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July 31, 2004

Olympic Dream - Official Olympic Song

"The Athens Olympics now has its own official song.

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 05:41 PM | Comments (2)

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

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

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

Read more at Trust in Mare's Milk.

Posted by Darren at 05:31 PM | Comments (2)

Dvorak In Doubt for Athens

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

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

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

Read more at Dvorak doubt for Athens.

Posted by Darren at 05:28 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Insurance

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

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

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

Read more at Risk and Insurance : Vaulting Olympic Risk:

Posted by Darren at 05:27 PM | Comments (0)

Are the US Men's Basketball Team Beatable?

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at America the beatable?

Posted by Darren at 05:22 PM | Comments (0)

Blaine Wilson's last shot at an Olympic Medal

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 05:20 PM | Comments (0)

Japan's Baseball Team to go to Athens without Coach

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 05:19 PM | Comments (0)

Watch Olympics Online - Video Highlights

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 05:16 PM | Comments (12)

Will the 'Real' Olympics Please stand up?

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

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

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

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

Read more at 'True Olympics' begin in Greece

Posted by Darren at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

What's on Today

Here is a list of events scheduled for today, Saturday the 14th of August, 2004
Table Tennis
Posted by Regan at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

New Drugs could Emerge in Athens

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 03:43 PM | Comments (0)

Cool Mitts to Ease Heat in Athens

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

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

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

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

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

Also read about it at ABC News

Posted by Darren at 03:38 PM | Comments (1)

Canada Hopes Baseball Success will Spur Grassroots Participation

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

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

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

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

Read more at Canada Hopes Olympic Success Spurs Grassroots.

Posted by Darren at 03:36 PM | Comments (0)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

US Track Team - Could win 30 Medals

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

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

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

Read more at Olympic success sneaks up on America.

Posted by Darren at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Olympic Games 2004 Schedule Of Events

Beach Volleyball
Modern Pentathlon
Table Tennis
Water Polo
Posted by Regan at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Olympics - Kids Resources

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

Have fun!

Athens Olympics Kids Resources

Posted by Darren at 02:07 PM | Comments (0)

US defeats New Zealand - Men's Basketball

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

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

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

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

Read mLapses haunt US Olympic squad despite rout of Kiwis.

Posted by Darren at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

British Athletics Farewell

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

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

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

Read more at Rawlinson and Holmes raise medal hopes.

Posted by Darren at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

Australian PM Back Peddles on Athens Security Statement

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)

South Korea defeats Australia - Men's Football

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

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

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

Read more at .

Posted by Darren at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

Austrian Sailing Team Sets Sail for Gold Medals

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

US Swimmers to wear Energy Patches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Archery - Cut Throat Intensity

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Arrows aimed at Athens bullseye.

Posted by Darren at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Stadium's Glass Roof - Crowing Glory

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

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

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

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

Read more at Ambitious glass roof to be crowning glory.

Posted by Darren at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)

Merlene Ottey - To compete at her 7th Consecutive Olympics

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:26 PM | Comments (1)

Kiribati - The Newest member of the Olympic Family

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at First-time Olympians beat odds.

Posted by Darren at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

Anti Opening Ceremony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:18 PM | Comments (1)

Haile Gebrselassie will switch to Marathons

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

Athens at Night

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

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

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

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

Read more at Hidden pleasures of ancient Athens.

Posted by Darren at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

Should You Run Naked?

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

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

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

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

Enduring Questions -- Should You Run Naked

Posted by Darren at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

Olympic Sponsorship Opportunities

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

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

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

Read more at MSNBC - Marketers seize Olympic opportunity.

Posted by Darren at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

US defeat Puerto Rico

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

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

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

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

Read more at USA mighty vs. Puerto Rico

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

Inge de Bruijn - Netherlands

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

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

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

Read more at Medal mettle.

Posted by Darren at 11:00 AM | Comments (3)

Jana Pittman on Track for Gold Medal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aleksandr Parygin - Modern Pentathlon

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

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

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

Athlete aims to honour adopted nation - Modern Pentathlon

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

South Korea Aims for Top Ten in Medal Table

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)

Svetlana Khorkina - Playboy Gymnast

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Playboy centerfold Khorkina targets third gold.

Posted by Darren at 10:51 AM | Comments (4)

Athens Tree Planting Frenzy

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

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

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

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

Read more at Late Planting May Doom Olympic Trees.

Posted by Darren at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

Athens Smog could be Hurdle for Olympic Athletes

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

Ulster's Olympic Seven

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Belfast Telegraph.

Posted by Darren at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

Greek premier will direct missile defense during Olympics

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

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

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

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

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


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

US Boxers Hungry for Gold Medals

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

US Women's Soccer Team - End of an Era

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

Kevin Lim - Olympics a Labor of Love

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

Time running out to qualify for Noraseela Khalid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Asafa Powell defeats Maurice Greene in 100m

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

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

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

Read more at Olympic champion Greene beaten again

Posted by Darren at 10:14 AM | Comments (1)

Palestine's Sana Abu Bkheet

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

Athletes Arrive in Athens

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

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

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

Athens organizers gave no details on the arrivals."

Read more at Athletes begin moving in to Olympic Village

Posted by Darren at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

100m Competition hots up.

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

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

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

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

Source/Full Grand Prix Results BBC Powell shocks Greene

Posted by at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

Olympic village open. Has disco!

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

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

eKathimerini.com: Olympic Village opens

Posted by at 08:03 AM | Comments (2)

July 30, 2004

Athens Olympics Declared Ready

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Athens Declares Victory in Games Preparations.

Posted by Darren at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

Craig Mottram to take on Ethiopians in 5000m

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

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

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

Read more at Mottram to take mark against Ethiopian duo

Posted by Darren at 11:24 PM | Comments (0)

El Guerrouj Goes for Gold

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at El Guerrouj chasing elusive Olympic gold

Posted by Darren at 11:20 PM | Comments (0)

Technology helps British Equestrian Team

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

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

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

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

Read more at Technology helps Olympic riders

Posted by Darren at 11:12 PM | Comments (0)

British Team depart sporting impressive leisurewear!

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)

Australian Women's Basketball Team Defeats Belgium

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

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

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

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

Read more at Veterans shine as Opals down Belgians .

Posted by Darren at 04:54 PM | Comments (1)

Athens Olympic Events Schedule

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

Wednesday, 11 August
Soccer (Preliminaries)

Thursday, 12 August
Soccer (Preliminaries)

Friday, 13 August
Opening Ceremony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 04:00 PM | Comments (10)

Jamaican Olympic Team

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

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

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

Athletics, women

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

Athletics, men

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

Athletics officials

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


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


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


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

JOA announces team for Olympic Games

Posted by Darren at 03:17 PM | Comments (18)

Jobie Dajka kicked off Australian Athens Olympic Team

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

update - The ABC picks up the story and writes:

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 03:15 PM | Comments (1)

Mickey Grimes - B Sample confirms Drug Use

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Village Open

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Olympic village opens door to athletes

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

50,000 Athens Phones Down for 10 Hours

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

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

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

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

Read more at Phones down in Athens for 10 hours.

Posted by Darren at 01:19 PM | Comments (0)

Mexican Olympic Team take Good Luck Charms

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

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

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

Mexicans loaded with good-luck charms

Posted by Darren at 01:16 PM | Comments (6)

More tickets available for opening, closing ceremonies

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)

Irish help India prepare for Olympic Hockey

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

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

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

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

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

Hockey: Irish can takeaway indian bonus

Posted by Darren at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)

US Spy Planes Provide Security Information for Athens

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

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

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

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


Posted by Darren at 01:08 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Drug Tests On the Mark?

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

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

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

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

Read more at Athens Drug Tests On the Mark? .

Posted by Darren at 12:59 PM | Comments (1)

Athens Visitors to get Price Guides

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

Olympic Games flunk basic economics

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Olympic Games flunk basic economics.

Posted by Darren at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

McEwan Will Compete in Road Race - despite broken Vertebra

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

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

Source - McEwan will ride on

Posted by Darren at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

Athens Uses Olympics to Fuel Civic Rebirth

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

Everton Supports Tim Cahill's Olympics Campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

Hotel Workers to Strike During Olympics

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Workers Threaten Strike During Olympics:

Posted by Darren at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

Greece starts to lock down Venus for Security

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

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

Read more at Greece Ups Security, Starts Venues' Lockdown

Posted by Darren at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

Greece starts to lock down Venus for Security

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

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

Read more at Greece Ups Security, Starts Venues' Lockdown

Posted by Darren at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

Mali Football Team Announced

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

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

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

Read more at Mali name Olympic squad

Mali's Football team is:

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

Mali Football Team Announced

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

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

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

Read more at Mali name Olympic squad

Mali's Football team is:

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

Russian Aims for Top Three in Medal Table

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

Malaysian Athletes Bear Heavy Burden

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

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

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

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

Read more at A heavy burden for athletes in Athens.

Posted by Darren at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

Melissa Morrison Eyes Medals

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

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

So what would be the perfect accessory for a bride?

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

She's kidding, right?

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

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

Read more at Morrison pursuing wedding accessory.

Posted by Darren at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

Ticket Sales Rise - Slowly

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

Last month we sold 3,500 tickets a day.

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

German Athletics Team Announced for Athens Olympics

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM | Comments (2)

India's Amritpal Singh in doubt for Athens

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

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

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

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

Read more at Amritpal dropped from Athens squad.

Posted by Darren at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

Unnamed Jamaican fails drugs test

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Jamaican fails drugs test.

Posted by Darren at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

Unnamed Jamaican fails drugs test

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Jamaican fails drugs test.

Posted by Darren at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

Olympics Reflect Our World

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

USADA - Confident of Sending Clean Team to Athens

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:41 AM | Comments (0)

IOC ethics panel looking into alleged misconduct

Another ethics scandal for IOC?

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

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

Posted by at 06:56 AM | Comments (0)

Security the Main event for Olympic IT Specialists

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:21 AM | Comments (0)

US Gymnasts Searching for Gold

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:18 AM | Comments (0)

Steve Backley to retire from Javelin

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

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

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

Read more at British javelin thrower Backley to retire.

Posted by Darren at 12:17 AM | Comments (0)

Olympics Coverage Gender Bias

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:15 AM | Comments (1)

July 29, 2004

Jobie Dajka gets a 'Please Explain' over Doping Allegations

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

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

Read more at Dajka faces Athens ban.

Posted by Darren at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)

Filip Meirhaeghe Admits EPO Use

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

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

Read more at Meirhaeghe admits EPO use.

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

We Love CoolRunning!

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

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

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

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

Greece unveils biggest Olympic team

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

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

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

Source: Greece unveils biggest Olympic team

Posted by at 06:02 PM | Comments (0)

GB Athletics stands good chance at medals

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

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

Source: Davies backs Team GB

Posted by at 05:59 PM | Comments (1)

Greene shrugs of drug talk

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

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

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

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

Source: Green shrugs of drug talk

Posted by at 05:48 PM | Comments (0)

Rawlinson eyes gold

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

Relax. Rawlinson will be ready.

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

Source: Rawlinson eyes golden summer

Posted by at 05:47 PM | Comments (0)

Britain bounce back in Hockey

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

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

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

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

Source: Britain bounce back

Posted by at 05:45 PM | Comments (0)

Radcliffe remains focused on marathon

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

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

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

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

Source: Radcliffe remains focused

Posted by at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)

Oldest Olympic champion dies

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

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

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

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

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

Source : Oldest Olympic champion dies

Posted by at 05:38 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic security watch begins

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

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

About 70 vessels have been inspected by Greek

Source: Olympic security watch begins

Posted by at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)

Pakistan hope for Olympic Medals in Boxking and Hockey

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Pakistan pin hopes on hockey, boxing.

Posted by Darren at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

Many Tickets Still Available

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

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

Source - Olympic Tickets Still Available, Getting There Costly

Posted by Darren at 03:53 PM | Comments (0)

Anti Doping Ads

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 03:52 PM | Comments (0)

Lorraine Fenton out of Athens Olympics - Injury

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

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

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

Source - Jamaica's Fenton to miss Olympics

Posted by Darren at 03:49 PM | Comments (0)

Officials Lay down the Law to Athens Taxi Drivers

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)

Yelena Isinbayeva Breaks Pole Vault World Record

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 03:42 PM | Comments (16)

Beijing Olympic Stadium

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

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

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

Williams v Sharapova duel missing from Olympics

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 02:18 PM | Comments (1)

Triathletes Gear up for Athens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Australian PM Worried for Australian Team's Safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)

Top US Athletes Not Tested for Doping

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

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

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

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

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

Australian Women's Swimming Team - Best Ever?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bomb Scanners in Place in Athens

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)

Ian Thorpe - Australia's Most Bankable Sports Star

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romanian Olympians Test Positive for Drugs

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

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

Source - Two Romanian athletes test positive for drugs.

Posted by Darren at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

Ian Thorpe in Trouble over Drug Claims

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Olympic Medal - Picture

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

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

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

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

Source - IOC

Posted by Darren at 01:23 PM | Comments (2)

Lin Dan - Badminton

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 01:07 PM | Comments (1)

Final Medal Table Standings - Who will feature?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rise of Asian Weightlifting

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Asia rises with top nations eyeing better

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

Manjula Kumara Wijesekera Qualifies for Olympics High Jump

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)

Djabir Said Guerni - Algerian Flag Bearer

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

Andrew Bree and Steven Manley may Quit Swimming for Ireland

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

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

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

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

Source - Swim duo may quit Ireland

Posted by Darren at 12:33 PM | Comments (1)

US Men's Basketball team - Young but Talented

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

Ben Kersten Could go Dutch - Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

Peja Stojakovic won't play for Serbia and Montenegro

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

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

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

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

Source - Stojakovic Won't Play in Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

Environment Comes Last in Athens

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

Manu Ginobili - Busy Athens Olympics Lead up

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

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

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

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

Read more at Ginobili hopes for an Olympic medal with Argentina

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

Grant Hackett Confident about Australian Swimming Team

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Hackett confident of good showing against US.

Posted by Darren at 12:29 PM | Comments (1)

Athens backdown on journo ban

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

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

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

Read more at Athens backdown on journo ban.

Posted by Darren at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)

NZ - Australian Olympic rivalry Fueled by Rugby

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

India Names 78 Member Athens Olympics Team

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

Source - 78-member squad named for Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:16 PM | Comments (1)

British Swimmers Silenced

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

Tim Skolnik Going to Athens

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:13 PM | Comments (1)

Human Growth Hormone Test Ready for Athens

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

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

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

Read more at Human Growth Hormone Test Ready for Athens

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

Intelligence reports no al Qaeda Terrorism Threat

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

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

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

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

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

Maurice Greene Tuning Start for Olympics

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

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

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

Source - Greene Confident Ahead of Olympic Tuneup

Posted by Darren at 12:09 PM | Comments (0)

HGH test could be ready for the Athens Olympics.

BBC Sport | Pound backs new drug tests.

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

Posted by at 03:28 AM | Comments (0)

2004 Canadian Olympic Triathlon Team

Brent McMahon
Jill Savege
Simon Whitfield
Carol Montgomery
Samantha McGlone

Runner's Web Triathlon News

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July 28, 2004

Yi Ting Hopes for Olympics Semi Finals

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:38 PM | Comments (0)

Greek navy patrols for 'suspicious' ships

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

Hungary Provides Mobile Biological Weapons Detecting Lab

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

Armer Shooters Going for Gold

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

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

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

Source - Army shooters set sights on Olympic gold

Posted by Darren at 11:06 PM | Comments (0)

China leave World Champion at Home

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

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

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

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

More Effort Needed in War Against Drugs

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

Jane Saville - Walking

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:47 PM | Comments (3)

Sue Haywood Files Challenge to Olympic Omission

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

Swimmers' modesty to be preserved

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source - Swimmers' modesty to be preserved

Found via Engadget

Posted by Darren at 03:02 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Restaurants Fined for Olympic Price Inflation

Three dozen Athens restaurants fined for price-gouging:

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

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

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

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

Found via Cronaca

Posted by Darren at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)

Athens to have No Fly Zone During Olympics

From Athens to Impose No-Fly Zone at Olympics:

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

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

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

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

Found via the Command Post

Posted by Darren at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

Greek PM says no Foreign armed security for Athletes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

Women's Baseball Olympic Warmup

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

Posted by at 02:22 PM | Comments (2)

Mohini Bhardwaj - Olympic Profile

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:08 AM | Comments (1)

Australian Hockey Teams Head to Warm Up Tournaments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marion Jones withdraws from London Grand Prix

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

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

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

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

Olympic Death Toll

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

Human Growth Hormone Test Will be Ready for Olympics

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

Softball Not in US Prime Time Viewing Slot

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:58 AM | Comments (1)

Anju George - India's Queen of the Runway

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:53 AM | Comments (1)

Japan prepares for Baseball Gold Medal Showdown with Cuba

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

Marathon Route Complete

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

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

Read more at Athens marathon route ready.

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

Olympic Team Doctor - Biological Attack Advice

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source - The Australian: Olympic doctor alert for terror

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

Athens Security Includes Missile System

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:32 AM | Comments (0)

Greeks defend themselves

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

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

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

Posted by at 05:04 AM | Comments (0)

Marathon ready to run

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

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

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

Source BBC Athens marathon route ready

Posted by at 02:35 AM | Comments (0)

Chelsea boss makes plea

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

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

Souce BBC Mourinho to make Tiago plea

Posted by at 02:31 AM | Comments (0)

Iraqs Judo entrant

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

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

Source Japan Times

Posted by at 01:47 AM | Comments (0)

USA Basketball team

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

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

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

Full Profiles Souce BBC

Posted by at 01:38 AM | Comments (1)

Canadian women's water polo team is more confident

Buoyant about Athens

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

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

Posted by at 01:04 AM | Comments (2)

July 27, 2004

Free Medal Table

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

Just copy the the following code into your webpages:

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

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

Posted by Regan at 07:02 PM | Comments (145)

Afghanistan Preparing for Olympics on Lesbos

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

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

Posted by Darren at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

Become an Athens Olympics Blog Contributor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 02:39 PM | Comments (13)

Long Distance Coaching

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

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

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

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

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

ESPN: McDonnell uses telephone to help athletes train

Posted by Darren at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)

Gene Doping - Scientific American

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

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

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

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

Read more at Scientific American: Gene Doping

Posted by Darren at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)

Dutch Olympic Fans Get SMS Medal Alert

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

Posted by Darren at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

Michael Phelps and Gary Hall Jr Profiles

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Olympics Opening Ceremony Discussion

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

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

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

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

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

5. Where will the orchestra sit?

6. Obviously they build up several LAYERS. "

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

Posted by Darren at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

Pyrros Dimas and Kakhi Kakiasvilis Attempt Forth Gold Medal

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:51 AM | Comments (1)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Hockey: Black Sticks hammered 7-0

Posted by Darren at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

Kenya's Runners Preparing well

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

India Shooting for Gold in Team Archery

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

Athens is Not being Given a Fair Go

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)

Greece Guerrilla Trial May Extend into Olympics

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

Sydney is still paying for its Olympics

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

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

Four years on, the picture looks decidedly less rosy. Under-used venues are costing state taxpayers Aus$46m (18m) a year to keep afloat, and the government said yesterday that some would need at least another decade to break even.

The extent of the losses being made by facilities at Homebush, the main Olympic site, and elsewhere in Sydney were revealed by the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. It named the former Olympic stadium and the SuperDome as being in dire financial straits, with neither having paid state tax levies since 2001." Source - Four years on, and Sydney is still paying for its Olympics

Posted by Darren at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

Athens Officials Angry over Opening Ceremony Speculation

Olympic officials are angry that media sources are writing what they claim are details of the Athens Olympics Opening ceremony.

" The Sunday Mirror reported that the Olympic Stadium would be flooded with millions of gallons of water to set the stage for the three-hour spectacle....

The paper added that the ceremony would begin with an explosion of white light. It also claimed the event would feature "more than 400 ancient mythological figures, dancers and puppeteers in boats."

Organisers have built a huge water pump and hole in the centre of the pitch, while large steel rods, as high as 20m, have also been positioned around the 55,000-capacity arena." Source - Fury over ceremony rumours

Posted by Darren at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

Carmelo Anthony - 'US will win Men's Basketball Gold'

"Carmelo Anthony has a message for Argentina, Lithuania and the other best basketball teams from around the world: The United States is going to win at the Athens Games.

"We're guaranteeing a gold medal. We're bringing it back," Anthony boldly predicted Monday on his first day of practice with the U.S. national team.

It took very little prodding for Anthony to basically repeat what he said last week on David Letterman's late-night television talk show. It betrayed a level of youthful cockiness that might seem at odds with one of the main messages the American coaching staff tried to get across at the team's welcome dinner Sunday night: Respect the competition."

Read more at Anthony Guarantees Hoops Gold for U.S. (phillyBurbs.com).

Posted by Darren at 11:32 AM | Comments (1)

Athens Tests Security System

"Security officials tested a new communication and surveillance system Monday that will serve as the nerve center for authorities at next month's Olympic Games.

The $312 million network _ developed by a consortium led by San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp., or SAIC _ is undergoing field tests after months of delays and other disputes.

On Sunday, police practiced moving athletes and games officials from Olympic Village and another site to the main Olympic stadium _ a drill that involved 2,000 personnel and 90 buses."

Read more at Athens Tests New Olympic Security System .

Posted by Darren at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

Archery at the Athens Olympics

KGVO has a good preview of Archery at the Athens Olympics including a history of Olympic Archery and some suggestions of who to look out for in Athens.

'With respect to the women's records set in Olympic competition, all but one of them, the 72 Arrow Ranking Round, held by Lina Herasymenko with 673 in 1996, is held by a member of the Korean team, with all but one of those marks being established in Sydney. Needless to say, the Korean women are again the favorites to hit the mark in Greece this summer.

As with the women, the Korean men have also been dominant in the sport over the last couple of Olympics, with the U.S. holding its own in the 54 Arrow Finals combination in Atlanta in 1996. The Korean men will again be the favorite this time around, but that's not to say that the United States is out of the hunt altogether.

In terms of medals won previously in archery, Korea has the most gold (11) and silver (six), as well as the most overall with 21. The United States is the only other nation to have won more than one gold medal, having tallied eight, and coming up with 13 medals overall entering the 2004 event.

Russia has been the only other dominant participant in the sport, coming away with nine total medals (no other nation has more than four), with five of those coming in the bronze category.

The last gold medal for the U.S. came in 1996 when the men (Justin Huish, Richard Johnson and Rod White) won the team title.'

Posted by Darren at 11:31 AM | Comments (0)

Allen Johnson - 'Athletics is Cleaner than Ever'

"Olympic and world champion hurdler Allen Johnson believes "athletics is cleaner than it's ever been," despite widespread allegations of drug use against U.S. track and field athletes.

"I want to go on record saying that it's a misperception that there's a problem with athletics, or track and field as we call it in the United States," Johnson, a four-time world champion and the 1996 Olympic champion in the 110-meter hurdles, said Monday on the eve of the DN Galan meet. "The sport was the dirtiest when nobody was talking about it. Now that everybody is talking about doping, athletics is cleaner than it's ever been."" Source - Champ Hurdler Says Track Cleaner Than Ever

Posted by Darren at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

Steven Lopez - Taekwondo

Sports network has a good Olympic profile of US Taekwondo star Steven Lopez.

"Although taekwondo isn't one of the more popular Olympic events, the success of Steven Lopez and his siblings are bringing the spotlight to the sport.

Lopez won the gold medal in the featherweight class four years ago in Sydney. He is probably the most decorated taekwondo competitor in the world and is ranked No. 1 in the welterweight division, in which he will compete in Athens in August.

A 25-year-old from Sugar Land, Texas, Lopez comes from a long line of family members who participate in taekwondo. All of his siblings have been at the world elite level, brothers Jean and Mark, and sister Diana. Mark was in the same weight class as Steven, but lost in the semifinals of the U.S. Olympic trials. Had Mark won he would have faced off against his brother."

Posted by Darren at 11:30 AM | Comments (9)

Stronger Testing is Catching up with US Athletes says John Coates

"Coates said it seemed clear some US athletes had used performance-enhancing drugs at recent Olympics, but the testers were making inroads.

He said there were doubts if anyone would break a track and field world record at Athens, while there had to be concerns about previous performances, especially by US athletes.

"It just hasn't been happening (breaking of world records), so the indications are the Americans in particular were certainly receiving some assistance at recent Olympics," Coates told ABC television.

"We know that they didn't have a government testing agency that was independent of their Olympic committee as we've had now for 10 or 15 years.

"There's certainly been catch-up happening in America now and we should be pleased with that."" - Source - Stronger testing catching up with US athletes, says Aussie Olympic chief.

Posted by Darren at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

Szymon Koecki Banned from Olympics

"Polish weightlifter Szymon Kolecki, a silver medalist at the Sydney Olympics, will miss the Athens Games after testing positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone.

Kolecki tested positive June 26 and was suspended pending the results of testing on a "B" sample, which were released Monday and confirmed the earlier result.

"Kolecki has to forget about the Olympics," Marek Golab, an official with the Polish Union of Weightlifters, told The Associated Press. He described the absence of Kolecki as "a great loss.""

Source - Polish weightlifter Szymon Kolecki barred from Olympics over steroid test

Posted by Darren at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

Argentina dreaming of a Football Gold Medal

"Whether Argentina finally wins Olympic gold in Athens will depend on how it rebounds from a Copa America it failed to win only on the scoreboard.

Coach Marcelo Bielsa took a risk in bringing 13 of his Olympic squad to Peru to finally end an 11-year drought without a major title. He started eight of them in the final and despite dominating play, they couldn't disarm Brazil's individual brilliance and conceded tying goals at the end of both halves, eventually losing a penalty shootout 4-2.

In the aftermath, Argentina's players regarded themselves as unlucky, and appeared far from devastated, which puts them in the right frame of mind for Athens, where Brazil will be absent. But the Copa campaign raised a question mark over how much gas Argentina has left in the tank as it moves from Peru's cool to Athens' heat with only a two-week break."

Read more at FOXSports.com - Argentina head to Athens aiming to make up for final loss.

Posted by Darren at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

Patrick Johnson Loses Appeal

"Australian sprinter Patrick Johnson has lost his appeal against his non-selection for the 100 metres and 200 metres at the Athens Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Sydney decided that the selection criteria used to pick his rival, Joshua Ross, was legal and just.

Johnson will still compete in Athens, having qualified for the 100 metres relay team."

Johnson loses Olympic appeal - Athens Olympics 2004 - ABC Sport

Posted by Darren at 11:26 AM | Comments (2)

Patrick Johnson Loses Appeal

"Australian sprinter Patrick Johnson has lost his appeal against his non-selection for the 100 metres and 200 metres at the Athens Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Sydney decided that the selection criteria used to pick his rival, Joshua Ross, was legal and just.

Johnson will still compete in Athens, having qualified for the 100 metres relay team."

Johnson loses Olympic appeal - Athens Olympics 2004 - ABC Sport

Posted by Darren at 11:25 AM | Comments (0)

Athens Hotel Workers Threaten Strike

"Hotel workers seeking higher pay announced plans Monday to go on strike just as visitors and dignitaries begin arriving for the Aug. 13-29 Olympic Games.

The planned Aug. 4 strike by the 13,000-strong Hotel Workers Association, which covers the Athens area, is the latest in a series of protests by the group that is demanding a long-term contract that includes higher pay aimed at reaching parity with other European nations.

Members of the International Olympic Committee are to arrive next week for an Aug. 7 executive board meeting, which will include a final look at preparations for the games."

Read More at Hotel workers in Athens threaten to strike ahead of Olympic.

Posted by Darren at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

Olympic Cartoon Animation

Bruno Bozzetto has produced a comical flash animation of the Olympics.

Posted by Regan at 07:14 AM | Comments (0)

NATO approves Greek request for Troops to go to Athens

"NATO has agreed to provide extra forces under alliance command to help Greece protect next month's Olympic Games from potential terror attacks, officials said Monday.

However, unspecified "operational issues" remain to be resolved, NATO officials said on condition of anonymity. The officials said the Greek request for additional counterterrorism assistance, first considered Thursday, had been approved "in essence."

A U.S. official in Washington told The Associated Press last week that the United States had committed 400 special forces soldiers, but was still discussing with the Greek government where they would be based."

Source - NATO approves Greek request 'in principle' for additional counterterrorism help with Olympics.

Posted by Darren at 12:03 AM | Comments (0)

'Britain may not Medal in Athletes' - Olympic Chief

"Athletics chief David Moorcroft has admitted Great Britain could come home from the Athens Olympics without a single track and field medal.

He said four medals would be a success, and admitted his job is on the line if British athletes under-perform.

Moorcroft, chief executive of UK Athletics, said the team was in a transitional phase.

He also told BBC Five Live the sport was "cleaner now than ever before" despite a series of drug scandals." Source - Moorcroft in medals warning

Posted by Darren at 12:01 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2004

Portugal rejects Chelsea Request to Spare Tiago from Games

"The Portuguese Football Federation has turned down a request by Chelsea to exclude their new signing Tiago Mendes from Portugal's squad for next month's Olympic Games.

"We can't spare players who in the opinion of the national coach are important to the national squad," federation president Gilberto Madail told daily newspaper 24Horas.

Portugal's Olympic squad, which also includes Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo and Fulham's Luis Boa Morte, are scheduled to meet up on August 1, before flying to Greece a week later.

The English-based players could miss two weeks of the Premiership season if Portugal manage to reach the Olympic soccer final on Aug 28.

Portugal are in Group D along with Costa Rica, Iraq and Morocco."

Read more at Soccer - Portugal rejects Chelsea request to spare Tiago from Games.

Posted by Darren at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

Andy Roddick - Excited by Olympics

"Andy Roddick is familiar with the spoils that can come with being a top tennis player: a U.S. Open title, No. 1 ranking, more than $6.5 million in prize money, endorsement deals.

Funny how a $20 T-shirt got him all pumped up. Not just any shirt, mind you. One emblazoned with the Olympic rings and ''USA Team 2004'' in light blue lettering.

''All along, I kind of knew I was going to be on the team,'' Roddick said. ''But, you know, it's amazing how something as small as a T-shirt makes it real.''" Read more at Roddick has pride in the uniform .

Posted by Darren at 11:55 PM | Comments (0)

Beezie Madden - Equestrian

Beezie Madden is confirmed to head to Athens to compete in her first Olympics in Equestrian competition.

Although the top American equestrian showjumper and the fourth best in the world, according to the U.S. Equestrian Federation, Madden unsuccessfully attempted to join the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic teams. This year, she placed first in the U.S. Show Jumping Trials in May and will finally have a chance to join the squad when it travels to Greece in August.

The only woman on the four-member showjumping team, Madden, 40, is also the only Syracuse-area athlete of the 22 New Yorkers going to Athens, according to the U.S. Olympic Committee Web site.

Madden likes her chances of earning a medal in both the team and individual events next month."

Source - CNY equestrian to compete on Olympic team

Posted by Darren at 11:53 PM | Comments (1)

Kerri Walsh and Misty May - Injury Dilemma

"Kerri Walsh and Misty May, two months ago the clear favorite for the Olympic gold medal in women's beach volleyball, now present one of the more interesting dilemmas on the U.S. team heading to Athens.

May, who has had an abdominal strain for two months, pulled out of the final of the AVP Hermosa Beach Open on Saturday after aggravating the injury. Now her participation in Greece is in question, although those who have seen May perform injured in the past are sure she will try to persevere.

"I think Misty will play," said rival Holly McPeak, who, along with partner Elaine Youngs also will represent the USA in Athens. "She's still one of the best players in the world, even when she's injured."

Said Youngs: "She can suck it up."" Read more at Injury biggest concern for top volleyball duo.

Posted by Darren at 11:50 PM | Comments (0)

Malaysia's Josiah Ng Recovering from Wrist Injury

"The track cycling competition in the Athens Olympics will be the first race in four months for Malaysia's Josiah Ng.

And on top of that, Josiah, who had a nasty fall in April that forced him out for six weeks, learned that he will have to face the biggest challenge of his career on a spare bike.

But having regained his full fitness and mobility in his wrist, Josiah feels he will be ready to face his rivals in next month's Olympics.

Josiah, who is the first Malaysian cyclist to qualify on merit for the Olympics, will have to rely on his French-made spare bike in the keirin and sprint competitions.

Josiah wrecked his competition bicycle in the April crash while training at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland and had to undergo surgery for a left wrist injury."

Read more at Josiah feels good after recovering from wrist surgery.

Posted by Darren at 11:48 PM | Comments (0)

Kim Collins Clocks 10.10 in Athens warm up

"World champion Kim Collins led from start to finish as he cruised to an easy victory in the 100 meters at the Norwich Union International meet on Sunday, while Yelena Isinbayeva set another world record in the pole vault.

Collins clocked 10.10 seconds in cool, overcast and breezy conditions at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, central England. After congratulating his fellow racers, the St. Kitts and Nevis runner walked the length of the stadium waving to fans and signing autographs.

"It was an important race to win mainly because everyone wants to win their pre-Olympic competitions and lay down a marker," Collins said. "I have restricted my racing this year because I want to come fresh and ready when it really counts. I have been training hard and I really expected to win. I anticipated a fast time, but right now the time does not really matter."" Source - Collins rolls, Isinbayeva sets mark at Norwich

Posted by Darren at 11:46 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Flame Burns in Greece

"The flame that will burn at the Athens Games was lighted Thursday amid the ruins of the ancient sanctuary where the Olympics were born 2,780 years ago.

In a ceremony held at an altar to Hera, a Greek goddess worshipped in Olympia during the original games, the torch was lit by a Greek actress playing the role of a high priestess.

Thalia Prokopiou, one of two dozen women that took part in the ceremony, placed a silver torch inside a burnished-steel concave mirror. The sun's rays then ignited the torch.

"Today the Olympic flame will be reborn yet again to enfold the whole world in its light. This is the day that all of us have been waiting for so eagerly," Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, president of the Athens organizing committee said."

Source - Sports 4 - Greece Holds Olympic Flame Lighting

Posted by Darren at 11:43 PM | Comments (0)

Terror Cells in Athens?

"As the opening of the Olympic Games draws closer, the Greek police and foreign intelligence agencies have increased their activities in a predominately Muslim area of Athens, a district of narrow streets lined with open-air shops selling such items as cement, onions and clothes, next to international call centers and places to wire money abroad.

Greek, American and British intelligence agencies have all tried to infiltrate the Muslim and Arab communities here, Greek officials said. Doubting that the CIA and MI6, the British intelligence service, would have a great deal of success, the Greeks asked for, and received, assistance from counterterrorism teams and intelligence operatives from Jordan and Egypt, Greek officials said. And the Israelis have helped keep an eye on Arab embassies, they said.

Read more at IHT: Arab terror cells in Athens? Police are worried

Posted by Darren at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

Olympics Help Plasma TV Sales

With the Olympics under three weeks away, Plasma TV sellers in Australia are reporting that sales have never been better.

"At retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, orders for top-quality plasma screen TV sets - some that sell for $6000 to $10,000 each - run to the hundreds.

Page after page of newspapers now advertise "hot deals" on 106 cm plasma screen TVs, at prices that might otherwise buy a four-week holiday in Paris."

Read more at Olympics helps boost plasma TV sales - The Age

Posted by Darren at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

Tony Dumais and Laura Wilkinson Win US National Diving Championships

"Olympians Troy Dumais and Laura Wilkinson tuned up for the Athens Games next month by winning titles Sunday at the U.S. National Diving Championships.

Dumais won the men's 3-meter springboard by almost 100 points over his nearest challenger for his third straight U.S. title in the event.

Wilkinson took the women's 10-meter platform for the third year in a row and fifth year in the last six, defeating her closest rival by more than 50 points.

Dumais was sixth in the 2000 Olympics and Wilkinson was champion in Sydney. Dumais, of Ventura, Calif., beat runner-up Mitchell Richeson 707.07 points to 610.44."

Read More at Dumais and Wilkinson win titles at U.S. diving nationals.

Posted by Darren at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

US Basketball Team Camp

After being shunned by many of the NBA's biggest stars, the US Olympic team are getting tgoether for a training camp to prepare for the Olympic competition.

"This will not be a Dream Team. A more fitting moniker might be the "I Have a Dream" team. America's most eager good players will lace up their sneakers and don "USA" jerseys as training camp opens Monday for the Olympic men's basketball team, but most of the best players from the birthplace of basketball won't be in attendance.

"The players we have here want to be here. That's important," said Jim Tooley, the executive director of USA Basketball. "I think that'll go a long way."

Rejection has been the recurring theme for Tooley over the past several months as one superstar after another withdrew or turned down an invitation to represent the United States in Athens." Read More at Boston.com: U.S. basketball team to open training camp.

Posted by Darren at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

Jana Pittman reveals Olympic Secrets - Ice Baths, Meditation...

"JANA PITTMAN yesterday lifted the veil of secrecy on a clandestine Olympic preparation designed to peak with a 400m hurdles victory in Athens next month.

The 2003 world champion revealed ice baths, meditation and sleeping in a skin suit were part of a relentless drive for gold medal glory under coach Phil King, whose wife Debbie Flintoff-King blazed to victory in the 400m hurdles in Seoul in 1988.

Pittman has also received video of her main rivals taken by an unlikely ally - men's dual 400m hurdle world champion Felix Sanchez - at the US trials two weeks ago.

Pittman, 21, admitted using Friday night's 400m flat outing at the Golden League meeting - where she finished a strong fourth - merely as a preparation event."

Read more at FOX SPORTS | Jana reveals Athens secret.

Posted by Darren at 11:59 AM | Comments (1)

Morocco Names Olympic Football Team

Morocco coach Mustapha Madih has named his squad for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games football tournament. 18 players will fly to Athens with the team and another 4 will remain on hold in Morocco.

The Moroccan Olympic Football Team is as follows:

Morocco's Olympic squad:

Nadir Lemyaghri (Wydad Casablanca), Omar Cherif (Mouloudia Oujda)

Sami Tajeddine and Rbati Amine (both Raja Casablanca), Jamal Alioui (Perugia, Italy), Mouncif Zerka (Nancy, France), Azzdine Orahou (Istres, France)

Otmane El-Assas (Al-Ittihad, Qatar), Yazid Kaissi (Lens, France), Oussama Souidi (Mallorca, Spain), Badr El Kadouri (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Marouane Zamama (Raja), Mehdi Taouil (Nurenberg, Germany)

Farid Talhaoui (Guingamp, France), Salheddine Akkal (Olympic Khouribga), Bouabid Bouden (Lens, France), Mustapha Alaoui (Maghreb A Sportive), Moubarki Bouchaib (Al-Wassl, Emirates)

Goalkeeper: Youssef Boutarbouch( Raja)
Defender: Abdelwahid Abdessamad (Raja)
Midfielder: Younes Zarouk (Wydad)
Striker: Jawad Akkadar (Olympic Khouribga)

Source - Morocco name Olympic squad

Posted by Darren at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

Sean Eadie leaves for Athens

After an ongoing saga over doping allegations - Australian cyclist Sean Eadie has left for Europe where he will join his Aussie team mates in training for the Olympics.

"Cyclist Sean Eadie could not leave Australia yesterday without a couple of dramas at Sydney Airport. At least they were nothing to do with customs, his manager Kerry Ruffels joked, referring to its involvement in the doping allegation that Eadie beat last week.

Before Eadie, 35, took off for the track team's pre-Olympic camp in Buttgen, Germany, he was delayed for almost an hour while it was decided who would pay a $2000 bill for 32 kilograms of excess baggage. Qantas and Cycling Australia came to an arrangement, Ruffels said.

And then his news conference was brought to an abrupt halt by Ruffels when one question too many was asked about Eadie's rival Ben Kersten.

Before he was cut off, Eadie scotched any chance of taking part in a "ride off" for his spot, as suggested by the Kersten camp. Kersten was called up as a replacement for Eadie after initially missing selection, only to be dropped again when Eadie was cleared of trying to import banned human growth hormones by mail." Read more at Eadie breezes through customs and off to camp - Athens2004 - www.theage.com.au

In related news - its not just Sean Eadie who has left the country - but his family also. They are exhausted by the allegations surrounding their son and have decided to get away from the media frenzy surrounding them.

'Barry and Barbara Eadie are in Sweden with daughter Sherie, 17, the youngest member of the Australian team competing this week at the Global Games, for developmentally delayed athletes.' Source Eadie's Family Flees.

Posted by Darren at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

Kelly Holmes Wins 800m Lead up Race

'Kelly Holmes beat European champion Jolanda Ceplak in the 800m at the Norwich Union International.

It was the first defeat of the season for Ceplak, who has recorded the fastest time of the year.

Holmes forged ahead with 200m to go and then pulled away down the home straight to win in two minutes and 0.46 seconds.

The Briton's impressive performance in Birmingham increases the chances of running both the 800m and 1500m in next month's Olympics in Athens.'

Read more at Holmes shows great form

Posted by Darren at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

Gene Doping a Reality

"A new generation of "genetically modified" athletes, whose performance has been improved by the injection of undetectable foreign DNA, could be competing at next month's Olympics, according to a controversial new book.

Dr Andy Miah, a leading British scientist, argues that "gene doping" has now become a practical reality, paving the way for a new wave of Olympic cheats.

He claimed that athletes had already made contact with scientists at the forefront of GM research and even predicted that the eight-second 100 metres could be achievable within a few years....

Gene doping, also undetectable at present, was considered by most experts to be a hypothetical threat. Many believed it would not register on the Olympic radar until the 2008 games in Beijing. As a result, Miah's claims will cause the International Olympic Committee serious concern."

Source - Olympics: Expert tips DNA route to cheating

Posted by Darren at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

Michelle Dillon wins Olympic Triathlon Lead up Event

'Michelle Dillon gained a perfect boost for the Olympics, winning the Triathlon World Cup event in Salford.

The 31-year-old Briton finished ahead of Australian Miranda Carfrae and fellow Briton Liz Blatchford.

Jodie Swallow's hopes of proving her fitness were dealt a blow when she crashed out during the bicycle ride.

German Maik Petzold won the men's race, with Briton's Stuart Hayes in second place and defending champion Andrew Johns back down the field in 15th.'

Source - Dillon wills Salford Event

Posted by Darren at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

Geoff Huegill - On Olympic Doping

This interview with Australian swimmer Geoff Huegill gives an interesting insight into how recent doping allegations focused on Australian Cyclists and Weightlifters have impacted the rest of the Australian Olympic Team.

"Geoff Huegill says the drug controversies surrounding cyclists and weightlifters are unlikely to taint the Australian swimming team's performances at the Athens Olympics.

Australian Olympic great Dawn Fraser last week predicted Australian athletes would be taunted by their rivals in Athens following the recent drug scandals in cycling and weightlifting.

But Huegill was unconcerned about the controversies in other sports tarring the Australian swimmers' performances in Greece.

"You'd like to think that every sport is clean and that everyone is on the same wicket but unfortunately ... it just doesn't happen like that," he said.

Huegill and Olympic gold medal contender Libby Lenton said the culture in swimming was such that any Australian caught taking performance-enhancing drugs would be ostracised."

Read more of this article at The Age: Huegill says swimmers will be okay

Posted by Darren at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

Bullet Proof Water Polo Suits

"MUCH thought has gone into ensuring Australia's women water polo players keep their swimsuits on at the Athens Olympics.

Four years ago in Sydney, water polo players had their swimsuits literally ripped apart, according to Speedo Australia's marketing director, Tim Lees. And it wasn't by accident.

"They weren't casually being torn," Lees said during the unveiling of the Australian swimsuits for the Athens Olympics today. "It was a strategy of the sport. It was full-on."

Water polo is considered one of the most violent sports on the Olympic program with players being pulled unconscious from the pool not an overly uncommon sight.

Lees said athletes during the Sydney 2000 Games sometimes had their zips pulled down by an opponent but great effort had gone into designing a "bullet-proof" suit for the Australian team which will seek to match the gold medal feat of the Sydney 2000 side.

"We've made the zip so it actually locks in and then we've put velcro over the top of that," Lees said." Read more at FOX SPORTS | Athens Olympics | Aussie, Aussie, Aussie | 'Bullet proof' water polo suits (July 25, 2004).

Posted by Darren at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

Australian defeats Japan - Men's Football

"SUBSTITUTE striker Brett Holman netted the sole goal to give Australia victory over Japan in their preparation match for Athens.

The decisive goal came only 11 minutes after Holman replaced Ahmad Elrich in the 68th minute. He had a earlier attempt on the Japanese goal after beating three defenders to fire a close-range shot, which hit keeper Takaya Kurokawa to go out." Read more at FOX SPORTS | Holman hits Olyroos winner .

Posted by Darren at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)

Britain Defeat Spain - Men's Hockey

Britain's Men's Hockey Team have had a positive result in a lead up match to Athens against Spain.

'Great Britain men's hockey team came from behind to beat Spain 2-1 and level their two-match series in Barcelona.

Beaten 5-1 in the first game, the Brits went 1-0 down on 13 minutes when Juan Escarre scored from an acute angle.' Read more at Source - Britain bounce back

Posted by Darren at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)

Ronaldo stays with Portugal

Christiano Ronaldo has decided to play for Portugal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, meaning he will miss the start of the Premier League campaign for his club Manchester United, this is a move sure to upset Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson has warned Ronaldo and Gabriel Heinze, the club�s new Argentina defender, that they could be jeopardising their careers at Old Trafford by playing in the under-23 tournament, but Ronaldo has declared that he firmly intends to travel to Athens

Athens call too tough for Ronaldo to resist Source Times

Posted by at 04:48 AM | Comments (3)

Kelly Holmes beats European champion Jolanda Ceplak

Kelly Holmes beat European champion Jolanda Ceplak at a warm up event 19 days before the athens olympics.

It was the first defeat of the season for Ceplak, who has also recorded the fastest time of the year.

Holmes forged ahead with 200m to go and then pulled away down the home straight to win by 10m in 2:00.46.

Holmes' impressive performance increases the chances she will run both the 800m and 1500m in the Olympics next month in Athens.

Brits involved included newly selected Malachi Davis wearing a British vest for the first time and Christian Malcolm.

Full Results

Posted by at 04:43 AM | Comments (1)

July 25, 2004

US Team Tries for 100 Medals

"Those same USOC bosses are boldly making book on American dominance at the Summer Games, pointing to the proverbial fence and promising an Olympic home run.

"We will try to win some 100 medals," said Herman Frazier, the American Chef de Mission for Athens. "Not only will we want to win 100 medals, we also want to lead the medal count and the gold medal count."

A triple-figure haul would top Team USA's take four years ago in Sydney, where it hoarded 97 medals, easily outstripping Russia's 88 and China's 59. For many sports fans, those numbers provide the most meaningful linescore of the year, a political tote board that our way of life is better than their way of life." Source - The great U.S. gold rush

Posted by Darren at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Walking

Just found this interesting article about walking at the Olympicis.

"Nunn, a graduate of Harrison High in Evansville, Ind., qualified for the Athens Olympics in one of the games' most unusual disciplines, the 20-kilometer walk. As with any other world-class athlete, his achievement was an outgrowth of talent and training.

Still, racewalkers such as Nunn look peculiar to those who have never seen them before. They swing hips and pump arms, going so fast that onlookers might wonder why they don't just run.

Racewalking has been part of the Olympics since the unofficial Athens Games of 1906.

Respect comes grudgingly. During the 2000 Sydney Olympics, NBC broadcaster Bob Costas said a contest to see who can walk the fastest is like one to see who can whisper the loudest." Read more of this article at Walk this way.

Posted by Darren at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

Kim Collins warns 'Cheating is Natural'

"World and Commonwealth champion Kim Collins believes it is human nature to try and cheat your way to success, but expects a clean 100 metres final at the Olympics this summer.

The build up to the Athens Games continues to be overshadowed by the subject of drug abuse, with Marion Jones the latest high-profile name to come under the spotlight following claims by her former husband she used a number of illegal substances during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. The allegations have been strongly denied by the American sprinter.

St Kitts Nevis star Collins, who won his first major title in Manchester two years ago before claiming the world crown in Paris, is one of the favourites for 100m gold in Athens.

And the 28-year-old, who will run at the Norwich Union International in Birmingham later today, conceded you will never be able to stop people from trying to use illegal methods to win medals.

We cant control what people do, said Collins on BBC Radio Five Lives Sportsweek programme.

In the future, with technology, people could create something which is undetectable, maybe have some shoes which are unfair to the competition we cant stop that.

But as the authorities get smarter, so does the criminal.

He added: There is nothing I can do about it. You want to come and compete, have a good clean sport, but there are other things that come into play." Read more at Cheating Is Natural Warns Collins.

Posted by Darren at 09:49 PM | Comments (7)

US Olympic Team Announced

The US Athens Olympics team has been announced and features a total of 531 athletes (257 Women and 274 Men). A number of other athletes may be added to the team as they continue to try to qualify by meeting qualifying standards.

The US Olympic Team is as follows

U.S. Olympic Team roster ... by sport
Name, Hometown

(As of July 22, 2004; subject to change)

Archery (6)
Women (3)
Janet Dykman, El Monte, Calif.
Jennifer Nichols, Cheyenne, Wyo.
Stephanie White-Arnold, Portland, Ind.

Men (3)
Butch Johnson, Worcester, Mass.
John Magera, Carterville, Ill.
Vic Wunderle, Mason City, Ill.

Athletics (111)
Women (53)
Amy Acuff, Austin, Texas
Stephanie Brown, Oceano, Calif.
Shelia Burrell, Chula Vista, Calif.
Hazel Clark, Knoxville, Tenn.
LaTasha Colander, Garner, N.C.
Crystal Cox, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Shayne Culpepper, Lafayette, Colo.
Colleen de Reuck, Boulder, Colo.
Lashinda Demus, Columbia, S.C.
Gail Devers, Duluth, Ga.
Joanne Dow, Bedford, N.H.
Stacy Dragila, Phoenix, Ariz.
Elva Dryer, Albuquerque, N.M.
Torri Edwards, Los Angeles, Calif.
Allyson Felix, Santa Clarita, Calif.
Shalane Flanagan, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Laura Gerraughty, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Erin Gilreath, Gainesville, Fla.
Joanna Hayes, Los Angeles, Calif.
Kristin Heaston, Palo Alto, Calif.
Monique Henderson, Bonita, Calif.
Monique Hennagan, Stockbridge, Calif.
Aretha Hill, Opelika, Ala.
Chaunte Howard, Atlanta, Ga.
Tiombe Hurd, Upper Marlboro, Md.
Jackie Jescheling, Ashland, Ohio
Sheena Johnson, Los Angeles, Calif.
Marion Jones, Cary, N.C.
Deena Kastor, Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
Kimberly Kreiner, Baton Rouge, La.
Muna Lee, Baton Rouge, La.
Tiffany Lott-Hogan, Pleasant Grove, Utah
Anna Mahon, Orange, Conn.
Jearl Miles-Clark, Knoxville, Tenn.
LaShaunta'e Moore, Fayetteville, Ark.
Consuella Moore, Chicago, Pa.
Melissa Morrison, Columbia, S.C.
Kate O'Neill, New Haven, Conn.
Michelle Perry, Los Angeles, Calif.
Jen Rhines, Ardmore, Pa.
Sanya Richards, Austin, Texas
Moushaumi Robinson, Cary, N.C.
Marla Runyan, Eugene, Ore.
Jillian Schwartz, Jonesboro, Ark.
Seilala Sua, Anaheim, Calif.
Kellie Suttle, Jonesboro, Ark.
Brenda Taylor, Chula Vista, Calif.
Nicole Teter, Palo Alto, Calif.
DeeDee Trotter, Knoxville, Tenn.
Grace Upshaw, Menlo Park, Calif.
Tisha Waller, Atlanta, Ga.
Angela Williams, Ontario, Calif.
Lauryn Williams, Miami, Fla.

Men (58)
Abdi Abdirahman, Austin, Texas
Kenta Bell, Kilgore, Texas
Bennie Brazell, Baton Rouge, La.
Derrick Brew, Raleigh, N.C.
Dan Browne, Beaverton, Ore.
John Capel, Gainesville, Fla.
James Carter, Hampton, Va.
Curt Clausen, Chula Vista, Calif.
Bryan Clay, Azusa, Calif.
Shawn Crawford, Raleigh, N.C.
Alan Culpepper, Lafayette, Colo.
Walter Davis, Baton Rouge, La.
Philip Dunn, San Diego, Calif.
Kevin Eastler, Chula Vista, Calif.
Anthony Famiglietti, Knoxville, Tenn.
Robert Gary, Westerville, Ohio
Justin Gatlin, Raleigh, N.C.
John Godina, Mesa, Ariz.
Maurice Greene, Granada Hills, Calif.
Breaux Greer, Athens, Ga.
Tora Harris, College Park, Ga.
Otis Harris, Columbia, S.C.
Calvin Harrison, Raleigh, N.C.
Matt Hemingway, Littleton, Colo.
Reese Hoffa, Athens, Ga.
Allen Johnson, Irmo, S.C.
Jonathan Johnson, College Station, Texas
Meb Keflezighi, San Diego, Calif.
Daniel Lincoln, Fayetteville, Ark.
Melvin Lister, Fayetteville, Ark.
Tim Mack, Knoxville, Tenn.
Casey Malone, Ft. Collins, Colo.
Derek Miles, Jonesboro, Ark.
Coby Miller, Pasadena, Calif.
John Moffitt, Baton Rouge, La.
Adam Nelson, Athens, Ga.
Jamie Nieto, Chula Vista, Calif.
John Nunn, Aurora, Colo.
Tom Pappas, Knoxville, Tenn.
James Parker, Great Falls, Mont.
Darvis Patton, Ft. Worth, Texas
Derrick Peterson, Columbia, Mo.
Dwight Phillips, Mesa, Ariz.
Dathan Ritzenhein, Boulder, Colo.
Khadevis Robinson, Santa Monica, Calif.
Andrew Rock, LaCrosse, Wis.
Jarred Rome, Boise, Idaho
Duane Ross, Garner, N.C.
Tim Seaman, Chula Vista, Calif.
Toby Stevenson, Chula Vista, Calif.
Angelo Taylor, Decatur, Ga.
Paul Terek, Livonia, Mich.
Terrence Trammell, Ellenwood, Ga.
Ian Waltz, Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.
Jeremy Wariner, Grand Prairie, Texas
Alan Webb, Fairfax, Va.
Bernard Williams, Gainesville, Fla.
Darold Williamson, Waco, Texas

Badminton (2)
Men (2)
Howard Bach, San Francisco, Calif.
Kevin Han, Orange, Calif.

Basketball (24)
Women (12)
Sue Bird, Syosset, N.Y.
Swin Cash, McKeesport, Pa.
Tamika Catchings, Duncanville, Texas
Yolanda Griffith, Chicago, Ill.
Shannon Johnson, Hartsville, S.C.
Lisa Leslie, Inglewood, Calif.
Ruth Riley, Macy, Ind.
Katie Smith, Logan, Ohio
Dawn Staley, Philadelphia, Pa.
Sheryl Swoopes, Brownfield, Texas
Diana Taurasi, Chino, Calif.
Tina Thompson, Los Angeles, Calif.

Men (12)
Carmelo Anthony, Denver, Colo.
Carlos Boozer, Juneau, Alaska
Tim Duncan, San Antonio, Texas
Allen Iverson, Philadelphia, Pa.
LeBron James, Cleveland, Ohio
Richard Jefferson, Phoenix, Ariz.
Stephon Marbury, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Shawn Marion, Clarksville, Tenn.
Lamar Odom, Miami, Fla.
Emeka Okafor, Charlotte, N.C.
Amare Stoudemire, Lake Wales, Fla.
Dwayne Wade, Oak Lawn, Ill.

Boxing (9)
Men (9)
Rock Allen, Philadelphia, Pa.
Andre Dirrell, Flint, Mich.
Vicente Escobedo, Woodland, Calif.
Jason Estrada, Providence, R.I.
Vanes Martirosyan, Glendale, Calif.
Ron Siler, Knoxville, Tenn.
Devin Vargas, Toledo, Ohio
Andre Ward, Oakland, Calif.
Rau'Shee Warren, Cincinnati, Ohio

Canoe/Kayak (17)
Women (5)
Kathy Colin, Kailua, Hawaii
Rebecca Giddens, Green Bay, Wis.
Carrie Johnson, San Diego, Calif.
Marie Mijalis, Miami, Fla.
Lauren Spalding, Maui, Hawaii

Men (12)
Andy Bussey, Pinehurst, N.C.
Chris Ennis, Bryson City, N.C.
Brett Heyl, Norwich, Vt.
Joe Jacobi, Bethesda, Md.
Nate Johnson, Seattle, Wash.
Benjie Lewis, North Miami Beach, Fla.
Jordan Malloch, Seattle, Wash.
Scott Parsons, Sylvania, Ohio
Jeff Smoke, Buchanan, Mich
Matt Taylor, Atlanta, Ga.
Bartosz Wolski, Chula Vista, Calif.
Rami Zur, Berkeley, Calif.

Cycling (18)
Women (6)
Kristin Armstrong, Boise, Idaho
Dede Barry, Boulder, Colo.
Mary McConneloug, Fairfax, Calif.
Erin Mirabella, Racine, Wis.
Jenny Reed, Kirkland, Wash.
Christine Thorburn, Davenport, Iowa

Men (12)
Adam Duvendeck, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Tyler Hamilton, Marblehead, Mass.
George Hincapie, Greenville, S.C.
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Denver, Colo.
Bobby Julich, Glenwood Springs, Colo.
Levi Leipheimer, Butte, Mont.
Giddeon Massie, Lansdale, Pa.
Jason McCartney, Coralville, Iowa
Marty Nothstein, Orefield, Pa.
Colby Pearce, Boulder, Colo.
Christian Stahl, Bethany, Conn.
Todd Wells, Durango, Colo.

Diving (11)
Women (5)
Cassandra Cardinell, Loudonville, N.Y.
Sara Hildebrand, St. Paul, Minn.
Rachelle Kunkel, West Valley City, Utah
Kimiko Soldati, Magnolia, Texas
Laura Wilkinson, Spring, Texas

Men (6)
Troy Dumais, The Woodlands, Texas
Justin Dumais, The Woodlands, Texas
Caesar Garcia, Baton Rouge, La.
Kyle Prandi, Strongsville, Ohio
Mark Ruiz, Orlando, Fla.
Justin Wilcock, Smithfield, Utah

Equestrian (13)
Women (6)
Debbie McDonald, Orange County, Calif.
Beezie Patton Madden, Cazenovia, N.Y.
Julie Richards, Atlanta, Ga.
Kim Severson, Keene, Va.
Amy Tryon, Duvall, Wash.
Lisa Wilcox, Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Men (7)
Darren Chiacchia, Springville, N.Y.
Robert Dover, Flemington, N.J.
Chris Kappler, Pittstown, N.J.
Guenter Seidel, Delmar, Calif.
McLain Ward, Brewster, N.Y.
John Williams, Middleburg, Va.
Peter Wylde, Dover Plains, N.Y.

Fencing (14)
Women (5)
Sada Jacobson, Dunwoody, Ga.
Emily Jacobson, Dunwoody, Ga.
Kamara James, New York, N.Y.
Erinn Smart, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mariel Zagunis, Beaverton, Ore.

Men (9)
Jed Dupree, New York, N.Y.
Dan Kellner, Warren, N.J.
Seth Kelsey, Brush Prairie, Wash.
Ivan Lee, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Cody Mattern, Tigard, Ore.
Jason Rogers, Los Angeles, Calif.
Keeth Smart, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Soren Thompson, San Diego, Calif.
Jon Tiomkin, Hewlett, N.Y.

Football (18)
Women (18)
Shannon Boxx, Redondo Beach, Calif.
Brandi Chastain, San Jose, Calif.
Joy Fawcett, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Julie Foudy, Mission Viejo, Calif.
Mia Hamm, Austin, Texas
Angela Hucles, Virginia Beach, Va.
Kristine Lilly, Wilton, Conn.
Kristen Luckenbill, Paoli, Pa.
Kate Markgraf, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Heather Mitts, Cincinnati, Ohio
Heather O'Reilly, East Brunswick, N.J.
Cindy Parlow, Memphis, Tenn.
Christie Rampone, Point Pleasant, N.J.
Cat Reddick, Birmingham, Ala.
Briana Scurry, Dayton, Minn.
Lindsay Tarpley, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Aly Wagner, San Jose, Calif.
Abby Wambach, Rochester, N.Y.

Gymnastics (14)
Women (8)
Mohini Bhardwaj, Cincinnati, Ohio
Annia Hatch, West Haven, Conn.
Terin Humphrey, Bates City, Mo.
Courtney Kupets, Gaithersburg, Md.
Courtney McCool, Kansas City, Mo.
Jennifer Parilla, Lake Forest, Calif.
Carly Patterson, Baton Rouge, La.
Mary Sanders, Toronto, Canada

Men (6)
Jason Gatson, Upland, Calif.
Morgan Hamm, Waukesha, Wis.
Paul Hamm, Waukesha, Wis.
Brett McClure, Mill Creek, Wash.
Blaine Wilson, Columbus, Ohio
Guard Young, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Judo (12)
Women (5)
Nicole Kubes, Fort Worth, Texas
Charlee Minkin, Halfmoon Bay, Calif.
Ronda Rousey, Santa Monica, Calif.
Celita Schutz, New York, N.Y.
Ellen Wilson, Salinas, Calif.

Men (7)
Martin Boonzaayer, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Rhadi Ferguson, Columbia, Md.
Rick Hawn, Eugene, Ore.
Brian Olson, Woodville, Fla.
Alexander Ottiano, Lawrence, Mass.
Jimmy Pedro, Lawrence, Mass.
Taraje Williams-Murray, Bronx, N.Y.

Modern Pentathlon (4)
Women (2)
Anita Allen, Star City, Ind.
Mary Beth Iagorashvili, Munkwonago, Wis.

Men (2)
Vaho Iagorashvili, Eagle, Wis.
Chad Senior, Fort Myers, Fla.

Rowing (45)
Women (18)
Stacey Borgman, Homer, Alaska
Alison Cox, Turlock, Calif.
Caryn Davies, Ithaca, N.Y.
Jennifer Devine, Seattle, Wash.
Megan Dirkmaat, San Jose, Calif.
Hilary Gehman, Wolfeboro, N.H.
Michelle Guerette, Bristol, Conn.
Danika Harris-Holbrook, Durham, N.H.
Kate Johnson, Porltand, Ore.
Sarah Jones, Stanwood, Wash.
Laurel Korholz, La Jolla, Calif.
Kate MacKenzie, Novi, Mich.
Sam Magee, Simsbury, Conn.
Anna Mickelson, Bellevue, Wash.
Lianne Nelson, Seattle, Wash.
Kelly Salchow, Cincinnati, Ohio
Lisa Schlenker, Lake Oswego, Ore.
Mary Whipple, Sacramento, Calif.

Men (27)
Aquil Abdullah, Washington, D.C.
Chris Ahrens, Milwaukee, Wis.
Wyatt Allen, Portland, Maine
Dan Beery, Oaktown, Ind.
Pete Cipollone, Ardmore, Pa.
Matt Deakin, San Francisco, Calif.
J. Sloan DuRoss, South Portland, Maine
Joseph Hansen, Bakersfield, Calif.
Ben Holbrook, Hartland, Wis.
Beau Hoopman, Plymouth, Wis.
Garrett Klugh, Los Angeles, Calif.
Wolf Moser, Moultonboro, N.H.
Henry Nuzum, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Jason Read, Ringoes, N.J.
Greg Ruckman, Cincinnati, Ohio
Artour Samsonov, Stoneham, Mass.
Jamie Schroeder, Wilmette, Ill.
Kent Smack, Clinton, N.J.
Matt Smith, Woodbridge, Va.
Paul Teti, Upper Darby, Pa.
Pat Todd, Cincinnati, Ohio
Steve Tucker, Mooresville, Ind.
Bryan Volpenhein, Cincinnati, Ohio
Luke Walton, Poway, Calif.
Steve Warner, Livonia, Mich.
Mike Wherley, Sun Praire, Wis.
Brett Wilkinson, Hyde Park, N.Y.

Sailing (18)
Women (7)
Lanee Butler-Beashel, Aliso Viejo, Calif.
Carol Cronin, Jamestown, R.I.
Mary Ellen "Meg" Gaillard, Pelham, N.Y.
Nancy Haberland, Annapolis, Md.
Isabelle Kinsolving, New York, N.Y.
Katie McDowell, Barrington, R.I.
Liz Merrifield Filter, Stevenville, Md.

Men (11)
Kevin Burnham, Miami, Fla.
Paul Cayard, Kentfield, Calif.
Paul Foerster, Rockwall, Texas
Kevin Hall, Ventura, Calif.
John Lovell, New Orleans, La.
Mark Mendelblatt, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Charlie Ogletree, Houston, Texas
Pete Spaulding, Miami, Fla.
Phil Trinter, Lorain, Ohio
Tim Wadlow, San Diego, Calif.
Peter Wells, Newport Beach, Calif.

Shooting (21)
Women (9)
Sarah Blakeslee, Vancouver, Wash.
Elizabeth Callahan, Columbia, S.C.
Emily Caruso, Fairfield, Conn.
Morgan Hicks, Roy, Wash.
Hattie Johnson, Athol, Idaho.
Collyn Loper, Birmingham, Ala.
Kim Rhode, El Monte, Calif.
Connie Schiller Smotek, Bryan, Texas
Rebecca Snyder, Grand Junction, Colo.

Men (12)
Michael Anti, Winterville, N.C.
Lance Bade, Vancouver, Wash.
Shawn Dulohery, Lee's Summit, Mo.
Glenn Eller, Houston, Texas
Matt Emmons, Browns Mills, N.J.
Bret Erickson, Bennington, Neb.
Todd Graves, Laurel, Miss.
Koby Holland, Dillon, Mont.
Jason Parker, Omaha, Neb.
Adam Saathoff, Hereford, Ariz.
Daryl Szarenski, Saginaw, Mich.
Jason Turner, Rochester, N.Y.

Softball (15)
Women (15)
Laura Berg, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.
Crystl Bustos, Canyon Country, Calif.
Lisa Fernandez, Long Beach, Calif.
Jennie Finch, La Mirada, Calif.
Amanda Freed, Cypress, Calif.
Lori Harrigan, Las Vegas, Nev.
Lovieanne Jung, Fountain Valley, Calif.
Kelly Kretschman, Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.
Jessica Mendoza, Camarillo, Calif.
Tairia Mims Flowers, Tucson, Ariz.
Stacey Nuveman, La Verne, Calif.
Leah O'Brien-Amico, Chino Hills, Calif.
Catherine "Cat" Osterman, Houston, Texas
Jenny Topping, Whittier, Calif.
Natasha Watley, Irvine, Calif.

Swimming (43)
Women (22)
Amanda Beard, Irvine, Calif.
Lindsay Benko, Elkhart, Ind.
Caroline Bruce, Wichita, Kan.
Kristen Caverly, San Clemente, Calif.
Haley Cope, Chico, Calif.
Maritza Correia, Valrico, Fla.
Natalie Coughlin, Concord, Calif.
Margaret Hoelzer, Huntsville, Ga.
Katie Hoff, Abingdon, Md.
Rhi Jeffery, Delray Beach, Fla.
Kara Lynn Joyce, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Kalyn Keller, Phoenix, Ariz.
Dana Kirk, Bremerton, Wash.
Tara Kirk, Bremerton, Wash.
Rachel Komisarz, Louisville, Ky.
Colleen Lanne, Tucson, Ariz.
Diana Munz, Chargrin Falls, Ohio
Carly Piper, Grosse Point, Mich.
Kaitlin Sandeno, Lake Forest, Calif.
Jenny Thompson, Dover, N.H.
Dana Vollmer, Granby, Texas
Amanda Weir, Lawrenceville, Ga.

Men (21)
Ian Crocker, Portland, Maine
Nate Dusing, Villa Hills, Ky.
Mark Gangloff, Akron, Ohio
Scott Goldblatt, Scotch Plains, N.J.
Gary Hall, Phoenix, Ariz.
Brendan Hansen, Havertown, Pa.
Bryce Hunt, Newburgh, Ind.
Larsen Jensen, Bakersfield, Calif.
Klete Keller, Phoenix, Ariz.
Dan Ketchum, Cinncinati, Ohio
Lenny Krayzelburg, Studio City, Calif.
Jason Lezak, Irvine, Calif.
Ryan Lochte, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Tom Malchow, St. Paul, Minn.
Aaron Peirsol, Irvine, Calif.
Michael Phelps, Towson, Md.
Scott Usher, Grand Island, Neb.
Peter Vanderkaay, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Erik Vendt, North Easton, Mass.
Neil Walker, Verona, Wis.
Gabe Woodward, Bakersfield, Calif.

Synchronized Swimming (9)
Women (9)
Alison Bartosik, Santa Clara, Calif.
Tammy Crow, St. Louis, Mo.
Erin Dobratz, Clayton, Calif.
Becky Jasontek, Loveland, Ohio
Anna Kozlova, Santa Clarita Calif.
Sara Lowe, DeSoto, Texas
Lauren McFall, Los Altos, Calif.
Stephanie Nesbitt, Riverside, Calif.
Kendra Zanotto, Los Gatos, Calif.

Table Tennis (7)
Women (4)
Tawny Banh, San Gabriel, Calif.
Gao Jun, Gaithersburg, Md.
Whitney Ping, Beaverton, Ore.
Jasna Reed, Chicago, Ill.

Men (3)
Mark Hazinski, Mishawaka, Ind.
Ilija Lupulesku, Chicago, Ill.
Khoa Nguyen, San Jose, Calif.

Taekwondo (2)
Women (1)
Nia Abdallah, Houston, Texas

Men (1)
Steven Lopez, Sugar Land, Texas

Tennis (12)
Women (6)
Jennifer Capriati, Saddlebrook, Fla.
Martina Navratilova, Aspen, Colo.
Lisa Raymond, Wayne, Pa.
Chanda Rubin, Lafayette, La.
Serena Williams, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Venus Williams, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Men (6)
Bob Bryan, Camarillo, Calif.
Mike Bryan, Camarillo, Calif.
Taylor Dent, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Mardy Fish, Vero Beach, Fla.
Andy Roddick, Boca Raton, Fla.
Vinny Spadea, Boca Raton, Fla.

Triathlon (6)
Women (3)
Barb Lindquist, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Sheila Taormina, Livonia, Mich.
Susan Bartholomew-Williams, Springfield, Va.

Men (3)
Hunter Kemper, Longwood, Fla.
Victor Plata, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Andy Potts, Princeton, N.J.

Volleyball-Beach (8)
Women (4)
Misty May, Newport Beach, Calif.
Holly McPeak, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Kerri Walsh, Saratoga, Calif.
Elaine Youngs, El Toro, Calif.

Men (4)
Dain Blanton, Laguna Beach, Calif.
Dax Holdren, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Stein Metzger, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Jeff Nygaard, Madison, Wis.

Volleyball-Indoor (24)
Women (12)
Robyn Ah Mow-Santos, Honolulu, Hawaii
Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman, Lakeville, Minn.
Lindsey Berg, Honolulu, Hawaii
Heather Bown, Yorba Linda, Calif.
Tara Cross-Battle, Houston, Texas
Tayyiba Haneef, Laguna Hills, Calif.
Nancy Metcalf, Lincoln, Nebraska
Ogonna Nnamani, Normal, Illinois
Keba Phipps, Las Vegas, Nevada
Danielle Scott, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Stacy Sykora, Burleson, Texas
Logan Tom, Salt Lake City, Utah

Men (12)
Lloy Ball, Woodburn, Ind.
Kevin Barnett, Naperville, Ill.
Brook Billings, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Phil Eatherton, Glencoe, Mo.
Gabe Gardner, San Clemente, Calif.
Tom Hoff, Park Ridge, Ill.
Ryan Millar, Palmdale, Calif.
Reid Priddy, Richmond, Va.
Riley Salmon, League City, Texas
Clay Stanley, Honolulu, Hawaii
Erik Sullivan, Encinitas, Calif.
Donald Suxho, Redondo Beach, Calif.

Water Polo (26)
Women (13)
Robin Beauregard, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Margie Dingeldein, Merced, Calif.
Ellen Estes, Novato, Calif.
Jacqueline Frank, Long Beach, Calif.
Natalie Golda, La Habra, Calif.
Ericka Lorenz, San Diego, Calif.
Heather Moody, Green River, Wyo.
Thalia Munro, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Nicolle Payne, Cerritos, Calif.
Heather Petri, Orinda, Calif.
Kelly Rulon, San Diego, Calif.
Amber Stachowski, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
Brenda Villa, Commerce, Calif.

Men (13)
Omar Amr, Fullerton, Calif.
Tony Azevedo, Long Beach, Calif.
Ryan Bailey, Long Beach, Calif.
Layne Beaubien, Coronado, Calif.
Brandon Brooks, Honolulu, Hawaii
Genai Kerr, Imperial Beach, Calif.
Dan Klatt, Fresno, Calif.
Brett Ormsby, El Cajon, Calif.
Jeff Powers, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Chris Segesman, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Jesse Smith, Coronado, Calif.
Wolf Wigo, New York, N.Y.
Adam Wright, Seal Beach, Calif.

Weightlifting (5)
Women (2)
Tara Cunningham, Stilwell, Kan.
Cheryl Haworth, Savannah, Ga.

Men (3)
Oscar Chaplin, III, Savannah, Ga.
Shane Hamman, Mustang, Okla.
Chad Vaughn, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Wrestling (17)
Women (4)
Sara McMann, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Patricia Miranda, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Toccara Montgomery, Cleveland, Ohio
Tela O'Donnell, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Men (13)
Stephen Abas, Fresno, Calif.
Daniel Cormier, Stillwater, Okla.
Rulon Gardner, Afton, Wyo.
Jim Gruenwald, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Eric Guerrero, Stillwater, Okla.
Dennis Hall, Plover, Wis.
Jamill Kelly, Stillwater, Okla.
Garrett Lowney, Freedom, Wis.
Kerry McCoy, Bethlehem, Pa.
Cael Sanderson, Ames, Iowa
Brad Vering, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Joe Williams, Iowa City, Iowa
Oscar Wood, Ft. Carson, Colo.

USA Delegation Mission Staff
Chef de Mission: Herman Frazier, Honolulu, Hawaii.
USOC Chair: Peter Ueberroth, Laguna Beach, Calif.
Asst. Chef de Mission: Mary McCagg, Cambridge, Mass.
Asst. Chef de Mission: Dale Neuburger, Indianapolis, Ind.
USOC Chief Executive and Acting Secretary General: Jim Scherr, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Delegation Director: Doug Ingram, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Total Number of U.S. Athletes
Women: 257
Men: 274
Total: 531


Posted by Darren at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

Australian Gold Medal Winners to Feature on Stamps

"Australias 2004 Olympic gold medallists will become members of an exclusive group of Australians to feature on Australia Post stamps.

Australia Post will produce 50c stamps featuring the images of Australias gold medal moments from the Athens 2004 Olympic Games (13 29 August 2004). This follows the success of the world-first Australian Gold Medallists Stamps program in 2000.

The stamp sheetlets are expected to be available in metropolitan Australia Post outlets within 48 hours of Australian gold medal presentations in Athens, thanks to a special design and technology team with experience from the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

The Australian Gold Medallists Stamps provide an opportunity for all Australians to share in the success of our Olympic athletes, said Amber McDougall, Group Manager Philatelic, Australia Post." Source - Australia Post puts winners on stamps again

Posted by Darren at 04:46 PM | Comments (19)

China Hopes for 3 Gold Medals in Badminton

"China set to capture three badminton golds in Athens next month, if the Olympic seeding lists released by the International Badminton Federation on Thursday are anything to go by.

The final deadline for entries to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games passed on Wednesday, with badminton fulfilling its quota of 172 players at the Games.

A total of 89 men and 83 women will be competing in Athens, representing 32 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) -- a record number of countries and regions for badminton at an Olympic Games.

The seedings, based on the world ranking of 1 May, 2004, see world number one shuttlers Lin Dan and Gong Ruina top the list of favorites in the singles events, while the Malaysia and Korea Openchampions Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen are the top seeds in the women's doubles competition." Read more at Chinese shuttlers set to take three titles in Athens

Posted by Darren at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)

Perdita Felicien Wins Gold Medal in Athens Lead Up Event

"Canada's Perdita Felicien claimed gold Friday in the women's 100-metre hurdles at the Golden League track and field meet in Paris.

Felicien beat a field loaded with Olympic medal hopefuls, finishing the race in 12.60 seconds.

Linda Ferga-Khodadin of France finished second 0.18 seconds off of Felicien's pace. American Jenny Adams finished third. Spain's Glory Alozie and Jamaica's Delloreen Ennis-London rounded out the top five.

Felicien, the reigning world champion, Adams, Alozie and Ennis-London are all considered to be medal contenders in next month's Olympic Games in Athens." Read more of this article at CBC.ca: Felicien golden in Paris Golden League

Posted by Darren at 04:35 PM | Comments (44)

Athens Test Traffic and Security

"Greek authorities held an Olympic security transport drill early Sunday to test part of a multimillion dollar security network before the start of next month's Summer Games.

The three-hour drill, code-named "Olympic Hermes," was held along key roads in the greater Athens area and involved both air and ground police units, all forms of public transport and the operation of special Olympic traffic lanes to be used by accredited vehicles -- including buses carrying athletes.

Scenarios included management of various traffic accidents on Olympic roads, with the cooperation of a sensor-laden blimp, police helicopters and several ground units"

Source - Greek authorities hold Olympic transport security drill

Posted by Darren at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

Aussies - As Good as Gold?

"IN the imagination of Australia's sporting public, Ian Thorpe will win a chestful of gold medals and Jana Pittman will do what Cathy did.

Michael Diamond will shoot straight for the third Olympic Games in a row, Andrew Hoy and his mates will ride to a fourth title in the three-day event and the remains of the Oarsome Foursome will be recycled as a golden pair.

Grant Hackett is a certainty in the 1500m and Leisel Jones could win a breaststroke gold medal.

Throw in a few surprises and Australia should come away from Athens with a large bag of medals.

Or perhaps not. Realities have a way of materialising at an Olympics - and a few of them have already emerged." Read More at FOX SPORTS | Aussies as good as gold (July 25, 2004):

Posted by Darren at 04:24 PM | Comments (1)

Athens Hotels Slash Prices in bid to Fill Empty Rooms

"Athens hotels that massively hiked up their prices for the Olympics are now bringing them back down again in a last-minute bid to fill empty rooms.

The inflated room rates have been partly blamed for an estimated five million tickets as yet unsold for the games, which start on 13 August.

Deluxe rooms in hotels such as the Holiday Inn have dropped from about 1,260 to 800 per night, according to Suzi Stembridge, director of Greece specialist Filoxenia. 'Last week hotels started saying "give us a ring, we've got good prices". They sold rooms to tour operators who just couldn't sell them so now they've dropped the prices.'

She said most availability was in newly built, out-of-town hotels, but rooms priced originally at 600 were down to 280-400, and those priced at 700 were down to 350 a night.

Panos Argyros, director of the Greece National Tourism Organisation, said that following a government-level meeting last week, the chairman of the Hotel Chamber of Greece had agreed his industry would offer better prices. 'Hotels have dropped their rates considerably and will drop them more this week,' he said." Read More at The Observer | Travel | Hotels slash prices for Olympics

Posted by Darren at 04:18 PM | Comments (0)

Chinese Olympian to get $18,000 for a Gold Medal

"Sports officials in China said Saturday that those who win gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Greece will also get $18,000

Xinhua, China's main government-run news agency, reported that rewards for silver and bronze medal holders also increased.

Deputy Chief of State Physical Culture Administration, Li Furong revealed the medals award increase in an interview with China Central Television Friday, reported CRIENGLISH.com.

He also said that Chinese officials are considering basketball star Yao Ming as the Chinese Olympic delegation's flag carrier." - Chinese Olympic gold winners to get money - (United Press International)

Posted by Darren at 04:10 PM | Comments (0)

Russia Prepares for Olympics

"In Russia, sporting officials are talking up their teams' chance of winning gold, claiming this is the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union that Russia is ready to put up a serious fight against the other Olympic superpowers.

But there are concerns that Russia's sporting prowess is about to dry up, because of a lack of coaches and dwindling support for the next generation of sports stars." Read more at Russia prepares for the Olympics

Posted by Darren at 04:07 PM | Comments (0)

Freeman Gives Jana Pittman some Advice

"Athletics great Cathy Freeman has a message for her Olympic heir apparent, Jana Pittman: forget everything you think you know about pressure because you haven't experienced anything yet.

Freeman said she would talk to Pittman when she entered the athletes' village in Athens in her mentoring role next month.

Much of the pressure that was heaped on Freeman in Sydney now sits on the shoulders of the 400 metres hurdler, given that she is regarded as Australia's best athletics gold medal hope. Freeman said she was keen to help Pitman deal with it.

"She's about to experience real Olympic pressure," Freeman said. "It's not like anything she will have experienced before. It's not like world championship pressure or the same pressure from any other major meet. It's completely different; it has a feel all of its own." Read more at Jana under pump: Freeman - Athens2004 - www.theage.com.au.

Posted by Darren at 03:35 PM | Comments (6)

Malaysian Badminton Stars Expected to Win Gold Medal

"The national shuttlers will be carrying a heavy burden on their shoulders at the Olympic Games in Athens they are expected to bring home at least one gold medal.

In a meeting with the NSC, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) chief coaches - Misbun Sidek and Yap Kim Hock - and the Olympic-bound players vowed to deliver at least one gold medal in Athens.

And the players Malaysia will be counting on are Wong Choong Hann and Mohd Roslin Hashim in the men's singles and Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah in the men's doubles.

The other Olympic qualifiers are debutants Lee Chong Wei (men's singles), Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng (men's doubles) and Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty (women's doubles)

The badminton competition will be held from Aug 14-21." - Read More at Shuttlers expected to return with one gold.

Posted by Darren at 03:33 PM | Comments (0)

Lesser Known US Athletes Profiles

Sports Illustrated takes a good Look at some lesser-known U.S. athletes that will be going to the Athens Olympics including:


Posted by Darren at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

British Swimming Chief Slams GB Swimming Facilities

British swimming chief Bill Sweetenham has launched a savage attack on the country's level of investment in sport.

The Australian, who last week signed a four-year extension to his contract, renewed his critcism of the quality of facilities in Britain.

"Although they think they've invested large amounts of money, it's been tiddlywinks," he told BBC Five Live. Read More at GB chief slams facilities

Posted by Darren at 02:54 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Olympic Games Pins

Athens_2004_Pin.01-A1GZEJSK7EGVRGAs always Olympic Pins will be a major focus of those attending and watching the Olympic Games in Athens this year. Olympic Pins are swapped, bought, bartered and gifted by avid collectors both at the Olympics but also by those watching on from home.

I love Olympic Pin Collection because Pins are a cheap and small item that enable you to build up quite a collection reasonably inexpensively and quickly.

We've put together a collection of pins available for purchase by readers of the Athens Olympics Blog.

Athens Olympic Pins

Amazon also has a heap of Other Olympic Pins including some from previous Olympics, many from the US Olympic Team etc.

Also available are a number of other small Olympic Merchandise like:

Posted by Darren at 01:06 PM | Comments (4)

A Photographic look at the Modern Olympics and Ancient Greece

swifter.jpgSwifter, Higher, Stronger : A Photographic History of the Summer Olympics. 96 pages that takes a photographic look at the way the games have evolved from the classical Greek games to the Modern Olympics that we have today.

Posted by Regan at 11:58 AM | Comments (1)

Iraqi Olympic Committee displays torture equipment used by Saddam Hussein's son to punish athletes

Torture equipment used by Saddam Hussein's slain son, Odai, to punish underperforming Iraqi athletes has been displayed at a Baghdad sports stadium.

Journalists were shown medieval-style torture equipment, including an ''iron maiden-like'' casket with metal spikes fixed to the inside that athletes had been forced into and chain whips with steel barbs the size of tennis balls attached to the end.


Posted by Regan at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

British Tourist Numbers Down

Fears of a terrorist attack the the Athens Olympic Games has resulted in the number of Briton's visiting Athens down 70 percent on this time last year. The Greek capital is not the only area to have been hit by the slump. The Greek Isalnds have also seen a 30 percent dip compared to the same time last year.


Posted by Regan at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

Investigation into Australian Bailed Boxer

"SOUTH Australia Premier Mike Rann yesterday ordered an investigation into why an alleged violent home invader was bailed so he could box for Australia at the 2004 Olympics.

Mr Rann said he learned Athens-bound Elizabeth Grove boxer Peter Wakefield faced criminal charges only when it was revealed by The Advertiser yesterday.

He has asked the Attorney-General, Michael Atkinson, for a report on the case, declining to comment further "until I know the facts".

Wakefield, 26, who is training for the Olympic Games in central France with eight teammates, refused to comment on the charges yesterday." Source - FOX SPORTS | Boxer will fight on .

Posted by Darren at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

Greek Baseball Team Broke in Baltimore

"The Greek Olympic baseball team is so short of cash that it has no funds to return for the games after training in the United States, a top official said Friday.

"At this moment we do not have money to pay for the tickets for our team to come to participate in the Olympic Games," Panos Mitsiopoulos, president of the Greek Baseball Federation, told The Associated Press.

All but one player have been training in Baltimore. Peter Angelos, the Greek-American owner of the Baltimore Orioles, helped organize the Greek Olympic team." Source - Chief: Greek Olympic baseball team broke in Baltimore

Posted by Darren at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

BBC Technicians to Strike during Olympics

"The walkouts threatened by BBC Technology staff are to go ahead - and it will be right in the middle of Auntie's coverage of the Olympics.

Union Bectu (broadcasting entertainment cinematograph and theatre union) has announced it's chosen two dates for its strike action. The first strike will fall on 30 and 31 July, with the second walkout on 13 and 14 August.

The union said it believes the BBC will be "hard-pressed" to continue normal service during the walkouts - especially as 13 August is the opening day of the Olympics, traditionally a ratings winner for the Beeb." Source - BBC techies to strike during Olympics.

Posted by Darren at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

Ancient Olympics - Like Super Bowl, Woodstock, Mardi Gras and Chippendale Dancers

"It was like the Super Bowl, Woodstock, Mardi Gras, a holy pilgrimage and Chippendale dancers all rolled into one. The setting for the earliest Olympic Games some 3,000 years ago was both a sanctuary of soaring marble temples and a foul, drunken shantytown plagued by water shortages, campfire smoke and sewage. The athletes, glistening from olive oil, competed naked. Gymnasiums were restricted to keep the sex trade from overrunning events on the field.

With the 2004 Summer Games set to begin in Athens on Aug. 13, archaeologists and scholars are demythologizing and viewing the original Olympics as they really happened." Read More at Ancient Olympics weren't all that pure.

Posted by Darren at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

Tunisia Name Olympics Football Squad

Tunisia have named their 22-man squad for the Olympic Games football tournament as follows:

Khaled Fadhel (CS Sfaxien), Jasem Khalfaoui (A.S. Marsa), Hamdi Kasraoui (Esperance Tunis)

Anis Boussaidi, Anis Ayari (both Stade Tunisien), Amir Haj Messoud, Issam Merdassi (all C.S. Sfaxien), Fethi Mechergui, Zied Bhairi (both Esperance Tunis), Karim Hagui (Strasbourg, France), Aleddine Yahia (Guingamp, France)

Khaled Mouelhi, Wissem Ben Yahia (all Club Africain), Jose Clayton (Esperance Tunis), Majdi Traoui (Etoile du Sahel), Houcine Regueb (Paris-Saint Germain, France)

Mohamed Jedidi, Sabeur Trabelsi (both Etoile du Sahel), Haykel Guemamdia (C.S. Sfaxien), Amine Letifi (Creteil, France), Ali Zitouni, Issam Jomaa (both Esperance Tunis)

Source - BBC Tunisia name Olympic squad

Posted by Darren at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

Norway Defeat Sweden - Women's Football

"Marit Christensen and Trine Ronning scored two goals each Saturday as Norway beat Women's World Cup runner-up Sweden 4-0 in an Olympic tuneup match.

Sweden, which was missing two key defenders, is one of the favorites for gold in Athens along with the United States and World Cup champion Germany. Norway, which beat the United States 3-2 on a golden goal in the 2000 Olympic final, failed to qualify for the Athens Games." - Source - Norway tops Women's World Cup runner-up Sweden 4-0 in Olympic tuneup

Posted by Darren at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

Norway Defeat Sweden - Women's Football

"Marit Christensen and Trine Ronning scored two goals each Saturday as Norway beat Women's World Cup runner-up Sweden 4-0 in an Olympic tuneup match.

Sweden, which was missing two key defenders, is one of the favorites for gold in Athens along with the United States and World Cup champion Germany. Norway, which beat the United States 3-2 on a golden goal in the 2000 Olympic final, failed to qualify for the Athens Games." - Source - Norway tops Women's World Cup runner-up Sweden 4-0 in Olympic tuneup

Posted by Darren at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

Jana Pittman Set for Athens

"Jana Pittman was happy to hide outside the placings as her intense training winds down and her Olympic countdown builds up.

Pittman finished fourth in the 400 metres at the Golden League athletics meeting in Paris on Friday night at the end of what she described as the hardest training period of her life.

In that three-week training block, Australia's 400 metres hurdles world champion has not competed in her pet event, but, according to coach Phil King, is in much better shape than she was before she won the world title last August." Read More at Pittman in top shape - Athens2004 - www.theage.com.au

Posted by Darren at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

Boxing on Trial in Athens

"BOXING as an Olympic spectacle will be on trial in Athens. The sport in which Ireland won gold and silver medals at the Barcelona Games of '92 is still on the Olympic hit-list.

It's that push-button scoring system the IOC's top brass don't trust. "Seriously flawed," sniffed one recently.

"It slumped to a new low in Sydney four years ago, and shows all the consistency of a rolling pair of dice.

"Any repeat of the controversy or bitterness that goes with bad decisions, and boxing could have a real fight for survival at future Games."" Read More at Boxing needs to score well in Athens.

Posted by Darren at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

America Eyes off Gold Medal Haul in Pool

"Four years ago, there were grim predictions about Americas swimming hopes at the Sydney Games.

The Australians had home-pool advantage and seemed poised to take over as the worlds dominant power. What did the U.S. team do? Put on one of the great performances in Olympic history: 14 golds and 33 medals overall.

No one is talking doom and gloom this time. If anything, the Americans are expecting to do even better in sweltering Athens, where there will be no roof over the pool for the first time since the 1992 Barcelona Games.

This could be one of the strongest teams since the 76 team, said Eddie Reese, the U.S. Olympic mens coach. Since that time, the other nations in the sport have gotten a lot better, and the speed of the sport has gotten a lot better." Source - American swimmers poised for medal haul in Athens - 7/24/04

Posted by Darren at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

Athens Unveils Party Plans

"Athens will throw a citywide party for the Olympics -- every night of the games.

Mayor Dora Bakoyianni promised Wednesday to stage the biggest outdoor entertainment blitz in the Athens' history, with more 500 concerts and live performances together with art exhibitions, puppet shows and acts from 34 countries.

"We want to create a festive feel across the entire city," Bakoyianni said.

"Athens will try to combine recollections of ancient myths and history with its modern reality ... The whole city will be one large party."

Sculptures and other artwork will be displayed along a cobblestone walkway linking the Acropolis to the city's other main ancient sites like the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the ancient marketplace." Read more at SI.com - Athens unveils street party plans for Olympics.

Posted by Darren at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

Australian Women's Hockey team turn up the Heat

The Australian Women's Hockey team is turning up the heat in their training regime in preparation for the sweltering temperatures in Athens.

"The Hockeyroos have been using the heat chamber at the WAIS for the past three weeks as part of an intense build-up to next month's Olympics.

A series of recent matches in the relative heat of Townsville and Darwin began the process, which will be completed with another tournament in Spain.

Temperatures in Athens have been forecast to reach as high as 40C and while the Hockeyroos have been scheduled morning and evening matches, the heat issue has been dealt with intensely." Source - FOX SPORTS | Hockey women turn up heat

Posted by Darren at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

US Send 150 Agents to Athens

" The United States will send 150 special agents to protect the American team at next month's Olympic Games, a report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a part of the Library of Congress published here Saturday claimed.

"The (US) State Department plans to spend 2.76 million dollars (2.2 million euros) for 150 Special Agents to be assigned on temporary duty to Athens and environs prior to and during the Olympic Games," the report dated April 30 said. " Read More at U.S. to send 150 special agents to Athens

Posted by Darren at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

Golden Incentive

A senior sports official has said that all gold medal-winning Chinese athletes at the Athens Olympics will be awarded 150 thousand yuan or some 18 thousand US dollars.


Posted by Regan at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

Edwards may complete at Olympics

World 100 metre champion Torri Edwards could still run at the Olympics despite being found to have taken a glucose tablet that contained a banned stimulant.


Posted by Regan at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2004

Poker in Athens

Poker in Athens is a very amusing site dedicated to bringing Poker to the Athens Olympic games in 2004.

It includes an article on poker players being willing to submit to drug testing:

"As poker continues its drive to become part of the games, poker players from all over world have been volunteering to submit to drug screening. "The last thing poker needs is for a few 'roid cases to ruin it for all of us," said Steve Peckingham..."

It also has polls (which Athens landmark should host poker at the Olympics), a petition to get poker to the games and a variety of various other amusing features.

It's worth a look.

Posted by Darren at 11:24 PM | Comments (0)

US Swimming Team Robbed

"A three-room suite at the Sheraton Hotel being used by members of the United States Olympic swimming team was burglarized Wednesday. The losses, totaling $10,000 in undisclosed possessions, were reported at 11:20 a.m., according to Palo Alto police.

Jim Rebosio, general manager of the Sheraton, said the suite was being used as a team meeting room and training area. He said the items missing include a laptop computer, two DVD players, and a video projector." Source - Palo Alto Online: Olympic swim team burglarized

Posted by Darren at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

Japan to Send Police to Athens Olympics

Japan will send a group from their National Police Agency to Athens to provide security for the Japanese Olympic Athletes.

"Four to five officials will be dispatched around Aug 7 when the Japanese delegation is scheduled to arrive in Athens. They will gather information on terrorist activities from the Greek government and also liaise with security officials from other countries including officials of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the officials said.

According to the agency, Japan is in the second most likely group of terrorist targets, the top group consisting of the United States, Britain and Israel. The list is based on assessments by Greek authorities, the agency said" Source - Japan to send police to Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 08:36 PM | Comments (0)

Soma Biswas Qualifies for Olympics in Heptathlon

"It's sheer hard work, feels coach Kuntal Roy. It's simply determination, says Soma Biswas, who qualified for the Athens Olympics in Chennai on Tuesday.

Back home and training at the SAI Eastern Centre, Biswas said an Olympic medal isn't what she can actually lay her hands on, but surely, she would like to improve upon her performance.

Biswas picked up 6162 points in Chennai, winning six of the seven events in heptathlon, barring the high-jump, but she feels her total is way below the Olympic medal zone.

"Realistically, I plan to cross the 6200 mark. If I can do that, I will probably be among the top 10 or 15," Biswas told Hindustan Times." Read more at the HindustanTimes: 6200, not medal, Somas target

Posted by Darren at 08:29 PM | Comments (0)

Marion Jones Seeks Charges against Ex-Husband

"Lawyers for Olympic champion Marion Jones say her ex-husband CJ Hunter should be prosecuted for lying to federal officials following newspaper reports he told them Jones had used steroids at the 2000 Sydney Games.

"Since CJ Hunter has lied to government officials, he also needs to be investigated, be subjected to a polygraph investigation and prosecuted for lying to federal investigators," her attorney Joseph Burton said.

Several California newspapers reported that former shot putter Hunter, who was himself banned for using steroids and who was divorced from Jones in 2002, made the allegations to investigators probing the BALCO steroids scandal." Read more at Jones seeks charges against ex-husband.

Posted by Darren at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Betting

"The TAB is confident New Zealand Soccer has opened the way for betting on a variety of sports at next month's Olympic Games.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has opposed betting on Olympic sports after a strong "we don't want it" message from the IOC.

But NZOC secretary-general Barry Maister yesterday admitted it could not stop New Zealand Soccer going ahead with plans to have betting on matches at the Olympic tournament." Source - NZ Soccer flouts Olympics betting ban

Posted by Darren at 08:20 PM | Comments (0)

Alcohol - A Banned Olympic Substance for Triathalon

Here is a hot tip for Triathlon Gold Medal winners - don't celebrate with a beer or you might be stripped of your medal for using a banned substance.

"Triathlon is one of several sports for which alcohol is a banned substance during competitions.

For next month's Olympics in Athens, organisers have deemed that the competition period should extend for the 16-day duration of the Games.

Even after their races, triathlon competitors would be risking a doping violation, and the stripping of medals, if they were caught with traces of alcohol in their bodies.

"Certainly it's something we'll have to watch because the last thing we'd want is somebody caught up in a drugs scandal because they had a few beers afterwards," said Triathlon New Zealand's high-performance manager, Mark Elliott.

The World Anti Doping Agency's prohibited substances list bans alcohol for 13 sports during competition, including archery, wrestling, modern pentathlon and gymnastics.

Quite why alcohol is banned is not clear, although the most likely explanation is safety." Read more at Triathlon: Don't drink and run or your medal's at risk

Posted by Darren at 08:17 PM | Comments (0)

Pakistan's Olympic Team Announced

Pakistan have announced their 46 member Olympic team.

The team is:

"Athletics: Sajid Muhammad and Sumaria Zahoor. Muhammad Khalid Mahmood (manager).

Boxing: Mehar Ullah, Sohail Ahmad, Asghar Ali Shah, Faisal Karim, Ahmad Ali Khan. Syed Haroon Masood (manager), Reinaldo Alvarez Ulacia (coach) and Zaigham Maseel (coach).

Hockey: Ahmad Alam, Ali Raza, Sohail Abbas, Zeeshan Ashraf, Ghazanfar Ali, Dilawar Hussain, Waseem Ahmad, Adnan Maqsood, Rehan Butt, Mudassar Ali, Kashif Jawad, Muhammad Nadeem, Muhammad Shabbir, Shakeel Abbassi, Salman Akbar, and Tariq Aziz. Muahmamd Yousad Baig (manager), Tahir Zaman (coach), Roberto Tolintino (assistant manager), FR Maria Jansen (technical staff), Roelant Oltsman (head coach) and Derek Jan Verder (physiotherapist). Shooting: Khurram Inam. Razi Ahmad (coach) and Pervez Abbasi (manager).

Swimming: Mumtaz Ahmad and Rubab Raza. Ahmad Saeed (manager) and Sadiqa Afzal (manager)."
Source - POA finalises and approves 46-member Pak contingent

Posted by Darren at 08:08 PM | Comments (0)

Anti Olympics Rally in Athens

"Greek anti-Olympics groups held a large rally Thursday in Athens to protest the holding of the Olympic Games only three weeks ahead of its opening ceremony.

The anti-Olympics leftist groups, including the Anti-2004 Campaign, the Greek Social Forum and the Genoa 2001 Initiative, as well as popular movements and labor groups, staged a rally in downtown Athens and marched to the Houses of Parliament.

The demonstrators claimed that the climate prevailing in the capital is a state of emergency and that labor conditions are worsening as a result of the Olympic Games.

They also denounced Olympic security measures by which information will be registered and processed to enable, if necessary, action by a rapid reaction force of the NATO alliance, saying that these steps greatly violate their personal privacy and their human rights.

Some extremist or leftist groups, which were labeled as "anarchists" by Greek government and local media, have been opposing the holding of the Olympic Games in Athens." Source - :Anti-Olympics groups hold rally in Athens

Posted by Darren at 08:05 PM | Comments (0)

Bulgaria offers Power Supply to Greece

Bulgaria is prepared to supply Greece with extra electricity next month to reduce the possibility of blackouts in Athens during the August 13-29 Olympic Games.

An official at NETC, the Bulgarian transmission company, said yesterday up to 100 megawatts daily was available under the current contract "but we have the capacity to supply greater volume if Greece needs it during the Olympics".

Source - Bulgaria offers to boost power supply for Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 07:58 PM | Comments (0)

Olympics Venue Construction Workers Unsafe

"Evidence of poor safety standards at construction sites for next month's Olympic Games in Athens has been found by a BBC radio programme.

Many workers have been killed - many more than the official death toll of 14, a Greek union representative said.

But, he told the programme, no official numbers are being kept.

The BBC team observed workers - many from Eastern Europe and South Asia - operating without protective equipment and with minimal supervision." Source - Workers in peril at Athens sites

Posted by Darren at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

Olympics Security Confusion

Just spotted this great article on the hysteria and confusion surrounding the Athens Olympics Security.

" If the strategy of the Athens Olympics security planners is to confuse would-be terrorists, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

The snag is that three weeks before the Games open, everyone else is equally confused too, with rumors, conspiracy theories and paranoia reaching fever pitch. "Olympic terror hysteria" is loose in the country and abroad, To Vima, a major Greek newspaper, said Friday.

It is hard to argue with the assessment and probably even harder for a would-be attacker to work out what is going on, or what is fact and what is fiction.

Are foreign armed guards going to protect athletes or just foreign leaders? Whoever they protect, are they going to carry guns in Olympic venues or check them at the gate?

Are "Texas Sheriffs" and "Rambos" poised to ride into town, or just crew-cut American soldiers under the umbrella of NATO?

Is the Blimp now hovering over Athens -- whenever the wind drops enough for it to take off -- a sinister space age surveillance and communications craft or just a lot of hot air?" Read More at Greece Battles Olympic Security 'Hysteria'.

Posted by Darren at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

A Long Ride to Athens

At 65, Jumber Lezhava might be forgiven more than most for staying at home to watch the Athens Olympics on television in his native Georgia.

However, the engineer from the ex-Soviet state famed for longevity plans to pedal to the events by bike.

"I am keeping fit all the time and am ready to ride my bicycle to Athens," he told reporters in the capital, Tbilisi.

But the Athens trip should be a mere spin - he once covered 264,000km (164,042 miles) on a tour of the globe.

Read More at - Georgian plans Olympic bike ride

Posted by Darren at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

Anyone for Table Tennis?

"Table Tennis: Anyone for table tennis? Why half a billion can't be wrong...

Everyone has played it, but none of us seem to want to watch it. Karen Kay enters the world of what many still call ping pong - and finds a game ready to capitalize on its global appeal....

n just three weeks, the Chinese will stake their claim to the coveted Olympic title: there is none they value more than the men's singles gold. Wenge, based in Germany and a former Olympic bronze-medal winner, was the sole representative of the People's Republic, as their leading triumvirate of Ma Lin, Wang Hao and Wang Liqin declined to show their hand so close to Athens."

Read the Article at "Table Tennis: Anyone for table tennis? Why half a billion can't be wrong...

Posted by Darren at 01:07 PM | Comments (0)

Tim Cuddihy - Teen Eyes Olympics Gold Medal

Australian teenager Tim Cuddihy warmed up for the Athens Olympics by taking gold at the World Junior Archery Championships at Lilleshall.

The 17-year-old star beat Luxembourg's Gilles Decker in the final of the junior men's recurve championship.

"I'm having a great year and now can't wait to go out to Athens next month," said Cuddihy.

"But as for winning a gold medal, well, it's an aspiration, but the competition will be really intense."

Cuddihy is one of two teenagers in Australia's three-man archery squad for Athens, along with 18-year-old David Barnes, who is also tipped for great things. Source - Wonderboy eyes Athens gold

Posted by Darren at 01:03 PM | Comments (10)

Brittany Viola Leads in 10m Platform Diving

"Brittany Viola led qualifiers in the women's 10-meter platform Friday at the U.S. National Diving Championships, topping a pair of 2004 Olympians.

Viola finished ahead of Sara Hildebrand, who will represent the United States in the 10-meter platform synchronized event in the Olympics next month in Athens. Viola had 523.59 points to 502.95 for Hildebrand.

Laura Wilkinson, the 2000 Olympic platform champion, was third with 500.22 points after the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. The finals are Sunday." Source - Viola Leads Qualifiers at Diving Event.

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM | Comments (1)

Francis Obikwelu beats Maurice Greene

"Maurice Greene was upset in the 100 meters at the Gaz de France track meet Friday, finishing second to Francis Obikwelu of Portugal.

Obikewelu posted a winning time of 10.06 seconds, easily beating Greene, the defending Olympic champion who finished in 10.14.

Running just three weeks before the Olympics in Athens, Greene wanted to race in Paris as a tuneup for defending his gold medal. At the U.S. trials earlier this month, Greene made it to Athens after winning the 100. "

Source - Obikwelu Wins 100 Meters at Gaz De France

Posted by Darren at 12:49 PM | Comments (9)

Derartu Tulu Will Compete in Athens - 10,000m

"Reigning Olympic 10,000m champion Derartu Tulu, who also took the Games title in 1992, has been added to the women's 10,000m squad for next month's Athens Olympics, the Ethiopian Athletics Federation has confirmed.

Tulu, who had been omitted from a list of 25 Athletes issued by the Federation last week, is now in line to make her fourth appearance at the Games and has a fighting chance to become the first African to win three Olympic Gold medals.

The 32-year old is given a starting role in the 10,000m team alongside World 10,000m champion Berhane Adere and silver medallist Werknesh Kidane, with Ejigayehou Dibaba dropping down to the reserve spot." Source - Tulu is back in Olympic contention

Posted by Darren at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

Italian Athletics Olympic Team

Italy has announced its Athletics Team for the Athens Olympics.

It is made up of 37 athletes from all over Italy.

'Some notableathletes such as Manuela Levorato, Gertrud Bacher andElisabetta Perrone are still required to prove their fitness, and may be added to the squad at the beginning of August. '

The Italian Athletics Olympic Team is as follows:

Men (23)

100, 4x100
Simone COLLIO Fiamme Gialle 10.20

200, 4x100
Andrew HOWE Aeronautica 20.28
Marco TORRIERI Aeronautica 20.52

Maurizio CHECCUCCI Fiamme Oro 10.38
Massimiliano DONATI Fiamme Gialle 10.46
Koura KABA FANTONI Fiamme Gialle 10.28
Luca VERDECCHIA Fiamme Oro 10.41

Andrea LONGO Fiamme Oro 1:44.42

Giuseppe MAFFEI Lib. Cento Torri 8:23.48

High Jump
Alto Nicola CIOTTI Carabinieri 2,30
Alessandro TALOTTI Carabinieri 2,30

Pole Vault
Asta Giuseppe GIBILISCO Fiamme Gialle 5,60

Long Jump
Nicola TRENTIN Fiamme Azzurre 8,16

Triple Jump
Fabrizio DONATO Fiamme Gialle 16,90

Nicola VIZZONI Fiamme Gialle 76,95

20km Walk
Ivano BRUGNETTI Fiamme Gialle 1h19:43
Alessandro GANDELLINI Fiamme Oro 1h21:06
Marco GIUNGI Fiamme Gialle 1h21:43

50km Walk
Marcia Km 50 Giovanni DE BENEDICTIS Carabinieri 3h50:50

Stefano BALDINI Corradini Rubiera 2h08:37
Daniele CAIMMI Fiamme Gialle
Alberico DI CECCO Carabinieri 2h09:29

Paolo CASARSA Forestale 8.056

Women (14)

Benedetta CECCARELLI Fondiaria Sai 55.14
Monika NIEDERSTAETTER Forestale 55.52

Long Jump
Fiona MAY Lib. Cento Torri 6,62

Triple Jump
Simona LA MANTIA Fiamme Gialle 14,49
Magdelin MARTINEZ Atletica 2000 15,03

Ester BALASSINI Fiamme Gialle 71,28
Clarissa CLARETTI Aeronautica 69,40

Giavellotto Claudia COSLOVICH Fondiaria Sai 62,66
Elisabetta MARIN Cus Trieste 61,77

20Km Walk
Rossella GIORDANO Fiamme Azzurre 1h27:49
Elisa RIGAUDO Fiamme Gialle 1h30:28

Rosaria CONSOLE Fiamme Gialle 2h29:22
Ornella FERRARA PBM B. Masciago 2h27:49
Bruna GENOVESE Forestale 2h29:03

Source - IAAF: Italian Olympic Team

Posted by Darren at 12:26 PM | Comments (22)

Greek Athletics Team Announced

Greece have announced their Athletics Team for the Athens Olympics. It has 63 athletes - the biggest ever team for Greece in its history of attending the Games.

The Greek Athletics Team is as follows:


100m -Georgios THEODORIDIS, Christoforos CHOIDIS

200m -Konstantinos KENTERIS, Anastassios GOUSSIS, Panayotis SARRIS

400m -Anastassios GOUSSIS, Stylianos DIMOTSIOS

800m -Panayotis STROUBAKOS

1500m -Panayotis STROUBAKOS

Marathon -Nikolaos POLLIAS

110mh - Dimitrios PIETRIS

400mh - Periklis IAKOVAKIS

20km walk -Eleftherios THANOPOULOS

50km walk -Georgios ARGYROPOULOS, Spyridon KASTANIS, Theodoros STAMATOPOULOS

4X400m -Periklis IAKOVAKIS, Anastassios GOUSSIS, Panayotis SARRIS, Stylianos DIMOTSIOS, Georgios DOUPIS, Dimitrios GRAVALOS

Decathlon - Prodromos KORKIZOGLOU

Pole Vault - Marios EVAGGELOU

Long Jump -Louis TSATOUMAS, Dimitrios FILINDRAS, Dimitrios SERELIS

Triple Jump - Christos MELETOGLOU

Discus Throw - Savvas PANAVOGLOU

Hammer Throw - Alexandros PAPADIMITRIOU


100m -Ekaterini THANOU

200m -Olga KAIDATZI

400m - Chrisa GOUDENOUDI

1500m -Konstantina EFENTAKI

5000m - Chrisostomia IAKOVOU

Marathon - Georgia AMBATZIDOU

100mh - Flora REDOUMI

400mh - Fani HALKIA

20km walk - Athanassia TSOUMELEKA, Athina PAPAYIANNI, Christina KOKOTOU

4x100m - Ekaterini THANOU, Georgia KOKLONI, Marina VASSARMIDOU, Efrosini PATSOU, Maria KARASTAMATI

4x400m - Chrisa GOUDENOUDI, Olga KAIDATZI, Fani HALKIA, Dimitra DOVA, Chariklia BOUDA, Georgia KOUMNAKI

Heptathlon - Argyro STRATAKI

High Jump - Niki MITROPOULOU

Pole Vault - Georgia TSILIGGIRI, Afroditi SKAFIDA

Long Jump - Niki XANTHOU, Ioanna KAFETZI, Stella PILATOU

Triple Jump - Chrisopigi DEVETZI, Athanassia PERRA, Olga VASDEKI

Shot Put - Kalliopi OUZOUNI, Irene TERZOGLOU

Discus Throw - Ekaterini VOGOLI, Anastassia KELESIDOU, Stella TSIKOUNA

Hammer Throw - Alexandra PAPAGEORGIOU, Stella PAPADOPOULOU, Evdokia TSAMOGLOU

Javelin Throw - Mirela MANJANI, Angeliki TSIOLAKOUDI, Savva LIKA

Source - IAAF International Association of Athletics Federations - Athens Olympic Games 2004

Posted by Darren at 12:21 PM | Comments (2)

Athens Olympics Venues Ready - But at a Price

"The unfinished construction of dust-choked venues stood as a symbol of Athens' troubling Olympic delays a few months ago.

Now the last touches are being made on the main Olympic complex. The stadium roof rises like a giant oyster shell. The grounds feature pools of water that shimmer in the night.

At the end of a three-year construction blitz, Olympic organizers are finally silencing the critics. Nearly all venues are ready for the Aug. 13 opening ceremony or very close to completion.

Athens, it appears, has beaten the clock."
Read More at Beating the clock: Athens Olympic venues fall into place.

Posted by Darren at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Security - Late, Vast and over budget

Months behind schedule and millions over budget, Athens is finally ready to spy on the Olympics.

A vast network of street cameras, surveillance vans, underwater sensors and a blimp bristling with ultra-sensitive monitors was declared operational Friday -- three weeks before the games begin and a day after the Olympic Village opened.

The $312 million surveillance system was supposed to be ready May 28, but there were delays in installation, blamed on construction setbacks at Olympic venues, including the main stadium.

Overall security for the Aug. 13-29 games is costing three times more than planned. Greece initially was to spend $600 million on security, but that has soared to a record $1.5 billion operation to thwart a possible terrorist attack.


Posted by Regan at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

Athens security zeppelin takes to the sky

After four days of delays caused by high winds blowing over Athens, the 200-foot long hi-tech zeppelin hired to keep watch over the upcoming Olympics Games made its first test flight.

According to police sources, the flight which took place at dawn, lasted around two hours and was successful.


Posted by Regan at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Gymnastics Overview

One of the oldest Olympic sports, gymnastics has existed for more than 2,000 years, but its development into competition didn't really take shape until about 100 years ago. The International Gymnastics Federation was formed in 1881 and two years later the Amateur Athletic Union assumed control of gymnastics along with other major amateur sports in the United States.

Germany virtually swept all the gymnastics medals in the 1896 Olympics, but since then there have been a wide-ranging number of results with several countries at the top for different competitions.


Posted by Regan at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)

A Very Different Olympics from the Original

Next month's Olympic Games in Athens will be a very different affair from the largely religious festival that began 3,000 years ago; for one thing, the competitors will be wearing clothes. By Christopher Howse

The modern Olympic ideal is completely alien to the spirit of the Greek original, which despised women, slaves and foreigners and celebrated sectarian religion, nudity, pain and winning at any cost.


Posted by Regan at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

Olympic Broadcast to Phillipines in Jeopardy

GOVERNMENT-RUN NBN 4 has surrendered all hopes of covering the Olympic Games in Athens, saying it cannot afford the conditions imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). NBN 4 chairperson Mia Concio, however, assured that the cashstrapped government station will settle the $1.2 million back account it owes the IOC.


Posted by Regan at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

Golden girl Jones took drugs at Olympics claims ex husband

THE full weight of C. J. Hunter, her 22�-stone former husband, landed on Marion Jones yesterday when he was revealed to have told anti-doping investigators that she took drugs during the Olympic Games in Sydney four years ago.


Posted by Regan at 11:11 AM | Comments (1)

Jackie Chan carries Olympic torch

Martial arts movie star Jackie Chan took a turn carrying the Olympic flame as it passed through this northern Greece before next month's Summer Games.

Chan, who flew to Greece from China to carry the torch, said he was glad the Olympics were returning to their ancient homeland but was also looking forward to the Beijing games in 2008.


Posted by Regan at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

Greece's Olympic Security Budget Rises 15 percent on Additional Forces

Greece is increasing its Olympic security budget by 15 percent to as much as 1.15 billion euros ($1.4 billion) as it deploys more police and soldiers to prevent terrorist attacks.


Posted by Regan at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

Taking a Tough Look 'Inside the Olympics'

Former Olympic athlete Dick Pound spent 25 years as a member of the International Olympic Committee. His book Inside the Olympics
explores the money, politics and intrigue that drive the Games.

Buy Inside the Olympics from Amazon.

Posted by Regan at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)

Olympic Callup infuriates Football Manager

Despite Manchester United's manager's best efforts, 19-year-old winger Ronaldo has been named in Portugal's squad for the Olympics and Heinze, the �7 million defender signed from Paris Saint-Germain, is needed in Athens by Argentina.


Posted by Regan at 10:18 AM | Comments (0)

NATO expected to heed call for more Olympic security

NATO is expected to approve in the coming days a last-minute Greek request for extra counterterrorism help at next month's Olympic Games, alliance officials said Thursday.


Posted by Regan at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

Wedding Rings Unite in Athens

Pairs rower Buffy Williams will be joined at the Olympics in Athens by her husband, Barney, who was cut from the men's rowing team five years ago but worked his way back.


Posted by Regan at 10:10 AM | Comments (0)

Tullett Ready for Olympic Prep

British runner, Hayley Tullett and World 1,500 metres bronze-medallist will start a busy weekend tonight when she runs in the Paris IAAF Golden League meeting.


Posted by Regan at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)

US Basketball Team gets a shock

Detroit Shock coach Bill Laimbeer was happy USA Basketball added center Ruth Riley to the Olympic team, but he was especially pleased with the selection process.

"I'm very happy the committee chose a player from the pool of players who tried out," Laimbeer said, referring to players who had worked out and played with the Olympic team. "It's great for her and the organization. Nobody will enjoy the Olympic experience more than Ruth."

Riley replaces Los Angeles Sparks forward Delisha Milton-Jones who is out with a knee injury.


Posted by Regan at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

Medal Hopes for Canadian Baseball Team

Canada is fielding one of its strongest basebell teams ever. The team qualified for the Olympics by making it to the championship game at the Pan American games.


Posted by at 12:55 AM | Comments (0)

Olympic Flag Fuss

Nine years ago, Nicolas Gill vote yes on Quebec sovereignty. In true Canadian style, selecting Gill as the flag bearer for the Canadian Olympic team is causing some political debate in Canada.

Voices: Olympic flag fuss

Posted by at 12:47 AM | Comments (2)

July 23, 2004

Athens Olympic Medals

athens_medals'Gold, silver and bronze Athens 2004 Olympic medals are on display in Athens (pictured left).

Using 13 kilos of gold, a ton of silver and a ton of bronze, 15 experts started minting the 3,000 medals that will be awarded during the Athens Olympics.'

Also see Specialists Begin Production of Olympic Medals

'Production of the most coveted prizes at the Olympics has begun in Athens, the gold, silver and bronze medals that the world's Olympic athletes will be competing for.

Electronics specialists, machinists, engravers and goldsmiths at an Athens company (Efsimon) have begun producing up to 150 gold, silver and bronze medals per day.

Workers will use nearly 30 pounds of gold, a ton of silver and a ton of copper to make the nearly�3,000 medals that will be manufactured for the Olympic games.

The medals have a unique greek look. One side of the medals shows Nike, the goddess of victory, standing in the Panatheneum Stadium, site of the first modern Olympic games held in 1896. The other side shows the Olympic flame, the Athens Olympics emblem, an excerpt from an ancient Olympic ode, and the name of the sport being awarded.'

Posted by Darren at 10:46 PM | Comments (2)

Table Tennis Rule Change to Test Chinese

"Chinese table tennis players face a real test of their flair and form when they meet challenges from the first introduced qualification system and rule alterations to Olympic pingpong games.

China, long acclaimed the "kingdom of table tennis" where the sport is hailed as national game, have bagged all of the four gold medals of table tennis in Barcelona in 1996, repeated the sweep in the Sydney Olympics four years ago and let slip only three golds in the only two former Games since the sport was introduced to Olympics in 1988.

The world table tennis superpower loves to embrace challenges from rest of the world, but the rules changes to the Athens Olympic Games is not cheerful.

Since the knock-out system will be used in the Olympics there instead of group stage, top Chinese Ma Lin, Wang Nan and their teammates will never take their eyes off when heading for another Olympic sweep.

Limits in maximum number of qualified players for each NOC and rule alterations, such as the large ball, 11 points scoring and all-to-see service rule, also bother the ambitious Chinese team." Get more information at Rule changes test Chinese paddlers in Athens.

Posted by Darren at 08:54 PM | Comments (0)

Raj Bhavsar left out of US Olympic Gymnastics Team

"How badly do U.S. gymnastics leaders want to win a men's team medal at the Athens Olympics?

Enough to leave a potential Olympic champion, Raj Bhavsar, off the team.

Bhavsar was among those squeezed out as a result of a strategy employed by USA Gymnastics, which is based in Indianapolis. Bhavsar would be a medal contender on still rings, but the selection committee ultimately decided the team needed help elsewhere.

"It was going to be a strong team, either way you look at it," Bhavsar said Thursday. "I feel I could have made it a better team. I'll always feel like that because I'm supposed to." Team-first U.S. strategy leaves out top gymnast

Posted by Darren at 08:51 PM | Comments (2)

Chinese Women Eye Gold Medal in Football

"Chinese women's football team, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic silver medalist who failed to squeeze into the semi-finals at the 2000 Sydney Games, are eyeing a medal at the coming Athens Games.

"Although it's a difficult job, our squad will try their best to win a medal and regain the glory of the yesteryears," Xue Li, vice president of the Chinese Football Association said here Wednesday.

Xue said, "Our baseline is set on the semi-finals, and win a medal if we are lucky enough."

The Chinese team won its ticket for Athens after all-victory matches in Japan where they emerged as Asia's No.1 for the Athens Olympic games, conceding no goals throughout the qualifying tournaments." Source - Offcial Website of the Chinaese Olympic Committee

Posted by Darren at 08:49 PM | Comments (0)

A Tired Athens Looks like being Ready

"Defying predictions the games look like being on time. The award of them to Athens may have turned the hair of some senior members of the International Olympic Committee white, brought the possibility of international humiliation on Greece and pushed many Athenians to the brink of nervous breakdown with the constant building work. But, even if the last lick of paint is applied five minutes before the opening ceremony on August 13, the Greek capital should be ready.

Greeks had in recent months become exhausted with Athens's delayed preparations for the games, which have led to endless traffic jams in the capital. Many have been worried too about the huge financial strain generated by Olympic preparations, which have nearly tripled the cost for the games to an estimated $7.29bn (3.94bn) from the time of their award in 1997." Read More at Athens is suddenly winning the race to be ready.

Posted by Darren at 05:38 PM | Comments (0)

Bulgarian Olympic Weightlifters Banned

"Bulgarian Olympic weightlifting champion Galabin Boevski was banned for eight years on Saturday for tampering with his urine sample at last year's world championships.

International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) president Tamas Ajan said Boevski's team mates Zlatan Vanev and Georgi Markov were also given 18-month suspensions and would not be able to compete at the Athens Olympic Games.

The three were ruled to have tampered with their tests at the Vancouver world championships in November. The authorities said their urine samples were identical and had come from one person." Read More at Bulgarian weightlifting champ Boevski banned

Posted by Darren at 05:25 PM | Comments (0)

Modern Pentathlon at a Glance

Eurosport has a good introduction to Modern pentathlon

"Modern Pentathlon is one of the more bizarre sports at the Olympic Games - or rather - it is a varied group of disciplines. Based on the adventures of a French army officer, it requires the competitor to perform five very different skills. Find out more with eurosport.com!!...

Modern pentathlon was originally dominated by the Swedes. Since World War II the Hungarians and the Soviets have become the top countries.

Scoring was originally done by a points-for-place system with the lowest score winning, but since 1956 the competition has been scored using points tables for each of the five events."

Posted by Darren at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)

Introduction to Olympics Judo - Eurosport

Eurosport has a good introduction to Olympic Judo.

'"The word Judo means "the gentle way" in Japanese and is thought to have derived from jujitsu, the hand-to-hand combat technique of ancient samurai warriors. Although it is similar to other martial arts in that you gain victory by throwing your opponent to the floor, it is the only Olympic sport where submission holds allow choking an opponent or breaking an arm!"'

Posted by Darren at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Ticket Sales Still Slow

'"With the Olympics just three weeks away, tourism industry officials are lamenting an apparent lack of interest in attending the Games.

More than half the tickets for the Games remain unsold, tour operators are reporting poor sales and 6,000 of 62,000 hotel rooms in the Greek capital have yet to be booked.

In fact, fewer tourists are expected to visit Greece this summer than last. That's a major concern in the Mediterranean country, where tourism accounts for 18 per cent of the country's gross domestic product."' Read More at CBC Sports: Olympic ticket sales sluggish.

Posted by Darren at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

Trevor Stewardson Cleared to Compete in Athens Olympics

'"Canadian boxer Trevor Stewardson won an appeal in a Quebec courtroom Thursday that clears the way for him to compete at the Athens Olympics.

Stewardson, who was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ont., but trains out of Medicine Hat, Alta., was contesting a Canadian Olympic Committee ruling that the silver medal he won at a qualifying tournament in Brazil was not sufficient to earn an Olympic berth."' Source - Boxer Stewardson wins Olympic spot on appeal

Posted by Darren at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Dogs and Drug Addicts Escape Death and Jail

With the Olympics fast approaching there had been reports that the clean up of athens would extend to a mass extermination of stray dogs and the locking up of the city's drug addicts. More recent reports indicate a relaxing of Athens officials approach to these issues.

'"In the months leading up to the Olympic Games, animal rights activists were beside themselves.

Rumors had began circulating that Athens city officials had plans to round up the capital's countless stray dogs and kill them off. The plans were part of overall efforts by the city to put on its best face for the 5 million visitors expected at the Olympic Games beginning Aug. 13.

Officials abandoned the idea following massive protest from Greek and European animal rights groups. Instead, they have rounded up the dogs, given them shots and released them onto the streets again....

But the campaign to clean up the sprawling capital continues. The city's garbage disposal problems, crumbling building facades and the addicts hanging around city squares are getting special attention leading up to the Games.

The deputy mayor of Athens has already warned heroin addicts that the increased security measures in place for the Games will lead to more arrests."'

Read More at - Athens Puts on Olympic Face | Olympic Games

Posted by Darren at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

Spain Defeats Britain 5 - 1 - Hockey

'Great Britain's Olympic build-up suffered another setback, when they slumped in Barcelona on Thursday.

A hat-trick from Santi Freixa punished the visitors,who missed a number of early chances.'

Great Britain 1-5 Spain

Posted by Darren at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

Great Britain Confident of 2 Gold Medals in Equestrian

The British Equestrian Team is confident of winning not just one Olympic Gold Medal but two in Athens.

'Great Britain are being tipped to walk away with double Olympic gold in the three-day eventing in Athens in August.

Britain won silver in the team event in Sydney four years ago and their best place in the individual event was Mary King's seventh place.

But team performance director Yogi Breisner told BBC Sport: "The gold is a more than realistic goal. We feel we can win gold in both events.'

Brits get golden backing

Posted by Darren at 04:39 PM | Comments (0)

Todd Wells Qualifies for Olympic Mountain Bike

Todd Wells has qualified for the Mountain Mike event at the Athens Olympics.

'"Four years ago during the Sydney Summer Olympics, Todd Wells was a working stiff punching the clock for IBM in Tucson, Ariz.

He wanted to get back into mountain bike racing - something that he had done professionally for two years before he had gone back to finish college - but he hadn't been able to land a new sponsorship after his first stint in the pro ranks.

"At that time I wasn't riding my bike at all," Wells said. "The real work thing is pretty rough, though, so I decided to see if I could start racing again and get a job.""'

Read More at Vail Daily News for Vail and Beaver Creek Colorado - Sports.

Posted by Darren at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

Lenny Krayzelburg Qualifies for Athens

'"Swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg will go to the Athens Olympic Games, thanks to placing second in his race during the U.S. qualifying trials, a feat greeted with greater acclaim and emotion than his three gold medals in Sydney four years ago.

The Jewish immigrant from Odessa had the media, 10,000 spectators and even his rivals cheering as he finished the finals of the 100-meter backstroke in 54.06 seconds, behind world champion Aaron Peirsol.

With only the top two in every race assured a berth on the U.S. Olympic team, Krayzelburg beat third place Peter Marshall by four-hundredth of a second."'

Read More at The Jewish Journal Of Greater Los Angeles.

Posted by Darren at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

Andrew Inglis and Mr Burns Appeal Olympic Decision

'"Showjumper Mr Burns faces a tough battle at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday, when the appeal against his omission from Australia's Olympic squad is heard. But Mr Burns is all too familiar with battles.

Having been trucked to the knackery several years ago, seemingly destined to be processed into pet food, the now 13-year-old has leapt within sight of an Athens berth, pending the outcome of rider Andrew Inglis's appeal.

Mr Burns and Inglis claimed first place at a three-star competition in Vichy, France, last weekend, raising hopes they might displace incumbent rider Tim Amitrano and showjumper Mr Innocent at a CAS hearing, starting on Monday."'

Read More at Appealing story of battling Mr Burns - Athens2004 - www.theage.com.au

Posted by Darren at 04:18 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Virus Threat

'"Terrorism isn't the only security threat officials are worried about at this summer's Olympic Games in Athens. They're also concerned about viruses and worm attacks that could cripple the Olympics' data network.

"Our biggest concern is that somebody could intentionally or by mistake infect one of the networks and create severe damage," said Jean Chevallier, executive vice president at Atos Origin, the Paris-based company in charge of building the data and broadcast networks for the Olympic Games in Athens. "We don't want any type of traffic incident that could delay the posting of results or slow the network in any way," Chevallier said."' Read more at All eyes on virus protection at Athens Olympics | CNET News.com

Posted by Darren at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)

Is the Olympics boring?

Hi everyone, this is my first time posting on this blog - thanks to Darren and Regan for finally convincing me that a blog on the Olympics will be interesting.

I've talked to lots of people and it seems that they're "over" the Olympics - they're too boring and a big waste of time and money.

I'm not so sure. The world is still in a state of unease and it's nice to know that once every four years, the world get can together and put those things to one side. Ahh, sounds like the speech of a Miss Universe contestant.

Is it like that in reality? The Olympics have often been a source for controversy: cheating, dirty tactics, scandals, intimidation, political wrangling, drugs, money and so on.

I don't think the Olympics are boring, but I certainly don't want to overdose on endless sport during this time (besides, I'll be asleep when most of the action takes place, coming from New Zealand).

What do you think? Should the Olympics stay as they are? Are they a huge waste of time, effort and money or is it still worthwhile to celebrate human achievement together?

Posted by Rachel at 04:14 PM | Comments (2)

Jana Pittman Runs Prepares by Removing Hurdles

'"JANA PITTMAN will stare down the track tonight and there won't be a hurdle in sight.

Australia's great hope will begin her final pre-Olympic competition phase by taking on world leader Tonique Williams-Darling over 400m without the barriers at the Golden League meeting in Paris.

The flat race is designed to springboard Pittman into her last two 400m hurdles races before she goes to Athens intent on turning her world title last year into a gold medal."' Source - The Australian: Pittman goes flat out to find her stride [July 23, 2004]

Posted by Darren at 04:13 PM | Comments (0)

NATO's Olympic Team

'"Now NATO is going to provide counterterrorism help to the Greek government for the Olympic Games. The assistance could consist of special forces, air and sea patrols and counterterrorism specialists.

This is a task NATO can and should _ and, indeed, must _ rise to, quickly resolving command-and-control and logistics issues. Greece is a NATO member and Athens is not Kabul or Afghanistan. In short, there's no excuse for messing up this mission. And an effective joint performance in Greece, modest as that assignment is, might go some way toward healing the split that Iraq caused between the United States and Britain and key partners France, Germany and Spain."'

Source NATO's Olympic Team

Posted by Darren at 03:33 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Olympics Badminton Seedings

'"There were no last-minute withdrawals and the seedings for the Athens Olympic Games badminton competitions went by the book."'

The seedings are as follows:

Mens singles: 1. Lin Dan (Chn), 2. Chen Hong (Chn), 3. Wong Choong Hann (Mas), 4. Bao Chunlai (Chn), 5. Lee Hyun-il (Kor), 6. Peter Gade-Christensen (Den), 7. Shon Seung-mo (Kor), 8. Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina).

Mens doubles: 1. Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen (Den), 2. Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng (Chn), 3. Kim Dong-moon-Ha Tae-kwon (Kor), 4. Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah (Mas), 5. Jens Eriksen-Martin Lundgaard Hansen (Den), 6. Sang Yang-Zheng Bo (Chn), 7. Luluk Hadiyanto-Alven Yulianto (Ina), 8. Flandi Limpele-Eng Hian (Ina).

Womens singles: 1. Gong Ruina (Chn), 2. Zhang Ning (Chn), 3. Zhou Mi (Chn), 4. Mia Audina (Ned), 5. Wang Chen (Hkg), 6. Jun Jae-youn (Kor), 7. Camilla Martin (Den), 8. Pi Hongyan (Fra).

Womens doubles: 1. Yang Wei-Zhang Jiewen (Chn), 2. Gao Ling-Huang Sui (Chn), 3. Ra Kyung-min-Lee Kyung-won (Kor), 4. Wei Yili-Zhao Tingting (Chn), 5. Mia Audina-Lotte Bruil-Jonathans (Ned), 6. Hwang Yu-mi-Lee Hyo-jung (Kor), 7. Rikke Olsen-Ann-Lou Jorgensen (Den), 8. Chikako Nakayama-Keiko Yoshitomi (Jpn)

Mixed doubles: 1. Kim Dong-moon-Ra Kyung-min (Kor), 2. Zhang Jun-Gao Ling (Chn), 3. Kim Yong-hyun-Lee Hyo-jung (Kor), 4. Nathan Robertson-Gail Emms (Eng), 5. Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thungthongkam (Tha), 6. Chen Qiqiu-Zhao Tingting (Chn), 7. Jonas Rasmussen-Rikke Olsen (Den), 8. Nova Widianto-Vita Marissa (Ina).

Source - No surprises in badminton seedings for Olympics

Posted by Darren at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

Lisa Fernandez - Olympic Profile

Sports Network has a good profile of US Softballer, Lisa Fernandez

'"Sometimes athletes have to go to extreme measures to challenge themselves after being successful for so long.

That has been the case recently for pitcher Lisa Fernandez and the rest of the United States softball team, gold medal winners of the only two Olympic competitions - in 1996 and 2000. Team USA recently had back-to-back no-hitters on their "Aiming for Athens" tour, on the way to this year's Summer Games in Greece. The softball team has a pre-Olympic tour winning streak of 166, dating back to 1996. "'

Read More at The Post-Searchlight.

Posted by Darren at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

US Women's Gymnastics Team Aim for Repeat Gold

The US Women's Gymnastics Team is hoping for a repeat Gold Medal performance in Athens.

'"Two women in their 20's, thought to be too old for competitive elite-level gymnastics, and four teenagers make up the U.S. team that will try to win gold in Athens.

As an 18-year-old, Mohini Bhardwaj, just missed making the 1996 U.S. team, finishing 10th at the team trials. Now 25, the last time she competed at an international competition was as a member of the United States 2001 World Championship bronze-medal team."'

US Olympic Women Gymnasts Want Gold Medal Repeat

Posted by Darren at 02:32 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Gears up for Cultural Games

Athens is not only getting ready for the hoards of tourists wanting to see sporting action but also for those wanting culture. In fact many of the museums and galleries in Athens are working on bringing sport and culture together in the coming months.

'"Athens' museums and galleries are mounting sport-oriented shows and planning longer than usual viewing hours for culturally minded visitors to the Olympics.

After two years of renovation, the National Archaeological Museum will reopen with a show titled "The Sport Spirit in Ancient Greece" including 280 artifacts from its own collections. The Museum of Cycladic Art has organized a show titled "Magna Graecia: Athletics and the Olympic Spirit" tracing the Olympic ideal to the frontiers of the ancient Greek world with more than 270 archaeological objects from 30 museums in Greece and Italy."'
Source: Athens gears up for cultural Olympics

Posted by Darren at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi Could Miss Olympics

'Israel's Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi could miss playing at the Athens Olympics because of a sponsorship row.

The world number 17's clothing sponsors Lotto will not allow her to wear the official team kit during matches.'

Source Smashnova faces Games blow

Posted by Darren at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)

Rachelle Kunkel Wins 1m Springboard Title

'"Rachelle Kunkel won her third straight women's 1-meter springboard title Thursday at the U.S. national diving championships.

Kunkel, of West Valley City, Utah, beat Cassandra Cardinell 295.83 points to 254.31. Though she failed to advance to the 3-meter springboard finals at the championships, she will represent the United States in that event at the Athens Olympics.

"Yesterday was a huge bummer. It was terrible," Kunkel said of the 3-meter failure. "I'm definitely going to learn from that experience."

She qualified for the 3-meter in Athens last month and the Olympics trials."' Read More at: Kunkel wins 1-meter springboard; Dumais advances in 3-meter

Posted by Darren at 02:18 PM | Comments (0)

Marion Jones Used Drugs - Ex Husband Alledges

'"Track and field superstar Marion Jones was using banned performance-enhancing drugs when she won five medals, three of them gold, at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, her ex-husband has told federal investigators probing the BALCO steroids scandal.

C.J. Hunter, a former shot-put champion and admitted steroid user who was divorced from Jones in 2002, said his ex-wife had had human growth hormone and a steroid-like substance known as "the clear" with her at the Sydney Games. At times, Hunter said, he personally injected Jones with banned substances. He also reported seeing Jones inject herself with drugs at the residence they shared in Australia, according to investigators' memos obtained by The Chronicle." ' Source - Ex-husband told feds Jones used banned substances during 2000 Olympics:

Posted by Darren at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Virus Threats

CNET has an interesting article on the threat of viruses in the Olympic data network in Athens and the precautions that are being taken against this eventuality.

'Terrorism isn't the only security threat officials are worried about at this summer's Olympic Games in Athens. They're also concerned about viruses and worm attacks that could cripple the Olympics' data network.

"Our biggest concern is that somebody could intentionally or by mistake infect one of the networks and create severe damage," said Jean Chevallier, executive vice president at Atos Origin, the Paris-based company in charge of building the data and broadcast networks for the Olympic Games in Athens. "We don't want any type of traffic incident that could delay the posting of results or slow the network in any way," Chevallier said.'

Read more at All eyes on virus protection at Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

Olympic Village Handed Over

The Olympic Village has officially been handed over to organizers.

'Control of the Olympic Village was officially handed to games organizers Thursday, a day before team officials arrive to inspect the complex.

�The Olympic village will be the heart of the games,� said chief Olympic organizer Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki. �It is an emotional moment.�

Labor minister Panos Panayiotopoulos gave Angelopoulos-Daskalaki a symbolic key to the village. The Olympic village opens its doors to athletes July 30, but heads of the teams are scheduled to arrive in Greece on Friday.

During the Aug. 13-29 Games, the village will be home to about 16,000 athletes and officials, including International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge. The $397 million complex includes a hospital, drug test center, places of worship and restaurant, plus a swimming pool, track and two gyms.

The construction of the village in the Menidi suburb, about nine miles northwest of central Athens, was beset by the same delays that hampered overall preparations. Several workers were killed at the site during its construction, with unions blaming the intense work schedule for the accidents.'

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

Dissent in Athens

A number of groups are beginning to protest against the Athens Olympics including a group called 'Dissent!'.

'Dissent! is a network of groups and individuals taking action against the G8 in Britain in 2005. Our struggle against the globalisation of exploitation and capital means that we are in solidarity with the struggles of all the common people around the globe. In the coming month the focus of the global bosses is the Olympic Games in Athens (Greece).

The preparations for what is perhaps the biggest spectacle in the world are well under way. So far national and international corporate media have largely focused on the construction (or not) of the Olympic venues. The social effects and consequences of the Games however, remain largely unreported. Already massive environmental damage has been caused plus nineteen workers have lost their lives in the so-called working "accidents" whilst working at the Olympic venues' construction sites. At the same time, the Olympics have proven to be the perfect excuse for the Greek State to attack all the social groups that are in the margins, in fact, everyone refusing to participate in the corporate spectacle that the Olympics are. ' Read More at Popular dissent against the Olympic Corporate Games

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

Australia may send Armed Guards to Athens

Australia is considering sending armed guards to Athens to protect its Olympic team despite officials in Athens disallowing teams to have armed security.

'Australian Prime Minister John Howard said Thursday his government is considering whether its team needs protection in Athens.

According to a New York Times report, US, Israeli and possibly British security guards would be allowed to carry weapons to protect their athletes at the Olympics, to be held Aug 13-29.

Greece has otherwise insisted it will not let foreign guards carry weapons to protect athletes at the event. The Australian government earlier said it would not send armed guards with its athletes.

Source - Olympics 2004, Athens > Armed guards likely for Australian team in Athens

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

Jenny Thompson - Olympics Profile

The Sport Network has a good profile of US Swimmer Jenny Thompson - the most decorated female Olympian of all-time.

'"I think that my perspective on things have changed a lot," said Thompson. "I'm having a lot more fun with the sport than I ever have. I'm more relaxed with it. The gold medal isn't the main priority at these Games for me. I would love to do the best I can for my country and I want to swim better than I ever have before. The gold medal isn't waking me up. It's not what's getting me out of bed in the morning."'

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

Laszlo Cseh Breaks Bone in Foot

Laszlo Cseh, one of the swimmers tipped to challenge Michael Phelps in Athens in medly races, has reportedly broken a bone in his foot at a training camp this week.

'The 18-year-old European champion in the 400 individual medley and 100 backstroke will have further examinations on the broken metatarsal bone today in Budapest's Sport Hospital.' Read More at Phelps' medley rival breaks foot.

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

Medal Hopes for Canadian Women's Water Polo Team

The Canadian Women's Water Polo team is ranked fourth in the world, but is almost unknown in their home country.

Little-known Canadian women's water polo squad has Olympic medal hopes

The team led by shooter Ann Dow of Montreal and centre Cora Campbell of Calgary is one of Canada's brighter hopes for the Games in Athens. The Canadians are ranked fourth in the world, winning a silver medal at the Pan Am Games last summer and bronze at the 2002 world championships.

Posted by at 08:20 AM | Comments (0)

Anger over scheduling at Opening Ceremony

New Zealand Olympic team officials are angry at the late scheduling of the athletes march past in the Athens opening ceremony.

Athletes will not be on the track until after 11 o'clock at night, meaning that they will not be back in the village until two in the morning.

This means most of the rowing and sailing teams will not make the opening, given they are competing on the first full day of competition.

New Zealand chef de mission Dave Currie had an issue with the late opening at the Manchester Commonwealth Games, and says he is angry with officials who constantly say the Games are all about the athletes, but then they schedule the opening ceremony so late.


Posted by Regan at 07:51 AM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2004

Athens Traffic Map

athens_traffic.jpgThe Athens Traffic Map is going to be a very interesting site to watch over the month.

I'm tipping we might see a bit of red on the map come 13 August.

Found via Konnecke

Posted by Darren at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

Mark Lewis-Francis Looks for Double Gold

'Mark Lewis-Francis believes he will return from the Athens Olympics with two medals.

The 21-year-old has set his sights on a top-three finish in the individual 100m and is tipping the British 4x100m relay squad to beat the USA to gold.

"The team has a really good chance of gold and we showed last year that we are almost the equal of the Americans," said the Wolverhampton sprinter.' Source Lewis-Francis eyes double.

Posted by Darren at 05:55 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Shotput History

The International Association of Athletics Federation has a good history of men's and women's Shot Put.

'Olympia will play host to an important piece of sporting history when the Athletics celebrations of the XXVIII Olympic Games of the modern era whose centre is the Greek capital Athens, commence on Wednesday 18 August 2004.

The qualification and finals for both the men�s and women�s Olympic Shot Put competitions will take place on that day in the original Olympic stadium.'

Read More at:
- A Snap SHOT of Olympic History - Women
- A snap SHOT of Olympic history - Men

Posted by Darren at 05:48 PM | Comments (0)

US defeates Australia in Women's Soccer

'Mia Hamm has a knack for scoring timely goals. Her latest unloaded a burden just in time for the Olympics.

Hamm scored her 150th career goal on Wednesday as the United States defeated Australia 3-1 in a pre-Olympic warmup before a sellout crowd of 10,276 at the National Sports Center.

"It meant a lot," Hamm said of scoring No. 150 before next month's Olympic Games. "Now I don't have to worry about it or answer any of those questions in Athens. I can get that off my shoulders and focus on what I need to do and the team needs to do to be successful at the Olympics."' Read more at Hamm's 150th goal rallies U.S. past Australia.

Posted by Darren at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

Chinese Olympic Uniform

olympic_suit.jpgChina have unveiled their very Red Olympics uniforms for the Athens Olympics (pictured left).

They should stand out at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Get more pictures of the Chinese Olympic Uniforms at China View.

Found via Danwei.

Posted by Darren at 02:35 PM | Comments (1)

Molotov Cocktails Hit Olympics Office in Athens

The protests against the Olympics continue to come in Greece - the last one involving violence.

'TWO Molotov cocktails were thrown early today at the Greek culture ministry, in charge of preparing next month's Olympic Games, and the nearby "Cultural Olympiad" offices in downtown Athens, causing slight damage, police said.

The two buildings, which in principle are under police guard, are behind the Greek national archaeological museum in the traditionally anti-establishment student quarter of Exarchia.' Read More at - Molotov cocktails hit Games office.

Posted by Darren at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

Malaysia hopes Leong Mun Yee can Make Diving Finals

'Coach Yang Zhuliang is targeting national number one women's diver Leong Mun Yee to become the first-ever Malaysian to qualify for the Olympic 3m springboard final in Athens next month.�

Mun Yee is one of the three Malaysian divers for the Olympics and she has switched to a higher degree of difficulty in her dives after a month-long training stint in China.�

She has been practising on a 3.1 level of difficulty in which only the Chinese women had executed previously.�' Read More at Coach feels Mun Yee can dive into the record books.

Posted by Darren at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)

Australian Boxer Will Compete While on Bail

'The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has cleared boxer Peter Wakefield to compete at next month's Athens Olympics despite being on bail over an alleged assault charge.

The Adelaide Advertiser newspaper reported Thursday that the 26-year-old Wakefield had been scheduled to stand trial this month with two co-accused but the court case had been postponed until June 2005.' Read More at - Australian Olympic Boxer to Compete While on Bail.

Posted by Darren at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)

Chris Colwill and Terry Horner Set for Athens in 1m Springboard

Chris Colwill has won the 1 meter springboard championship at the US National Diving Meet in the lead up to Athens.

'Colwill, of Brandon, Fla., scored 380.25 points and said he was disappointed the event isn't in the Olympics.

"The 1-meter is my favorite event," he said. "I felt more confident this year than in past years, when I was having trouble making my dives."

Terry Horner of Orlando, Fla., was second with 350.31 points, while Jason Coben, of Ann Arbor, Mich., placed third with 338.04.

The nationals are the final tuneup before next month's Athens Olympics, with many of the Olympic qualifiers training through the meet to prepare.' Read More at - Colwill wins 1-meter springboard; Soldati advances.

Posted by Darren at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

Christ Colwill and Terry Horner Set for Athens in 1m Springboard

Chris Colwill has won the 1 meter springboard championship at the US National Diving Meet in the lead up to Athens.

'Colwill, of Brandon, Fla., scored 380.25 points and said he was disappointed the event isn't in the Olympics.

"The 1-meter is my favorite event," he said. "I felt more confident this year than in past years, when I was having trouble making my dives."

Terry Horner of Orlando, Fla., was second with 350.31 points, while Jason Coben, of Ann Arbor, Mich., placed third with 338.04.

The nationals are the final tuneup before next month's Athens Olympics, with many of the Olympic qualifiers training through the meet to prepare.' Read More at - Colwill wins 1-meter springboard; Soldati advances.

Posted by Darren at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)

China Hopes for Gold in Shooting

China's Shooting team are hopeful of Gold Medals in Athens for the first time at an Olympic Games.

'From the time sheet and the Midas touch of their coaches, the Chinese marksmen and markswomen will most probably materialize their 3-gold trip to Athens to command a bright prospect for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Xu Haifeng, head coach of the Chinese shooting team, said that "we can achieve our goal of gold medals should one third of our athletes perform to their forms in Athens."'

Olympic Preview: Chinese shooters bank on time sheet for glories in Athens

Posted by Darren at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

Chinese Women's Football Team Aims for Gold

China's women's football team are eying off the Gold medal at the Athens Olympics.

' "Although it's a difficult job, our squad will try their best to win a medal and regain the glory of the yesteryears," Xue Li, vice president of the Chinese Football Association said here Wednesday.

Xue said, "Our baseline is set on the semi-finals, and win a medal if we are lucky enough."

The Chinese team won its ticket for Athens after all-victory matches in Japan where they emerged as Asia's No.1 for the Athens Olympic games, conceding no goals throughout the qualifying tournaments.

The qualifying matches in April was "encouraging", Xue said, but this is by no means to say that the Chinese team has come back with the power and confidence it possessed years ago when it had such veterans as Sun Qingmei and Sun Wen, who were awarded FIFA's "Miss Football of the World" respectively in 1991 and 1999.' Source - Chinese women footballers eye Olympic medal

Posted by Darren at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Olympics Marathon Route Will be Ready

'The Athens Olympics marathon route, one of the most criticised projects of next month's Games, will be ready for athletes next week after huge delays, Greece's Public Works Minister said on Thursday.

Major renovation work on the historic 42-km ancient marathon route - one of the highlights of the Athens Games - will be unveiled on Tuesday, George Souflias told reporters.

He said the troubled road widening project, originally due for completion last year, would be delivered within the International Olympic Committee (IOC) deadline.'

Read more at Olympics marathon will be ready.

Posted by Darren at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

Artour Samsonov - US Rowing Team

'Artour Samsonov joined the Grosse Pointe South High rowing team as a freshman in 1994, not looking to find athletic success but to make friends.

That day changed everything. It brought the Russian immigrant not only social acceptance, but eventually an education at Harvard and now a trip to Athens, Greece, as a U.S. Olympian.

Samsonov, who went by Arthur then, moved to Grosse Pointe Park from Dubna, a Russian town of 120,000 where life revolves around a nuclear science laboratory the way life in Detroit revolves around cars.' Read More at Samsonov will row his boat in Athens.

Posted by Darren at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

Australian Olympic Team Announced

'The Australian Olympic Committee today announced the full Team for the Athens Games which begin on August 13. 481 athletes, the biggest Team the AOC has ever sent overseas, will compete in 27 of the 28 sports on the Athens program. This compares with 424 athletes sent to the Atlanta Games in 1996 and 290 athletes in Barcelona in 1992.' Source - Record Number Heading for Athens Games


David Barnes; Deonne Bridger; Tim Cuddihy; Simon Fairweather; Jo-Ann Galbraith; Melissa Jennison.

Luke Adams; Justin Anlezark; Adam Basil; Sisay Bezabeh (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); Paul Burgess; Christie Dawes; Nathan Deakes (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); Paul Di Bella (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); Patrick Dwyer; Oliver Dziubak; Bronwyn Eagles; Kurt Fearnley; David Geddes (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); William Hamlyn-Harris; Nicholas Harrison; Clinton Hill; Lauren Hewitt; Steven Hooker; Kym Howe; Benita Johnson; Sarah Jamieson; Patrick Johnson (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); Brooke Krueger; Tamsyn Lewis; Dmitri Markov; Kerryn McCann; Kristopher McCarthy; Haley McGregor; Andrew McManus (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); Adam Miller (for relay position subject to IAAF confirmation); Craig Mottram; Andrew Murphy; Peter Nowill; Mark Ormrod (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); Jana Pittman; Petrina Price; Stuart Rendell; Joshua Ross (subject to outcome of appeal by Patrick Johnson in CAS for 100m. For relay position subject to IAAF confirmation); Jane Saville; Natalie Saville; Louise Sauvage; Deborah Sosimenko; Eliza Stankovic; John Steffensen (subject to IAAF confirmation of relay positions); Bronwyn Thompson; Lee Troop; Casey Vincent (for relay position subject to IAAF confirmation); Cheryl Webb; Kylie Wheeler.

Ashley Brehaut; Stuart Brehaut; Jane Crabtree; Travis Denney; Lenny Permana; Kate Wilson-Smith.

Craig Anderson; Thomas Brice; Adrian Burnside; Trent Durrington; Gavin Fingleson; Paul Gonzalez; Justin Huber; Nick Kimpton; Brendan Kingman; Craig Lewis; Graeme Lloyd; David Nilsson; Trent Oeltjen; Wayne Ough; Chris Oxspring; Brett Roneberg; Ryan Rowland Smith; John Stephens; Phillip Stockman; Brett Tamburrino; Richard Thompson; Rodney van Buizen; Glenn Williams; Jeff Williams.

Men: David Andersen; Andrew Bogut; Calvin Bruton; Martin Cattalini; Shane Heal; Brett Maher; Matthew Nielsen; John Rillie; Paul Rogers; Anthony Ronaldson; Glen Saville; Jason Smith.
Women: Suzy Batkovic; Sandra Brondello; Trish Fallon; Kristi Harrower; Lauren Jackson; Natalie Porter; Alicia Poto; Belinda Snell; Rachael Sporn; Laura Summerton; Penelope Taylor; Allison Tranquilli.

Joel Brunker; Adam Forsyth; Bradley Hore; Ryan Langham; Anthony Little; Anoushirvan Nourian; Gerard O'Mahony; Jamie Pittman; Peter Wakefield.

Nathan Baggaley; Kate Barclay; Robin Bell; Mark Bellofiore; Daniel Collins; Warwick Draper; Martin Marinov; Chantal Meek (K2 500m subject to appeal against decision of ICF in the CAS); Lachlan Milne; Louise Natoli; Lisa Oldenhof; Amanda Rankin (K2 500m subject to appeal against decision of ICF in the CAS); David Rhodes; Clint Robinson.

Mountain bike: Joshua Fleming (selected team member. Subject to outcome of reported likely appeal by Chris Jongewaard in CAS); Lisa Mathison; Sidney Taberlay.
Road: Sara Carrigan; Baden Cooke; Olivia Gollan; Robert McEwen; Stuart O'Grady; Michael Rogers; Matthew White; Oenone Wood.
Track: Katherine Bates; Graeme Brown; Peter Dawson; Brett Lancaster; Kate Mactier; Bradley McGee; Anna Meares; Mark Renshaw; Luke Roberts; Stephen Wooldridge; Ryan Bayley; Jobie Dajka (held for consideration pending conclusion of Justice Andersons investigation of this cyclist. If not by IOC deadline on 21 July, Jobie Dajka will be selected and entered subject to Andersons inverstigation.); Sean Eadie (subject to outcome of appeal by Ben Kersten in the CAS); Shane Kelly.

Steven Barnett; Lynda Dackiw; Lynda Folauhola; Mathew Helm; Irina Lashko; Chantelle Michell; Robert Newbery; Loudy Tourky.

Tim Amitrano (subject to outcome of appeal by Andrew Inglis in CAS); Olivia Bunn; Phillip Dutton; Mary Hanna; Andrew Hoy; Phillip Dutton; Erica MacMillan; Stuart Tinney; Rebel Morrow; Olivia Bunn.

Frank Bartolillo; Evelyn Halls; Seamus Robinson.

Men: John Aloisi; Alex Brosque; Tim Cahill; Shane Cansdell-Sherriff; Anthony Danze; Spase Dilevski; Ahmad Elrich; Eugen Galekovic; Ryan Griffiths; Brett Holman; Bradley Jones; Adrian Madaschi; Jonathan McKain; Craig Moore; Jade North; David Tarka; Carl Valeri; Luke Wilkshire.
Women: Dianne Alagich, Melissa Barbieri, Rhian Davies, Lisa De Vanna, Gillian Foster, Heather Garriock, Tal Karp, Cassandra Kell, Selin Kuralay, Kylie Ledbrook, Joanne Peters, Karla Reuter, Cheryl Salisbury (c), Sally Shipard, Thea Slatyer, Danielle Small, Sacha Wainwright, Sarah Walsh.

Artistic women: Danielle Kelly; Stephanie Moorhouse; Melissa Munro; Karen Nguyen (reserve); Monette Russo; Lisa Skinner; Allana Slater.
Artistic men: Philippe Rizzo.
Rhythmic: Penelope Blackmore.
Trampolining: Lesley Daly.

Men: Michael Brennan; Travis Brooks; Dean Butler; Liam De Young; Jamie Dwyer; Nathan Eglington; Troy Elder; Bevan George; Robert Hammond; Mark Hickman; Mark Knowles; Brent Livermore; Michael McCann; Stephan Mowlan; Grant Schubert; Matthew Wells.
Women: Katie Allen; Carmel Bakurski; Toni Cronk; Louise Dobson; Suzanne Faulkner; Peta Gallagher; Emily Halliday; Nikki Hudson; Rachel Imison; Bianca Netzler; Katrina Powell (c); Angie Skirving; Karen Smith; Sarah Taylor; Julie Towers; Melanie Twitt.

Catherine Arlove; Sonya Chervonsky; Andrew Collett; Carly Dixon; Morgan Endicott-Davies; Daniel Kelly; Martin Kelly; Jessica Malone; Maria Pekli; Semir Pepic; Heath Young.

Modern pentathlon
Eszter Hortobagyi; Alex Parygin.

Men's eight: Bo Hanson, Michael McKay, Stuart Reside, Geoffrey Stewart, James Stewart, Stephen Stewart, Stefan Szczurowski, Michael Toon (cox).
Men's coxless four: Stuart Welch; David Dennis, Robert Jahrling, Tom Laurich, David McGowan.
Men's coxless pair: Drew Ginn, James Tomkins.
Men's quad scull: Scott Brennan, Shaun Coulton, David Crawshay, Duncan Free.
Men's double scull: Peter Hardcastle, Brendan Long.
Men's single scull: Craig Jones.
Men's lightweight coxless four: Simon Burgess, Ben Cureton, Anthony Edwards, Glen Loftus.
Men's lightweight double scull: George Jelbart, Cameron Wurf.
Women's eight: Kyeema Doyle, Katie Foulkes (cox), Monique Heinke, Catriona Oliver, Sarah Outhwaite, Victoria Roberts, Sally Robbins, Julia Wilson, Jodi Winter.
Women's quad/double squad: Amber Bradley, Kerry Hore, Dana Faletic, Donna Martin, Jane Robinson, Rebecca Sattin.
Women's lightweight double scull: Amber Halliday, Sally Newmarch.

Jennifer Armstrong; Colin Beashel; Nicky Bethwaite; Michael Blackburn; Sarah Blanck; Gary Boyd; Darren Bundock; Jessica Crisp; John Forbes; David Giles; Karyn Gojnich; Lars Kleppich; Kristin Kosmala; Christopher Nicholson; Anthony Nossiter; Malcolm Page; Belinda Stowell; Nathan Wilmot.

Suzanne Balogh; George Barton; Michael Diamond; Kim Frazer; Stephen Haberman; Matthew Inabinet; Timothy Lowndes; Lauryn Mark; Susan McCready; David Moore; Warren Potent; Bruce Quick; Paul Rahman; Daniel Repacholi; Linda Ryan; Susan Trindall; Tom Turner; Adam Vella; Bryan Wilson; Annette Woodward; Lalita Yauhleuskaya.

Sandra Allen; Marissa Carpadios; Fiona Crawford; Amanda Doman; Peta Edebone; Tanya Harding; Natalie Hodgskin; Simmone Morrow; Tracey Mosley; Stacey Porter; Melanie Roche; Natalie Titcume; Natalie Ward; Brooke Wilkins; Kerry Wyborn.

Men: Ashley Callus; Grant Hackett; Regan Harrison; Brett Hawke; Geoff Huegill; Michael Klim; Adam Lucas; Antony Matkovich; Patrick Murphy; Travis Nederpelt; Justin Norris; Todd Pearson; Adam Pine; Jim Piper; Nicholas Sprenger; Craig Stevens; Eamon Sullivan; Ian Thorpe; Jonathan Van Hazel; Josh Watson; Matthew Welsh.
Women: Frances Adcock;Lara Carroll; Michelle Engelsman; Felicity Galvez; Elka Graham; Marieke Guehrer; Brooke Hanson; Leisel Jones; Jodie Henry; Lisbeth Lenton; Linda MacKenzie; Alice Mills; Melissa Mitchell; Melissa Morgan; Sarah Paton; Shayne Reese; Jennifer Reilly; Giaan Rooney; Sarah Ryan; Jessicah Schipper; Petria Thomas.

Synchronised Swimming
Amanda Laird; Leonie Nichols.

Table tennis
Men: Trevor Brown; William Henzell; Russell Lavale; David Zalcberg.
Women: Miao Miao; Jian Fang Lay.

Men: Caroline Bartasek; Daniel Trenton.
Women: Caroline Massimino; Tina Morgan.

Men: Wayne Arthurs; Mark Philippoussis; Todd Woodbridge.
Women: Alicia Molik; Nicole Pratt; Samantha Stosur; Rennae Stubbs.

Men: Greg Bennett; Peter Robertson; Simon Thompson.
Women: Loretta Harrop; Rina Hill; Maxine Seear.

Men: Brett Alderman; David Beard; Luke Campbell; Zane Christensen; Andrew Earl; David Ferguson; Benjamin Hardy; Daniel Howard; Travis Moran; Grant Sorensen; Hidde Van Beest; Matthew Young.

Beach volleyball men: Julien Prosser; Andrew Schacht; Joshua Slack; Mark Williams.
Beach volleyball women: Natalie Cook; Summer Lochowicz; Kerri-Ann Pottharst; Nicole Sanderson.

Water polo
Men: Pietro Figlioli; Trent Franklin; Toby Jenkins; Sam McGregor; Craig Miller; Timothy Neesham; Aleksandr Osadchuk; Dean Semmens; James Stanton; Rafael Sterk; Nathan Thomas; Thomas Whalan; Gavin Woods.
Women: Belinda Brooks; Jemma Brownlow; Naomi Castle; Nikita Cuffe; Joanne Fox; Kate Gynther; Kelly Heuchan; Emma Knox; Elise Norwood; Melissa Rippon; Rebecca Rippon; Bronwyn Smith; Jodie Stuhmcke.

Sergo Chakhoyan; Deborah Lovely (subject to outcome of appeal by Caroline Pileggi in the Federal Court).

Ali Abdo.

Note: The four wheelchair athletics athletes will compete in "exhibition events" at the Olympic Games. Any medals won in these events are not included in the official Olympic Team medal tally. The AOC considers these athletes full members of the Australian Olympic Team and they are therefore included in the athletes numbers above.

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM | Comments (2)

Cathy Freeman - Unsure Aussie Team is Clean

'Cathy Freeman said she could not be certain Australia's Olympic team was drug-free, short of "standing face-to-face with them, looking them in the eye and have them explain to me about what the hell's going on".

The retired Australian sprinter also expressed concern for the well-being of close friend Marion Jones, whom she fears may be suffering emotionally after the BALCO drug scandal in the US.

Speaking at Telstra Stadium yesterday, where her Olympic 400 metres triumph in 2000 was nominated as the venue's greatest moment, Freeman said she feared that in the present drug-tainted sports climate doubts would be raised over her achievements.' Read More at Freeman not sure team is clean.

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM | Comments (1)

John Capel and Coby Miller Make 'Relay Pool' in Athens

'World 200-meter champion John Capel and Louisville native Coby Miller were among 12 sprinters placed in the relay pool for the Athens Olympics by USA Track & Field early Monday.

Capel, who failed to qualify for the U.S. team in the 100 or 200 at the Olympic Trials, was one of three named to the men's 400-meter relay pool.

Miller, a 2000 Olympian in both the 100 and 200, also made the 4x100 pool. He finished fourth in the 100 at the trials with a time of 9.99 seconds.

Miller was a state champion at Louisville High in football and track. He played football one year at East Central Community College and was a track All-American at Meridian CC before attending Auburn.' Read More at Capel, Miller make U.S. relay pool

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM | Comments (0)

Olympic Synchronized Swimming Preview

Z Wire has a good preview of Olympics Synchronized Swimming in Athens. It includes a history of Olympic Synchronized Swimming as well as a preview for Athens.

'In the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, held in Athens in April, The Belarus duo of Khrystsina Markovich and Nastassia Vlasenka finished in first place, followed by the Belgian team of Assia Anastassova and Bogdana Zareva. Sandra Schwarz and Bettina Wrase of Germany were in third. The Russians, 2003 world champions, are expected to be at the top of their game again. Four years ago Olga Brusnikina and Maria Kisseleva won the duet and Russia also won the team gold medal. Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova are the top duet competitors for Russia this year. Four years ago Miya Tachibana and Miho Takeda won the silver medal for Japan in the duet and helped the Japanese to another silver in team. The two are expected to compete again at the Olympics this year.'

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM | Comments (1)

Phil Trinter - Olympics Preview

Sports Network has a good Olympics preview of US Sailer Phil Trinter.

'Trinter had two passions in life - football and sailing. He loved football so much he received a scholarship to Indiana University. Trinter, a 6-foot-6, hulking offensive tackle, was a four-year letterman for head coach Bill Mallory and the Hoosiers from 1988-91. He even appeared in four college post- season bowls, including the 1990 Peach Bowl.

With his football behind him, Trinter now set his sights on sailing. He went into the working world, seeking some for employment. He when on to meet Joe Londrigan, who lured him onto a Star crew and the rest became history. Trinter and Londrigan went on to win the 1992 Star North Americans and a year later they were world champions.

Trinter became a member of the United States Sailing Team in 1993 and even sailed with Dennis Conner aboard STARS & STRIPES in the 1995 America's Cup in San Diego.'

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM | Comments (0)

Shane Hamman - Olympics Profile

The Search Post has a good Olympics preview of Shane Hamman - US Heavy-weight weightlifting champion.

'He's already considered the strongest man in the United States and can squat over 1,000 pounds, clean and jerk 500 and snatch 430. With a 22-inch neck, 22-inch biceps, 22-inch calves, 35-inch thighs, not to mention a long braided beard, Hamman can look like a bully, but he's really a big teddy bear. "That happens sometimes, but most people like it. They like my look and they're not intimidated by me," Hamman said about his tough look. "I'm a pretty nice guy."'

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM | Comments (0)

Olympic Security to Cost $1.5 billion

'The security budget for the Athens Games, the costliest in Olympic history, has increased by another 25 percent to about $1.5 billion.

Greek officials previously put the cost of safeguarding the Aug. 13-29 games at $1.2 billion, or three times more than Sydney spent in 2000.

Deputy Finance Minister Petros Doukas on Wednesday put the security costs at about $1.5 billion, attributing the rise to increasing security demands by foreign governments. He did not give specifics.' Read More at Olympic security budget rises to $1.5B

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM | Comments (0)

American Special Forces to Help Protect Olympics

'Responding to a request from Greece, the United States has committed 400 American special forces soldiers to the job of helping protect the Olympic Games next month, a U.S. counterterrorism official said Wednesday.

It is not yet decided whether the armed soldiers would be in Athens, on the nearby island of Crete or remain on alert in Europe, where they are based in Germany, the official said.

The United States is in the process of discussing with the Greek government where the soldiers will be positioned, the official said.
Source - American Special Forces Will Help Protect Olympic Games

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM | Comments (0)

UK rowing team in good form

Despite some losses the UK rowing team say they are improving their times, and in for a good chance.

Christian Cormack added: �Ed was very much the experienced person in the boat, so losing him came as a blow.

�But now we have regrouped and our preparations are going very well.�

The eight showed good form last year, winning bronze in the World Cup, although several of that successful team will not be making the trip to Athens.

Yet Phil said he was confident that the boat has the pace required to succeed on the biggest stage.

"In training and races we have produced real flashes of speed,� he said

Source: Walton Online

Posted by at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

First Olympic Medals Being Produced

1 Ton of bronze, and 13 kilos of Gold. Wow.

A group of 15 specialists have started cutting the medals that will be awarded to winners at the Athens Games.

More than 3,100 medals will be minted � 986 gold, 986 silver and 1,150 bronze.

Also there will be around 3,300 Paralympic medals.

The Olympic medal shows the statue of Winged Victory of Peonios at Olympia against the Panathenaic Stadium on one side, and the Olympic Flame against an extract of Pindar�s Eighth Olympic Ode on the other side.

The Paralympic medal bears an image of a seahorse � the official logo for the Athens Paralympic Games � and the phrase Athens 2004 in Braille on one side, and the Acropolis on the other side.

Source: Olympic Medals Produced

Posted by at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)

Athens Mosque will not be ready for Olympics

ATHENS (Reuters) - Athens' first new mosque in more than 175 years will not be ready in time for next month's Athens Olympics, says the government.

Greek authorities had linked the planned mosque to efforts to bolster the country's image among Muslim nations competing in August's Olympiad.

Athens is home to an estimated 100,000 Muslim Albanians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Moroccans, Syrians and Nigerians, but it is the only European Union capital with no officially recognised mosque.

Bureaucratic hurdles have prevented its construction in Peania 35 km (20 miles) from the capital, the foreign ministry said.

Source: Mosque not ready

Posted by at 08:27 AM | Comments (0)

Greeks insist on Olympics arms ban for athletes after secret deal leaked

The US is preparing to send 400 special forces troops to Greece to help bolster security at the Olympic Games, it was confirmed yesterday. But Greek officials have insisted that only its troops would be allowed to carry arms to protectathletes.

The US troops, along with FBI agents and support staff, will be part of the largest security operation ever put in place for the Olympics. A total of �650m is being spent on security � four times as much than at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Details of how the troops will be deployed are still being discussed by the Greek government, the Pentagon and Nato, under whose command they will fall under. It is not clear whether they will be sent to Athens, the site of the games, or the island of Crete, where the US team will train.

Source: Arms Ban

Posted by at 08:24 AM | Comments (0)

2004 Summer Olympic Games Previews -- Swimming & Syncronized Swimming

Sport's Network has added two more good previews of events at the Athens Olympics which include history of the events as well as tips for August's competition.

2004 Summer Olympic Games Preview - Synchronized Swimming
2004 Summer Olympic Games Preview - Swimming

Traffic conditions in Athens

Athens Traffic Map

The Athens Traffic Map may be of use to some travellers when in Athens. It gives a live view of the current traffic ande transportation conditions in the central and wider metropolitan areas of the city.

Just use the navigation links on the side of the page to change the view or to zoom in or zoom out.

[from Sydney Volunteers in Athens blog]

Posted by at 01:26 AM | Comments (0)

Olympic Athletes Will not Have Armed Guards

'Greek officials denied reports today that US, Israeli and possibly British armed guards are to accompany their nations' teams to the Olympic Games in Athens next month.

The country's public order minister, George Voulgarakis, said there were to be no exceptions to the Greek law - and Olympic tradition - that barred foreign agents from carrying guns.

Security at the first summer games since September 11 2001 has become a sensitive issue for teams who feel most at risk from attack. The security budget is a record �650m and plans to protect the athletes and spectators involve Nato air patrols, but Greeks official feel that the presence of armed foreign guards would undermine their authority.' Read More at Greece denies Olympic athletes will have armed guards.

Posted by Darren at 12:03 AM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2004

Greece Tourist Season Down Despite Olympics

Greece is on track for a slow tourist season despite their hosting the Olympics.

'The number of visitors was considerably down in the first six months and, despite the August 13-29 Games, the drop could be as high as eight percent.

"Tourism is continuing to be negative in 2004. If this trend does not change in the coming months the drop in arrivals could be as much as eight percent compared to last year," the union said in a statement.

Greece attracted just under 14 million visitors in 2003.' Source - Greece Sees Tourism Drop Despite Athens Games

Posted by Darren at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)

Peter Waterfield and Leon Taylor - Injury Scare

British Synchronized Diving pair Peter Waterfield and Leon Taylor had a scare in their Olympics preparations recently.

'Less than six weeks before the start of the Games, Waterfield twisted his ankle while improving his poise and balance.

"It was like having my right arm cut off," said Taylor, the other half of the 10m synchronised platform diving team tipped for a medal in Athens.

"It was a setback but it wasn't a total disaster. We were determined not to let the injury knock us off track."' Read More at Diving duo in Athens twist

Posted by Darren at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)

Pakistan's Mohammad Saqlain Out of Olympic Hockey

'Centre-half Mohammad Saqlain has been left out of Pakistan's Olympic hockey squad after striking a fellow player during a training session.

He was not picked for disciplinary reasons, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) said.

He was banned by the PHF last month and excluded from a European training camp.' Source - Saqlain dropped over row

Posted by Darren at 10:13 PM | Comments (1)

Most Athens Olympics Still Unsold

'The Athens Games were supposed to make this ancient land a top tourist destination. But with just three weeks left before the opening ceremonies, the figures are hardly encouraging.

More than half the tickets for the games remain unsold, tour operators are reporting sluggish bookings and up to 6,000 of Athens' 62,000 hotel rooms are still up for grabs despite earlier fears of a serious accommodation shortage.

In fact, fewer tourists are expected in Greece this summer compared to last year.

"Generally, it looks like this year we will have less people," George Drakopoulos, head of the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises, told The Associated Press. He said some parts of Greece have seen a 10 to 15 percent drop in bookings.' Read More at Majority of Olympics Tickets Still Unsold

Posted by Darren at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

Introduction to Olympics Triathlon

Sport's Network has a good preview of the Triathlon events at the Athens Olympics which includes a history of the event as well as tips for August's competition.

'Bevan Docherty of New Zealand is at the top of the heap in the world rankings for the men, followed by Dmitriy Gaag of Kazakhstan, Ivan Rana of Spain and Greg Bennett of Australia.

Look for Anja Dittmer of Germany and Australians Liz Blatchford and Loretta Harrop to be among the top contenders in the women's field.'

Posted by Darren at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

Austria to Send Team of 74 Athletes to Athens

Austria has a team of 74 heading to Athens this year.

'Table tennis world champion Werner Schlager will lead Austria's 74-person team that will compete at the Athens Olympics, the Austrian Olympic Team announced Tuesday.

Schlager is one of 54 men, who will be joined by 20 women, that will go the to games Aug. 13-29. The team is the 12th largest Austria has sent to an Olympiad, less than half the biggest team it has ever sent, 183 to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and considerably smaller than the 122-member team that competed at the 1972 Games in Munich. Austria has competed in all but one of the previous 27 Summer Games.' Source - Austria sending 74 athletes to Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

Kenenisa Bekele's Double Gold Dream

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele is hoping for double Gold Medals in the Athens Olympics in the 5000m and 10,000m races.

'Kenenisa Bekele�s 2004 year of World record success seems like a dream to the 22 year-old a dream and he simply does not want to wake up.

Four years ago, a young Bekele was only in his second year of serious running and watched from a television set in Addis Ababa Haile Gebrselassie dramatically snatching victory from Kenyan Paul Tergat in the final strides of the Olympic men's 10,000m final in Sydney. "I still find it amazing that Haile [Gebrselassie] beat Tergat in Sydney," he recalls....

And it is his wonderful form and unbeaten record that now spans twenty races of all types that has convinced him and the Ethiopian Athletics Federation that he should go for both the 5000 and 10,000m gold medals in Athens. ' Source - Bekele to double in Athens? This time there is no prevarication - Interview

Posted by Darren at 09:41 PM | Comments (2)

China Hopes for 20 Gold Medals in Athens

China is getting ready for their hosting of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and part of this is their sending of a big team to Athens where they hope to win 20 Gold Medals.

'China is sending its largest and youngest Olympic delegation ever to the 2004 Athens Games next month, signalling an early warning that it could be a dominant force at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with experience it reaps in Greece.

Some 407 Chinese athletes will participate in more than 200 events in 26 sports at the Athens Games, sports officials said Tuesday. The only two sports China will miss are equestrian events and baseball.

Combined with 226 officials, the Chinese contingent will reach 633. That number is relatively enormous compared with past Olympics -- China sent 279 athletes to compete in 24 sports four years ago at Sydney.

Women athletes continue to play a key part of the Chinese team, accounting for 269 of the total 407 competitors.' Source - China squad targets 20-plus Olympic golds

Posted by Darren at 09:27 PM | Comments (0)

Lim Keng Liat Aims for 100m Backstroke Final

'No one gave swimmer Lim Keng Liat a ghost of a chance in the World Championships in Barcelona last year but he surprised the elite field to qualify for the final of the 100m backstroke with the fifth fastest time.�

The Sabahan now wants to swim his way into the history books again in the Athens Olympics next month.�

Keng Liat, who is now training in a camp in Croatia, will be making his third appearance in the Olympics in Athens and he will aim to qualify for his first-ever final.�

To make the 100m backstroke final, Keng Liat needs to break his own national record of 54.77, which he set when qualifying for the final of the World Championships....

No Malaysian swimmer has ever qualified for a final of a swimming event in the Olympics. But after his achievement in the World Championships, Keng Liat feels it is not an impossible task.' Read More at Swimmer Keng Liat in bid to make first-ever final in Olympics

Posted by Darren at 09:27 PM | Comments (1)

Nigeria's Women's Basketball Team Warms up Against US Military Team

Nigeria's women's basketball team are preparing for the Athens Olympics by playing whatever opposition they can find - including a US military all star team.

'The European women�s U.S. all-stars weren�t much of a match for the Nigerian women�s Olympic basketball team in an 83-26 loss Friday night....

The Nigerians, champions of Africa and the only women�s team from the continent to qualify for next month�s Athens Games, decided to work on their full-court press after halftime, forcing turnovers and steals during a 32-2 third-quarter run.

�This isn�t the kind of game we need to get us ready for the Olympics,� Nigeria�s Mactabene Amachree said, �but we have what we have. After this we�re going to Turkey. They�ll give us some games.�' Read More at Nigerian women�s team routs military all-stars

Posted by Darren at 09:27 PM | Comments (2)

Malaysia Hope for 4 Medals

Malaysia are hoping to win four medals at the Athens Olympics in three of the eleven sports their 26 athletes will compete in.

'The chef-de-mission, Datuk Dr M. Jegathesan, said that the four medals they expected to win were two from badminton and one each from taekwondo and cycling.�

Dr Jegathesan said: �The target is realistic. For example, in badminton, Wong Choong Hann is ranked third in the world and the pair Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah are the number two.�

�Taekwondo exponent Elaine Teo won a silver in the women Under-49kg Asia Olympics qualifiers in Bangkok (February) while Josiah Ng won the keirin event in the Asian Championship in Japan.��

He added that winning medals in the other sports, including gymnastics and swimming, would be a tall order.�

�If athletes (in these sports) can better national records in their respective events, they can justify their participation,� he said.�' Read More at Four-medal target for Olympics, says Jegathesan

Posted by Darren at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

British Olympic Athletes Get Team Underwear

British Olympic Athletes will be issued with special Great Britain underwear, thongs for women and boxer shorts for men.

'Every team member will have to fit a mind-boggling 139 items of official kit in their suitcase, leaving little space for lucky rabbits' feet, guidebooks and sun lotion....

There is formal wear for the Secretary of State's reception on 11 August, special attire for the opening and closing ceremonies and leisure wear for use around the Olympic village.

Cufflinks, pendants and handbags are all on the list, and the crisp white shirts have stirring images of Britain's gold medal winners from Sydney printed on the inside of the collar.

It all adds up to about 40kg of kit for each of the 270-odd competitors - a grand total of about 50,000 items for the British Olympic Association to distribute.' Source What's in the Olympic wardrobe?

Posted by Darren at 09:13 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Port Close for Security Update

Security in Athens is continuing to be put in place. This time the main port of Athens was closed for two hours while divers installed an underwater monitoring system.

'The fiber-optic cables are a key element of an electronic web of cameras, sensors and other intelligence-gathering devices designed to help safeguard the Aug. 13-29 Olympics. Greece is spending $1.24 billion on Olympic security.

Although the devices are considered necessary for security, several groups said they will demonstrate against their use. Anti-globalization groups said they would protest outside Greece�s parliament. Some political parties also have expressed concerns.' Read More at Security Upgrades Close Athens Seaport

Posted by Darren at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

400 Armed US Troops Allowed at Olympics

Greece has decided to allow armed US Soldiers to be present at the Athens Olympics. Previously they had rejected this possibility but have relented under pressure from the US.

'Under intense pressure from the United States, Greece will allow 400 American Special Forces soldiers to be present at the Olympic Games next month under NATO auspices and will also permit American, Israeli and possibly British security officers to carry weapons, Greek and American officials said.

The delicate arrangements, which the officials say will not be formally acknowledged for fear of roiling anti-American sentiment, represent a significant departure from Olympic tradition, as well as from Greek law, which prohibits foreign personnel from carrying weapons within the country. Until now, the only nation known to have armed its security forces at the Olympics is Israel, whose agents have been carrying arms largely without prior approval from host countries since 1972, when Black September, a Palestinian group, killed Israeli athletes and officials in the Olympic Village in Munich.' Read More at Pressured by U.S., Greece Will Allow Troops at Olympics

Posted by Darren at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

Pierre Bideau designs lighting for Athens monuments

Special lighting planned for Athens monuments during Olympics

The Parthenon and other ancient monuments around Athens will be specially lit at night during the Olympics as part of a project to highlight the city's monuments for the big event.

Posted by at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic sex

Durex has been appointed official supplier of condoms and lubricants for the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, this year.

The donation of 130 000 condoms and 30 000 tubes of lubricant will cost the company US$100,000, says Jo Giles of Durex, and it promises to give athletes' performance in the bedroom a boost.

The free condoms will be available at a central pharmacy in the Olympic village for the estimated 10 500 athletes and 3 000 officials from 199 countries.

The free condoms will be available at a central pharmacy in the Olympic village for the estimated 10�500 athletes and 3�000 officials from 199 countries.

Source - Oiling the way for Olympic sex

Also see more on this topic at Athletes achieve a personal best in sex

Posted by Regan at 08:01 AM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2004

American Runs for Britain at Olympics

'American Malachi Davis was named to the British Olympic team Tuesday, just two weeks after receiving his British passport.

Davis was given provisional spots in both the 400 meters and 1,600-meter relay for his adopted country.

Davis is from Sacramento, Calif., but his mother was born in England. He decided to try for a place on the British team after figuring he had little chance to make the American squad for the Aug. 13-29 Olympics.' Read More at American runner added to British Olympic team

Read more of the same story at Los Angeles runner in Britain Olympic Team.

Posted by Darren at 11:28 PM | Comments (0)

Jana Pittman Driven by Destiny

'Jumping obstacles at full speed is not everyone's idea of fun but for Australia's Jana Pittman it has fast become an obsession.

Pittman started out as a runner who had no interest in circling a track trying to skim the top of hurdles.

But she was persuaded by a former coach to try the event when she was still a teenager and, although she fell flat on her face the first time, she was hooked straight away.

With her long legs and slender build, Pittman proved to be perfectly built for hurdling and her progress in the event has been astounding.

She became world junior champion, won the Commonwealth Games title as a teenager then won the senior title last year at her first attempt. Now, at 21, she is the favourite to win the women's 400 metres hurdles at the Athens Olympics next month.' Read More at Hurdler Pittman driven by her destiny

Posted by Darren at 11:28 PM | Comments (1)

Wheelchair atheletes barred from opening ceremony

TheStar.com - IOC privileges differ for demo sports

Jeff Adams can race on the same night at the men's 100-metre final in Athens, but he can't march in the opening ceremonies.

Nor can he stay in the Athletes Village for more than four days. Nor is he part of the official Olympic delegation.

Posted by at 10:59 PM | Comments (1)

Brazil's Olympic Athletics Team Announced

Brazil has announced their Athletics Team for the Athens Olympics as follows:

Vicente Lenilson de Lima, 100m/4x100m
Andr� Domingos da Silva, 100m/4x100m
Jarbas Mascarenhas J�nior, 100m/4x100m
Bas�lio Em�dio de Moraes J�nior, 200m/4x100m
Claudio Roberto Souza, 200m/4x100m
Edson Luciano Ribeiro, 4x100m
Anderson Jorge Oliveira dos Santos, 400m
Osmar Barbosa dos Santos, 800m
Hudson Santos de Souza, 1500m
Redel�n Melo dos Santos, 110m H
Matheus Inoc�ncio, 110m H
Marcio Sim�o de Souza, 110m H
Jess� Farias de Lima, High Jump
Jadel Greg�rio, Triple Jump/ Long Jump
Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, Marathon
Andr� Luiz Ramos, Marathon
R�mulo Wagner da Silva, Marathon
Jos� Alessandro Bernardo Baggio, 20 km walk
Sergio Vieira Galdino, 50 km walk
M�rio Jos� dos Santos J�nior, 50 km walk

Rosemar Maria Coelho Neto, 100m/4x100m
Lucimar Aparecida de Moura, 200m/4x100m
K�tia Regina de Jesus Santos, 4x100m
Luciana Alves dos Santos, 4x100m
Thatiana Regina Ign�cio, 4x100m
Geisa Aparecida Muniz Coutinho, 400m/4x400m
Maria Laura Almir�o, 400 m/4x400m
Josiane da Silva Tito, 4x400m
Lucimar Teodoro, 4x400m
Magn�lia Figueiredo, 4x400m
Luciana de Paula Mendes, 800m
Ma�la Machado,100m H
Keila da Silva Costa, Long Jump
Elis�ngela Adriano, Shot/Discus
Marcia Narloch, marathon
Marlene Fortunato, marathon
Alessandra Picagevicz, 20 km walk

Source - Brazilian team for Athens is announced

Posted by Darren at 08:52 PM | Comments (1)

China announces historic delegation for Athens Olympics

China will send a record 407 athletes to compete in 26 sports at the upcoming Athens Olympics Games, aiming to finish top three in the medal standings.


Posted by Regan at 06:06 PM | Comments (0)

Pankration - Ancient Olympic Fighting Event

One of the criticisms I've seen of the fighting events at the Olympics is that they are too barbaric. However this article compares it to Pankration - an ancient Olympic Sport that makes what we'll see in Athens look like kids stuff.

"A no-holds-barred combination of the two, it allowed choking, scratching, slapping, kicking, punching the genitals, leg tripping, finger bending and flipping an opponent overhead. A judge watched over the two opponents, ready with a stick to strike the perpetrator of fouls like biting and eye-gouging.

The sport, if such it can be called, was added to the Olympic program about 75 years after the Games began, according to historians, in 776 B.C. And it is vividly depicted in sculptures and vase painting of the era, along with more refined contests like running, chariot racing, discus and javelin throwing, long jumping and others, including the pentathlon, a combination of five events performed in one day." Read More at The New York Times: The Olympics as They Were

Posted by Darren at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)

Australian Volunteers in Athens Blog

konnecke.com/athens for those volunteers who volunteered in Sydney, that are also volunteering in Athens to tell of their daily activities. Sounds like an interesting blog to keep an eye on during the games.

Posted by Darren at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

Last Minute Athens Olympics Travel Tips

Are you still trying to make up your mind if you should go to the Athens Olympics? National Geographic have just put out an article looking at the pros and cons of going to the Olympics that might help you make your last minute decision.

'The Athens 2004 Olympic Games are less than a month away. Yet ticket sales are down by 20 percent. The negative press around the games hasn't helped much: While no specific threat has been made, many consider the Olympics to be a prime terrorist target. And even at this late date, Athens's officials are still struggling to complete necessary infrastructure for the 18-day sporting event.

The cost to attend the games is also high: Accommodations and tickets to just four events runs close to U.S. $4,000. Tack on at least another U.S. $1,000 for airfare from the United States.

In short, there are lots of reasons for travelers to say home. But will they miss a momentous experience if they do? In an interview, National Geographic Traveler Editor in Chief Keith Bellows shares his views on the pros and cons of traveling to this summer's Olympic Games.' Read More at Traveler Editor's Tips for Last-Minute Dash to Olympics.

Posted by Darren at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

Smallest Canadian team in 24 years

Canada sending smallest team since 1980 to Athens Summer Olympics

Tougher qualifying standards from the Canadian Olympic Committee has led to the smallest Canadaian team since 1980. Canada will send 266 athletes to Athens - 134 women and 132 men - the smallest squad since 1980. Canada boycotted those Olympics in Moscow, but 211 athletes were still chosen to the team.

Posted by at 12:11 PM | Comments (0)

Nicolas Gill - Canada's Flag Bearer

'Judo veteran Nicolas Gill will carry Canada's flag at the opening of the Summer Olympics in Athens, the Canadian Olympic Committee announced Monday.

Gill, 32, will be competing in his fourth Olympics. The Montreal native is a two-time judo medallist at the Games, winning a bronze in 1992 and a silver in 2000. He has also earned three medals at the world championships.

"It's a big surprise to be carrying the flag," Gill told a news conference via satellite from Belgium, where he's in training. "To carry the Olympic flag will be my best memory from my Olympic career. It's an incredible honour."'

Judo star Nicolas Gill to carry Maple Leaf at Athens opening ceremonies

Posted by Darren at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Ticket Sales Expected to Rise

A Poll has shown that most Greeks have been waiting until the last minute to purchase their tickets to the Olympic Games. This is an encouraging sign as tickets sales have been lower than expected.

'Most Greeks want to attend the Olympics but have been waiting until the last minute to buy a ticket, according to a nationwide poll released Monday.

The poll, commissioned by the Athens Organizing Committee, also found that 40 percent of Athens' nearly 5 million residents said they will stay in the capital so they can attend a sports event.

That's considerably more than the 26.1 percent who said they would stay when the same poll was carried out in May.

"This confirms assessments that the intention of people to buy tickets for the games is increasing," the organizing committee said in a statement.' Read More at Poll predicts rise in Olympic ticket sales

Posted by Darren at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

Michael Phelps - Omega Man

Michael Phelps is now an Omega Man.

'A release from Swatch Group announced that at the end of the Trials Phelps was to be introduced by supermodel Cindy Crawford and television personality Pat O�Brien as the newest member of the Omega family of Brand Ambassadors. ' Source - Phelps, the Omega Man

Posted by Darren at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

Introduction to Olympic Modern Pentathlon

The Sports Network has a good 2004 Summer Olympic Games Preview of Modern Pentathlon which includes Olympics history and hints at who to watch in Athens in the Modern Pentathlon.

'Hungary's Gabor Balough, a silver medalist from 2000, is favored to win gold this year. Edvinas Krungolcas of Lithuania, Choon-huan Lee of Korea, Erik Johansson of Sweden, Andrejus Zadneprovskis of Lithuania and Andrei Moiseev of Russia are some of the other top men's competitors.

Georgina Harland of Great Britain, Zsuzsanna Voros of Hungary, Elen Rublevska of Latvia, Ukrainian Victoria Tereshuk, Germany's Kim Raisner and Great Britain's Kate Allenby are some of the top women in the field. Allenby won the bronze medal in 2000.'

Posted by Darren at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

Athens Makeover

The BBC reports that Athens is undergoing a massive makeover as last minute preparations are being done in the city in the final weeks before the Olympics.

'Thousands of bright banners and reams of multi-coloured canvas will help transform Athens before the Olympics.

The Greek capital's cityscape will be given an electric orange, blue and green makeover ahead of the Games.

Building, bridges and 370km of highways will be dressed in the same colours as the uniforms of Olympic volunteers.'

Source - Athens set for makeover

Posted by Darren at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)

Germany send 452 Athletes to Athens

At the last Olympics Germany fell from 3rd place on the Medal Tally to 5th place. They are hoping to reverse this in Athens and are sending 452 athletes to the games.

'Germany will send 25 more athletes than the country nominated for the Sydney games, with 254 men and 198 women competing. Other top names include Birgit Fischer, a seven-time gold medalist in kayaking, and the Women's World Cup soccer champions.'

Germany will send 452 athletes to Athens

Posted by Darren at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)

Athens Tramline in Place

The Athens Tram line is finally in place. The tram system will significantly reduce traffic levels at the Olympics in August.

'Hundreds of Athenians crowded stations along the route to cheer the first carriage on its journey.

The 26-kilometre, T-shaped line will link the city centre with the southern seaside suburbs, where two major Olympic venues are located.

The project, which brings the tram back to Athens after a 44-year absence, cost �250m and went �40m over budget.

"We are particularly pleased that the tram is ready," said Spyros Kapralos, the Greek government's secretary general for the Games. "Many Olympic spectators will use it."

The tram line will serve the Olympic complexes of Helliniko and Faliro, which will stage canoe and kayak events, baseball, softball, handball, fencing, taekwondo, , beach and triathlon.' Source - BBC: Transport boost for Athens

Posted by Darren at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

Torri Edwards and Marion Jones make US Team

Torri Edwards and Marion Jones have been named in the preliminary US Olympics team despite ongoing investigations into doping allegations.

'Edwards, who faces a US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) hearing later on Monday, is set to compete in the 100m and 200m.

Three-time gold medallist Jones, still under scrutiny by USADA despite never failing a doping test, qualified in just one event - the long jump.

The final roster for the American team will be announced on 9 August.' Read More at Edwards named in US squad

Posted by Darren at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

Tara Cunningham takes on China - Weightlifting

'Tara Cunningham must beat one of China's so-called Dream Team weightlifters to repeat as an Olympic gold medalist in Athens next month.

Unlike the Sydney Games, when Cunningham, then competing as Tara Nott, unexpectedly won the gold medal at 105 1/2 pounds after original winner Isabela Dragneva of Bulgaria failed a drug test, she apparently will compete this time against one of China's top weightlifters.

Perhaps the only surprise was China didn't choose 19-year-old Wang Mingjuan, the two-time defending world champion at 105 1/2 (48 kg), but Li Zhuo, who beat out Wang before this spring's Asian championships. Zhuo set world records in both the snatch and the clean and jerk in September, but Wang won the world championship two months later in Vancouver.' Read More at Cunningham Must Face China for Gold Medal

Posted by Darren at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

Indian Hockey Team Coach Sacked

India has sacked its National Hockey Team Coach, Rajinder Singh with 24 days to go before the Olympics.

'He was immediately replaced by his deputy, German Gerhard Rach.

The Indian team have fared poorly in 2004, failing to win any tournament since their Afro-Asian Games triumph over Pakistan on home soil last year.

Indian Hockey Federation president KPS Gill told the BBC: "This decision has been communicated to the players who have no problems regarding it."' Source - BBC: India hockey coach sacked

Posted by Darren at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

Sean Eadie Cleared for Athens

Australian Olympic Cyclist Sean Eadie has been cleared of drug charges and will be allowed to compete in Athens.

'Sean Eadie, a cycling bronze medalist at the Sydney Games, won his appeal Monday after contesting a 5-year-old doping accusation and was expected to be placed on Australia's Olympic team.

The former world champion had been dropped from the team last week when the Australian Olympic Committee told Cycling Australia it would not allow him to compete in Athens.

"I'm very happy," Eadie said.