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June 30, 2004

Sydney Gold Medalist wont defend title

Candra Wijaya, the men�s doubles gold medallist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, has been excluded from Indonesia�s line-up for the Athens Olympic Games in August.

Candra and Halim missed out on an Olympic spot by a mere two rungs as they are now ranked 12th in the world.

Source - Badminton - No place in the Olympics for Indonesian Candra

Posted by Regan at 11:15 AM | Comments (1)

Olympic hopeful Yim ruptures Achilles' in training

Olympic hopeful gymnast Tabitha Yim ruptured her right Achilles' tendon during training Tuesday, ending her chances of making the Athens Games.

Source - Gymnastics - Olympic hopeful Yim ruptures Achilles' in training

Posted by Regan at 10:55 AM | Comments (1)

Ticket sales plague Athens Olympic organizers

Ticket prices for events at the Athens Olympic Games will not be cut even though only a third of tickets have been sold with six weeks before the opening ceremony, the organizers said.

Athens has long faced criticism for construction delays and the prospect that some venues might not be finished on time.

But now that the stadia are finally almost ready, the Athens Olympic Organizing Committee (ATHOC) faces the humiliation that many of them might be largely empty during the August 13-29 Games.

There are 5.3 million tickets for the Games, of which just over 1.9 million have been sold.

Source -News - Ticket sales plague Athens Olympic organizers

Posted by Regan at 08:50 AM | Comments (0)

Olympic stadium work to be completed a day before games begin

ATHENS (Greece): Construction work at the main Olympic sports complex will be finished just a day before the opening ceremony for the Aug. 13-29 games, its architect said in an interview published Monday.

Spain�s Santiago Calatrava also said work at the complex, also known as OAKA, was on schedule despite massive delays that had threatened to cancel key parts of the project. �Everything will be completed the day before the start of the games,� Calatrava told the Athens daily Eleftheros Typos.

See a recent Satellite Picture of the Main Stadium Under Construction

Source - News - Olympic stadium work to be completed a day before games begin

Posted by Regan at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

Hoy gets chance to win fourth Olympic gold

Equestrian rider Andrew Hoy has the chance to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal for Australia after being named yesterday in the Athens Games team.

Hoy, 45, is one of five riders named in the eventing team, in which Australia won gold in Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney. Among Australians, only Dawn Fraser and Hoy have won gold in the same event in three consecutive Olympics.

Source - Equestrian - Hoy gets chance to win fourth Olympic gold

Posted by Regan at 08:47 AM | Comments (4)

Parthenon�s makeover comes up short for Olympics

ATHENS, Greece - The Parthenon, the icon of Athens' ancient glory, might not be looking its best for the Olympics.

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Scaffolding propping up parts of the 2,500-year-old hilltop temple will remain in place during the Aug. 13-29 games. While organizers are close to putting finishing touches on a number of projects, the Parthenon work remains incomplete with the Olympics less than 50 days away.

Source - News - Parthenon�s makeover comes up short for Olympics

Posted by Regan at 08:39 AM | Comments (5)

Interpol chief: No known threats on horizon for Athens Olympics

Greece (AP) --

Interpol's global network has detected "no threats" against the Olympics, but Greek authorities must constantly fine-tune their security operations until the games are over, the head of the international police organization said Tuesday.

Source - News - Interpol chief: No known threats on horizon for Athens Olympics

Posted by Regan at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)

Jerome Young DQ'd From Sydney Olympics

JUNE 29, 2004 (ATR) - U.S. sprinter Jerome Young should not have been allowed to compete at the Sydney Olympics. The long-awaited ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport concludes that a positive drug test for nandralone prior to Sydney was sufficient grounds to exclude him, despite other tests which showed negative results.

Source - Athletics - Jerome Young DQ'd From Sydney Olympics

Posted by Regan at 08:05 AM | Comments (0)

OLYMPIC FLAME ROAMS ROMAN ROADS

On Monday 28 June 2004 the Olympic Torch Relay continued on its journey to make its next stop in Italy. At 10 in the morning the sundrenched city of Rome greeted the flame with honours, for the first time for 44 years, in Fiumicino airport where it had been flown to from Barcelona.

Source - News - OLYMPIC FLAME ROAMS ROMAN ROADS

Posted by Regan at 08:03 AM | Comments (0)

Olympic Accreditation Centre is up and running

The ATHENS 2004 Uniform Distribution and Main Accreditation Centre, UAC for short, went into operation ten days ago. This makes it the first Olympic Venue in the Games period. Anybody working for the Olympic Games (ATHENS 2004 staff, volunteers, subcontractors, technical officials, totalling 145,000) must call in at the Centre, since obviously no one can take part in the organisation without proper accreditation and uniform.

Source - News - Olympic Accreditation Centre is up and running

Posted by Regan at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2004

Network struggles to find commentators for Olympics

NBC's staggering plan to broadcast 1,210 hours of the Olympics over six networks this summer left its executives with a real problem.

Source - News - Network struggles to find commentators for Olympics

Posted by Regan at 08:39 PM | Comments (0)

Pakistan bans athletes for doping ahead of Olympics

Pakistan has banned three weightlifters and a top boxer ahead of the Athens Olympics after they failed doping tests, a sports official Tuesday said.

Source - Weightlifiting - Pakistan bans athletes for doping ahead of Olympics

Posted by Regan at 07:43 PM | Comments (0)

Security a Top Concern for Newspapers Covering Olympics

NEW YORK With the 2004 Olympic Summer Games in Greece just weeks away, sports editors at several of the nation's top newspapers face security issues and other potential problems in addition to executing their regular coverage, which will often focus on local athletes.

Source - News - Security a Top Concern for Newspapers Covering Olympics

Posted by Regan at 07:41 PM | Comments (0)

Kenya Aim for larger Olympic team

Nairobi

Although 33 athletes have already been confirmed for the Olympic Games in Athens, plans are underway to try to get many more to attain the qualifying standards.

Athletics Kenya secretary David Okeyo says Kenya is planning to enter a 4x400 relay team in the Olympics and this would be selected in Congo. One hurdler could also be entered since the deadline for attaining the Olympics qualifying standard is July 31.

Source - News - More to Be Picked for Olympics

Posted by Regan at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

Experienced team named for Olympics eventing

New Zealand have named an Olympics eventing team chockful of experience that includes 1996 individual gold medal winners Blyth Tait and Ready Teddy.

Source - Equestrian - Experienced team named for Olympics eventing

Posted by Regan at 11:44 AM | Comments (1)

Victims of Olympics Bombing Win Right to Sue Organizers

ATLANTA, June 28 - The Georgia Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that victims of a bombing during a late-night concert at the 1996 Olympic Games may sue the Games' organizers.

Source - News - Victims of Olympics Bombing Win Right to Sue Organizers

Posted by Regan at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)

Tatiana's Olympic hopes in tatters as time ticks away

Tatiana Grigorieva broke down in tears as the realisation hit she would almost certainly miss the Athens Olympics.

The pin-up star of the Sydney 2000 team failed in her penultimate attempt to make the Olympic squad.

Grigorieva cleared just 4.10 metres at the British Grand Prix at Gateshead, well below the Olympic A qualifying height of 4.40m needed before July 5 to book herself a place in the Australian team for Athens.

Source - Athletics - Tatiana's Olympic hopes in tatters as time ticks away

Posted by Regan at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

Malaysian Open Badminton Championships Qualifying Rounds

KUANTAN: National doubles players Chan Chong Ming and Chew Choon Eng are not interested in winning the men's doubles title when the Malaysian Open Badminton Championships begin with the qualifying rounds at the Sukpa Badminton Hall here today.

It's not that they are not keen on winning their first Malaysian Open title, it's just that they are more interested in regaining their rhythm in preparation for the Olympic Games in Athens in August.

Source - Badminton - Preparing for Olympics the top priority for doubles pair

Posted by Regan at 10:32 AM | Comments (1)

Bjork to sing at Olympics

Wacky pop star Bjork is set to headline the Opening Ceremony at this year's Olympic Games in Athens.

The It's Oh So Quiet singer will perform at the August 13 event in the Greek capital, dressed in a Sophia Kokosalaki dress.

According to pals of the Icelandic star, she has been learning Greek to impress her audience.

Source - News - Bjork to sing at Olympics

Posted by Regan at 09:42 AM | Comments (3)

American Judo Coach to Compete at Olympics

American judoist Brian Olson will take time away from his duties as president and chief instructor at the Boulder Judo Training Center to compete at the upcoming Olympics in Athens, Greece. He hopes to improve on his seventh place finish at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Source - Judo - American Judo Coach to Compete at Olympics

E-Book - Beyond Martial Arts

Posted by Regan at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

Coles and Haigh confirmed for Olympics

New Zealand rowers Nicky Coles and Juliet Haigh have been confirmed in the women's coxless pair for the Olympics.

They finished second in the final Fisa Olympic qualifying regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Source - Rowing - Coles and Haigh confirmed for Olympics

Posted by Regan at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)

The origin of the Games is shrouded in myth

ATHENS In the good old days of the ancient Games, Olympia was the honorable playground of noble athletes, a theater of sacred peace, fair play and somber processions among white marble temples, right?
.
Wrong. The ancient Games were loud, smelly, sometimes scandalous, every bit as political as their modern counterparts and once even saw a full-scale battle in the middle of a boxing match.

Source - News - Olympics: In antiquity, the polished marble Games came with rough edges

Improve Your Own Boxing Skills

Posted by Regan at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

Masai added to Kenya Olympics team

NAIROBI, Kenya (Reuters) -- Kenya's world cross country women's short course champion Edith Masai will compete at the Olympics after changing her mind about running in Athens.

Masai, the world 5000 metres bronze medallist, had initially declined selection saying she was tired and needed a break.

Source - Athletics - Masai added to Kenya Olympics team

Posted by Regan at 09:33 AM | Comments (1)

Pakistan bans boxer from Olympics

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- 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.

Source - Boxing - Pakistan bans boxer from Olympics

Improve Your Own Boxing Skills

Posted by Regan at 09:31 AM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2004

Yoo Sang-chul to Play in Korean Soccor Team

Korean Soccor Captain, Yoo Sang-chul will miss playing in the Asian Cup in order to play at the Athens Olympic Games in Augst.

'The Korea Football Association (KFA) has named Japan-based Yoo and Dutch-based Song Chong-gug, along with Kim Nam-il as its three permitted "over-age" players for the under-23 Olympic tournament.' Source - Soccer - Korea captain Yoo to miss Asian Cup for Athens Olympics

Soccer Drills and Practice Plans

Posted by Darren at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

Australian Boomers In Form

Australian Mens Basketball team, the Boomers, will head to Athens in reasonable form after a 3-2 win/loss ratio in a European Tour. In their last match, played in Italy, Australia beat Croatia 82 - 73.

'It was the Boomers' second win over Croatia and they also achieved a 31-point thrashing of Olympic silver medallist France (90-59) earlier in the tournament.

The major disappointments for the new-look Boomers were the two tight losses to Italy � both by under six points. ' Source - Nielsen Boomers' best

Posted by Darren at 11:00 PM | Comments (5)

Australian Sailors Win 4 Medals

Australian Sailors have won four medals at the final grade one regatta in the lead up to the Athens Olympic Games.

'The sailors finished the Kiel Week competition in Germany with one gold, two silvers and a bronze as they put the finishing touches to training ahead of the August 13-29 Games.

Sydney 2000 Olympic champions Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell finished the final day of racing with a 7th and 9th to win the 470 title as they prepare to defend their title in Athens.' Source - Sailors win four medals

Posted by Darren at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)

Marion Jones beaten by Tatyana Lebedeva in Long Jump

Triple Jump Olympic Champion, Marion Jones, has been beaten in a Grand Prix event in the lead up to the Athens Olympic Games by Russian Tatyana Lebedeva (word indoor long and triple jump champion).

It is no wonder that Jones was feeling the pressure after weeks of drug controversy surrounding her.Source - Jones Eclipsed by Lebedeva in Long Jump

Posted by Darren at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

Kenyan Runners Set Race Limits

Kenyan Runners competing at the Athens Olympic Games have been told they are limited to be able to run in only limited events.

'Kenyan runners selected for the Athens Athletics Kenya (AK) said on Sunday athletes selected for the 10,000 metres would be allowed to race once only.

Those selected for the 3,000 metres steeplechase and 5,000 metres can race twice while runners competing in events between 400 and 1,500 metres will have a maximum of three races.'Source - Kenyan Olympic runners set race limits

Posted by Darren at 10:44 PM | Comments (0)

Tarundeep Rai, Sumangala clinch Olympic berth

'Tarundeep Rai and Sumangala were among the six archers who clinched the Olympic berth after topping the men's and women's rankings at the end of fifth and final leg of Rs 4 lakh-prize money National Ranking tournament here today.

India had won three Olympic quotas in the men's and the women's category each in various international qualifying meets. These berths were awarded based on the performance in a series national ranking tournaments conducted by the Archery Association of India. 'Read more of - Tarundeep Rai, Sumangala clinch Olympic berth

Posted by Darren at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

US Rowing Trials Part 2 Underway

The US Olympic Team Trials for rowing got going yesterday at Lake Mercer (N.J.)

'In the men�s pair, Princeton Training Center�s Bob Kaehler and Ryan Torgerson clocked the fastest time of the preliminary heats en route to a victory in the third of three heats. Kaehler, a three-time Olympian, and Torgerson clocked a 6:36.47 to defeat teammates Matt Rich and Justin Bosley by 4.59 seconds. In the first heat, Harvard University Boat Club�s Artour Samsonov and Luke Walton, last year�s world championships� representatives in the event, clocked a 6:38.88 to defeat PTC�s Jon Watling and Brian McDonough by 1.85 seconds. Jason Flickinger and three-time Olympian Jeff Klepacki, also rowing for PTC, won the second heat in a time of 6:39.88, holding off teammates Jamie Schroeder and Dan Walsh by 0.83 seconds. The top two finishers in each heat advanced to Monday�s semifinals, while the remaining crews raced in a repechage, or second-chance race, on Sunday afternoon. In the repechages, the PTC crew of Luke McGee and Mark Flickinger and the Penn AC/Undine duo of Dana Schmunk and Ferdinand Bergen advanced to the semifinals.' Read More - ROWING: Second Set of U.S. Olympic Rowing Team Trials Underway

Posted by Darren at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Advertising Campaigns will Focus more on Brands

Found this interesting article on the Olympic Advertising that we're all about to be bombarded with.

'Sify Home >> Sports >> Others >> Fullstory

Olympic ads focus less on Games, more on brands
Monday, 28 June , 2004, 11:47
Cannes: The Olympic Games have long been the pinnacle of global advertising events, but this year top marketers are looking to make a different kind of splash.

Several of the biggest global Olympic partners are cutting back on Olympic-themed television commercials for the Athens Games, and using more of their year-round advertising messages or investing in broader promotions and events.

"The Olympics represent the biggest of the macro marketing opportunities, and I think we're moving into a time where events need to be micro-marketing opportunities," said Marian Saltzman, chief strategy officer at Havas agency Euro RSCG.'

Source - Olympic ads focus less on Games, more on brands

Posted by Darren at 10:34 PM | Comments (11)

Mohini Bhardwaj Still Has Olympic Hope

'After finishing sixth at the U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials on Sunday, Cincinnati native Mohini Bhardwaj was invited to next month's selection camp which will determine if she will be picked for a spot on the U.S. team. 'Read More - Bhardwaj still has Olympic shot

Posted by Darren at 10:26 PM | Comments (0)

US Gymnastics Trials Heat Up

Competition is hot between those 12 American Gymnasts who have moved through into the next stage of US Athens Olympic Games trials.

'The gymnasts vying for a spot on the 2004 Olympic team make up the most talented selection group from which the United States ever has drawn.

A deep squad may be good for the United States' chances for a gold medal, but it means the competition to make the Olympic team for incoming UCLA freshman Tasha Schwikert and former Bruin Mohini Bhardwaj is that much more fierce.'Source - Gymnastics: UCLA gymnasts compete for spots on U.S. Olympic team

Posted by Darren at 10:22 PM | Comments (0)

Michael Diamond confirmed on Olympic team

'Dual gold medallist Michael Diamond can breathe a sigh of relief on Monday after his Olympic nomination was finally rubber-stamped by the Australian Olympic Committee.

After surviving a personal court case, missing the Olympic trials, travelling around the world to qualify and then fending off a legal appeal, Diamond is now officially a member of the 2004 Olympic team.' Source - Diamond confirmed on Olympic team

Posted by Darren at 10:16 PM | Comments (36)

June 27, 2004

I almost quit the Olympics - Denise Lewis

British Olympic Gold Medalist Denise Lewis has taken another positive step forwards towards the Athens Olympics.

'British athletics' sole gold medallist in Sydney four years ago confesses that there have been moments, even in recent months, when she contemplated calling time on her bid to repeat the feat in Greece.

Mind and body laid low by a niggling foot injury, the resolve which took her to glory Down Under and back into top-level competition in 2003 after motherhood was tested like never before.

But North East fans will see a confident, invigorated and excited Lewis in this afternoon's star-studded Norwich Union British Grand Prix.

Precaution dictates that she will only compete in the long jump rather than also expose the aforementioned foot to the stress of the 100 metre hurdles.
'

Source - I almost quit Olympics

Posted by Darren at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)

Reuben Kosgei Fails in Bid to Qualify for Olympics

Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion, Reuben Kosgei, has failed in his bid to defend his title in Athens this year.

'Kosgei, who suffered a serious ankle injury, dropped out of contention on the final day of the trials for a place in the national team.

Paul Kipsiele Koech, despite finishing the trial out of top 10,was named into the Olympic squad as he recorded the world's best time of 8:05:31 at the Seville Grand Prix meeting in Spain early this month.

Olympic 1,500m champion Noah Ngeny, 25, who has been plagued byinjuries, also failed on Friday to qualify for the Athens Games. Enditem' - Source - Kenyan Olympic champion dropped out of Olympics

Posted by Darren at 10:08 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Olympic Games Accommodation

We've had a number of requests for information on Athens Olympic Games Accommodation and so we've compiled this list of Athens Accommodation options that may be of use to those visiting Athens for the Olympics.

If you have an Athens Olympic Games Accommodation tip please leave it in comments below.

Posted by Darren at 04:43 PM | Comments (5)

Australian Women's Waterpolo Team Suffers Third Loss

The Australian Women's Waterpolo Team has suffered their third consecutive loss in the lead up to the Athens Olympic games yesterday. They were beaten by Hungary 5 - 4 in a tournament in California.

'Australian captain Naomi Castle felt the team was on the right track toward the Athens Olympics despite the loss to the highly-rated Europeans.

"I'm really happy with the way the team's going," Castle said.

"Twelve months ago it was a completely different team. I would like another month but we are on track for Athens."'

Source - Aussies lose third straight match

Posted by Darren at 04:23 PM | Comments (0)

Greek Hotels Warned

New legislation has been introduced in Greece to stop Greek Hotels from overcharging during the Athens Olympic Games in August. Hotels caught overcharging will be fined 15,000 euros for a first offence and could be closed down for second and third offences.Source - Down for Overcharging During Olympics

Posted by Darren at 04:13 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Olympic Opening Ceremony Secrets

One of the worst kept secrets of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony is that the floor of the Olympic Stadium will be flooded during the ceremony.

'An engineer working on the stadium's Olympic preparations confirms that water will be a feature for the ceremony, rumored to be one of the most-costly ever staged for the Olympic Games. He briefed reporters, including ATR Athens correspondent Anthony Stavrinos, during a stadium tour Friday.'

Source - Olympics Ceremony Secrets Emerge

Posted by Darren at 04:08 PM | Comments (4)

Martina Navratilova Selected for Olympics Women's Doubles

47 year old, Martina Navratilova, has been selected to play in the Women's Doubles event at the Athens Olympics. She will partner Lisa Raymond.

'Defending champion Venus Willliams and her younger sister Serena will play in the singles and also defend their doubles title.

Jennifer Capriati and Chanda Rubin will also play in the women's singles in the Athens tennis tournament which takes place from August 15 to 22.

The men's singles team comprises U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, Vince Spadea and Taylor Dent. Roddick and Fish, together with twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan, will also contest the doubles.' Source - Navratilova selected for Olympics - Jun 26, 2004

Insider Tennis Strategies and Tactics

Posted by Darren at 04:03 PM | Comments (0)

Israel Dismisses Olympic Peace Offer

Israel have dismissed the peace offer yesterday from Palestinian leader Arafat. Arafat has reportedly called for Peace during the Olympic period but Israeli officials have dismissed his words. Source - Israel dimisses Olympics truce offer. 27/06/2004. ABC News Online

Posted by Darren at 03:57 PM | Comments (0)

Paul Hamm and Brett McClure In US Gymnastics Team

'Paul Hamm and Brett McClure secured their spots at the Athens Olympics on Saturday, while four more gymnasts waited to hear their names called, as well.

Hamm and McClure finished the Olympic trials the way they came in after national championships: ranked first and second in the overall scoring from the four meets -- two at nationals, two at trials -- that are used to pick the six-man team.

The top-two finishes earned them automatic spots. 'Source - Hamm, McClure make Olympics and wait for company

Posted by Darren at 03:53 PM | Comments (75)

June 26, 2004

US Rowing Team Trials

'The second set of U.S. Olympic Team Trials for rowing begin Sunday at Lake Mercer in West Windsor, N.J.

Four boat classes � the men�s pair, women�s pair, men�s double sculls, and lightweight women�s double sculls � will be contested at the second set of trials. The winners will earn berths on the 2004 Olympic Team that will compete from August 14-22 in Athens, Greece.
'
Source - Second Set of U.S. Olympic Rowing Team Trials Begin Sunday

Posted by Darren at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

Yasser Arafat Committed to Truce during Olympics

'Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has told foreign diplomats he is committed to a truce during the August Olympics in Greece.'

Source - Arafat commits to truce during Olympics

Posted by Darren at 08:54 PM | Comments (0)

Canada Defeated by Hungary in Women's Waterpolo

Canadian Womens Waterpolo team have been soundly beaten by Hungary (12 - 7) in a lead up match to the Athens Olympic Games. Earlier in the week they defeated Australia.

'Coach Patrick Oaten expressed his frustration after the game, saying that he expected more from the team's goalkeepers, starter Whynter Lamarre of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., and Rachel Riddell of Vancouver, who took over in the second half.

"Our goalies weren't up to par tonight," Oaten told reporters. "The score doesn't indicate how well the rest of the team played. The majority of the Hungarian goals came with three-four seconds left on the shot clock from well out. '

Source - Canada's water polo women trounced 12-7 by Hungary

Posted by Darren at 07:26 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Doctors Strike

'Doctors in Greece staged a six-hour labour stoppage on Friday, demanding improved work conditions and bonuses for the Athens Games.

Public hospitals in Athens and the port city of Piraeus treated only emergency cases during the stoppage.

Greek doctors oppose the government's plan to have designated hospitals provide 24-hour care during the Games without additional staff. ' Read More - CBC Canada

Posted by Darren at 07:21 PM | Comments (0)

Alison Sydor - Mountain Biker

Canada's CBC has a great feature article on Mountain Bike champion - Alison Sydor.

'Sometimes being ranked first in the world during an Olympic year means you're looking over your shoulder as much as looking forward.

Certainly, reeling off a string of victories during the run-up to the Games doesn't give an athlete a free pass to a gold medal.

Through the brief history of Olympic mountain biking � the first medals were handed out in 1996 � the pressure to win the gold medal seemed to sandbag the heavy favourites, as Canadian mountain biking legend Alison Sydor knows all too well.'

Read More - Alison Sydor: Favourites beware

Posted by Darren at 07:17 PM | Comments (0)

8 Nations Participate in Athens Security Exercise

'An eight-nation exercise to test security for the Athens Olympics began Friday, and the Greek government wants to extend surveillance powers to screen phone calls.

The simulated exercise will plan responses to a deadly array of potential problems, from terrorist attacks to forest fires, Greek law enforcement officials said.

The 200 participating officials include experts from members of the seven-nation advisory group assisting Athens with security, including the United States.' Source - Olympic security exercise begins

Posted by Darren at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)

Tatiana Grigorieva Tries to Qualify One More Time

Tatiana Grigorieva, Sydney Olympics Silver medalist, will make one last attempt at making the Australian team for the Athens Olympics in her event - the Pole Vault.

'Time is fast running out for the glamour girl of pole vaulting to clear the required 4.40 metres to qualify for the Athens Games so she will give it another shot at the British Grand Prix in Gateshead, north of London, on Sunday.

Grigorieva's best attempt has been 4.30m set in February, which only rates as a B qualifying standard and means she cannot be selected in the Australian team unless she adds 10 centimetres to that height.'

Source - Tatiana gives it one more go (June 26, 2004)

Posted by Darren at 07:05 PM | Comments (0)

Jana Pittman Withdraws from Olympic Opening

'JANA Pittman has pulled out of the Olympic opening ceremony in her single-minded pursuit of gold. The 400m hurdles world champion said she would love to experience the ceremony but fears it could disrupt her campaign.'Source - Pittman pulls out of Olympic opening

Posted by Darren at 06:59 PM | Comments (2)

Only Greek Police to be Armed at Olympics in Athens

Only Greek Police will be armed during the Athens Olympic Games in August. No other national teams security will be allowed to carry weapons inside Olympic Venues.

'Minister of Public Order Giorgos Voulgarakis stressed on the issue that armed guards will be allowed only for the protection of heads of states and clarified that the specific clause concerns the security escorts for Greek and foreign VIPS for whom there is a special status in effect internationally.

Mr. Voulgarakis reiterated categorically that there will be no armed security escorts with the national Olympic teams which will be in Athens in August.'

Source - Only the Greek Police will be Armed in the Olympics

Posted by Darren at 06:49 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Olympic Games Security - Image Gallery

Sify.com has some great images of Olympics Security Preparations currently underway.

Posted by Darren at 06:45 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Olympic Venues Will be Ready

Latest Reports out of Athens indicate that all Olympic Venues will be ready on time - but only just.

The Marathon Route is still being widened, 55,000 seats are still to be installed in the main stadium where cranes and dirt still remain outside - but with 7 weeks still remaining officials are very confident that everything will be ready in time. Source - Officials promise they'll be ready for Olympics

See a recent Satellite Picture of the Main Stadium Under Construction

Posted by Darren at 06:42 PM | Comments (0)

Acropolis to Get Elevator

The Central Archaeological Council has agreed to install a temporary elevator at the Acropolis in Athens in the lead up to the Olympics. This is the first alteration to the Acropolis in 2500 years.

Source - Greece to add elevator to Acropolis in time for Olympics 06/26/04

Posted by Darren at 06:38 PM | Comments (0)

Apathy Keeps NBA Stars Away from Athens

Elko Daily Free Press has an interesting opinion piece on the lack of participation of some of the NBA stars who will not be attending the Athens Olympics. Many are saying that they will not compete due to security reasons - however this writer believes it may be due to another reason - Apathy.

'If this were an AAU tournament, I could see not wanting to participate. If you were playing for T-shirts and per-diem at a 3-on-3 tourney, skip it.

But this is the Olympics; more specifically, this is an opportunity to represent your country and your fellow countrymen on the grandest stage, in front the rest of the world. How one passes up such an honor is beyond me.

I take that back - I do understand what moves these men to turn their backs on their country, I just don't agree with the philosophy. Money is all that drvies these guys. After all, these businessmen have to consider the fact they won't be making a dime when they put themselves on the line for something as trivial as national pride.

Source - Elko Daily Free Press

Posted by Darren at 06:14 PM | Comments (0)

Kenya Olympic Trials - Fierce Competitions

'Athletics Kenya has decided that only the top two athletes in each race will be assured of tickets for the Olympics, making the trials a must-win event for the runners. The third slot will be decided by the AK coaching committee.

Today, the world's fastest 10,000 metres runner this year, Jane Wanjiku, leads a strong field blending experience and and promising youth in the only final of the day at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Wanjiku, based in Japan, clocked 31 minutes 04.34 seconds last April at an international meeting in Japan, a time which has proved elusive for many top athletes.

Other young athletes include Alice Timbilil and Lucy Wangui.

Sally Barsosio leads the old guard that also includes Susan Chepkemei, Selina Kosgei and the world's most durable athlete Leah Malot.
'
- Source - Kenya: Fierce Contest Expected for Olympics Slots

Posted by Darren at 06:08 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Olympic Tickets Sales Low

'With ticket sales lagging for this summer's Olympic Games in Athens, officials are assuring potential visitors they will be safe.

Two-thirds of the tickets are yet to be sold for the internatational sports extravaganza, which opens Aug. 13, the London Guardian said Friday.

Concern over possible terrorist attacks was an obvious cause for some of the low sales but Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis said she believes visitors have "nothing" to fear.'Source - Ticket sales lagging for Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 06:06 PM | Comments (0)

Emeka Okafor Will Play in US Basketball Team

'Emeka Okafor said yesterday he'll play for the U.S. Olympics basketball team - a decision that his new NBA employer wishes he'd rethink.Okafor said he was chosen from among the finalists for the team's last roster spot and has accepted the invitation to play in Athens later this summer.'

Source - Okafor will play in Olympics - Bobcats' Bickerstaff unhappy

Posted by Darren at 05:59 PM | Comments (0)

Bhardwaj makes case for Olympics

Bhardwaj makes case for Olympics

Mohini Bhardwaj is making a strong case for Olympic Selection at US Olympic gymnastics team trials.

At 25 years old, with one last shot at Olympic glory and a selection process that favors the status quo over surprises, Mohini Bhardwaj figured she had only a few more opportunities to make a name for herself as a gymnast.

And on Friday night, with favorites Courtney Kupets, Carly Patterson and Courtney McCool turning in solid but unspectacular performances in the women's all-around preliminaries at the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team trials, Bhardwaj took every chance and nailed it. With her sponsor, actress Pamela Anderson, cheering her on, Bhardwaj drew the loudest ovations of the night from the crowd of 9,723 at the Pond.

Posted by Darren at 05:55 PM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2004

Blaine Wilson and Jason Gatson Prepare for Trials

With the US Olympic Gymnastic Trials happening this week there is plenty of speculation as to who will make the team.

'Not quite perfect, but far better than average, Blaine Wilson and Jason Gatson returned from injuries Thursday night and made good cases for spots on the U.S. Olympic team.

Wilson and Gatson were the headliners at preliminaries of the Olympic trials. Two of the best gymnasts in the country, they each missed the national championships earlier in the month and the quality of their comebacks will determine who makes the six-man Olympic team.

By the looks of things, they're very much in the running for a trip to Athens.' - Source - Wilson, Gatson Look Good in Olympic Trials

Posted by Darren at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

Hackett calls for Smarter Drug Testing

Grant Hackett, Australian Olympic 1500m freestyle champion, has called for
better and more cunning drug tests in the lead up to the Athens Olympics.

'The Olympic 1500m freestyle champion, one of Australia's best hopes for a gold medal in Athens, wants drug testers to become more cunning in their tactics to catch cheats in the lead-up to the Games.

"I think testers have got to be a little bit sly and hide behind the curtain when it comes to drug testing," Hackett said at the opening of a Wall of Fame at Bond University, on the Gold Coast.

"If they tell what is out there then people are going to go off and use something else.

"I think things have got to be done a little bit more strategically when it comes to drug testing so they can start catching things out like they are."' Source - Hackett wants better drug tests

Posted by Darren at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)

British Swimmers Warm Up

British Olympic Swimming Team Chief, Bill Sweetenham, is confident that their recent spell of warm weather training has been a successful strategy in getting acclimatized for the upcoming Athens Olympic Games.

'"We've still got work to do outside the pool to make sure we can handle the distractions of the Olympic environment and that's what we have to concentrate on between now and August."' - Source - British swim team buoyant

Posted by Darren at 04:13 PM | Comments (0)

Australian Mens Basketball Team Wins First Game

The Australian National Mens Basketball Team (the boomers) have won their first game in the lead up to the Athens Olympics. Last night they beat Croatia 90-56 when they played in Italy last night.

'Coach Brian Goorjian has assembled a vastly different team from the one that finished fourth in Sydney and is giving all players a chance to show their worth before the final Olympic squad is announced next month.'

Posted by Darren at 04:04 PM | Comments (5)

Claims of Montgomery Confession

There are now reports that Tim Montgomery has told federal grand jury he used human growth hormone.

'The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Montgomery, who has publicly denied any wrongdoing, told a grand jury that he was given weekly doses of growth hormone and "the clear" over eight months ending in mid-2001.

The report said Victor Conte, founder of BALCO labs and charged in a steroid distribution ring, assured Montgomery "the clear" was not an illegal steroid but that Montgomery admitted knowing growth hormone was a banned substance.'

Posted by Darren at 03:55 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Olympic Games Schedule of Events

The 2004 Athens Olympic Games sporting schedule has been released with details of times, dates and venues. Venues have been tested in lead up sporting events.

See the 2004 Olympic Games Schedule of Events

Posted by Darren at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Sea Cleaning Exercise

Press Release from athens2004.com
A sea pollution clean up exercise will take place tomorrow, Friday 25 June, in the sea just off the Agios Kosmas Olympic Sailing Centre.

The exercise aims to inform ATHENS 2004 staff about sea pollution treatment methods and procedures and to test the readiness of the facilities in responding to incidents within the venue areas, the staff providing assistance and clean-up methods in the greater area.��

The exercise is a joint effort by ATHENS 2004 and 'Techniki Prostasias Perivallontos S.A.' that will provide the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games with the necessary methods and services free.

The exercise will start at 10:30, four nautical miles off and to the southwest of the Olympic Sailing Centre and will test a scenario whereby an unidentified tanker spills fuel oil residues into the sea during the night threatening Olympic Venues.

Posted by Darren at 01:21 PM | Comments (0)

Male synchronized swimmer not allowed to compete in Olympics

One of the US's best synchronized swimmers will not be allowed to compete at this year's Athens Olympic Games. Bill May has beaten virtually every person competing in Athens this year but will not be allowed to compete there because it is an event reserved for females only.

'This summer he wanted the chance to compete in a new category, mixed pairs, but the US Synchronized Swimming Federation decided not to ask for the event. May says, "It was a huge disappointment and it was very humbling. ... It's a political sport in that it's kind of like a clique at school."

There's been talk of dropping synchronized swimming from the Olympics, and some believe the fact it's a women-only sport keeps it in the games. The theory, by pushing to allow Bill May and a new mixed pairs event in the games, the sport could be pushed right out of the Olympics.

Olympic synchronized swimming coach Chris Carver says, "If we get too controversial, maybe we would be the ones to go, and we don't want to be the ones to go."' Source - Male synchronized swimmer not allowed to compete in Olympics

Posted by Darren at 01:10 PM | Comments (5)

Athens Mayor in London to Promote Games

The mayor of Athens is in London today promoting the Athens Olympic Games.

'Dora Bakoyannis will comment on recent controversies relating to security issues, project delays and the cost of hosting the Olympics at a press conference today.

Her visit � seven weeks ahead of the Games � will include a meeting with London Mayor Ken Livingstone at City Hall today, followed by a reception for Britain�s Olympic torchbearers.

Mrs Bakoyannis is also expected to meet Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell during the Olympic flame relay through London tomorrow.

She will then attend a luncheon at Mansion House, hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Robert Finch.

The mayor and her delegation will return to Greece on Sunday.'

Posted by Darren at 01:03 PM | Comments (0)

Will the Athens Olympic Games be Safe?

Will this year's Olympic Games in Athens be safe? MSNBC asks this question in their business section.

'Police with automatic weapons and guard dogs patrol a fenced-off perimeter. Fighters and AWACS surveillance planes circle overhead. Armed frogmen -- and further out, powerful warships -- guard the nearby waters. Spy cameras and motion sensors pinpoint intruders. Metal detectors and X-ray machines scan all entrants.

A summit of world leaders? No, just another round of field hockey, shot put, or ping-pong at the Athens Olympics. Whatever feats are in store at the 2004 Summer Games, the Greeks have already shattered the record for security measures. They will spend $1.2 billion -- four times what was spent by Sydney in 2000 -- with much of the money being used to turn 126 stadiums, athlete housing, and other Olympics-related facilities into virtual armed camps.'

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2004

Greek PM Confident of Successful Olympics

With just 50 days to go until the Athens Olympics theGreek PM has expressed his confidence that the Games will be a Success.

'�"Preparations are by now almost ready," Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said, quoted by the semi-official Athens News Agency (ANA).

"We think we're in the position to express our confidence that we can stage the Games well and safely," Karamanlis said.'

Posted by Darren at 09:56 PM | Comments (0)

Investigators Detain Top Cyclist

'WORLD time trial champion and Olympic hopeful David Millar of Britain has been detained in Biarritz, France on a warrant issued by a Paris examining magistrate investigating doping in cycling.

The 27-year-old Scot was taken into custody on Tuesday night while he was dining at a Biarritz restaurant. He was still being questioned tonight, the police source said.

He was being treated as a witness and not a suspect.'

Investigators detain top cyclist

Posted by Darren at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)

Ben Wallace and Richard Hamilton Withdraw from Olympics

'NBA stars Ben Wallace and Richard Hamilton have pulled out of the US Olympic team for Athens, citing safety concerns among their reasons.' Source - NBA pair refuse Athens call

Posted by Darren at 09:18 PM | Comments (1)

Kim Collins predicts Caribbean Sweep of Sprint Medals

100m world champion, Kim Collins, believes that he and three other Caribbean Athletes could have a clean sweep of sprint medals at the Athens Olympic Games.

'The St Kitts & Nevis star won gold in Paris last year ahead of world junior champion Darrel Brown of Trinidad.

Trinidad's Ato Boldon and 17-year-old Jamaican Usain Bolt should also be at the Olympics - and Collins says the quartet can dominate the medal podium.

"It's just a matter of giving us a chance to shine," he said: "We're doing that now. It's still possible."'

Source - Collins targets clean sweep

Posted by Darren at 09:13 PM | Comments (1)

Tim Montgomery Faces Lifetime Ban

US Anti Doping Agency is asking for a lifetime ban for two US Athletes who are facing charges of drug illegal drug usage in the lead up to the Athens Olympics.

'The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency plans to seek a lifetime suspension against 100 metres world record holder Tim Montgomery for alleged drug violations, The Associated Press has learned....

Another track star, Michelle Collins, the 2003 world indoor champion at 200 metres and potential medalist at this summer's Athens Games, also was told USADA will seek to bar her for life, according to her lawyer.

Montgomery is the boyfriend of three-time Olympic champion Marion Jones, and they have a son who is nearly one year old. Collins is a former training partner of Jones, who is being investigated for possible doping by USADA but has not been formally notified she is the target of a probe.'

Source - Sprinter facing lifetime ban

Posted by Darren at 08:50 PM | Comments (0)

British Rowing Team Unveiled

Great Britain's Rowing team for the Athens Olympics has just been announced.

'The coxless four - Britain's best hope of gold at the Games - is confirmed as Matthew Pinsent, James Cracknell, Steve Williams and Alex Partridge.

Team GB's other main medal prospects, Cath Grainger and Katherine Bishop are confirmed in the coxless pair.

British Olympic chief Simon Clegg said: "The quality of this group of athletes should ensure a number of podium places are achievable in Athens."'

Source - GB rowing team unveiled

Posted by Darren at 08:38 PM | Comments (0)

US Gymnastics Trials Lose Meaning

This year the US Olympic Trials are taking a new turn. Instead of the winners being guaranteed trips to Athens they will be guaranteed trips to a Selection camp where they will have to prove their worth before a selection committee.

'The talent pool is deep, president of USA Gymnastics Bob Colarossi explained Wednesday, seated at a makeshift sign that read, "I [heart] selection procedures." The difference between the third-best U.S. woman gymnast and the eighth-best is no longer that vast.

In order to heighten the certainty that USA Gymnastics is sending the very best women's team to Athens, an Olympic Team Selection Committee was formed because, after all, what is life without another committee.

Don't worry about the top two finishers at these so-called Olympic Trials getting lost in Robert's Rules of Order, Colarossi said.

"If you're one of the top two finishers here," Colarossi said, "you're going to be one of the top gymnasts in the world. And to think that, in 13 days, you're going to show up [in camp] and not prove that you're ready for Athens, it's unthinkable."'Source - Gymnastics Trials lose their meaning

Posted by Darren at 08:25 PM | Comments (0)

Czech Troops to Head to Athens

THE Czech government have agreed to send 100 troops to Athens who specialize in chemical detection to help guard against attack. NATO will pay for transport costs and Greece will pay for accommodation and other costs.

Source - Czech chemical troops for Games

In related security news it has been announced that Israel Has Major Role in Olympic Security and will be a part of a force patrolling the Greek coastline, will offer advice in securing Greek Airspace and involved in intelligence.

Posted by Darren at 07:44 PM | Comments (0)

Australian Cycling Team Drug Enquiry

The Australian government today announced an independent inquiry into doping allegations in the Australian Cycling team in the lead up to this year's Athen's Olympics.

'Australia's build-up to the Athens Olympics in August has been overshadowed by allegations that a group of elite cyclists used a room at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) as a "shooting gallery" to inject themselves with performance-enhancing drugs. Cycling Australia has said there was no evidence to substantiate the claims but agreed to co-operate with an investigation.'

Source - Aussies take action over doping

Posted by Darren at 07:38 PM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2004

Khotso Motau - Boxing

Khotso Motau from South Africa is hoping to do well in the Athens Olympics Boxing Competition. His preparation is very different to many of those he'll be competing against and a win would change his life in ways most of us can only begin to imagine.

"When evening comes, South-African Olympic hopeful Khotso Motau has to hang up his boxing gloves and abandon training. The Dube club in the impoverished, sprawling township of Soweto, where the middleweight dreams of Olympic gold, has no electricity. Come darkness, training is impossible.

"It's despicable that these guys don't have lights. It's simply not right," says Steve Masike, one of Motau's trainers.

Soweto has more than 20 boxing gyms, including the Dube club which set South African icon Baby Jake Matlala on the road to his four World Boxing Union (WBU) junior flyweight successes."

Read More at Motau's Olympic dream

Posted by Darren at 05:25 PM | Comments (0)

Canoe/Kayak Slalom at a Glance - Eurosport

Check out Eurosport's Canoe/Kayak Slalom at a glance.

"Canoe and kayak slalom racing lags a little behind its flatwater cousin. It took until the Munich 1972 for the event to be granted Olympic status, but now it ranks as one of the most exciting disciplines on the schedule for Athens 2004....

During the Olympics and world championships, slalom racers compete in four events, three for men and one for women. Men compete in Canadian singles (C1) and doubles (C2) and kayak singles (K1), while women compete only in kayak singles (K1).

The events require the paddlers to negotiate 20 to 25 gates in turbulent water over a 300-metre course. Competitors aim to complete the course in the shortest time, factoring in penalties."

Posted by Darren at 05:22 PM | Comments (1)

Badminton at a Glance - Eurosport

Eurosport has a good introduction to Olympic Badminton .

"Badminton's roots date back to the Far East, having originated from a children's game "battledore and shuttlecock". Using a paddle - a battledore - players worked together to keep a small-feathered cork - a shuttlecock - in the air as long as possible. British Army officers stationed in India in the 1860s adapted it....

In Sydney, four years ago Indonesia held on to the men's doubles gold, denying the Chinese a clean sweep of golds."

Posted by Darren at 05:21 PM | Comments (1)

NZ Boxer Controversy

Debate is raging in New Zealand over one of their boxing team members and a criminal history.

The boxer representing New Zealand at the Olympics and jailed for killing his daughter should make a public apology and set himself up as a role model for others wanting to turn a corner, says Prime Minister Helen Clark....

'In 1995, when Pownceby was known as Soulan Rikihana, he was sentenced to four years' jail for killing his five-month-old daughter.

Aged 20 at the time, Pownceby was found guilty of manslaughter but not guilty of murder after the High Court at Christchurch heard how he dropped his daughter while his de facto wife was out getting takeaways.' Source - Boxer should apologise says PM via Cre8d

Improve Your Own Boxing Skills

Posted by Darren at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

Nick Skelton and Robert Smith

British Show jumpers, Nick Skelton and Robert Smith, have been selected to compete at Britains representatives in the Show jumping at this year's Athens Olympic Games.

'British Olympic chief Simon Clegg said: "Both showjumpers have a high pedigree and we look forward to them competing with distinction." ' Source

Posted by Darren at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)

3.4 Million Olympic Tickets Unsold

Reports released today indicate that Athens Olympic Games Ticket sales are not as high as have been hoped for. 3.4 million tickets (out of a total of 5.2 million) still remain unsold. Despite this officials are reluctant to reduce ticket prices in the hope that last minute demand will increase and see events sold out.

Source - Athens chiefs stand firm

Posted by Darren at 01:55 PM | Comments (1)

Athens to Use Volunteers to Aid Visitors

Athens will use over 3000 volunteers to ensure a smooth running Olympic games.

'Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni said Monday that 3,000 volunteers will help visitors find their way to sporting venues and other sites during the Aug. 13-29 Olympics.

"We want to show off the city we love," Bakoyianni said. "This is a big program and we need the public's support ... They will also help people use public transport and find restaurants." '

Posted by Darren at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

Australian Athletes Pose Nude

Australian Olympic Athletes are posing Nude in the lead up to the Athens Olympics.

'Swimmer Michael Klim and basketball player Lauren Jackson were among 35 Australian Olympic athletes who posed nude for a calendar released on Tuesday.'

Check out pictures of some of the Aussie Athletes

Posted by Darren at 01:50 PM | Comments (3)

June 21, 2004

Michaela Breeze Sends Warning to Competition

Welsh Weight Lifter, Michaela Breeze, has sent a warning to her competitors at the Athens Olympics.

'"I'm so focused after a good couple of years, now everything's targeted at Athens," said Breeze, who will compete in the 58kg clean and jerk and snatch.

"East Europe provides the main threat and there are some good Asian lifters.

"But I'm not intimidated and I hope my performance at the European Championship has made them wake up," the 25-year-old told BBC Sport Wales.'

Source - Breeze fires Athens warning

Posted by Darren at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

NBC Olympic Coverage Preparations

NBC is planning on broadcasting a massive 1,210 hours of the Olympics over six networks in August at the Athens Olympic Games. This is putting pressure on producers to come up with enough commentators and reporters who have expertise on the variety of events. They are planning on having 99 on-air announcers this year - an increase from 67 at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

NBC Seeks Experts on Obscure Athens Events

Posted by Darren at 01:54 PM | Comments (6)

Dover Qualifies for Dressage

'Three-time Olympic medalist Robert Dover won the freestyle segment Sunday to sweep the U.S. Olympic dressage trials.

Aboard FBW Kennedy, Dover scored 81.700 percent, bringing his total over two weekends to an overall weighted average of 78.478 percent for his four victories.' Source - Dover Earns 6th Olympic Trip in Dressage

Posted by Darren at 01:46 PM | Comments (1)

The Confident Maurice Greene

This article from the NY Times gives some insight into the confidence of Maurice Greene, reigning 100m Olympic champion, in the lead up to the Athens Olympics - despite the focus on drugs in the US Olympic Athletics Team.

'The track and field world has been the stage recently for a most unpleasant whodunit, in which lawyers, spokesmen and various officials have taken leading roles in discovering or protecting the guilty parties, if any. In the meantime, a pall of suspicion and unanswered questions lingers over the sport.

"I'm going to do what I have to do to take away the dark cloud over the sport, even if I have to do it all by myself,'' Greene said Saturday before the Prefontaine Classic, a tuneup meet for the Olympic trials, which begin July 9. Green, who finished second to Shawn Crawford in the 100 Saturday, then rolled up his right sleeve to reveal a tattoo of a lion with the letters G.O.A.T. in its mane. They stand for Greatest of All Time.' Source - Scandal Overshadowing Athletes' Actual Feats

Posted by Darren at 01:41 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2004

Athens Olympic Games Merchandise

The Merchandise for the Athens Olympic Games is wide and varied. We recommend those searching for Athens Olympic Games check out Amazon's Athens Olympic Games Merchandise for a great variety of Athens Olympic Clothing, Pins, Badges and Bags. Also on offer are a large range of US Olympic Team Merchandise.

Also check out their range of Athens Olympic Games Books.

Posted by Darren at 11:08 PM | Comments (0)

Cost of staging Olympics spirals

The cost of staging the Athens Olympic Games is growing larger than expected.

'The bill is now likely to reach 6bn euros (�3.9bn), George Alogoskoufis told a parliamentary committee.

The original budget for the Games was 4.6bn euros, but Mr Alogoskoufis admits "there will be significant overruns".

Preparations for the games have been beset by problems with construction delays and the pressures of shouldering a massive security operation.' Source - Cost of staging Olympics spirals

Posted by Darren at 09:17 PM | Comments (15)

Athens Olympic Games - News

Looking for Athens Olympic Games News?

This is the page for you. We've trawled the web looking for the best Olympic Games News sites and compiled them here for you so that you can keep up with the latest Olympic News direct from Athens.


Athens Olympic Games News Resources

Posted by Darren at 08:25 PM | Comments (5)

Athens 2004 Olympic Games

The 2004 Athens Olympic Games is approaching fast. Already the world is turning its attention toward Athens as athletes in hundreds of countries prepare. Controversy has already hit the games over whether venues will be ready in time and if they will be up to standard. As the Olympic Games get closer the range of sites dedicated to the Athens Games increase.

Following are some of the most useful sites on the web that will help both those attending the Olympics in Athens or those watching their country's Olympic team from home in the comfort of their own armchair. Feel free to add your own suggestions of Olympic links that you've found helpful below in comments.


2004 Athens Olympic Games Resources
- Official Athens 2004 Olympic Games- Athens Olympic Games Tickets
- Athens Olympic Tickets - International Sales
- BBC SPORT - 2004 Olympic Games
- Athens Olympic Games FAQs
- APADA - Athens 2004 Olympic Games
- NBC Sports Olympic News
- 2004 Olympics - Resources for Kids
- Matt Barrett's Athens 2004 Olympics Page
- Olympic Games 2004 Athens - Greece and Heraklion, Crete
- Athens Paralympic Games 2004
- Athens webcams 2004 Olympic Games
- 2004 Summer Olympics News
- FINA - Athens Olympic Games
- Olympic Summer Games News
- Athens Olympics Torch Relay

Olympic Games Resources (General)
- International Olympic Committee
- The Official Site of the Olympic Movement
- The Real Story of the Ancient Olympic Games
- The Olympic Games Timeline
- Centre for Olympic Studies
- World Olympians Associating
- Athens Olympics Blog
- Ancient Greek Olympics

Useful Athens Tourist/Travel Guides
- The Athens Greece Guide 2004
- Athens Survival Guide
- Travel Guide - Greece
- 2004 Athens Guide

Athens Olympics News Reports/Controversies
- Athens Olympic Security A Mess
- Athens 2004: Greece Prepares for Olympic Homecoming
- Top Olympic organisers express "absolute confidence" in Athens' preparations for 2004
- Will Athens be ready for the Olympic Games?
- Athens Told to Hurry Up
- Olympic venues will be ready in time, Greeks say
- Athens Olympics Apparel

Also check out our Athens Olympic Games News Site for services that offer the latest Olympic News from Athens.

Posted by Darren at 08:07 PM | Comments (0)

Ashia Hansen Out of Olympics

British triple jumper, Ashia Hansen, is out of the Olypics after injuring her knee during competition in Poland.

'The 32-year-old Commonwealth and European champion, who had been a medal prospect for Athens, has damaged tendons in her kneecap and will fly home today to undergo surgery.


The operation will rule her out for the rest of the season, but the Birchfield Harrier, who has battled back from injury before, has stated her intent to return to action next year.

Hansen was lying in sixth place when she collapsed in agony in the sandpit clutching her left knee on her second jump. After receiving treatment, the Birchfield Harrier was carried away in severe discomfort.' = Source - Dream is over.

Posted by Darren at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

Mary Sanders and Jennifer Parilla Qualify

The US Gymnastics Team is shaping up with Mary Sanders and Jennifer Parilla winning spots.

'Mary Sanders earned the United States' only spot in rhythmic gymnastics at the Athens Olympics, winning all four categories at the Olympic trials on Saturday.

Jennifer Parilla won the trampoline competition at the San Jose State University Events Center and will make her second Olympic trip this summer.'
Source - Sanders, Parilla Qualify for Olympics

Posted by Darren at 07:41 PM | Comments (4)

Montgomery responds to USADA notice of doping inquiry

Tim Montgomery this week told the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency of his innocence int he face of possible drug charges.

'"The truth will prevail," he said.

His lawyer said Montgomery will continue to fight for the chance "to fulfill his dreams and participate in the 2004 Olympics."

Montgomery, record holder in the 100 meters, is one of four U.S. athletes formally notified on June 7 that the USADA is pursuing possible drug charges against them.'

Source - Montgomery responds to USADA notice of doping inquiry

Posted by Darren at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic torch passes through New York

The Olympic torch continues its journey towards Athens - this week passing through New York.

'Mayor Michael Bloomberg, musicians, dancers and big- name Greek celebrities such as Nia Vardalos, from my "Big, Fat Greek Wedding" and Melina Kanakaredes, star of the defunct TV series "Providence," were on hand to see the kick-off of the New York City leg of the Athens 2004 Olympic torch relay.'

Source - Olympic torch passes through New York

Posted by Darren at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

Marion Jones 5th in Olympic Lead Up

Recent Drug scandals may be taking their toll on Marion Jones in the lead up to US Olympic trials in July as she finished fifth in a recent 100m race.

'Jones finished fifth behind winner Inger Miller in the women's 100 meters at the Prefontaine Classic track and field meet on Saturday, but consoled herself with a win in the long jump.

"It kind of balanced out the day," she said.

Jones' long-jump mark in the meet's final event was 22 feet, 9 inches - 8 1/2 inches farther than her previous best this season.

The 100-meter effort, though, was anything but encouraging for her final race before the U.S. Olympic trials, which begin July 9 in Sacramento.
'
Source

Posted by Darren at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2004

Japan, Korea, Russia and Italy qualify for Olympics Womens Volleyball

Japan, Korea, Russia and Italy have all won berths in the womens competition at the Olympic Games later this year in Athens.

Source

Posted by Darren at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

Pope Blesses Olympics

Pope Offers Blessings To Athens Organizers - 'Pope John Paul II urged the Athens Olympics to be a show of fraternity and peace, and he offered his blessings to the organizers....

"I express the wish that the next celebration of the Olympic Games in your city be a show of brotherhood for all the participants and a message of peace and union for all those who will be spectators across the world," John Paul said. "In this spirit, I invoke divine blessings for you and all the organizers of this celebration."'

Posted by Darren at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

Greek Security Officals are Satisfied

'Greece's top security official is satisfied with the results of a four-day exercise testing the country's ability to respond to terror attacks during the Athens Games.

The joint Greek-U.S. exercise, code-named "Olympic Guardian II," started Thursday and involved more than 300 security personnel.'

Source - Greek security official pleased with Olympic test

Posted by Darren at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

US Swimmers not phased by lack of Roof

The US Olympic Swimming Team says it is not concerned if the Olympic swimming venue does not have a roof in August.

'Athens organisers had come under intense criticism in March when construction delays forced builders to scrap plans to cover the swimming venue.

While spectators can expect to broil in the searing summer sun, American swimmers like 18-year-old Michael Phelps, who will attempt to match Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals at a single Olympics, are predicting fast times and few problems.

"A pool is a pool," Phelps said. "We're all going to be competing under the same conditions and the swimmers will adapt.

"If a pool has lanes and water that's all you need."

There had been fears that without the protection provided by the steel and glass roof, swimmers would suffer under the elements and force drastic changes to training programs in the final build-up to the August 13to 29 Games.'

Source - Pool roof no worry for US

Posted by Darren at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

Tony Blair Assassination

Today was Assassinated in Greece at the Olympics. Well he was in the minds of Olympic security forces who tested their ability to handle 77 security disaster scenarios including such an assassination attempt.

'The U.S.-led drill covered 77 scenarios, among them a poisoning attempt on Games chief Gianna Angelopoulos, a rocket attack on an Air France plane, a suspected anthrax attack and riots and looting on the capital's streets, it said.'

Source - Olympic police practised Blair assassination plot

In other Olympic security news today:
- Security costs for the games are predicted to go over $1.2 billion mark - Source
- Greece will deploy their army to secure their railway system during the games. - Source

Posted by Darren at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

Transexuals Cleared to Compete at Olympics

History was created this week as Transexuals were given the go ahead to compete in the Athens Olympic Games in August.

'Under a proposal approved by the IOC executive board, athletes who have undergone sex-change surgery will be eligible for the Olympics if their new gender has been legally recognized and they have gone through a minimum two-year period of postoperative hormone therapy.

The decision, which covers both male-to-female and female-to-male cases, goes into effect starting with the Athens Olympics in August.

The IOC had put off a decision in February, saying more time was needed to consider all the medical issues.

Some members had been concerned whether male-to-female transsexuals would have physical advantages competing against women.

Men have higher levels of testosterone and greater muscle-to-fat ratio and heart and lung capacity. However, doctors say, testosterone levels and muscle mass drop after hormone therapy and sex-change surgery.' - Source

Posted by Darren at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

China Eyes Badminton Olympic Gold

'CHINA blasted a clear Olympic badminton warning with victory this weekend in the finals of the sport's prestige team competitions, the Thomas and Uber Cups.

The Chinese men beat Denmark 3-1 in the Thomas Cup 24 hours after the women overcame South Korea by the same score to retain the Uber Cup.' Source

Posted by Darren at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Games Issues - Steroids and Security

Monterey Herald reports that the biggest issues for the Olympic Games will be Steroids and Security.

'Just 91 days before the start of the 2004 Summer Games, ongoing questions about security and drug use by American athletes dominated the USOC news conference on Friday that marked the start of the organization's four-day U.S. Olympic team media summit here.'

Posted by Darren at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

Lebron, Marbury, Stoudemire Join Olympics

'A dozen years after shunning college players, the U.S. Olympic basketball team turned Friday to a pair of players who jumped to the NBA right out of high school: LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire.

The NBA's last two rookies of the year were among five players added to this year's Olympic Dream Team, along with New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury, New Jersey Nets forward Richard Jefferson, and Phoenix Suns forward Shawn Marion.' Source

Posted by Darren at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Flag Raised on Everest

The Greek and Olympic Games flags have both been raised on top of Everest by the first Greek to climb the mountain - Source

Posted by Darren at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Olympic Games are Smoking!

SFGate reports that Olympic Organizers are hoping that Greeks will cut back on their out of control smoking habits in August in consideration for their millions of visitors.

'Studies suggest at least 40-45 percent of the adult population in Greece is regularly puffing away. In some age categories, including 25 to 34, it rises to about 60 percent....

They have appealed to Greeks to try to offer a less smoky reception for visitors to the Aug. 13-29 games. No one is demanding American-style blanket restrictions. But Greeks have been urged to establish no-smoking zones, respect rules and think twice about lighting up. Etiquette classes planned for taxi drivers will include a stern warning to keep butts in the packs while on the road.

"We want to show the healthy side of Greek society," said chief organizer Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.'

Posted by Darren at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

US Trim Medal Expectations

'The United States has trimmed medal expectations for the Athens Olympics but said Friday it still expects to win over 100 even if the team is forced to drop top athletes because of the BALCO steroid investigation.'

Source - U.S. Trims Medal Expectations for Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

U.S. Athletes Aware of Possible Backlash

The US Olympic team are aware of possible backlash at the Olympic Games in August this year.

'"When you're competing internationally, everyone wants the USA to lose," said Lopez, who won gold at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Lopez was one of several athletes who spoke Saturday at the U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit in New York. And he's not the only American athlete who has thought about a possible backlash at the games.

"We tend to rub everybody the wrong way, no matter how hard we try not to," men's player Lloy Ball said. "Whether it's the Ryder Cup, or whether it's carrying the flag around like some of the track athletes were doing after winning the last Olympics. That's the way we are, though. We're confident people."

Balancing that confidence with a sense of diplomacy is important to many American athletes - especially those who have been to the Olympics before and understand the joy of competing and living in a friendly environment.' - Source

Posted by Darren at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

Marion Jones is Focused despite Steroids investigations

'MARION JONES believes lingering questions about the BALCO steroids investigation won't take a toll on her track career."All the things going on off the track have made me even more focused," said Jones during a tele-conference today....

Jones said she has never accepted, taken or even been offered any performance-enhancing drugs. She seems tired of having to defend herself.'

Drugs probe 'focuses' Jones

Posted by Darren at 02:15 PM | Comments (2)

Olympic Games Sponsorship Frenzy

USA Today reports on the Olympic Advertising frenzy that is about to descend upon us!

' The gold medal of sports marketing has lost some of its luster, but even security worries are not deterring some advertisers and sponsors from the Olympics....

NBC has sold 80% of ad time and expects to net $1 billion over 17 days of coverage....

Posted by Darren at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

Fortress Athens

Yet another article on the increased security that is being mobilized in Athens in preparation for the Olympics in August.

'Already, teams of American, Israeli and British intelligence officials are in Athens, preparing for the massive policing operation that will unfold during the event. The heightened security measures - set to peak a month before the competition begins - involve heightened surveillance of Muslim immigrants; warnings to immigrant community leaders to cooperate in rooting out potential extremist networks; and plainclothes Greek and foreign police operatives patrolling tourist areas. Closed-circuit cameras will scan the streets as will microphones enabled to listen in on conversations. During the games, a blimp bristling with surveillance equipment will hover over the city.'

Source - Fortress Athens awaits a summer of discontent

Posted by Darren at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Mayor - 'Don't let Terrorists Win'

Athens Mayor, Dora Bakoyianni is pleading that the world sees the recent bombings in Athens as minor and that they would not allow them to impact the Olympic Games in August for fear of giving victory to those behind the attacks.

Source - Athens mayor doesn't want to see terrorists win

Posted by Darren at 02:15 PM | Comments (1)

Olympic Cauldron - Spindle Shaped

'The Olympic flame will burn in a huge spindle-shaped cauldron that will be visible from all parts of the main stadium, according to plans by the designer....

The cauldron is 100 feet long and 5 feet maximum in diameter, with a slot in its top section, the document said. The plans added that the main structure will be connected to the base by a hinge, suggesting it could move.'

Source - Documents reveal Olympic cauldron is spindle-shaped

Posted by Darren at 02:13 PM | Comments (1)

Athletes weigh security risks of Olympics

The Mercury News reports that American Athletes are weighing security risks of going to the Athens Olympic Games.

Posted by Darren at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

Olympics Insurance Boom

Many industries will be rubbing their hands together in glee in the lead up to the Olympic games, but the insurance industry would have to be at the head of the list if this article at Forbes is anything to go by.

The amount of things that can go wrong at the Olympic Games are vast and the IOC, organizing committee, teams and individuals must be paying billions of dollars in premiums...

'Some teams and sponsors offer their athletes big perks if they do well, but quietly buy insurance against the risk their stars exceed expectations, leaving them with a big bill.

These are just two of the risks -- which range from Athens being hit by a huge earthquake to U.S. President George Bush dying during the Games pushing Olympics coverage off the world's primetime TV schedules -- that are covered in one insurance policy or another issued for the Games.

Though fears of a terror attack have reached fever pitch after a string of Athens bomb attacks and many of the venues remain building sites, insurers have staked billions of euros on the Athens Games being a success....

By the start of the Games on August 13, $1 billion of cover will have been bought to protect against the risk of the Athens Games being called off, insurers said.

That's on top of $1 billion of insurance cover bought to protect the venues, athletes, officials and spectators.

The policies range from major TV networks insuring themselves for up to $350 million to Greek firms producing Athens 2004 memorabilia buying cover worth a million euros. '

Posted by Darren at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Roof Slides into Place

BBC reports that the Olympic roof is taking shape - 'Workers and officials have celebrated in Greece after efforts to start raising a grand arch over the main Olympic stadium went without a hitch.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials watched as one half of the hi-tech roof began to slide into place.'

See a recent Satellite Picture of the Main Stadium Under Construction

Posted by Darren at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)

British Olympic Team Announcements

The British Team are getting ready and are making a few announcements this week including:

- Naming their Triathlon Team
- Announcing their Equestrian line up

Posted by Darren at 02:08 PM | Comments (1)

Greek Police Arrest Journalists in Olympics Venue

ATHENSReuters - 'Greek police briefly detained five British and German journalists who illegally entered two main Olympic sports complexes at night, Athens Games officials said on Thursday.

They said a reporter and a photographer for the London Times tried to approach the Olympic stadium after climbing over a fence and entering the main compound in the suburb of Maroussi.

"A guard on the site saw them and arrested them," the police official said. "The two journalists were taken to a police station for questioning and after a few hours were released."

"Yes we were detained last night and spent a few hours in a police station," Times reporter Laura Peek told Reuters.

The officials said three German journalists, working for a production company, were also detained late on Wednesday in the Hellenikon sports complex, the second biggest after the Olympic Stadium compound. They were later released.'

Also read Athens Olympics: Security Announcement

Posted by Darren at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

Iraq Soccer Team Qualify for Olympics

The Globe and Mail reports that Iraq is celebrating as their soccer team qualifies for the Athens Olympic games with a win over Saudi Arabia with a score line of 3-1.

Posted by Darren at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

Greek extremist group threatens Olympic visitors

ATHENS Reuters - ' A makeshift bomb has exploded outside an Athens bank, and a Greek fringe group claimed responsibility for three blasts in the city last week, saying they were to protest heavy security measures for the Olympics.

Thursday's early morning blast outside a branch of Alpha Bank caused minor damage and no casualties, but will raise more concern about the safety of the Games this summer.

The group "Revolutionary Struggle" told the newspaper "To Pontiki" last week's bombs which damaged a police station but caused no casualties were a response to Olympic security plans....

"With regard to the Olympic Games we say that Greece's transformation into a fortress, NATO's involvement, the presence and activities of foreign intelligence units show clearly that (the Olympics) are not a festival like Games organisers say, but it's a war," it said in a statement sent to the newspaper.'

Get more on this topic from Sydney Morning Herald

Posted by Darren at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

Warning against Games Profiteering

Greek Premier Costas Caramanlis has warned Greek business owners not to hike up prices in an attempt to profiteer from the Olympic Games in August.

'"For those planning to exploit the Olympic Games ... we tell them to think again," Caramanlis told parliament Wednesday.

"We will all be on alert - ministries, agencies and producers - to insure that the market is adequately supplied with products of the highest quality and at the best prices."'

Posted by Darren at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

Security Tight for Athens Olympics

India's deepikoglobal.com reports that IOC head Jacques Rogge believes that security is tight for the Athens Olympics and that everything possible is being done to ensure a disaster free Athens Olympic Games.

'''An atmosphere of security must prevail. Everything that was humanly possible has been done,'' he told French daily Le Monde in an interview.

Belgian Rogge said last week's explosion of three bombs in Athens 100 days before the opening ceremony should not be taken as a sign that security will not be optimal during the Olympics. '

The Seattle Post reports that Athens are about to conduct a four day exercise to 'examine "counter-terrorist response scenarios and management of the consequences" of an attack, a statement said Wednesday.'

'Earlier this month, Greece increased its Olympic security budget to more than $1.2 billion, while 70,000 police and soldiers are set to patrol Athens and Olympic-related areas during the Aug. 13-29 games.'

Posted by Darren at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

Australia Issues Travel Warning for Athens

The Australian Government has issued a travel warning to its citizens wanting to travel to Athens for the Olympic Games in August. The IOC and Greek organizing committee have rightly been concerned with the warning but Australian IOC member Kevin Gosper says that they are overreacting to the warning:

'He said the Australian government had a responsibility to warn its citizens of security risks.

Greece has expressed shock and anger at the Australian government's warning for tourists to the country to look out for bombs, hooligans, sexual predators and other criminals.

The updated advisory from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) came after bomb attacks in Athens last week at the start of the 100 day countdown to the Games.

"Australians in Greece are advised to exercise caution and keep themselves informed of developments that might affect their safety," the advice said.

"Australians should be aware of a recent series of firebomb attacks on domestic, political and commercial premises in Greece, mainly in Athens and Thessaloniki."

Mr Gosper said the advice was credible.
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"It contains good and sound advice to people travelling in Greece and that's a normal responsibility of a government to upgrade that level of advice, if there's been some incident as there was in Greece last week," he told the Nine network.' - Read more of this article at 'The Age'

Posted by Darren at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

Marathon Route in Athens - Under Construction

The Washington Post today reports that it is still a Mad Dash to the Finish for Athens in their preparations for the Olympics - especially when it comes to the Marathon route...

'Athletes have been running the mostly uphill route from this village to Athens for about 2,500 years, ever since a swift soldier named Phidippides legged the 26.2 miles to deliver news of a military victory over the Persians. But with just three months to go until the Olympic Games return to Greece, the ancient path is hardly fit for the world's best modern-day marathoners.

Hundreds of dump trucks, excavators, cement mixers and laborers with old-fashioned pickaxes are working double shifts to widen the racecourse along a narrow highway, but are far behind schedule. About half the route remains under construction. In Marathon, the starting line is nowhere to be seen; even the local work crews say they aren't sure where it's supposed to go.

Posted by Darren at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

2 Euro Coin to Commemorate Athens Olympics

The Bank of Greece is to circulate a new two-euro coin on Thursday to mark the Athens 2004 Olympics.

The 50 million commemorative coins totalling 100 million euros will circulate in all eurozone countries, central bank officials told a presentation on Wednesday. Deputy Finance Minister Petros Doukas said that collectors at home and abroad had shown strong interest in the issue. Source

Posted by Darren at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)

US Olympic Team has Opportunity to Reverse Global Public Opinion

USA Today's column by Christine Brennan talks about how the Olympics are actually an opportunity for the US to reverse global public opinion that has been accumulating after some of the recent negative publicity over some of the images coming out of Iraq of abuse by US Soldiers.

Her call is for the US team to behave well and not badly.

'But right around the corner comes the Olympics, the only regularly scheduled gathering of the world. The Summer Games will be the most watched television event on earth this year; that's quite a platform to try to do a little rehabilitation work on one's image.

The U.S. Olympic Committee is so aware of the nation's precarious standing in the world court of public opinion that it has asked former spokesman Mike Moran, now its senior media consultant, to give seminars on behavior, sportsmanship and even Greek culture to U.S. athletes heading to Athens.

"It is not business as usual for us at these Olympics," Moran said. "We're telling athletes who like to jump around and yell and grab a flag from the audience and wrap themselves in it that they should rethink their exuberance for this Olympics, not only for their own safety but because of the way that some of the world views us.'

Posted by Darren at 01:53 PM | Comments (0)

IOC happy with Athens Progress

SBN reports that the IOC are happy with Athens progress in its preparation for the Olympic Games there later this year. This comes after months of speculation that Athens will not be ready in time for the Olympics.

'After three days of productive meetings in Athens, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission confirmed its renewed confidence that the remaining venues to be completed for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games will be ready on time, and that Athens will host successful Games from 13 to 29 August. This assurance came as IOC members and officials of the Commission completed their 12th and final meeting with the Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad (ATHOC) and the Greek authorities, witnessing for themselves the progress made by the organizers since the Commission's last visit six months ago.

With fewer than 100 days to go until the Opening Ceremony, the Coordination Commission worked with ATHOC through the details of the preparations for all the organizational aspects of the Games, such as operations for the venues, the Olympic Village, the media and technology. It also examined the enormous efforts that have been made to serve the athletes, National Olympic Committees, International Federations, spectators, sponsors, press and broadcasters. The Commission members visited the venues where some 10,500 athletes from around the world will compete for Olympic glory, seeing for themselves the construction work being completed at key sites, including the Olympic Stadium, where half of the roof was slid into place during the Commission's stay.
'

Get more news on Athens progress at New York Post

Posted by Darren at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2004

Beginners Guide to Olympic Judo

BBC have a good Beginners Guide to Judo.

'As its translation from the Japanese suggests, "the gentle way" is not about knocking out opponents or leaving them in agony.

But judo rules still allow contestants to gain a submission by breaking an opponent's arm or choking them, however, so it is hardly tiddlywinks.

Contests last five minutes for men and four for women.

The two combatants, known as judoka, attempt to clinch victory by throwing their opponent or applying a hold that immobilises them for 25 seconds or makes them submit because they cannot move.' Read more of Beginners Guide to Judo.

Posted by Darren at 09:39 PM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2004

Simon Archer to Miss Olympic Badminton Competition

"Olympic mixed doubles bronze medallist Simon Archer will miss the Athens Games after he and partner Donna Kellogg failed to finish in the top 16 in the May 1 world ranking list which determines qualification.

Archer, who won Britain's first Olympic badminton medal when he and Jo Goode took bronze in Sydney, underwent surgery on his back after the All England championships in March. Kellogg has also had back problems."

Source - Archer's Athens hopes end

Posted by Darren at 05:18 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2004

Introduction to Diving

BBC has a great beginners guide to Diving that will introduce the sport to those wanting to understand Diving in the lead up to the Athens Olympics.

Olympic diving consists of eight events split evenly between men and women.

The long-standing springboard and platform disciplines were supplemented four years ago by synchronised diving competitions off each board.

The springboard measures three metres, with the platform at 10m.

A panel of seven judges adjudicates on each dive, measuring for execution and entry, which should see minimal splash on impact.

The highest and lowest of the scores are dropped with the remaining five added together before being multiplied by the degree of difficulty.

The degree of difficulty is marked on a lengthy chart that includes all possible recognised dives.

Dives range between 1.3 and 3.6 in difficulty and the harder they are, the more likely a competitor will be to land a medal. Read More at - Beginner's guide to diving

Posted by Darren at 11:13 PM | Comments (0)
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