlon (4)
Women (2)
Anita Allen, Star City, Ind.
Mary Beth Iagorashvili, Munkwonago, Wis.

Men (2)
Vaho Iagorashvili, Eagle, Wis.
Chad Senior, Fort Myers, Fla.

Rowing (45)
Women (18)
Stacey Borgman, Homer, Alaska
Alison Cox, Turlock, Calif.
Caryn Davies, Ithaca, N.Y.
Jennifer Devine, Seattle, Wash.
Megan Dirkmaat, San Jose, Calif.
Hilary Gehman, Wolfeboro, N.H.
Michelle Guerette, Bristol, Conn.
Danika Harris-Holbrook, Durham, N.H.
Kate Johnson, Porltand, Ore.
Sarah Jones, Stanwood, Wash.
Laurel Korholz, La Jolla, Calif.
Kate MacKenzie, Novi, Mich.
Sam Magee, Simsbury, Conn.
Anna Mickelson, Bellevue, Wash.
Lianne Nelson, Seattle, Wash.
Kelly Salchow, Cincinnati, Ohio
Lisa Schlenker, Lake Oswego, Ore.
Mary Whipple, Sacramento, Calif.

Men (27)
Aquil Abdullah, Washington, D.C.
Chris Ahrens, Milwaukee, Wis.
Wyatt Allen, Portland, Maine
Dan Beery, Oaktown, Ind.
Pete Cipollone, Ardmore, Pa.
Matt Deakin, San Francisco, Calif.
J. Sloan DuRoss, South Portland, Maine
Joseph Hansen, Bakersfield, Calif.
Ben Holbrook, Hartland, Wis.
Beau Hoopman, Plymouth, Wis.
Garrett Klugh, Los Angeles, Calif.
Wolf Moser, Moultonboro, N.H.
Henry Nuzum, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Jason Read, Ringoes, N.J.
Greg Ruckman, Cincinnati, Ohio
Artour Samsonov, Stoneham, Mass.
Jamie Schroeder, Wilmette, Ill.
Kent Smack, Clinton, N.J.
Matt Smith, Woodbridge, Va.
Paul Teti, Upper Darby, Pa.
Pat Todd, Cincinnati, Ohio
Steve Tucker, Mooresville, Ind.
Bryan Volpenhein, Cincinnati, Ohio
Luke Walton, Poway, Calif.
Steve Warner, Livonia, Mich.
Mike Wherley, Sun Praire, Wis.
Brett Wilkinson, Hyde Park, N.Y.

Sailing (18)
Women (7)
Lanee Butler-Beashel, Aliso Viejo, Calif.
Carol Cronin, Jamestown, R.I.
Mary Ellen "Meg" Gaillard, Pelham, N.Y.
Nancy Haberland, Annapolis, Md.
Isabelle Kinsolving, New York, N.Y.
Katie McDowell, Barrington, R.I.
Liz Merrifield Filter, Stevenville, Md.

Men (11)
Kevin Burnham, Miami, Fla.
Paul Cayard, Kentfield, Calif.
Paul Foerster, Rockwall, Texas
Kevin Hall, Ventura, Calif.
John Lovell, New Orleans, La.
Mark Mendelblatt, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Charlie Ogletree, Houston, Texas
Pete Spaulding, Miami, Fla.
Phil Trinter, Lorain, Ohio
Tim Wadlow, San Diego, Calif.
Peter Wells, Newport Beach, Calif.

Shooting (21)
Women (9)
Sarah Blakeslee, Vancouver, Wash.
Elizabeth Callahan, Columbia, S.C.
Emily Caruso, Fairfield, Conn.
Morgan Hicks, Roy, Wash.
Hattie Johnson, Athol, Idaho.
Collyn Loper, Birmingham, Ala.
Kim Rhode, El Monte, Calif.
Connie Schiller Smotek, Bryan, Texas
Rebecca Snyder, Grand Junction, Colo.

Men (12)
Michael Anti, Winterville, N.C.
Lance Bade, Vancouver, Wash.
Shawn Dulohery, Lee's Summit, Mo.
Glenn Eller, Houston, Texas
Matt Emmons, Browns Mills, N.J.
Bret Erickson, Bennington, Neb.
Todd Graves, Laurel, Miss.
Koby Holland, Dillon, Mont.
Jason Parker, Omaha, Neb.
Adam Saathoff, Hereford, Ariz.
Daryl Szarenski, Saginaw, Mich.
Jason Turner, Rochester, N.Y.

Softball (15)
Women (15)
Laura Berg, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.
Crystl Bustos, Canyon Country, Calif.
Lisa Fernandez, Long Beach, Calif.
Jennie Finch, La Mirada, Calif.
Amanda Freed, Cypress, Calif.
Lori Harrigan, Las Vegas, Nev.
Lovieanne Jung, Fountain Valley, Calif.
Kelly Kretschman, Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.
Jessica Mendoza, Camarillo, Calif.
Tairia Mims Flowers, Tucson, Ariz.
Stacey Nuveman, La Verne, Calif.
Leah O'Brien-Amico, Chino Hills, Calif.
Catherine "Cat" Osterman, Houston, Texas
Jenny Topping, Whittier, Calif.
Natasha Watley, Irvine, Calif.

Swimming (43)
Women (22)
Amanda Beard, Irvine, Calif.
Lindsay Benko, Elkhart, Ind.
Caroline Bruce, Wichita, Kan.
Kristen Caverly, San Clemente, Calif.
Haley Cope, Chico, Calif.
Maritza Correia, Valrico, Fla.
Natalie Coughlin, Concord, Calif.
Margaret Hoelzer, Huntsville, Ga.
Katie Hoff, Abingdon, Md.
Rhi Jeffery, Delray Beach, Fla.
Kara Lynn Joyce, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Kalyn Keller, Phoenix, Ariz.
Dana Kirk, Bremerton, Wash.
Tara Kirk, Bremerton, Wash.
Rachel Komisarz, Louisville, Ky.
Colleen Lanne, Tucson, Ariz.
Diana Munz, Chargrin Falls, Ohio
Carly Piper, Grosse Point, Mich.
Kaitlin Sandeno, Lake Forest, Calif.
Jenny Thompson, Dover, N.H.
Dana Vollmer, Granby, Texas
Amanda Weir, Lawrenceville, Ga.

Men (21)
Ian Crocker, Portland, Maine
Nate Dusing, Villa Hills, Ky.
Mark Gangloff, Akron, Ohio
Scott Goldblatt, Scotch Plains, N.J.
Gary Hall, Phoenix, Ariz.
Brendan Hansen, Havertown, Pa.
Bryce Hunt, Newburgh, Ind.
Larsen Jensen, Bakersfield, Calif.
Klete Keller, Phoenix, Ariz.
Dan Ketchum, Cinncinati, Ohio
Lenny Krayzelburg, Studio City, Calif.
Jason Lezak, Irvine, Calif.
Ryan Lochte, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Tom Malchow, St. Paul, Minn.
Aaron Peirsol, Irvine, Calif.
Michael Phelps, Towson, Md.
Scott Usher, Grand Island, Neb.
Peter Vanderkaay, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Erik Vendt, North Easton, Mass.
Neil Walker, Verona, Wis.
Gabe Woodward, Bakersfield, Calif.

Synchronized Swimming (9)
Women (9)
Alison Bartosik, Santa Clara, Calif.
Tammy Crow, St. Louis, Mo.
Erin Dobratz, Clayton, Calif.
Becky Jasontek, Loveland, Ohio
Anna Kozlova, Santa Clarita Calif.
Sara Lowe, DeSoto, Texas
Lauren McFall, Los Altos, Calif.
Stephanie Nesbitt, Riverside, Calif.
Kendra Zanotto, Los Gatos, Calif.

Table Tennis (7)
Women (4)
Tawny Banh, San Gabriel, Calif.
Gao Jun, Gaithersburg, Md.
Whitney Ping, Beaverton, Ore.
Jasna Reed, Chicago, Ill.

Men (3)
Mark Hazinski, Mishawaka, Ind.
Ilija Lupulesku, Chicago, Ill.
Khoa Nguyen, San Jose, Calif.

Taekwondo (2)
Women (1)
Nia Abdallah, Houston, Texas

Men (1)
Steven Lopez, Sugar Land, Texas

Tennis (12)
Women (6)
Jennifer Capriati, Saddlebrook, Fla.
Martina Navratilova, Aspen, Colo.
Lisa Raymond, Wayne, Pa.
Chanda Rubin, Lafayette, La.
Serena Williams, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Venus Williams, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Men (6)
Bob Bryan, Camarillo, Calif.
Mike Bryan, Camarillo, Calif.
Taylor Dent, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Mardy Fish, Vero Beach, Fla.
Andy Roddick, Boca Raton, Fla.
Vinny Spadea, Boca Raton, Fla.

Triathlon (6)
Women (3)
Barb Lindquist, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Sheila Taormina, Livonia, Mich.
Susan Bartholomew-Williams, Springfield, Va.

Men (3)
Hunter Kemper, Longwood, Fla.
Victor Plata, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Andy Potts, Princeton, N.J.

Volleyball-Beach (8)
Women (4)
Misty May, Newport Beach, Calif.
Holly McPeak, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Kerri Walsh, Saratoga, Calif.
Elaine Youngs, El Toro, Calif.

Men (4)
Dain Blanton, Laguna Beach, Calif.
Dax Holdren, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Stein Metzger, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Jeff Nygaard, Madison, Wis.

Volleyball-Indoor (24)
Women (12)
Robyn Ah Mow-Santos, Honolulu, Hawaii
Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman, Lakeville, Minn.
Lindsey Berg, Honolulu, Hawaii
Heather Bown, Yorba Linda, Calif.
Tara Cross-Battle, Houston, Texas
Tayyiba Haneef, Laguna Hills, Calif.
Nancy Metcalf, Lincoln, Nebraska
Ogonna Nnamani, Normal, Illinois
Keba Phipps, Las Vegas, Nevada
Danielle Scott, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Stacy Sykora, Burleson, Texas
Logan Tom, Salt Lake City, Utah

Men (12)
Lloy Ball, Woodburn, Ind.
Kevin Barnett, Naperville, Ill.
Brook Billings, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Phil Eatherton, Glencoe, Mo.
Gabe Gardner, San Clemente, Calif.
Tom Hoff, Park Ridge, Ill.
Ryan Millar, Palmdale, Calif.
Reid Priddy, Richmond, Va.
Riley Salmon, League City, Texas
Clay Stanley, Honolulu, Hawaii
Erik Sullivan, Encinitas, Calif.
Donald Suxho, Redondo Beach, Calif.

Water Polo (26)
Women (13)
Robin Beauregard, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Margie Dingeldein, Merced, Calif.
Ellen Estes, Novato, Calif.
Jacqueline Frank, Long Beach, Calif.
Natalie Golda, La Habra, Calif.
Ericka Lorenz, San Diego, Calif.
Heather Moody, Green River, Wyo.
Thalia Munro, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Nicolle Payne, Cerritos, Calif.
Heather Petri, Orinda, Calif.
Kelly Rulon, San Diego, Calif.
Amber Stachowski, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
Brenda Villa, Commerce, Calif.

Men (13)
Omar Amr, Fullerton, Calif.
Tony Azevedo, Long Beach, Calif.
Ryan Bailey, Long Beach, Calif.
Layne Beaubien, Coronado, Calif.
Brandon Brooks, Honolulu, Hawaii
Genai Kerr, Imperial Beach, Calif.
Dan Klatt, Fresno, Calif.
Brett Ormsby, El Cajon, Calif.
Jeff Powers, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Chris Segesman, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Jesse Smith, Coronado, Calif.
Wolf Wigo, New York, N.Y.
Adam Wright, Seal Beach, Calif.

Weightlifting (5)
Women (2)
Tara Cunningham, Stilwell, Kan.
Cheryl Haworth, Savannah, Ga.

Men (3)
Oscar Chaplin, III, Savannah, Ga.
Shane Hamman, Mustang, Okla.
Chad Vaughn, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Wrestling (17)
Women (4)
Sara McMann, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Patricia Miranda, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Toccara Montgomery, Cleveland, Ohio
Tela O'Donnell, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Men (13)
Stephen Abas, Fresno, Calif.
Daniel Cormier, Stillwater, Okla.
Rulon Gardner, Afton, Wyo.
Jim Gruenwald, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Eric Guerrero, Stillwater, Okla.
Dennis Hall, Plover, Wis.
Jamill Kelly, Stillwater, Okla.
Garrett Lowney, Freedom, Wis.
Kerry McCoy, Bethlehem, Pa.
Cael Sanderson, Ames, Iowa
Brad Vering, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Joe Williams, Iowa City, Iowa
Oscar Wood, Ft. Carson, Colo.

USA Delegation Mission Staff
Chef de Mission: Herman Frazier, Honolulu, Hawaii.
USOC Chair: Peter Ueberroth, Laguna Beach, Calif.
Asst. Chef de Mission: Mary McCagg, Cambridge, Mass.
Asst. Chef de Mission: Dale Neuburger, Indianapolis, Ind.
USOC Chief Executive and Acting Secretary General: Jim Scherr, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Delegation Director: Doug Ingram, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Total Number of U.S. Athletes
Women: 257
Men: 274
Total: 531


Posted by Darren at 04:51 PM

Australian Gold Medal Winners to Feature on Stamps

"Australias 2004 Olympic gold medallists will become members of an exclusive group of Australians to feature on Australia Post stamps.

Australia Post will produce 50c stamps featuring the images of Australias gold medal moments from the Athens 2004 Olympic Games (13 29 August 2004). This follows the success of the world-first Australian Gold Medallists Stamps program in 2000.

The stamp sheetlets are expected to be available in metropolitan Australia Post outlets within 48 hours of Australian gold medal presentations in Athens, thanks to a special design and technology team with experience from the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

The Australian Gold Medallists Stamps provide an opportunity for all Australians to share in the success of our Olympic athletes, said Amber McDougall, Group Manager Philatelic, Australia Post." Source - Australia Post puts winners on stamps again

Posted by Darren at 04:46 PM

China Hopes for 3 Gold Medals in Badminton

"China set to capture three badminton golds in Athens next month, if the Olympic seeding lists released by the International Badminton Federation on Thursday are anything to go by.

The final deadline for entries to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games passed on Wednesday, with badminton fulfilling its quota of 172 players at the Games.

A total of 89 men and 83 women will be competing in Athens, representing 32 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) -- a record number of countries and regions for badminton at an Olympic Games.

The seedings, based on the world ranking of 1 May, 2004, see world number one shuttlers Lin Dan and Gong Ruina top the list of favorites in the singles events, while the Malaysia and Korea Openchampions Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen are the top seeds in the women's doubles competition." Read more at Chinese shuttlers set to take three titles in Athens

Posted by Darren at 04:38 PM

Perdita Felicien Wins Gold Medal in Athens Lead Up Event

"Canada's Perdita Felicien claimed gold Friday in the women's 100-metre hurdles at the Golden League track and field meet in Paris.

Felicien beat a field loaded with Olympic medal hopefuls, finishing the race in 12.60 seconds.

Linda Ferga-Khodadin of France finished second 0.18 seconds off of Felicien's pace. American Jenny Adams finished third. Spain's Glory Alozie and Jamaica's Delloreen Ennis-London rounded out the top five.

Felicien, the reigning world champion, Adams, Alozie and Ennis-London are all considered to be medal contenders in next month's Olympic Games in Athens." Read more of this article at CBC.ca: Felicien golden in Paris Golden League

Posted by Darren at 04:35 PM

Athens Test Traffic and Security

"Greek authorities held an Olympic security transport drill early Sunday to test part of a multimillion dollar security network before the start of next month's Summer Games.

The three-hour drill, code-named "Olympic Hermes," was held along key roads in the greater Athens area and involved both air and ground police units, all forms of public transport and the operation of special Olympic traffic lanes to be used by accredited vehicles -- including buses carrying athletes.

Scenarios included management of various traffic accidents on Olympic roads, with the cooperation of a sensor-laden blimp, police helicopters and several ground units"

Source - Greek authorities hold Olympic transport security drill

Posted by Darren at 04:33 PM

Aussies - As Good as Gold?

"IN the imagination of Australia's sporting public, Ian Thorpe will win a chestful of gold medals and Jana Pittman will do what Cathy did.

Michael Diamond will shoot straight for the third Olympic Games in a row, Andrew Hoy and his mates will ride to a fourth title in the three-day event and the remains of the Oarsome Foursome will be recycled as a golden pair.

Grant Hackett is a certainty in the 1500m and Leisel Jones could win a breaststroke gold medal.

Throw in a few surprises and Australia should come away from Athens with a large bag of medals.

Or perhaps not. Realities have a way of materialising at an Olympics - and a few of them have already emerged." Read More at FOX SPORTS | Aussies as good as gold (July 25, 2004):

Posted by Darren at 04:24 PM

Athens Hotels Slash Prices in bid to Fill Empty Rooms

"Athens hotels that massively hiked up their prices for the Olympics are now bringing them back down again in a last-minute bid to fill empty rooms.

The inflated room rates have been partly blamed for an estimated five million tickets as yet unsold for the games, which start on 13 August.

Deluxe rooms in hotels such as the Holiday Inn have dropped from about 1,260 to 800 per night, according to Suzi Stembridge, director of Greece specialist Filoxenia. 'Last week hotels started saying "give us a ring, we've got good prices". They sold rooms to tour operators who just couldn't sell them so now they've dropped the prices.'

She said most availability was in newly built, out-of-town hotels, but rooms priced originally at 600 were down to 280-400, and those priced at 700 were down to 350 a night.

Panos Argyros, director of the Greece National Tourism Organisation, said that following a government-level meeting last week, the chairman of the Hotel Chamber of Greece had agreed his industry would offer better prices. 'Hotels have dropped their rates considerably and will drop them more this week,' he said." Read More at The Observer | Travel | Hotels slash prices for Olympics

Posted by Darren at 04:18 PM

Chinese Olympian to get $18,000 for a Gold Medal

"Sports officials in China said Saturday that those who win gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Greece will also get $18,000

Xinhua, China's main government-run news agency, reported that rewards for silver and bronze medal holders also increased.

Deputy Chief of State Physical Culture Administration, Li Furong revealed the medals award increase in an interview with China Central Television Friday, reported CRIENGLISH.com.

He also said that Chinese officials are considering basketball star Yao Ming as the Chinese Olympic delegation's flag carrier." - Chinese Olympic gold winners to get money - (United Press International)

Posted by Darren at 04:10 PM

Russia Prepares for Olympics

"In Russia, sporting officials are talking up their teams' chance of winning gold, claiming this is the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union that Russia is ready to put up a serious fight against the other Olympic superpowers.

But there are concerns that Russia's sporting prowess is about to dry up, because of a lack of coaches and dwindling support for the next generation of sports stars." Read more at Russia prepares for the Olympics

Posted by Darren at 04:07 PM

Freeman Gives Jana Pittman some Advice

"Athletics great Cathy Freeman has a message for her Olympic heir apparent, Jana Pittman: forget everything you think you know about pressure because you haven't experienced anything yet.

Freeman said she would talk to Pittman when she entered the athletes' village in Athens in her mentoring role next month.

Much of the pressure that was heaped on Freeman in Sydney now sits on the shoulders of the 400 metres hurdler, given that she is regarded as Australia's best athletics gold medal hope. Freeman said she was keen to help Pitman deal with it.

"She's about to experience real Olympic pressure," Freeman said. "It's not like anything she will have experienced before. It's not like world championship pressure or the same pressure from any other major meet. It's completely different; it has a feel all of its own." Read more at Jana under pump: Freeman - Athens2004 - www.theage.com.au.

Posted by Darren at 03:35 PM

Malaysian Badminton Stars Expected to Win Gold Medal

"The national shuttlers will be carrying a heavy burden on their shoulders at the Olympic Games in Athens they are expected to bring home at least one gold medal.

In a meeting with the NSC, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) chief coaches - Misbun Sidek and Yap Kim Hock - and the Olympic-bound players vowed to deliver at least one gold medal in Athens.

And the players Malaysia will be counting on are Wong Choong Hann and Mohd Roslin Hashim in the men's singles and Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah in the men's doubles.

The other Olympic qualifiers are debutants Lee Chong Wei (men's singles), Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng (men's doubles) and Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty (women's doubles)

The badminton competition will be held from Aug 14-21." - Read More at Shuttlers expected to return with one gold.

Posted by Darren at 03:33 PM

Lesser Known US Athletes Profiles

Sports Illustrated takes a good Look at some lesser-known U.S. athletes that will be going to the Athens Olympics including:


Posted by Darren at 03:31 PM

British Swimming Chief Slams GB Swimming Facilities

British swimming chief Bill Sweetenham has launched a savage attack on the country's level of investment in sport.

The Australian, who last week signed a four-year extension to his contract, renewed his critcism of the quality of facilities in Britain.

"Although they think they've invested large amounts of money, it's been tiddlywinks," he told BBC Five Live. Read More at GB chief slams facilities

Posted by Darren at 02:54 PM

Athens Olympic Games Pins

Athens_2004_Pin.01-A1GZEJSK7EGVRGAs always Olympic Pins will be a major focus of those attending and watching the Olympic Games in Athens this year. Olympic Pins are swapped, bought, bartered and gifted by avid collectors both at the Olympics but also by those watching on from home.

I love Olympic Pin Collection because Pins are a cheap and small item that enable you to build up quite a collection reasonably inexpensively and quickly.

We've put together a collection of pins available for purchase by readers of the Athens Olympics Blog.

Athens Olympic Pins

Amazon also has a heap of Other Olympic Pins including some from previous Olympics, many from the US Olympic Team etc.

Also available are a number of other small Olympic Merchandise like:

Posted by Darren at 01:06 PM

A Photographic look at the Modern Olympics and Ancient Greece

swifter.jpgSwifter, Higher, Stronger : A Photographic History of the Summer Olympics. 96 pages that takes a photographic look at the way the games have evolved from the classical Greek games to the Modern Olympics that we have today.

Posted by at 11:58 AM

Iraqi Olympic Committee displays torture equipment used by Saddam Hussein's son to punish athletes

Torture equipment used by Saddam Hussein's slain son, Odai, to punish underperforming Iraqi athletes has been displayed at a Baghdad sports stadium.

Journalists were shown medieval-style torture equipment, including an ''iron maiden-like'' casket with metal spikes fixed to the inside that athletes had been forced into and chain whips with steel barbs the size of tennis balls attached to the end.


Posted by at 11:38 AM

British Tourist Numbers Down

Fears of a terrorist attack the the Athens Olympic Games has resulted in the number of Briton's visiting Athens down 70 percent on this time last year. The Greek capital is not the only area to have been hit by the slump. The Greek Isalnds have also seen a 30 percent dip compared to the same time last year.


Posted by at 11:30 AM

Investigation into Australian Bailed Boxer

"SOUTH Australia Premier Mike Rann yesterday ordered an investigation into why an alleged violent home invader was bailed so he could box for Australia at the 2004 Olympics.

Mr Rann said he learned Athens-bound Elizabeth Grove boxer Peter Wakefield faced criminal charges only when it was revealed by The Advertiser yesterday.

He has asked the Attorney-General, Michael Atkinson, for a report on the case, declining to comment further "until I know the facts".

Wakefield, 26, who is training for the Olympic Games in central France with eight teammates, refused to comment on the charges yesterday." Source - FOX SPORTS | Boxer will fight on .

Posted by Darren at 10:42 AM

Greek Baseball Team Broke in Baltimore

"The Greek Olympic baseball team is so short of cash that it has no funds to return for the games after training in the United States, a top official said Friday.

"At this moment we do not have money to pay for the tickets for our team to come to participate in the Olympic Games," Panos Mitsiopoulos, president of the Greek Baseball Federation, told The Associated Press.

All but one player have been training in Baltimore. Peter Angelos, the Greek-American owner of the Baltimore Orioles, helped organize the Greek Olympic team." Source - Chief: Greek Olympic baseball team broke in Baltimore

Posted by Darren at 10:42 AM

BBC Technicians to Strike during Olympics

"The walkouts threatened by BBC Technology staff are to go ahead - and it will be right in the middle of Auntie's coverage of the Olympics.

Union Bectu (broadcasting entertainment cinematograph and theatre union) has announced it's chosen two dates for its strike action. The first strike will fall on 30 and 31 July, with the second walkout on 13 and 14 August.

The union said it believes the BBC will be "hard-pressed" to continue normal service during the walkouts - especially as 13 August is the opening day of the Olympics, traditionally a ratings winner for the Beeb." Source - BBC techies to strike during Olympics.

Posted by Darren at 10:41 AM

Ancient Olympics - Like Super Bowl, Woodstock, Mardi Gras and Chippendale Dancers

"It was like the Super Bowl, Woodstock, Mardi Gras, a holy pilgrimage and Chippendale dancers all rolled into one. The setting for the earliest Olympic Games some 3,000 years ago was both a sanctuary of soaring marble temples and a foul, drunken shantytown plagued by water shortages, campfire smoke and sewage. The athletes, glistening from olive oil, competed naked. Gymnasiums were restricted to keep the sex trade from overrunning events on the field.

With the 2004 Summer Games set to begin in Athens on Aug. 13, archaeologists and scholars are demythologizing and viewing the original Olympics as they really happened." Read More at Ancient Olympics weren't all that pure.

Posted by Darren at 10:40 AM

Tunisia Name Olympics Football Squad

Tunisia have named their 22-man squad for the Olympic Games football tournament as follows:

Khaled Fadhel (CS Sfaxien), Jasem Khalfaoui (A.S. Marsa), Hamdi Kasraoui (Esperance Tunis)

Anis Boussaidi, Anis Ayari (both Stade Tunisien), Amir Haj Messoud, Issam Merdassi (all C.S. Sfaxien), Fethi Mechergui, Zied Bhairi (both Esperance Tunis), Karim Hagui (Strasbourg, France), Aleddine Yahia (Guingamp, France)

Khaled Mouelhi, Wissem Ben Yahia (all Club Africain), Jose Clayton (Esperance Tunis), Majdi Traoui (Etoile du Sahel), Houcine Regueb (Paris-Saint Germain, France)

Mohamed Jedidi, Sabeur Trabelsi (both Etoile du Sahel), Haykel Guemamdia (C.S. Sfaxien), Amine Letifi (Creteil, France), Ali Zitouni, Issam Jomaa (both Esperance Tunis)

Source - BBC Tunisia name Olympic squad

Posted by Darren at 10:40 AM

Norway Defeat Sweden - Women's Football

"Marit Christensen and Trine Ronning scored two goals each Saturday as Norway beat Women's World Cup runner-up Sweden 4-0 in an Olympic tuneup match.

Sweden, which was missing two key defenders, is one of the favorites for gold in Athens along with the United States and World Cup champion Germany. Norway, which beat the United States 3-2 on a golden goal in the 2000 Olympic final, failed to qualify for the Athens Games." - Source - Norway tops Women's World Cup runner-up Sweden 4-0 in Olympic tuneup

Posted by Darren at 10:39 AM

Norway Defeat Sweden - Women's Football

"Marit Christensen and Trine Ronning scored two goals each Saturday as Norway beat Women's World Cup runner-up Sweden 4-0 in an Olympic tuneup match.

Sweden, which was missing two key defenders, is one of the favorites for gold in Athens along with the United States and World Cup champion Germany. Norway, which beat the United States 3-2 on a golden goal in the 2000 Olympic final, failed to qualify for the Athens Games." - Source - Norway tops Women's World Cup runner-up Sweden 4-0 in Olympic tuneup

Posted by Darren at 10:39 AM

Jana Pittman Set for Athens

"Jana Pittman was happy to hide outside the placings as her intense training winds down and her Olympic countdown builds up.

Pittman finished fourth in the 400 metres at the Golden League athletics meeting in Paris on Friday night at the end of what she described as the hardest training period of her life.

In that three-week training block, Australia's 400 metres hurdles world champion has not competed in her pet event, but, according to coach Phil King, is in much better shape than she was before she won the world title last August." Read More at Pittman in top shape - Athens2004 - www.theage.com.au

Posted by Darren at 10:38 AM

Boxing on Trial in Athens

"BOXING as an Olympic spectacle will be on trial in Athens. The sport in which Ireland won gold and silver medals at the Barcelona Games of '92 is still on the Olympic hit-list.

It's that push-button scoring system the IOC's top brass don't trust. "Seriously flawed," sniffed one recently.

"It slumped to a new low in Sydney four years ago, and shows all the consistency of a rolling pair of dice.

"Any repeat of the controversy or bitterness that goes with bad decisions, and boxing could have a real fight for survival at future Games."" Read More at Boxing needs to score well in Athens.

Posted by Darren at 10:38 AM

America Eyes off Gold Medal Haul in Pool

"Four years ago, there were grim predictions about Americas swimming hopes at the Sydney Games.

The Australians had home-pool advantage and seemed poised to take over as the worlds dominant power. What did the U.S. team do? Put on one of the great performances in Olympic history: 14 golds and 33 medals overall.

No one is talking doom and gloom this time. If anything, the Americans are expecting to do even better in sweltering Athens, where there will be no roof over the pool for the first time since the 1992 Barcelona Games.

This could be one of the strongest teams since the 76 team, said Eddie Reese, the U.S. Olympic mens coach. Since that time, the other nations in the sport have gotten a lot better, and the speed of the sport has gotten a lot better." Source - American swimmers poised for medal haul in Athens - 7/24/04

Posted by Darren at 10:37 AM

Athens Unveils Party Plans

"Athens will throw a citywide party for the Olympics -- every night of the games.

Mayor Dora Bakoyianni promised Wednesday to stage the biggest outdoor entertainment blitz in the Athens' history, with more 500 concerts and live performances together with art exhibitions, puppet shows and acts from 34 countries.

"We want to create a festive feel across the entire city," Bakoyianni said.

"Athens will try to combine recollections of ancient myths and history with its modern reality ... The whole city will be one large party."

Sculptures and other artwork will be displayed along a cobblestone walkway linking the Acropolis to the city's other main ancient sites like the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the ancient marketplace." Read more at SI.com - Athens unveils street party plans for Olympics.

Posted by Darren at 10:37 AM

Australian Women's Hockey team turn up the Heat

The Australian Women's Hockey team is turning up the heat in their training regime in preparation for the sweltering temperatures in Athens.

"The Hockeyroos have been using the heat chamber at the WAIS for the past three weeks as part of an intense build-up to next month's Olympics.

A series of recent matches in the relative heat of Townsville and Darwin began the process, which will be completed with another tournament in Spain.

Temperatures in Athens have been forecast to reach as high as 40C and while the Hockeyroos have been scheduled morning and evening matches, the heat issue has been dealt with intensely." Source - FOX SPORTS | Hockey women turn up heat

Posted by Darren at 10:36 AM

US Send 150 Agents to Athens

" The United States will send 150 special agents to protect the American team at next month's Olympic Games, a report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a part of the Library of Congress published here Saturday claimed.

"The (US) State Department plans to spend 2.76 million dollars (2.2 million euros) for 150 Special Agents to be assigned on temporary duty to Athens and environs prior to and during the Olympic Games," the report dated April 30 said. " Read More at U.S. to send 150 special agents to Athens

Posted by Darren at 10:36 AM

Golden Incentive

A senior sports official has said that all gold medal-winning Chinese athletes at the Athens Olympics will be awarded 150 thousand yuan or some 18 thousand US dollars.


Posted by at 10:28 AM

Edwards may complete at Olympics

World 100 metre champion Torri Edwards could still run at the Olympics despite being found to have taken a glucose tablet that contained a banned stimulant.


Posted by at 09:34 AM

July 24, 2004

Poker in Athens

Poker in Athens is a very amusing site dedicated to bringing Poker to the Athens Olympic games in 2004.

It includes an article on poker players being willing to submit to drug testing:

"As poker continues its drive to become part of the games, poker players from all over world have been volunteering to submit to drug screening. "The last thing poker needs is for a few 'roid cases to ruin it for all of us," said Steve Peckingham..."

It also has polls (which Athens landmark should host poker at the Olympics), a petition to get poker to the games and a variety of various other amusing features.

It's worth a look.

Posted by Darren at 11:24 PM

US Swimming Team Robbed

"A three-room suite at the Sheraton Hotel being used by members of the United States Olympic swimming team was burglarized Wednesday. The losses, totaling $10,000 in undisclosed possessions, were reported at 11:20 a.m., according to Palo Alto police.

Jim Rebosio, general manager of the Sheraton, said the suite was being used as a team meeting room and training area. He said the items missing include a laptop computer, two DVD players, and a video projector." Source - Palo Alto Online: Olympic swim team burglarized

Posted by Darren at 09:42 PM

Japan to Send Police to Athens Olympics

Japan will send a group from their National Police Agency to Athens to provide security for the Japanese Olympic Athletes.

"Four to five officials will be dispatched around Aug 7 when the Japanese delegation is scheduled to arrive in Athens. They will gather information on terrorist activities from the Greek government and also liaise with security officials from other countries including officials of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the officials said.

According to the agency, Japan is in the second most likely group of terrorist targets, the top group consisting of the United States, Britain and Israel. The list is based on assessments by Greek authorities, the agency said" Source - Japan to send police to Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 08:36 PM

Soma Biswas Qualifies for Olympics in Heptathlon

"It's sheer hard work, feels coach Kuntal Roy. It's simply determination, says Soma Biswas, who qualified for the Athens Olympics in Chennai on Tuesday.

Back home and training at the SAI Eastern Centre, Biswas said an Olympic medal isn't what she can actually lay her hands on, but surely, she would like to improve upon her performance.

Biswas picked up 6162 points in Chennai, winning six of the seven events in heptathlon, barring the high-jump, but she feels her total is way below the Olympic medal zone.

"Realistically, I plan to cross the 6200 mark. If I can do that, I will probably be among the top 10 or 15," Biswas told Hindustan Times." Read more at the HindustanTimes: 6200, not medal, Somas target

Posted by Darren at 08:29 PM

Marion Jones Seeks Charges against Ex-Husband

"Lawyers for Olympic champion Marion Jones say her ex-husband CJ Hunter should be prosecuted for lying to federal officials following newspaper reports he told them Jones had used steroids at the 2000 Sydney Games.

"Since CJ Hunter has lied to government officials, he also needs to be investigated, be subjected to a polygraph investigation and prosecuted for lying to federal investigators," her attorney Joseph Burton said.

Several California newspapers reported that former shot putter Hunter, who was himself banned for using steroids and who was divorced from Jones in 2002, made the allegations to investigators probing the BALCO steroids scandal." Read more at Jones seeks charges against ex-husband.

Posted by Darren at 08:24 PM

Olympic Betting

"The TAB is confident New Zealand Soccer has opened the way for betting on a variety of sports at next month's Olympic Games.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has opposed betting on Olympic sports after a strong "we don't want it" message from the IOC.

But NZOC secretary-general Barry Maister yesterday admitted it could not stop New Zealand Soccer going ahead with plans to have betting on matches at the Olympic tournament." Source - NZ Soccer flouts Olympics betting ban

Posted by Darren at 08:20 PM

Alcohol - A Banned Olympic Substance for Triathalon

Here is a hot tip for Triathlon Gold Medal winners - don't celebrate with a beer or you might be stripped of your medal for using a banned substance.

"Triathlon is one of several sports for which alcohol is a banned substance during competitions.

For next month's Olympics in Athens, organisers have deemed that the competition period should extend for the 16-day duration of the Games.

Even after their races, triathlon competitors would be risking a doping violation, and the stripping of medals, if they were caught with traces of alcohol in their bodies.

"Certainly it's something we'll have to watch because the last thing we'd want is somebody caught up in a drugs scandal because they had a few beers afterwards," said Triathlon New Zealand's high-performance manager, Mark Elliott.

The World Anti Doping Agency's prohibited substances list bans alcohol for 13 sports during competition, including archery, wrestling, modern pentathlon and gymnastics.

Quite why alcohol is banned is not clear, although the most likely explanation is safety." Read more at Triathlon: Don't drink and run or your medal's at risk

Posted by Darren at 08:17 PM

Pakistan's Olympic Team Announced

Pakistan have announced their 46 member Olympic team.

The team is:

"Athletics: Sajid Muhammad and Sumaria Zahoor. Muhammad Khalid Mahmood (manager).

Boxing: Mehar Ullah, Sohail Ahmad, Asghar Ali Shah, Faisal Karim, Ahmad Ali Khan. Syed Haroon Masood (manager), Reinaldo Alvarez Ulacia (coach) and Zaigham Maseel (coach).

Hockey: Ahmad Alam, Ali Raza, Sohail Abbas, Zeeshan Ashraf, Ghazanfar Ali, Dilawar Hussain, Waseem Ahmad, Adnan Maqsood, Rehan Butt, Mudassar Ali, Kashif Jawad, Muhammad Nadeem, Muhammad Shabbir, Shakeel Abbassi, Salman Akbar, and Tariq Aziz. Muahmamd Yousad Baig (manager), Tahir Zaman (coach), Roberto Tolintino (assistant manager), FR Maria Jansen (technical staff), Roelant Oltsman (head coach) and Derek Jan Verder (physiotherapist). Shooting: Khurram Inam. Razi Ahmad (coach) and Pervez Abbasi (manager).

Swimming: Mumtaz Ahmad and Rubab Raza. Ahmad Saeed (manager) and Sadiqa Afzal (manager)."
Source - POA finalises and approves 46-member Pak contingent

Posted by Darren at 08:08 PM

Anti Olympics Rally in Athens

"Greek anti-Olympics groups held a large rally Thursday in Athens to protest the holding of the Olympic Games only three weeks ahead of its opening ceremony.

The anti-Olympics leftist groups, including the Anti-2004 Campaign, the Greek Social Forum and the Genoa 2001 Initiative, as well as popular movements and labor groups, staged a rally in downtown Athens and marched to the Houses of Parliament.

The demonstrators claimed that the climate prevailing in the capital is a state of emergency and that labor conditions are worsening as a result of the Olympic Games.

They also denounced Olympic security measures by which information will be registered and processed to enable, if necessary, action by a rapid reaction force of the NATO alliance, saying that these steps greatly violate their personal privacy and their human rights.

Some extremist or leftist groups, which were labeled as "anarchists" by Greek government and local media, have been opposing the holding of the Olympic Games in Athens." Source - :Anti-Olympics groups hold rally in Athens

Posted by Darren at 08:05 PM

Bulgaria offers Power Supply to Greece

Bulgaria is prepared to supply Greece with extra electricity next month to reduce the possibility of blackouts in Athens during the August 13-29 Olympic Games.

An official at NETC, the Bulgarian transmission company, said yesterday up to 100 megawatts daily was available under the current contract "but we have the capacity to supply greater volume if Greece needs it during the Olympics".

Source - Bulgaria offers to boost power supply for Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 07:58 PM

Olympics Venue Construction Workers Unsafe

"Evidence of poor safety standards at construction sites for next month's Olympic Games in Athens has been found by a BBC radio programme.

Many workers have been killed - many more than the official death toll of 14, a Greek union representative said.

But, he told the programme, no official numbers are being kept.

The BBC team observed workers - many from Eastern Europe and South Asia - operating without protective equipment and with minimal supervision." Source - Workers in peril at Athens sites

Posted by Darren at 02:02 PM

Olympics Security Confusion

Just spotted this great article on the hysteria and confusion surrounding the Athens Olympics Security.

" If the strategy of the Athens Olympics security planners is to confuse would-be terrorists, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

The snag is that three weeks before the Games open, everyone else is equally confused too, with rumors, conspiracy theories and paranoia reaching fever pitch. "Olympic terror hysteria" is loose in the country and abroad, To Vima, a major Greek newspaper, said Friday.

It is hard to argue with the assessment and probably even harder for a would-be attacker to work out what is going on, or what is fact and what is fiction.

Are foreign armed guards going to protect athletes or just foreign leaders? Whoever they protect, are they going to carry guns in Olympic venues or check them at the gate?

Are "Texas Sheriffs" and "Rambos" poised to ride into town, or just crew-cut American soldiers under the umbrella of NATO?

Is the Blimp now hovering over Athens -- whenever the wind drops enough for it to take off -- a sinister space age surveillance and communications craft or just a lot of hot air?" Read More at Greece Battles Olympic Security 'Hysteria'.

Posted by Darren at 02:00 PM

A Long Ride to Athens

At 65, Jumber Lezhava might be forgiven more than most for staying at home to watch the Athens Olympics on television in his native Georgia.

However, the engineer from the ex-Soviet state famed for longevity plans to pedal to the events by bike.

"I am keeping fit all the time and am ready to ride my bicycle to Athens," he told reporters in the capital, Tbilisi.

But the Athens trip should be a mere spin - he once covered 264,000km (164,042 miles) on a tour of the globe.

Read More at - Georgian plans Olympic bike ride

Posted by Darren at 01:16 PM

Anyone for Table Tennis?

"Table Tennis: Anyone for table tennis? Why half a billion can't be wrong...

Everyone has played it, but none of us seem to want to watch it. Karen Kay enters the world of what many still call ping pong - and finds a game ready to capitalize on its global appeal....

n just three weeks, the Chinese will stake their claim to the coveted Olympic title: there is none they value more than the men's singles gold. Wenge, based in Germany and a former Olympic bronze-medal winner, was the sole representative of the People's Republic, as their leading triumvirate of Ma Lin, Wang Hao and Wang Liqin declined to show their hand so close to Athens."

Read the Article at "Table Tennis: Anyone for table tennis? Why half a billion can't be wrong...

Posted by Darren at 01:07 PM

Tim Cuddihy - Teen Eyes Olympics Gold Medal

Australian teenager Tim Cuddihy warmed up for the Athens Olympics by taking gold at the World Junior Archery Championships at Lilleshall.

The 17-year-old star beat Luxembourg's Gilles Decker in the final of the junior men's recurve championship.

"I'm having a great year and now can't wait to go out to Athens next month," said Cuddihy.

"But as for winning a gold medal, well, it's an aspiration, but the competition will be really intense."

Cuddihy is one of two teenagers in Australia's three-man archery squad for Athens, along with 18-year-old David Barnes, who is also tipped for great things. Source - Wonderboy eyes Athens gold

Posted by Darren at 01:03 PM

Brittany Viola Leads in 10m Platform Diving

"Brittany Viola led qualifiers in the women's 10-meter platform Friday at the U.S. National Diving Championships, topping a pair of 2004 Olympians.

Viola finished ahead of Sara Hildebrand, who will represent the United States in the 10-meter platform synchronized event in the Olympics next month in Athens. Viola had 523.59 points to 502.95 for Hildebrand.

Laura Wilkinson, the 2000 Olympic platform champion, was third with 500.22 points after the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. The finals are Sunday." Source - Viola Leads Qualifiers at Diving Event.

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

Francis Obikwelu beats Maurice Greene

"Maurice Greene was upset in the 100 meters at the Gaz de France track meet Friday, finishing second to Francis Obikwelu of Portugal.

Obikewelu posted a winning time of 10.06 seconds, easily beating Greene, the defending Olympic champion who finished in 10.14.

Running just three weeks before the Olympics in Athens, Greene wanted to race in Paris as a tuneup for defending his gold medal. At the U.S. trials earlier this month, Greene made it to Athens after winning the 100. "

Source - Obikwelu Wins 100 Meters at Gaz De France

Posted by Darren at 12:49 PM

Derartu Tulu Will Compete in Athens - 10,000m

"Reigning Olympic 10,000m champion Derartu Tulu, who also took the Games title in 1992, has been added to the women's 10,000m squad for next month's Athens Olympics, the Ethiopian Athletics Federation has confirmed.

Tulu, who had been omitted from a list of 25 Athletes issued by the Federation last week, is now in line to make her fourth appearance at the Games and has a fighting chance to become the first African to win three Olympic Gold medals.

The 32-year old is given a starting role in the 10,000m team alongside World 10,000m champion Berhane Adere and silver medallist Werknesh Kidane, with Ejigayehou Dibaba dropping down to the reserve spot." Source - Tulu is back in Olympic contention

Posted by Darren at 12:27 PM

Italian Athletics Olympic Team

Italy has announced its Athletics Team for the Athens Olympics.

It is made up of 37 athletes from all over Italy.

'Some notableathletes such as Manuela Levorato, Gertrud Bacher andElisabetta Perrone are still required to prove their fitness, and may be added to the squad at the beginning of August. '

The Italian Athletics Olympic Team is as follows:

Men (23)

100, 4x100
Simone COLLIO Fiamme Gialle 10.20

200, 4x100
Andrew HOWE Aeronautica 20.28
Marco TORRIERI Aeronautica 20.52

Maurizio CHECCUCCI Fiamme Oro 10.38
Massimiliano DONATI Fiamme Gialle 10.46
Koura KABA FANTONI Fiamme Gialle 10.28
Luca VERDECCHIA Fiamme Oro 10.41

Andrea LONGO Fiamme Oro 1:44.42

Giuseppe MAFFEI Lib. Cento Torri 8:23.48

High Jump
Alto Nicola CIOTTI Carabinieri 2,30
Alessandro TALOTTI Carabinieri 2,30

Pole Vault
Asta Giuseppe GIBILISCO Fiamme Gialle 5,60

Long Jump
Nicola TRENTIN Fiamme Azzurre 8,16

Triple Jump
Fabrizio DONATO Fiamme Gialle 16,90

Nicola VIZZONI Fiamme Gialle 76,95

20km Walk
Ivano BRUGNETTI Fiamme Gialle 1h19:43
Alessandro GANDELLINI Fiamme Oro 1h21:06
Marco GIUNGI Fiamme Gialle 1h21:43

50km Walk
Marcia Km 50 Giovanni DE BENEDICTIS Carabinieri 3h50:50

Stefano BALDINI Corradini Rubiera 2h08:37
Daniele CAIMMI Fiamme Gialle
Alberico DI CECCO Carabinieri 2h09:29

Paolo CASARSA Forestale 8.056

Women (14)

Benedetta CECCARELLI Fondiaria Sai 55.14
Monika NIEDERSTAETTER Forestale 55.52

Long Jump
Fiona MAY Lib. Cento Torri 6,62

Triple Jump
Simona LA MANTIA Fiamme Gialle 14,49
Magdelin MARTINEZ Atletica 2000 15,03

Ester BALASSINI Fiamme Gialle 71,28
Clarissa CLARETTI Aeronautica 69,40

Giavellotto Claudia COSLOVICH Fondiaria Sai 62,66
Elisabetta MARIN Cus Trieste 61,77

20Km Walk
Rossella GIORDANO Fiamme Azzurre 1h27:49
Elisa RIGAUDO Fiamme Gialle 1h30:28

Rosaria CONSOLE Fiamme Gialle 2h29:22
Ornella FERRARA PBM B. Masciago 2h27:49
Bruna GENOVESE Forestale 2h29:03

Source - IAAF: Italian Olympic Team

Posted by Darren at 12:26 PM

Greek Athletics Team Announced

Greece have announced their Athletics Team for the Athens Olympics. It has 63 athletes - the biggest ever team for Greece in its history of attending the Games.

The Greek Athletics Team is as follows:


100m -Georgios THEODORIDIS, Christoforos CHOIDIS

200m -Konstantinos KENTERIS, Anastassios GOUSSIS, Panayotis SARRIS

400m -Anastassios GOUSSIS, Stylianos DIMOTSIOS

800m -Panayotis STROUBAKOS

1500m -Panayotis STROUBAKOS

Marathon -Nikolaos POLLIAS

110mh - Dimitrios PIETRIS

400mh - Periklis IAKOVAKIS

20km walk -Eleftherios THANOPOULOS

50km walk -Georgios ARGYROPOULOS, Spyridon KASTANIS, Theodoros STAMATOPOULOS

4X400m -Periklis IAKOVAKIS, Anastassios GOUSSIS, Panayotis SARRIS, Stylianos DIMOTSIOS, Georgios DOUPIS, Dimitrios GRAVALOS

Decathlon - Prodromos KORKIZOGLOU

Pole Vault - Marios EVAGGELOU

Long Jump -Louis TSATOUMAS, Dimitrios FILINDRAS, Dimitrios SERELIS

Triple Jump - Christos MELETOGLOU

Discus Throw - Savvas PANAVOGLOU

Hammer Throw - Alexandros PAPADIMITRIOU


100m -Ekaterini THANOU

200m -Olga KAIDATZI

400m - Chrisa GOUDENOUDI

1500m -Konstantina EFENTAKI

5000m - Chrisostomia IAKOVOU

Marathon - Georgia AMBATZIDOU

100mh - Flora REDOUMI

400mh - Fani HALKIA

20km walk - Athanassia TSOUMELEKA, Athina PAPAYIANNI, Christina KOKOTOU

4x100m - Ekaterini THANOU, Georgia KOKLONI, Marina VASSARMIDOU, Efrosini PATSOU, Maria KARASTAMATI

4x400m - Chrisa GOUDENOUDI, Olga KAIDATZI, Fani HALKIA, Dimitra DOVA, Chariklia BOUDA, Georgia KOUMNAKI

Heptathlon - Argyro STRATAKI

High Jump - Niki MITROPOULOU

Pole Vault - Georgia TSILIGGIRI, Afroditi SKAFIDA

Long Jump - Niki XANTHOU, Ioanna KAFETZI, Stella PILATOU

Triple Jump - Chrisopigi DEVETZI, Athanassia PERRA, Olga VASDEKI

Shot Put - Kalliopi OUZOUNI, Irene TERZOGLOU

Discus Throw - Ekaterini VOGOLI, Anastassia KELESIDOU, Stella TSIKOUNA

Hammer Throw - Alexandra PAPAGEORGIOU, Stella PAPADOPOULOU, Evdokia TSAMOGLOU

Javelin Throw - Mirela MANJANI, Angeliki TSIOLAKOUDI, Savva LIKA

Source - IAAF International Association of Athletics Federations - Athens Olympic Games 2004

Posted by Darren at 12:21 PM

Athens Olympics Venues Ready - But at a Price

"The unfinished construction of dust-choked venues stood as a symbol of Athens' troubling Olympic delays a few months ago.

Now the last touches are being made on the main Olympic complex. The stadium roof rises like a giant oyster shell. The grounds feature pools of water that shimmer in the night.

At the end of a three-year construction blitz, Olympic organizers are finally silencing the critics. Nearly all venues are ready for the Aug. 13 opening ceremony or very close to completion.

Athens, it appears, has beaten the clock."
Read More at Beating the clock: Athens Olympic venues fall into place.

Posted by Darren at 12:18 PM

Athens Security - Late, Vast and over budget

Months behind schedule and millions over budget, Athens is finally ready to spy on the Olympics.

A vast network of street cameras, surveillance vans, underwater sensors and a blimp bristling with ultra-sensitive monitors was declared operational Friday -- three weeks before the games begin and a day after the Olympic Village opened.

The $312 million surveillance system was supposed to be ready May 28, but there were delays in installation, blamed on construction setbacks at Olympic venues, including the main stadium.

Overall security for the Aug. 13-29 games is costing three times more than planned. Greece initially was to spend $600 million on security, but that has soared to a record $1.5 billion operation to thwart a possible terrorist attack.


Posted by at 12:03 PM

Athens security zeppelin takes to the sky

After four days of delays caused by high winds blowing over Athens, the 200-foot long hi-tech zeppelin hired to keep watch over the upcoming Olympics Games made its first test flight.

According to police sources, the flight which took place at dawn, lasted around two hours and was successful.


Posted by at 12:00 PM

Olympic Gymnastics Overview

One of the oldest Olympic sports, gymnastics has existed for more than 2,000 years, but its development into competition didn't really take shape until about 100 years ago. The International Gymnastics Federation was formed in 1881 and two years later the Amateur Athletic Union assumed control of gymnastics along with other major amateur sports in the United States.

Germany virtually swept all the gymnastics medals in the 1896 Olympics, but since then there have been a wide-ranging number of results with several countries at the top for different competitions.


Posted by at 11:54 AM

A Very Different Olympics from the Original

Next month's Olympic Games in Athens will be a very different affair from the largely religious festival that began 3,000 years ago; for one thing, the competitors will be wearing clothes. By Christopher Howse

The modern Olympic ideal is completely alien to the spirit of the Greek original, which despised women, slaves and foreigners and celebrated sectarian religion, nudity, pain and winning at any cost.


Posted by at 11:47 AM

Olympic Broadcast to Phillipines in Jeopardy

GOVERNMENT-RUN NBN 4 has surrendered all hopes of covering the Olympic Games in Athens, saying it cannot afford the conditions imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). NBN 4 chairperson Mia Concio, however, assured that the cashstrapped government station will settle the $1.2 million back account it owes the IOC.


Posted by at 11:23 AM

Golden girl Jones took drugs at Olympics claims ex husband

THE full weight of C. J. Hunter, her 22�-stone former husband, landed on Marion Jones yesterday when he was revealed to have told anti-doping investigators that she took drugs during the Olympic Games in Sydney four years ago.


Posted by at 11:11 AM

Jackie Chan carries Olympic torch

Martial arts movie star Jackie Chan took a turn carrying the Olympic flame as it passed through this northern Greece before next month's Summer Games.

Chan, who flew to Greece from China to carry the torch, said he was glad the Olympics were returning to their ancient homeland but was also looking forward to the Beijing games in 2008.


Posted by at 10:43 AM

Greece's Olympic Security Budget Rises 15 percent on Additional Forces

Greece is increasing its Olympic security budget by 15 percent to as much as 1.15 billion euros ($1.4 billion) as it deploys more police and soldiers to prevent terrorist attacks.


Posted by at 10:33 AM

Taking a Tough Look 'Inside the Olympics'

Former Olympic athlete Dick Pound spent 25 years as a member of the International Olympic Committee. His book Inside the Olympics
explores the money, politics and intrigue that drive the Games.

Buy Inside the Olympics from Amazon.

Posted by at 10:30 AM

Olympic Callup infuriates Football Manager

Despite Manchester United's manager's best efforts, 19-year-old winger Ronaldo has been named in Portugal's squad for the Olympics and Heinze, the �7 million defender signed from Paris Saint-Germain, is needed in Athens by Argentina.


Posted by at 10:18 AM

NATO expected to heed call for more Olympic security

NATO is expected to approve in the coming days a last-minute Greek request for extra counterterrorism help at next month's Olympic Games, alliance officials said Thursday.


Posted by at 10:14 AM

Wedding Rings Unite in Athens

Pairs rower Buffy Williams will be joined at the Olympics in Athens by her husband, Barney, who was cut from the men's rowing team five years ago but worked his way back.


Posted by at 10:10 AM

Tullett Ready for Olympic Prep

British runner, Hayley Tullett and World 1,500 metres bronze-medallist will start a busy weekend tonight when she runs in the Paris IAAF Golden League meeting.


Posted by at 10:05 AM

US Basketball Team gets a shock

Detroit Shock coach Bill Laimbeer was happy USA Basketball added center Ruth Riley to the Olympic team, but he was especially pleased with the selection process.

"I'm very happy the committee chose a player from the pool of players who tried out," Laimbeer said, referring to players who had worked out and played with the Olympic team. "It's great for her and the organization. Nobody will enjoy the Olympic experience more than Ruth."

Riley replaces Los Angeles Sparks forward Delisha Milton-Jones who is out with a knee injury.


Posted by at 09:55 AM

Medal Hopes for Canadian Baseball Team

Canada is fielding one of its strongest basebell teams ever. The team qualified for the Olympics by making it to the championship game at the Pan American games.


Posted by at 12:55 AM

Olympic Flag Fuss

Nine years ago, Nicolas Gill vote yes on Quebec sovereignty. In true Canadian style, selecting Gill as the flag bearer for the Canadian Olympic team is causing some political debate in Canada.

Voices: Olympic flag fuss

Posted by at 12:47 AM

July 23, 2004

Athens Olympic Medals

athens_medals'Gold, silver and bronze Athens 2004 Olympic medals are on display in Athens (pictured left).

Using 13 kilos of gold, a ton of silver and a ton of bronze, 15 experts started minting the 3,000 medals that will be awarded during the Athens Olympics.'

Also see Specialists Begin Production of Olympic Medals

'Production of the most coveted prizes at the Olympics has begun in Athens, the gold, silver and bronze medals that the world's Olympic athletes will be competing for.

Electronics specialists, machinists, engravers and goldsmiths at an Athens company (Efsimon) have begun producing up to 150 gold, silver and bronze medals per day.

Workers will use nearly 30 pounds of gold, a ton of silver and a ton of copper to make the nearly�3,000 medals that will be manufactured for the Olympic games.

The medals have a unique greek look. One side of the medals shows Nike, the goddess of victory, standing in the Panatheneum Stadium, site of the first modern Olympic games held in 1896. The other side shows the Olympic flame, the Athens Olympics emblem, an excerpt from an ancient Olympic ode, and the name of the sport being awarded.'

Posted by Darren at 10:46 PM

Table Tennis Rule Change to Test Chinese

"Chinese table tennis players face a real test of their flair and form when they meet challenges from the first introduced qualification system and rule alterations to Olympic pingpong games.

China, long acclaimed the "kingdom of table tennis" where the sport is hailed as national game, have bagged all of the four gold medals of table tennis in Barcelona in 1996, repeated the sweep in the Sydney Olympics four years ago and let slip only three golds in the only two former Games since the sport was introduced to Olympics in 1988.

The world table tennis superpower loves to embrace challenges from rest of the world, but the rules changes to the Athens Olympic Games is not cheerful.

Since the knock-out system will be used in the Olympics there instead of group stage, top Chinese Ma Lin, Wang Nan and their teammates will never take their eyes off when heading for another Olympic sweep.

Limits in maximum number of qualified players for each NOC and rule alterations, such as the large ball, 11 points scoring and all-to-see service rule, also bother the ambitious Chinese team." Get more information at Rule changes test Chinese paddlers in Athens.

Posted by Darren at 08:54 PM

Raj Bhavsar left out of US Olympic Gymnastics Team

"How badly do U.S. gymnastics leaders want to win a men's team medal at the Athens Olympics?

Enough to leave a potential Olympic champion, Raj Bhavsar, off the team.

Bhavsar was among those squeezed out as a result of a strategy employed by USA Gymnastics, which is based in Indianapolis. Bhavsar would be a medal contender on still rings, but the selection committee ultimately decided the team needed help elsewhere.

"It was going to be a strong team, either way you look at it," Bhavsar said Thursday. "I feel I could have made it a better team. I'll always feel like that because I'm supposed to." Team-first U.S. strategy leaves out top gymnast

Posted by Darren at 08:51 PM

Chinese Women Eye Gold Medal in Football

"Chinese women's football team, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic silver medalist who failed to squeeze into the semi-finals at the 2000 Sydney Games, are eyeing a medal at the coming Athens Games.

"Although it's a difficult job, our squad will try their best to win a medal and regain the glory of the yesteryears," Xue Li, vice president of the Chinese Football Association said here Wednesday.

Xue said, "Our baseline is set on the semi-finals, and win a medal if we are lucky enough."

The Chinese team won its ticket for Athens after all-victory matches in Japan where they emerged as Asia's No.1 for the Athens Olympic games, conceding no goals throughout the qualifying tournaments." Source - Offcial Website of the Chinaese Olympic Committee

Posted by Darren at 08:49 PM

A Tired Athens Looks like being Ready

"Defying predictions the games look like being on time. The award of them to Athens may have turned the hair of some senior members of the International Olympic Committee white, brought the possibility of international humiliation on Greece and pushed many Athenians to the brink of nervous breakdown with the constant building work. But, even if the last lick of paint is applied five minutes before the opening ceremony on August 13, the Greek capital should be ready.

Greeks had in recent months become exhausted with Athens's delayed preparations for the games, which have led to endless traffic jams in the capital. Many have been worried too about the huge financial strain generated by Olympic preparations, which have nearly tripled the cost for the games to an estimated $7.29bn (3.94bn) from the time of their award in 1997." Read More at Athens is suddenly winning the race to be ready.

Posted by Darren at 05:38 PM

Bulgarian Olympic Weightlifters Banned

"Bulgarian Olympic weightlifting champion Galabin Boevski was banned for eight years on Saturday for tampering with his urine sample at last year's world championships.

International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) president Tamas Ajan said Boevski's team mates Zlatan Vanev and Georgi Markov were also given 18-month suspensions and would not be able to compete at the Athens Olympic Games.

The three were ruled to have tampered with their tests at the Vancouver world championships in November. The authorities said their urine samples were identical and had come from one person." Read More at Bulgarian weightlifting champ Boevski banned

Posted by Darren at 05:25 PM

Modern Pentathlon at a Glance

Eurosport has a good introduction to Modern pentathlon

"Modern Pentathlon is one of the more bizarre sports at the Olympic Games - or rather - it is a varied group of disciplines. Based on the adventures of a French army officer, it requires the competitor to perform five very different skills. Find out more with eurosport.com!!...

Modern pentathlon was originally dominated by the Swedes. Since World War II the Hungarians and the Soviets have become the top countries.

Scoring was originally done by a points-for-place system with the lowest score winning, but since 1956 the competition has been scored using points tables for each of the five events."

Posted by Darren at 05:01 PM

Introduction to Olympics Judo - Eurosport

Eurosport has a good introduction to Olympic Judo.

'"The word Judo means "the gentle way" in Japanese and is thought to have derived from jujitsu, the hand-to-hand combat technique of ancient samurai warriors. Although it is similar to other martial arts in that you gain victory by throwing your opponent to the floor, it is the only Olympic sport where submission holds allow choking an opponent or breaking an arm!"'

Posted by Darren at 04:59 PM

Olympic Ticket Sales Still Slow

'"With the Olympics just three weeks away, tourism industry officials are lamenting an apparent lack of interest in attending the Games.

More than half the tickets for the Games remain unsold, tour operators are reporting poor sales and 6,000 of 62,000 hotel rooms in the Greek capital have yet to be booked.

In fact, fewer tourists are expected to visit Greece this summer than last. That's a major concern in the Mediterranean country, where tourism accounts for 18 per cent of the country's gross domestic product."' Read More at CBC Sports: Olympic ticket sales sluggish.

Posted by Darren at 04:53 PM

Trevor Stewardson Cleared to Compete in Athens Olympics

'"Canadian boxer Trevor Stewardson won an appeal in a Quebec courtroom Thursday that clears the way for him to compete at the Athens Olympics.

Stewardson, who was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ont., but trains out of Medicine Hat, Alta., was contesting a Canadian Olympic Committee ruling that the silver medal he won at a qualifying tournament in Brazil was not sufficient to earn an Olympic berth."' Source - Boxer Stewardson wins Olympic spot on appeal

Posted by Darren at 04:52 PM

Athens Dogs and Drug Addicts Escape Death and Jail

With the Olympics fast approaching there had been reports that the clean up of athens would extend to a mass extermination of stray dogs and the locking up of the city's drug addicts. More recent reports indicate a relaxing of Athens officials approach to these issues.

'"In the months leading up to the Olympic Games, animal rights activists were beside themselves.

Rumors had began circulating that Athens city officials had plans to round up the capital's countless stray dogs and kill them off. The plans were part of overall efforts by the city to put on its best face for the 5 million visitors expected at the Olympic Games beginning Aug. 13.

Officials abandoned the idea following massive protest from Greek and European animal rights groups. Instead, they have rounded up the dogs, given them shots and released them onto the streets again....

But the campaign to clean up the sprawling capital continues. The city's garbage disposal problems, crumbling building facades and the addicts hanging around city squares are getting special attention leading up to the Games.

The deputy mayor of Athens has already warned heroin addicts that the increased security measures in place for the Games will lead to more arrests."'

Read More at - Athens Puts on Olympic Face | Olympic Games

Posted by Darren at 04:50 PM

Spain Defeats Britain 5 - 1 - Hockey

'Great Britain's Olympic build-up suffered another setback, when they slumped in Barcelona on Thursday.

A hat-trick from Santi Freixa punished the visitors,who missed a number of early chances.'

Great Britain 1-5 Spain

Posted by Darren at 04:41 PM

Great Britain Confident of 2 Gold Medals in Equestrian

The British Equestrian Team is confident of winning not just one Olympic Gold Medal but two in Athens.

'Great Britain are being tipped to walk away with double Olympic gold in the three-day eventing in Athens in August.

Britain won silver in the team event in Sydney four years ago and their best place in the individual event was Mary King's seventh place.

But team performance director Yogi Breisner told BBC Sport: "The gold is a more than realistic goal. We feel we can win gold in both events.'

Brits get golden backing

Posted by Darren at 04:39 PM

Todd Wells Qualifies for Olympic Mountain Bike

Todd Wells has qualified for the Mountain Mike event at the Athens Olympics.

'"Four years ago during the Sydney Summer Olympics, Todd Wells was a working stiff punching the clock for IBM in Tucson, Ariz.

He wanted to get back into mountain bike racing - something that he had done professionally for two years before he had gone back to finish college - but he hadn't been able to land a new sponsorship after his first stint in the pro ranks.

"At that time I wasn't riding my bike at all," Wells said. "The real work thing is pretty rough, though, so I decided to see if I could start racing again and get a job.""'

Read More at Vail Daily News for Vail and Beaver Creek Colorado - Sports.

Posted by Darren at 04:34 PM

Lenny Krayzelburg Qualifies for Athens

'"Swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg will go to the Athens Olympic Games, thanks to placing second in his race during the U.S. qualifying trials, a feat greeted with greater acclaim and emotion than his three gold medals in Sydney four years ago.

The Jewish immigrant from Odessa had the media, 10,000 spectators and even his rivals cheering as he finished the finals of the 100-meter backstroke in 54.06 seconds, behind world champion Aaron Peirsol.

With only the top two in every race assured a berth on the U.S. Olympic team, Krayzelburg beat third place Peter Marshall by four-hundredth of a second."'

Read More at The Jewish Journal Of Greater Los Angeles.

Posted by Darren at 04:32 PM

Andrew Inglis and Mr Burns Appeal Olympic Decision

'"Showjumper Mr Burns faces a tough battle at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday, when the appeal against his omission from Australia's Olympic squad is heard. But Mr Burns is all too familiar with battles.

Having been trucked to the knackery several years ago, seemingly destined to be processed into pet food, the now 13-year-old has leapt within sight of an Athens berth, pending the outcome of rider Andrew Inglis's appeal.

Mr Burns and Inglis claimed first place at a three-star competition in Vichy, France, last weekend, raising hopes they might displace incumbent rider Tim Amitrano and showjumper Mr Innocent at a CAS hearing, starting on Monday."'

Read More at Appealing story of battling Mr Burns - Athens2004 - www.theage.com.au

Posted by Darren at 04:18 PM

Olympic Virus Threat

'"Terrorism isn't the only security threat officials are worried about at this summer's Olympic Games in Athens. They're also concerned about viruses and worm attacks that could cripple the Olympics' data network.

"Our biggest concern is that somebody could intentionally or by mistake infect one of the networks and create severe damage," said Jean Chevallier, executive vice president at Atos Origin, the Paris-based company in charge of building the data and broadcast networks for the Olympic Games in Athens. "We don't want any type of traffic incident that could delay the posting of results or slow the network in any way," Chevallier said."' Read more at All eyes on virus protection at Athens Olympics | CNET News.com

Posted by Darren at 04:14 PM

Is the Olympics boring?

Hi everyone, this is my first time posting on this blog - thanks to Darren and Regan for finally convincing me that a blog on the Olympics will be interesting.

I've talked to lots of people and it seems that they're "over" the Olympics - they're too boring and a big waste of time and money.

I'm not so sure. The world is still in a state of unease and it's nice to know that once every four years, the world get can together and put those things to one side. Ahh, sounds like the speech of a Miss Universe contestant.

Is it like that in reality? The Olympics have often been a source for controversy: cheating, dirty tactics, scandals, intimidation, political wrangling, drugs, money and so on.

I don't think the Olympics are boring, but I certainly don't want to overdose on endless sport during this time (besides, I'll be asleep when most of the action takes place, coming from New Zealand).

What do you think? Should the Olympics stay as they are? Are they a huge waste of time, effort and money or is it still worthwhile to celebrate human achievement together?

Posted by Rachel at 04:14 PM

Jana Pittman Runs Prepares by Removing Hurdles

'"JANA PITTMAN will stare down the track tonight and there won't be a hurdle in sight.

Australia's great hope will begin her final pre-Olympic competition phase by taking on world leader Tonique Williams-Darling over 400m without the barriers at the Golden League meeting in Paris.

The flat race is designed to springboard Pittman into her last two 400m hurdles races before she goes to Athens intent on turning her world title last year into a gold medal."' Source - The Australian: Pittman goes flat out to find her stride [July 23, 2004]

Posted by Darren at 04:13 PM

NATO's Olympic Team

'"Now NATO is going to provide counterterrorism help to the Greek government for the Olympic Games. The assistance could consist of special forces, air and sea patrols and counterterrorism specialists.

This is a task NATO can and should _ and, indeed, must _ rise to, quickly resolving command-and-control and logistics issues. Greece is a NATO member and Athens is not Kabul or Afghanistan. In short, there's no excuse for messing up this mission. And an effective joint performance in Greece, modest as that assignment is, might go some way toward healing the split that Iraq caused between the United States and Britain and key partners France, Germany and Spain."'

Source NATO's Olympic Team

Posted by Darren at 03:33 PM

Athens Olympics Badminton Seedings

'"There were no last-minute withdrawals and the seedings for the Athens Olympic Games badminton competitions went by the book."'

The seedings are as follows:

Mens singles: 1. Lin Dan (Chn), 2. Chen Hong (Chn), 3. Wong Choong Hann (Mas), 4. Bao Chunlai (Chn), 5. Lee Hyun-il (Kor), 6. Peter Gade-Christensen (Den), 7. Shon Seung-mo (Kor), 8. Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina).

Mens doubles: 1. Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen (Den), 2. Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng (Chn), 3. Kim Dong-moon-Ha Tae-kwon (Kor), 4. Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah (Mas), 5. Jens Eriksen-Martin Lundgaard Hansen (Den), 6. Sang Yang-Zheng Bo (Chn), 7. Luluk Hadiyanto-Alven Yulianto (Ina), 8. Flandi Limpele-Eng Hian (Ina).

Womens singles: 1. Gong Ruina (Chn), 2. Zhang Ning (Chn), 3. Zhou Mi (Chn), 4. Mia Audina (Ned), 5. Wang Chen (Hkg), 6. Jun Jae-youn (Kor), 7. Camilla Martin (Den), 8. Pi Hongyan (Fra).

Womens doubles: 1. Yang Wei-Zhang Jiewen (Chn), 2. Gao Ling-Huang Sui (Chn), 3. Ra Kyung-min-Lee Kyung-won (Kor), 4. Wei Yili-Zhao Tingting (Chn), 5. Mia Audina-Lotte Bruil-Jonathans (Ned), 6. Hwang Yu-mi-Lee Hyo-jung (Kor), 7. Rikke Olsen-Ann-Lou Jorgensen (Den), 8. Chikako Nakayama-Keiko Yoshitomi (Jpn)

Mixed doubles: 1. Kim Dong-moon-Ra Kyung-min (Kor), 2. Zhang Jun-Gao Ling (Chn), 3. Kim Yong-hyun-Lee Hyo-jung (Kor), 4. Nathan Robertson-Gail Emms (Eng), 5. Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thungthongkam (Tha), 6. Chen Qiqiu-Zhao Tingting (Chn), 7. Jonas Rasmussen-Rikke Olsen (Den), 8. Nova Widianto-Vita Marissa (Ina).

Source - No surprises in badminton seedings for Olympics

Posted by Darren at 03:31 PM

Lisa Fernandez - Olympic Profile

Sports Network has a good profile of US Softballer, Lisa Fernandez

'"Sometimes athletes have to go to extreme measures to challenge themselves after being successful for so long.

That has been the case recently for pitcher Lisa Fernandez and the rest of the United States softball team, gold medal winners of the only two Olympic competitions - in 1996 and 2000. Team USA recently had back-to-back no-hitters on their "Aiming for Athens" tour, on the way to this year's Summer Games in Greece. The softball team has a pre-Olympic tour winning streak of 166, dating back to 1996. "'

Read More at The Post-Searchlight.

Posted by Darren at 02:43 PM

US Women's Gymnastics Team Aim for Repeat Gold

The US Women's Gymnastics Team is hoping for a repeat Gold Medal performance in Athens.

'"Two women in their 20's, thought to be too old for competitive elite-level gymnastics, and four teenagers make up the U.S. team that will try to win gold in Athens.

As an 18-year-old, Mohini Bhardwaj, just missed making the 1996 U.S. team, finishing 10th at the team trials. Now 25, the last time she competed at an international competition was as a member of the United States 2001 World Championship bronze-medal team."'

US Olympic Women Gymnasts Want Gold Medal Repeat

Posted by Darren at 02:32 PM

Athens Gears up for Cultural Games

Athens is not only getting ready for the hoards of tourists wanting to see sporting action but also for those wanting culture. In fact many of the museums and galleries in Athens are working on bringing sport and culture together in the coming months.

'"Athens' museums and galleries are mounting sport-oriented shows and planning longer than usual viewing hours for culturally minded visitors to the Olympics.

After two years of renovation, the National Archaeological Museum will reopen with a show titled "The Sport Spirit in Ancient Greece" including 280 artifacts from its own collections. The Museum of Cycladic Art has organized a show titled "Magna Graecia: Athletics and the Olympic Spirit" tracing the Olympic ideal to the frontiers of the ancient Greek world with more than 270 archaeological objects from 30 museums in Greece and Italy."'
Source: Athens gears up for cultural Olympics

Posted by Darren at 02:31 PM

Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi Could Miss Olympics

'Israel's Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi could miss playing at the Athens Olympics because of a sponsorship row.

The world number 17's clothing sponsors Lotto will not allow her to wear the official team kit during matches.'

Source Smashnova faces Games blow

Posted by Darren at 02:27 PM

Rachelle Kunkel Wins 1m Springboard Title

'"Rachelle Kunkel won her third straight women's 1-meter springboard title Thursday at the U.S. national diving championships.

Kunkel, of West Valley City, Utah, beat Cassandra Cardinell 295.83 points to 254.31. Though she failed to advance to the 3-meter springboard finals at the championships, she will represent the United States in that event at the Athens Olympics.

"Yesterday was a huge bummer. It was terrible," Kunkel said of the 3-meter failure. "I'm definitely going to learn from that experience."

She qualified for the 3-meter in Athens last month and the Olympics trials."' Read More at: Kunkel wins 1-meter springboard; Dumais advances in 3-meter

Posted by Darren at 02:18 PM

Marion Jones Used Drugs - Ex Husband Alledges

'"Track and field superstar Marion Jones was using banned performance-enhancing drugs when she won five medals, three of them gold, at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, her ex-husband has told federal investigators probing the BALCO steroids scandal.

C.J. Hunter, a former shot-put champion and admitted steroid user who was divorced from Jones in 2002, said his ex-wife had had human growth hormone and a steroid-like substance known as "the clear" with her at the Sydney Games. At times, Hunter said, he personally injected Jones with banned substances. He also reported seeing Jones inject herself with drugs at the residence they shared in Australia, according to investigators' memos obtained by The Chronicle." ' Source - Ex-husband told feds Jones used banned substances during 2000 Olympics:

Posted by Darren at 02:10 PM

Olympic Virus Threats

CNET has an interesting article on the threat of viruses in the Olympic data network in Athens and the precautions that are being taken against this eventuality.

'Terrorism isn't the only security threat officials are worried about at this summer's Olympic Games in Athens. They're also concerned about viruses and worm attacks that could cripple the Olympics' data network.

"Our biggest concern is that somebody could intentionally or by mistake infect one of the networks and create severe damage," said Jean Chevallier, executive vice president at Atos Origin, the Paris-based company in charge of building the data and broadcast networks for the Olympic Games in Athens. "We don't want any type of traffic incident that could delay the posting of results or slow the network in any way," Chevallier said.'

Read more at All eyes on virus protection at Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 11:45 AM

Olympic Village Handed Over

The Olympic Village has officially been handed over to organizers.

'Control of the Olympic Village was officially handed to games organizers Thursday, a day before team officials arrive to inspect the complex.

�The Olympic village will be the heart of the games,� said chief Olympic organizer Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki. �It is an emotional moment.�

Labor minister Panos Panayiotopoulos gave Angelopoulos-Daskalaki a symbolic key to the village. The Olympic village opens its doors to athletes July 30, but heads of the teams are scheduled to arrive in Greece on Friday.

During the Aug. 13-29 Games, the village will be home to about 16,000 athletes and officials, including International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge. The $397 million complex includes a hospital, drug test center, places of worship and restaurant, plus a swimming pool, track and two gyms.

The construction of the village in the Menidi suburb, about nine miles northwest of central Athens, was beset by the same delays that hampered overall preparations. Several workers were killed at the site during its construction, with unions blaming the intense work schedule for the accidents.'

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM

Dissent in Athens

A number of groups are beginning to protest against the Athens Olympics including a group called 'Dissent!'.

'Dissent! is a network of groups and individuals taking action against the G8 in Britain in 2005. Our struggle against the globalisation of exploitation and capital means that we are in solidarity with the struggles of all the common people around the globe. In the coming month the focus of the global bosses is the Olympic Games in Athens (Greece).

The preparations for what is perhaps the biggest spectacle in the world are well under way. So far national and international corporate media have largely focused on the construction (or not) of the Olympic venues. The social effects and consequences of the Games however, remain largely unreported. Already massive environmental damage has been caused plus nineteen workers have lost their lives in the so-called working "accidents" whilst working at the Olympic venues' construction sites. At the same time, the Olympics have proven to be the perfect excuse for the Greek State to attack all the social groups that are in the margins, in fact, everyone refusing to participate in the corporate spectacle that the Olympics are. ' Read More at Popular dissent against the Olympic Corporate Games

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM

Australia may send Armed Guards to Athens

Australia is considering sending armed guards to Athens to protect its Olympic team despite officials in Athens disallowing teams to have armed security.

'Australian Prime Minister John Howard said Thursday his government is considering whether its team needs protection in Athens.

According to a New York Times report, US, Israeli and possibly British security guards would be allowed to carry weapons to protect their athletes at the Olympics, to be held Aug 13-29.

Greece has otherwise insisted it will not let foreign guards carry weapons to protect athletes at the event. The Australian government earlier said it would not send armed guards with its athletes.

Source - Olympics 2004, Athens > Armed guards likely for Australian team in Athens

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM

Jenny Thompson - Olympics Profile

The Sport Network has a good profile of US Swimmer Jenny Thompson - the most decorated female Olympian of all-time.

'"I think that my perspective on things have changed a lot," said Thompson. "I'm having a lot more fun with the sport than I ever have. I'm more relaxed with it. The gold medal isn't the main priority at these Games for me. I would love to do the best I can for my country and I want to swim better than I ever have before. The gold medal isn't waking me up. It's not what's getting me out of bed in the morning."'

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM

Laszlo Cseh Breaks Bone in Foot

Laszlo Cseh, one of the swimmers tipped to challenge Michael Phelps in Athens in medly races, has reportedly broken a bone in his foot at a training camp this week.

'The 18-year-old European champion in the 400 individual medley and 100 backstroke will have further examinations on the broken metatarsal bone today in Budapest's Sport Hospital.' Read More at Phelps' medley rival breaks foot.

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM

Medal Hopes for Canadian Women's Water Polo Team

The Canadian Women's Water Polo team is ranked fourth in the world, but is almost unknown in their home country.

Little-known Canadian women's water polo squad has Olympic medal hopes

The team led by shooter Ann Dow of Montreal and centre Cora Campbell of Calgary is one of Canada's brighter hopes for the Games in Athens. The Canadians are ranked fourth in the world, winning a silver medal at the Pan Am Games last summer and bronze at the 2002 world championships.

Posted by at 08:20 AM

Anger over scheduling at Opening Ceremony

New Zealand Olympic team officials are angry at the late scheduling of the athletes march past in the Athens opening ceremony.

Athletes will not be on the track until after 11 o'clock at night, meaning that they will not be back in the village until two in the morning.

This means most of the rowing and sailing teams will not make the opening, given they are competing on the first full day of competition.

New Zealand chef de mission Dave Currie had an issue with the late opening at the Manchester Commonwealth Games, and says he is angry with officials who constantly say the Games are all about the athletes, but then they schedule the opening ceremony so late.


Posted by at 07:51 AM

July 22, 2004

Athens Traffic Map

athens_traffic.jpgThe Athens Traffic Map is going to be a very interesting site to watch over the month.

I'm tipping we might see a bit of red on the map come 13 August.

Found via Konnecke

Posted by Darren at 11:02 PM

Mark Lewis-Francis Looks for Double Gold

'Mark Lewis-Francis believes he will return from the Athens Olympics with two medals.

The 21-year-old has set his sights on a top-three finish in the individual 100m and is tipping the British 4x100m relay squad to beat the USA to gold.

"The team has a really good chance of gold and we showed last year that we are almost the equal of the Americans," said the Wolverhampton sprinter.' Source Lewis-Francis eyes double.

Posted by Darren at 05:55 PM

Olympic Shotput History

The International Association of Athletics Federation has a good history of men's and women's Shot Put.

'Olympia will play host to an important piece of sporting history when the Athletics celebrations of the XXVIII Olympic Games of the modern era whose centre is the Greek capital Athens, commence on Wednesday 18 August 2004.

The qualification and finals for both the men�s and women�s Olympic Shot Put competitions will take place on that day in the original Olympic stadium.'

Read More at:
- A Snap SHOT of Olympic History - Women
- A snap SHOT of Olympic history - Men

Posted by Darren at 05:48 PM

US defeates Australia in Women's Soccer

'Mia Hamm has a knack for scoring timely goals. Her latest unloaded a burden just in time for the Olympics.

Hamm scored her 150th career goal on Wednesday as the United States defeated Australia 3-1 in a pre-Olympic warmup before a sellout crowd of 10,276 at the National Sports Center.

"It meant a lot," Hamm said of scoring No. 150 before next month's Olympic Games. "Now I don't have to worry about it or answer any of those questions in Athens. I can get that off my shoulders and focus on what I need to do and the team needs to do to be successful at the Olympics."' Read more at Hamm's 150th goal rallies U.S. past Australia.

Posted by Darren at 05:40 PM

Chinese Olympic Uniform

olympic_suit.jpgChina have unveiled their very Red Olympics uniforms for the Athens Olympics (pictured left).

They should stand out at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Get more pictures of the Chinese Olympic Uniforms at China View.

Found via Danwei.

Posted by Darren at 02:35 PM

Molotov Cocktails Hit Olympics Office in Athens

The protests against the Olympics continue to come in Greece - the last one involving violence.

'TWO Molotov cocktails were thrown early today at the Greek culture ministry, in charge of preparing next month's Olympic Games, and the nearby "Cultural Olympiad" offices in downtown Athens, causing slight damage, police said.

The two buildings, which in principle are under police guard, are behind the Greek national archaeological museum in the traditionally anti-establishment student quarter of Exarchia.' Read More at - Molotov cocktails hit Games office.

Posted by Darren at 02:26 PM

Malaysia hopes Leong Mun Yee can Make Diving Finals

'Coach Yang Zhuliang is targeting national number one women's diver Leong Mun Yee to become the first-ever Malaysian to qualify for the Olympic 3m springboard final in Athens next month.�

Mun Yee is one of the three Malaysian divers for the Olympics and she has switched to a higher degree of difficulty in her dives after a month-long training stint in China.�

She has been practising on a 3.1 level of difficulty in which only the Chinese women had executed previously.�' Read More at Coach feels Mun Yee can dive into the record books.

Posted by Darren at 01:37 PM

Australian Boxer Will Compete While on Bail

'The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has cleared boxer Peter Wakefield to compete at next month's Athens Olympics despite being on bail over an alleged assault charge.

The Adelaide Advertiser newspaper reported Thursday that the 26-year-old Wakefield had been scheduled to stand trial this month with two co-accused but the court case had been postponed until June 2005.' Read More at - Australian Olympic Boxer to Compete While on Bail.

Posted by Darren at 01:37 PM

Chris Colwill and Terry Horner Set for Athens in 1m Springboard

Chris Colwill has won the 1 meter springboard championship at the US National Diving Meet in the lead up to Athens.

'Colwill, of Brandon, Fla., scored 380.25 points and said he was disappointed the event isn't in the Olympics.

"The 1-meter is my favorite event," he said. "I felt more confident this year than in past years, when I was having trouble making my dives."

Terry Horner of Orlando, Fla., was second with 350.31 points, while Jason Coben, of Ann Arbor, Mich., placed third with 338.04.

The nationals are the final tuneup before next month's Athens Olympics, with many of the Olympic qualifiers training through the meet to prepare.' Read More at - Colwill wins 1-meter springboard; Soldati advances.

Posted by Darren at 01:28 PM

Christ Colwill and Terry Horner Set for Athens in 1m Springboard

Chris Colwill has won the 1 meter springboard championship at the US National Diving Meet in the lead up to Athens.

'Colwill, of Brandon, Fla., scored 380.25 points and said he was disappointed the event isn't in the Olympics.

"The 1-meter is my favorite event," he said. "I felt more confident this year than in past years, when I was having trouble making my dives."

Terry Horner of Orlando, Fla., was second with 350.31 points, while Jason Coben, of Ann Arbor, Mich., placed third with 338.04.

The nationals are the final tuneup before next month's Athens Olympics, with many of the Olympic qualifiers training through the meet to prepare.' Read More at - Colwill wins 1-meter springboard; Soldati advances.

Posted by Darren at 01:24 PM

China Hopes for Gold in Shooting

China's Shooting team are hopeful of Gold Medals in Athens for the first time at an Olympic Games.

'From the time sheet and the Midas touch of their coaches, the Chinese marksmen and markswomen will most probably materialize their 3-gold trip to Athens to command a bright prospect for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Xu Haifeng, head coach of the Chinese shooting team, said that "we can achieve our goal of gold medals should one third of our athletes perform to their forms in Athens."'

Olympic Preview: Chinese shooters bank on time sheet for glories in Athens

Posted by Darren at 01:20 PM

Chinese Women's Football Team Aims for Gold

China's women's football team are eying off the Gold medal at the Athens Olympics.

' "Although it's a difficult job, our squad will try their best to win a medal and regain the glory of the yesteryears," Xue Li, vice president of the Chinese Football Association said here Wednesday.

Xue said, "Our baseline is set on the semi-finals, and win a medal if we are lucky enough."

The Chinese team won its ticket for Athens after all-victory matches in Japan where they emerged as Asia's No.1 for the Athens Olympic games, conceding no goals throughout the qualifying tournaments.

The qualifying matches in April was "encouraging", Xue said, but this is by no means to say that the Chinese team has come back with the power and confidence it possessed years ago when it had such veterans as Sun Qingmei and Sun Wen, who were awarded FIFA's "Miss Football of the World" respectively in 1991 and 1999.' Source - Chinese women footballers eye Olympic medal

Posted by Darren at 01:16 PM

Athens Olympics Marathon Route Will be Ready

'The Athens Olympics marathon route, one of the most criticised projects of next month's Games, will be ready for athletes next week after huge delays, Greece's Public Works Minister said on Thursday.

Major renovation work on the historic 42-km ancient marathon route - one of the highlights of the Athens Games - will be unveiled on Tuesday, George Souflias told reporters.

He said the troubled road widening project, originally due for completion last year, would be delivered within the International Olympic Committee (IOC) deadline.'

Read more at Olympics marathon will be ready.

Posted by Darren at 12:51 PM

Artour Samsonov - US Rowing Team

'Artour Samsonov joined the Grosse Pointe South High rowing team as a freshman in 1994, not looking to find athletic success but to make friends.

That day changed everything. It brought the Russian immigrant not only social acceptance, but eventually an education at Harvard and now a trip to Athens, Greece, as a U.S. Olympian.

Samsonov, who went by Arthur then, moved to Grosse Pointe Park from Dubna, a Russian town of 120,000 where life revolves around a nuclear science laboratory the way life in Detroit revolves around cars.' Read More at Samsonov will row his boat in Athens.

Posted by Darren at 12:31 PM

Australian Olympic Team Announced

'The Australian Olympic Committee today announced the full Team for the Athens Games which begin on August 13. 481 athletes, the biggest Team the AOC has ever sent overseas, will compete in 27 of the 28 sports on the Athens program. This compares with 424 athletes sent to the Atlanta Games in 1996 and 290 athletes in Barcelona in 1992.' Source - Record Number Heading for Athens Games


David Barnes; Deonne Bridger; Tim Cuddihy; Simon Fairweather; Jo-Ann Galbraith; Melissa Jennison.

Luke Adams; Justin Anlezark; Adam Basil; Sisay Bezabeh (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); Paul Burgess; Christie Dawes; Nathan Deakes (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); Paul Di Bella (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); Patrick Dwyer; Oliver Dziubak; Bronwyn Eagles; Kurt Fearnley; David Geddes (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); William Hamlyn-Harris; Nicholas Harrison; Clinton Hill; Lauren Hewitt; Steven Hooker; Kym Howe; Benita Johnson; Sarah Jamieson; Patrick Johnson (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); Brooke Krueger; Tamsyn Lewis; Dmitri Markov; Kerryn McCann; Kristopher McCarthy; Haley McGregor; Andrew McManus (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); Adam Miller (for relay position subject to IAAF confirmation); Craig Mottram; Andrew Murphy; Peter Nowill; Mark Ormrod (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); Jana Pittman; Petrina Price; Stuart Rendell; Joshua Ross (subject to outcome of appeal by Patrick Johnson in CAS for 100m. For relay position subject to IAAF confirmation); Jane Saville; Natalie Saville; Louise Sauvage; Deborah Sosimenko; Eliza Stankovic; John Steffensen (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); Bronwyn Thompson; Lee Troop; Casey Vincent (for relay position subject to IAAF confirmation); Cheryl Webb; Kylie Wheeler.

Ashley Brehaut; Stuart Brehaut; Jane Crabtree; Travis Denney; Lenny Permana; Kate Wilson-Smith.

Craig Anderson; Thomas Brice; Adrian Burnside; Trent Durrington; Gavin Fingleson; Paul Gonzalez; Justin Huber; Nick Kimpton; Brendan Kingman; Craig Lewis; Graeme Lloyd; David Nilsson; Trent Oeltjen; Wayne Ough; Chris Oxspring; Brett Roneberg; Ryan Rowland Smith; John Stephens; Phillip Stockman; Brett Tamburrino; Richard Thompson; Rodney van Buizen; Glenn Williams; Jeff Williams.

Men: David Andersen; Andrew Bogut; Calvin Bruton; Martin Cattalini; Shane Heal; Brett Maher; Matthew Nielsen; John Rillie; Paul Rogers; Anthony Ronaldson; Glen Saville; Jason Smith.
Women: Suzy Batkovic; Sandra Brondello; Trish Fallon; Kristi Harrower; Lauren Jackson; Natalie Porter; Alicia Poto; Belinda Snell; Rachael Sporn; Laura Summerton; Penelope Taylor; Allison Tranquilli.

Joel Brunker; Adam Forsyth; Bradley Hore; Ryan Langham; Anthony Little; Anoushirvan Nourian; Gerard O'Mahony; Jamie Pittman; Peter Wakefield.

Nathan Baggaley; Kate Barclay; Robin Bell; Mark Bellofiore; Daniel Collins; Warwick Draper; Martin Marinov; Chantal Meek (K2 500m subject to appeal against decision of ICF in the CAS); Lachlan Milne; Louise Natoli; Lisa Oldenhof; Amanda Rankin (K2 500m subject to appeal against decision of ICF in the CAS); David Rhodes; Clint Robinson.

Mountain bike: Joshua Fleming (selected team member. Subject to outcome of reported likely appeal by Chris Jongewaard in CAS); Lisa Mathison; Sidney Taberlay.
Road: Sara Carrigan; Baden Cooke; Olivia Gollan; Robert McEwen; Stuart O'Grady; Michael Rogers; Matthew White; Oenone Wood.
Track: Katherine Bates; Graeme Brown; Peter Dawson; Brett Lancaster; Kate Mactier; Bradley McGee; Anna Meares; Mark Renshaw; Luke Roberts; Stephen Wooldridge; Ryan Bayley; Jobie Dajka (held for consideration pending conclusion of Justice Andersons investigation of this cyclist. If not by IOC deadline on 21 July, Jobie Dajka will be selected and entered subject to Andersons inverstigation.); Sean Eadie (subject to outcome of appeal by Ben Kersten in the CAS); Shane Kelly.

Steven Barnett; Lynda Dackiw; Lynda Folauhola; Mathew Helm; Irina Lashko; Chantelle Michell; Robert Newbery; Loudy Tourky.

Tim Amitrano (subject to outcome of appeal by Andrew Inglis in CAS); Olivia Bunn; Phillip Dutton; Mary Hanna; Andrew Hoy; Phillip Dutton; Erica MacMillan; Stuart Tinney; Rebel Morrow; Olivia Bunn.

Frank Bartolillo; Evelyn Halls; Seamus Robinson.

Men: John Aloisi; Alex Brosque; Tim Cahill; Shane Cansdell-Sherriff; Anthony Danze; Spase Dilevski; Ahmad Elrich; Eugen Galekovic; Ryan Griffiths; Brett Holman; Bradley Jones; Adrian Madaschi; Jonathan McKain; Craig Moore; Jade North; David Tarka; Carl Valeri; Luke Wilkshire.
Women: Dianne Alagich, Melissa Barbieri, Rhian Davies, Lisa De Vanna, Gillian Foster, Heather Garriock, Tal Karp, Cassandra Kell, Selin Kuralay, Kylie Ledbrook, Joanne Peters, Karla Reuter, Cheryl Salisbury (c), Sally Shipard, Thea Slatyer, Danielle Small, Sacha Wainwright, Sarah Walsh.

Artistic women: Danielle Kelly; Stephanie Moorhouse; Melissa Munro; Karen Nguyen (reserve); Monette Russo; Lisa Skinner; Allana Slater.
Artistic men: Philippe Rizzo.
Rhythmic: Penelope Blackmore.
Trampolining: Lesley Daly.

Men: Michael Brennan; Travis Brooks; Dean Butler; Liam De Young; Jamie Dwyer; Nathan Eglington; Troy Elder; Bevan George; Robert Hammond; Mark Hickman; Mark Knowles; Brent Livermore; Michael McCann; Stephan Mowlan; Grant Schubert; Matthew Wells.
Women: Katie Allen; Carmel Bakurski; Toni Cronk; Louise Dobson; Suzanne Faulkner; Peta Gallagher; Emily Halliday; Nikki Hudson; Rachel Imison; Bianca Netzler; Katrina Powell (c); Angie Skirving; Karen Smith; Sarah Taylor; Julie Towers; Melanie Twitt.

Catherine Arlove; Sonya Chervonsky; Andrew Collett; Carly Dixon; Morgan Endicott-Davies; Daniel Kelly; Martin Kelly; Jessica Malone; Maria Pekli; Semir Pepic; Heath Young.

Modern pentathlon
Eszter Hortobagyi; Alex Parygin.

Men's eight: Bo Hanson, Michael McKay, Stuart Reside, Geoffrey Stewart, James Stewart, Stephen Stewart, Stefan Szczurowski, Michael Toon (cox).
Men's coxless four: Stuart Welch; David Dennis, Robert Jahrling, Tom Laurich, David McGowan.
Men's coxless pair: Drew Ginn, James Tomkins.
Men's quad scull: Scott Brennan, Shaun Coulton, David Crawshay, Duncan Free.
Men's double scull: Peter Hardcastle, Brendan Long.
Men's single scull: Craig Jones.
Men's lightweight coxless four: Simon Burgess, Ben Cureton, Anthony Edwards, Glen Loftus.
Men's lightweight double scull: George Jelbart, Cameron Wurf.
Women's eight: Kyeema Doyle, Katie Foulkes (cox), Monique Heinke, Catriona Oliver, Sarah Outhwaite, Victoria Roberts, Sally Robbins, Julia Wilson, Jodi Winter.
Women's quad/double squad: Amber Bradley, Kerry Hore, Dana Faletic, Donna Martin, Jane Robinson, Rebecca Sattin.
Women's lightweight double scull: Amber Halliday, Sally Newmarch.

Jennifer Armstrong; Colin Beashel; Nicky Bethwaite; Michael Blackburn; Sarah Blanck; Gary Boyd; Darren Bundock; Jessica Crisp; John Forbes; David Giles; Karyn Gojnich; Lars Kleppich; Kristin Kosmala; Christopher Nicholson; Anthony Nossiter; Malcolm Page; Belinda Stowell; Nathan Wilmot.

Suzanne Balogh; George Barton; Michael Diamond; Kim Frazer; Stephen Haberman; Matthew Inabinet; Timothy Lowndes; Lauryn Mark; Susan McCready; David Moore; Warren Potent; Bruce Quick; Paul Rahman; Daniel Repacholi; Linda Ryan; Susan Trindall; Tom Turner; Adam Vella; Bryan Wilson; Annette Woodward; Lalita Yauhleuskaya.

Sandra Allen; Marissa Carpadios; Fiona Crawford; Amanda Doman; Peta Edebone; Tanya Harding; Natalie Hodgskin; Simmone Morrow; Tracey Mosley; Stacey Porter; Melanie Roche; Natalie Titcume; Natalie Ward; Brooke Wilkins; Kerry Wyborn.

Men: Ashley Callus; Grant Hackett; Regan Harrison; Brett Hawke; Geoff Huegill; Michael Klim; Adam Lucas; Antony Matkovich; Patrick Murphy; Travis Nederpelt; Justin Norris; Todd Pearson; Adam Pine; Jim Piper; Nicholas Sprenger; Craig Stevens; Eamon Sullivan; Ian Thorpe; Jonathan Van Hazel; Josh Watson; Matthew Welsh.
Women: Frances Adcock;Lara Carroll; Michelle Engelsman; Felicity Galvez; Elka Graham; Marieke Guehrer; Brooke Hanson; Leisel Jones; Jodie Henry; Lisbeth Lenton; Linda MacKenzie; Alice Mills; Melissa Mitchell; Melissa Morgan; Sarah Paton; Shayne Reese; Jennifer Reilly; Giaan Rooney; Sarah Ryan; Jessicah Schipper; Petria Thomas.

Synchronised Swimming
Amanda Laird; Leonie Nichols.

Table tennis
Men: Trevor Brown; William Henzell; Russell Lavale; David Zalcberg.
Women: Miao Miao; Jian Fang Lay.

Men: Caroline Bartasek; Daniel Trenton.
Women: Caroline Massimino; Tina Morgan.

Men: Wayne Arthurs; Mark Philippoussis; Todd Woodbridge.
Women: Alicia Molik; Nicole Pratt; Samantha Stosur; Rennae Stubbs.

Men: Greg Bennett; Peter Robertson; Simon Thompson.
Women: Loretta Harrop; Rina Hill; Maxine Seear.

Men: Brett Alderman; David Beard; Luke Campbell; Zane Christensen; Andrew Earl; David Ferguson; Benjamin Hardy; Daniel Howard; Travis Moran; Grant Sorensen; Hidde Van Beest; Matthew Young.

Beach volleyball men: Julien Prosser; Andrew Schacht; Joshua Slack; Mark Williams.
Beach volleyball women: Natalie Cook; Summer Lochowicz; Kerri-Ann Pottharst; Nicole Sanderson.

Water polo
Men: Pietro Figlioli; Trent Franklin; Toby Jenkins; Sam McGregor; Craig Miller; Timothy Neesham; Aleksandr Osadchuk; Dean Semmens; James Stanton; Rafael Sterk; Nathan Thomas; Thomas Whalan; Gavin Woods.
Women: Belinda Brooks; Jemma Brownlow; Naomi Castle; Nikita Cuffe; Joanne Fox; Kate Gynther; Kelly Heuchan; Emma Knox; Elise Norwood; Melissa Rippon; Rebecca Rippon; Bronwyn Smith; Jodie Stuhmcke.

Sergo Chakhoyan; Deborah Lovely (subject to outcome of appeal by Caroline Pileggi in the Federal Court).

Ali Abdo.

Note: The four wheelchair athletics athletes will compete in "exhibition events" at the Olympic Games. Any medals won in these events are not included in the official Olympic Team medal tally. The AOC considers these athletes full members of the Australian Olympic Team and they are therefore included in the athletes numbers above.

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM

Cathy Freeman - Unsure Aussie Team is Clean

'Cathy Freeman said she could not be certain Australia's Olympic team was drug-free, short of "standing face-to-face with them, looking them in the eye and have them explain to me about what the hell's going on".

The retired Australian sprinter also expressed concern for the well-being of close friend Marion Jones, whom she fears may be suffering emotionally after the BALCO drug scandal in the US.

Speaking at Telstra Stadium yesterday, where her Olympic 400 metres triumph in 2000 was nominated as the venue's greatest moment, Freeman said she feared that in the present drug-tainted sports climate doubts would be raised over her achievements.' Read More at Freeman not sure team is clean.

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM

John Capel and Coby Miller Make 'Relay Pool' in Athens

'World 200-meter champion John Capel and Louisville native Coby Miller were among 12 sprinters placed in the relay pool for the Athens Olympics by USA Track & Field early Monday.

Capel, who failed to qualify for the U.S. team in the 100 or 200 at the Olympic Trials, was one of three named to the men's 400-meter relay pool.

Miller, a 2000 Olympian in both the 100 and 200, also made the 4x100 pool. He finished fourth in the 100 at the trials with a time of 9.99 seconds.

Miller was a state champion at Louisville High in football and track. He played football one year at East Central Community College and was a track All-American at Meridian CC before attending Auburn.' Read More at Capel, Miller make U.S. relay pool

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM

Olympic Synchronized Swimming Preview

Z Wire has a good preview of Olympics Synchronized Swimming in Athens. It includes a history of Olympic Synchronized Swimming as well as a preview for Athens.

'In the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, held in Athens in April, The Belarus duo of Khrystsina Markovich and Nastassia Vlasenka finished in first place, followed by the Belgian team of Assia Anastassova and Bogdana Zareva. Sandra Schwarz and Bettina Wrase of Germany were in third. The Russians, 2003 world champions, are expected to be at the top of their game again. Four years ago Olga Brusnikina and Maria Kisseleva won the duet and Russia also won the team gold medal. Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova are the top duet competitors for Russia this year. Four years ago Miya Tachibana and Miho Takeda won the silver medal for Japan in the duet and helped the Japanese to another silver in team. The two are expected to compete again at the Olympics this year.'

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM

Phil Trinter - Olympics Preview

Sports Network has a good Olympics preview of US Sailer Phil Trinter.

'Trinter had two passions in life - football and sailing. He loved football so much he received a scholarship to Indiana University. Trinter, a 6-foot-6, hulking offensive tackle, was a four-year letterman for head coach Bill Mallory and the Hoosiers from 1988-91. He even appeared in four college post- season bowls, including the 1990 Peach Bowl.

With his football behind him, Trinter now set his sights on sailing. He went into the working world, seeking some for employment. He when on to meet Joe Londrigan, who lured him onto a Star crew and the rest became history. Trinter and Londrigan went on to win the 1992 Star North Americans and a year later they were world champions.

Trinter became a member of the United States Sailing Team in 1993 and even sailed with Dennis Conner aboard STARS & STRIPES in the 1995 America's Cup in San Diego.'

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM

Shane Hamman - Olympics Profile

The Search Post has a good Olympics preview of Shane Hamman - US Heavy-weight weightlifting champion.

'He's already considered the strongest man in the United States and can squat over 1,000 pounds, clean and jerk 500 and snatch 430. With a 22-inch neck, 22-inch biceps, 22-inch calves, 35-inch thighs, not to mention a long braided beard, Hamman can look like a bully, but he's really a big teddy bear. "That happens sometimes, but most people like it. They like my look and they're not intimidated by me," Hamman said about his tough look. "I'm a pretty nice guy."'

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM

Olympic Security to Cost $1.5 billion

'The security budget for the Athens Games, the costliest in Olympic history, has increased by another 25 percent to about $1.5 billion.

Greek officials previously put the cost of safeguarding the Aug. 13-29 games at $1.2 billion, or three times more than Sydney spent in 2000.

Deputy Finance Minister Petros Doukas on Wednesday put the security costs at about $1.5 billion, attributing the rise to increasing security demands by foreign governments. He did not give specifics.' Read More at Olympic security budget rises to $1.5B

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM

American Special Forces to Help Protect Olympics

'Responding to a request from Greece, the United States has committed 400 American special forces soldiers to the job of helping protect the Olympic Games next month, a U.S. counterterrorism official said Wednesday.

It is not yet decided whether the armed soldiers would be in Athens, on the nearby island of Crete or remain on alert in Europe, where they are based in Germany, the official said.

The United States is in the process of discussing with the Greek government where the soldiers will be positioned, the official said.
Source - American Special Forces Will Help Protect Olympic Games

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM

UK rowing team in good form

Despite some losses the UK rowing team say they are improving their times, and in for a good chance.

Christian Cormack added: �Ed was very much the experienced person in the boat, so losing him came as a blow.

�But now we have regrouped and our preparations are going very well.�

The eight showed good form last year, winning bronze in the World Cup, although several of that successful team will not be making the trip to Athens.

Yet Phil said he was confident that the boat has the pace required to succeed on the biggest stage.

"In training and races we have produced real flashes of speed,� he said

Source: Walton Online

Posted by at 08:33 AM

First Olympic Medals Being Produced

1 Ton of bronze, and 13 kilos of Gold. Wow.

A group of 15 specialists have started cutting the medals that will be awarded to winners at the Athens Games.

More than 3,100 medals will be minted � 986 gold, 986 silver and 1,150 bronze.

Also there will be around 3,300 Paralympic medals.

The Olympic medal shows the statue of Winged Victory of Peonios at Olympia against the Panathenaic Stadium on one side, and the Olympic Flame against an extract of Pindar�s Eighth Olympic Ode on the other side.

The Paralympic medal bears an image of a seahorse � the official logo for the Athens Paralympic Games � and the phrase Athens 2004 in Braille on one side, and the Acropolis on the other side.

Source: Olympic Medals Produced

Posted by at 08:30 AM

Athens Mosque will not be ready for Olympics

ATHENS (Reuters) - Athens' first new mosque in more than 175 years will not be ready in time for next month's Athens Olympics, says the government.

Greek authorities had linked the planned mosque to efforts to bolster the country's image among Muslim nations competing in August's Olympiad.

Athens is home to an estimated 100,000 Muslim Albanians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Moroccans, Syrians and Nigerians, but it is the only European Union capital with no officially recognised mosque.

Bureaucratic hurdles have prevented its construction in Peania 35 km (20 miles) from the capital, the foreign ministry said.

Source: Mosque not ready

Posted by at 08:27 AM

Greeks insist on Olympics arms ban for athletes after secret deal leaked

The US is preparing to send 400 special forces troops to Greece to help bolster security at the Olympic Games, it was confirmed yesterday. But Greek officials have insisted that only its troops would be allowed to carry arms to protectathletes.

The US troops, along with FBI agents and support staff, will be part of the largest security operation ever put in place for the Olympics. A total of �650m is being spent on security � four times as much than at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Details of how the troops will be deployed are still being discussed by the Greek government, the Pentagon and Nato, under whose command they will fall under. It is not clear whether they will be sent to Athens, the site of the games, or the island of Crete, where the US team will train.

Source: Arms Ban

Posted by at 08:24 AM

2004 Summer Olympic Games Previews -- Swimming & Syncronized Swimming

Sport's Network has added two more good previews of events at the Athens Olympics which include history of the events as well as tips for August's competition.

2004 Summer Olympic Games Preview - Synchronized Swimming
2004 Summer Olympic Games Preview - Swimming

Traffic conditions in Athens

Athens Traffic Map

The Athens Traffic Map may be of use to some travellers when in Athens. It gives a live view of the current traffic ande transportation conditions in the central and wider metropolitan areas of the city.

Just use the navigation links on the side of the page to change the view or to zoom in or zoom out.

[from Sydney Volunteers in Athens blog]

Posted by at 01:26 AM

Olympic Athletes Will not Have Armed Guards

'Greek officials denied reports today that US, Israeli and possibly British armed guards are to accompany their nations' teams to the Olympic Games in Athens next month.

The country's public order minister, George Voulgarakis, said there were to be no exceptions to the Greek law - and Olympic tradition - that barred foreign agents from carrying guns.

Security at the first summer games since September 11 2001 has become a sensitive issue for teams who feel most at risk from attack. The security budget is a record �650m and plans to protect the athletes and spectators involve Nato air patrols, but Greeks official feel that the presence of armed foreign guards would undermine their authority.' Read More at Greece denies Olympic athletes will have armed guards.

Posted by Darren at 12:03 AM

July 21, 2004

Greece Tourist Season Down Despite Olympics

Greece is on track for a slow tourist season despite their hosting the Olympics.

'The number of visitors was considerably down in the first six months and, despite the August 13-29 Games, the drop could be as high as eight percent.

"Tourism is continuing to be negative in 2004. If this trend does not change in the coming months the drop in arrivals could be as much as eight percent compared to last year," the union said in a statement.

Greece attracted just under 14 million visitors in 2003.' Source - Greece Sees Tourism Drop Despite Athens Games

Posted by Darren at 10:24 PM

Peter Waterfield and Leon Taylor - Injury Scare

British Synchronized Diving pair Peter Waterfield and Leon Taylor had a scare in their Olympics preparations recently.

'Less than six weeks before the start of the Games, Waterfield twisted his ankle while improving his poise and balance.

"It was like having my right arm cut off," said Taylor, the other half of the 10m synchronised platform diving team tipped for a medal in Athens.

"It was a setback but it wasn't a total disaster. We were determined not to let the injury knock us off track."' Read More at Diving duo in Athens twist

Posted by Darren at 10:23 PM

Pakistan's Mohammad Saqlain Out of Olympic Hockey

'Centre-half Mohammad Saqlain has been left out of Pakistan's Olympic hockey squad after striking a fellow player during a training session.

He was not picked for disciplinary reasons, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) said.

He was banned by the PHF last month and excluded from a European training camp.' Source - Saqlain dropped over row

Posted by Darren at 10:13 PM

Most Athens Olympics Still Unsold

'The Athens Games were supposed to make this ancient land a top tourist destination. But with just three weeks left before the opening ceremonies, the figures are hardly encouraging.

More than half the tickets for the games remain unsold, tour operators are reporting sluggish bookings and up to 6,000 of Athens' 62,000 hotel rooms are still up for grabs despite earlier fears of a serious accommodation shortage.

In fact, fewer tourists are expected in Greece this summer compared to last year.

"Generally, it looks like this year we will have less people," George Drakopoulos, head of the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises, told The Associated Press. He said some parts of Greece have seen a 10 to 15 percent drop in bookings.' Read More at Majority of Olympics Tickets Still Unsold

Posted by Darren at 10:04 PM

Introduction to Olympics Triathlon

Sport's Network has a good preview of the Triathlon events at the Athens Olympics which includes a history of the event as well as tips for August's competition.

'Bevan Docherty of New Zealand is at the top of the heap in the world rankings for the men, followed by Dmitriy Gaag of Kazakhstan, Ivan Rana of Spain and Greg Bennett of Australia.

Look for Anja Dittmer of Germany and Australians Liz Blatchford and Loretta Harrop to be among the top contenders in the women's field.'

Posted by Darren at 09:41 PM

Austria to Send Team of 74 Athletes to Athens

Austria has a team of 74 heading to Athens this year.

'Table tennis world champion Werner Schlager will lead Austria's 74-person team that will compete at the Athens Olympics, the Austrian Olympic Team announced Tuesday.

Schlager is one of 54 men, who will be joined by 20 women, that will go the to games Aug. 13-29. The team is the 12th largest Austria has sent to an Olympiad, less than half the biggest team it has ever sent, 183 to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and considerably smaller than the 122-member team that competed at the 1972 Games in Munich. Austria has competed in all but one of the previous 27 Summer Games.' Source - Austria sending 74 athletes to Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 09:41 PM

Kenenisa Bekele's Double Gold Dream

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele is hoping for double Gold Medals in the Athens Olympics in the 5000m and 10,000m races.

'Kenenisa Bekele�s 2004 year of World record success seems like a dream to the 22 year-old a dream and he simply does not want to wake up.

Four years ago, a young Bekele was only in his second year of serious running and watched from a television set in Addis Ababa Haile Gebrselassie dramatically snatching victory from Kenyan Paul Tergat in the final strides of the Olympic men's 10,000m final in Sydney. "I still find it amazing that Haile [Gebrselassie] beat Tergat in Sydney," he recalls....

And it is his wonderful form and unbeaten record that now spans twenty races of all types that has convinced him and the Ethiopian Athletics Federation that he should go for both the 5000 and 10,000m gold medals in Athens. ' Source - Bekele to double in Athens? This time there is no prevarication - Interview

Posted by Darren at 09:41 PM

China Hopes for 20 Gold Medals in Athens

China is getting ready for their hosting of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and part of this is their sending of a big team to Athens where they hope to win 20 Gold Medals.

'China is sending its largest and youngest Olympic delegation ever to the 2004 Athens Games next month, signalling an early warning that it could be a dominant force at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with experience it reaps in Greece.

Some 407 Chinese athletes will participate in more than 200 events in 26 sports at the Athens Games, sports officials said Tuesday. The only two sports China will miss are equestrian events and baseball.

Combined with 226 officials, the Chinese contingent will reach 633. That number is relatively enormous compared with past Olympics -- China sent 279 athletes to compete in 24 sports four years ago at Sydney.

Women athletes continue to play a key part of the Chinese team, accounting for 269 of the total 407 competitors.' Source - China squad targets 20-plus Olympic golds

Posted by Darren at 09:27 PM

Lim Keng Liat Aims for 100m Backstroke Final

'No one gave swimmer Lim Keng Liat a ghost of a chance in the World Championships in Barcelona last year but he surprised the elite field to qualify for the final of the 100m backstroke with the fifth fastest time.�

The Sabahan now wants to swim his way into the history books again in the Athens Olympics next month.�

Keng Liat, who is now training in a camp in Croatia, will be making his third appearance in the Olympics in Athens and he will aim to qualify for his first-ever final.�

To make the 100m backstroke final, Keng Liat needs to break his own national record of 54.77, which he set when qualifying for the final of the World Championships....

No Malaysian swimmer has ever qualified for a final of a swimming event in the Olympics. But after his achievement in the World Championships, Keng Liat feels it is not an impossible task.' Read More at Swimmer Keng Liat in bid to make first-ever final in Olympics

Posted by Darren at 09:27 PM

Nigeria's Women's Basketball Team Warms up Against US Military Team

Nigeria's women's basketball team are preparing for the Athens Olympics by playing whatever opposition they can find - including a US military all star team.

'The European women�s U.S. all-stars weren�t much of a match for the Nigerian women�s Olympic basketball team in an 83-26 loss Friday night....

The Nigerians, champions of Africa and the only women�s team from the continent to qualify for next month�s Athens Games, decided to work on their full-court press after halftime, forcing turnovers and steals during a 32-2 third-quarter run.

�This isn�t the kind of game we need to get us ready for the Olympics,� Nigeria�s Mactabene Amachree said, �but we have what we have. After this we�re going to Turkey. They�ll give us some games.�' Read More at Nigerian women�s team routs military all-stars

Posted by Darren at 09:27 PM

Malaysia Hope for 4 Medals

Malaysia are hoping to win four medals at the Athens Olympics in three of the eleven sports their 26 athletes will compete in.

'The chef-de-mission, Datuk Dr M. Jegathesan, said that the four medals they expected to win were two from badminton and one each from taekwondo and cycling.�

Dr Jegathesan said: �The target is realistic. For example, in badminton, Wong Choong Hann is ranked third in the world and the pair Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah are the number two.�

�Taekwondo exponent Elaine Teo won a silver in the women Under-49kg Asia Olympics qualifiers in Bangkok (February) while Josiah Ng won the keirin event in the Asian Championship in Japan.��

He added that winning medals in the other sports, including gymnastics and swimming, would be a tall order.�

�If athletes (in these sports) can better national records in their respective events, they can justify their participation,� he said.�' Read More at Four-medal target for Olympics, says Jegathesan

Posted by Darren at 09:14 PM

British Olympic Athletes Get Team Underwear

British Olympic Athletes will be issued with special Great Britain underwear, thongs for women and boxer shorts for men.

'Every team member will have to fit a mind-boggling 139 items of official kit in their suitcase, leaving little space for lucky rabbits' feet, guidebooks and sun lotion....

There is formal wear for the Secretary of State's reception on 11 August, special attire for the opening and closing ceremonies and leisure wear for use around the Olympic village.

Cufflinks, pendants and handbags are all on the list, and the crisp white shirts have stirring images of Britain's gold medal winners from Sydney printed on the inside of the collar.

It all adds up to about 40kg of kit for each of the 270-odd competitors - a grand total of about 50,000 items for the British Olympic Association to distribute.' Source What's in the Olympic wardrobe?

Posted by Darren at 09:13 PM

Athens Port Close for Security Update

Security in Athens is continuing to be put in place. This time the main port of Athens was closed for two hours while divers installed an underwater monitoring system.

'The fiber-optic cables are a key element of an electronic web of cameras, sensors and other intelligence-gathering devices designed to help safeguard the Aug. 13-29 Olympics. Greece is spending $1.24 billion on Olympic security.

Although the devices are considered necessary for security, several groups said they will demonstrate against their use. Anti-globalization groups said they would protest outside Greece�s parliament. Some political parties also have expressed concerns.' Read More at Security Upgrades Close Athens Seaport

Posted by Darren at 09:06 PM

400 Armed US Troops Allowed at Olympics

Greece has decided to allow armed US Soldiers to be present at the Athens Olympics. Previously they had rejected this possibility but have relented under pressure from the US.

'Under intense pressure from the United States, Greece will allow 400 American Special Forces soldiers to be present at the Olympic Games next month under NATO auspices and will also permit American, Israeli and possibly British security officers to carry weapons, Greek and American officials said.

The delicate arrangements, which the officials say will not be formally acknowledged for fear of roiling anti-American sentiment, represent a significant departure from Olympic tradition, as well as from Greek law, which prohibits foreign personnel from carrying weapons within the country. Until now, the only nation known to have armed its security forces at the Olympics is Israel, whose agents have been carrying arms largely without prior approval from host countries since 1972, when Black September, a Palestinian group, killed Israeli athletes and officials in the Olympic Village in Munich.' Read More at Pressured by U.S., Greece Will Allow Troops at Olympics

Posted by Darren at 09:06 PM

Pierre Bideau designs lighting for Athens monuments

Special lighting planned for Athens monuments during Olympics

The Parthenon and other ancient monuments around Athens will be specially lit at night during the Olympics as part of a project to highlight the city's monuments for the big event.

Posted by at 12:28 PM

Olympic sex

Durex has been appointed official supplier of condoms and lubricants for the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, this year.

The donation of 130 000 condoms and 30 000 tubes of lubricant will cost the company US$100,000, says Jo Giles of Durex, and it promises to give athletes' performance in the bedroom a boost.

The free condoms will be available at a central pharmacy in the Olympic village for the estimated 10 500 athletes and 3 000 officials from 199 countries.

The free condoms will be available at a central pharmacy in the Olympic village for the estimated 10�500 athletes and 3�000 officials from 199 countries.

Source - Oiling the way for Olympic sex

Also see more on this topic at Athletes achieve a personal best in sex

Posted by at 08:01 AM

July 20, 2004

American Runs for Britain at Olympics

'American Malachi Davis was named to the British Olympic team Tuesday, just two weeks after receiving his British passport.

Davis was given provisional spots in both the 400 meters and 1,600-meter relay for his adopted country.

Davis is from Sacramento, Calif., but his mother was born in England. He decided to try for a place on the British team after figuring he had little chance to make the American squad for the Aug. 13-29 Olympics.' Read More at American runner added to British Olympic team

Read more of the same story at Los Angeles runner in Britain Olympic Team.

Posted by Darren at 11:28 PM

Jana Pittman Driven by Destiny

'Jumping obstacles at full speed is not everyone's idea of fun but for Australia's Jana Pittman it has fast become an obsession.

Pittman started out as a runner who had no interest in circling a track trying to skim the top of hurdles.

But she was persuaded by a former coach to try the event when she was still a teenager and, although she fell flat on her face the first time, she was hooked straight away.

With her long legs and slender build, Pittman proved to be perfectly built for hurdling and her progress in the event has been astounding.

She became world junior champion, won the Commonwealth Games title as a teenager then won the senior title last year at her first attempt. Now, at 21, she is the favourite to win the women's 400 metres hurdles at the Athens Olympics next month.' Read More at Hurdler Pittman driven by her destiny

Posted by Darren at 11:28 PM

Wheelchair atheletes barred from opening ceremony

TheStar.com - IOC privileges differ for demo sports

Jeff Adams can race on the same night at the men's 100-metre final in Athens, but he can't march in the opening ceremonies.

Nor can he stay in the Athletes Village for more than four days. Nor is he part of the official Olympic delegation.

Posted by at 10:59 PM

Brazil's Olympic Athletics Team Announced

Brazil has announced their Athletics Team for the Athens Olympics as follows:

Vicente Lenilson de Lima, 100m/4x100m
Andr� Domingos da Silva, 100m/4x100m
Jarbas Mascarenhas J�nior, 100m/4x100m
Bas�lio Em�dio de Moraes J�nior, 200m/4x100m
Claudio Roberto Souza, 200m/4x100m
Edson Luciano Ribeiro, 4x100m
Anderson Jorge Oliveira dos Santos, 400m
Osmar Barbosa dos Santos, 800m
Hudson Santos de Souza, 1500m
Redel�n Melo dos Santos, 110m H
Matheus Inoc�ncio, 110m H
Marcio Sim�o de Souza, 110m H
Jess� Farias de Lima, High Jump
Jadel Greg�rio, Triple Jump/ Long Jump
Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, Marathon
Andr� Luiz Ramos, Marathon
R�mulo Wagner da Silva, Marathon
Jos� Alessandro Bernardo Baggio, 20 km walk
Sergio Vieira Galdino, 50 km walk
M�rio Jos� dos Santos J�nior, 50 km walk

Rosemar Maria Coelho Neto, 100m/4x100m
Lucimar Aparecida de Moura, 200m/4x100m
K�tia Regina de Jesus Santos, 4x100m
Luciana Alves dos Santos, 4x100m
Thatiana Regina Ign�cio, 4x100m
Geisa Aparecida Muniz Coutinho, 400m/4x400m
Maria Laura Almir�o, 400 m/4x400m
Josiane da Silva Tito, 4x400m
Lucimar Teodoro, 4x400m
Magn�lia Figueiredo, 4x400m
Luciana de Paula Mendes, 800m
Ma�la Machado,100m H
Keila da Silva Costa, Long Jump
Elis�ngela Adriano, Shot/Discus
Marcia Narloch, marathon
Marlene Fortunato, marathon
Alessandra Picagevicz, 20 km walk

Source - Brazilian team for Athens is announced

Posted by Darren at 08:52 PM

China announces historic delegation for Athens Olympics

China will send a record 407 athletes to compete in 26 sports at the upcoming Athens Olympics Games, aiming to finish top three in the medal standings.


Posted by at 06:06 PM

Pankration - Ancient Olympic Fighting Event

One of the criticisms I've seen of the fighting events at the Olympics is that they are too barbaric. However this article compares it to Pankration - an ancient Olympic Sport that makes what we'll see in Athens look like kids stuff.

"A no-holds-barred combination of the two, it allowed choking, scratching, slapping, kicking, punching the genitals, leg tripping, finger bending and flipping an opponent overhead. A judge watched over the two opponents, ready with a stick to strike the perpetrator of fouls like biting and eye-gouging.

The sport, if such it can be called, was added to the Olympic program about 75 years after the Games began, according to historians, in 776 B.C. And it is vividly depicted in sculptures and vase painting of the era, along with more refined contests like running, chariot racing, discus and javelin throwing, long jumping and others, including the pentathlon, a combination of five events performed in one day." Read More at The New York Times: The Olympics as They Were

Posted by Darren at 05:32 PM

Australian Volunteers in Athens Blog

konnecke.com/athens for those volunteers who volunteered in Sydney, that are also volunteering in Athens to tell of their daily activities. Sounds like an interesting blog to keep an eye on during the games.

Posted by Darren at 02:00 PM

Last Minute Athens Olympics Travel Tips

Are you still trying to make up your mind if you should go to the Athens Olympics? National Geographic have just put out an article looking at the pros and cons of going to the Olympics that might help you make your last minute decision.

'The Athens 2004 Olympic Games are less than a month away. Yet ticket sales are down by 20 percent. The negative press around the games hasn't helped much: While no specific threat has been made, many consider the Olympics to be a prime terrorist target. And even at this late date, Athens's officials are still struggling to complete necessary infrastructure for the 18-day sporting event.

The cost to attend the games is also high: Accommodations and tickets to just four events runs close to U.S. $4,000. Tack on at least another U.S. $1,000 for airfare from the United States.

In short, there are lots of reasons for travelers to say home. But will they miss a momentous experience if they do? In an interview, National Geographic Traveler Editor in Chief Keith Bellows shares his views on the pros and cons of traveling to this summer's Olympic Games.' Read More at Traveler Editor's Tips for Last-Minute Dash to Olympics.

Posted by Darren at 01:31 PM

Smallest Canadian team in 24 years

Canada sending smallest team since 1980 to Athens Summer Olympics

Tougher qualifying standards from the Canadian Olympic Committee has led to the smallest Canadaian team since 1980. Canada will send 266 athletes to Athens - 134 women and 132 men - the smallest squad since 1980. Canada boycotted those Olympics in Moscow, but 211 athletes were still chosen to the team.

Posted by at 12:11 PM

Nicolas Gill - Canada's Flag Bearer

'Judo veteran Nicolas Gill will carry Canada's flag at the opening of the Summer Olympics in Athens, the Canadian Olympic Committee announced Monday.

Gill, 32, will be competing in his fourth Olympics. The Montreal native is a two-time judo medallist at the Games, winning a bronze in 1992 and a silver in 2000. He has also earned three medals at the world championships.

"It's a big surprise to be carrying the flag," Gill told a news conference via satellite from Belgium, where he's in training. "To carry the Olympic flag will be my best memory from my Olympic career. It's an incredible honour."'

Judo star Nicolas Gill to carry Maple Leaf at Athens opening ceremonies

Posted by Darren at 12:00 PM

Olympic Ticket Sales Expected to Rise

A Poll has shown that most Greeks have been waiting until the last minute to purchase their tickets to the Olympic Games. This is an encouraging sign as tickets sales have been lower than expected.

'Most Greeks want to attend the Olympics but have been waiting until the last minute to buy a ticket, according to a nationwide poll released Monday.

The poll, commissioned by the Athens Organizing Committee, also found that 40 percent of Athens' nearly 5 million residents said they will stay in the capital so they can attend a sports event.

That's considerably more than the 26.1 percent who said they would stay when the same poll was carried out in May.

"This confirms assessments that the intention of people to buy tickets for the games is increasing," the organizing committee said in a statement.' Read More at Poll predicts rise in Olympic ticket sales

Posted by Darren at 12:00 PM

Michael Phelps - Omega Man

Michael Phelps is now an Omega Man.

'A release from Swatch Group announced that at the end of the Trials Phelps was to be introduced by supermodel Cindy Crawford and television personality Pat O�Brien as the newest member of the Omega family of Brand Ambassadors. ' Source - Phelps, the Omega Man

Posted by Darren at 11:49 AM

Introduction to Olympic Modern Pentathlon

The Sports Network has a good 2004 Summer Olympic Games Preview of Modern Pentathlon which includes Olympics history and hints at who to watch in Athens in the Modern Pentathlon.

'Hungary's Gabor Balough, a silver medalist from 2000, is favored to win gold this year. Edvinas Krungolcas of Lithuania, Choon-huan Lee of Korea, Erik Johansson of Sweden, Andrejus Zadneprovskis of Lithuania and Andrei Moiseev of Russia are some of the other top men's competitors.

Georgina Harland of Great Britain, Zsuzsanna Voros of Hungary, Elen Rublevska of Latvia, Ukrainian Victoria Tereshuk, Germany's Kim Raisner and Great Britain's Kate Allenby are some of the top women in the field. Allenby won the bronze medal in 2000.'

Posted by Darren at 11:45 AM

Athens Makeover

The BBC reports that Athens is undergoing a massive makeover as last minute preparations are being done in the city in the final weeks before the Olympics.

'Thousands of bright banners and reams of multi-coloured canvas will help transform Athens before the Olympics.

The Greek capital's cityscape will be given an electric orange, blue and green makeover ahead of the Games.

Building, bridges and 370km of highways will be dressed in the same colours as the uniforms of Olympic volunteers.'

Source - Athens set for makeover

Posted by Darren at 11:35 AM

Germany send 452 Athletes to Athens

At the last Olympics Germany fell from 3rd place on the Medal Tally to 5th place. They are hoping to reverse this in Athens and are sending 452 athletes to the games.

'Germany will send 25 more athletes than the country nominated for the Sydney games, with 254 men and 198 women competing. Other top names include Birgit Fischer, a seven-time gold medalist in kayaking, and the Women's World Cup soccer champions.'

Germany will send 452 athletes to Athens

Posted by Darren at 11:35 AM

Athens Tramline in Place

The Athens Tram line is finally in place. The tram system will significantly reduce traffic levels at the Olympics in August.

'Hundreds of Athenians crowded stations along the route to cheer the first carriage on its journey.

The 26-kilometre, T-shaped line will link the city centre with the southern seaside suburbs, where two major Olympic venues are located.

The project, which brings the tram back to Athens after a 44-year absence, cost �250m and went �40m over budget.

"We are particularly pleased that the tram is ready," said Spyros Kapralos, the Greek government's secretary general for the Games. "Many Olympic spectators will use it."

The tram line will serve the Olympic complexes of Helliniko and Faliro, which will stage canoe and kayak events, baseball, softball, handball, fencing, taekwondo, , beach and triathlon.' Source - BBC: Transport boost for Athens

Posted by Darren at 11:34 AM

Torri Edwards and Marion Jones make US Team

Torri Edwards and Marion Jones have been named in the preliminary US Olympics team despite ongoing investigations into doping allegations.

'Edwards, who faces a US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) hearing later on Monday, is set to compete in the 100m and 200m.

Three-time gold medallist Jones, still under scrutiny by USADA despite never failing a doping test, qualified in just one event - the long jump.

The final roster for the American team will be announced on 9 August.' Read More at Edwards named in US squad

Posted by Darren at 11:13 AM

Tara Cunningham takes on China - Weightlifting

'Tara Cunningham must beat one of China's so-called Dream Team weightlifters to repeat as an Olympic gold medalist in Athens next month.

Unlike the Sydney Games, when Cunningham, then competing as Tara Nott, unexpectedly won the gold medal at 105 1/2 pounds after original winner Isabela Dragneva of Bulgaria failed a drug test, she apparently will compete this time against one of China's top weightlifters.

Perhaps the only surprise was China didn't choose 19-year-old Wang Mingjuan, the two-time defending world champion at 105 1/2 (48 kg), but Li Zhuo, who beat out Wang before this spring's Asian championships. Zhuo set world records in both the snatch and the clean and jerk in September, but Wang won the world championship two months later in Vancouver.' Read More at Cunningham Must Face China for Gold Medal

Posted by Darren at 11:13 AM

Indian Hockey Team Coach Sacked

India has sacked its National Hockey Team Coach, Rajinder Singh with 24 days to go before the Olympics.

'He was immediately replaced by his deputy, German Gerhard Rach.

The Indian team have fared poorly in 2004, failing to win any tournament since their Afro-Asian Games triumph over Pakistan on home soil last year.

Indian Hockey Federation president KPS Gill told the BBC: "This decision has been communicated to the players who have no problems regarding it."' Source - BBC: India hockey coach sacked

Posted by Darren at 11:13 AM

Sean Eadie Cleared for Athens

Australian Olympic Cyclist Sean Eadie has been cleared of drug charges and will be allowed to compete in Athens.

'Sean Eadie, a cycling bronze medalist at the Sydney Games, won his appeal Monday after contesting a 5-year-old doping accusation and was expected to be placed on Australia's Olympic team.

The former world champion had been dropped from the team last week when the Australian Olympic Committee told Cycling Australia it would not allow him to compete in Athens.

"I'm very happy," Eadie said. "I'm looking forward to a relaxing night's sleep, which I haven't had in quite a while."' Read More at Star Aussie cyclist wins appeal.

Posted by Darren at 10:51 AM

Kodak Olympic Sponsorship

Kodak corp logo 72dpi.jpg.jpgKodak - Press Release
Jul 19, 2004 09:03

Kodak And The Olympic Games: A Legacy Of Support
ROCHESTER, N.Y. --(Business Wire)-- July 19, 2004 Eastman Kodak Company

-- "Kodak is a very important member of the Olympic Family. It takes a very active role in helping us stage the world's greatest event. And through its various marketing efforts, Kodak helps us share the Olympic spirit with the world."

-- Jacques Rogge, President, International Olympic Committee.

When the first Modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896, Kodak, then just 16 years old, was there. More than a century later, the Olympic Games remain the pinnacle of athletic endeavor - and Kodak, a long-standing Olympic Sponsor, will again be there, this time providing security badges for all participants, digital medical imaging equipment in the athlete's clinic, and support for the more than 1,000 professional photographers who will capture the drama of the world's most photographed competition using both film and digital technologies. Indeed, Kodak will digitize all images -including film - for rapid dissemination around the world. (See fact sheets attached.)

"Kodak is in the business of capturing and sharing memories, and few world events create positive memories quite like the Olympic Games," said Daniel A. Carp, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Eastman Kodak Company. "Over the past 27 Games back to 1896, virtually every record-breaking moment has been captured on Kodak film. These ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games, however, will mark the first primarily digital Olympic Games in history. Kodak people are proud to play a key role in bringing digital imaging to the Games with products and services crucial to the conduct of the Games."

Kodak to operate the world's largest photo lab.

The Kodak Image Center, an 18,000 square-foot facility within the Main Press Center, will provide traditional film and digital photographic products and services to accredited professional photographers. Kodak will digitize 100% of the estimated 3 million images to be processed through the Kodak Image Center, making it quicker and easier to share these memorable moments with audiences around the world. Kodak will also provide photojournalists with on-site image-rich publishing, producing postcards and poster-sized prints of key images for display purposes. Using the company's NexPress 2100 digital color press, Kodak will publish daily newsletters, invitations, and daily event guides for sponsors.

Kodak technology will help serve the healthcare needs of the athletes and staff.

Kodak will supply the Olympic Polyclinic, the healthcare clinic located within the Olympic Village, with technologies enabling radiologists to electronically send digital X-ray images, CT scans, and other medical images and accompanying reports to specialists at the ATTIKO University Hospital in metropolitan Athens for consultation, thus helping ensure rapid diagnosis and treatment.

Kodak will also equip the Polyclinic with systems that capture X-ray images digitally in seconds; with innovative dental products to diagnose any injuries that may involve teeth, jaw fractures and dislocations; and with a broad range of services to ensure optimal integration and operation of these advanced systems and products. The Kodak dental film and equipment can be expected to serve as a primary source of dental care for many athletes from all over the world; for some, a first-time experience.

"Because our systems allow images to be sent electronically to remote specialists, an injured athlete will not have to travel across town for diagnostic imaging services. This is key, since rapid diagnosis and treatment can mean the difference between an athlete returning to competition or having to drop out of the Games," said Dan Kerpelman, President of Kodak's Health Imaging Group and a senior vice president of the company.

Much of the Kodak medical and dental imaging equipment will be purchased by the ATHENS 2004 Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games and will remain at the Polyclinic after the Games conclude.

Security badges by Kodak.

It will be Kodak systems that produce the more than 350,000 security badges and 80,000 visa credentials required for the Olympic athletes, officials, volunteers, and sponsors. Each credential will be produced in a record-breaking time of just 10 seconds.

Kodak to provide on-site digital services for Olympic spectators.

Olympic fans can print, share, and store their Olympic memories at the Kodak Digital Picture Center, a 2500-square-foot facility located in the OAKA Common Domain.

"For the first time at an Olympic Games, spectators will be able to use KODAK PictureMaker kiosks to print images captured from their digital cameras or mobile phone-cameras," said Bernard Masson, President of Kodak's Digital & Film Imaging Systems group and senior vice president of the company. "They can also use our online photo services, Ofoto and KODAK Picture Center Online to instantly share their digital photos with friends and family around the world."

The Kodak Digital Picture Center will also allow fans to create a personalized Olympic photo pin as a unique souvenir from the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games. Kodak films, one-time-use cameras, batteries, and digital cameras, memory cards, and printer docks will be available for purchase at this facility.

"As much as the Olympic Games provide a platform to showcase Kodak products and innovation, it also offers the opportunity for both to highlight the similar pillars on which they were founded," Carp said. "The Olympic Games have a heritage of personal excellence, fair play, cultural understanding and respect for humanity, which are perfectly aligned with Kodak's corporate values of integrity, diversity, trust, respect for the dignity of each individual, continual improvement and personal renewal, recognition and celebration."

For more information, see fact sheets attached and visit: http://www.kodak.com/go/olympic

ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games

Kodak Fact Sheet - Accreditation

Kodak will provide all the accreditation badges required by the more than 350,000 athletes, coaches, sponsors, contractors, volunteers, and security personnel--virtually everyone except spectators--who will participate in the 17-day event. Kodak will provide the same service during the 12 days of the Paralympics, which begin in Athens Sept. 17.

-- The accreditation process consists of obtaining a person's image identification and merging this image with their appropriate access rights and classification. Accreditation badges not only act as the primary security pass, but also as a means of identifying which venues and where in the venue a person is assigned, their job title, nationality, and what transportation and dining privileges are authorized.

-- Everyone needing access to the Olympic venues must first submit an application to the Uniform Distribution and Accreditation Center (UAC) in Athens. The applications are scanned into a database utilizing a Kodak Digital Science Color Scanner 3590C. Special Kodak software allows the scanned image to be cropped and data added and displayed on a computer screen. The scanners are able to read up to 80 forms a minute and distribute the load to distributed workstations to process the data. Local applicants in Greece can go to any one of 80 Kodak Express Stores throughout the country to have their image captured using the latest Kodak digital cameras. There are various other sites in Athens where applicants can have their image captured by Kodak digital camera workstations utilizing Kodak DX4900 digital cameras and Kodak 3590C scanners.

-- The photos are transferred to the accreditation electronic system supplied and maintained by Atos-Origin, the official ATHENS 2004 Games IT partner, where they are merged with appropriate information taken from the applications. It is here that a security background check is done. Once the badge is ready to be printed, it transfers back to Kodak and is output by the Kodak ML500 or Kodak 8660 thermal printer which produces a badge every 10 seconds.

-- Along with the digital cameras and printers, Kodak is also responsible for the operation of day pass printers at 36 sporting venues, over 200 bar code readers, and over 200 lamination machines.

ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games

Kodak Fact Sheet - Kodak Image Center

Kodak has created the world's largest photo lab for the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games, and for the first time in Olympic history, will digitize 100 percent of all professional photos taken at the Games - making it quicker and easier to disseminate images to all parts of the globe.

-- The Kodak Image Center, an 18,000-square foot facility located in the Main Press Center, will serve the needs of more than 1,000 professional photographers and news agencies with traditional and digital photographic products and services. An estimated 3 million images will be acquired and digitized.

-- The ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games will offer the widest array of digital and traditional film technologies and services ever assembled. Accredited photographers can receive a pre-Games digital camera tune-up, digital camera loan and repair service, image scanning, computer workstations with mass electronic storage space, thermal proofing, large-format ink-jet output, large volume production output, film processing, and image transfer to CD. After photographs are converted into digital images, the Image Center can transmit the images using high-speed phone lines to the world's newsrooms. Images will be transferred and stored on Kodak Picture CDs. The technology at the Image Center will save photographers an estimated two hours a day in editing time.

-- Kodak's involvement with the Games began with the first modern Olympiad in Athens in 1896. In 1924, at the Paris Games, Kodak supplied film to professional photographers for the first time. In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Kodak introduced new technologies and innovations at the Games, including digital cameras, the Kodak Picture Maker, the Kodak Sticker Print Kiosk and many new professional and consumer films.

ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games

Kodak Fact Sheet - Health Imaging Technologies

General Overview:

State-of-the-art Kodak imaging equipment will provide doctors at the Olympic Polyclinic with the ability to rapidly diagnose athletes' injuries and illnesses. In addition, by transmitting images digitally to specialists at the ATTIKO University Hospital in Athens, radiologists can save time, and in many cases, prevent the need to transport an injured person to an area hospital. In addition, Kodak products and equipment will serve the dental needs of athletes; providing some with their first professional dental experience.

Advanced technology from Kodak in the Polyclinic:

Kodak has installed its advanced DIRECTVIEW PACS System 5 with Diagnostic Workstations that enable immediate viewing of digital images on high-resolution monitors for interpretation by radiologists. This system provides rapid access to images with a RAID-centric solution. Digital archiving is managed with Kodak's long-term storage management software using DIRECTVIEW Versatile Intelligent Patient Archive (VIP archive) technology. Additionally, Kodak's CD Distribution Suite distributes images and reports to patients in a soft copy format as an alternative to films printed by KODAK DIRECTVIEW Laser Imagers.

In addition,

-- Medical Imaging output printers - KODAK DRYVIEW 8900 Laser Imager, KODAK DRYVIEW 8200 Laser Imager and KODAK DRYVIEW 8300 Laser Imagers

-- New to the Olympic Games: KODAK RIS 2010, the state-of-the-art Radiology Information System (RIS) technology that will provide complete radiology workflow management within the Olympic Polyclinic. KODAK RIS 2010 is fully integrated with KODAK DIRECTVIEW PACS System 5, allowing complete and simultaneous management of patients' data and images, providing the radiologist with a single desktop, integrated workstation that enables soft copy reading of images and voice dictation of the report.


-- Kodak Professional Digital Color Printer

-- Dental Image Capture

-- 1 extra oral X-ray digital imaging unit, model Trophypan

-- 3 intra oral X-ray & camera digital imaging units, model Elitys

-- 1 intra-oral visible camera digital imaging unit, model STV Pro


The Olympic Polyclinic will be staffed entirely by volunteers. While medical professors from the University of Athens will oversee each department, imaging services will be directed by Prof. Dimitrios Kelekis, an expert in interventional radiology and chair of radiology at the University of Athens. As director of imaging at the Olympic Polyclinic, Kelekis will be responsible for the efficiency and efficacy of the "front-line" radiological team of about 15 radiologists and 45 radiographers. A substantial number of this group are also University of Athens staff with considerable experience in musculoskeletal radiology.

Kodak's Health Imaging Technology at Recent Olympiads:

At the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Kodak's medical imaging technology served 1,410 athletes and supported over 1,900 examinations. At the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Kodak technology served 4,500 athletes and implemented more than 400 exams.

Business Overview:

Kodak's Health Imaging Group is a world leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing intelligent products from analog to digital. Its portfolio includes computed radiography and digital radiography systems, laser imagers, picture archiving and communications systems (PACS), radiology information systems, dental imaging and services, and traditional mammography and x-ray film systems.

The group, with 2003 revenues of $2.34 billion, has served the global healthcare community for more than 100 years. The presence of the Kodak's medical imaging technology at the Olympics has had a direct impact on sales. At the 2002 Winter Games, for example, physicians from the Mayo Clinic who were volunteering at the Kodak lab were so impressed by the technology that they later bought $3 million worth of product.

ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games

Kodak Fact Sheet - Kodak Digital Picture Center

To help Olympic ticket holders capture and share their precious Olympic memories with friends and family all over the world, Eastman Kodak Company has set up the Kodak Digital Picture Center in the Common Domain area of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex (OAKA). Underscoring its industry leadership, Kodak will demonstrate an array of pioneering products and services, many for the growing digital market, to expand the visitors' ability to communicate through photography. The Kodak Digital Picture Center showcases elements of the Kodak strategy to create fresh links between taking, storing, organizing, sharing and printing images at home, in the retail environment or online.

-- In the Kodak Digital Picture Center, Kodak demonstrates its newest generation of self-service kiosks that enable consumers to print photo-quality Kodak pictures in minutes from digital cameras or mobile phone cameras. The Kodak Picture Maker kiosk allows consumers to preview, select and print the pictures they want in the sizes and quantities they prefer at retail. Olympic ticket holders can easily download their digital images to a Kodak Picture CD, enabling them to free up space on their memory cards to capture more Olympic action and memories.

-- Olympic ticket holders can also upload their digital pictures to Kodak's online photo services, allowing fans to store and immediately share their pictures with friends and family anywhere in the world.

-- Visitors to the Kodak Digital Picture Center can create their own personal photo pin using Kodak technology. After a picture is taken of a visitor, the picture is printed on a Kodak printer using special sticker prints. The print can be peeled off and placed on a Kodak collectable pin for the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games featuring the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games mascots, creating a truly unique souvenir of the Games.

-- Kodak also will demonstrate the newest EASYSHARE cameras, one of the most popular consumer digital-photography systems. Among these is the KODAK EASYSHARE DX7630 zoom digital camera, with 6-megapixel resolution, which features unmatched image quality among 5- and 6-megapixel consumer digital cameras. EASYSHARE cameras all offer one-touch picture sharing, outstanding picture quality and Kodak's hallmark simplicity of operation. By docking a digital camera to KODAK's EASYSHARE Printer Dock, visitors can easily create great-looking, borderless photos up to 10 x 15 cm (4"x6") in 90 seconds. KODAK XTRALIFE Lamination provides a special protective coating to produce photos that are highly durable, waterproof and last a lifetime. The EASYSHARE Printer Dock is compatible with KODAK EASYSHARE Cameras or any other PictBridge-enabled digital camera.

-- The Kodak Digital Picture Center will be open daily during the Olympic Games from 09h00 - 22h00, and is located in the Athens Olympic Sports Complex common domain area alongside the Agora, near the Neratziotissis metro station entrance.

ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games

Kodak Fact Sheet - Kodak Photo Shop in the Athlete's Olympic Village

In the International Zone of the Athletes' Village, which is located at Menidi, Kodak will provide Kodak Picture Maker facilities for athletes to easily print, share, upload, enhance, and store images from their digital cameras and mobile phones. A full range of printing services will also be provided to athletes using film or single use cameras. The printing services will be offered in four hours and next day service.

-- Athletes will also find a broad variety of Kodak products, ranging from film, one-time use cameras to 35mm cameras, batteries and memorabilia items. In this way, the Kodak Photo Shop in the Olympic Village gives participating athletes an opportunity to experience new ways of preserving and sharing their Olympic memories.

-- Next door to the Kodak Photo Shop, athletes will find the Village's Internet cafe, where PC workstations will allow athletes to upload their digital pictures to Kodak's online photo services, allowing them to store and immediately share their pictures with anyone, anywhere in the world.

Capturing the Olympic Games Experience:

Kodak will supply many opportunities for Olympic fans to capture the Olympic Games experience, including:

-- Kodak Backpackers will provide a mobile vending service at two Olympic common domain areas, the Athens Olympic Sports Complex OAKA and Helliniko.

-- Kodak will also be selling films, single use cameras, batteries and digital camera memory cards at Olympic concession outlets, as well as the Olympic Superstore in the Athens Olympic Sports Complex OAKA.

-- A special Kodak web site, http://www.kodak.com/go/olympic will be created to showcase Olympic information and the Kodak Olympic Picture of the Day, featuring day-to-day photo updates on all the action.

ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games

Kodak Fact Sheet - Kodak Digital Photo Publishing Services

Eastman Kodak Company's Graphic Communications Group will provide image-rich digital photo publishing services for the ATHENS 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Greece. Kodak's Graphic Communications Group will play a key role in the production of image-rich and variable data content at the Games. The Group's activities include:

-- Providing on-site image-rich publishing services at the Kodak Image Center, servicing the needs of the accredited photojournalists covering the Games. Using the award-winning KODAK NEXPRESS 2100 digital production color press and the ENCAD NOVAJET 1000i high-speed wide-format inkjet photo printer, Kodak will produce postcard-sized and poster-sized photo prints of key images of the Games for display purposes.

-- Various Olympic committees and Games Sponsors will use Kodak's suite of imaging and photo publishing services throughout the Games. Kodak will print Opening Ceremony photos and other image related items, on the NEXPRESS 2100 press. Kodak will deliver these imaging services to the International Olympic Committee, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and many of the Games Sponsors.

-- Kodak will operate two NexPress 2100 presses and two NOVAJET photo printers at different locations at the Games to meet the demand for high-quality digital photo color publishing.

-- Kodak's Graphic Communications Group consists of three Kodak companies: Encad, Inc., a maker of large-format inkjet photo printing machines, media and inks; NexPress Solutions, Inc., a leader in on-demand digital color and monochrome image printing systems; and Kodak Versamark, Inc., a world leader in high-speed, 100% variable data printing. The Graphic Communications Group also manages Kodak's interest in Kodak Polychrome Graphics, a 50-50 joint venture with Sun Chemical. The group serves a variety of customers in the in-plant, data center, commercial printing and digital service bureau markets with a range of equipment that spans large-format inkjet printing and digital monochrome printing to on-demand digital image-rich color printing and transactional communications.

ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games

Kodak Fact Sheet - Battery Recycling

At the request of the ATHENS 2004 Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, Kodak agreed to establish a first-ever battery-recycling program for the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games.

-- The program will run for the duration of the Games--including the Paralympic Games--and provide an environmentally sound approach for disposing of the thousands of batteries visitors are expected to use during the event.

-- Kodak has been a manufacturer of batteries for 15 years, and has years of experience running recycling programs. In fact, since 1990, Kodak has recycled more than one billion one-time-use cameras, which are the world's most recycled consumer product.

-- Kodak has arranged for specially designed and decorated collection containers similar to those currently in use in Germany that are made from specially treated cardboard that is resistant to battery acids and heat, and strong enough to be filled with batteries. The battery-recycling project is in accordance with the ATHENS 2004 Environmental Strategy and enhances the environmental performance of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Athens, showcasing the social responsibility of an Olympic sponsor and of the Organizing Committee.

-- The containers will be located at the 120 Kodak Express Stores participating in the project, as well as various retail locations within the Olympic venues. Kodak representatives will handle the distribution of the containers to the stores, as well as collection of them after the Games conclude. ATHENS 2004 personnel will do the same for the locations inside the venues.

-- Schenker A.E., the Official Provider for the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games, has agreed to be the marshaling point for collected batteries. Schenker A.E. will transport the collected batteries to an approved facility for ultimate disposition.

Posted by Darren at 10:33 AM

Technology behind the Tour de France

It is not directly Olympics related but this article at engadget gives a wonderful insight into the technology behind the Tour de France.


It will be similar stuff I'm sure to what will be used in Athens, particularly in the road race.

'Timing and scoring the Tour de France is an exacting and important task that mirrors the race itself. A team of skilled electronics operators in a mini-van loaded with a mobile computer network, chase the world�s greatest bicyclists around le Grande Boucle, sorting out split-second finishes marred by chaotic, and, sometimes, massive, crashes. International reputations, careers and millions of dollars are constantly on the line.'Read More

Posted by Darren at 10:24 AM

July 19, 2004

Supersized Meals for Athens Athletes

'When it comes to serving food to the world's top athletes at the Summer Olympics in Athens, almost everything comes supersized.

There's a 42,000-square-foot kitchen, hundreds of tons of meat and produce, millions of gallons of bottled water, and thousands of voracious swimmers, runners, weightlifters and others who want tasty cuisine � and lots of it � all the time.

''They'll normally double up and triple up their portions, so we're talking about two or three pounds of food per meal, and three or four meals per day, for each athlete,'' Michael R. Crane, senior executive chef of Aramark, said in a telephone interview from Athens.

The Philadelphia-based food service giant will serve more than 2 million meals to athletes, coaches and officials in Athens for two months, including the 17 days of competition. The deal is valued at 34 million euros � about $41.8 million � and is the largest catering deal ever inked in Europe, according to the Olympic Organizing Committee.' Source - Supersized meals, kitchens and menus in store for Olympians

Posted by Darren at 08:46 PM

Kristy Oatley-Nist Withdraws from Equestrian

Kristy Oatley-Nist has withdrawn from the Athens Olympics after fitness problems with her horse.

'Europe-based Kristy Oatley-Nist became the first Australian to make it into the final round of the individual dressage competition in Sydney, where she finished ninth.

But a disappointing result at a recent tournament and concerns about the fitness of her Quando-Quando after a gruelling year prompted her to withdraw from the same event in Athens.

She will be replaced by Mary Hanna on Limbo, who rode for Australia in Atlanta and Sydney.' Aussie rider pulls out of Olympics

Posted by Darren at 08:40 PM

Carly Patterson Makes US Gymnastics Team

Carly_patterson.jpg'Baton Rouge native Carly Patterson was a silver medalist in the all-around at last year's world championships and was also one of six chosen for the Olympics.
NEW WAVERLY, Texas -- In a somewhat anti-climatic announcement, Baton Rouge native Carly Patterson was named as one of the six gymnasts selected for the U.S. team for the Athens Olympics on Sunday.

Joining Patterson in Athens will be 26-year-old Cuban native Annia Hatch and Mohini Bhardwaj, whose training has been subsidized by former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson.

Courtney Kupets, who was co-national champion with Patterson, and Courtney McCool, the winner of a test event earlier this year at the Olympic venue, will lead the team. Terin Humphrey, part of the U.S. squad that won a gold medal at the world championships last summer, also made the team.' Read More at Patterson picked for Olympic team

Posted by Darren at 08:33 PM

Jarred Rome - Discuss

'Saving his best for last, discus thrower Jarred Rome of Marysville unloosed a final toss of 215 feet, 9 inches on Sunday, good enough for first place at the United States Olympic Track and Field Trials and earning him a spot on the American team at the upcoming Summer Games in Athens, Greece.'

Read More at Rome to Athens

Posted by Darren at 08:11 PM

Life in the Athens Olympic Village

The Scotsman has an interesting article that gives an insight into life in the Athens Olympic Village.

'The secret of the modern Olympics is that the athlete village, with its tightly packed collection of firm young bodies, 24-hour sports television and all-you-can eat international cuisine, has become the most exclusive VIP club in the world. It�s "a two-week-long private party for thousands of hard-bodies," says Nelson Diebel, an American swimmer who won gold twice in Barcelona. Like a mirage, the village appears in the middle of an exuberant host city for two weeks every two years. Open only to competitors, coaches and trainers, it�s a wonderland of hormones, glycogen and dance mixes.

The free dining hall is open 24/7. Vending machines dispense free soft drinks. Pool halls, cinemas, bowling alleys and discos stay open - and jumping - throughout the night. "It�s like adult Disney World for two weeks," says Christo Doyle, a television executive who was the assistant venue logistics manager for Atlanta�s village in 1996. "In Atlanta there were private concerts with big music stars, a free video arcade and all these ripped athletes riding around on free mountain bikes that BMW had given them."

The latest attraction is free internet service, which Marco Buechel, an alpine ski racer who competes for Liechtenstein, put to good use in Salt Lake City. "You can contact any athlete, even if you don�t know them at all," says Buechel. "They give you a list when you get there. Everybody uses it. I saw this beautiful ski racer, from Greece of all places. She had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. I saw her at the village and sent her an e-mail, in English. Her reply was very short: �Not good English. Want meet you.�"'

Read more at Let the games begin.

Also see more on this topic at Athletes achieve a personal best in sex

Posted by Darren at 07:08 PM

Athens Olympic Security Tightens

'Tens of thousands of law enforcement and military personnel were on high-level readiness Sunday before full-scale Olympic security measures are enforced in the country.

Security already has been heightened in the capital since July 1 when about 11,000 police officers and others began moving into Olympic venues and facilities in the first stage of the "lock down" process, which included security sweeps and tests of all surveillance operations.

In the second and last phase -- which is expected to begin Tuesday -- about 70,000 police, soldiers and other forces are expected to be deployed around Olympic venues, ports and other sensitive locations in the country leading to the Aug. 13-29 games.'

Read More at Greek authorities to launch full-scale Olympic security measures .

In related news progress is being made in delivering the final pieces of the Security System for the Games by an American company who has been contracted to provide the system.

'A senior official with the American-led consortium setting up a multimillion dollar security network for next month's Olympics said Saturday that progress has been made in delivering its final pieces.

"There has been progress. We are working on delivering the contract," Dave Tubbs, a senior vice president with the San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp., or SAIC, told The Associated Press.'
Source - Progress Seen for Olympic Security System

Posted by Darren at 09:52 AM

Tian Liang Under Pressure

China's Olympic Diving Champion Tian Liang is feeling the pressure to defend his Olympic Gold in Athens.

' "I think my mentality has changed a little bit after I won the Olympic and world titles because there are so much expectations from my fans and people I care," Tian said.

��� Making his Olympic debut with a fourth-place finish in Atlanta in 1996, Tian took the individual platform title four years later in Sydney where he also bagged a silver in the synchronized event with teammate Hu Jia.

��� He claimed two world titles from 1998 and 2001 World Swimming Championships before losing to Canadian Alexandre Despatie to settle for a bronze partly due to toe injury during the Barcelona Worlds last year.

��� "People have been used to my winning every event. They will be extremely disappointed if I lose," the 24-year-old Tian said.'

Source - Olympic champion Tian to put pressure behind him

Posted by Darren at 09:52 AM

Kevin Eastler Qualifies for Athens 20,000m Walk

'An exhausted Kevin Eastler had no problem settling for a third-place finish in the 20,000-meter racewalk at the Olympic Trials in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday.

The United States Air Force captain from Farmington was a shoe-in to make the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team anyway. All he had to do was finish the race with a decent time and a plane ticket to Athens was waiting for him at the airline counter.

Although he decided to lay low for this event, he still snatched third place with a time of 1:28:39. Tim Seaman was the No. 1 guy with a time of 1:25:40, while John Nunn played second fiddle to Seaman at 1:26:23.'

Read More at Racewalker Eastler qualifies for Athens.

Posted by Darren at 09:52 AM

Iraq's Ala' Hikmat al-Qaysi to Run at Olympics

Iraq's Ala' Hikmat al-Qaysi has received an invitation to run at Olympics. She is the only female athlete to represent Iraq in Athens.

'The hype and glory of next month's Olympics in Athens seem far away as Ala' Hikmat al-Qaysi, a young Iraqi sprinter, strides onto the dirt track of Kashafa Stadium, her long, braided ponytail bouncing behind her....

That power is what makes her, at 19, the only woman on Iraq's Olympic team, placing her on a road to Greece as bumpy as the track where she trained. Her participation in the Summer Games -- granted through invitation rather than by her qualifying times -- is another mark of the country's slow recovery from Saddam Hussein and decades of wars.

Full of symbolism, too, are the obstacles in her way. Like her country, she is short on equipment and must contend with a disorganized post-war Iraqi bureaucracy and the daily possibility of violence in the streets.' Read More at Iraq's lone female Olympian perseveres.

Posted by Darren at 09:52 AM

Justine Henin-Hardenne Looks to Return at Olympics

Justine Henin-Hardenne could return to the world Tennis circuit at the Athens Olympics after suffering with a virus for a number of months.

'Her only appearance since April was when she lost at the French Open but Rodriguez says she is on the mend.

"She has less problems concentrating and the fatigue is disappearing. This is encouraging," he told her website.' Source - Henin eyes Olympic return

Posted by Darren at 09:52 AM

Canada First and Second in Trampoline World Cup

Canada are in good shape to win medals in the Trampoline event (part of Gymnastics) at the Athens Olympics after finishing first and second at the Trampoline World Cup this week.

'World champion Karen Cockburn of Toronto bounced to first in a World Cup trampoline event in Savigon, Switzerland Saturday, while Ottawa's Heather Ross-McManus finished second.

The event featured 13 of the 16 athletes who will be competing in the Olympic Games in Athens next month.

"The goal here was to try out a new routine and it went very well," Cockburn said. "I've added more difficulty to the routine and that's what I plan to use at the Olympics. I'm still a bit cautious with it but I'm getting more comfortable."

Cockburn's score was 40.50 points, while Ross-McManus scored 39.70 and Olene Movchan of the Ukraine was third with 39.50 points.' Read More at Canadians finish 1-2 in World Cup trampoline.

Posted by Darren at 09:33 AM

July 18, 2004

Melvin Lister - Triple Jump

Interesting article on US Triple Jumper, Melvin Lister at Lister lands in Olympics on final triple jump try. Here's a taster...

'Lister, who until this week hadn't triple jumped as far as 55 feet in four years, moved from fourth to first on his final attempt at the U.S. Olympics Trials. The distance was 58 feet, 4 inches for a trials record.

"I've never pulled out anything that dramatic before," he acknowledged.

The top three make the Olympic team. Lister knocked off his training partner, Tim Rusan, who had held third place.

"I told him sorry," said Lister, 26, who installs car radios in Fayetteville, Ark. "I didn't want to stay home. Somebody had to stay home."

Walter Davis was second at 57-101/4 and Kenta Bell third at 57-81/4. Rusan was fourth at 57 feet. Lister's best was 56-103/4 until the last round.'

Lister lands in Olympics on final triple jump try

Posted by Darren at 09:26 PM

John Williams - Equestrian

Williams Rides Tall in the Saddle is a good article on the rider, John Williams, who will be competing in the Athens Olympics in the Team Eventing Competition.

'He was just horsing around at first, clinging to the reins, trying to keep pace with his peers.

Riding for the gold wasn't even a consideration for John Williams when he hopped aboard that pony as a 13-year-old nearly three decades ago.

It wouldn't be until years later, long after he had graduated from Honeoye Falls-Lima and RIT, that Williams would realize how that first ride marked the beginning of a journey that would carry him from the wooded trails of Mendon to an Olympic equestrian course in Athens.' Read More

Posted by Darren at 09:11 PM

Bryan Clay Beats Tom Pappas in Decathlon

The US may have a new Decathlon star in Bryan Clay who beat Tom Pappas at the US trials this week.

'Bryan Clay had three personal bests Saturday to upset the reigning world champion Pappas at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials.

Clay, 24, with decathlon bests in the discus (170 feet, 11 inches), pole vault (16-8 3/4) and javelin (224-3), compiled 8,660 points - 178 more than his previous top score.

Pappas was second with 8,517 to earn a berth in Athens, but he was 267 points off his best, set at last year's U.S. championships.' Read More at Clay Upsets Pappas to Win Trials Decathlon.

Posted by Darren at 02:53 PM

Athens Soccer Stadium Picture

Athens Soccer Stadium Officials may need to rethink one or two aspects of the design of their new venue.


Source - Full Sized Picture

Posted by Darren at 12:37 PM

Ireland v India - Men's Hockey Warm Ups

Ireland and India will play in Men's Hockey to help both teams prepare for their competition in Athens.

'THE Irish senior international team are to meet one of the greatest hockey nations in the world next month.

The men, currently in Belgium at a training camp, have accepted an invitation to play India as part of the Asian side's build-up for the Olympic Games in Athens.' Source - Hockey: Athens-bound India to take on Ireland

Posted by Darren at 12:24 PM

Athens Olympic Airship Security

Officials in Athens will watch over the city using a huge inflatable airship fitted with high resolution cameras and chemical 'sniffers' to help guard against Olympic Terrorism.

'Athens has big hopes for its inflatable spyware, which is being prepared to float over the city during next month's Olympics.

The 200-foot airship, which coasted in from Switzerland this week, will provide aerial images of greater Athens to help police direct the most expensive security operation in Olympic history.

Images from the blimp will be used with footage streaming from 1,300 new street and venue cameras, surveillance vans and nine police helicopters for the $1.2 billion security blitz.

The airship, filled with noncombustible helium, is fitted with dome-shaped sensors, including chemical "sniffers" and ultrahigh resolution cameras that also work at night, as well as detectors to pinpoint unexpected changes in image patterns.' Read More at Athens readies airship for Olympic terror patrol.

Posted by Darren at 12:24 PM

Bronwyn Thompson Wins Long Jump in Athens Preparation

'Australian Bronwyn Thompson proved her Olympic preparations were back on track when she leapt a season-best 6.8 metres to win the long jump at the IAAF Madrid Super Grand Prix.

Thompson's effort was almost 20 centimetres ahead of her closest rival, second-placed Anju George of India who jumped 6.62m.

Thompson scraped into the Olympic team when she recorded a qualifying jump of 6.72m in Melbourne in February which was just enough to secure her a ticket to Athens.' Read More at Australian wins long jump title.

Posted by Darren at 12:24 PM

Breaux Greer - Javelin

Breaux Greer could be one to watch for the Gold Medal in Javelin in Athens.

'Breaux Greer could have been a stud of a baseball player. He once threw a fastball 98 mph, drawing scouts to ogle him while he was in high school.

Instead, Greer decided to focus on throwing a different object: the javelin. Now he is one of the best in the world and headed to his second Olympics with a shot at getting a medal. Greer won the U.S. track and field trials on his first throw of 270 feet, 4 inches Saturday, despite competing with a torn ligament in his left knee.'Read More at - Greer wins javelin, aims for world record in Athens

Posted by Darren at 12:24 PM

Rulon Gardner Wins Tournament

'Olympic champion Rulon Gardner won his first Greco-Roman international title in three years on Saturday, capturing the 264 1/2-pound class at the Pytlasinski wrestling tournament in Warsaw.

Gardner defeated 2002 world bronze medalist Yuri Patrikeev of Russia 2-0 in the finals. In the semifinals, he beat 2003 world bronze medalist Mirian Giorgadze of Georgia 3-1.

Gardner is trying to become the first American to win two Olympic gold medals in Greco-Roman wrestling. The tournament was the last major tuneup before the Athens Olympics.'

Source - Gardner Wins Olympic Wrestling Tuneup

Posted by Darren at 12:17 PM

Marion Jones Pulls Out of 200 Final

Marion Jones has withdrawn from the 200m final at the US Trials in order to focus upon her Long Jumping and possible 4 x 100 relay in Athens.

'A person close to Jones said the triple gold medallist from the 2000 Olympics wanted to concentrate on the long jump at next month's Athens Games after already booking her place in that event.

"There is no injury," the source told Reuters. "She decided to pull out of the 200 because she wants to focus on the long jump in Athens and be a member of the U.S. 4x100 relay team."' Source Jones Pulls Out of 200 Final at U.S. Trials

Posted by Darren at 11:43 AM

July 17, 2004

Australian Men's Hockey Team Defeat Kiwis...Again

The Australian Men's Hockey team, the Kookaburras, have defeated the New Zealand team in an Olympic lead up series in Cairns with its latest win a 3-1 margin.

'The victory saw the Kookaburras clinch the series 2-0 and brought their unbeaten run against the Kiwis to 13 matches.

Bevan George, Jamie Dwyer and Nathan Eglington each scored for Australia, while Bevan Hari grabbed a consolation goal for the visitors.

It was Australia's final competitive match before the Olympic Games in Athens.

And despite the victory, Kookaburras coach Barry Dancer said he was looking for more consistency with the Athens Games less than one month away.'

Read More at ABC - Kookaburras complete series win over Kiwis

Posted by Darren at 10:25 PM

Athens Olympics - the Growth Hormone Games

The Age: Olympics face an ugly finishing line is an interesting article from an Australian Newspaper on the increased use of Growth Hormones by Athletes.

'For viewers and competitors, each Olympic Games is usually identified by its host city. But, as the use of performance-enhancing drugs has become endemic, scientists have tended to name each Games differently. For them, the Atlanta Games in 1996 were the Steroid Olympics, Sydney 2000 the EPO Olympics. Athens 2004 is being dubbed the Growth Hormone Olympics.

At this year's Games, as at many before, another race will be going on behind the scenes - the race to detect cheats. It used to be easy to spot the drug-takers - male weightlifters with Neanderthal jaws, female shot-putters with macho stubble - and relatively simple to detect the chemical aids that shaped them. But today's drugs, and their physical manifestations, are far more subtle and difficult to deal with.' Read More

Posted by Darren at 01:05 PM

Chris Hoy

BBC - Road to Athens: Chris Hoy has a good introduction to British Cyclist, Chris Hoy.

Born: 23 March 1976, Edinburgh
Olympic results:
2000 team sprint silver
Other results:
2004 world 1km gold, team sprint bronze
2003 world team sprint bronze
2002 world 1km and team sprint gold
2002 Commonwealth 1km gold, team sprint bronze
2001 world team sprint bronze
2000 world team sprint silver
1999 world team sprint silver

Read Chris Hoy's Full Profile

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

Athens Traffic Restrictions to be Introduced

Athens will institute new traffic restriction in the lead up to the Olympics in August to help prevent traffic jams during the Games.

'Major roads, including the route for the marathon race, will have dedicated Olympic lanes. Then there is a special lane for buses. The rest of the public can use what's left, which in most places will be a single lane.

The result could be lengthy traffic jams during the Aug. 13-29 Games if Athenians insist on sticking with their cars.' Athens to limit traffic during Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:46 PM

Introduction to Olympics Venues

The Scotsman has a great introduction to some of the Athens Olympic Games Venues including the Athlete's Village.

'THE OLYMPIC VILLAGE includes a sports complex of more than 5,000 square metres with an Olympic-size swimming pool, a jogging track, four tennis courts and gym facilities for all residents. It will be a high-security zone for 16,000 athletes and team officials. It has 2,292 flats, 8,814 rooms and 17,428 beds. It will provide public housing after the Games. ' Read More

Posted by Darren at 12:41 PM

NBC - 99.99% Reliabe Connection for Athens Olympics

NBC are working hard on getting their infrastructure in place for the Athens Olympics by not only having one or two connections for their video, audio and data transmissions but six. During their 1210 hours of broadcasting over the 17 days of competition they will utilize three satellite network linkups and three land-based connections to ensure they always have a connection.

'The six connections, which were set up by AT&T; Corp., are designed to ensure 99.99% reliability, or about one minute of downtime per week, according to officials from the two companies. NBC will be able to send live feeds from Greece to the U.S. over all six links at once or use them for separate transmissions.

�An Olympic event is a one-time event, and there are no do-overs,� Bob Kiraly, director of broadcast and telecommunications operations at NBC, said in an interview from Athens this week. �Everything we plan for in our networks or our Athens operations center is really based on a failure scenario. You certainly can�t tell a marathon runner that you need to run it over [because of a network issue].�

Kiraly added that the six layers of network redundancy are accompanied by built-in systems redundancy at NBC�s on-site network operations center. All servers, switches, routers and power supplies have one or two backups, he said.' Read More at NBC seeks network stability for Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:36 PM

Athens Olympics Terrorism - The Local Threat

The Scotsman has an interesting article on the threat of Athens Anarchists and Terrorism at the Athens Olympics.

'Government officials admit that the sort of small bombs set off in May by a group called Revolutionary Struggle - exactly 100 days before the opening ceremony - are far more likely to derail the games than a major al-Qaeda strike. Such anarchist activity is a regular occurrence in Greece, with minor explosions under cars or outside banks in the dead of night rarely causing more than limited damage.

But a similar attack during the Games could lead many nervous countries to pack their bags and head straight to the airport.

Mr Argyriadis refuses to condemn the actions of fellow anarchists. He says: "You want us to be for or against the bombs. What we say is we don�t support the violence and force that the state uses on society. We had not heard of the group who claimed responsibility for those bombs. They have no link with us.

"Will we use violence during the Olympics? We are going to make a statement. We are not the enemy of society. The authorities are." '

Read More at - After botched buildings come Athens bombers

Posted by Darren at 12:25 PM

The End for Chew Choon Eng and Chan Chong Ming Partnership?

Will the partnership between Chew Choon Eng and Chan Chong Ming end with the Athens Olympics?

'The four-year-old partnership could be broken up if they fare badly. And seasoned campaigner Choon Eng is prepared to accept any verdict.�

For now though, his heart is set on achieving his best ever result with Chong Ming at Athens. The badminton competition is from Aug 14-21 at the Goudi Sports Complex.�

National doubles pair -- Chew Choon Eng (left) and Chan Chong Ming.
�My coach (Yap Kim Hock) may have plans for me after the Olympic Games. Whatever the outcome, I am prepared to accept it,� said the 27-year-old Choon Eng.�

�Personally, I would like to continue playing. But if my services are no longer required, I will leave. If BAM (Badminton Association of Malaysia) want me to become a coach, I will venture into it. If they do not want me to partner Chong Ming anymore and give me a new partner, I will also accept it.�' Read More at - Uncertain future for doubles pair Choon Eng-Chong Ming

Posted by Darren at 11:56 AM

Szymon Kolecki Test Positive for Steroids

Polish weightlifter, Szymon Kolecki has tested positive for steroids. If this test is confirmed he will be stripped of his silver medal from the Sydney Olympics and barred from competition in Athens.

'Szymon Kolecki will undergo further tests in a week, Marek Golab, an official with the Polish Union of Weightlifters, said Friday. The results will determine whether Kolecki will compete at next month's Olympics.

"The way it looks right now, he doesn't stand much of a chance," Golab said.'

Source - Star Polish weightlifter tests positive

Posted by Darren at 11:51 AM

On Guard Against Olympic Hackers

CBS: Guarding Games Against Hackers

'Another security front line is quietly watched over by a French executive armed with only a clipboard and flow charts. His foes include distant hackers, invisible computer viruses, code-burrowing worms and the Trojan horses of the cyber age.

"We can't let our guard down for even a moment," said Claude Philipps, program director for major events at Atos Origin, a Paris-based technology firm that first took over Olympic data services at Salt Lake City in 2002. '

Posted by Darren at 11:46 AM

Athens falls short on green pledge

ATHENS, Greece (Reuters) -- Athens Olympic organizers have failed in their pledge to deliver a green Games, the Worldwide Fund for nature (WWF) claims in a report released on Friday.

Greece won their Olympic bid in 1997 promising to address air and water quality, fragile natural areas, traffic and waste management, but green groups have accused organizers, the government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of failing on all counts.

"Unfortunately the environment never featured as a priority in the planning of the Athens Olympics," said Dimitris Caravellas from WWF Greece.

Full Article: Athens falls short on green pledge

Posted by at 12:51 AM

RCMP aids Olympic security

CNEWS - Olympic security

A senior officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will accompany the Canadian Olympic team to Athens to assist with their security during the games.

Posted by at 12:33 AM

Canada Names Baseball roster

The Calgary Sun: Hitting 'em hard

The Canadian Olympic baseball team crafts an eye-catching collective resume. The lengthy document includes a World Series ring, a third-place finisher in the race for 1997 American League rookie of the year and 1,385 games of major-league experience.

In naming its 24-player Olympic roster yesterday, Baseball Canada opted for veteran savvy over promising prospects. Seventeen players return from the team that earned Canada's Olympic berth last year in Panama, while 15 players from the Athens-bound squad have played in the big leagues.

Posted by at 12:27 AM

July 16, 2004

British Swimming Team - Massive Improvement

British National performance director Bill Sweetenham says that the British Olympic Swimming Team has improved massively in the lead up to Athens.

'Sweetenham has presided over a remarkable turnaround in fortunes in a relatively short space of time after the team emerged from the Sydney Olympics empty-handed.

Just a year later, the team, vilified by the press who questioned their continued Lottery funding after the Sydney debacle, returned from the World Championships in Fukuoka with seven medals, including gold for the women�s 4x200 metres relay team.

However, it was last year�s world event in Barcelona which illustrated the extent of the improvement when Katy Sexton and James Gibson won gold � in the 200m backstroke and 50m breaststroke respectively � as a haul of eight medals was secured.

Now the team has very realistic medal ambitions for Athens and Sweetenham underlined the extent of the strides that have been made prior to the national long-course championships in Manchester.'

Read More at Sweetenham Upbeat Ahead of Athens

Posted by Darren at 11:42 PM

Japan's Women's Olympic Football Team

The Japanese Olympic Women's Soccer team will be lead by top goalscorer Homare Sawa.

'The former US Atlanta Beat striker, who also represented Japan in the 1996 Olympics as well as the World Cup in 1995, 1999 and last year, has bagged a total of 52 goals in 85 games.

Sixteen of the 18 players went to the women's World Cup in America last year, with five of them, including goalkeeper Nozomi Yamago, defender Hiromi Isozaki, midfielders Tomoe Sakai, Tomomi Miyamoto and Yayoi Kobayashi, also playing the cup in 1999, also held in the United States.

Forward Mio Otani, who played for the national team for the first time in a friendly against Australia in May 2000, is Japan's fourth top goalscorer with 30 goals in 44 games, while Kobayashi has scored 12 goals in 49 games to be 12th.

Japan's coach Eiji Ueda said he had been watching videos of the teams his squad would face in preliminary group E in Athens.' Read more at Sawa to spearhead Japanese Olympic team

Posted by Darren at 04:47 PM

China's Xia Xuanze Won't Compete in Olympic Badminton

'China have dropped reigning world champion Xia Xuanze from the squad to the Athens Olympic Games. �

And that�s one big hurdle out of the way for Malaysia�s number one singles shuttler Wong Choong Hann.�

Choong Hann has never beaten the world number five player in his career, losing miserably in eight attempts. In fact, it was Xuanze who spoiled Choong Hann�s debut in the Olympics at Sydney four years ago, beating him in the quarter-finals.�

On Wednesday, the China BA named world number one Lin Dan, Bao Chunlai (world number four) and Chen Hong (world number two) for the Games. �

There were five qualifiers - Lin Dan, Chunlai, Chen Hong, Xuanze and Chen Yu - in the top 16 at the end of the Olympic qualifying period in May but countries are allowed to send only a maximum of three players.�

There was a tussle for the third spot between the two Chinese �veterans� Xuanze, 26 and Chen Hong, 25, who have not been producing the desired results.�'

Read More at World champion dropped from team to Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 04:35 PM

Indian Olympic Hockey Team

The selection process for the Indian Olympic Hockey Squad is serious stuff.

'To select a team of 16 for the mega-event, IHF has set up a squad of almost 11 selectors, add to that M P Ganesh�s who is waiting for a clearance by the government. All these would travel to Duesseldorf, Germany, to pick the finest combination possible for Greece.

The selection process will take place during the four-nation tournament involving India, Germany, Great Britain and France.'

Source - ��IHF sets up team to pick Olympic squad

Posted by Darren at 04:26 PM

Two added to US Men's Olympic Gymnastics Team

The Men's US Gymnastics team has been finalized with these last two additions.

'Blaine Wilson and Guard Young were added to the U.S. Men's Gymnastics Team on Thursday, filling the final two spots on the Olympic roster that will compete in the Athens Games next month.'

Read More at Olympic gymnastics: Two added to men's team

Posted by Darren at 04:25 PM

Athens Olympics Preparations Damage Environment

Environmentalists believe that Athens Olympics preparations are damaging the environment in the mountains near Athens.

'"Without positive action by the International Olympic Committee ... the reputation of the games as a center of excellence will be tarnished," the World Wildlife Fund said in a report.

The WWF argued that there was serious damage to wetlands and forest areas by the construction of the rowing and canoeing center.

It added that the mountains of Parnitha, Hymettus and Pendeli as well as some other natural areas were too close to Olympic construction and road networks.

The WWF added that environmentally sound water saving and recycling programs were lacking, but it gave Athens high marks for improving the mass transit network and removing large advertising signs.' Read more at Games preparations hurt environment. Also read Athens falls short on green pledge.

Posted by Darren at 04:09 PM

Advertise on Athens Olympic Games Blog

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If you were advertising with us today (12 August) that's how many would be exposed to your ad - and the Olympics havn't even begun yet!)

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Currently (as of 12th August) over 48,000 Unique Visitors visit the site daily, each viewing multiple pages. This figure is set to explode as the games get closer and as we increase the amount of pages on the site. It is difficult to estimate visitor levels at the peak of the Games but they could top 50,000 - 100,000 daily visitors.

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Posted by Darren at 02:10 PM

2nd Power Blackout hits Athens

A second power failure has hit sections of Athens this week. Whilst not on as big a scale as the previous blackout which took out power to the whole of the city this will be setting warning bells ringing for Olympics organizers with only 29 days to go.

'The Athens Acropolis and two nearby city quarters were dogged by voltage drops and electricity cuts for more than an hour Thursday, three days after a general power failure struck half of Greece.' Read More at Greece's capital struck by a 2nd power failure

Posted by Darren at 01:51 PM

Marion Jones Qualifies for Athens

Marion Jones has qualified for the Athens Olympics in the Long Jump.

'Five-medal Sydney Olympic star Jones jumped 7.11 metres, the second-longest leap in the world this year, to book an Athens trip.

She had finishing fifth in the 100m final last weekend, failing to earn a chance to defend her title.

Jones' winning leap, aided by a 1.8m/sec tailwind, was the longest by an American since her own 7.13m effort at the 1998 Grand Prix final in Moscow.

The only longer leap in 2004 was 7.16m by Jamaica's Elva Goulbourne.' Source - Jones leaps into Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 01:38 PM

Melissa Jennison Shoots into Australian Archery Team

Melissa Jennison has been selected at the last minute to compete in Australia's Archery team in Athens after Jade Betty withdrew from the team due to injury. Read the full story at The Age

Posted by Darren at 12:05 PM

First Greek Women's Soccer Team

After Greece's win in the European Football Championships one would expect that Soccer will be rather popular across the nation. This is true but it seems that it's only men's soccer that has been a passion for Greek football enthusiasts. This could be about to change with the introduction of the first Greek women's football team which has been announced in the lead up to the Athens Olympics.

'"It is a good opportunity. If we are good surely things will be different. Soccer will be professional and sponsors will get involved," said 21-year-old Angeliki Lagoumtzi, a defender on the team from the northern town of Kavala.

Getting the women's team together was not easy, even if Greece got in as host country allowing its female squad to take part in the Aug. 13-29 games without qualifying.

There is not much of an amateur league and Greek officials had to scour the country and among Greek diaspora communities for talent.

They eventually signed up 13 women from Greece and another nine of Greek descent from the United States.'

First Greek women's soccer team ready to go

Posted by Darren at 12:05 PM

Olympics Opening Ceremony to Feature Replica Ship

'The opening ceremony of the Athens Games apparently will feature a life-size replica of a ship, and the Olympic flame will burn in a giant copy of the torch used in the global relay, The Associated Press has learned.

Photographs obtained by the AP on Thursday show two pieces cut into the shape of a ship's hull being lowered into a hole in the middle of the main Olympic stadium.

Olympic organizers refused to comment or give details about the Aug. 13 opening ceremony, which is a closely guarded secret. But they have not denied repeated reports that the stadium field will be flooded in a spectacle to recreate Greece's interplay of sea and land....

Earlier this month, officials in the central Greek city of Volos told the AP they plan a ceremony next month built around the myth of Jason and the Argonauts, raising speculation that it also could be part of the Athens extravaganza. Volos is one of four cities outside Athens hosting Olympic soccer matches.' Read More at Athens ceremony to feature replica of ship.

Posted by Darren at 12:05 PM

Introduction to Olympic Taekwondo

Sports Network have yet another good introduction to Olympic Taekwondo complete with history and tips of who to watch in Taekwondo events in Athens.

'Korea and Chinese Taipei figure to dominate the medal board in Athens, but there will also be at least one hometown favorite for the Greeks. Michalis Mouroutsis won the gold medal in the 58kg category in 2000 and will challenge Spain's Juan Antonio Ramos and Chu Mu Yen of Chinese Taipei.'

Posted by Darren at 12:05 PM

Introduction to Olympic Volleyball

The Post Searchlight has a good preview of Olympic in Athens. It has a quick overview of the history of Olympic as well as a good introduction to those in contention in Athens.

As we've predicted here at Athens Olympic Games Blog - it looks like Brazil will be hard to beat in both men's and women's competition.

Posted by Darren at 12:05 PM

Iraqi Olympic Chief - 'It's Mostly About Pride'

Reuters has an interesting interview with Iraq's Olympic chief - Ahmed al-Samarrai.

'"Holding Iraq's flag at this important international event is an achievement we are very proud of, all Iraqis are proud of it," Ahmed al-Samarrai said.

Iraq is sending a team of 17 athletes to Athens, many on a special invitation from sports federations and the Games' organizers.

The country, widely ostracized in the sporting world after its invasion of Kuwait in 1990, was officially suspended from the Olympic movement in April 2003.

It was welcomed back in February 2004 after the fall of Saddam Hussein and since then the chief of the country's Olympic committee has been working round the clock to get a team together.

Winning medals is hardly the top priority, it's mostly about pride.'

INTERVIEW:Iraqi Pride Matters More Than Gold Medals

Posted by Darren at 12:05 PM

Introduction to Olympic Baseball

Sports Network has a good preview of Olympic Baseball.

'Eight teams will compete in the Olympics this year. They are: Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Cuba, Canada, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.

The games will be played on two fields at the Hellinikon Olympic Complex. One field will have a seating capacity of 9,000, while the other holds 4,000 spectators....

Cuba has dominated the competition at the Olympics, winning the gold medal in 1992 and '96, before being shut out, 4-0 in the title game in 2000.

Japan and Taiwan will represent Asia in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games as a result of respectively winning the gold and silver medals from the Asian Championship. Japan was the silver medalist in 1996 and nearly won the bronze medal in 2000 but lost to South Korea. Taiwan won the silver in 1992.'

Posted by Darren at 12:05 PM

Introduction to Olympic Diving

Sports Network has a good preview of Olympic Diving which includes the history of Diving at the Olympics as well as a short preview into the events in Athens.

'For the second straight Summer Olympics, there will be eight diving events when the Games kick off in Athens on August 12. The men's and women's 10-meter platform and three-meter springboard events will again be accompanied by synchronized versions after a successful trial run in Sydney in 2000.

Eight pairs of divers and nine judges will watch the competition, and just like the other four events, the synchronized dives will be judged on a 0-10 scale with the highest and lowest scores among the seven judges dropped. The remaining scores are added together and multiplied by a degree of difficulty between 1.2 and 3.6 before being multiplied again by six....

The U.S. has struggled to maintain its stranglehold on diving domination at the Olympics, losing ground to the Chinese over the last two Games.

China won three of the four gold medals awarded in Atlanta in 1996, and nearly swept the Sydney Games. The Chinese have taken every gold medal in women's springboard since 1988, and had won every gold in women's platform since 1984 until Wilkinson halted that streak with her performance in 2000.'

Posted by Darren at 12:05 PM

German Gymnast - Ronny Ziesmer - Paralysed during Practice

'A German gymnast who was expected to contend for a medal at the Athens Olympics broke his neck during practice, and doctors expect him to remain paralyzed.

Ronny Ziesmer fell during a floor exercise Monday, breaking a neck vertebra and damaging his spinal cord. He was executing a double somersault. His arms and legs have been paralyzed since.

"We assume that the paralysis will remain as it is," Dr. Stephan Becker of the trauma hospital in Berlin said Thursday.' Read More at German Olympic hopeful paralyzed after fall

Posted by Darren at 12:05 PM

US Long Distance Swimmers Get $1 Million Incentive

I just saw this buried down the bottom of an article on the US Swimming trials.

'Hoping to spur more interest in the long distance events, USA Swimming is offering $1 million to an American swimmer who wins gold and sets a world record in either the women's 800 or men's 1,500.'

Source - U.S. Swimmng Trials: Veteran, youngster earn wins

Posted by Darren at 12:05 PM

Australian Table Tennis Team Announced

Australia has selected it's Olympic Table Tennis Team.

The Team is:

Russell Lavale
William Henzell
Trevor Brown
David Zalcberg

Miao Miao
Jian Fang Lay

Source - Olympic Table Tennis team selected

Posted by Darren at 10:04 AM

Ian Crocker Breaks 100m Butterfly World Record

'Ian Crocker broke a world record with a time of 50:76 for the 100m butterfly stroke in the US at the Olympic swimming trials in California prior to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Crocker held the previous record at 50:98. The successful swimmer said on Wednesday that he was very happy to have improved upon the record he broke in Barcelona at the 2003 World Championship. ' Source - 100m Butterfly World Record Set

Posted by Darren at 09:10 AM

Britain's new sprint sensation

Britain has a new Athlete heading for the Olympics next month, who though very few have heard of her, seems to be in top form.

Ohuruogu is the previously unheard-of student who gate-crashed the British team for the Olympics by knocking an incredible three seconds off her personal best in the space of a few months.

On Sunday she won the 400m at the Olympic trials in spectacular fashion, running over a second faster than she had ever done before

Winning at 50.98secs makes Christine Ohuruogu's name (that's o-ho-roo-goo) one to look out for.

Source: Britians new Spinting sensation

Posted by at 12:34 AM

How ready is Athens?

BBC Sport takes a look at the major venues in Athens and their readiness...

Despite the Olympics being awarded to Athens in 1997, major works did not actually start until 2000 and some of the 38 venues in the city have yet to be completed, with the Games due to begin on 13 August.

The estimated cost has risen from an original �2.7bn to well over �3bn as a number of high-profile projects have suffered serious setbacks. Venue Details/Full Article

Posted by at 12:27 AM

Edwards Fails doping Test

THE IAAF confirmed today that world 100 metres champion Torri Edwards has failed a drugs test, placing her participation in this summer�s Olympic Games in doubt.

Edwards tested positive for nikethamide after a meeting in Martinique on April 24 and IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said: "Both Edwards� A and B samples tested positive after the meeting."

The 27-year-old Edwards, considered to be one of the favourites for gold in Athens, will have her US Anti-Doping Agency hearing on Monday, July 19, and if found guilty could face a ban of two years.

BBC News notes that Edwards' positive test means that the every athlete on the podium in that World 200m has now failed a dope test.

Source: Edwards Fails test
Source: Edwards Tests Positive

Posted by at 12:22 AM

July 15, 2004

Michael Phelps - Going for Eight Gold Medals

Michael Phelps has announced that he will compete in 8 events at the Athens Olympics in August.

He will take part in the 200 meters freestyle, 100 and 200 meters butterfly and 200 and 400 meters individual medley. He will also enter three relay races. Source - Phelps to Bid for Eight Olympic Golds

Posted by Darren at 12:32 PM

Ryoko Tani - Japanese Judo Star Injured

Japan's Judo team has taken a hit with an injury to its defending bantamweight champion Ryoko Tani.

'Tani, who won the world title for the sixth time in a row last year, damaged muscles and tendons on her left fibula during a training session.

"We have no idea at the moment when she would be able to resume training," said Japan women's coach Kazuro Yoshimura.' Source - Injury fear for Tani

Posted by Darren at 12:29 PM

Trampoline a Medal Sport in Athens

After previously being an exhibition sport at Olympic Games Trampoline is set to become a medal sport at the games in Athens as part of the Gymnastics competition.

'In trampoline, athletes perform 10 skills in a row. Parilla says performing one difficult skill after another is the most exciting part of the sport. ' Source - Trampoline Becomes Olympic Medal Sport

Posted by Darren at 12:25 PM

Li Xiaopeng to Spearhead Chinese Olympic Gymnastics Team

China's Olympic Gymnastic team is gearing up for competition in Athens where they are hoping to win Gold medals with a team lead by Olympic and world champion Li Xiaopeng.

"We have set a minimum target of two or three gold medals," head coach Huang Yubin said during a break in a workout session.

Chinese gymnasts grabbed three golds, including the country's first men's team title, at the 2000 Olympics.

The 22-year old Li captured gold in the parallel bars in Sydney and has been untouchable on the bars and the vault -- his favourite disciplines -- over the last two seasons....

Two of the team's most likely medallists in Athens are 2003 balance beam world champion Fan Ye and Zhang Nan.' Read More of this story at China's gymnasts poised to land multiple gold

Posted by Darren at 12:19 PM

Michael Kalganov - Israeli Medal Hope

'Michael Kalganov grew up kayaking the rivers of Uzbekistan, but now his kayak streaks across the still blue water of the Sea of Galilee, racing past eucalyptus groves and fishermen casting nets.

Kalganov, a thickly muscled 29-year-old, is one of Israel's best hopes for an Olympic medal in Athens, having won Israel's only medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, a bronze in kayaking. Like nearly half of Israel's Olympic team, he came here as part of a wave of immigration from the former Soviet Union.' Read more at From Uzbekistan to Jerusalem: Olympic Team and Hopes Grow

Posted by Darren at 12:14 PM

Shang Shichun - Chinese Weightlifter Banned

'A world champion Chinese women's weightlifter will miss next month's Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, after she failed a drug test.

Chinese state-run media report the country's weightlifting association banned Shang Shichun from competition for two years and ordered her to pay a $600 fine.' Source - Chinese Weightlifter to Miss Olympics After Failing Drug Test

Posted by Darren at 12:06 PM

British Rowing Team Taking Shape

Tom Stallard will replace Ed Coode in the British men's eight rowing team in Athens.

'Stallard was one of five new members named on Wednesday in the 36-strong British rowing team which will have 11 boats competing in Athens.

Alan Campbell, Pete Gardner, Simon Cottle and Peter Wells also gained call-ups for the men's quadruple scull.'

Source - Stallard joins rowing eight

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM

Introduction to Olympic Table Tennis

Sports Network has a good 2004 Summer Olympic Games Table Tennis Preview complete with the short history of Olympic Table Tennis and a preview of the Athens competition. It looks like China will be hard to beat.

'If hindsight is 20/20, and history is any marker, the Chinese will stand out among the 172 athletes competing in table tennis. There are three Chinese men among the top-5 in the current World Rankings, and all three will compete in singles in Athens: Liqin Wang, Lin Ma and Hao Wang. Ma will also play doubles.

The Chinese women hold every top-5 position in the current World Rankings, but as rules stipulate, they can send just three athletes to compete in singles.

The most dominating presence in Athens may be that of the Chinese women's team, which boasts top-2 players Yining Zhang and Nan Wang competing in not only singles, but also as a doubles team. Jianfeng Niu, the No. 3 player in the world, will be China's third and final singles player.

Also, on the men's side, keep an eye on Waldner of Sweden. Referred to as the "Michael Jordan of Table Tennis," Waldner won silver in singles at the Sydney Games in addition to his gold in Barcelona.'

Posted by Darren at 11:35 AM

The Rise of Jeff Smoke

We all love the story of a nobody rising through the ranks quickly to an elite level of achievement. Jeff Smoke's story is one of those. Three years ago he'd never considered kayaking as an option - today he's in the US Olympic Kayaking team.

'That's why he was surprised that, when he decided to take up kayaking three years ago, it came so naturally to him. Now, with less than half the experience of other competitors, Smoke is on his way to Athens, Greece as a member of the U.S. Olympic Sprint Kayaking team.

He will compete for a gold medal in the two-man 1000-meter sprint kayak. Sprint kayaking is a straight race done in flat, calm water, as opposed to slalom kayaking, which is done in a zigzag pattern in rapids.

Smoke said he's excelled at kayaking because he's always been athletic. Once he shunned the sport as a kid, he turned to triathlons. He won two national triathlon championships, one at the age of 10, the other at 19.'

After just two years kayaking, Jeff Smoke qualified for the U.S. Olympic team.

Posted by Darren at 11:09 AM

Jana Pittman Inspired by Sheena Johnson's Fast Time

Australia's Jana Pittman is not concerned by the fast time of Sheena Johnson in the 400m hurdles at the US Olympic Trials - rather she is using it as an inspiration to push harder in her own hurdling.

'Johnson's 400 metres hurdles time of 52.95 seconds this week was more than a quarter of a second faster than world champion Pittman's best time of 53.22 and ahead of her season-best 53.52 set in Greece earlier this month.

But rather than doubting her own claims to the event's Olympic gold medal in Athens, Pittman has welcomed the challenge presented by Johnson. "We're training for the Olympics and we need someone to come out and run fast and it's probably a good thing, it gives you a kick up the backside to make sure that you're on the right track," Pittman said from her base in Switzerland.' Read More at Pittman welcomes Johnson's challenge

Posted by Darren at 11:09 AM

Introduction to Olympic Weightlifting

The Sport Network has a good introduction to Weightlifting at the Olympics. It includes Olympic Weightlifting history as well as previews of the sport in Athens.

'A sport that dates back to even the most ancient civilizations returns to the birthplace of the Olympics, as Weightlifting takes center stage at the Nikaia Olympic Weightlifting Hall at the 2004 games in Athens from August 14 through the 25th.'

Posted by Darren at 11:09 AM

Introduction to Olympic Wrestling

Introduction to Wrestling at the Olympics. It includes Olympic Wrestling history as well as a preview for Athens.

'The sport, which utilizes two distinctly different disciplines featuring seven weight classes in each, and now involves both male and female combatants, has evolved considerably since oil-covered grapplers first appeared on the very first Olympic stage in 776 B.C. in Athens....

The 63 kg weight class should be hotly contested with Japan's Kaori Icho being the favorite. Icho is the two-time defending World Champion, and she should see considerable competition from Russia's Alena Kartacheva, who was the 2002 World Champion at 59 kg. Japan's Kyoko Hamaguchi is the favorite at 72 kg, as she has five World Championships to her credit.'

Posted by Darren at 11:09 AM

The Marion Jones Saga

The plight of Marion Jones is one that is causing much talk around Athletics circles. It looks increasingly as though she won't qualify for the Athens Olympics.

'Jones, who won an unprecedented five medals at the 2000 Sydney Games and had talked of trying to match that haul in Athens, could go home empty-handed - if she goes to the Summer Games at all.

She won the 100 four years ago. This time she didn't qualify. She won the 200 four years ago. She'll try to qualify in that event starting Friday, but her stamina is in question after she seemed to fade toward the end of the 100.

And she was a bronze medalist in the long jump in 2000. On Monday night, Jones could do no better than seventh in the Trials' qualifying round - in an event in which only one other American has reached the Olympic qualifying standard this year.' Read More at - Jones' struggles evoke sympathy from other runners

Posted by Darren at 11:09 AM

Low Expectations the Key to Athens Success

Mike Lopresti believes that the key to Athens Olympic success will be Low Expectations.

'Actually, through all its troubles, Athens might have actually hit on the perfect marketing strategy.

Low expectations.

After stories of construction delays, worker strikes, government turnover, public antipathy, money troubles, security lapses, unfinished venues, unpaved roads, planted bombs, brush fires, blackouts and traffic jams, anything less than chaos in Athens will be considered a success.

Just imagine if the trains run on time and the lights stay on and the Games come off without gunfire.

Just imagine if everything goes so smoothly, everyone can get back to the normal pastime of the Olympics -- which of course, is getting mad at the judging.

Why, then, Athens will be everybody's hero. Athens is a 10-1 underdog that should know by now if it finishes in one piece, it will look like a champion. Athens is Rocky.' Read the rest of this witty yet insightful column at Athens will take gold in setting low expectations

Posted by Darren at 11:09 AM

Michael Phelps - Will he or Won't he?

The Santa Cruz Sentinal takes a look at the attempt of Michael Phelps to win 7 Gold Medals at the Athens Olympics.

'Let�s get something straight. If Michael Phelps wins seven gold medals in Athens he will not have tied Mark Spitz�s record, but crushed it and done a huge service for swimming along the way.

He has already brought unheard-of attention to the U.S. Olympic trials, with networks cutting away from the track and field trials just to show Phelps� semifinal races. Every year after an Olympics, USA Swimming reports a large increase in membership. Phelps� quest to win the most gold medals in a single Olympics in any sport will boost those numbers even higher.

What makes the attempt at the record so enthralling is that, in order to bring home the hardware, Phelps and his relay teammates will have to swim their best races ever under the weight of crippling expectations.' Read More at Phelps chasing more than Spitz: Pursuit of seven golds may be loftiest goal in sports history

Posted by Darren at 11:09 AM

A Different Kind of Doping Story

Yahoo! News - Olympics Helicopter Finds Cannabis Farms

Police uprooted thousands of cannabis plants on the island of Crete after a tip from police who saw three fields of the crop as they shadowed the Olympic torch relay in a helicopter, authorities said Wednesday.

Posted by at 03:43 AM

Cuba Plays Japan - Baseball

Cuba and Japan are playing two games of baseball in the lead up to the Athens Olympics. These are two of the favorite teams for the games and could give a real insight into who might get Gold in Athens.

'Outfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi of the Yomiuri Giants drove in the tying run in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday as Japan and Cuba played to a 1-1 tie in what could be a preview of the gold medal game at the Athens Olympics.

Playing before a crowd of 25,000 at Tokyo Dome, Yoshitomo Tani of the Orix BlueWave doubled to the wall in right field and scored on Takahashi's double to center that fell just beyond the reach of outfielder Carlos Tabares.

Cuba is in Japan for a pair of warmup games ahead of the Olympics. The two teams are to play again Wednesday at the same venue.' Read More - Sanchez delivers key hit as Cuba edges Japan in Olympic tuneup

Posted by Darren at 12:35 AM

US Olympic Uniforms

US_Olympic_Uniforms.jpgThe US Athens Olympics Uniform has been revealed in a fashion show.

'Nike and USA Track & Field unveiled the uniforms that members of the Olympic team will sport next month in Athens. And, just as with any couture runway show in New York, these fashions won't look good on just any body.

This was definitely a no-fat, no-flab affair.

The models, who paraded across a stage at the Sacramento State Alumni Center, are competitors at the Trials, including pole vaulters Stacy Dragila and Toby Stevenson, long jumper Grace Upshaw and track stars Justin Gatlin, Allen Johnson, Inger Miller, Sanya Richards, Jen Toomey and Shalane Flanagan....

he collection includes the Nike Swift Suit, which comes in two versions of a unitard, one of which was modeled by sprinter Justin Gatlin. "The suit feels real good," he said.

The women have several tops to pick from and two styles of shorts, a boy-cut version and a brief. Todd Van Horne, Nike creative director for Olympics and apparel, said the female athletes stressed they wanted "to look more feminine at these Games."' Source Sleek Olympic fashions are fresh and functional

Posted by Darren at 12:29 AM

Marcy Gray, Lenny Kravitz and Avril Lavigne sing on Olympics Albums

Macy Gray, Lenny Kravitz and Avril Lavigne are three of the stars who are contributing to three special albums that have been recorded to celebrate the Athens Olympics.

'The albums, titled �Phos,� �Unity� and �Harmony,� were recorded for the Aug. 13-29 Games, record label EMI Greece announced Monday.

�Phos,� which means light in Greek, features songs by Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis sung by Greek musicians. �Unity� is made up of international stars and �Harmony� has classical songs.' Source - U.S. singers record tunes for Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:22 AM

Greek Electricity Black Out Investigation

'A prosecutor ordered an emergency investigation Tuesday into what caused a power outage that hit more than half of Greece and whether one could strike during the Olympics, now only a month away.

The government formed its investigative committee after blaming Monday's blackout on alleged mismanagement of the electricity distribution network. Its findings will be released in eight days, an official said.

"We will determine the causes and make immediate corrections," government spokesman Panos Livaditis said.' Source - Greece Power Outage Probed

Posted by Darren at 12:16 AM

July 14, 2004

China Wins in Men's Basketball Tournament

'China beat Croatia 92-55 in an exciting high-scoring and quality match to win the four-nation men's basketball tournament here on Sunday.

China raced to a 6-1 lead in the first five minutes. Li Nan and Yao Ming combined to scored all of China's next six field goals to extend the lead to 19-8.

"This is the best game we played in these three days,"said Del Harris, head coach of China. "It is good for us to compete with a good physical basketball team like Croatia and Brazil. The matches against them gave us good experiences like boxing matches."' Source - China wins four-nation basketball tournament

Posted by Darren at 11:33 PM

Beginners Guide to Olympic Modern Pentathlon

BBC has a good Beginners Guide to Modern Pentathlon.

'The modern pentathlon is now an even stiffer challenge than it was when first introduced to the Olympics in 1912.

Designed as the ultimate test of endurance and athletic versatility, it consists of five events - shooting, fencing, swimming, showjumping and a 3,000m run.

But where it was once staged over four days, since Atlanta in 1996 the entire competition has been condensed into a gruelling 12-hour period.'

Read More of the Beginners Guide to Modern Pentathlon.

Read Modern Pentathlon results and medalists as they happen.

Posted by Darren at 09:59 PM

15,000 Dogs Under Threat in Athens

'EXPERTS fear up to 15,000 stray dogs will be poisoned before next month's Athens Olympics so the city looks "pristine".

Authorities in the Greek capital fear the sight of packs roaming the streets will damage the country's bid to show it is modern and civilised, the RSPCA said yesterday.

Greek animal welfare groups say slaughter of the city's estimated 15,000 strays has started. Eighty dogs have been found dead in Saronida, a coastal resort where members of the British team are expected to stay.

One animal welfare activist said: "There's been a big increase in poisonings and we expect it to rise sharply."'

Source - Greeks to 'Gas 15,000 Dogs Before Olympics'. Found via A Small Victory

Posted by Darren at 04:50 PM

US Men's Swimming Team to be Dominant

'When Aaron Peirsol pulled himself up on a lane line and pumped his fist at the crowd after breaking the world record in the 200-meter backstroke Monday at the Olympic swimming trials, he might as well have been trumpeting the whole United States men's team.

With only a few events left to swim here, the team has largely taken shape. The women have made a decent showing, but the men have been dominating center stage. Five of the six world records at this meet have been set by male swimmers, and the men have formed a team that looks like an Olympic powerhouse.

"The men's team is as good as I've seen since '76," said Eddie Reese, the Olympic men's coach. "As far as world-record holders, in the worldwide competition, it's an extraordinary team."' Read more at Men's Swimmers Have Potential to Be Dominant at the Games

Posted by Darren at 04:44 PM

Marion Jones 7th in Long Jump

'Two days after she failed to make the team in the 100, Marion Jones was a stunning seventh in the long-jump qualifying at the U.S. Olympic trials.

Her best effort Monday of 6.39 meters, or 20 feet 11� inches, was more than a foot shorter than what she jumped a decade ago at high school.

Ola Sesay led the qualifiers at 6.63 meters. The top 12 advanced to the finals, to be held Thursday.

Jones's first jump was her best, followed by marks of 6.34 and 6.31. The odds still favor Jones's making the Athens team in the long jump because she is one of only two U.S. jumpers who have met the Olympic qualifying standard of 6.70 meters.

Grace Upshaw, the other U.S. jumper who has met the Olympic standard, was second on Monday at 6.54. Source - Marion Jones struggles in the long jump

Posted by Darren at 04:37 PM

Athens Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

The New York Times wonders if Athens was the best choice and perhaps if it was a bit of an idealistic pendulum swing after the Atlanta 'Coca Cola Games'.

'HE Olympic caretakers reacted to the corporate aftertaste of the 1996 Coca-Cola Games in Atlanta by indulging in the fog of idealism a year later, digging the archaeology of Athens when selecting the summer host site for 2004.

A return to their sepia-toned Olympic roots, the International Olympic Committee proclaimed. A dreamy gaze into an ancient past of olive wreaths and the Parthenon, of Marathon and the Acropolis, the committee declared.

Well, isn't it romantic? The Athens Games by candlelight.

It isn't far-fetched to wonder if athletes, tourists and spectators will require miners' lamps and pith helmets given the embarrassing blackout that left southern Greece boiling on Monday, with the opening ceremony just a month away.

Is this what the I.O.C. meant by using Athens to provide a peephole into its Olympic origins: a power grid prototyped from an abacus?

There was no energy shortage for blame-shifting yesterday, as local officials pointed at one another the day after a blackout left millions without power and hundreds shouting for help in stalled elevators.' Read More at Athens Seemed Like a Good Idea

Posted by Darren at 04:31 PM

Phelps Qualifies for six Olympic Events

Michael Phelps became the first American male swimmer Tuesday evening to qualify in six Olympic events, but once again he proved he is not invincible.

It should be noted, however, that Peirsol and Crocker both required world records to hold off Phelps. With a time of 50.76 seconds in the 100 fly, Crocker bested his own world mark of 50.98, which he set last year. Phelps finished second at 51.15.


Posted by at 01:40 PM

Canada's Athletics Team

Canada sends small, young athletics team to Athens

Athletics Canada named its Olympic team yesterday. The team is almost half the size sent to Sydney in 2000; 23 athletes vs. 43. As well, 14 members of this team will be competing in their first Olympic games.

[from CBC Sports]

Posted by at 12:49 AM

July 13, 2004

British Athletes Selected

Darren Campbell has been selected for the 200m at the Athens Olympics in 31 days time.

Campbell had qualified for the 100m at the Olympic trials in Manchester at the weekend but withdrew from the 200m final with hamstring and rib injuries.

But the 200m silver medallist from Sydney four years ago was chosen to compete in both distances as part of a 47-strong British team on Tuesday.

More athletes could be picked next week if they meet the qualifying standard.

Team GB:
100m: D Campbell (Sale), J Gardener (Wessex & Bath), M Lewis-Francis (Birchfield).
200m: D Campbell (Sale), C Lambert (Belgrave), C Malcolm (Cardiff).

Source/Full List of British Athletes going to Athens

Posted by at 07:55 PM

Olympic Controversy Timeline

This a nice timeline looking at some of the controversy surrounding the games up to this years event.

The movie is 100k and should take no more than 30 seconds to download over a 56k modem.

The application is designed to be played on computers with at least a 400Mhz processor and users with slower machines may experience performance problems.

If it appears to be running slowly try closing down any other applications you may be running.

Souce BBC Controversy timeline

Posted by at 07:53 PM

Introduction to Olympic Triathlon

If you're interested in following Triathlon in Athens check out Sports Illustrated's Triathlon factbox for Athens 2004 which includes a short history into Olympic Triathlon and details of the events in Athens.

Posted by Darren at 02:16 PM

Introduction to Olympic Tennis

Sports Illustrated has an interesting Tennis factbox for Athens 2004 which gives a history of Olympic tennis as well as a run down on the competition in Athens.

Posted by Darren at 02:11 PM

US Mountain Biking Team in Holding Pattern

The US Mountain biking team is awaiting news from its international body to determine world rankings which will impact who is chosen to compete for the US in Athens.

'This much is certain: Sue Haywood and Mary McConneloug will be third and fourth in the world's women mountain biking rankings when the International Cycling Union updates its points standings.

What's uncertain, though, is what order they will be -- and an Olympic berth is riding on that.'U.S. Olympic cycling roster still undecided

Posted by Darren at 02:07 PM

Alessandro Petacchi May Miss Olympics - Injury

'Top Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi has a cracked rib and is still suffering from a badly bruised shoulder, according to his Fassa Bortolo team doctor, and may miss out on next month's Olympics.

Petacchi sustained the injuries when he crashed in last Thursday's fifth stage of the Tour de France. He and fellow ace Italian sprinter Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) retired from the race on Friday.' Injuries may keep Petacchi from Games

Found via Tour de France Blog

Posted by Darren at 02:00 PM

Phelps misfires on golden target

Michael Phelps, the American swimmer with the golden ambition of taking home seven golds at Athens was outclassed by fellow team mate Aaron Peirsol in the 200 metre backstroke who set a new world record, handing Phelps his first loss of the US Olympic simming trials in the process.

'Peirsol and Phelps were both under record pace for the first three laps, but Peirsol led all the way and pulled away on the final leg for a time of 1 minutes, 54.74 seconds -- breaking his own mark of 1:55.15 set two years ago'


Posted by at 12:20 PM

Synchronized Swimming at a Glance - Eurosport

Eurosport has a good Introduction to Synchronized swimming.

"Surprisingly, the first synchronized swimmers were men. At the end of the 19th century actors transferred their dance performances into the water....

There will be 104 athletes competing in Athens: 8 teams of nine swimmers, which will also include 8 duets, and 16 additional duets.

The qualification took place at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament held in Athens in April 2004.

The 24 duets qualified for the 2004 Olympic Games are:

Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Spain, France, Great Britain, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Slovakia, Ukraine, USA.

The eight teams qualified for the 2004 Olympic Games are:

Canada, China, Spain, Greece, Italy, Japan, Russia, USA"

Posted by Darren at 12:08 PM

Australia suspends Olympic selection

The International Herald Tribune reports that Sean Eadie may be stripped of a Sydney 2000 bronze medal and thrown off the Athens cycling team following allegations that he trafficked in human growth hormones 5 years ago.

'Eadie, 35, a former world sprint and Olympic team sprint champion, was identified Monday as having been served an infraction notice over a package of human growth hormone mailed to him in January 1999.'


Posted by at 10:41 AM

Michelle Collins Withdraws from US Olympic Trials

'Former world indoor 200m champion Michelle Collins, who faces a lifetime ban for a doping offense, has withdrawn from the U.S. Olympic trials with a leg injury, her coach said Monday.

"She is not running," Olympic men's coach George Williams, who is also Collins's personal coach, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"She called today from Texas to say she had hurt herself at the warm-up track (at the Olympic trials) and had left," Williams said.

Collins had been considered one of the favourites to make the U.S. team in the women's 400.' Source Collins out of U.S. Olympic trials

Posted by Darren at 09:04 AM

Tim Montgomery out of Olympics

'Men's 100-meter world record holder, Tim Montgomery of the United States has failed to qualify for the track event in next month's Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Montgomery, considered a strong contender to make the Olympic team, finished a distant seventh Sunday at the U.S. track and field Olympic trials in California.' Source

Posted by Darren at 09:02 AM

UK Athletics team 'weak'

Becasue we british don't like to raise each other spirits!

The latest from the UK Athletics chief. Jones said winning six athletics medals again would be a "fantastic feat".

and was joined by Colin Jackson:

Former hurdler Colin Jackson has already sparked controversy by suggesting the British men's athletics team may find it difficult to pick up a medal.

Jones said he hoped younger talents would stake their claim in Athens.

"We've had the retirements of Jonathan Edwards and Colin Jackson, and we've yet to replace that calibre of athlete," he said.

Steve Cram joins in with: There's not too much to shout about, particularly on the men's side, and it's obvious this will be a difficult Games with medals few and far between, though predicts three Olympic medals.

Source: GB team 'weaker' for Athens
Source: Team GB needs element of surprise

Posted by at 06:11 AM

Denise Lewis Fit

Denise Lewis looks to be fit to take part in the Heptathlon at the Athens Olympics.

Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis is expected to be fit to defend her title despite limping out of the British trials at the weekend.
She suffered a foot injury during the long jump, but UK Athletics performance director Max Jones said there was not a major cause for alarm.

Source BBC Lewis injury fears allayed

Posted by at 05:29 AM

July 12, 2004

Olympics Video - Online Olympics Coverage

Wired News reports that the Athens Olympics will not only be watched by millions of viewers in the comfort of their lounge rooms on television but that it will be also video highlights of the Olympics will be streamed via the internet into computers in homes and workplaces all over the world.

'In the United States, the NBC 2004 Olympics site will feature the first online video of the summer Games from Athens, which runs Aug. 13-29.

In another first, the BBC will broadcast live coverage of the Games on the BBC Sport Olympics website to broadband viewers.

"We will be maximizing our rights deal to provide video coverage of the games for U.K. broadband users for the first time," said Aashish Chandarana, broadband project manager for BBC Sport Interactive. "This means the standard text and still pictures coverage on the site will be complemented by live and on-demand video streams -- effectively bringing the interactive TV service to PC users."

While online video isn't new to the BBC, this year's Olympic coverage will feature live video simulcast from television, so online viewers will be able to find any Olympic programs that they can watch on television.' Source - Olympics: Coming to a PC Near You

Check out the sites mentioned in this article:
NBC Olympics
BBC Sport - Olympics

Posted by Darren at 10:51 PM

Athens Black Out

Athens today was in darkness as a result of a wide sweeping power black out that affected most of the city and parts of southern Greece.

'The head of the Athens subway company, who was demonstrating a new Athens airport link when the breakdown occurred, told reporters that the outage was caused by the failure of a high-voltage line bringing power from a generating station in the north of the country....

The breakdown hit the capital at around 12:45, with power in Athens coming back on around 45 minutes later.' Source - Major power blackout hits Greece

Also see the story at Lights go out in Greece

Posted by Darren at 09:59 PM

Olympic Taekwondo at a Glance - Eurosport

Eurosport has a good introduction to Olympic Taekwondo .

"Depending on how we look at it, taekwondo is either 43 or 2000 years old. The sport go its todays name and rules in 1957, but already ancient Korean tombs show pictures and drawings of men fighting without arms....

An Olympic Taekwondo contest goes over three rounds of three minutes with a break of one minute in between. There are 4 ways to win such a fight: a knock out, gaining more points than the opponent, disqualification or if the opponent gets three penalty points.

Besides the head, the scoring areas include one on the abdomen and one on each side of the body. All three are marked on the opponent's body protector.

Each legitimate strike is rewarded one point, half a point or a full point deduction for a penalty depending on how serious the penalty is."

Posted by Darren at 05:13 PM

Canadian Athletes

Here are links to web-sites of some of Canada's Olympic team members:

Emilie Mondor
David Gill
Nicolas Macrozonaris
Achraff Tadili
Maryse Turcotte

Posted by at 01:14 PM

Canada announces lineup for men's gymnastics squad

Double world championship medallist Kyle Shewfelt headlines the six-member men's gymnastic team that will compete at next month's Olympic Games in Athens.

Joining Shewfelt is fellow Calgary native Grant Golding, David Kikuchi of Fall River, N.S., and Adam Wong of Calgary, all named for performances at the Olympic trials that concluded Saturday.

Montreal's Alexander Jeltkov and Ken Ikeda of Abbotsford, B.C., were both coaching selections, while Nathan Gafuik of Calgary was named the alternate.

Jeltkov and Shewfelt were on the 2000 Sydney Games squad.

full story

Posted by at 12:55 PM

Green Olympics - Is Athens Games Enviromentally Friendly?

SASS (Style and Sustainability Seasonal) Magazine has a great article asking the question How Green the Games? Athens' Struggle To Host Green-Minded Olympic Games. It brings up some great questions and explores some important issues. Here is the opening paragraph:

'The Olympics are a big deal; from organizing to producing to watching, there are tens of millions of people involved. Between fifteen and twenty million Americans will tune in each day to watch the events, the athletes, the drama and the sport while the Games are underway from August 13th through the 29th. There are few events that draw more world-wide viewers, and more interest; as such, there is no better stage to spotlight sustainability and sustainable development than the Olympic Games being hosted this summer by Athens, Greece. Ten years ago, Lillehammer, Norway proudly hosted "the first Green Games ever." Now, Athens has the unique and wonderful opportunity to build on the efforts of those before them. They can make a profound and lasting change in their country, and in the world. Are they going to pull it off?' Continue Reading...

Found via World Changing

Posted by Darren at 12:43 PM

Lindsay Benko Makes Athens Olympics Team

Lindsay Benko has booked herself a place on the US Olympic Swimming team for the Athens Olympics in the 200 meters freestyle. Benko lead through the first three laps of the final at the US Olympic Trials only to be narrowly beaten in the finish by team mate Dana Vollmer. Both will represent the US in the event in Athens.

'An Olympian again, Benko achieved her most important objective of this meet, more than enough pain-reliever for the bruised competitor in her.

"I'm a little disappointed with the time, but I got the place I needed," Benko said before she could catch her breath after the race. "Second's just as good as first when you're here."' Source - Benko wins Olympic team spot

Posted by Darren at 12:03 PM

Olympic Games Cheating - From Beginning to End

Just found this excellent article that compares the ancient mythological beginnings of the Olympics to the modern day Games we celebrate every four years. What is the common aspect?


'The story goes, Pelops sought the affections of Hippodameia, a princess whose royal father decreed that to win her hand any suitor had to first defeat him in a chariot race. Twelve others had unsuccessfully tried to win such a competition.

You knew this because their skulls were nailed to the palace gates.

Fortunately for Pelops, Hippodameia returned his feelings of love. The two conspired to have the metal wheels of her father's chariot replaced with wax, which would melt during the oppressive heat.

This happened and King Oenomaus was thrown from his chariot, became entangled in the reins and was dragged to his death.

Pelops had won his lady with a strategy that has long been a vital component of sport.

He cheated.

Thousands of years later, those trying to deceive others in hopes of gaining a competitive advantage are more sophisticated in their methods but not their intent. Society, it seems, has become a habitat for dishonesty.' Read More of this fascinating article at Games of Deceit

Posted by Darren at 12:03 PM

Nils Schumann Will not Compete in Athens

'Germany's 800m Olympic gold medallist Nils Schumann will not defend his title in Athens.

Schumann told journalists on Saturday at Brunswick that an Achilles tendon injury would prevent him from defending the title he won in Sydney four years ago.

It is the second major blow to German athletics in a week with women's Long Jump champion Heike Dreschsler having announced that she will be unable to defend her title in Athens.' Source - Schumann out of Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:03 PM

Calls for a Return to Ancient Olympics - Nudity and All

The Toronto Star has an interesting article about a group of Greek polytheists who are hoping to see a revival of Hellenic culture and a return to an ancient style Olympics, complete with athletes competing in the nude. The group are described as:

'a "national reawakening" that seeks to trace the links between ancient Hellenic culture and the contemporary Greece that will play host to the 28th modern Olympiad next month.'

'"They are trying to replace the pagan aspect of the Olympics with Christian aspects," said Hahalis, who boasts of having run naked around the track in ancient Olympia.

"But athletes should come naked to compete, without all this security, as they did in ancient times."

The neo-pagans rue the loss of the Olympics' original identity, criticizing the disappearance of faith-based elements and the unbridled competitiveness that has replaced them....

"For us, the modern Olympics have little in common with the ancient Games," says philosophy professor and Promithia organizer Tryphon Olympios.

"The Olympics were divine Games, starting and ending in the temple of Zeus. Now, they have lost their sacred meaning and have been reduced to a commercial show."' Read More at In Zeus the `ancients' trust

Posted by Darren at 12:03 PM

Alan Webb prepares for Athens

Alan Webb has had a roller-coaster of a ride in his lead up to Athens, with surprise wins, injuries and flat patches. His last few months since returning from appendix surgery show some promising hints as to what might be to come in Athens....

'Since returning from the surgery, Webb has improved rapidly, surprising perhaps everyone but himself. He won the Home Depot Invitational 1500 in May with a time of 3 minutes, 35.71 seconds, fast enough to qualify for the Olympics as long as he can finish in the top three at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Sacramento July 15-18.

Then Webb traveled to Europe, and shocked the international racing world by winning the 1500 Golden Spike in Ostrava, Czech Republic with a time of 3:32.73, the fastest 1500 time that had been posted up to that point in 2004.

He followed up that win with a victory in the Prefontaine Classic Mile in Eugene, Ore., the same event in which he set the prep record three years earlier. '

Read More at Resurgent Webb seeks to make mark in Athens

Posted by Darren at 12:03 PM

Christian Cantwell out of Shotput

One shock result out of the US Track and Field Trials this week was that Christian Cantwell will not compete in Athens. Cantell has thrown the four best throws in the world this year, but failed to perform at his best in the trials - fouling five of his six throws.

'``I picked a bad day to have a bad day,'' Cantwell said.

Adam Nelson, the silver medalist at the 2000 Olympics, won at 71 feet. Reese Hoffa was second at 69-4 1/4 to earn his first Olympic berth.

John Godina finished third at 69-2 to earn his third trip to the Olympics. He won the bronze medal in 2000 and the silver in 1996.' Read More at Cantwell shut out of Olympic spot

Posted by Darren at 12:03 PM

UK Athletics Olympic Trials

The IAAF has a good coverage of the UK Olympic Trials currently being held in Manchester. They have results and details on a wide range of events at the trials.

'Jason Gardener�s �roller coaster� year swept to a new high at the Norwich Union Olympic Trials and AAA championships in Manchester this evening when he took the men�s 100m title by one hundredth of a second from World bronze medallist Darren Campbell, and all but guaranteed his place on the plane for Athens.' Read More at UK Olympic Trials - World champion Gardener heads to Athens

Posted by Darren at 12:03 PM

Caesar Garcia - Underdog Goes to Athens

'Garcia set the diving world on its collective ear last month. He was the underdog at the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials and came away with an impressive and improbable victory. Four years ago, Garcia finished last at the trials....
"I was very disappointed with my performance in 2000, not so much because I finished last, but because I felt like I crumbled under the pressure," Garcia said. "It was a big motivation for me and I found that the biggest battle I had to face was a psychological one. There were a lot of strong negative feelings I had about my diving after 2000.

"But, like all the other things I have ever come across, things improved after I started working on them."' Source Nice guys do finish first

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM

Jenny Finch - Softball

jenny_finch.jpgI think we'll see a few comparisons between Ancient Greek Gods and Athens Olympics Athletes over the next month or two - here's one between Aphrodite and US softball pitcher - Jenny Finch.

'Aphrodite is a goddess of love and beauty.

To her male fans, Jenny Finch is regarded in the same way. Plus, she can throw a 71-mph fastball from 43 feet that even major-league batters can't hit.

Aphrodite had magic woven into a girdle of finely wrought gold. When she wore it, no man could resist her.

There is magic in Finch's softball glove. When she pitches, no woman -- or man -- can hit her.

In a February exhibition, she struck out major-league batters Albert Pujols, Mike Piazza, and Brian and Marcus Giles.' Source - Aphrodite and Jenny Finch (softball) - Olympic athlete or Greek God?

Update - due to the success of this page we've added a second Jennie Finch page at Jennie Finch

Related Jenny Finch Links
- See Jenny Finch's Profile at Arizona Athletics: Jenny Finch
- When in doubt, seek out Jenny Finch
- Jenny Finch Fan Site
- Jenny Finch Olympics Profile

Update jennie_finch.jpgThis has been the most popular page on this site in the past 24 hours so we thought we'd put together a list of the latest Jennie Finch links that have appeared in news sources over the past few days to keep you up to date with the latest news in the Jennie Finch news frenzy.

- Silver No Option for 'Unknown' U.S. Softball Team - 'And then, of course, there is Jennie Finch: flaxen haired and standing 1.85 meters (6 ft 1 in) tall, she has been named one of People magazine's 50 most beautiful people and voted ESPN "Hottest Female Athlete." Expected to emerge from the Games with international recognition and endorsement deals to sign, she said: "Any attention that brings notoriety to our sport is good for softball." '

- SOFTBALL SALVATION - which picks up the story of the US softball team's coach wife recently passing away. '"Sue would want him in that third base box more than anyone," said pitcher Jenny Finch, also a former Arizona star. "She wanted to win the gold medal more than anybody."'

- Thoughts on Olympic Skin - picks up the story of the increasing trend of Olympic athletes to pose naked (or close to it) in the lead up to the games. 'Who cares if that appeal is rooted in sex? It's just an entry point. Jennie Finch exploded onto the scene as Page 2's surprise hottest athlete -- dethroning Anna Kournikova, no less. Want to know the bigger surprise? Women's softball is one of ESPN's hottest pieces of programming, and it can't possibly have everything to do with Jennie.'

- It's been 4 years already? - 'Jennie Finch is pitching for the U.S. softball team - the single most dominant aggregation of talent in these Games - and I'll try to catch a little of that because it's real easy on the eyes.'

- Olympicans Turn Gold into Green - 'Jennie Finch, who at 23 years old gets as much attention for her 71-mile-per-hour fastball as her sex appeal, already makes six figures off the diamond from companies such as Bank of America, 24 Hour Fitness and Sprint.'

- Security tight, but Athens eager to let games begin - '"There was so much hype about everything that was wrong -- or that was going to go wrong -- that the country deserves a lot of credit because I can tell you, being here is better than advertised," U.S. Olympic softball pitcher Jennie Finch said. "To tell you the truth, I was expecting to be scared a little bit when we arrived. But everyone has been treating us great. Yesterday, some of us walked into a beauty store, and they were so happy we came in they gave us free products."'

- Arizona softball star Jennie Finch ready to pitch products - 'After the Athens Games, just one face may stand out to marketers hungry for the next big thing: the pitcher with the ponytail.

Jennie Finch is her name. Softball is her game. Her destiny: fame.

Never heard of her? Get ready for the full Finch. She tosses a ball 71 miles per hour and has set an NCAA record with 60 victories in a row.

Even NBC's Bob Costas will try - but fail - to make contact with one of her sizzling pitches in a taped Olympic segment. By the time the Olympic Games end, Finch may be as familiar as the NBC peacock.

Sports marketers say Finch, 23, ranks among the most marketable Olympians to come along since perky gymnast Mary Lou Retton enchanted a nation two decades ago. In an Olympics so beset by terrorism fears that the athletes have been issued gas masks, Finch provides the simplest diversion of all: sex appeal.

She's also the queen of her sport.'

- US softball beauty eyes post-Athens riches - 'After dethroning Anna Kournikova as the favorite internet sporting beauty and turning down a Playboy pictorial, American softball pitcher Jennie Finch is set for post-Olympic endorsement riches.

The 23-year-old blonde bombshell, who combines glamour-girl looks with Andy Roddick-style arm strength, is featured on "This Week in Baseball" striking out Major League Baseball stars with underarm lightning bolts worthy of Zeus.

"The attention I get has been great. It has opened so many doors for me," Finch said. "It's nice that people are accepting beautiful women as athletes. It's encouraging to girls that muscles don't mean you can't be beautiful."

Finch makes about 400,000 dollars in sponsorship deals with eyeglasses and telephones and could boost that total if the US squad wins a third consecutive gold medal. But she is not taking off her clothes despite a huge Playboy offer.

"I don't know about the dollars but it's quite a great chunk of money," Finch said. "That doesn't interest me. It's more important that I'm a role model for girls."'

Other Older Jenny Finch Articles include:
- When in Doubt, seek out Jenny Finch.
- Official Jennie Finch Site
- Jennie Finch - picutes, photos, wallpapers, posters, desktop themes etc.
- ESPN - Jennie Finch
- Jennie Finch at 'AskMen' (biography, information and pictures)
- 2004 Summer Olympics Profile: Jennie Finch
- Jenny Finch Bio

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM

Australian Men's Basketball Team Beat New Zealand

The Australian Men's Basketball team have continued their Olympics warm up with a win against New Zealand's team 90-79. This brings the series against New Zealand to a close with Australia winning 2-1.

'With just over four weeks left until the Boomers open the Olympic tournament with a showdown against host-nation Greece, Brian Goorjian's new-look team proved too strong for the Tall Blacks in a physical series in New Zealand.' Source - Boomers claim series win against NZ

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM

US Women's Volleyball Team Lose to Cuba

The US Women's Team has lost a lead up game to Athens against rival Cuba.

'The United States dropped the final two sets in losing to Olympic champion Cuba 23-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-22, 15-13 in the World Grand Prix women's tournament Saturday.' Source - U.S. loses to Cuba

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM

Cash Incentive Offered for Medals - Mumbai

Athletes from Mumbai have an extra incentive to win a medal at the Athens Olympics with a cash incentive being offered for any medal winners.

'Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda has announced a cash award of Rs one crore for sportspersons from the state who win a gold medal in next month's Athens Olympics.

The decision was taken to encourage sports in the state, Munda said inaugurating a football tournament organised by Saraikela-Kharswan district sports association at Kharswan yesterday.' Source - Rs 1 Cr for Olympic gold winners

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM

Greeks Confident of Successful Olympics

A Poll published in Greece has found that Greeks are confident of a successful Olympics in August.

'The survey, published in the daily Eleftherotypia, found that 85 percent of Greeks are supportive of hosting the Aug. 13-29 games, with 18.4 percent of them admitting that in the beginning they did not support the idea....

The poll also found that, despite delays in the construction of some Olympic venues, 82 percent believe that the games will be a success.' Poll: Greeks confident in Athens Games

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM

Tim Benjamin Qualifies for Athens

Tim Benjamin has ensured a place in the British Athens Olympics Team by winning the AAAs 400m title.

'Daniel Caines led a highly competitive race coming off the bend but Wales' Benjamin pushed him into second to cross the line in 45.58 seconds.' Source - Benjamin denies Davis

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM

Tim Montgomery in 100m US Trials Final

The World's Fastest man, Tim Montgomery, has reached the finals in the 100 meter event at the US Olympic Athletics Trials - but only just.

Hanging over Montgomery's head is a life time ban from the sport for suspected steroid use.

'Running in a semifinal heat won by reigning Olympic champion Maurice Greene, Montgomery came from far behind to claim fourth place by 0.009 of a second. The top four from each semifinal reached the final later Sunday.

After crossing the finish line, Montgomery waited for the times to flash on a giant scoreboard. He smiled when his fourth-place finish appeared, then exchanged a high-five and a hug with John Capel, who was second in the heat.' Read More at Source - Tim Montgomery reaches 100-meter final at Olympic tria

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM

Canada Announces Olympics Gymnastics Team

'Double world championship medallist Kyle Shewfelt headlines the six-member men's gymnastic team that will compete at next month's Olympic Games in Athens.

Joining Shewfelt is fellow Calgary native Grant Golding, David Kikuchi of Fall River, N.S., and Adam Wong of Calgary, all named for performances at the Olympic trials that concluded Saturday.

Montreal's Alexander Jeltkov and Ken Ikeda of Abbotsford, B.C., were both coaching selections, while Nathan Gafuik of Calgary was named the alternate.' Read more at Canada unveils Olympic men's gymnastics squad

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM

Ejegayehu Dibaba Runs 10,000m Fast

'Ethiopia�s Ejegayehu Dibaba set the second fastest time of the season for the women�s 10,000m when clocking 30:43.39 in the �Meeting Internacional Ciudad de Baracaldo� held yesterday (10 July). Only Britain�s Paula Radcliffe has been able to run faster this year with a 30:17.15 performance in Gateshead (27 June).' Read More at Ejegayehu Dibaba runs 30:43.39 in Baracaldo

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM

BBC go fully interactive for Olympics

The BBC will be going fully interactive for the Athens Olympics with 400 people working on there coverage.

The interactive service will allow any viewer on August 22 who does not wish to see Paula Radcliffe�s bid to win the Olympic marathon to switch over to the men�s tennis final, the apparatus finals in gymnastics, bouts at the boxing or the medals being won in the diving.

Source BBC putting interactive service on Athens menu

Posted by at 03:38 AM

Great Britain (the coolest team?)

The Great Britain team will be wearing clothes that keep the cool for longer at the Athens Olympics.

The kit, which is not available in high street stores because it is highly technical and has yet to be mass produced, will be worn by all the Olympic team, though competitors can opt for different styles and silhouettes of adidas clothing for the Games.

The kits are constructed of a variety of man-made fabrics in three-dimensional woven polyester and silver, such as X-static and also Elastine, which take the heat away from the body and increase ventilation.

Source New technology to keep Olympic team cool

Posted by at 03:34 AM

July 11, 2004

Athens Olympics Mascots - Athena and Phevos

athena_Phevos.gifEvery good Olympic Games need some good mascots and the Athens Games is no different.

Athena and Phevos are the Athens Olympic Mascots which will adorn Olympics Merchandise like Athena and Phevos T-Shirts, Athena and Phevos Olympic Pins, Athena and Phevos Coffee Mugs and a variety of other merchandise.

Athena is the protectress of Athens and the goddess of wisdom.

Phevos is the Greek god of light and music.

Athena and Phevos are pictured left. They are sure to cause a bit of a stir - some commentators are already calling for a redesign saying that they are the most 'ungodly gods' they've ever seen.

I'm sure Athena and Phevos will be popular with kids - I can just picture them as little soft cuddly toys.

Posted by Darren at 09:48 PM

Xerox Celebrate Olympic Sponsorship - Six Story Banner

xerox_olympics.jpgXerox Press Release
'Team Xerox' Celebrates Olympic Sponsorship With Six-Story Banner In Athens, Greece

Mosaic combines more than 27,000 employee photos to honor the Games

ATHENS, July 09, 2004 -- In support of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games and to help bring the global spirit of "Team Xerox" to Greece, Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) has created a massive six-story banner out of the individual portraits of more than 27,000 Xerox employees from more than 60 countries around the world.

Unveiled yesterday, the banner's overall image depicts the message "Welcome Home" in both English and Greek, celebrating the return of the Olympic Games to its historical birthplace. The banner covers nearly three sides of Xerox's office building in central Athens and will remain in place throughout the fall.

"The Olympic Games symbolize the teamwork and pride that unite people across the globe," said Diane McGarry, Xerox chief marketing officer. "The employee mosaic captures the message of unity that is the cornerstone of the Olympic spirit, key to our success at Xerox and core to the experience we deliver to our customers."

This is the second time that Xerox has created an employee mosaic banner to coincide with its sponsorship of the Olympic Games. The first mosaic, hung in Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, consisted of 17,000 photos of Xerox employees from 59 countries.

Xerox has been an Olympic Sponsor since 1964 and a Top Olympic Partner since 1993. As part of its official sponsorship of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, Xerox will rely on nearly 6,000 high-performing digital multifunction systems, printers and copiers to provide printed race results to press, broadcasters, athletes, sponsors and Olympic staff. In addition, Xerox will have more than 230 support engineers from 20 countries on-site to ensure all systems function flawlessly around the clock during the duration of the Games.

The 2004 Summer Olympic Games take place August 13-29, involving 10,500 athletes from a record 202 nations, 45,000 volunteers, 301 medal ceremonies and an estimated ticketed attendance of 5.3 million. The Paralympic Games run Sept. 17-28 and cover 19 sports in more than 20 venues involving 4,000 athletes.

Posted by Darren at 08:36 PM

Greece Delays Payments for Security System

'Frustrated by delays, the Greek government has postponed payment on a multimillion-dollar security system being built by an American-led consortium for the Summer Olympics (news - web sites), according to media reports.

The final installment of $173 million has been put on hold due to government concerns about whether the security system will be ready for the Aug. 13 opening of the games, the Athens daily To Vima reported Saturday.

The consortium, led by the San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp., or SAIC, is responsible for installing thousands of infrared and high-resolution cameras around the capital and Olympic venues, as well as a secure communication and information and radio system for security services.' Read More at Greece Delays Security System Payments

Posted by Darren at 06:59 PM

Patriotic Cuba Hopes for Top Ten Olympic Performance

Cuba is hoping for a top ten placing in the Medal Tally at the Athens Olympics this year. Their team is preparing with not only the usual warm up events, pep talks and training camps but also a good dose of Patriotism.

'Patriotism is key as Cuba prepares its athletes in 16 of 28 Olympic events. Separate ceremonies presenting the red, white and blue national flag to the team for each sport ends with the cry of "Homeland or Death! We will triumph!" -- the slogan President Fidel Castro uses to close his speeches.

The baseball team ceremony earlier this month included something else: an oath by players to "fight for victory with dignity, patriotism, simplicity and total surrender."

They also vowed to "reject any offer that goes against Cuban principles" -- a reference to sports agents who offer athletes, especially ball players, huge sums of money to defect.

This year's Olympics team is comprised of 159 athletes, compared with the 238 who went to Sydney. Fernandez said the smaller team is aimed at "substituting quantity with quality."'

Read More at - Cuba puts focus on patriotism in training

Posted by Darren at 03:45 PM

Daiane dos Santos - Brazil's Hope for Gold

Gymnast Daiane dos Santos is fast becoming a national hero in Brazil. She is one of the few chances that the country has at a Gold medal at the Athens Olympics.

'The diminutive, 21-year-old dos Santos emerged as a sports superstar here in August 2003. That was when she won the top floor exercise prize at the World Gymnastics Championship in Anaheim, California, and became South America's first -- and so far only _ world champion gymnast.

She won that gold medal with a series of electrifying leaps, body twists and flips, which the International Gymnastics Federation nicknamed the "Dos Santos" in her honor.' Read More at Gymnast is one of Brazil's few shots at gold

Posted by Darren at 03:38 PM

NBC Prepare for 1210 hours of Olympics Coverage

NBC is readying itself for one of the biggest broadcasting events in Televisions history - 1210 hours of Olympics coverage! That is over triple what it did at the Sydney Olympics four years ago.

Let's get this into perspective - if you were to watch those 1210 hours end on end you'd be watching 50.4 days worth of television around the clock!

'It's a grand experiment, and even NBC executives concede they don't know whether it's overkill. But it should at least eliminate the most common complaint about the Olympics on TV: "How come you didn't show more of (fill in the blank)?"

In addition to prime-time coverage on NBC, the broadcast showcase, events will be seen on CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo and USA. Telemundo will provide a Spanish-language broadcast, and NBC's digital affiliates will show a limited number of events in high-definition.' Read More atNBC readies 1,200 hours of coverage

Posted by Darren at 03:29 PM

Athens Wind Affectes Games Preparations

It is getting windy in Athens.

'The annual winds, known as "meltemia," are pushing over motor scooters, canceling ferries and whizzing through the ongoing Olympic construction sites to kick up clouds of eye-burning dust.

The winds are also fanning wildfires. One came within 2 1/2 miles of the Olympic Village.

Olympic organizers are hoping the meltemia runs out of steam by the Aug. 13 opening ceremony. No one wants to relive the embarrassment during rowing test events last year.' Read More at Blowing in the wind

Posted by Darren at 03:25 PM

Australian Reputation Tarnished with Drug Scandals

'Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates said Saturday doping scandals involving track cyclists and a weightlifter had tarnished Australia's reputation on drugs.

Weightlifter Caroline Pileggi was thrown out of the Athens team on Friday after refusing a drugs test, and former world champion track cyclist Jobie Dajka has had his place put on hold pending two investigations.' Read more at Coates: Scandals tarnish Aussie reputation

Posted by Darren at 03:11 PM

Matthew Pinsent Seeks Fourth Gold Medal

Matthew Pinsent is attending his fourth Olympics - and it may not be his last! He still can catch up to five times Gold Medal winner, Sir Stephen Redgrave.

'Born on 10 October, 1970, Pinsent will be 33 when he competes in Athens - five years younger than Redgrave when he won his fifth gold in Sydney.

Pinsent partnered Redgrave as they won the coxless pairs in 1992 and 1996 and were part of the victorious coxless fours in Sydney in 2000.

He will again be in the coxless fours in Athens and, should they win, could still consider a fifth gold in Beijing.'Read More at How a 33-year-old rower seeks a fourth gold

Posted by Darren at 03:09 PM

Japanese Olympic Football Team Announced

'Midfield star Shinji Ono, who plays for Dutch club Feyenoord, has been chosen to spearhead Japan's Olympic challenge at the Athens Games next month, the Japan Football Association announced yesterday.�

Ono, 24, is one of the three over-age players chosen in the mostly Under-23 squad. The others are SV Hamburg striker Naohiro Takahara and goalkeeper Hitoshi Sogahata of the Kashima Antlers.�'Source - Midfielder Ono to head Japan�s assault at the Olympics

The Japanese Football Team that has been named is:
Goalkeepers: Hitoshi Sogahata (Kashima Antlers), Takaya Kurokawa (Shimizu S-Pulse), Fumiya Iwamaru (Vissel Kobe), Takuto Hayashi (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Eiji Kawashima (Nagoya Grampus Eight)�

Defenders: Marcus Tulio Tanaka (Urawa Red Diamonds), Teruyuki Moniwa (FC Tokyo), Kunie Kitamoto (Kobe), Daisuke Nasu (Yokohama Marinos), Yuhei Tokunaga (Waseda Univ), Naoya Kikuchi (Jubilo Iwata)�

Midfielders: Shinji Ono (Feyenoord/Ned), Kazuyuki Morisaki (Hiroshima), Koji Morisaki (Hiroshima), Daisuke Matsui (Kyoto Purple Sanga), Naohiro Ishikawa (Tokyo), Keita Suzuki (Urawa), Yuichi Nemoto (Oita Trinita), Yuichi Komano (Hiroshima), Yuki Abe (JEF United Ichihara), Koji Yamase (Urawa), Ryoichi Maeda (Iwata), Hayuma Tanaka (Yokohama), Yasuyuki Konno (Tokyo)�

Posted by Darren at 03:03 PM

US Reputation On the Line

United States' reputation on the line at Athens Games is an interesting article by Tim Guidera about the reputation of the United States taking a battering with the recent investigations into Drug Allegations of US Athletes.

'A bully got put in its place this week.

It happened quietly, and in court, the way these things often do. And it happened to be an unfortunate turn for the American Olympic movement.

You can't help but feel a little uneasy about how the United States Anti-Doping Agency is going about its business of trying to catch steroid users and keep them from competing in the Athens Games. Given the authority to ban athletes by the United States Olympic Committee, USADA swaggered into Olympictown a while back, vowing to clean up the place by whatever tactics it deemed necessary.' Read More...

Posted by Darren at 02:58 PM

Russia Hopes for 30 Gold Medals

Russia is hoping for at least 30 Gold medals at the Athens Olympics despite a drastic decrease in funding to sport in recent years.

'"If nothing extraordinary happens, Russia will make a normal presentation. We definitely can win 30 gold medals," said Leonid Tyagachev, president of Russia's Olympic committee.

That wouldn't be at the level the Soviet Union reached in the 1960s-80s, when it routinely bulldozed the rest of the world, winning around 45-50 golds in the summer games and earning the nickname The Big Red Machine.

It's not the same machine anymore -- it's not even just red; the post-Soviet Russian colors are blue, white and red.'

Source - Big Red Machine roars on as Russia eyes gold

Posted by Darren at 02:53 PM

Michael Phelps on Track to Beat Spitz Record

'Michael Phelps made it three in a row at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials Saturday, dominating the 200-meter butterfly to stay on course in his bid to break Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals in Athens.

In a symbolic moment, Phelps and Spitz met for the first time during the award ceremony. Spitz presented Phelps with his medal and pulled the 19-year-old close, whispering something in his ear.

Spitz then climbed atop the medal stand and held Phelps' right hand in the air, as if passing off the baton to the swimmer who could break one of sport's most revered records � seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Games.' Source - Spitz passes baton as Phelps makes it three in a row

Posted by Darren at 02:47 PM

Marion Jones Fails to Qualify for 100m

Marion Jones has Failed to Qualify for the 100 meters in the Athens Olympics.

'Perhaps it was the stress of fighting doping allegations. Maybe it was the physical and emotional strains of motherhood. Or perhaps time, and a new generation of sprinters, are finally catching up with her.

Marion Jones failed to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team in the 100 meters Saturday night, losing out on a chance to defend her gold medal in her signature event at the Athens Games.

Jones started quickly but seemed to struggle as the race progressed and finished fifth in the final at the U.S. Olympic trials. The top three finishers automatically make the team.

Jones, who won five medals at the 2000 Sydney Games, still can make the Olympic team if she qualifies in the 200 meters or long jump. Or she could be picked for a relay team.

The defeat comes at a difficult time for perhaps the biggest U.S. Olympic star. She is under investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, although she has repeatedly denied using drugs and has not been charged by USADA.'

Posted by Darren at 12:22 PM

July 10, 2004

Dana Ellis Qualifies for Pole Vault

'Dana Ellis of Kitchener, Ont. earned an Olympic berth in women's pole vault at the Canadian Olympic trials in Victoria, winning the event with a clearing of 4.20 metres.

Ellis had already made the Canadian Olympic standard and needed just to finish in the top four to secure her trip to Athens.

Ellis missed at three attempts of 4.44, hoping to better her Canadian record of 4.43.'Source - Canadian pole vaulter qualifies for Athens

Posted by Darren at 10:17 PM

Canada Qualifies in 4x100m Freestyle Relay

Canada has qualified for the 4x100 meter freestyle relay at the Athens Olympics after Brent Hayden smashed the National record for 100m.

'"I think the guys are very excited about the potential of this relay," said Lupien, a former Canadian record holder who has overcome an injury suffered in a car accident and a pierced eardrum to make the team. "I seriously believe we can challenge for a medal, but we'll need all four guys to go under 50."' Source - Canadian freestyle relay team headed to Athens

Posted by Darren at 10:14 PM

John Child and Mark Heese Qualify for Beach Volley Ball

Canada's John Child and Mark Heese have qualified for competition in Beach Volley Ball at the Olympics in Athens.

'The 1996 Olympic bronze medallists qualified for this summer's Games Friday with a 21-18, 22-20 victory over Puerto Rico's Paul Papaleo and Roman Hernandez at a world beach tour event in Mallorca, Spain.' Read More at - duo Child, Heese Olympic-bound

Posted by Darren at 10:08 PM

Malaysian Shooters Prepare

'With two shooters � Bernard Yeoh and Ricky Teh � having secured places in the Athens Olympics, the Tan Sri S.M. Yong Trophy competition at the Subang Shooting Range turned out to be a tame affair yesterday, with many national shooters skipping the meet.�' Read more at - Tame affair at the shooting range.

Posted by Darren at 10:01 PM

US Women's Volleyball Team Announced

The US Women's Team has been announced for the Athens Olympic Games.

'Outside hitter Tara Cross-Battle, middle blocker Heather Bown, setter Robyn Ah Mow-Santos and libero Stacy Sykora join Tom and Scott as the six returners from 2000. Cross-Battle will be the first player in USA history to compete in four Olympics, and Scott is headed to her third.' Read More at - roster for Olympics released

Posted by Darren at 09:53 PM

Jeff Hartwig Disqualified in Pole Vault Qualification

Jeff Hartwig, American Pole Vault Record holder was disqualified yesterday from qualifying for the US Olympic team yesterday for taking too much time taking his final jump.

'"I'm more angry than disappointed," he said. "I wasn't given a fair chance. I found myself explaining the rules to people who are supposed to know them."

The Americans are strong in the vault, but their depth was depleted, as not only Hartwig but Olympic silver medalist Lawrence Johnson didn't get through qualifying.' Source - Track & field trials: Hartwig out in pole vault controversy

Posted by Darren at 09:49 PM

Australian Men's Hockey Team Beats Korea

'The Australian men's hockey team has taken its series against Korea with a 3-1 win in the fourth and final Test in Darwin.

The Kookaburras bounced back from a 4-0 drubbing two days ago with a solid display, winning the series 3-1.' Read More at - Kookaburras takes series in Darwin

Posted by Darren at 09:43 PM

Marion Jones - Second in 100 meters

Marion Jones has a big few weeks in the media defending herself from drug allegations - perhaps the pressure is effecting her performance at the US Athletics Trials this week.

'The three-time Olympic champion finished second in her quarterfinal heat of the women's 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic trials Friday night, good enough to advance to today's semifinal but far from her dominating form of past years.

Jones began her bid for a spot on the U.S. squad for the Athens Games by finishing behind LaTasha Colander in the opening-round heat. Jones, who dominated the event in the late 1990s and is the reigning Olympic champion, finished in 11.38 seconds - seventh fastest among the 24 competitors.' Source - Jones second in 100

Posted by Darren at 09:38 PM

Anti NATO Olympic Security Protests

'About 1,000 demonstrators chanting anti-American slogans marched through central Athens and symbolically encircled the ancient Acropolis on Saturday to protest U.S. and NATO involvement in Olympics security.

Athens, spending more than $1.2 billion on Olympics security, will deploy 70,000 police and soldiers while NATO will offer aerial patrols and other support. Greece also had worked with a security advisory group led by the United States and Britain.' Source - Groups rally against NATO's role in Olympics security

Posted by Darren at 09:24 PM

Modern Pentathlon Athletes Announced

64 Athletes have been named to compete in the Modern Pentathlon event at the Athens Olympics.

Modern Pentathalon at the Athens Olympics will be held on 26th - 27th August at the Goudi Olympic Complex.

The athletes competing are:






Posted by Darren at 01:21 PM

Introduction to Olympic Equestrian

Sports Network have a good 2004 Summer Olympic Games Preview - Equestrian. It has the history of Olympic Equestrian competition as well as tips for the Athens Olympics.

'Great Britain, Australia and France are expected to be at the top of the heap in the eventing competition. Great Britain's William Fox-Pitt is currently leading the international standings in eventing, while American Kim Severson is right behind him. Phillip Dutton for Australia led his team to the gold medal in the three-team event in Sydney.

Posted by Darren at 11:02 AM

Introduction to Olympic Shooting

The Sports Network has a good preview to Olympic Shooting.

'There are five pistol events, three for men and two for women. Men and women both take part in the air pistol, where athletes fire from a standing position at a target 10 meters away. In the men's free pistol, competitors shoot at a distance of 50 meters. In the men's rapid fire pistol, athletes are timed as they stand at a 45-degree angle and shoot at targets. The other women's event is the sport pistol, also known as the 25-meter pistol.' Read the 2004 Summer Olympic Games Preview - Shooting

Posted by Darren at 10:59 AM

John Capel Focused on Gold in Athens

' World 200-meter champion John Capel will look up from the starting blocks of Saturday's opening round of the U.S. Olympic Trials 100 meters and see far beyond the finish line.

"My focus really is getting a chance to run the 200 in Athens," Capel said in an interview. "I don't think about much else."

The 25-year-old speedster has never experienced Olympic gold even though he won the 2000 Olympic Trials 200 meters final in a star-crossed race that left 100 meters world record holder Maurice Greene and 200 meters record holder Michael Johnson lame.

He flinched in the starting blocks of the Sydney final and figured a false start would be called. But officials let the race go and Capel was left regrouping as Greece's Konstandinos Kederis roared to victory.

The roar would be even bigger if native son Kederis wins in Athens.' Read More at - Athens Gold Is Capel's Focus

Posted by Darren at 10:53 AM

Christian Cantwell - Shotput

The World's four best Shot Putters are competing for just three places at the Athens Olympics currently at the US Track and Field Trials.

'"That's a curse for us in this country I guess," said John Godina, a three-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist. "The good news there is ... I think this is our best chance to get a true sweep at the Olympic Games with all three medals."

Along with Godina, Christian Cantwell, Adam Nelson and Reese Hoffa will try for an Olympic spot. Just which three have a chance to sweep at the games will be determined during the final Saturday....

The youngest of the bunch at 23, Cantwell is undefeated in his last 14 competitions. His improvement has been extraordinary. At the last Olympic trials in 2000, Cantwell arrived just after his freshman year at Missouri.
Read More - Cantwell leads world class shot put field at trials

Posted by Darren at 10:48 AM

China Takes British Relay Place

China has been given a place in the mens 4x100 meters freestyle relay after Britain withdrew from the race in a shock announcement.

'"We had almost no hope. However, we were informed that because the British team gave up their chance in the relay, we could take advantage of their exit," China Swimming Association vice president Shang Xiutang said.'

Read more at - China takes British relay place

Posted by Darren at 10:37 AM

Petria Thomas Swimming Well in Butterfly

Petria Thomas is swimming fast. Yesterday in Brisbane she clocked a 58.80sec time in a 100m butterfly heat.

'Her effort, logged during a week of heavy training, was only a smidgen slower than Rachel Komisarz's winning time of 58.77sec at the US trials and faster than American Olympic great Jenny Thompson, who was second at the Californian meet in 58.98sec.'

Source - Petria primed for gold

Posted by Darren at 10:33 AM

Leisel Jones is Relaxed and Ready for Athens

Leisel Jones this week swam a second best in the world time in Brisbane in the 200 meters breaststroke suggesting that she will be in contention for a Gold medal at the Athens Olympics.

'The prodigiously talented Queenslander, who will be competing in her second Olympics before even having celebrated her 18th birthday, dominated the 200m final with a 2min 24.88sec swim that duplicated to the last decimal point her performance at the Australian championships in March.

However, this swim was constructed without the benefit of a rest or taper, with Jones having just last week logged the 10,000th training kilometre of her career.' Read More at - Relaxed Jones firing fluently

Posted by Darren at 10:28 AM

Eunice Barber Injury

French World Champion in the long jump, Eunice Barber, will struggle recover from a a right inner thigh injury that she suffered in training before the Athens Olympics. The injury is said to need three weeks rest which leave her only a further three weeks to prepare for the Athens Olympics.

'"Early diagnosis were that it was a relatively harmless injury but after a second scan the inflammation reduced and we found that the injury was more serious," said the 29-year-old Sierra Leone-born athlete.' Found at - Fitness race for long jump champ

Posted by Darren at 10:22 AM

Australian Women's Basketball Team Returns to Form

Australia's women's basketball team, the Opals, returned to winning form yesterday in China where they beat Serbia Montenegro 86 - 57.

'"This game saw the Opals recapture their form from both the World Challenge in North Queensland and the series against China in Sydney last month," said coach Jan Stirling.

"The selection of our team for Athens simply becomes more difficult as each of these players prove themselves as serious contenders."

Suzy Batkovic continued to impress and was again the Opals' top scorer with 15 points and eight rebounds.'

Source - Opals recapture best form

Posted by Darren at 10:17 AM

Brendan Hansen Breaks World Record

Brendan Hansen set a new world record in the 100m breaststroke at the US Olympic trials in Long Beach, California.

The new world record time is 59.30 seconds.

The previous record was held by Kosuke Kitajima of Japan at 59.78 seconds. Source - Hansen breaks world record

Posted by Darren at 10:10 AM

Lance Armstrong Rules out Athens

Lance Armstrong has announced that he will not compete at the Athens Olympics.

Armstrong wants to spend more time with his children after the Tour de France in which he is currently aiming to win for the sixth time.

'"I've done the Olympics many times," said the American.

"If I don't have 100% motivation for something that's an important event, a very important event, then I don't want to take somebody else's spot."' Source - Armstrong rules out Athens

Posted by Darren at 10:05 AM

British Archery Team Prepares for Olympics

The British Archery Team are focussing more and more heavily upon the Athens Olympics and will compete in a final Grand Prix event in Turkey next week.

'Alison Williamson, Naomi Folkard, Helen Palmer and Larry Godfrey will be among the world's top performers in Antalya.' Read More at - Archers Eye Turkish Delight

Posted by Darren at 10:00 AM

Stuart Dangerfield Replaces David Miller

'Stuart Dangerfield has been called up to replace David Millar in Britain's Olympic team. Dangerfield was added to the team for the time trial after Millar pulled out because of the doping investigation into him and his Cofidis team.' Read More at - Dangerfield replaces Millar

Posted by Darren at 09:52 AM

British Olympic Team Uniform

British_Olympic_Uniform.jpgBritain's Olympic Team Uniforms have been revealed in the lead up to Athens.

BBC have a preview of the Uniform.

Picture left features Jo Fenn and Jade Johnson - via BBC

Posted by Darren at 09:49 AM

British Team Weaker for Athens

British Athletics head, Max Jones, has admitted that the team they are sending to Athens this year is unlikely to do as well as they did in Sydney at the last Olympics.

'"We are not as strong as we were in Sydney in terms of pushing for gold medals," Jones, performance director for UK Athletics, told BBC Five Live.

He said prospects were weaker after the retirements of triple jumper Jonathan Edwards and hurdler Colin Jackson.' From - GB team 'weaker' for Athens

Posted by Darren at 09:43 AM

Michael Phelps Aims for 200 meter Gold

Michael Phelps is Eying off the Gold Medal for 200 meters butterfly amid speculation of more World Records to come.

'World record-holder Michael Phelps cruised into the semi-finals of the 200m butterfly and prepared to face the escalating demands of his ambitious six-event programme at the US Olympic swimming trials.

Phelps, 19, launched his Athens qualifying campaign by improving his own world record in the 400m individual medley on Wednesday.

But coach Bob Bowman said he didn't expect to see Phelps better his butterfly world mark in his semi-final Friday night, which will fall less than an hour after he competes in the 200m freestyle final.
Found at - Olympics: Phelps takes aim at 200m freestyle title

Posted by Darren at 09:34 AM

Nothing to Fear

Everyone is talking about Drugs at the US Track and Field Olympic Trials - or so we're being led to believe. But this interestesting comment from an ESPN article.

'Still, speaking of the steroid scandal that the U.S. Track and Field Trials will be carrying with it right into its Friday opening in Sacramento, Calif., it fell to Adam Nelson, one of the highest practitioners of his bulky and oft-suspected sport, to cut things down to the skinny.

"If you have nothing to fear," Nelson said of the latest round of testing processes, "then it's not going to bother you one bit."'Source - Can't Outrun Controversy

Posted by Darren at 09:30 AM

Ghana Names Olympic Football Team

Ghana have named their Olympic Football Team.

The team as named is:

Goalkeepers: George Owu, Mohammed Alhassan (all Asante Kotoko), Isaac Amoako (Ashanti Gold)

Defenders: John Mensah (Chievo, Italy), Emmanuel Pappoe (Moadon Sport Ashdod, Israel), John Paintsil (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Patrick Villars (SK Bucheon, South Korea), Saliu Muntari (Sekondi Hasaacas), Dan Coleman (Hearts of Oak)

Midfielders: Michael Essien (Olympique Lyon, France), Sule Muntari (Udinese, Italy), Abubakar Yahuza (King Faisal Babes), Yusif Chibsah, William Tiero, Charles Taylor (all Asante Kotoko), Stephen Appiah (Juventus, Italy), Razak Ibrahim (Empoli, Italy), Lamine Nasir (Ashanti Gold), Anthony Obodai (Ajax, Holland) and Derrick Boateng (AIK Stockholm, Sweden)

Strikers: Isaac Boakye (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany), Ishmael Addo (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel), Razak Pimpong (Midtjyland, Denmark), Kwadwo Poku (Midtjyland, Denmark), Asamoah Gyan (Udinese, Italy), Shaibu Yakubu (Ashanti Gold).

Source - Ghana name Olympic squad

Soccer Drills and Practice Plans

Posted by Darren at 09:05 AM

July 09, 2004

Cuba Hoping for Baseball Gold Medal

'CUBA is hoping to win back the baseball gold medal in Athens with a team that has been revitalized since the last Olympic Games, according to Higinio V�lez, technical coach of the Cuba squad.

Talking to Granma International, V�lez explained that the pre-selection squad of 33 players - of whom just four were in Sydney - is powerful, with solid pitching, good batting skills and versatile.

�It�s a difficult challenge because in our country we can�t come home without the gold medal, it�s our national sport,� explained the manager.

�We are combining experience with young talent,� added V�lez, who has managed the team for the last three years, and brought it triumph at the 2001 and 2003 World Championships, the 2002 Intercontinental Cup, the Pan-American Games and the pre-Olympic tournament in 2003.

With an average of 26, the group is made up of three catchers, nine basemen, seven fielders and fourteen pitchers and closed preparations are set to begin this Saturday in the city of Ciego de Avila, some 450 kilometers east of Havana.'Source - Cuba hoping to recover Olympic Baseball title in Athens

Baseball Pitching Made Easy

Posted by Darren at 02:40 PM

Emeka Okafor Joins US Olympic Basketball Team

Emeka Okafor has been selected to fill the final spot in the US Olympic Basketball team to compete in the Athens Olympics in August.

'"I came off a national championship, and now I have a chance to get a gold medal," he said. "That's one of the reasons I jumped at this opportunity. I'm really looking forward to it."

Okafor, the second overall pick in the NBA draft by the expansion Charlotte Bobcats, was officially added to the team along with Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, Lamar Odom and Dwyane Wade.' Read more at - Okafor rounds out U.S. Olympic basketball team

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

Peter Wells Qualifies for Windsurfing

Windsurfer, Peter Wells, was determined to qualify for the Athens Olympics after missing out by one place in qualifying for the Sydney Olympics.

All his hard work has paid off as he qualified first for Athens in last year's Olympic Trials.

'He came in first in the Olympic Trials held off the shores of Stuart, Fla. last November and will be the sole American representing the United States in the windsurfing event at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.' Found at - Former LCF Resident Going to 2004 Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

Lindsay Benko - Second in Qualifying Race

'Gold medalist Lindsay Benko is at it again trying to quality for a chance to compete at the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens.

Today, Benko placed second out of 62 other swimmers in the preliminaries for the 400-meter freestyle at the trials in California.
Read More at - Benko places second in preliminaries

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

Athens Olympic Security System Handed Over - Still Work to Be Done

Security contractors have finally handed over control fo the Olympic Security System to Athens Olympics Officials.

Some gaps in the security system still remain however:

'Security experts still need to finish subcommand centers, which are part of a security effort costing at least $1.22 billion. Ongoing construction also leaves little time to fully test the security networks at the main stadium complex and other key sites....

SAIC, the leader of a security consortium, must complete about 100 smaller centers throughout the Olympic area. Once all equipment is running, it must be tested before the start of the games.' Found at - Security command center handed over to Greek authorities

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

Marla Runyan Hopes for Gold

Marla Runyan is gearing up for the US Track and Field Olympic Trials which start on Friday.

'Since crashing the Olympic party in 2000, the 35-year-old Eugene resident has emerged as one of the top female distance runners in the United States despite being legally blind as a result of Stargardt's disease, a form of macular degeneration.

Runyan has won the last three U.S. outdoor 5,000-meter titles, she's finished in the top five in both the New York and Boston marathons, and she set the American indoor record in the 5,000.

And now she's back at the Trials, which begin Friday and run through July 18, in Sacramento, where Runyan will compete in the 5,000 and possibly the 1,500.' Source - Runyan's New Role: Eugene distance runner is favored in the 5,000

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

Nicole Cooke a Chance in Olympics Road Race

Gold Medalist, Christ Boardman, believes that current women's cyclist, Nicole Cooke, is a chance of a Gold Medal in the Women's Olympic Road Race in Athens.

'"Nicole's coming back into form after an injury-plagued season and her win in the women's road race was outstanding - she absolutely annihilated everybody.

"She was having problems but seems to have got it back together just in the nick of time," Boardman told BBC Sport.' Source - Boardman backs Cooke

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

US Olympic Rowing Team Announced

The US have announced a 45 member Rowing team for the Athens Olympics where they will compete in 12 of the 14 Rowing events.

The team includes 15 team members who have Olympic experience:

Laurel Korholz, Chris Ahrens, Pete Cipollone, Jennifer Devine, Hilary Gehman, Sarah Jones, Wolf Moser, Lianne Nelson, Henry Nuzum, Greg Ruckman, Kelly Salchow, Paul Teti, Steve Tucker, Bryan Volpenhein, and Mike Wherley.

None have previously won an Olympic Medal. Source - U.S. Rowing Team Sets Its Olympic Roster

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

Irish Olympic Athletics Team Announced

Ireland have announced their track and field (atheletics) team of 13 Athletes for the Athens Olympics. They are:

Derval O'Rourke 100m Hurdles
Sonia O'Sullivan 5000m
Marie Davenport 10,000m
Gillian O'Sullivan 20km Walk
Olive Loughnane 20km Walk

Paul Brizzel 200m
James Nolan 1500m
Cathal Lombard 5000m
Alistair Cragg 5000m
Mark Carroll 5000m
Cathal Lombard 10,000m
Robert Heffernan 20km Walk
Jamie Costin 50km Walk
Adrian O'Dwyer High Jump

Get More Details at - IAAF - Irish team for Athens

Posted by Darren at 12:57 PM

Australian Olympic Athletics Team Announced

Australia has announced their Track and Field (Athletics) team for the Athens Olympics. The team will number 37-50 depending upon qualification for relay events.

The Australian Track and Field Athletes are:

Joshua Ross (100m/4x100m relay), Adam Miller (200m), Clinton
Hill (400m/4x400m relay), Casey Vincent (400m/4x400m relay), Kris McCarthy (800m), Craig Mottram (5000m), Peter Nowill (3000m steeplechase), Luke Adams (20km walk), Nathan Deakes (20/50km walk), Sisay Bezabeh,�Nick Harrison, Lee Troop (marathon). Adam Basil, Paul Di Bella, Patrick Johnson, Andrew McManus, Adam Miller, Joshua Ross (4x100 relay), Patrick Dwyer, David Geddes, Mark Ormrod, John Steffensen (4x400m relay), Paul Burgess, Steve Hooker, Dmitri Markov (pole vault), Andrew Murphy (triple jump), Justin Anlezark (shot Put),�Stuart Rendell (hammer throw), Oliver Dziubak, William Hamlyn-Harris (javelin).

Lauren Hewitt (200m), Tamsyn Lewis (800m), Sarah Jamieson
(1500m), Benita Johnson, Haley McGregor (10000m), Jana Pittman (400m hurdles/4x400m relay)), Jane Saville, Natalie Saville, Cheryl Webb (20km walk), Kerryn McCann (marathon), Katerina Dressler, Rosemary Hayward, Rebecca Irwin, Renee Robson, Annabelle Smith (4x400m relay), Petrina Price (high jump), Kym Howe (pole vault), Bronwyn Thompson (long jump), Bronwyn Eagles, Brooke Krueger, Debbie Sosimenko (hammer throw), Kylie Wheeler (heptathlon).�

Get more details at - IAAF - Australian Olympic team announced

Posted by Darren at 12:57 PM

Polish Olympic Athletics Team Announced

Poland have tentatively announced their Track and Field (Athletics) team for the Athens Olympics. More athletes can be added to the following list subject to their performance up until 20 July.

The Polish Track and Field Team for the Athens Olympics is:

1500m: Lidia Chojecka
100m H: Aurelia Trywianska
400m H: Malgorzata Pskit
Marathon: Grazyna Syrek, Ma�gorzata Sobanska, Monika Drybulska
PV: Monika Pyrek, Anna Rogowska
SP: Krystyna Zabawska
DT: Wioletta Potepa, Joanna Wisniewska
HT: Kamila Skolimowska
Heptathlon: Magdalena Szczepanska
20 km Walk: Sylwia Korzeniowska
4x400m: Monika Bejnar, Grazyna Prokopek, Zuzanna Radecka, Anna Pacholak, Anna Jesien, Marta Chrust

100m: Lukasz Chyla
marathon: Michal Bartoszak, Grzegorz Gajdus, Waldemar Glinka
3000m st: Jakub Czaja, Radoslaw Poplawski, Jan Zakrzewski
110m H: Tomasz Scigaczewski
HJ: Grzegorz Spos�b, Robert Wolski
PV: Adam Kolasa
SP: Tomsz Majewski
HT: Szymon Zi�lkowski
20 km Walk: Beniamin Kucinski
50 km Walk: Robert Korzeniowski, Roman Magdziarczyk, Grzegorz Sudol
4x100m: Zbigniew Tulin, Lukasz Chyla, Marcin Jedrusinski, Marcin Urbas, Michal Bielczyk, Przemys�aw Rogowski
4x400m: Marcin Marciniszyn, Piotr Klimczak, Rafa� Wieruszewski, Artur Gasiewski, Piotr Kedzia, Robert Mackowiak

Get more details at - IAAF - Polish team for Athens

Posted by Darren at 12:57 PM

Dan O'Brien Retires

'Former Olympic gold medallist Dan O'Brien has retired from athletics after a back injury.

O'Brien, who won gold in the decathlon at the 1996 Olympics, was forced to quit after injuring his pelvic bone.' Source - O'Brien quits athletics

Posted by Darren at 12:57 PM

July 08, 2004

Leon Taylor and Peter Waterfield - Synchronized Diving

'Leon Taylor and Peter Waterfield: They will be keen to make amends for their near-miss in 2000 and head for Greece in buoyant mood, having won silver at the Fina World Cup in Athens earlier in the year.

The duo will also go head-to-head in the 10m platform, with Taylor having won silver at the Commonwealth Games in 2002.' Source - Britain's diving contenders

Posted by Darren at 11:05 PM

Four Teams Qualify for Synchronized Swimming

'Russia, Japan, the United�States and Spain have secured their places in the synchronized swimming team event of the 2004 Olympic Games after finishing top four of the Qualification Tournament here on Saturday, FINA website reported.

World champions Russia scored 99.167 points in the free routine Saturday and standing in the first place with a total points of 99.084 from their technical routine and free presentation.

World runners-up Japan clinched the second spot in a total of 97.918 while the United States maintained their position in the world championships in last July in 96.750.

The Spanish team, formed by a group of experienced swimmers coached by Anna Tares, was tied with the United States in the third place of the technical program, but was a little bit inferior during their free presentation and finished fourth in 96.4' Source - Four teams qualify for Athens synchronized swimming

Posted by Darren at 10:51 PM

Amir Khan wants Gold Medal

British Boxer, Amir Khan, is looking to win Gold in Athens at the Olympic Games in August.

'The 17-year-old is fighting in the 60-kg category against the likes of world number one Mario Kindelan.

And Khan said: "I know about Mario Kindelan, who won in the Olympics in Sydney, and I think he's beatable.

"I've also seen a couple from Asia and Africa and they looked good but I think I'd be all right against them and beat any of them."' Source - Khan eyes gold

Improve Your Own Boxing Skills

Posted by Darren at 08:34 PM

Natalie Coughlin Could Win 5 Gold

After suffering from a virus a year ago heading into the World Championships in Barcelona Natalie Coughlin has recovered and could win as many as 5 Gold Medals at the Athens Olympics.

'After examining the Olympic competition schedule, Coughlin decided this spring to swim just two individual events in Athens. She hopes to be placed on three relays, for a shot at a mere five medals.

"It's better for me to do really well in two or three (individual) events than mediocre in four or five," she says.

Even a scaled-down schedule puts her in excellent position to make U.S. swimming history. No American woman has ever won more than four gold medals in swimming in one Olympics � Amy Van Dyken won two individual and two relay golds in 1996.

Coughlin planned all along for the 100 backstroke, in which she'll open in the preliminaries and semifinals today. But she was forced to decide between two events in which she holds the American record, the 100 freestyle and the 200 back. Here and in Athens, the 200 back semifinals are scheduled 12 minutes before the 100 free final.'
Found - Profile lowered, Coughlin on lookout for gold

Posted by Darren at 08:15 PM

Australian Cycling Drug Report to be Released

The report into a drug investigation into Australian Cycling will be released as soon as possible says Australian Sports Minister Rod Kemp.

'Retired West Australian Supreme Court Judge Robert Anderson has completed an inquiry into allegations made by cyclist Mark French, who was banned for life from representing Australia after he was found guilty of two charges involving trafficking of glucocorticosteroid.

In secret evidence to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, French implicated five other Olympic cyclists of injecting substances at the Australian Institute of Sport's Del Monte cycling headquarters in Adelaide.

Federal Sports Minister Rod Kemp said lawyers were reviewing privacy and legal issues, but he expected the report would be publicly released before the Olympic Games started in Athens next month.' From - Cycling drugs report to be released

Posted by Darren at 08:04 PM

Athens Transport Workers Strike

'Transport workers prepared to shut down Athens' rail and bus lines Thursday in the latest strike over demands for extra pay for next month's Olympics.

The walkout, planned for six hours, was called by unions seeking special bonuses for expected additional work during the Aug. 13-29 Olympics. The strike was expected to close the city's subway, commuter rail and bus routes.

Labor groups have held a series of strikes and rallies to press for Olympic bonuses, which have been promised to police and other security forces in amounts up to $3,000.

But the government has rejected more concessions because of skyrocketing Olympic costs projected to top $12 billion.' Athens Transport Unions Call Strike

Posted by Darren at 07:59 PM

Michael Phelps Breaks World Record

'Michael Phelps began his quest for Olympic history with a world record.

Phelps, 19, who hopes to break Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals in Athens, broke his own mark in the 400-meter individual medley with an electrifying swim at the U.S. Olympic trials last night.

In the first final of the eight-day event, Phelps put up a time of 4 minutes, 8.41 seconds, eclipsing the record of 4:09.09 he set at last year's world championship in Barcelona.' Source - Phelps breaks his own 400-meter world record at U.S. trials

Posted by Darren at 07:46 PM

Cheryl Hamworth Set to Go in Athens

Cheryl Hamworth is gearing up for the Athens Olympics where she will compete for the US in weight lifting.

'But Cheryl, now 21, shakes her head at the tag of being the world's strongest. She's only the strongest in the western hemisphere. That's all.

"Technique, it's all technique. If you're not doing it right, then you're not going to do it well," said Haworth, who will compete for the U.S. at the 2004 Olympics at Athens in August. "It all comes down to physics like keeping the bar close to your body."

While she speaks of physics, her opponents might call it physicality. Haworth stands 5 feet 9 and weighs 296 pounds, but it's her athleticism -- 5.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash and a 30-inch vertical leap -- that dispels many assumptions about weightlifters.

She said matching her bronze medal in the 2000 Olympics -- the first with women's weightlifting as a sport -- would be satisfying. She lifted 270 pounds in the snatch and 330.7 pounds in the clean and jerk without much competition at the May trials in St. Joseph, Mo., to secure her spot in Greece.' Source - Savannah's strongest set to go

Posted by Darren at 12:46 PM

Felix Sanchez v Chris Rawlinson in 400m Hurdles

'World 400 metres hurdles champion Felix Sanchez has predicted British number one Chris Rawlinson has just as good a chance as anyone of winning a medal at the Olympics.

Sanchez believes Rawlinson can gain a podium place in Athens next month if he can maintain the form he has already displayed � regardless of a recent fall-out between the two close friends.

The pair temporarily fell out after the Olympic favourite claimed his rival had been disrespectful to him after the Bergen Golden League meeting last month.
Read More at - Sanchez Tips Rawlinson for Olympic Medal

Posted by Darren at 12:45 PM

Markus Rogan Aims for a Gold Medal

Austria has not won an Olympic Swimming Gold Medal since the 1912 Olympic Games in Sweden - however Markus Rogan is aiming to change this in Athens.

'Rogan, a 6-foot-5 backstroke specialist, is well aware of the large expectations from fellow Austrians that will be riding on his shoulders in a few weeks. He's trying hard to stay grounded.

"You can call it a lofty goal for Austria," he said, "but I don't see myself just as an Austrian. America has taught me to expect more."

Maybe that's why he chooses to downplay his recent success at the European Swimming Championships in Madrid, where he won gold medals in the 200 back and 200 individual medley and silver in the 100 back.

The golds were the first by an Austrian in the 78-year history of the event, but Rogan said, "I didn't really even prepare for the meet. I never really stopped my training at Stanford. In the long run now, it's all a quest for Mount Olympus."' Source - Austria's Rogan gunning for gold

Posted by Darren at 12:44 PM

Beijing Watches Athens Progress Closely

'Beijing's Olympic organizers are closely monitoring preparations for this year's Summer Games in Athens and are confident the Chinese capital can steer clear of the troubles that have befallen the Greek city.

Venues for the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing will be completed about a year in advance, says Liu Jingmin, executive vice-president of the Beijing Games organizing committee.

"I think venue construction will really be done in about the middle of '07," Liu told Reuters Wednesday.' Read more at - Beijing Eyes Wide Open to Athens Preparation

Posted by Darren at 12:42 PM

Security System Not Good Enough say Olympic Officials

With the Athens Olympic Games kicking off in just over a month the security system provided by SAIC (a San Diego based company) is not up to scratch say officials.

'A few days ago, government officials in Greece were told the security system at the Olympic Village, where most of the athletes will stay, will not be functioning before July 30 due to electricity supply problems.

In addition, SAIC and government officials disagree on how to set up the security system in the port of Piraeus, where thousands of visitors are expected to stay on cruise ships during the Olympics....

Many of the delays are attributed to the fact that SAIC didn't get the $277 million contract for the security system until May 2003, just 15 months before the Olympics. The security system is part of a $1.22 billion security plan for Athens, the costliest in Olympic history.'

Source - SAIC, Olympic Officials at Odds over Security System

Posted by Darren at 12:42 PM

Olympic Venue Construction Still Incomplete - But IOC Confident

Construction is still unfinished on a number of key Athens Olympic venues and sites - but the IOC is still confident everything will be resolved by August 13. The Main Olympic Stadium is one of the main concerns.

'"We reviewed with the different ministers a number of issues we still have on the table before the games can start, mainly completion of ... infrastructure," said Denis Oswald, the International Olympic Committee's coordinator for Athens.

"There are no major problems ... which will not be resolved in the remaining time."

Oswald and IOC executive director Gilbert Felli are in Athens for a two-day inspection.

"We got confirmation of dates and deadlines, which have been discussed before, to make sure everything will be in place," Oswald said after meeting Fani Palli-Petralia, the deputy culture minister coordinating Athens' preparations.

Most Olympic projects are in the final stage of construction or have been completed, but need to be landscaped.

"We are now battling hour by hour to be ready," Palli-Petralia said. "Much has been done and there is much to do until the last minute."

The main stadium complex is the key site of concern.'IOC Reviews Athens' Construction Problems

Posted by Darren at 12:42 PM

Michael Phelps Qualifies for 400m Individual Medley

World Record holder, Michael Phelps, has qualified for the Mens 400 Individual Medley in a time of 4:16.11.

'The man who will chase Mark Spitz's seven gold medals from the Munich Olympics took early command of his heat and held off Ryan Lochte, who qualified for the finals in second (4:19.75). ' Source - Men's 400 IM Prelims: Surprise!: Phelps Cruises to the Top Spot�

Posted by Darren at 12:42 PM

Cincinnati Athletes make US Olympic Team

'Four Cincinnati natives were named Olympic rowers today, believed to be the largest rowing contingent the area has ever sent to the Games.

The three who represented the area in Syndey � Bryan Volpenhein, Greg Ruckman and Kelly Salchow � all will make a return Olympic trip, and Pat Todd will make his Olympic debut.

The four rowers bring the total of Greater Cincinnati Olympians to nine. They join boxers Ron Siler and Rau�Shee Warren, soccer player Heather Mitts, synchronized swimmer Becky Jasontek, and shooter Jason Parker. Also, Jason McKittrick will go to Athens as the alternate in archery.' Read More at - Four Cincinnati rowers on Olympic team

Posted by Darren at 12:42 PM

Australia criticized for Drug Report Secrecy

Australia has been heavily criticized by Dick Pound, World Anti-Doping president and an IOC committee member, for keeping the report from an investigation into drug allegations in Australian Cycling secret.

'Pound said keeping the results of investigations secret is not conducive to public confidence in the process or the sport.

And WADA is threatening to write to federal sports minister Rod Kemp in a bid to force the release of the investigation into alleged drug use by Australian cyclists.' Source - Drugs secrecy warning

Posted by Darren at 12:42 PM

US Track and Field Team Young Guns

US track and field news has been dominated recently by drug allegations and probes - this has hidden from view an emerging group of US Athletes who are set to take the Athens Olympics by storm. They are ready to go at this week's US Olympic Trials for Track and Field Athletics events.

'Sprinter Lauryn Williams, miler Alan Webb, a trio of women in the 400 meters and pair of rising stars in the women's 400 hurdles are part of the 22-and-under crowd poised to make a run at the U.S. team.'

Source - Young talent looks to make Athens lineup, maybe even medal

Posted by Darren at 12:42 PM

Heike Drechsler Will Not Compete in Athens

German Olympic Long Jump Champion, Heike Drechsler, will not compete at the Athens Olympic Games.

The 39 year old Drechsler has a season best jump of 6.39m which is well behind her career best of 7.48m. She is not satisfied with her current level of performance and has therefore scrapped her Olympics Plans. Source - Drechsler out of Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:41 PM

IAAF Will Not Suspend Until Hard Evidence Found

The IAAF will not suspend athletes facing drug allegations until there is hard evidence of failing drug tests. This opens the way for four American Athletes facing life time bans to compete at the Athens Olympics if their hearings do not end before this time.

'USA Track & Field said Tuesday that Tim Montgomery � the 100-meter world-record holder � and five others facing doping charges would be allowed to compete at the U.S. Olympic trials beginning Friday in Sacramento

"We have no problem with that," Gyulai said. "Whether or not they can compete in the trials, we leave it in the hands of USA Track & Field."

Montgomery and sprinters Christye Gaines, Michelle Collins and Alvin Harrison have been notified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency they face lifetime bans in the BALCO steroid investigation. All are contesting the allegations.

None of the four failed a drug test. USADA is acting based on "non-analytical positives," evidence gathered in the federal probe of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.' Source - IAAF won't bar U.S. athletes from Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:41 PM

July 07, 2004

Fires Threaten Athens Olympic Athletes Village

News just to hand - There are reports just to hand that bush fires are threatening Athens suburbs including the one in which the Athens Olympic Village is situated.

HUNDREDS of firefighters battled a forest fire in northern Athens today that threatened at least two suburbs of the city, including one that is home to the newly built Olympic Village.

The fire broke out at at the foot of Mount Parnis, a thickly forested national park, and was pushed by strong winds toward the Athens suburbs of Acharnes and Thrakomakedones, home to more than 40,000 people.

Officials said the fire was burning just to the north of Acharnes, and was not yet headed in the direction of the Olympic Village, about 4km away on the southeastern outskirts of Thrakomakedones. The newly built village will house 16,000 athletes and officials during the August 13-29 Olympics. Read More at - Fire threatens Olympic Village

Posted by Darren at 10:58 PM

Gold Medal Chances in Olympic Judo

The BBC presents Stars to Watch in Judo - which suggests four Olympics Judo competitors to watch in Athens are:


Read Judo Results and Gold Medalists as they happen.

Posted by Darren at 09:45 PM

India Changes Olympic Hockey Team Coaches

India has made last minute changes to its Hockey Team coaching staff just weeks out from the Athens Olympics.

'Harendra Singh and Ranjan Negi were shown the door after the team�s poor display in a four-nation tournament in Holland last week and replaced by former international Jagbir Singh and Dutchman Frank Leictre.�

The duo will join the squad�s support staff headed by chief coach Rajinder Singh and two German experts, Oliver Kurtz and Gerhard Rach, in a bid to put the floundering campaign of the eight-time champions back on track.�' Source - Indians reshuffle support staff for Olympics

Posted by Darren at 03:47 PM

NBC Movie Promoting Athens Summer Games

'NBC is promoting its Summer Olympics coverage with a mini-movie titled Caravan to Athens that will star five likely U.S. Olympians and will showcase four Chevrolet vehicles.

The movie is being shown this month on more than 5,000 screens in 415 Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theaters and Edwards Theaters, encompasing 46 of the top 50 U.S. markets.' Source - NBC Promotes Olympics Coverage with Mini-Movie

Posted by Darren at 03:18 PM

US Athletic Trials Give Benefit of the Doubt

US athletes currently under investigation for drug charges will be able to compete at the US Olympic Track and Field trials.

'"The law of the United States is quite clear," USATF chief executive officer Craig Masback said. "It says unless someone has received a full due-process hearing and found to be ineligible, they must be allowed to compete."

That means world 100-meter record holder Montgomery, sprinters Chryste Gaines and Michelle Collins, twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison and distance runner Regina Jacobs are free to enter the U.S. trials.

Montgomery and Gaines are entered in the 100, Collins and the two Harrisons in the 400 and Jacobs in the 1,500 at the trials, held at Cal State-Sacramento.'

Source - Innocent until proven guilty being used at U.S. trials

Posted by Darren at 03:09 PM

Michael Phelps goes for Gold Medal Record

Michael Phelps is aiming to bring home a bag full of gold medals from the Athens Olympics in August. He's also hoping to knock off Mark Spitz's record of seven Olympic gold medals.

'Michael Phelps wants to make history. The quest begins Wednesday in a temporary pool set up in a parking lot.

Phelps revealed that he will swim six individual events at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, setting his sights on breaking Mark Spitz's 32-year-old record of seven gold medals at the Athens Games.

It's a formidable task, one that Phelps will try to pull off swimming four different strokes against world-class rivals who specialize in only one.

But the 19-year-old from Baltimore doesn't seem concerned that he's spreading himself too thin. Besides the individual events, he also hopes to swim two or three relays in Athens.' Source - Phelps focuses on breaking Spitz record

Posted by Darren at 02:57 PM

Australian Men's Hockey Team Ready for Athens Olympics

'The Australian men's hockey coach, Barry Dancer, says his players are well prepared for the sweltering conditions in Athens and are the fittest they have ever been.

Dancer says he is using the four-Test series against South Korea in Darwin to fine-tune the Kookaburras' passing game.

Australia holds a 2-0 series lead over Korea after scoring a 4-1 win over the visitors in the second Test in Darwin on Tuesday afternoon.

The Kookaburras won the opening Test 2-1.' Read More at Kookaburras turn the heat up on Olympic preparations

Posted by Darren at 02:48 PM

Athens Olympics US Cycling Team Announced

USA Cycling Press Release - USA Cycling announced today the team that will represent the United States in the discipline of road cycling at this summer's Olympic Games in Athens. After securing the maximum start positions in both men's and women's road cycling, USA Cycling will be sending a mix of accomplished veterans and talented newcomers to Athens. Five men and three women will contest the road race, while two men and two women will also compete in the time trial.

Leading the men's roster is five-time Tour de France winner and 2000 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Lance Armstrong (Austin, Texas). Armstrong's well-documented career as a cancer survivor and cycling champion includes countless accomplishments and accolades but doesn't include Olympic Gold, a feat he'll try to achieve in his fourth Olympic Games. Currently, Armstrong is engaged in a quest to become the first-ever six-time winner of the Tour de France, but will soon turn his focus towards Athens.

Joining Armstrong is 2000 Olympian and top European-based pro, Tyler Hamilton (Marblehead, Mass.). A steadily improving rider, Hamilton became a household name after finishing fourth overall in the Tour de France last year despite suffering a broken collarbone in the first stage. A stage win in the 2003 Tour, along with convincing wins in the 2003 Li�ge-Bastogne-Li�ge World Cup and back-to-back wins in the Tour de Romandie in 2003 and 2004 signify Hamilton's arrival as an Olympic medal contender. Currently, Hamilton is considered one of Armstrong's biggest threats to unseat him of his Tour de France glory, but come August the two will form a strong one-two punch as teammates on the U.S. Team.

George Hincapie (Greenville, S.C.), often regarded as the faithful lieutenant of Armstrong on the U.S. Postal Team, returns to represent the U.S. in his fourth Olympic Games. Hincapie's addition to the squad came as a result of a fifth place overall finish at the Paris-Nice stage race earlier this year, a tough multi-day event in France. Hincapie's presence and talents as a one-day specialist and dependable support rider along with his prowess as a formidable sprinter gives the U.S. team another card to play in a traditionally unpredictable race.

Joining the three Olympic veterans is first-time Olympian, Bobby Julich (Corpus Christi, Texas). Julich rose to stardom in 1998 when he finished third overall in the Tour de France, one year before the rise of Armstrong. After modest results over the next few years, Julich returned to the spotlight in 2004 after making a move to the Danish-based CSC Pro Cycling Team. The move proved ideal for Julich after placing third overall at Paris-Nice securing him a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, and winning a stage at the Vuelta a Pais Basco, a major international stage race in Spain. Julich's presence on the Olympic team completes a solid roster of proven pros with serious medal potential in Athens.

Rounding out the men's roster is Jason McCartney (Coralville, Iowa). McCartney burst onto the global scene earlier this season after winning a stage in the Tour de Georgia, an impressive result that came against a strong field of top international competitors. McCartney's spot on the team came as a result of a win at the pressure-filled Team USA Selection Race last month. A solo breakaway in the race's final 20km sealed the deal for McCartney against a stacked field of the most talented domestic-based professional riders.

The three-woman team that will compete in Athens features all first-time Olympians. Despite her long career as one of the most successful riders in the peloton, Dede Barry (Boulder, Colo.) makes her first Olympic Team as the top-ranked American rider in the international rankings, ranked 15th in the world. After missing out on the 2000 Olympic Team, Barry retired from professional cycling but later returned to competition with renewed focus towards 2004. Barry's aggressive style and strength as a tenacious all-around rider complements her presence as a tactically savvy and experienced veteran.

Joining Barry is her teammate on the T-Mobile Professional Cycling Team, Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho). Armstrong earned a spot on the team after riding to a win in the USCF Elite National Championships last month. The first-time National Champion has steadily progressed through the ranks of professional cycling by achieving consistent results in some of the world's most prestigious events.

Completing the women's team is USCF Elite National Time Trial Champion, Christine Thorburn (Davenport, Iowa). Thorburn was a surprise victor at last month's nationals to upset a strong field and earn a spot on the Olympic Team. Like Armstrong, Thorburn has experienced steady progression throughout the last year that began with a spot on the U.S. National Team at the 2003 world championships. Since then, she has become a marked rider in the U.S. peloton. Together, the three riders will combine to form an experienced and eager squad with medal potential.

"This is definitely one of the strongest, if not the strongest, Olympic road teams ever assembled by the U.S.," commented USA Cycling CEO Gerard Bisceglia. "Guys like Lance, Tyler, George and Bobby are at the height of their careers and could very well be competing in their last Olympics. Their experience and talent, along with their hunger for Olympic success will hopefully translate into medals. The women's squad is also on par with the rest of the world in terms of talent and experience. On paper it looks as though we can have a successful Olympics across the board when it comes to the road race and time trials."

From these nominations, two men and two women will also contest the time trial in Athens. The announcement as to which of these riders will compete in the time trial will be made at a later date.

With the earlier announcement of the athletes that will represent the United States in Athens on the velodrome in the discipline of track cycling, Tuesday's naming of the road squad means that only the three nominations for the mountain bike team remain. The U.S. will name the three mountain bike athletes (one woman and two men), on July 13 following the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships this weekend in Bad Goisern, Austria.

2004 U.S. Olympic Team Road Cycling Roster
Lance Armstrong (Austin, Texas)
Tyler Hamilton (Marblehead, Mass.)
George Hincapie (Greenville, S.C.)
Bobby Julich (Corpus Christi, Texas)
Jason McCartney (Coralville, Iowa)

Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho)
Dede Barry (Boulder, Colo.)
Christine Thorburn (Davenport, Iowa)

Posted by Darren at 09:30 AM

Brit's will find it difficult to pick up a medal

Colin Jackson say's Great Britain only have B standard athletes at the Athens Olympics.

Sprint hurdles legend Colin Jackson believes the British men's athletics team will find it difficult to pick up a medal at the Olympic Games in Athens.

The British former world champion says there is a scarcity of outstanding athletes in the Great Britain party.

"There's a lot of B-standard athletes. We used to have one or two A-plus boys, but now they've disappeared," he said.

Source BBC Jackson fears medal drought.

Posted by at 12:04 AM

July 06, 2004

Athens Main Olympic Stadium Construction Progress

athens_olympic_sml.jpgThis picture was taken via satellite on 12th June and gives an idea of the construction that continues to take place in preparations of the Athens Olympics.

Athens Olympic officials believe it will be ready by the opening ceremony on 13 August but it seems that there is still a fair bit of work going on around the stadium. Check out this larger and very detailed picture of the main Olympic stadium and its surrounds (warning this is a 1.7MB picture).

Related Posts:
- Olympic Stadium Work to be Completed a Day before Games Begin
- Athens Venues Will be Ready
- Olympic Roof Slides into Place

Found via Digital Globe via Deep Thoughts

Posted by Darren at 04:38 PM

Hackett Beats Thorpe in 200m

Grant Hackett today beat Ian Thorpe in a 200 meter lead up race to the Athens Olympics.

'GRANT Hackett spent a gruelling hour in the gym then beat world record holder Ian Thorpe in a 200m freestyle race for the first time in three years today - but he's not getting too excited just yet.

Hackett clocked 1min 49.18sec to touch out a bearded Thorpe at the Brisbane grand prix meet.

"Winning that race today, it's not anything to get too carried away about," said Hackett.

"It's nothing to jump up and down about."

The 24-year-old Olympic 1500m freestyle champion last beat Thorpe in the 200m freestyle at the 2001 Goodwill Games in the same the Chandler Aquatic Centre pool.' Source - Hackett cool after win

Posted by Darren at 04:21 PM

Mike Powell gives US Athletics Predictions

Current World Record Holder in the Long Jump, Mike Powell, has written an interesting column entitled Olympic trials on trial where he takes a look at the lead up to Athens. He covers topics such as the drug controversies surrounding some in the US team but also gives some tips of which up and coming stars to watch out for in track and field events.

The Olympic trials are where athletes begin their road to stardom. Here are several to keep your eye on:

Shawn Crawford and John Capel will challenge Maurice Greene in the 100 meters.

Lauryn Williams and Muna Lee have the talent to challenge Marion Jones in both the 100 meters and the 200 meters.

Sheena Johnson has the second fastest time in the world this year in the 400 meter hurdles.

Larry Wade will give Allen Johnson all the he can handle in the men's 110 meter hurdles.

Alan Webb is starting to live up to the hype that surrounded him in high school and may be the one to put American distance running back on the map.

Shot putter Christian Cantwell comes into the trials with the best throw in the world.'

Posted by Darren at 04:13 PM

Genevieve Jeanson's Struggle Towards Athens

CBC has an interesting article on Canadian Cyclist Genevieve Jeanson's preparation for the Athens Olympics. Jeanson has been surrounded by drug controversies for some time now and it seems that it is taking its toll on her.

'Genevieve Jeanson's signature move is a powerful attack during a difficult patch, which typically leaves the pack struggling through an uphill stretch while the gifted Quebecker climbs effortlessly into a lead.

But for the past year, Jeanson has spent much of her time on the defensive, unable to leave a string of controversies in her wake.

The 22-year-old "Machine from Lachine" has been shelled with questions, accusations and innuendoes since she was barred from racing at last October's world championships in Hamilton, Ont. for an excessively high red blood cell count...' Read More at - Jeanson can�t outrace her skeptics

Posted by Darren at 04:05 PM

Canada's Kayakers Dominate

'Canadian paddlers, including several Olympic team members, completely dominated an international senior and junior flatwater sprint competition which concluded in Hazelwinkel, Belgium on Sunday.

In senior level competition Canada won seven gold, 10 silver and five bronze medals. Olympic medal hopeful Adam Van Koeverden of Oakville, Ont. earned victories in both the K1-500 and the K1-1,000.

Richard Dalton of Halifax was also a double winner with victories in the C1-500 and 1,000.

Other victors from the Olympic team were Tamas and Attila Buday of Mississauga, Ont. in the C2-1,000 and Steve Jorens of Aurora, Ont. and Richard Dober of Trois-Rivieres, Que. in the K2-500.' Source - Canadian paddlers dominate Belgian canoe-kayak meet

Posted by Darren at 03:56 PM

Javelin Carnival - Finland

The World Famous Javelin Carnival took place today in Pihtipudas, Finland. Never heard of it? Neither had we - but it seems that the competition was hot as throwers warm up for the Athens Olympics.

'With 1999 World champion and 2001 silver medallist Aki Parviainen, the second longest thrower of all-time, injured and not expected to compete earlier than the national championships at the end of this month, up has stood 28 year-old Matti N�rhi to fill his shoes. His throw of 86.61m to win this year�s carnival is the sixth longest in the world this summer, and gains him automatic selection for the Finnish team for Athens.

In today�s competition three other men also exceeded 82m, reviving hopes for possible Olympic success in a year in which the world�s Javelin elite have yet to sparkle - 87.73m is the current world season�s best.'Source - Impressive throwing in Javelin carnival

Posted by Darren at 03:53 PM

Kenenisa Bekele Struggles with Injury

'WORLD 10,000m champion Kenenisa Bekele has withdrawn from the Athletissima meeting after picking up an Achilles tendon injury, organisers said today.

Bekele, the world record holder at 5000m and 10,000m, was entered in the shorter distance at the IAAF Super Grand Prix event in Lausanne tomorrow.

The meeting was to be the 22-year-old Ethiopian's last appearance before next month's Olympic Games in Athens, where he is due to run the 10,000 metres.

Bekele set the 5000m world record in Hengelo on May 31 and then lowered the 10,000m best in Ostrava, in the Czech Republic eight days later.

Bekele's compatriot Haile Gebrselassie had previously held the records.' Bekele injured for Lausanne

Posted by Darren at 03:39 PM

Iraq's Soccer Team Coach Steps Down

'GERMAN manager Bernd Stange has stepped down as coach of Iraq's national soccer team, saying yesterday he feared his safety would be undermined by insurgents in unstable post-war Iraq.

"I was a powerful leader for Iraqi football, but it's dangerous for me to be there," Bernd Stange said from his home in Germany, where he plans to settle down before taking up another coaching job.' Source - Fearful Iraq coach steps down

Soccer Drills and Practice Plans

Posted by Darren at 03:33 PM

Ian Thorpe's Advice for Michael Phelps

Ian Thorpe has given rival Michael Phelps some advice in the lead up to the Athens Olympics in August. The main thrust of his advice was to 'forget about Mark Spitz's seven gold medals.'

'At next month's Athens Olympics, Phelps is considered a chance of equalling, or even bettering, the seven golds Spitz won in the pool at the 1972 Munich Games.

But Thorpe said today the 19-year-old American would be setting himself up for unwarranted disappointment if he tried to emulate his fellow American's record feat.

Thorpe gave up a shot of seven gold medals in Athens when he decided to drop the 200m individual medley from his program earlier this year, opting to concentrate solely on freestyle events.

"In terms of what Michael's trying to do, I've said before and I still hold the position that I don't think anyone's going to win seven gold medals at an Olympics," Thorpe said in Brisbane.' Source - Forget gold: Thorpe

Posted by Darren at 03:29 PM

Daiane dos Santos

Brazil's Daiane dos Santos is confident of winning a Gold Medal at the Athens Olympic Games in her specialty event - floor exercises; in the gymnastics competition.

'She is 4 ft., 9 in., weighs less than 100 lbs., and when she smiles the braces on her teeth make her look half her 21 years.

But no one should mistake Daiane dos Santos's apparent physical slightness for frailty. When asked what it would mean to win the Olympic gold in floor exercise for which she is heavily favored, the little gymnast does not define what it would mean. She defines what it will mean.

"It will," she says confidently, "be the greatest achievement of my life."'

Source - Brazil's 'black pearl' tumbles toward Athens - and Olympic history

Chris Boardman Confident of Golden Haul

Expert adviser to the British Cycling team, Chris Boardman, is hoping for a big medal haul at the Athens Olympics.

'"Our prospects are even better than they were at Sydney - and we did pretty well there," he told BBC Sport.

"We have somebody in virtually every event that is a genuine medal prospect and I don't think there is any other sport that can say that."

Four years ago Britain's cyclists returned as one of the success stories of Team GB's Olympic campaign.

They boasted a gold medal, a silver and two bronze, a whole series of personal best performances and two unlucky fourth-place finishes.

But more significantly, they have since built on that success, finishing third in the medal table at the recent Track Cycling World Championships with two golds, a bronze and a silver.' Source - Boardman hopes for GB haul

Posted by Darren at 03:09 PM

Tim Henman Can't Wait for Athens Olympics

Tim Henman has been named as the sole tennis player in the British Olympic team and can't wait for the Athens Olympics.

'A host of top stars have voiced their concern at playing the Olympics during a busy schedule of events.

The Athens Games falls just before the US Open, but while Lleyton Hewitt has has no intention of going to Greece, Henman is relishing the prospect.

"It's going to be a busy summer what with travelling to and from the States after Wimbledon and for the Olympics," the British number one said.

"Hopefully I can produce something a bit special to make it all worthwhile."' Source - Henman's Athens ambition

Insider Tennis Strategies and Tactics

Posted by Darren at 03:00 PM

British Coxless Four Wins Race Despite Loss of Partridge

Britain's Coxless four team have won a lead up race to the Athens Olympics at the Henley Royal Regatta despite the loss of Alex Partridge to injury.

'Matthew Pinsent, Steve Williams, James Cracknell and Ed Coode gave a fine team performance for the emphatic win.

Partridge, replaced by Coode, will miss out on the Olympics after being diagnosed with a punctured lung.' Source - New GB crew take victory

Posted by Darren at 02:53 PM

Great Britain Announces Men's Olympic Hockey team

Britain has announced its hockey squad for the Athens Olympics.

Dave Mathews and forward Martin Jones have been dropped from the squad to make room for a number of new young players.

'"Our squad has got a balance of youth and experience and we are now looking to put the final touches to the team in the next few weeks," said Lee.'

The squad as named is: S Mason (gk), T Bertram, M Pearn (Reading); J Lewis (gk, Gross Flottbeker); G Dunlop, G Moodie (Western Wildcats); G Fordham (Guildford), B Garrard (capt), B Hawes, J Wallis (Surbiton); D Hall (Guildford); M Johnson, B Middleton, C Parnham (Cannock); R Moore (Teddington); N Stott (Dundee Wanderers). Source - GB name hockey squad

Posted by Darren at 02:44 PM

China's Basketball Team Announced

China has announced it's men's basketball team for the Athens Olympics in August.

'Houston Rockets center Yao Ming will lead a 12-member Chinese basketball team to the Athens Olympics.

The Chinese team will also include Menk Bateer of the San Antonio Spurs....

Besides Yao and Menk Bateer, the squad includes Liu Wei, Zhu Fangyu, Du Feng, Guo Shiqiang, Yi Jianlian, Li Nan, Chen Ke, Zhang Jingsong, Mo Ke and Zhang Yunsong.' Source - China names basketball team for Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 02:30 PM

Annette Woodward Shooting for Gold

56 year old, Annette Woodward is aiming for Gold in her pistol shooting event at the Athens Olympics in August.

'A pistol-packing grandmother is set to become Australia's oldest Olympian in 28 years after earning selection in the shooting team for the Athens Games.

At an age when many of her contemporaries are starting to slow down, 56-year-old Annette Woodward has her finger on the trigger and her sights set on Olympic gold.

"I think it just shows what self-belief can do," Woodward told Reuters. "Because of my age I didn't really think I could make the team so I'm pretty pleased with what I've done."' Source - Granny gets her gun and heads for the Olympics

Posted by Darren at 02:23 PM

July 05, 2004

Pole Vault World Record

Svetlana Feofanova has broken the Women's Pole Vault World record in the lead up to the Athens Olympics. The competition in Athens is going to be hot in this event.

'Svetlana Feofanova broke the world record in the women's pole vault Sunday night, clearing 16 feet to better the mark set a week earlier by a Russian compatriot.

Feofanova's left knee rubbed the bar as she went up, and though the bar wobbled, it stayed on. Feofanova celebrated with a back flip in the landing area, then took a victory lap around the nearly empty stadium.

Feofanova's record, on her second attempt at that height, broke the mark of 15-11} set on June 27 by Yelena Isinbayeva in Gateshead, England.

Feofanova, Isinbayeva and American Stacy Dragila have been taking turns breaking world indoor and outdoor marks in the pole vault the last couple of years -- and all three will be vying for medals at the Athens Olympics in August.
Source - Track and Field News Wire

Posted by Darren at 12:43 PM

Dean Macey Aims for Gold

26 year old Dean Macey has battled injury over the past few years but is still hoping for a Gold Medal in the Athens Olympics in the Decathlon.

'The 26-year-old has had to battle with injuries since he burst onto the global stage with silver success at the 1999 World Championships in Seville.

He grimaced his way to world bronze in 2001 in Edmonton, but career-saving surgery on a hamstring problem, plus a serious Achilles injury, have kept Macey stranded on the sidelines ever since.

Now the Canvey Islander faces his biggest test yet as he bids to bounce back from the wilderness with gold in Greece.

It's a big ask, but Macey is an ironman with a massive incentive.'Source - Going for Gold: Dean Macey

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM

Kelly Holmes: Going for Gold is Lonely

Kelly Holmes reflects upon the loneliness of distance running in the lead up to the Athens Olympics.

'Life on the athletics circuit means she has little time to return home to Kent but then Holmes' name has become synonymous with sacrifice, dedication and determination.

"I have to keep my head down and focus on the Olympics as the ultimate," Holmes told BBC Sport.

"You do miss your family and your friends but because I've only got a couple of years left in the sport I have to give 100% now.

"What I do has become a lonely existence but it means a lot to me to get my performances right.

"So if I'm away I just have to focus on trying to be the best athlete I can."'

Source - Going for Gold: Kelly Holmes

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM

Lee Troop Aims for Top 5 in Athens Olympics

Australian Marathon runner Lee Troop is hoping for a top 5 position in the Athens Olympics marathon.

'LEADING Australian men's marathon runner Lee Troop has set his sights on a top-five finish at the Athens Olympics after cruising to victory yesterday in the Gold Coast half-marathon.

In his last race before leaving for Switzerland to prepare for the Games, Troop led from beginning to end to finish in a quick 1hr02min54sec - barely two minutes off his personal best.

Commonwealth Games marathon gold medallist Kerryn McCann won the women's half in 1:11.08 and said she was confident of a top-10 finish in Athens.

Australia's other men's marathon hope for Athens, Nick Harrison, turned in a disappointing time of 1:10.13 to finish a distant 21st.'

Source - Troop aims high for Athens

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM

Matt White Crashes in Athens Lead up

Austratlian Cyclist, Matt White, is still confident of competing at the Athens Olympics despite his crash in the warm up just before starting the Tour de France. White broke his arm in the crash.

'White's Tour ended before it began on Saturday when he crashed heavily while warming up for the 6.1km prologue time trial. He had four stitches in his face and broke his right collarbone.

"I have six weeks and am in perfect condition," said the NSW rider.

White said he would pull out of the Australian team if he felt his recovery was not succeeding and his form in races was sub-standard.

"If I am not ready I won't go to the Olympics," said White who competed in the Sydney Olympics.

"We have the [Olympic] reserves here on the Tour who know what they would have to do to help the team were one to take my place."' Source - Crash ends Tour dream

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM

Australian Women's Basketball Team Beaten by Chinese

Australian's women's basketball team, the Opals, have suffered another defeat to the Chinese in their lead up to the Athens Olympic Games. The score was 79 - 60.

'The convincing winning margin was due largely to a strong second-half by the Chinese, who outscored the Opals 41-26 after the halftime break.

Suzy Batkovic was on fire for the Opals with a top score of 17, but early foul trouble left the team with limited options inside the key as China outmuscled the Australians forcing poor shot selection.

This enabled the Asian champions to generate their offensive transition game for which they are renowned.

China's superior shooting percentage (62 per cent from the field) in addition to 20 of 24 foul shots compared to the Opals seven of eight, always meant that the Australians were in catch-up mode.

A crowd of some 4000 spurred the Chinese team on midway through the last quarter when Sydney's silver medallists reduced the deficit to less than 10 points.'

Source - Batkovic best as Opals crash

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM

Australian Gymnastics Trials

The Australian Gymnastics Trials for the Athens Olympics are today being held in Canberra.

'Only national all-around champion Allana Slater, outstanding 15-year-old Monette Russo and fellow 2003 World Championship bronze medallist Stephanie Moorhouse can expect to be named on the six-strong women's artistic team after regularly impressing on the international stage over the past two years.

While Slater, Russo and Moorhouse dominated last night's opening session of a tense, two-part final trial, none of the 12 Athens hopefuls were able to post scores high enough to be on track for automatic inclusion in the Olympic team.

An aggregate score of at least 74 out of 80 was the requirement and Slater (37.650) was the only competitor halfway towards achieving the tough task.' Source - Last chance for gymnasts

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM

Introducing the US Boxing Team for Athens

ESPN has an interesting look at the US Boxing team who are currently in preparation to the Athens Olympics. The team has not won a Gold medal since 1996 and are hoping that this year might change that.

'One sure bet, according to insiders, is light heavyweight Andre Ward, a two-time national champion. Yet despite the accolades, Ward refuses to set himself apart from his team, which he believes will surprise a few people in August....

One sure bet, according to insiders, is light heavyweight Andre Ward, a two-time national champion. Yet despite the accolades, Ward refuses to set himself apart from his team, which he believes will surprise a few people in August....

And while Ward may have the speed and Vargas the power, the pedigree may be the sole property of 22-year-old junior welterweight Rock Allen, who comes from a fighting family that includes his coach/father Nasszim Richardson, best known for his work with middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins....

Holding up the middleweight end of the team is Andre Dirrell of Flint, Mich., a two-sport athlete in high school who is going for the gold not only for himself, but for his grandfather, Leon Lawson, who raised the 20-year-old and who still coaches him.' Read more at - Road to Athens; US Boxing

Improve Your Own Boxing Skills

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM

John Magera Shoots into US Archery Team

John Magera did not expect to make this year's US Olympics Archery Team - but in only his fourth archery competition ever he impressed selectors with his ability.

'Magera, a lifelong bow hunter, who picked up an Olympic style recurve bow for the first time 16 months ago, stunned the field at the Olympic trials in June by finishing third and securing the final spot on the U.S. team headed to Athens this summer. It was his fourth tournament ever.

"My goal wasn't to make the Olympic team," Magera said. "I was using the trials as a way to improve my ranking. I was actually aiming for the 2005 U.S. team."

Obviously, Magera's aim is better than even he expected.

For the past 25 years, Magera, a wildlife refuge manager, enjoyed bow hunting as a family pastime. He says he loved the beauty of the outdoors, the challenge of learning an animal's habits, and on occasion, when he did take aim and shoot, the fundamentally appealing arc of his arrow's flight.' Read more at 'Road to Athens - Archery

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM

Introduction to Olympics Judo

ESPN has a good introduction to Judo for Athens Olympics viewers.

'Judo is a descendant of the ancient martial art of jujitsu, and competitors do wear the traditional "gi" (prounounced GHEE) during a match. But that is where the likeness ends.

More akin to Greco-Roman wrestling than the other martial arts, judo is a sport of throw moves, pins and strangle holds, not kicking and punching. Some judo fighters describe their sport as the thinking man's wrestling match.

Having quickness and confidence is only part of the equation. Similar to tennis, judo is a sport of matchups and styles; some techniques clash where others may dominate.' Read More at 'Road to Athens: Judo

E-Book - Beyond Martial Arts

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM

Shirvington, Johnson and Grigorieva Miss Boat to Athens

This year's Australian Olympic Athletics team will look different to normal with some of it's biggest names absent from competition.

'At the top of the list could be out-of-form sprinters Matt Shirvington and Patrick Johnson. Joshua Ross is the only 100m runner in the country with a chance of running in the Olympics' blue riband event.

At best, Shirvington and Johnson can only run in the relay in Athens, but Australia's 4x100m team is not yet qualified.

Also likely to miss will be pole-vaulting glamour couple Tatiana Grigorieva and Viktor Chistiakov.

Grigorieva, the silver medallist from Sydney four years ago, had her last chance to qualify in Spain at the weekend but failed to clear 4.15 metres in three attempts. She needed to post a 4.40m clearing to join Kym Howe in the event in Athens.

Grigorieva's absence means none of the three Australian medallists in Sydney will compete in Athens with Cathy Freeman and Jai Taurima retired.' Source - Shirvo, Johnson will miss team

Posted by Darren at 10:45 AM

Mark Lewis-Francis Goes for Gold

The BBC has an interesting lead up story to Mark Lewis-Francis who is aiming for a Gold Medal at this year's Athens Olympics in the 100 meters.

'This is a big year for the 21-year-old. Four years ago he turned down the chance to go to the Sydney Olympics, heading instead to Chile to take gold in the World Juniors.

The assumption was clear: by 2004, he would be ready to convert his enormous latent potential into Olympic gold.

Reality, as it turned out, was rather more complicated. Lewis-Francis is still waiting for his first international senior medal, despite having beaten every top sprinter at least once.' Source - Going for gold: Mark Lewis-Francis

See also:

Lewis-Francis targets glory
Mark's 10-second heartbreak

Posted by Darren at 10:38 AM

Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah Aim for Badminton Gold

After their win in the Malaysian Open Badminton Championships, Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah will be aiming for a Gold Medal at the Athens Olympics.

'The victory for veterans Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah over Indonesian number one Luluk Hadiyanto-Alven Yulianto in the men's doubles final of the Malaysian Open Badminton Championships here yesterday held significance for the Malaysians for two reasons.�

First, it ended their five-year wait for an international Open title since winning the tournaments in Singapore, China and Germany in 1999.�

Second, it abolished their chokers' tag after coming up short in three finals � in the Hong Kong and China Open last year and in the All-England this year. �' Source - Doubles pair now eye more honours at the Olympics

Posted by Darren at 10:23 AM

Greece Wins European Championships

Last night's win by Greece at the European Championships could be just the thing the country needs in the lead up to the Athens Olympic Games.

'Greeks filled with pride and patriotism partied, celebrating their national team's surprising 1-0 win over host Portugal in the finals Sunday. It was a much-needed triumph for a nation dealing with the grueling and costly preparations for next month's Olympics.

Shepherds fired guns from mountaintops. Red flares whizzed skyward from luxury yachts. Police - already on full Olympic patrols - let down their guard for a moment and hugged and danced.

"It's unbelievable! It's amazing! It's glorious!" yelled people running through Athens' main Omonia Square. Bands of school children danced together draped in the Greek flag.

The powerful national high comes at a time when Greek taxpayers are grumbling about huge Olympic bills and security officials are facing nonstop pressure to satisfy international concerns.

Olympic organizers hope the soccer fervor would spill over to the Aug. 13-29 Games. Ticket sales have been sluggish and the blitz of work in Athens has made many people see the games more as a long headache rather than a glorious homecoming.
Source - Soccer Win Gives Greece an Olympic Boost

Posted by Darren at 10:18 AM

Kelly Holmes Running Well

British Athlete Kelly Holmes looks set to do well at the Olympics in Athens after easily beating the 800m qualifying time last night in Spain. With the times she is producing she looks set to be on track for a Gold Medal in Athens.

'Holmes, continuing her preparations for Athens next month where her main target will be the 1500 metres title, stormed to victory in a time of one minute 58.71 seconds.

Last year's World Championship 800m silver medallist easily bettered the two-minute qualifying time and became the first Briton to do so this summer.

Holmes finished ahead of Morocco's Hasna Benhassi, who clocked 1:59.21, and Russia's Natalya Tsyganova, who finished in 2:00.09sec.' Source - Holmes and dry for Olympics

Posted by Darren at 10:11 AM

Capralos Named Olympics Troubleshooter For Athens

'One of Athens most experienced hands involved with the 2004 Games will now oversee the day-to-day operations of the city of Athens during the Olympics.

Spyros Capralos, one of the members of the original bid committee and now the government's secretary general for the Olympics, was given the new powers by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

In his role Capralos will work alongside a representative from the city and one from the organizing committee to resolve problems that may come up in the Olympic city.' Source - Capralos Named Olympics Troubleshooter For Athens

Posted by Darren at 10:06 AM

July 04, 2004

Nike Predicament over Marion Jones

Nike is in a tough spot as it decides how prominently to place Marion Jones in its advertising whilst she is under investigation for drug violations.

'Jones, who won an unprecedented five track medals at the 2000 Olympics, is under investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, with the Athens Games to open in six weeks.

Nike featured Jones earlier this year as it rolled out its Olympic ad campaign as part of its "Speed" theme to highlight the performances of its top athletes. But the campaign has moved on to Serena Williams, who will be followed by ads featuring Lance Armstrong as he bids for a record sixth straight Tour de France title.' - Source - Jones' situation puts Nike in tough spot

Posted by Darren at 09:37 PM

Holland's Chris DeJong to swim at US Olympic Swimming Trials

Holland's Chris DeJong's childhood dream was to compete at the Olympic Games - this week at the US olympic swimming trials he will get his chance to prove himself.

'The 20-year-old knows he will need a peak performance and a little help this week at the U.S. Olympic Trials to earn a spot on the team....

"I'm a longshot," said DeJong, the former Holland High School standout who currently swims for the University of Michigan. "Anything can happen at the Olympic Trials. The best of the best crumble under the pressure. But I'm not trying to think about what the results may be.

"I have to stay within myself and show people what I can do."

DeJong is planning to enter two events at the Olympic Trials: The 200-yard backstroke and 200 freestyle. The meet begins Wednesday.' Source - Swimmer ready to test his abilities at trials for Olympics

Posted by Darren at 09:30 PM

Colleen De Reuck - Well Rounded Woman

US Marathon Runner Colleen De Reuck will be the oldest American woman to run an olympic Marathon at the Athens Olympics.

'The petite, blond housewife qualified at the trials on April 3 in St. Louis, clocking a record 2:28:25. Yet there she was in the kitchen of her Boulder, Colo., home, whipping together a tuna noodle casserole as she talked about training schedules and her upcoming, arduous 26.2-mile trek from Marathon to downtown Athens.

De Reuck puts in a day that pampered, spoiled athletes would never abide. Already she had mowed the yard; done the grocery shopping; kept a physical therapy appointment; drove 9-year-old daughter Tasmin to her dental checkup; and�walked Shaka, the family's black Labrador retriever, and a neighbor's dog, only to end up bathing both after a side trip in a muddy creek.

And with the Athens trip atop her agenda, De Reuck squeezed in a two-hour run and managed a weight-lifting session.' Read more at - Well-rounded woman: Colleen De Reuck juggles busy home life with Olympic preparations

Posted by Darren at 09:23 PM

Zimbabwean Swimming Team of 3

'Kirsty Coventry, Brendan Ashby and Kim Brackin will travel from Alabama to Greece, all in the name of Zimbabwe.

Coventry and Ashby represent the south African country's entire swim team for the Athens Games. Brackin will be their coach.

"It's very cool," Coventry said of the all-Alabama team.

Even cooler: The 2000 Olympian and NCAA 200-meter backstroke champion is a legitimate contender for Zimbabwe's first swimming medal.

Coventry, a rising senior, has already gotten over two humps recently. A five-time NCAA runner-up, she won her first individual title by setting a meet record in the 200 backstroke. She also topped Natalie Coughlin of California, a three-time NCAA Swimmer of the Year who had never lost a race in college.

Both Coventry and Ashby have been training on campus with their respective college coaches. Brackin will coach them in Greece....'Read More at - State trio representing Zimbabwe in Olympics

Posted by Darren at 09:18 PM

Australian Cyclists Still under Suspicion

Suspicion continues to hang over the Australian cycling track team in the lead up to the Athens Olympics after parts of the latest drug enquiry were made public.

'Disgraced cyclist Mark French told Channel Nine's 60 Minutes that former world champions Sean Eadie and Shane Kelly had introduced him to banned substance Testicom in Germany last year.

The 19-year-old former junior world champion also named Eadie as the teammate who'd introduced him to injecting legal vitamins at the Australian Institute of Sport base in Adelaide.

But the most potentially damaging information to emerge from the 60 Minutes story on the French affair involved Olympic gold medal hope Jobie Dajka.

60 Minutes revealed sections of former West Australian Supreme Court judge Robert Anderson's report on his investigation into claims made by French against nominated Olympic team riders Kelly, Eadie, Dajka, Graeme Brown and Brett Lancaster.' Source - Fresh cloud over cyclists

Posted by Darren at 09:14 PM

Palestinian Athletes Worried

Palestinian athletes are worried that they will not be able to compete in the Athens Olympics due to Israel closures of the Gaza Strip.

'Sana Bkheit, the Palestinian athlete and ambassador to the upcoming Olympic Games in Athens, voiced fears on Saturday that she might be unable to compete in Athens due to the Israeli military closures imposed on the Gaza Strip.

Bkheit, a 19-year-old runner, is due to head to Athens on Tuesday to represent Palestine at the 2004 Olympic Games, while the Israeli Army has been closing the Rafah terminal, located at the southern strip border with Egypt, for over a week.

Bkheit told reporters that "my passports, my authorizations and visa are all ready but I scared about not being able to leave because of the Israeli military closures imposed on the Rafah terminal."

She added she might also be denied access to the terminal since the Israeli Army hasn't been allowing any Palestinian aged between16 and 35 to travel.' Source - Palestinian athlete fears of inability to compete in Athens

Posted by Darren at 10:20 AM

Russian Athletics Olympic Team

IAAF International Association of Athletics Federations - Athens Olympic Games 2004:
"Russian Olympic team

Andrei Epishin

Oleg Sergeev

400m and 4x400m
Anton Galkin
Andrei Rudnitzskiy
Dmitriy Forshev
Oleg Mishukov
Ruslan Mazshenko
Dmitruy Larin

Yuriy Borzakovskiy
Ramil Aritkulov
Dmitriy Bogdanov

Aleksandr Krivchonkov

5000m and 10,000m

Leonid Shevtsov
Grigoriy Andreev
Dmitriy Burmakin

110m Hurdles
Igor Peremota
Evgeniy Pechonkin
Sergei Chepiga

400m Hurdles
Boris Gorban
Mikhail Lipskiy

3000m Steeple
Pavel Potapovitch
Roman Usov

20km walk
Vladimir Porvatkin
Vladimir Andreev
Victor Buraev

50km walk
Aleksei Voevodin
Yuriy Andronov
Denis Nizhegorodov

High jump
Yaroslav Ribakov
Petr Braiko.
As we mentioned there are several vacant places in the team. One of them is the mens high jump. There are two contenders Aleksei Dmitrik and former world champion Vyacheslav Voronin

Pole vault
Vadim Strogaltv
Igor Pavlov
Pavel Gerasimov

Long jump
Vitaliy Shkurlatov
Kirill Sosunov
Two contenders for the third place Ruslan Gataullin and Evgeniy Tretiyak

Triple jump
Danil Burkenya
Victor Guzshinskiy
Vitaliy Moskalenko

Shot put
Ivan Yushkov
Pavel Sofiyn
Pavel Chumachenko

Discus throw
Dmitriy Shevchenko
Aleksand Borichevskiy
The third place is still vacant

Hammer throw
Ilya Konovalov
Sergei Kirmasov
Yuriy Voronkin

Javelin throw
Sergei Makarov
Aleksandr Ivanov
The third place is still vacant

Lev Lobodin
Aleksandr Pogorelov
Nickolai Averyanov

100m and 4x100 relay
Julia Tabakova
Irina Khabarova
Larisa Kruglova
Olga Fedorova
Olga Khalandireva
Marya Bolikova

Elena Bolson
Tatyana Levina
Ekaterina Kondratyeva

400m and 4x400 relay
Natalya Nazarova
Natalya Antukh
Olesya Zikina
Olesya Krasnomovetz
Tatyana Firova
Olga Kotlyarova
Natalya Ivanova

Tatyana Andrianova
Natalya Khruzsheleva
Olga Paspopova
Svetlana Cherkasova

Olga Egorova
Natalya Evdokimova
Tatyana Tomashova

Gulnara Samitova
Elena Zadorozhnaya
Lilya Shobukhova

Ludmila Grigorieva
Alla Zshilyaeva
Galina Bogomolova

Svetlana Zakharova
Ludmila Petrova
Albina Ivanova

100m Hurdles
Irina Shevchenko
Marya Koroteeva
Natalya Kresova

400m Hurdles
Julya Pechonkina
Ekaterina Bikert
Ekaterina Bakhvalova

20km walk
Elena Nikolaeva
Julya Voevodina
Olympiada Ivanova

High jump
Elena Slesarenko
Anna Chicherova
There are three contenders for the third place Olga Kaliturina, Victorya Seregina and Tatyana Novoseltzseva

Pole vault
Yelena Isinbayeva
Svetlana Feofanova
Alla Ivanova

Long jump
Tatyana Lebedeva
Irina Simagina
Tatyana Kotova

Tripla jump
Tatyana Lebedeva
Anna Pyatykh
Victorya Gurova

Shot put
Irina Korzhanenko
Svetlana Kriveleva
Olga Ryabinkina

Discus throw
Natalya Sadova
Olga Chernayvskaya
Oksana Esipchuk

Hammer throw
Olga Kuzenkova
Elena Konevtseva
Tatyana Lisenko

Javelin throw
Valerya Zabruskova
Ekaterina Ivakina
Oksana Yarigina

Elena Prokhorova
Svetlana Sokolova
Tatyana Gordeeva

The official list will be submitted on the 9th of August

Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF


Posted by Darren at 12:07 AM

Chinese Olympic Athletics Team

Chinese Olympic team to Athens 2004

Season's best shown after the event

Chen Haijian 100m 10.43
Yang Yaozu 200m 20.67
Dou Zhaobo 1500m 3:45.70

Li Zhuhong marathon 2:11:43
Zhu Ronghua marathon 2:13:11
Han Gang marathon 2:14:57

Liu Xiang 110m hurdles 13.06
Shi Dongpeng 110m hurdles 13.50

Liu Yang high jump 2.27m
Liu Feiliang pole vault 5.56m
Zhou Can long jump 8.11m
Li Yanxi triple jump 17.09m

Wu Tao discus 63.62m
Li Rongxiang javelin 83.32m

Qi Haifeng decathlon 7960p

Zhu Hongjun 20km walk 1:20:10
Liu Yunfeng 20km walk 1:20:06
Han Yucheng 20km walk 1:19:30, 50km walk 3:39:10
Yu Chaohong 50km walk 3:42:28
Alatangadasu 50km walk 3:45:41

Li Xuemei 100m 11.32
Bu Fanfang 400m 52.99
Sun Yingjie 5000m 15:26.43, 10000m 31:50.90
Xing Huina 5000m 15:23.20, 10000m 32:48.28

Zhang Shujing marathon 2:29:53
Zhou Chunxiu marathon 2:23:28
Li Helan marathon 2:28:17

Su Yiping 100m hurdles 13.15
Huang Xiaoxiao 400m hurdles 56.18

Jing Xuezhu high jump 1.94m
Gao Shuying pole vault 4.45m
Zhao Yingying pole vault 4.40m
Guan Yingnan long jump 6.75m
Wang Lina long jump 6.72m
Liang Shuyan long jump 6.71m
Huang Qiuyan triple jump 14.51m
Zhang Hao triple jump 13.80m

Li Meiju shot put 18.89m
Li Fengfeng shot put 17.23m
Zhang Xiaoyu shot put 18.00m
Song Aimin discus 64.90m
Li Yanfeng discus 64.34m
Huang Qun discus 64.42m
Gu Yuan hammer 72.36m
Zhang Wenxiu hammer 72.42m
Liu Yinghui hammer 68.83m
Xue Juan javelin 60.90m
Ma Ning javelin 58.96m

Shen Shengfei heptathlon 6033p

Song Hongjuan 20km walk 1:26:46
Jiang Jing 20km walk 1:27:34
Wang Liping 20km walk 1:28:58


Posted by Darren at 12:02 AM

July 03, 2004

5 Cleared Cyclists Speak Out

The five Australia cyclists caught up in the drug controversy after testimony by Mark French have spoken out after being cleared of all charges in an independent enquiry.

'Shane Kelly, Sean Eadie and Jobie Dajka, three of the five riders under investigations after disgraced cyclist French said they injected legal vitamins, spoke out for the first time in Rockhampton today with all three claiming they were clean and were ready to put the controversy behind them.

Reading a statement on behalf of the cycling sprint team Shane Kelly, who will contest his fourth Olympics in Athens, said they were all upset with what had gone on over the past couple of weeks with the accusations and allegations very hard to deal with.' Source - Olympic cyclists back on track

Posted by Darren at 11:09 PM

New Zealand Athletics Team

The New Zealand Track and Field Team continues to be announced in the lead up to the Athens Olympics. The NZ team so far is:

Valerie Adams (Auckland)���������������� Shot Put
Craig Barrett (Waikato BOP)�������������50km Walk
Beatrice Faumuina (Auckland)��������� Discus
Melina Hamilton (Canterbury)���������� Pole Vault
John Henwood (Auckland)���������������� 10,000m
Kimberley Smith (USA)��������������������� 5,000m
Dale Warrander (North)�������������������� Marathon
Jonathon Wyatt (Wellington)������������ Marathon

Source - New Zealand - Olympic team so far

Posted by Darren at 11:03 PM

Kenyan Athletics Team Announced

The Kenyan Track team has been announced after their trials last week. As usual it is expected to be strong at the Athens Olympics.

The team from Kenya is:

400m:� Vincent Mumo, Ezra Sambu
800m: Wilfred Bungei, Michael Rotich, Joseph Mutua
1500: Isaac Songok, Bernard Lagat, Timothy Kiptanui
5000m: Eliud Kipchoge, John Kibowen, Abraham Chebii
10,000m: John Korir, Moses Mosop + one other**
3000m steeplechase: Ezekiel Kemboi, Brimin Kipruto, Abraham Cherono Marathon: Paul Tergat, Eric Wainaina, Sammy Korir

5000m: Jane Wanjiku, Isabella Ochichi
10,000m: Alice Timbilil Lucy Wangui
Marathon: Catherine Ndereba, Margaret Okayo, Alice Chelangat.

Source - Full of surprises � Kenyan Olympic Trials, final day - Athens squad announced

Posted by Darren at 10:57 PM

Aeolos Kenteris Aiming for Golden Repeat

Aeolos Kenteris says that winning a Gold medal in the 200m on the track at the Olympics will be as difficult this time around as it was in Sydney.

'Kenteris was one of the biggest surprises of the 2000 Sydney Games, winning the 200 meters to become the first Greek man to win an Olympic medal in a running event since 1896.

He did not run again until June 2001. Two months after that, he won the world title. But he has competed sparingly since, and dropped out of the 2003 world championships because of a lingering thigh injury.

His last 200 in a major meet was a year ago, and he chose to run the 100 at the recent Greek national championships that debuted the rebuilt Olympic stadium.' Source - Kenteris hopes for health, Olympic repeat

Posted by Darren at 10:51 PM

Christoph Marik Fencing for Gold

'Christoph Marik, the 2004 European epee champion, said Friday he was ready for his medal quest at the Athens Olympics.

Marik, who last month won the European title in Copenhagen, Denmark, by defeating Frenchman Remy Delhomme in the final, is confident he will continue his streak and win a medal at the 2004 Olympics.

"At the Games in Athens everything is possible," Marik told The Associated Press.

The 26-year-old Austrian who started fencing at the age of 11 said that having a strong field to compete against actually improved his chances of success.

"We are all on very much the same level, so any of us can win it or be eliminated in the first round," Marik said. "Daily form and self-confidence will decide, and concerning the latter I am certainly on an all-time high."' Source - European champion Marik wants Olympic medal

Posted by Darren at 10:45 PM

Jana Pittman Wins in Lead up Race

Australian Jana Pittman has won an important lead up race to the Athens Olympics against rival Yuliya Pechonkina.

'WORLD champion Jana Pittman has taken first blood in her pre-Olympic battle with arch rival Yuliya Pechonkina, winning the 400m hurdles at the Golden League athletics meeting in Rome overnight.' - Source - Pittman takes first blood

Posted by Darren at 10:38 PM

Australian Athens Medal Tally Predictions

Experts are predicting that Australia will win 14 Gold Medals, 18 Silver Medals and 14 Bronze Medals at this year's Athens Olympic Games in August.

'If the team live up to expectations, they will deliver a total of 46 medals from 16 different sports, 12 down on the 58 won at Sydney 2000 from 20 sports.

The projections place Australia in the top five nations in the overall and gold medal tally....

swimmers are expected to win the bulk of medals (18), followed by cycling (six).' Source - Top five medal tally on cards

Posted by Darren at 09:10 PM

Should NBA stars go to the Athens Olympic Games

Should NBA players selected for the Athens Olympics go to the Games this coming August. A number of high profile players have rejected their selection, mainly siting security concerns. The debate rages as this excerpt from a column shows:

'There are those who will look at Wallace and Hamilton and the rest as ungrateful, spoiled millionaires who have just insulted the nation that has allowed them to attain fame and fortune.

On a strictly emotional level, it is a difficult argument to challenge. What loyal American, having tasted this nation's bounties, could pass up a chance to wear the Red, White and Blue on the world stage?...

But on an intellectual level, you have to know that they made the right decision.

First of all, the Olympics are a myth, a sham created by profiteers who belong to the self-appointed, self-regulated Olympic organization, and the TV network that spends billions to make millions on competitions, the outcomes of which are pretty much pre-determined anyway.

And all you need to know about Olympic officiating can be learned by watching film of the 1972 basketball finals, where an offcourt official overruled the on-court referees twice, forcing replays until Russia had finally managed to upset the U.S. team.

The Olympics are a myth, pure and simple. They don't stand for anything more than the money the athletes, sponsors, committee members and networks can make off of them.'

Source - Don't blame NBA stars for skipping Olympics

Posted by Darren at 08:51 PM

Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj Beaten

'Morocco's four-time 1500m world champion Hicham El Guerrouj was beaten for the first time over the distance since the 2000 Sydney Olympics here after coming eighth in the Golden League meeting.

Bahrain's Rachid Ramzi, who had been Moroccan till 2002, won the race in a world best time of the year of 3min 30.25sec, meaning El Guerrouj's 29-race unbeaten run came to an end.' - Source - Athletics: Moroccan El Guerrouj beaten for first time since Olympics

Posted by Darren at 08:41 PM

Sharapova Rejected for Olympics

Russian Teen Maria Sharapova will not be going to the Athens Olympic Games despite making the finals of Wimbledon this week.

'"I would definitely have wanted to play the Olympics but this is just the beginning of my career," Sharapova said.

"Another four years is just going to fly by in no time"....

The cut-off date for Olympic qualification fell on June 14 and at that time she was just the sixth-ranking player in a new wave of Russians who are threatening to turn women's tennis on its head.'

Source - Olympic snub for new Wimbledon star Sharapova

Insider Tennis Strategies and Tactics

Posted by Darren at 08:36 PM

Henman named in Britain's Olympic tennis squad

Tim Henman has been named in the British team for the Olympic Games in Athens in August.

'"I am delighted to welcome Tim into Team GB. Tim already has an Olympic Silver medal from Atlanta and has shown excellent form on a range of surfaces this year," said Simon Clegg, head the British Olympic team.' Source

Insider Tennis Strategies and Tactics

Posted by Darren at 08:29 PM

Greek cities left behind by Athens

With the massive amount of work being done in Athens in the lead up to the Olympics it seems that other Greek cities are feeling somewhat overshadowed and ignored.

'Regional cities -- some playing host to secondary Olympic competitions -- have long felt in the shadow of Athens, where more than one-third of Greece's 11 million people live.
Nowhere is the sentiment stronger than Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki.
"I agree that many works were needed in the capital. . . . But everything occurred at the expense of the rest of Greece, especially Thessaloniki," Panayiotis Psomiadis, a regional governor based in this northern port told The Associated Press.
"Even the government admits that Thessaloniki has been forgotten and that nothing has started as far as works are concerned," he said.
Major projects aimed at boosting infrastructure in Thessaloniki were shelved even as Athens was radically modernized -- getting a new airport, metro system, a new highway system and lavish sporting facilities. There were so many projects that many wound up delayed, leading to huge cost overruns.
Source - Olympics: Greek cities left behind by Athens

Posted by Darren at 08:25 PM

Greek Flag becomes Fashion Accessory

The Greek flag is becoming the latest fashion Accessory in the lead up to the Athens Olympic Games.

'Forget the Olympic rings. The Greek flag has become the summer fashion symbol of choice, whether it is worn as a halter top or etched as a tattoo.' - Source - Flag becomes the rage before Olympics start

Posted by Darren at 08:20 PM

Athens Security Focuses on Port

Athens Olympics security forces are doing their best to protect cruise ships and liners that will act as hotels during the Games.

'Greece's best-trained commando units want to turn this port near Athens into an impregnable fortress during the Olympics, with particular focus on the cruise ships that will serve as floating hotels, security officials say.

The concentration of forces planned for Piraeus reflects the concern that luxury liners present tempting targets for terrorists who may try to attack the Aug. 13-29 Games.' Source - Port security seeks impregnable fortress for cruise ships during Olympics

Posted by Darren at 08:13 PM

Construction Delays Cause Security Problems at Athens Olympics

Reports out of Athens indicate that whilst venues are expected to be complete on time for the Olympics Opening Ceremony that the delays have implications for security of the event.

'Intelligence officials who have long feared terrorism at next month's Olympic Games say delays in completing the security apparatus and athletic facilities have left too little time to fully test systems meant to detect or respond to an attack.

Although officials say they have no evidence of a planned attack by terrorist groups, they have constructed a web of protective measures that includes Awacs surveillance planes, NATO sea patrols, radiation detectors and thousands of soldiers and police officers.

But a sophisticated security command center, meant to integrate information from thousands of surveillance cameras as well as sonar in the ports and helicopters overhead, will not be operating completely until mid-July. This will not allow enough time to debug the system and fully train technicians, according to officials from Greece and other countries involved in security planning.' Source - Delays in Athens Raise Concern on Olympic Security Readiness

Posted by Darren at 05:12 PM

Australian Cyclists Cleared

News has just been released that the five cyclists accused by fellow team member Mark French of drug use will be cleared.

'The investigation into allegations made by suspended track sprinter, Mark French, that five other cyclists at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) used his room for injecting a range of unidentified substances has cleared the riders and is said to be "absolutely damning" of the teenage rider's earlier testimony.

A source close to the investigation told Cyclingnews that the report "Places a very large question-mark over his (French) evidence".

It appears there is nothing to support the exclusion of any of the riders nominated today by Cycling Australia to represent the country at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.'Source - Anderson report clears named riders

Posted by Darren at 05:05 PM

European Soccer Championships Overshadow Olympics

With Greece making the finals of the European Soccer Championships the Olympics has temporarily been put on the back burner as Soccer takes center stage.

'The wave of enthusiasm and patriotism that has swept over Greece in the past few weeks as its national soccer team kept advancing is a welcome change after months of uncertainty and international criticism over the state of Greece's preparations for the Aug. 13-29 games.

Installing the roof over the Olympic stadium last month was a major symbolic achievement for Greece. The stunning run of its soccer team to the Euro 2004 final against Portugal has boosted the nation's self-confidence even further.' - Source - Soccer overshadows Olympics as Greece awaits Euro final

Posted by Darren at 05:00 PM

Korea stands united

Two Koreas will march together at the Opening Ceremony of the Athens Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today confirmed that the delegations of the Korean Olympic Committee and the Olympic Committee of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will parade together at the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad on 13 August 2004 in Athens

This joint march will be one of the highlights of the Opening Ceremony of the Athens Games in a few weeks� time

Source IOC Two Koreas march together!

Posted by at 12:44 AM

Euro 2004 leads way for Athens

The greek soccer team has given the Athens Olympics a massiv boost by getting to the final of the European Championships.

Greece's chief Olympic organiser jumped on the soccer bandwagon on Friday, hailing the national team for reaching the Euro 2004 final and predicting a summer of Greek success.

Gianna Angelopoulos said the team coached by German Otto Rehhagel that beat the Czech Republic 1-0 in Thursday's semi-final were the best possible ambassadors for the August 13-29 Games.

Source Reuters Olympics-Athens organisers hail Greek soccer success

Soccer Drills and Practice Plans

Posted by at 12:38 AM

July 02, 2004

USA basketball team taking shape

The NBA season may only just be over but it look's like it's taken it's toll on some of the stars and they won't be there in Athens.

Emeka Okafor, the second player taken in this week's NBA draft, has accepted an offer to play for the US Olympic basketball team in Athens.

Ben Wallace,Richard Hamilton,Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal have all turned it down.

The team will be coached by Detroit's Larry Brown, who took the Pistons to the NBA title this season.

Source BBC Okafor gets Athens call-up

Posted by at 11:53 PM

Canadian Olympic Team Selection Policy Comes Under Fire

The Canadian Olympic Committee selection policy to only choose athletes for the Athens Olympic Games that are ranked in the top 12 in the world is coming under fire.

'"Denying athletes who have legitimately met internationally accepted standards the right to compete is contrary to the spirit of sport and to the Olympic values of human development, fairness and respect," Athletes CAN president Michael Smith told The Globe and Mail.

In April 2002, the COC formally raised its Olympic qualification standard to "ranked within the top 12 in the world", in order to "raise the bar" and motivate Canadian athletes to their best performances.

The requirements are far above the qualifying standards set by other international sport federations, and in a statement released June 30 Athletes CAN said it had found "no demonstrated research" that this provided incentive. It added that a high national ranking is not a reliable predictor of Olympic performance.'

Source - COC standards 'contrary to spirit of sport': athletes' group

Posted by Darren at 10:49 PM

US Womens Soccer Team Announced

'United States Olympic women's soccer coach April Heinrichs on Thursday announced a veteran 18-woman roster for the 2004 Athens Games.

The roster is a provisional one, pending acceptance by the U.S. Olympic Committee, which must certify all participants....

There were few surprises in the selection, with only goalkeeper Siri Mullinx overlooked for a berth in favor of Kristen Luckenbill.

Many of the stalwarts will take their bows in this Olympic campaign, with Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain, Bri Scurry, Kristine Lilly and Joy Fawcett all expected to retire after the Games.

Seven of the players - Scurry, Hamm, Fawcett, Chastain, Foudy, Lilly and Cindy Parlow - will be making their third appearance in the Games after winning gold in Atlanta in 1996.

Stars Abby Wambach and Heather O'Reilly will make their Olympic debuts alongside Shannon Boxx, Cat Reddick, Angela Hucles, Lindsay Tarpley, Heather Mitts, Aly Wagner and Luckenbill. O'Reilly, at 19, is the youngest member of the roster.'

The US Womens Soccer Team will play their first game against host team Greece on August 11. Source - U.S. women's soccer roster named for Olympics

Posted by Darren at 10:43 PM

Australian Cycling Team Announced

Australia has names a strong Cycling squad of 25 members for the Athens Olympic Games. However up to 5 of this squad are still waiting to hear if they will be cleared from drug investigations.

'Former world champions Graeme Brown, Sean Eadie, Jobie Dajka, Shane Kelly and Brett Lancaster were named by banned cyclist Mark French during his drugs hearing.

French said they had injected themselves with what he believed to be legal substances in his room at the track cycling headquarters in Adelaide.

The nominations were announced today just as retired judge Robert Anderson QC was handing his report on French's allegations to various peak sporting bodies in Canberra.'

The Australian Olympic Cycling Team heading to the Athens Games is:

'Mountain bike cross-country � men: Chris Jongewaard, Sid Taberlay; women: Lisa Mathison.

Road � men: Baden Cooke, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Michael Rogers, Matthew White; women: Sara Carrigan, Olivia Gollan, Oenone Wood.

Track � men: Ryan Bayley, Graeme Brown, Jobie Dajka, Peter Dawson, Sean Eadie, Shane Kelly, Brett Lancaster, Bradley McGee, Mark Renshaw, Luke Roberts, Stephen Wooldridge; women: Kate Bates, Katie Mactier, Anna Meares.' Source - Infamous five named for Athens

Posted by Darren at 10:36 PM

Australian Women's Soccer Team Needs to Improve

'THE Australian women's soccer team will need to improve if it hopes to be successful in Athens, despite winning its two-game series against China in Beijing last night, coach Adrian Santrac said.

The Matildas hung on for a one-all draw in last night's match after winning the first game of the series 2-0 on Tuesday.' Source - Matildas win series despite draw

Posted by Darren at 10:28 PM

Greece Olympic Games Security Deployed

'Thousands of members of the security forces are being deployed in Athens and other cities on Thursday, marking the beginning of the full security operation to protect the Olympic games, which start in mid-August.

Sports venues and other critical buildings for the games will be gradually sealed off over the next few weeks and searched for explosives.

After years of planning and training, the biggest security operation in the history of the Olympics, costing up to one billion euros (�600m), is now being implemented.' Source - Greece deploys Olympic security force

Posted by Darren at 10:24 PM

David Millar Out of Athens Olympics

British Cyclis, David Millar, is out of the Ahtens Olympics after admitting to taking EPO.

'Millar had already been suspended from competition by British Cycling after being placed under investigation for possession of banned substances.

And he had also been banned from taking part in this year's Tour de France, which starts on Saturday.

Millar had hoped to compete in the time-trial, road race and team pursuit in next month's Games in Athens.'

Source - Millar out of Olympics

Posted by Darren at 10:20 PM

US Olympic Team told not to Wave Flag

Washington Times reports that US Olympic Athletes have been told not to wave the US flag during medal ceremonies for fear that it will anger crowds and further damage US public image.

'The spectacle of victorious athletes grabbing a national flag and parading it around the stadium is a familiar part of international sporting competition, but U.S. Olympic officials have ordered their 550-strong team to exercise restraint and avoid any jingoistic behavior.

The plan is part of a charm offensive aimed at repairing the country's international reputation after the deepening crisis in Iraq and damaging revelations of the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. forces at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Posted by Darren at 01:55 PM

July 01, 2004

China Qualifies for Synchronized Swimming

'China has qualified for the synchronized swimming team event of the 2004 Olympic Games after finishing the second round of the Qualification Tournament in Athens, April 18, 2004.' Check out some great pictures of their qualification at China qualifies for Athens synchronized swimming

Posted by Darren at 10:56 PM

US Mens Volleyball Team Prepare for Athens

After a dismal showing at the Sydney Olympics the US mens team are getting set for the Athens Olympic Games.

'It's not going to get any easier for Team USA. In Sydney, three of the four teams in the medal round were from the same pool as the United States. In Athens, Team USA is grouped with Brazil, the top-ranked team in the world; Italy, the second-ranked team and a 2000 bronze medalist; fifth-ranked Russia, which finished second in Sydney; the Netherlands and Australia.'

Source - Team USA set for Athens

Posted by Darren at 08:54 PM

Athens Food Hygiene Problems

If you're attending the Athens Olympic Games you might like to pack a lunch, or at least be a little careful where you eat if this article from Sports Illustrated is anything to go by.

'Greece's food safety watchdog has found 70 percent of food outlets surveyed this year have broken safety and hygiene rules and will fine or shut down hundreds of them, weeks before the Athens Olympic Games.

The hotels, restaurants and food stores in five Olympic cities across Greece came up short in tests ranging from food quality to storage facilities, Nikos Katsaros, president of the watchdog EFET, told Reuters on Wednesday.'

Source - Food watchdog shows red cards

Posted by Darren at 08:44 PM

Short pools, long odds for Cambodia

Cambodia's swimmer Heam Kiri is getting ready for his event at the Athens Olympics - the biggest problem he's faced in his lead up is finding a 50 metre pool.

'Swimming 50 metres without hitting a wall half-way is still something of a novelty for Heam Kiri.

Not that war-ravaged Cambodia's finest freestyler cannot make it that far in a straight line. Until a month ago, he simply did not have a pool long enough.

"The pool is old and we have only been allowed back in to train in the last month, which is not really enough time," said the 24-year-old Athens hopeful, drying himself off after an early morning dip at Phnom Penh's very own 'Olympic Stadium'....

Heam Kiri notched up his 50-metre personal best of 26.48 seconds at the Sydney Games in 2000. That may leave him trailing in the wake of Russia's Alexander Popov, whose world record over the distance is 21.64 seconds, but few Cambodians are bothered.'

Source - Short pools, long odds for Cambodia

Posted by Darren at 08:37 PM

Australian Olympic Team - Athens

Fox Sports has a list of the Australian Olympic Team. It will be updated (classified by sport) as Australian Athens Olympic Team members are selected.

The Australian Olympic Team for Athens will be smaller than the team selected for the Sydney Olympics Games.

Posted by Darren at 08:29 PM

Australian Equestrian Team Strong

The Australian Equestrian Team is so strong that they are able to leave previous Gold Medal Winner, Matt Ryan, on the reserve list.

'The Equestrian Federation of Australia yesterday nominated a five-member team to the Australian Olympic Committee which includes three of the four "Boys from the Bush" who triumphed in Sydney.

The fourth, Ryan, has been to Poland and back in the last week, undertaking a tortuous journey over land and sea from England in a mission to qualify his leading horse, Bonza Puzzle, for selection at the last event in Europe before the team was named.

He succeeded, but still finds himself behind the top five.

Team leader Andrew Hoy, riding Mr Pracatan, will attempt to out-do Dawn Fraser and win his fourth consecutive gold medal in Athens.'

Also in the team is:

  • Philip Dutton riding 'Nova Top'
  • Stuart Tinney riding 'Jeepster'
  • Olivia Bunn riding 'GV Top of the Line' (also known as Carlo)
  • Rebel Morrow riding 'Oaklea Groover'

Source - Selectors had Bonza Puzzle

Posted by Darren at 08:25 PM

US beats Australia in Men's Water Polo

The US Men's Water Polo Team beat Australia 10-7 in a match in the lead up to the Athens Olympic Games.

'Despite winning the final quarter 4-2 the Aussie Sharks were unable to come back after poor shooting cost them the second and third quarters in front of 1624 spectators.'

Australia has a follow up game against the US later this week and also will play Hungary and Serbia & Montenegro later in the tournament.

Source - US defeat Aussies in water polo

Posted by Darren at 08:11 PM

Julian Winn Shrugs off Injury

Welsh cyclist Julian Winn is confident that his knee injury will not hold him back from performing well at the Olympic Games.

'He suffered tendon damage in a crash in Serbia earlier this month and the injury cut short his challenge at the British Road Race on Sunday....

"It's a race against time but not an emergency. One thing I'm good at is getting myself in shape in a short space of time."'

Source - Winn shrugs off injury

Posted by Darren at 08:07 PM

Olympic Games Terrorism

BBC has another interesting article on the history of terrorism at Olympic Games and how it relates to the Athens Olympics.

'The Olympic Games are a prime target for terrorists - with the world's media focused on the competition, they know they would be guaranteed the oxygen of publicity.

The way the Palestinian/Israeli conflict swept to the world's attention after 17 people died in the Munich massacre of 1972 shows how effective an attack on the world's top sporting event can be....'

Source - Terror appeal of sporting showpiece

Posted by Darren at 08:02 PM

Fears of Athens sex slave boom

Aid agencies are predicting that one of the side effects of the Athens Olympic Games is an increase in the trafficking of women and children as sex workers.

'One leading expert in Greece has told the BBC he has information that traffickers will try to bring 2,000 extra women into the country and force them to work as prostitutes.

The United States government has just released a report that sharply criticises Greece for failing to do enough to protect the victims of trafficking.'

Source - Fears of Athens sex slave boom

Posted by Darren at 07:57 PM

Pakistan ban boxer from Olympics

Pakistan bans boxer from Olympics

'Three Pakistani weightlifters have been barred from competing for two years and a top boxer has been banned for a year and disqualified from the Olympic Games for using prohibited drugs, sports officials said.

Nauman Karim, 21, who was declared Asia's best boxer earlier this year, tested positive in a doping test after the South Asian Federation Games in Islamabad in April, said Anwar Chowdhry, president of Pakistan's Boxing Federation.

Karim confessed to using the weight-loss drug Cannaboids before and during the games but said he hadn't known it was banned, Chowdhry said.

The Pakistan Olympic Association banned Karim from competing for one year and disqualified him from the country's squad for the Athens Olympics in August.'

Improve Your Own Boxing Skills

Posted by Darren at 07:17 PM

U.S. relay medals in doubt

'The International Association of Athletics Federations is considering stripping Olympic gold medals from the entire U.S. 4 x 400-metre relay team after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled yesterday that sprinter Jerome Young was guilty of doping before the Sydney Games.

Young should have been banned two years for steroid use in 1999, the court said, and not have run in the relay.'Source - U.S. relay medals in doubt

Posted by Darren at 07:10 PM

Athens Sets Olympic Record for Security

The Athens Olympic Athletes Village is set to be one of the most heavily guarded Athletes Village in Olympic history.

'A reinforced steel and razor wire perimeter fence, which has been specially designed to stop suicide bombers, will be patrolled by 24-hour armed guards with dogs.

Inside the compound, competitors will be allowed their own personal bodyguards so long as they are not armed.'

Source - Athens Sets Olympic Record for Security

Posted by Darren at 07:05 PM

Sanchez-Vicaro receives go-ahead for fifth Olympics

Former world number one Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario is to be given the go-ahead to become the first tennis player to compete in five Olympics.

Source - Tennis - Sanchez-Vicaro receives go-ahead for fifth Olympics

Insider Tennis Strategies and Tactics

Posted by at 10:57 AM

Kersten's Olympic dream in tatters

BEN Kersten's Athens Olympics hopes are all but over after Sean Eadie yesterday rode under the qualifying time for the team sprint for the Games.

Source - Cycling - Kersten's Olympic dream in tatters

Posted by at 10:54 AM

ISSI to decide between Uyun and Santia for Olympics

Indonesia was assured another slot in the 2004 Olympic Games when the Indonesian Cycling Association (ISSI) received confirmation of the wildcard from its regional counterpart.

Source - Cycling - ISSI to decide between Uyun and Santia for Olympics

Posted by at 10:49 AM

Scanlon and Power get the nod for Olympics

Cycling Ireland today officially announced that Mark Scanlon and Ciar�n Power are to represent Ireland in the Olympic road race event in Athens on August 14.

Source - Cycling - Scanlon and Power get the nod for Olympics

Posted by at 10:44 AM

Step one for Olympic hopefuls

A 25-man Tall Blacks squad begins its first pre-Olympic camp in Whangarei with the squad to be cut to 15 by Monday.

Source - Basketball - Step one for Olympic hopefuls

Posted by at 10:40 AM

Olympic food not up to standard

Greece's food safety watchdog has found 70 percent of food outlets surveyed this year have broken safety and hygiene rules and will fine or shut down hundreds of them, weeks before the Athens Olympic Games.

Source - News - Olympic food not up to standard

Posted by at 10:38 AM

Four Crews Earn Olympic Berths on Wednesday at Olympic Trials

Four crews � the men�s pair, women�s pair, men�s double sculls and lightweight women�s double sculls � earned spots on the U.S. Olympic Team on Wednesday after sweeping the best two-out-of-three finals at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Rowing on Lake Mercer in West Windsor, N.J.

Source - Rowing - Four Crews Earn Olympic Berths on Wednesday at Olympic Trials

Posted by at 10:35 AM

Denne out of Games with knee injury

A serious knee injury has ruled softballer ALI DENNE out of the Australian team for the Athens Olympics. Fellow Queenslander AMANDA DOMAN has been added to the Olympic squad to replace DENNE.

Source - Softball - Denne out of Games with knee injury

Posted by at 10:34 AM

First African American male qualifies for U.S. Olympic rowing

In teaming with U.S. Navy officer Henry Gantt Nuzum, Aquil Hashim Abdullah became the first African American male rower to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team at the Qualified Olympic Small Boat Trials on Lake Mercer Wednesday.

Source - Rowing - First African American male qualifies for U.S. Olympic rowing

Posted by at 10:32 AM

16 Year Old Gymnast on course for Olympics

After two British gymnastics trials for this summer�s Athens Olympics, Melanie Roberts, who turned 16 just over a month ago, has put herself in a good position to make the squad.


Posted by at 10:30 AM

Owor Qualifies for Olympics

24-year-old distance runner Paskar Owor who was part of Uganda's Olympic team in Sydney 2000 becomes the third athlete to make the track and field squad travelling to Athens when he hit the Olympic qualification mark for the 800m in a meet in the French city of Strasbourg Monday.

Source - Athletics - Owor Qualifies for Olympics

Posted by at 10:24 AM

Fraser takes a step closer to Olympics

DONNA Fraser has one foot on a plane to Athens after a racking up a seasons best time in Gateshead.

The 31-year-old ran inside the Olympic A qualifying standard of 51.30 seconds to finish fourth in the 400m at the Norwich Union Super Grand Prix.

Source - Athletics - Fraser takes a step closer to Olympics

Posted by at 10:21 AM

Swimming's top 400m exponents won't meet till Olympics

Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett will not clash in the 400m freestyle until the Olympics following Thorpe's decision to skip the event next week in Brisbane which means the world's two best 400m swimmers will go into their eagerly-awaited Athens showdown on August 14 having not faced each other in the event for more than a year.

Source - Swimming - Swimming's top 400m exponents won't meet till Olympics

Posted by at 10:19 AM

Naperville swimmer has Olympic dreams

Two-time national collegiate swimming champion, American record holder and three-time Illinois Swimmer of the Year Mary DeScenza heads to California early next month for the Olympic trials.

Source - Swimming - Naperville swimmer has Olympic dreams

Posted by at 10:17 AM

Turtle conservation loses out to Olympics in Greece

Greece's endangered turtles are among the first losers at this summer's Olympics as funding cuts have left nesting beaches at the mercy of uncontrolled tourism.

Source - News - Turtle conservation loses out to Olympics in Greece

Posted by at 10:12 AM

US Triathletes will not attend Opening Ceremony

All US Triathlete's must attend a mandatory training camp in Florida. The camp's timing will conflict with the Olympics opening ceremony, causing them to miss the gala event.

Source - Triathlon - His Olympic experience will be lessened

Posted by at 10:09 AM

Rowers one win from Olympics trip

A win again today or Thursday would see Borgman and Schlenker claim a spot in the Summer Olympics in Athens.

Source - Rowing - Homer rower one win from Olympics trip

Posted by at 10:04 AM

Possibility of seventh Malta athlete in Athens Olympic Games increases

The possibility of Malta taking a seventh athlete in its contingent for the forthcoming Athens Olympics is looking likely as the World Sailing Federation has approved the participation of sailor, Mario Aquilina.

Source - Sailing - Possibility of seventh Malta athlete in Athens Olympic Games increases

Posted by at 10:01 AM

Gold Medalist Defies odds

Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner lost a toe to frostbite two years ago but will still compete in Athens this year.

Source - Wrestling - Rulon Gardner Preparing for Olympics

Posted by at 09:53 AM
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