September 03, 2004

The future of the Olympics

"What will be the future of the Olympics? Will the doping and other scandals continue _ especially the doping, as medicine moves ahead faster and faster? And will commercialism and personal aggrandizement keep growing?

It's not as if these were unknown in ancient times, when an athlete who won an Olympic crown was honored in his native town. Statues were sculpted in his tribute _ paid for by fines on cheaters _ and the winner enjoyed such privileges as free food, tax exemptions and lots of other gifts. Imagine how many people would try to get into the Olympics now if that situation had never changed!

But then, the Olympic Games have never stopped evolving _ especially since 1896, when Baron Pierre de Coubertin led the campaign to revive them after 1,503 years.

What will happen in this century?"

Read more at The Future of the Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:23 PM

Tackled marathoner gets hero's welcome at home

"Vanderlei de Lima, the bronze medalist in the Olympic marathon who was tackled by a spectator while leading the race, returned home to a hero's welcome, saying he was just thrilled to earn a medal.

Flying back from Athens, Greece, de Lima was greeted at Sao Paulo's international airport Wednesday by fans shouting, "It's gold! It's gold!"

Brazilians were outraged when an Irish spectator, wearing a kilt, knee-socks and a beret, grabbed de Lima and pushed him into the crowd with three miles to go in Sunday's race.

De Lima got back into the race, but was soon passed by Italy's Stefano Baldini and American Meb Keflezighi, the eventual gold and silver medalists. The Brazilian Olympic Committee has requested that de Lima be declared co-winner."

Read more at Tackled marathoner gets hero's welcome at home:

Posted by Darren at 12:22 PM

Egbunike's Absence Cost Nigeria Gold - Udo-Obong

"A member of the nation's relay quartet that won silver at the Sydney Olympics and bronze in the Athens Games, Enefiok Udo-Obang has from an insider's advantage profeered the factor that cost the nation a gold medal in the 4x400m relay in Greece to the absence of their Sydney coach, Innocent Egbunike in the Athens camp.

Speaking in an extensive interview with THISDAYSports yesterday, he said, "the quartet in Sydney comprising Sunday Bada, Clement Chukwu, Jude Monye were made up of well established world leaders in the quarter-mile. I was like the weakest link in terms of experience. The experience of Egbunike fetched us the medal."

Comparing the two teams, which he remains the only link, the Akwa-Ibom-born athlete said, "the Athens team, though younger and less experienced was a team of youth with a burning desire for meeting the challenges set within us. No body believed in us. I had to start psyching the other members of the team. God was our biggest supporter in meeting that effort.""

Read more at Egbunike's Absence Cost Nigeria Gold - Udo-Obong:

Posted by Darren at 12:21 PM

Hoy back on top as dispute carries on

"Andrew Hoy, whose bid to gain his fifth Olympic medal ended with a fall in Athens, made a satisfactory start to the Burghley Horse Trials by holding the lead on Moon Fleet after yesterday's first day of dressage. The Australian has the advantage over Polly Stockton on Tangle Man and Leslie Law on Shear H20.

Meanwhile, the controversy over Hoy's German wife, Bettina, who lost individual and team gold medals through having crossed the start line twice in the final show-jumping at Athens, was still rumbling on. Captain Mark Phillips, the team manager for the United States, was prompted to issue a statement yesterday as the result of comments made by Bettina in the German press.

Phillips was particularly incensed by the suggestion (which he totally refutes) that he had influenced the decision of the French, British and American Federations to take the dispute to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, whose ruling robbed the Germans of the gold medals they had already received.

According to Phillips, the decision was taken out of the hands of the team managers and dealt with by the Olympic committees of all three nations."

Read more at Hoy back on top as dispute carries on

Posted by Darren at 12:18 PM

Olympics: Larry Brown didn't work wonders

"The Olympics are over, and some events went according to plan for USA gold medal aspirations. The unbeatable womens softball team won a third straight gold, breaking 18 Olympic records in the process. The US took home some surprise gold, including womens gymnastics.

And then there's men's basketball.

Including the exhibition games, the guys' U.S. Olympic basketball team lost four times on their way to a bronze medal. A highly publicized disaster, the blame had to be placed somewhere. Some belongs on the shoulders of Larry Brown and the coaching staff.

There is no question in anyone's mind, including the opponents of the US team, that we had the most talent. The squad had more game than EA Sports. Here's what happened: no defense, especially behind the 3-point arc, and no pure shooters to combat the zone D. And this despite the fact that the three-point line was much closer and we had strong defensive players like Richard Jefferson and Tim Duncan?

Read more at Larry Brown didn't work wonders

Posted by Darren at 12:16 PM

Coach says Robbins in denial (September 3, 2004)

"THE head coach of Australian women's rowing Harald Jahrling has reignited the Sally Robbins "no row" debate claiming she does have a problem and needs to acknowledge it.

Jahrling, who is under pressure himself as it has emerged he had his cards marked before the Olympics, made the explosive claims while holidaying in Tuscany in Italy.

Jahrling believes Robbins will not be psychologically equipped for a 2008 Olympic campaign unless she first admits she has a problem and deals with it.

Asked if he feels Robbins could make it to Beiing, Jahrling told The Daily Telegraph: "After she has seriously worked on her problem. Sally has chosen to ignore she has a problem. It has got worse over the years.""

Read more at Coach says Robbins in denial (September 3, 2004):

Posted by Darren at 12:15 PM

September 01, 2004

Rogge hails Athens success

"Olympics chief Jacques Rogge heaped praise on Greek organisers and declared the Athens Games an all-round success.

Television ratings are 15% up from the 2000 Games in Sydney, while ticket sales have topped figures from the Seoul and Barcelona Olympics.

"The organisation was outstanding and we had competitions in state-of-the-art venues," said Rogge, who described the security precautions as "flawless".

"They really did a fantastic job. I am very, very happy about the Games.

"We have discovered a new Greece. Greece was great for the Games."

Read more at Rogge hails Athens success

Posted by Darren at 10:42 AM

ABC, CBS and Fox Happy Olympics Is Over

"No one was happier to see the Olympics flame flicker out than executives at ABC, CBS and Fox.

The games so thoroughly dominated the network landscape for 17 days that NBC won each and every half-hour in prime time against its broadcast rivals, Nielsen Media Research said Tuesday.

An average of 24.6 million people watched the games in each evening. That was a 14 percent increase over the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Viewers showed a few signs of boredom last week, as the final five Olympic telecasts failed to beat that average. Sunday's closing ceremony was seen by 19.6 million people.

The opening of the fall season is in sight. NBC even scheduled the debut of "Father of the Pride" Tuesday."

Read more at ABC, CBS and Fox Happy Olympics Is Over

Posted by Darren at 10:41 AM

After the Olympics bash, the big hangover

"Greece wrapped up the homecoming Olympics with an extravagant songfest at the main stadium for more than 100,000 people, including athletes and volunteers.

The audience cheered wildly when Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, delivered an anxiously awaited judgment on Athens' performance over the past 17 days.

"They were unforgettable, dream games," he said.

But after the party comes the hangover and the bill. According to initial finance ministry estimates, the cost of staging the Olympics is likely to exceed $8 billion, compared with a budgeted $4.6 billion.

The cost overruns, equivalent to about 2.5 percent of gross domestic product, would push the budget deficit above the 3 percent of GDP ceiling permitted under the eurozone stability and growth pact for a second successive year."

Read more at MSNBC - After the Olympics bash, the big hangover

Posted by Darren at 10:41 AM

Annus won't return Olympic hammer gold

"The Hungarian hammer thrower who was stripped of his gold medal after refusing to take a follow-up drug test at the Athens Olympics said Tuesday he still considers himself the champion and vowed to keep his medal.

Adrian Annus also reiterated his decision to retire rather than deal with what he called a campaign to manipulate test results against him.

"Hammer throwing was my life and this wasn't the way I planned to bid farewell to the sport," Annus told the state-run news wire MTI. "I only want my family and I to be left alone.""

Read more at Annus won't return Olympic hammer gold

Posted by Darren at 10:41 AM

China to delay work on some Olympic venues

"Days after the euphoria of its record gold medal haul in Athens, China announced a sobering plan to delay construction of some venues for the 2008 Olympics and confirmed plans to cut down the extravagant features of two main stadiums here.

In comments said to be the first official Chinese response to weeks of media reporting on plans to downsize grandiose plans and designs for the 2008 Olympics, Beijing officials yesterday insisted that the new emphasis on thriftiness did not mean lowering standards.

'Maintaining the principle of thriftiness does not conflict with the goal of top-notch Olympics construction,' Beijing party secretary and president of the Olympics organising committee Liu Qi was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency."

Read more at China to delay work on some Olympic venues

Posted by Darren at 10:40 AM

New Zealand's leading news and information website

"In the memorable words of George Gregan: four more years. Words spoken in the heat of a rugby World Cup semifinal apply equally to the world's biggest sporting stage that's now being disassembled to be put up again in Beijing in 2008.

Gregan was telling Byron Kelleher he had four more years to wait to win. So do hundreds of athletes. Some will quit, having run their races. Some won't be required again.

These were the Olympics that were preceded by security fears, concerns that facilities wouldn't be ready and predictions they'd be the drug-tainted Games. The stories ran their course till the Games began, then the central figures of the greatest show on earth, the athletes, took over (aside from a couple of Greek sprinters and a few others who thought they could beat the drug testers yet again)."

Read more at New Zealand's leading news and information website

Posted by Darren at 10:40 AM
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