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September 03, 2004

Olympics: Larry Brown didn't work wonders

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

And then there's men's basketball.

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

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

Read more at Larry Brown didn't work wonders

Posted by Darren at 12:16 PM

August 30, 2004

Mia Hamm closes career as U.S. flag bearer

"Retiring soccer star Mia Hamm was elected by her fellow U.S. athletes to carry the nation's flag in Sunday's closing Olympic ceremony.

Hamm won her second Olympic gold medal this week when the U.S. team beat Brazil in Thursday's final. She also was part of the 1996 gold medal team, as well as the 2000 team that took silver."

Read more at Hamm closes career as U.S. flag bearer

Posted by Darren at 01:34 AM

Olympic Gold Hero Accuses Bush

"America's biggest Olympic hero yesterday accused George Bush of exploiting the Athens Games for his own political advantage in the run-up to the presidential election.

Carl Lewis, who won nine Olympic gold medals in athletics in a record-breaking career, condemned Bush for using the presence of Iraqi and Afghan teams in Athens in a television advertisement to boost his chances of re-election.

Criticizing Bush for linking his foreign policy with the two countries being allowed to compete here, Lewis said: 'I felt that was disingenuous. It is funny that we boycotted the 1980 Games [in Moscow] in support of Afghanistan, and now we're bombing Afghanistan,' he told the Athens News yesterday.

'Of course, we've invaded Iraq and are in there and are using it for political gain. It bewilders me, and I understand why the Iraqi players are offended.

'To support the players or the community is fine, but for political gain I disagree.'"

Read more at Olympic Gold Hero Accuses Bush

Posted by Darren at 01:21 AM

Andre Ward Redeems U.S. Boxing With Gold

"Andre Ward won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division Sunday, beating Magomed Aripgadjiev of Belarus to claim a bit of redemption for an American team that took a beating at the Olympics.

Fighting in the last bout of the games, Ward found his mark with quick inside punches in the third round to win the first boxing gold for the United States since David Reid in 1996."

Read more at Andre Ward Redeems U.S. Boxing With Gold

Posted by Darren at 12:41 AM

August 29, 2004

S.Koreans Lodge Appeal Over Hamm's Gold Medal

"South Korea appealed to sport's supreme legal body Sunday in an attempt to secure the Olympic gymnastics all-round gold medal for Yang Tae-young, who was robbed of the title 11 days ago by a scoring error.

Paul Hamm, who became the first American man to win the Olympic all-round title, should not have been awarded the gold, the governing body of gymnastics (FIG) ruled last Saturday.

Despite admitting the error, the FIG refused to redistribute the medals and the Koreans have now applied to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to overturn the federation's decision.

CAS spokesman Matthieu Reeb said although its decisions are usually made public in 24 hours, it may take longer to evaluate an outcome in the Korean's case due to the technicalities involved."

Read more at S.Koreans Lodge Appeal Over Hamm's Gold Medal

Posted by Darren at 11:00 PM

Bronze as good as it gets for U.S. Men's Basketball

"The United States men didn't leave Olympic basketball's drastically altered landscape empty-handed on Saturday.

A bronze medal was hardly what the Americans wanted or expected out of these Summer Games. But it was the best they could manage, and the 104-96 win over Lithuania at the Olympic Indoor Hall did provide a measure of satisfaction after an uneven and disappointing tournament.

The result was warmly applauded by the many Americans in an audience of 14,500."

Read more at Sports

Posted by Darren at 10:08 PM

United States Retains Both 4x400 Titles

"The United States retained both Olympic 4x400 meters relay titles Saturday with individual champion Jeremy Wariner running the third leg for the men's team.

The Americans were already well in front when Wariner received the baton and he in turn gave Darold Williamson a clear lead.

Williamson completed victory for the United States in two minutes 55.91 seconds with Australia second almost five seconds back and Nigeria third.

None of the American team were in the squad who competed in Sydney four years and who are now certain to lose their gold medals.

The world governing body has annulled the results and recommended that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) take back the medals because one of the American team, world 400 meters champion Jerome Young, should have been serving a doping ban."

Read more at Sports News Article | Reuters.com

Posted by Darren at 06:10 AM

US win Men's 4 x 400m Relay Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from United States
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Australia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Nigeria

Posted by Darren at 05:47 AM

US win Women's 4x 400m Relay

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from United States
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Russia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Jamaica

Posted by Darren at 05:33 AM

Women's Dream Team doesn't Disappoint

"They missed shots, threw the ball away and got beat on defense. In the end, though, Shannon Johnson and Tina Thompson helped the Americans pull out another gold-medal victory.

Johnson and Thompson gave the United States a huge lift with their second-half scoring, and the Americans beat Australia 74-63 today for their third straight Olympic basketball title.

The U.S. players finally got their game together after falling behind by four points in the second half. They turned up the defense, crashed the boards harder and, most important, found their shooting touch -- something the U.S. men's team failed to do."

Read more at Women's Dream Team doesn't disappoint

Posted by Darren at 04:32 AM

Cael Sanderson wins Men's 84kg Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Cael Sanderson from United States
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Eui Jae Moon from Korea, South
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Sazhid Sa

Posted by Darren at 03:36 AM

Steven Lopez wins Men's Under 80kg Taekwondo Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Steven Lopez from United States
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Bahri Tanrikulu from Turkey
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Yossef Karami from Iran

Posted by Darren at 03:25 AM

August 28, 2004

U.S. to Play Lithuania Again for Bronze

"For the first time since the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the team standing atop the podium for the gold medal ceremony wont be wearing red with its white and blue.

Argentina and Italy will play for the gold after a stunning day that included the United States being humbled 89-81 by Argentina and the Italians using their 3-point prowess to knock off previously unbeaten Lithuania 100-91.

Allen Iverson promised a full effort in the bronze-medal game against Lithuania on Saturday night, but that will do little to erase the stigma that always will be associated with this Olympic team.

Theyve already lost three times, hammering home the reality that the world has not only caught up to the Americans, it has surpassed them."

Read more at Posted by Darren at 11:06 PM

Tearful Marion Jones finishes Olympics without a medal

"American superstar Marion Jones made a tearful exit from the Olympics, finishing an unhappy campaign empty-handed four years after being the golden girl of the Sydney Games.

The 28-year-old came fifth in the long jump and was then involved in a baton change blunder in the 4x100 metres relay which left the United States quartet out of the medals for the first time since 1980.

It completed a miserable year for Jones, who has found herself at the centre of an ongoing drugs scandal investigation that has already wrecked the career of sprinter boyfriend Tim Montgomery (news - web sites).

Asked about her whole experience at the Olympics, Jones said: "It was a rough one," before breaking down in tears and vowing to return."

Read more at Yahoo! News - Tearful Jones finishes Olympics without a medal

Posted by Darren at 05:12 PM

U.S. and Australia: A golden matchup - Women's Basketball

"There had been an air of inevitability throughout the Olympic women's basketball tournament that the United States and Australia would meet for the gold medal.

Yesterday that matchup was realized, with both of the tournament's undefeated teams advancing through their semifinal games at the Olympic Indoor Hall. First, the United States edged Russia, 66-62. Then, Australia ran away from Brazil, 88-75.

Today, when the championship tips off at 9:15 a.m., Pittsburgh time, the Australians aim to undo the final remaining feeling of inevitability.

The one that says the Americans are a lock to win."

Read more at U.S. and Australia: A golden matchup

Posted by Darren at 04:49 PM

Bad Day for U.S., New Dawn for China

"The United States suffered their worst day of the Athens Olympics on Friday when a tearful Marion Jones flopped, their basketball "Dream Team" were humiliated and they captured only one of the 20 golds on offer.

But China, who had never won an Olympic gold in athletics, had a night to remember with Liu Xiang winning the men's 110 meters hurdles in a world record equaling 12.91 seconds.

"My victory has proved that athletes with yellow skin can run as fast as those with black and white skin," said Liu, 21.

"This is a miracle, but I believe a lot more miracles will take place in China," he said, as a new generation of his compatriots signaled they will be a force to be reckoned with on the track when Beijing hosts the next Olympics in 2008.

Xing Huina beat the Ethiopians at their own game to win the women's 10,000 in one of the biggest upsets of the athletics."

Read more at Bad Day for U.S., New Dawn for China

Posted by Darren at 12:55 PM

Brazil defeat US in Men's Beach Volleyball

"Brazil rolled to a convincing three-set victory over the United States in their men's volleyball semifinal Friday, joining Italy in the gold medal match. The Brazilians, whose perfect record was snapped in a four-set loss to the U.S. on Monday, erased any doubt that they are the better team with a 25-16, 25-17 and 25-23 victory."

Read more at U.S. men rolled by Brazil in volleyball semis

Posted by Darren at 06:32 AM

No medal for Marion Jones in long jump or relay

"Marion Jones' chances for a medal at the Olympics ended abruptly Friday night with a fifth-place finish in the long jump and a disaster in the women's 4x100 meter relay. Running second, Jones had a poor exchange of the baton with Lauryn Williams. Williams left too early and she couldn't connect with Jones until it was too late. The U.S. didn't finish because Williams was already out of the handoff zone. The race was won by the Jamaican foursome of Tayna Lawrence, Sherone Simpson, Aleen Bailey and Veronica Campbell in 41.73 seconds. Russia was second and France was third."

Read more at No medal for Marion Jones in long jump or relay

Also read Jones fifth in long jump

Posted by Darren at 06:30 AM

Timothy Mack wins Men's Pole Vault Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Timothy Mack from United States
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Toby Stevenson from United States
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Giuseppe Gibilisco from Italy

Posted by Darren at 06:29 AM

Argentina defeat USA 89 - 81 - Men's Basketball

"The United States fell behind 50-40 to Argentina early in the third quarter in the semifinals of the Olympic men's basketball tournament. The Argentines had a 43-38 halftime lead and quickly built on it. The winner advances to the gold-medal game against either Lithuania or Italy, who play at 3:15 p.m. Lithuania used a barrage of 3-pointers to beat the U.S. team in the preliminary round 94-90 last Saturday. Italy routed the Americans by 17 points in an exhibition 12 days before their Olympic opener."

Read more at Argentina Leads U.S. 53-40 in Third

Update - early in the 4th Argentina leads the US 73-61

Argentina have upset the Gold Medal Favorites the USA with a final score of Argentina 89 - USA 81.

Read more at the match in the following articles.

"Argentina snapped the U.S. Senior National Team's 58-game winning streak two years ago at the World Championships. Now Manu Ginobili and the Argentines have ended the United States' chances for a gold medal at the Athens Games, scoring an 89-81 victory over Larry Brown's team in the semifinals. Last summer the Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Argentina finished runner-up to the United States. Meeting the Americans twice, Argentina suffered a narrow 94-86 loss in second round play, and was handed a 106-73 setback in the gold medal game."

Read more at What a Nightmare: U.S. Men Fall to Argentina

"Bronze is the best the American men's basketball team can do, and the reason is simple: They were beaten by a better team, Argentina. Manu Ginobili scored 29 points to lead his nation to another victory over the country that used to dominate the sport, an 89-81 win in the Olympic semifinals Friday night. For the first time since 1988, the gold medal will not go to the Americans. And for the first time since pro players were added for the original Dream Team in 1992, the United States will not be the Olympic champion."

Posted by Darren at 04:31 AM

Aussie Helm leads platform diving; Americans shut out of medals

"Caesar Garcia and Kyle Prandi failed to advance out of the 10-meter platform preliminaries Friday and that meant one thing: No medals for American divers, their first Olympic shutout in 92 years. Caesar Garcia (seen here) and Kyle Prandi didn't make it out of the men's 10-meter platform prelims the event would have been the USA's last shot at a medal. By Mark Humphrey, AP Garcia, of Baton Rouge, finished 23rd with 388.77 points. Prandi, of Strongsville, Ohio, dropped from second-place to 21st after the second round and wound up 29th out of 33 divers with 346.53 points."

Read more at USATODAY.com - Aussie Helm leads platform diving; Americans shut out of medals

Posted by Darren at 04:27 AM

Paul Hamm Asked to Give Up Gold Medal

"Gymnastics officials asked Paul Hamm to give up his gold medal as the ultimate show of sportsmanship, but the U.S. Olympic Committee told them to take responsibility for their own mistakes. In a dispute over scores that has turned into a political squabble, the head of the International Gymnastics Federation suggested in a letter to Hamm that giving the all-around gold medal to South Korea's Yang Tae-young "would be recognized as the ultimate demonstration of fair play by the whole world." FIG president Bruno Grandi tried to send the letter Thursday night to Hamm through the USOC, but the USOC refused to deliver it."

Read more at AP Wire | 08/27/2004 | Paul Hamm Asked to Give Up Gold Medal

Posted by Darren at 12:47 AM

August 27, 2004

U.S. Is Angry at the Pressure on Paul Hamm

"The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) have accused the governing body of world gymnastics of putting "outrageous and improper" pressure on gold medallist Paul Hamm to give his medal to a South Korean rival. The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has said Hamm placed first in the all-round event due to a judging error and bronze medallist Yang Tae-young should have been awarded gold. It has suspended the judges involved but said there is no mechanism for overturning a decision made in the competition. "

Read more at U.S. Is Angry at the Pressure on Paul Hamm

Posted by Darren at 11:45 PM

U.S. women move into basketball gold medal game

"Tina Thompson led a balanced attack with 14 points, as the United States women's basketball team assured themselves of a medal after beating Russia, 66-62, in the semifinals at the Summer Olympics on Friday.

The Americans will now face the winner of the Brazil/Australia game in Saturday's gold medal game. Lisa Leslie and Tamika Catchings each added 11 points, while Yolanda Griffith finished with 10, as the two-time defending gold medalists held off a late rally by Russia. Tatiana Shchegoleva had 13 points, while Maria Stepanova added 11 for Russia. Russia cut its deficit to 60-58 on a three-pointer by Oxana Rakhmatulina with 4:23 left, but the U.S. scored the next six points to put the game away. Sheryl Swoopes had two buckets and Thompson scored from inside the paint to push the Americans to a 66-58 cushion with 2:39 left."

Read more at U.S. women move into basketball gold medal game

Posted by Darren at 11:31 PM

U.S. to meet Argentina in Men's basketball Semi Final

"The United States and Argentina will go after each other again in the Olympic men's basketball semifinals, and if their latest performances carry over, it'll be difficult for the South American rivals to win. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. EDT tipoff, with the winner advancing to the gold-medal game against either Lithuania or Italy, who play at 3:15 p.m. Lithuania used a barrage of 3-pointers to beat the U.S. team in the preliminary round 94-90 last Saturday. Italy routed the Americans by 17 points in an exhibition 12 days before their Olympic opener."

Read more at U.S. men's basketball team faces Argentina for a spot in gold-medal game; Lithuania plays Italy

Posted by Darren at 10:29 PM

The pain in Spain: 'Explain'

" In an arena where anti-American sentiment was running about 100-to-1, the men's Olympic basketball team from the United States of America walked off the floor to the universal language of displeasure. Boos are boos in any language.

In the aftermath of their 102-94 victory over Spain that moved the men within two victories of the gold medal that is their supposed birthright, the crowd was unhappy for many things, among them the fact that U.S. coach Larry Brown had the bad form to call a timeout with 23 seconds left and the game out of reach.

As he would spell out for the media later, Brown said he had asked for the timeout with about a minute to play, after two turnovers that caused him concern. But as is not uncommon in international basketball, the scorekeeper didn't award him the timeout immediately and Brown later, satisfied all was well, tried to cancel the request. "But they wouldn't let me do that, they gave it to me anyway," the coach said.

After the game ended, one of Spain's coaches screamed at Brown, inciting the crowd. "I tried to apologize," Brown said, "but it was like a disagreement with my son. Sometimes he doesn't want to hear your explanation.

"I said I was sorry. I would never try to embarrass someone like that."

There was almost a palpable relief as Brown, who coached the Detroit Pistons to their unexpected NBA title over the Los Angeles Lakers in June before collecting the assortment of mostly young, inexperienced NBA players willing to represent U.S. basketball in these Olympics, responded to the short-lived international incident. It was much more pleasant discussing a questionable timeout than talking about a 19-point loss to Puerto Rico or a fourth-quarter collapse to Lithuania."

Read more at The pain in Spain: 'Explain'

Posted by Darren at 05:01 PM

Fab Five of women's soccer disband with gold

"They went out the way they came in, acting as if it was all such a surprise and this was the greatest day of their lives.

They gave the impression they would have played this way, this hard, this gosh-darn giddily, whether the entire world was watching or they simply were kicking the ball around a playground.

When soccer's Fab Five and the rest of the U.S. women's Olympic team heard all the cheers Thursday night at Karaiskaki Stadium and felt the love of a raucous crowd, it was as if the attention floored them. Then, in a brilliant, emotionally charged soccer show, the Americans beat Brazil 2-1 in overtime for the Olympic gold medal."

Read more at Fab Five of women's soccer disband with gold

Posted by Darren at 04:57 PM

US win Women's Football/Soccer Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Brazil

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Germany

Shawn Crawford wins 200m in Crowd Disrupted Race

"Shawn Crawford denied fellow American Justin Gatlin an Olympic sprint double as he stormed to victory in the Olympic men's 200 meters to set up a United States clean sweep....

The race, though, was marred by ugly scenes and delayed for five minutes when the packed 75,000 crowd at the Olympic Stadium began booing and chanting "Kenteris, Kenteris!" and "Hellas, Hellas!

Costas Kenteris, Greece's 2000 Olympic champion in the event, withdrew from the Games after missing a drugs test in mysterious circumstances the day before the opening ceremony. There was no Greek runner in Thursday's race.""

Read more at Golden Crawford Denies Gatlin Sprint Double

Also read about this story at Shawn Crawford leads U.S. sweep of 200 meters, overcoming teammates Williams, Gatlin to win gold

Posted by Darren at 06:25 AM

Shawn Crawford wins 200m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Shawn Crawford from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Bernard Williams from United States

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Justin Gatlin from United States

Dwight Phillips wins Men's Long Jump Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Dwight Phillips from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: John Moffitt from United States

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Joan Lino Martinez from Spain

US and China battle for Medal Table Supremacy

"Calls of "cut it out" and "give it back" have competed with a hot United States-vs-China medals race as the 28th Olympiad in Athens went into its final days with over 70 medals still to be won....

With many eyes on China's rising pile of gold, the Middle Kingdom tried to cool overheated hopes at home, forecasting a late Russian medals surge to second place behind the United States when the medals are unofficially tallied on Sunday night.

"The risk of China not being able to hold on to second place is very great," Xiao Tian, a Chinese Olympic Committee vice-president told a news conference.

"I am not being falsely modest here, but speaking after analysing numbers," he said, citing boxing, rhythmic gymnastics and athletics events where Russia have title hopes.

With perfect timing, student Andrey Moiseev of Russia won the men's modern pentathlon, so far ahead in the competition grouping running, fencing, shooting, swimming and show jumping that he was able to stop and accept a flag from a spectator before the finish line.

Russia climbed to fourth equal with Japan on the table after a bad start, with 15 golds. Australia has 16, China 24, and the United States leads with 25.

The days of U.S. domination of Olympic basketball appeared to be over and so did the fans' love affair with the American Dream Team, kings of Barcelona in 1992 when Michael Jordan led the squad of NBA superstars.

The U.S. was jeered off the floor in a wave of anti-American sentiment after an ill-tempered 102-94 quarter-final win over Spain, complete with red-faced coaches screaming at each other near centre court as officials stepped in to separate them.

Drugs dogged the sports spectacle as rower Olena Olefirenko tested positive for a prohibited stimulant, costing Ukraine a bronze. Weightlifter Zoltan Kovacs became the second Hungarian to be chucked out, after refusing to take a dope test."

Read more at US and China battle for Medal Table Supremacy

Posted by Darren at 05:47 AM

U.S. leads Brazil 1-0 in soccer final

" The U.S. women's soccer team was 45 minutes away from winning back the Olympic gold medal Thursday, taking a 1-0 halftime lead over Brazil on a goal by Lindsay Tarpley in the 39th minute. The goal could be controversial, however, as replays showed that Brandi Chastain's hand may have touched the ball moments before she passed to Tarpley for the goal.

U.S. captain Julie Foudy started the game despite spraining her right ankle in a quarterfinal victory over Germany on Monday."

Read more at The Seattle Times: News from AP

Update - At Full time the scores are 1 - 1. Extra time is now about to start.

With 8 minutes of extra time still to play the US have just scored taking it to 2 - 1.

The final score was 2 - 1 to the US.

Posted by Darren at 05:44 AM

Italy women win water polo Gold, Greece win Silver and U.S. takes bronze

" Melania Grego scored less than a minute into the second overtime to lead Italy over Greece, 10-9, in the women's water polo gold medal match Thursday.

The United States team beat Australia, 6-5, earlier in the day to win bronze.. Italy and Greece were tied 7-7 at the end of regulation, and both teams scored twice in the first overtime to send the match into an extra three-minute frame. Italy's Tania DiMarco tallied with just nine seconds left in the first OT period to deny Greece a celebration. Grego's game-winner, at 2:04, was the only goal of the second overtime. She scored three times on the day. "I couldn't believe we could lose," Greece's Kyriaki Liosi said. "For sure, this is a huge success, but when you get this high, you want to get gold." Italy's Francesca Conti made eight saves on 17 shots."

Read more at Italy women win water polo gold; U.S. takes bronze

Posted by Darren at 05:41 AM

Dream Team finally hits its jump shots, beats Spain 102-94 to advance to Friday's semifinals

"Larry Brown was right. The Americans did start hitting their jump shots, and suddenly they look as if they might be the team to beat at the Athens Games. Stephon Marbury broke the U.S. men's Olympic record with 31 points, helping to beat Spain 102-94 in the quarterfinals Thursday and transform a team that had spent the first 1 1/2 weeks missing jumpers.

"Stephon shot the ball like Stephon today," Lamar Odom said.

After spending 90 minutes working on his shot on the team's day off, Marbury made six of his team's 12 3-pointers and was a big reason the previously undefeated Spaniards are now out of medal contention. They weren't happy about it.

As the teams left the court, Spanish coach Mario Pesquera and Brown yelled and pointed at each other about a late U.S. timeout, and they had to be separated by their assistants."

Read more at Dream Team finally hits its jump shots, beats Spain 102-94 to advance to Friday's semifinals

Posted by Darren at 03:09 AM

August 26, 2004

U.S. teen claims silver in 200 meters

"Allyson Felix took over a spot once occupied by Marion Jones, but she hasn't replaced the queen of track entirely.

Felix, 18, ran her fastest official 200 meters to place second behind Jamaica's Veronica Campbell in the Olympic final Wednesday. Despite missing the gold medal, Felix made it clear that, for now, the 200 meters belongs to her."

Read more at U.S. teen claims silver in 200m

Posted by Darren at 11:18 PM

Dream Team leads Spain 44-42 at halftime; U.S. trying to advance to semis vs. unbeaten Spaniards

"As expected, the U.S. men's basketball team had its hands full in a quarterfinal game against Spain on Thursday. The United States led the Spaniards 44-42 at halftime, with the winner advancing to play either Argentina or Greece in the semifinals Friday.

The Spaniards were the class of the tournament in the preliminary round, going 5-0, but it remained to be seen if that success would carry over. The other quarterfinals Thursday pit Puerto Rico against Italy, Lithuania against China and Argentina against Greece.

LeBron James was the latest to lower expectations for the Americans, who went a mediocre 3-2 in the preliminaries."

Read more at Dream Team leads Spain 44-42 at halftime; U.S. trying to advance to semis vs. unbeaten Spaniards

update - At Three quarter time the US lead Spain 74 - 67

The final score is US 102 defeated Spain 94

The US will play the winner of Argentina and Greece.

Posted by Darren at 10:41 PM

Marion Jones placed on 400 relay

"Marion Jones will be part of the U.S. Olympic 400-meter relay team, women's coach Sue Humphrey announced last night.

Jones' participation had been a subject of speculation because she is being investigated by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. However, she has not been charged with any doping offense and qualified last night for the long jump finals.

The lineup, in order, will be Angela Williams, Jones, 100-meter silver medalist Lauryn Williams and LaTasha Colander. That team ran 41.37 seconds, three-tenths of a second off the world record, in Munich on Aug. 8."

Read more at Jones placed on 400 relay

Posted by Darren at 08:53 PM

Fab Five looks for a golden finish

"The Fab Five and the rest of the U.S. women's soccer team want to ride their emotions to the gold medal, rather than have those emotions get in the way.

It's a difficult balance to strike: The young players wants to send Mia Hamm Co. out as winners, but many similarly inspired teams have fallen short because they were simply trying too hard.

"I don't want them to feel that I'm putting pressure on them to have to do it for me, or for us," Hamm said. "Let's do it for each other."

The long goodbye ends for the Fab Five on Thursday when the United States plays Brazil for the Olympic title. It will be the long-anticipated chance for Hamm, Julie Foudy, Joy Fawcett, Kristine Lilly and Brandi Chastain to end their time together as world champions, a bragging right they haven't been able to claim for five years."

Read more at Fab Five looks for a golden finish

Posted by Darren at 08:41 PM

American boxing down for the count

"And now there are two -- only two -- Americans left to fight their way through the Olympic boxing medal rounds ... just two from the country that once dominated these Games ... just two from the country with the most money ... the most history ... the most amateur alumni to go on and rule the professional world.

This is the mysterious paradox among all those other golden United States Olympic squads in Athens. Off victories and defeats you find it hard to understand why this country has just two fighters left in the Olympic boxing medal rounds"

Read more at Izenberg: American boxing down for the count

Posted by Darren at 03:40 PM

Derek Miles Advances To Olympic Pole Vault Finals

"Derek Miles of the U.S. Track and Field made his final attempt at the qualifying height of 5.7 meters and is among the 16 male vaulters to qualify for the finals in the pole vault at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Miles, who will jump in the pole vault finals at about 8:45 a.m. on Friday (August 27) morning, made his first two jumps (5.5 meters, 5.6 meters) before passing to the qualifying height of 5.7 meters which he made on his third try.

Both of USA's other vaulters also advanced with Toby Stevenson clearing 5.7 on his first attempt. Tim Mack made the qualifying height on his second try.

Other finalists included the reigning European champion, Alejsander Averbukh of Isreal, who cleared 5.7 on his first attempt. Reigning world champion Giuseppe Gibilisco of Italy, who has struggled much of the year, also advanced. However many of the top vaulters did not move on, including the 2001 world champion Dmitri Markov of Australia. Okkert Brits of RSA, one of the few vaulters to go over six meters, did not advance."

Read more at Miles Advances To Olympic Pole Vault Finals

Posted by Darren at 03:34 PM

Paul Hamm prefers not to share all-around gold

"Olympic all-around champion Paul Hamm said Wednesday he would prefer not to share his gold medal with South Korea's Yang Tae-young despite a judging mistake that ultimately cost Yang the gold.

In an interview on CBS' "The Late Show with David Letterman," Hamm was asked about having another gold medal issued for Yang.

"I personally feel in my heart I was the Olympic champion that night," Hamm said. "I would be a little bit upset if another gold medal was awarded because I really felt I won the event."

The studio audience agreed, applauding and chanting "U-S-A! U-S-A!"

After a disastrous fall on the vault, Hamm dropped from first place after three rotations to 12th after four. He followed with brilliant performances on the parallel bars and high bar, allowing him to edge Yang, who finished with the bronze, just 0.049 points behind.

But the judges failed to give Yang enough points for the level of difficulty on the parallel bars. That triggered an uproar, with South Korea lobbying for another gold medal."

Read more at Hamm prefers not to share all-around gold

Posted by Darren at 03:32 PM

Allen Johnson falls in 100m hurdles

"World high hurdles champion Allen Johnson literally crashed out of the Olympic Games Wednesday when he fell at the ninth flight in the second semi-final.

The 1996 Olympic champion tripped on the ninth hurdle and flew headlong into the 10th. He lay sprawled on the track watching helplessly as his opponents crossed the line.

"It's unfortunate. It happens to the best of us, you just have to move on. It's just one of those breaks," the American said.

"You always have disappointments, Sydney showed that. I just have to take this one and keep going."

Johnson finished fourth at the 2000 Sydney Games"

Read more at American Allen Johnson Crashes Out of Olympics

"Four-time world 110 metres hurdles champion Allen Johnson's bid to regain his Olympic title ended in disaster when he fell for only the second time in his 13 year career.

The 33-year-old, 1996 Olympic champion, clipped several of the hurdles in his second round heat but as he desperately tried to make the first three he went on to hit the penultimate one too hard and dived headlong onto the track.

"It was unfortunate but it happens to the best of us," said the two-time world indoor 60m hurdles champion.

"The Olympics are over for me but I will keep going because I'm the best hurdler in the world."

Johnson said he would be able to handle the disappointment.

"You always have disappointments. Sydney showed me that (he finished fourth losing his Olympic title to Anier Garcia). I've just got to take it and keep going."

Johnson admitted that despite his experience, nerves may have played a part in his downfall."

Johnson's dreams of regaining Olympic title bite the dust

Posted by Darren at 05:56 AM

NBA, Olympics don't mix

"BRING BACK the college players.

The U.S. Olympic Committee should consider that simple and elegant cure for the poor showing the American basketball team has been making in Athens, and for the even more disgraceful refusal of many top American hoop stars to represent their country in the first place.

By now, the American team has earned condemnation for its poor fundamentals, its even worse teamwork, and its lackadaisical and arrogant attitude. Stars such as Tracy McGrady, Jason Kidd and Shaquille O'Neill made things worse by citing dubious "security concerns" for their refusal to play, and the Olympic selection committee made things worse still by repeating the 1988 mistake of failing to include enough good outside shooters."

Read more atNBA, Olympics don't mix

Posted by Darren at 01:07 AM

US Women's Basketball Team into Semi Finals

"The place and the opponent don't really matter. This U.S. basketball team is on a roll. Hushing a boisterous crowd with its all-around domination, the United States advanced to the semifinals Wednesday with a 102-72 victory over Greece, which had heart, the home court and little else.

Now, only two games stand between the Americans and a third straight gold medal. They'll play the winner of the Russia-Czech Republic game on Friday. The semifinal winners advance to the gold medal game on Saturday.

After playing their preliminary games in a small arena at the Helliniko complex on the coast, the teams moved to the spacious 19,250-seat Olympic Indoor Hall for the medal round. The Americans looked liked they belonged on the bigger stage."

Read more atU.S. Women's Hoops Team Cruises Into Semis

Posted by Darren at 12:19 AM

August 25, 2004

Paul Hamm makes a perfect fall guy for Olympic cronyism

"If he winds up giving back the gold medal, maybe Paul Hamm of Waukesha, Wis., could look into returning Manhattan, Alaska and the Louisiana territory next.

Incompetence may be inconvenient - criminal, even, in a few special cases - but in sports it's a way of life. If bad calls, like bad business deals, were open to review forever, no game would ever end. There would be no winners and losers, only lawyers. George Steinbrenner would own judges, not ballplayers.

If this latest scandal at the Olympics doesn't have you worried, it's only because you haven't been paying attention. Hamm, on the other hand, hasn't had time to think about anything else. He's the only one in this whole mess who didn't do anything wrong.

Which, of course, made him the perfect fall guy for inept judges, butt-covering officials and an International Olympic Committee afraid of its own shadow."

Read more at Hamm makes a perfect fall guy for Olympic cronyism

Posted by Darren at 11:20 PM

Athletics: Jones Makes Belated Entry to Olympics

"What a difference a year makes.

Twelve months ago triple Olympic champion Marion Jones was relishing motherhood, enjoying her enforced leisure and looking forward to competing in the Athens Olympics.

Now she will enter the Games on Wednesday almost by the back door after the BALCO laboratory scandal which has sent shockwaves through her sport.

Jones, who won a record five medals in Sydney, has qualified only for the long jump in Athens although she could run one or both relays. The long jump qualifying is scheduled for Wednesday evening.

In sharp contrast to Sydney, where she was the focus of attention after announcing she was trying to go one better than Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis by winning five gold medals, Jones has given no news conferences or interviews.

Her silence is understandable."

Read more atAthletics: Jones Makes Belated Entry to Olympics

Posted by Darren at 11:18 PM

Joanna Hayes wins Women's 100m Hurdles Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Joanna Hayes from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Olena Krasovska from Ukraine

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Melissa Morrison from United States

United States win Women's Beach Volleyball

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Brazil

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from United States

Pappas Out of Decathlon With Foot Injury

"World champion Tom Pappas pulled out of the decathlon Tuesday after injuring his left foot while attempting a pole vault. Pappas ran through his first attempt at 15 feet, 5 inches after limping the last few strides.

He then went off to the side, pulled off his shoe and started to massage the lower part of his foot. Pappas got his foot rewrapped and tried to jog off the injury, but he packed up his poles and left the track after about 20 minutes.

Dr. Ed Ryan of the U.S. Olympic Committee said Pappas had sustained an acute strain of the left foot. Pappas was being treated at the Olympic stadium."

Read more at Pappas Out of Decathlon With Foot Injury

Posted by Darren at 05:43 AM

August 24, 2004

Jerremy Wariner Leads U.S. Sweep in 400

"Jerremy Wariner is just 20 years old. He just led a U.S. sweep in the 400 meters at the Olympic Games.

So c'mon kid, get excited!

Cool, calm and with a fluid running style all his own, the lean Baylor University student raced to the gold medal Monday night wearing sunglasses, two earrings and a jingling necklace. After crossing the line, he waved a U.S. flag and embraced the teammates who finished right behind him. But there was no massive show of emotion.

That's not his style.

"It hasn't sunk in yet," he said. "I have a four-by-four relay I've got to concentrate on. It's going to hit me in a couple of days but I've got to get focused right now."

So it was left to others to marvel at the talent exhibited by Wariner, who outsprinted teammate Otis Harris down the stretch to win in a personal-best 44 seconds flat, the fastest time in the world this year.

"I've never seen a white man run that fast," said Grenada's Alleyne Francique, who was supposed to be Wariner's biggest threat but finished fourth. "It was a blazing race, man. The kid is good.""

Read more at Wariner Leads U.S. Sweep in 400

Posted by Darren at 06:07 PM

We're the new wave, claims American teenage star - Allyson Felix

"America's Allyson Felix eased into the semi-finals of the Olympic Games 200 metres here and declared that her generation is about to drag United States sprinting out of its recent gloom.

The 18-year-old had a comfortable day in the burning sun winning both her races easily with teammate Muna Lee also comfortably through although La Shauntea Moore, who replaced the banned Torri Edwards, struggled in both her heats.

Felix was barely stretched for the second successive race as she rolled off the bend in the lead and was visibly relaxing towards the final 10 metres in front of British rival Abiodun Oyepitan.

The teenager said that she hoped to open up a new chapter for American sprinting which has been mired in recent drug controveries with Kelli White and Torri Edwards both banned and with Marion Jones battling suspicion."

Read more at We're the new wave, claims American teenage star

Posted by Darren at 01:09 PM

Carly Patterson takes silver in beam

"All-around champion Carly Patterson from Allen, Texas, won her third medal of these Olympics and the sixth for the U.S. women's gymnastics team Monday, taking silver behind Catalina Ponor of Romania in the balance beam finals.

Alexandra Eremia of Romania took bronze. The Romanian women have four medals at these Olympics, including the gold in team competition.

The six medals for the United States surpasses the total of five won by the women in 1992 and makes this the most successful team in a non-boycotted Olympics. Led by all-around champion Mary Lou Retton, the Americans won eight in 1984.

In the floor exercise, Romania picked up two more medals in the finals Monday, with Ponor winning her second gold of the night and teammate Nicoleta Sofronie taking silver."

Read more at Patterson takes silver in beam

Posted by Darren at 01:06 PM

Volleyball: U.S. Beats Brazil

"The United States men's volleyball team, already guaranteed a spot in the Olympic quarterfinals, posted a convincing four-set victory over previously undefeated Brazil on Monday night.

The Americans carried a 2-2 record into play, good enough to assure them every tiebreaker advantage and a berth in the quarterfinals. They opened up a two- sets-to-none lead over Brazil (4-1) on the way to a 25-22, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22 victory.

"We were really focused today. We all played very well," said USA captain Lloy Ball. "Brazil played really embarrassing. I hope they lose the rest of their matches. Greece will do great. All teams are quite equal."

Reid Priddy and Brook Billings shared team honors with 10 points apiece."

Read more at Volleyball: U.S. Beats Brazil

Posted by Darren at 01:05 PM

Overtime goal lifts U.S. women into soccer title game

"Now the story can end with the chance of a golden goodbye.

With the U.S. women's soccer team's 2-1 win vs. rival Germany in overtime Monday, the retiring U.S. stars have the chance to end their Olympic careers as they began them as champions. The USA will play in the gold-medal game Thursday against Brazil, which upset Sweden 1-0 in the late game.

In a game that was dominated by the USA until Germany tied the score in the 92nd minute, the USA was saved by the youngest player on the team, 19-year-old Heather O'Reilly, a sophomore-to-be at North Carolina who grew up with Mia Hamm posters on her bedroom wall in East Brunswick, N.J."

Read more at Overtime goal lifts U.S. women into soccer title game

Posted by Darren at 01:04 PM

USA softball wins gold vs. Aussies USA softball wins gold vs. Aussies

"Team USA captured the gold today by beating Australia 5-1, capping one of the most dominant team performances in Olympic history.

The team's 79th win in a row was golden for the Tucson connection - the first gold medal for coach Mike Candrea of the University of Arizona, ex-Wildcats Jennie Finch and Lovie Jung and Tucson native Tairia Mims-Flowers. Former UA outfielder Leah O'Brien-Amico, meanwhile, won her third gold.

Crystal Bustos was the big slugger today, hitting a two-run homer in the first inning, scoring O'Brien-Amico."

Read more at USA softball wins gold vs. Aussies

Posted by Darren at 05:00 AM

Jeremy Warimer wins Men's 400m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Jeremy Warimer from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Otis Harris from United States

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Derrick Dres from United States

United States wins Softball gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Australia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Japan

August 23, 2004

U.S. women's softball could be golden today

"One win from gold. One shutout from perfection.

Lisa Fernandez reacts after the final out of the team's semifinal game agaisnt Australia Sunday.
Click photo for larger image.

The U.S. softball team, unbeaten, unscored upon and almost unbelievable, rolled to its eighth consecutive shutout yesterday, 5-0, against Australia, and into the gold medal game.

"We're here for one thing," pitcher Lisa Fernandez said, "and that's to win a gold medal."

To take their third consecutive Olympic title, the Americans will have to beat the Australians -- the closest thing they have to an archrival -- again.

After getting beat by the United States earlier yesterday in the heat, Australia took cold showers, ate sandwiches, reapplied sun block and qualified for today's championship game by beating Japan 3-0 behind Tanya Harding's fourth shutout.

"We want another bite of the cherry," Australian coach Simon Roskvist said. "They're tough, but so are we. We're going to come right at them.""

Read more at U.S. women's softball could be golden today

Posted by Darren at 07:04 PM

Gatlin Proves to Be Fastest of Them All

"Justin Gatlin shoveled the snow off his track in North Carolina, braving the cold to keep practicing, keep working, keep chasing Olympic gold. He finally caught it Sunday night, outrunning the fastest field in Olympic history to become the youngest 100-meter champion in 36 years.

Gatlin ran a personal best 9.85 seconds, barely holding off Portugal's Francis Obikwelu, defending gold medalist Maurice Greene, outspoken teammate Shawn Crawford and Jamaica's Asafa Powell.

It was the first time in Olympic history that five men broke 10 seconds in a race. Four did it at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Obikwelu finished in 9.86 for silver. Greene took bronze in 9.87 and Crawford was fourth in 9.89.

"I said it was going to be the most exciting race in the world, and it was," said Gatlin, a 22-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y. native who now lives in Raleigh, N.C. "This is what I train for, that's why I shoveled the snow off North Carolina tracks. That's why I'm here. I'm here to win the gold medal.""

Read more at Gatlin Proves to Be Fastest of Them All

Posted by Darren at 05:04 PM

Olympic Swimmer - Tammy Crow - Heads to Jail

"An Olympic Synchronized swimmer will head to jail after she competes in the summer games. Tammy Crow will serve 90 days for her role in a car accident that killed a man from Fairport.Shortly after Crow gets back from Athens, she will begin her sentence.Police say Crow lost control of her SUV in February of 2003,killingCody Tatro of Fairport. Tammy Crow pleaded "no contest" to vehicular manslaughter. She appealed the jail sentence, but last week, the appeal was rejected."

Read more at Olympic Swimmer Heads to Jail

Posted by Darren at 04:57 PM

Nicolas Massu of Chile defeats Mardy Fish of the US - Men's Singles - Tennis

"Mardy Fish, who came into the Olympics known more for being Andy Roddick's buddy and doubles partner than for his own merits as a player, walked away with the USA's only tennis medal Sunday, winning the silver.

Fish was unseeded in the Olympic tournament but used his attacking style to overpower opponent after opponent until he ran into the hard-hitting Nicolas Massu of Chile, falling in five grueling sets 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. The match lasted four hours.

"I really wanted to hear the national anthem played after the match," Fish said. "That's what kept me going to try to do everything I could to win the match.""

Read more at Fish foiled by Chilean

Posted by Darren at 04:44 PM

McDonald's strikes gold as US swimming star goes burger crazy

"Not everyone will be happy about this, but these are turning into a golden games for the golden arches.

As the "Official Restaurant" of the Olympic Games, McDonald's always expected to flip a few burgers in Athens.

It estimates that its three Olympic food service venues - at the Olympic village, the main stadium complex and the media centre - will get through "2m meat patties, 404,469 lbs of potatoes and 26,455 lbs of lettuce" during the Games.

As part of what McDonald's calls its "proud tradition of serving the athletes of the world", the company is also helping athletes to plan their meals at the Games with "nutritional information and suggestions for meal combinations".

What the company cannot have bargained for - or indeed dreamed of - is that US swimmer Michael Phelps, the phenomenon who won six golds and two bronzes in the Olympic pool, would proclaim the end of his active participation at Athens with the words: "It's McDonald's time".

After his first day off, a demob happy Phelps was delighted to provide more information.

"I had a Big Mac and that's all I had. I had McDonald's for both meals today. Two meals so far... double cheeseburgers.""

Read more at McDonald's strikes gold as US swimming star goes burger crazy

Posted by Darren at 04:41 PM

Olympic champ Stacy Dragila ousted in pole vault

"In a stunning surprise in the pole vault, defending Olympic champion Stacy Dragila failed to make it out of qualifying. The American won when the vault debuted as a womens event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Dragila missed three attempts at 14 feet, 5 1/4 inches. After her third miss, she shook her head in dismay."

Read more at Olympic champ Dragila ousted in pole vault

Posted by Darren at 04:40 PM

Paul Hamm Men's All-Around Gymnastics controversy continues

By far the most controversial story from the Athens Olympics in the past 48 hours has been the emerging story of Paul Hamm wins in the Men's Individual All Round Gymnastics competition. We've had many comments and emails over the issue with many calling for Hamm to either share or give up his Gold medal so that Yang Jae-young, the Korean Gymnast who would have received Gold had the judging in that competition been correct, would receive the Gold medal he deserves. Others have been adamant that Hamm deserves Gold and should not give it up.

Get more news on this emerging story in our archives at:
- American Paul Hamm takes men's all-around gymnastic gold in Athens
- Gymnastics Judges Suspended for Error in Men's All-Around - Gold Medal Stands
- Gymnastics protest just the latest
- Paul Hamm: 'I shouldn't be dealing with this'

Tell us what you think - should Hamm have his Gold medal given to Yang Jae-young? Should Hamm voluntarily give it up?

Posted by Darren at 04:19 PM

Paul Hamm: 'I shouldn't be dealing with this'

"Tainted gold? Paul Hamm certainly doesn't think so.

In fact, he's downright angry his Olympic all-around gymnastics title is being disputed at all.

"I shouldn't even be dealing with this," Hamm said Sunday after not winning medals in event finals for pommel horse and floor exercise.

Hamm won the gold medal Wednesday after judges incorrectly scored Yang Tae-young's parallel bars routine, failing to give him enough points for the level of difficulty, known as the start value. The South Korean ended up with the bronze, and his country's Olympic committee is appealing the results.

U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Peter Ueberroth and chief executive Jim Scherr met with members of the South Korean delegation to discuss the dispute.

"The Koreans requested a meeting and we listened to their point of view," USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said. "No decision was reached."

A person briefed on the conversation said that officials from the U.S. and South Korean delegations would meet with International Olympic Committee members today. The most likely resolution appears to be that Hamm would share the gold medal, the person said.

"I guess it's up to them if I share the gold, but I don't feel like that would be the right thing," Hamm said."

Read more at Hamm: 'I shouldn't be dealing with this'

Posted by Darren at 03:23 PM

Matt Hemingway

This story was submitted by reader Scott Nowlin:

Here's a good news story from Athens that hasn't received much press: Matt Hemingway, the high jump silver medalist. Matt grew up in Colorado, where his mom and dad were serving at a small Christian camp in the Rockies.

His father, Tom, left a successful career as an officer in the US Marine Corps to follow God's call to minister. Matt was expected to make the 2000 Olympic Team and compete in Sidney, but didn't qualify at the US Team Trials earlier that summer. The day his Olympic competition would have begun -- 4 years and a day before his silver medal jump -- his dad unexpectedly died at their home of a massive heart attack. Matt was home where he needed to be to help his mom and siblings, when his father was called Home to be with the Son of our Most High God. As one of the oldest high jumpers at the Games, Matt continues to honor Christ in his life, marriage, and with his athletic gifts. Check him out.

Posted by Darren at 01:18 PM

Justin Gatlin wins Men's 100m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Justin Gatlin from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Francis Obikwelu from Portugal

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Maurice Greene from United States

American Gail Devers fails again in 100-meter hurdles; unable to finish because of injury

"Gail Devers, the most talented yet star-crossed hurdler of her generation, failed once again in the Olympics as she was struck by injury before the first hurdle. Devers, 37, who has three world championships in the 100-meter hurdles, pulled up short and screamed as she slid under the first hurdle. She sat on the track for about two minutes, rubbing her left leg and grimacing.

Devers hurt her leg in practice a week ago and wore a heavy bandage during three rounds of the 100 meters on Friday and Saturday before being eliminated in the semifinals. She has refused to discuss the injury in detail.

Sunday's shocking development may lead to second guessing about Devers' decision to run in the 100. She took the third U.S. spot in that event when Torri Edwards was suspended for two years for accidentally ingesting a banned stimulant."

Read more at American Gail Devers fails again in 100-meter hurdles; unable to finish because of injury

Posted by Darren at 03:56 AM

Gymnastics protest just the latest

"The Koreans are really miffed and, it turns out, with just cause. Seems the judges failed to give gymnast Yang Jae-young the full amount of points for his parallel bars routine.

Judges were supposed to subtract points from Yang's routine from a start value of 10, but instead started with a value of 9.9, unfairly decreasing his final score by .10.

If they had given him the correct extra tenth of a point, he would have edged American Paul Hamm by .051 for the men's all-around gold medal.

The International Gymnastics Federation ruled it a mistake Saturday and suspended three judges, but said Korea had waited too long to file its "inquiry' into the scoring and the medals would stand. Yang ended up with the bronze.

Now wouldn't you just know it, but one of the judges suspended was an American. There were Spaniard and Columbian judges in charge of determining the start value, but American George Beckstead was the panel chairman with final say.

Think the Koreans won't be focusing on that one? They're still upset Kim Dong-sung was disqualified in the 1,500-meter speedskating race at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. The race that American Apollo Anton Ohno happened to win.

That time they flooded the International Olympic Committee with so many irate e-mails, the IOC had to shut down its system. Better upgrade those firewalls now."

Read more at Gymnastics protest just the latest

Posted by Darren at 01:33 AM

U.S. sprinters are putting on a show

"One guy raced a giraffe and a zebra and calls himself "Cheetah Man." He began his Athens Olympics by running with one black shoe and one white. While wearing a white baseball cap. Backward.

Another designs prom dresses and almost went to art school rather than run track. He emerged from obscurity at the U.S. Olympic trials a month ago, and now is known as Cheetah Man's almost-as-fast training partner.

The third has the letters G-O-A-T tattooed on his arm, which modestly stand for Greatest Of All Time. He preps for every race by making ugly faces, and he'll make another if one of his compatriots dethrones him as Olympic champion.

Say hello to your American 100-meter sprint team. Shawn Crawford, Justin Gatlin, Maurice Greene, in that order. Safely through to today's semifinals after a day of sizzling times and loose talk Saturday at the Olympic Stadium.

The trio won the six races they were in, and put up some eye-popping times in the process. Crawford went 9.89 seconds in the second round, Greene did 9.93 and Gatlin had a 9.96.

Prompting Greene, the wise old (30) man of this trio to suggest, "We're gonna have a party tomorrow. Everybody invited."

The American male sprinters are never dull. Whether they are preening, talking trash, or going out and backing up their words with very fast action, they are pure entertainment.

Crawford and Gatlin seemed to get under Greene's skin, Saturday, and maybe some of the other veteran sprinters', as well, with their antics."

Read more at U.S. sprinters are putting on a show

Posted by Darren at 01:29 AM

August 22, 2004

U.S. sign off with regatta triumph

"The United States stormed to their first Olympic men's eights title in 40 years on Sunday.

The final, the last race of the Olympic regatta, had been billed as a showdown between the Americans and fierce rivals Canada, the double world champions.

But after challenging early on the Canadians faded and finished fifth, The Netherlands finishing second and Australia taking bronze."

Read more at U.S. sign off with regatta triumph

Posted by Darren at 11:58 PM

Race just practice for hurdles

"Gail Devers crouches down in the starting blocks, takes off when the starting gun fires and crosses the finish line just like everyone else who runs the 100, but the 100 isn't Gail Devers' race. Not the way it's Marion Jones' race or will be Lauryn Williams' race someday.

That's one of the reasons why Devers wasn't upset after failing to advance to the women's 100-meter finals at Olympic Stadium on Saturday. Devers, who is running in her fifth Olympics, hasn't trained continuously for the 100 meters in the last two years. She planned to after she accepted the spot offered to her after Torri Edwards' failed drug test, but a lingering leg injury stalled Devers' preparation.

A 100-meter loss seems to be Devers' gain for the 100 hurdles.

So why didn't she turn the spot over to -- ahem -- someone else?

Because of the other reason: She needed the practice to make sure she's healthy enough to run the 100-meter hurdles."

Read more at Race just practice for hurdles

Posted by Darren at 11:56 PM

One more for gold: U.S. beats Australia 5-0 in Softball

"One more victory and the U.S. softball team will have its goal: a third Olympic gold.

USA pitcher Lisa Fernandez lets out a yell after the American's win over Australia in the semi-finals.

Right now, the Americans aren't just a Dream Team they're more like the Perfect Team.

Lisa Fernandez pitched a three-hitter Sunday and Crystl Bustos drove in two runs as the Americans rolled to their eighth shutout in eight days, 5-0 over Australia, putting them into the gold medal game.

On Monday, the United States will play the winner of Sunday's bronze medal matchup between the Aussies and Japan. At this point, the opponent might not matter."

Read more at One more for gold: U.S. beats Australia 5-0

Posted by Darren at 11:30 PM

Toccara Montgomery Loses First Wrestling Match

"Toccara Montgomery's opening match in the first Olympic women's wrestling tournament couldn't have been much tougher. Now, one of the world's best wrestlers is likely to leave Athens without a medal.

Montgomery, a former world wrestler of the year, drew five-time world champion Kyoko Hamaguchi of Japan in her opening pool match Sunday at 158 1/2 pounds (72kg)and lost 8-4, meaning there is almost no chance she can medal.

The other three U.S. wrestlers all won, with 105 1/2-pounder (48kg) Patricia Miranda winning twice, and Sara McMann and Tela O'Donnell once each against tough opponents.

Miranda, a 2003 world runner-up, is all but sure of making the medal round after rallying to beat former world champion Li Hui of China 8-5 and Larisa Oorzhak of Russia 7-3. Miranda needed only to beat Caripa Mayelis of Venezuela later Sunday to advance from her four-woman pool.

Montgomery's loss was her third in her last four matches to Hamaguchi, a tough-looking and technically sound wrestler who is the daughter of longtime Japanese pro wrestling star Heigo "The Animal" Hamaguchi."

Read more at Montgomery Loses First Wrestling Match

Posted by Darren at 09:48 PM

U.S. men foiled in fencing medal round

"After upsetting Germany in the quarterfinals, the United States men's foil fencing squad lost to China in the semifinals and then to Russia in the bronze-medal bout.

Italy won the gold medal, fending off a late run by China to win 45-42.

In their medal match, the Americans were tied with 10 points to go, then were down 41-38 when Dan Kellner and Youri Moltchan both recorded touches. The referee awarded the point to Russia and Moltchan went on to close it out.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: The two American women's pairs advanced to the quarterfinals with straight-set victories in their medal-round openers.

Fourth-ranked Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs defeated 12th-seeded Czech pair Eva Celbova and Sona Novakova 21-16, 21-16. Misty May and Kerri Walsh, the No. 1 seeds, beat seventh-seeded Chinese duo Tian Jia and Wang Fei 21-11, 21-18."

Read more at U.S. men foiled in fencing medal round

Posted by Darren at 09:42 PM

Lithuania defeats US in Men's Basketball

"Fireworks thundered above Vilnius and other Lithuanian towns Saturday night as cheering crowds filled the streets, singing and waving flags in celebration of a men's basketball victory over the United States at the Olympics.

Although no medal was at stake, the 94-90 victory over a team of NBA pros was a great reason for a party. Many considered it revenge for a loss to the Americans in the semifinals at the last Olympics, when a 3-pointer missed at the buzzer.

"Everyone in Lithuania was waiting," said Jonas Prapiestis, a 37-year-old businessman. "We finally beat them."

Most of the country's bars and cafes stayed open until early Sunday morning, offering drinks and replaying the game. It was shown live on a giant screen in the central Europa Square, as well as dozens of packed bars."

Read more at AP Wire | 08/21/2004 | Lithuanians Delirious Over Basketball Win

Posted by Darren at 05:52 PM

USA win Men's Eight with Coxswain Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Netherlands

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Australia

August 21, 2004

Greene among three Americans advancing in 100 meters

"Defending Olympic champion Maurice Greene was among three United States sprinters to move into the second round of the 100 meters after qualifying heats Saturday morning.

Greene won heat eight with a time of 10.18 seconds. Teammates Justin Gatlin and Shawn Crawford also finished first in their heats, Gatlin winning heat three with a time of 10.07 seconds and Crawford following suit in heat four at 10.02 seconds.

"It was about the easiest 100 meter run in my life," Gatlin said. "I've never competed here but, coming here, I had a strong feeling I have been here before. The track, the crowd, the stadium -- they all felt familiar."

For his part, Greene is looking to become the first back-to-back 100-meter gold medalist since American Carl Lewis, who won in 1984 at Los Angeles and in 1988 at the Seoul Games when Canadian Ben Johnson was disqualified."

Read more at Greene among three Americans advancing in 100

Posted by Darren at 10:51 PM

Lauryn Williams Fastest in 100M Preliminary Heat

"A U.S. women's sprinting corps missing some of its biggest names got off to a strong start Friday on the first day of Olympic track competition, with three Americans - including 37-year-old Gail Devers - advancing from their preliminary heats in the 100 meters. Lauryn Williams, the 20-year-old NCAA champion from Miami, was fastest in her heat in 11.16 seconds.

U.S. champion LaTasha Colander slowed at the end but still won her heat in 11.31. And Devers, who won this event at the 1992 and 1996 games, advanced by placing third in her heat in 11.29.

"I feel good. I was just nervous. I shouldn't have watched the race right before mine," Williams said. "Those were fast times. Oh, my goodness! It's very fast and they're only running the first rounds."

Gold-medal favorite Christine Arron of France eased to second place in her heat in 11.14, while Bulgaria's Ivet Lalova - fastest in the world this year at 10.77 - won her heat in 11.16. The best time of the first round was 10.94 by Yuliya Nesterenko of Belarus."

Read more at Williams Fastest in 100M Preliminary Heat

Posted by Darren at 03:25 PM

Michael Phelps pulls out of relay

"Michael Phelps , who has won five gold medals in the Olympic pool, said Friday he was pulling out of Saturday's 4x100 meter medley relay final to give team mate Ian Crocker the chance to swim.

Having swum in the relay heats, Phelps would still get a medal and so stay on course for an Olympic swimming record eight in one Games if the American team finishes in the top three on Saturday.

Phelps, who beat Crocker in a desperately close 100 meter butterfly final Friday, said he wanted his team mate to have the spot because he had not been feeling well when he swam in the U.S. 4x100 freestyle relay squad, who were beaten into third place in the final last Sunday.

"I wanted to give him another chance," Phelps said."

Read more at Swimming: Phelps pulls out of relay

Posted by Darren at 03:14 PM

August 20, 2004

Carly Patterson wins Women's Individual All Round Gymnastics Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Carly Patterson from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Svetlana Khorkina from Russia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Tiantian Wang from China

Posted by Darren at 05:46 AM

Michael Phelps wins Men's 200m Individual Medley Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Michael Phelps from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Ryan Lochte from United States

The winner of the Bronze Medal: George Bovell from Trinidad and Tobago

Posted by Darren at 03:35 AM

Aaron Piersol wins Men's 200m Backstroke Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Aaron Peirsol from USA

The winner of the Silver Medal: Markus Rogan from Austria

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Razvan Florea from Romania

Aaron Peirsol was disqualified from the 200m Backstroke after finishing in first place. He was then reinstated into the Gold medal position after the judge who disqualified him did not give adequate information in the language of FINA to justify his disqualification.

Posted by Darren at 03:04 AM

Amanda Beard wins Women's 200m Breaststroke Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Amanda Beard from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Leisel Jones from Australia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Anne Poleska from Germany

Posted by Darren at 02:48 AM

U.S. Men's Hoops Team Rallies to Beat Aussie

"It was another slow start for the U.S. men's basketball team on Thursday, but the Americans rallied to post an 89-79 win over Australia at the Olympics.

Tim Duncan had 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Allen Iverson and Shawn Marion each totaled 16 points.

The victory moved the United States to 2-1 and solidified its chances of making the quarterfinals. Only Lithuania is currently ahead of the Americans in Group B."

Read more at U.S. Men's Hoops Team Rallies to Beat Aussie

Posted by Darren at 02:28 AM

Barb Linquist Ready for Olympic Challenge

"There could be big changes by this time next week in the life of Olympic triathlete Barb Lindquist of Teton Valley.

After six day a week workouts, Lindquist has left training camp in Florida, destination --Athens. Prior to her departure, she took a break from her daily routine to talk with Olympic specialist Doug Andersen, about the challenging vouliagmeni (voo-lee-uh-men-ee) triathlon venue.

Barb Lindquist: "The swim, it's in a protected cove, but when I was there last October it was flat. Swimming one day, the wind came up just a little bit and it was choppy the next, I mean very choppy, so the swim can be very challenging. The bike itself has a big hill in it, that's about 2 1/2 or three minutes long, that's really steep. I think there's some 15 to 18 percent grade in it and then the run itself, which is pretty flat, will be in the heat of the day.""


Posted by Darren at 02:24 AM

August 19, 2004

U.S. men strong on whitewater in single kayak, pairs canoe

"Former Olympic champion canoe racer Joe Jacobi and partner Matt Taylor easily clinched a semifinal berth Thursday in the whitewater slalom event.

Single American kayakers Brett Heyl and Scott Parsons also advanced to Friday, when semifinals and finals will be held.

Heyl, of Norwich, Vt., was fifth after both preliminary runs and Parsons, of Sylvania, Ohio, was 14th after a rough second run in which he took a 2-second penalty for touching a gate. Where they finished in the standings don't matter in the semis as all 20 competitors start with a clean slate."

Read more at U.S. men strong on whitewater in single kayak, pairs canoe

Posted by Darren at 11:18 PM

US v Australia Men's Basketball Scores

The half time score in the USA v Australia Men's Basketball is Australia 51 - USA 47.

At one point during the second quarter Australia had a lead of up to 12 points.

Update - At three quarter time Australia lead the US 67 - 65 after a quarter in which the US led by 3 points.

Update - Final Score - US 89 - Australia 79

Posted by Darren at 10:48 PM

Possible Eighth Medal Chance for Phelps

"Michael Phelps's chances of winning a record eight medals at the Athens Olympics were given a big boost on Thursday when U.S. team officials said he might swim the heats of the 4x100 medley relay.

The 19-year-old American would have missed out on swimming the relay final if he finished behind team mate Ian Crocker in the 100 butterfly final on Friday night. The possible decision to swim him in the heats means he will share any medals the final foursome get.

"We're standing on that side of the equation," U.S. head men's coach Eddie Reese said when asked if Phelps would swim in the qualifying heats."

Read more at Possible Eighth Medal Chance for Phelps

Posted by Darren at 10:47 PM

U.S. softball team makes it six shutouts in six games with 7-0 victory over Greece

"Lisa Fernandez won an Olympic softball game that looked more like a California reunion. Fernandez, one of 12 Californians on the U.S. team, pitched a one-hitter as the two-time defending gold medalists made it six shutouts in six games with a shortened 7-0 victory Thursday over a Greek team with a distinct American flavor.

With 11 Californians now adopted "Hellas," Greece (2-4) did all it could to hang with the U.S. (6-0). But as they've done against their first five opponents, the Americans wore the Greeks down, winning for the fourth time in the tournament in five innings because they were too far ahead.

Fernandez hit an RBI single in the third inning for the only run she would need. Leah O'Brien-Amico and Jessica Mendoza added two RBIs apiece as the Americans again demonstrated their superiority in every aspect of the game.

The 33-year-old Fernandez, a three-time Olympian, only allowed two runners to reach base. She didn't give up her first hit until the fifth when Greece infielder Ginny Georgantas, a former South Florida standout, lined a single to left."

U.S. softball team makes it six shutouts in six games with 7-0 victory over Greece

Posted by Darren at 10:45 PM

Dream Team most unpopular athletes in Olympics

"The U.S. men's basketball team is getting slammed from all sides.

These Dream Team impostors are jeered in Athens bars by Americans, booed in the arena by Greeks and the rest of the world, despised back home by people fed up watching their selfish ways on TV.

Complaining right in their faces is coach Larry Brown, who's beside himself between yelling at them, trying to cajole them into playing like a team, and ripping them for lack of effort.

This is a collection of players who offend basketball purists by insisting on playing one-on-one, schoolyard-style. More than that, they've become a focal point for some of the attitudes that critics find most offensive about pro athletes.

It's gotten so bad, after the lopsided loss to Puerto Rico and the squeaky victory over Greece, that angry U.S. basketball fans are hoping the Americans will get their comeuppance in these games by getting shut out of the medal round. Sports talk radio shows at WFAN in New York have been besieged by callers saying this team represents the NBA at its worst. It's the same 3,000 miles away at KNBR in San Francisco and at radio stations in between."

Read more at Dream Team most unpopular athletes in Olympics

Posted by Darren at 03:38 PM

US smashes 4x200m relay record, Australia 4th

"Australia has narrowly missed a medal in the women's 4x200m freestyle relay at the Olympics in Athens as the United States broke a 17-year-old world record to take gold.

The American team of Natalie Coughlin, Carly Piper, Kaitlin Sandeno and Dana Vollmer broke the oldest record in the book, setting a new mark of 7:53.42 minutes. China was second and Germany third.

Petria Thomas swam an heroic final leg to take the Australians to within 0.05 seconds of a medal, just minutes after she was presented with the silver medal she won in the 200m butterfly.

In finishing fourth, the Australian team of Alice Mills, Elka Graham, Shayne Reese and Thomas broke the Commonwealth record.

The US quartet sliced more than two seconds off the previous record of 7:55.47 mins set by East Germany in 1987."

Read more at US smashes 4x200m relay record, Australia 4th

Posted by Darren at 03:36 PM

Women's gymnastics: Silver's OK, but gold is U.S. goal

"After winning the Olympic all-around title Wednesday night, gymnast Paul Hamm said he was inspired by the United States' second-place finish in the team competition. Carly Patterson wouldn't mind following his lead.

The U.S. women's team also took silver. Hamm found motivation in the fact that his team fell short of its ultimate goal, and Patterson, whose team was expected to win, understands how that feels. Tonight, she tries for the women's all-around gold against some tough European competition."

Read more at Women's gymnastics: Silver's OK, but gold is U.S. goal

Posted by Darren at 03:33 PM

American Paul Hamm takes men's all-around gymnastic gold in Athens

"Paul Hamm made the history on Wednesday when he clinched the Olympic men's gymnastic all-around title for the UnitedStates in one hundred years.

From the records book, the last American all-around champion was Anton Heida in 1904.

Hamm, 22, the all-around titlist at 2003 Anaheim Worlds on home turf, collected 57.823 points, edging South Korean dark horse Kim Dae Eun to the second place with 57.811.

Hamm, who vowed to take his first Olympic gold in Athens and finished atop in the qualification, tumbled out of the mat and sat down after flying over the vault. The score of 9.137 made everybody think that his tour of the final was over.

However, he rallied in the following apparatus and completed a strong routine on his specialty of horizontal bar. His solid landing earned him 9.837 points to seal his victory.

The American gymnast confessed that when he commited the big error on vault, he talked with his coach about maybe only getting a bronze.

However, his coach Miles Avery said firmly "No way.""

Read more at American Paul Hamm takes men's all-around gymnastic gold in Athens

Posted by Darren at 03:26 PM

Tyler Hamilton wins time trial

American Tyler Hamilton made up for his disappointing Tour de France by surging to victory in the Olympic time trial.

Hamilton was only third after the first checkpoint but moved into the lead after 36km of the 48km course, coming home in 57 minutes and 31.74 seconds.

Read more at Tyler Hamilton wins time trial

Posted by Darren at 03:17 PM

Mariel Zagunis Fencing touch is golden

"The American who nearly didn't go to the Olympics won her nation's first fencing gold medal in a century.

Mariel Zagunis won the first Olympic women's saber competition Tuesday night, beating former world champion Tan Xue of China 15-9 in the final. After she won the last point, Zagunis ripped off her mask, raised her arms and was mobbed by members of the U.S. team who rushed onto the strip and tossed her into the air.

"There's no better feeling than being thrown up there after becoming champion of anything," she said. "I'm glad they could get on stage and celebrate with me like that."

American Sada Jacobson, ranked No. 1 in the world, lost to Tan in the semifinals but bounced back to take the bronze."

Read more at Fencer's touch is golden

Posted by Darren at 03:09 PM

Being American makes me feel like such a LOSER

"Theres that old saying about how the bully always gets his comeuppance. On our block, the jerk was Sabino Jayo, a horse-faced mongol who, by the third grade, had six inches, 40 pounds and three violent offender convictions on the second toughest kid around. And by the way, No. 2 was a beast who later played a month at linebacker for the Niners and he still ran from Jayo although it was slower than before on his new blown knee and crutches.

Jayo is a solid example of Americas cocky lust for every Olympic medal. For years, we were the good athletes on the block. We espoused freedom, equal opportunity for sexes and race, and amnesty for persecuted sports persons from all over the world. We absorbed Chinese ping pong pros, embraced Cuban baseball pitchers and, most important, made multi-millionaires out of very poor, very marginal tennis players from the Ukraine, just as long as theyre blond.

This was the land of opportunity, but now, that opportunity is little more than the chance for our kids to grow up as the worlds bullies."

Read more at ESP Magazine: Being American makes me feel like such a LOSER

Posted by Darren at 03:04 PM

Tom Pappas

Country - United States
Sport - Track Field
Event(s) - Decathlon
Birthdate - September 6, 1976
Birthplace - Azalea, Oregon
Height - 6'5" / 196 cm
Weight - 210 lbs / 95.3 kgs
Residence - Knoxville, Tennessee

"With his victory at the 2003 World Championships, Tom Pappas not only became the only American besides Dan 0'Brien to win a decathlon world title, but also established himself as a leading contender for the gold in Athens. He finished fifth in Sydney. With his Greek heritage, Pappas figures to be a crowd favorite in Athens. Surprisingly, Pappas took second at the 2004 U.S. "

Read more at NBCOlympics.com - Athlete Bios - Tom Pappas

Posted by Darren at 02:45 PM

Paul Hamm wins Men's Individual All Round Gold Medal - Gymnastics

The winner of the Gold Medal: Paul Hamm from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Dae Eun Kim from Korea, South

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Yang Tae Young from Korea, South

The results of this event have caused a lot of controversy with it being found after the event that judging was incorrect. A mistake was made that meant Korean Gymnast, Yang Jae-Young, would have won Gold. The Korean's missed their opportunity to protest and so the Gold medal stands.

Get more news on this emerging story in our archives at:
- American Paul Hamm takes men's all-around gymnastic gold in Athens
- Gymnastics Judges Suspended for Error in Men's All-Around - Gold Medal Stands
- Gymnastics protest just the latest

Posted by Darren at 05:57 AM

US win 4x 200m Freestyle Relay Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: China

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Germany

Posted by Darren at 04:23 AM

US defeat Canada in Women's Softball

"Jennie Finch pitched a one-hitter with eight strikeouts and Lisa Fernandez went 3-for-4 with a homer as the U.S. softball team posted their fifth straight shutout, beating Canada 7-0 on Thursday in five innings to clinch a spot in this weekend's semifinals.

Crystl Bustos and Lisa Fernandez homered for the two-time defending gold medal-winning U.S. squad, which has outscored its opponents 31-0 and appears to be in a class by themselves in the eight-team field.

Consider this: the Americans have three "mercy rule" wins in the tourney; they've won 75 straight games; four of the five American victories have been one-hitters; and Canada (2-3) was just the second team to get a runner to third base."

Read more at Finch Pitches U.S. Past Canada in Softball

Posted by Darren at 04:08 AM

Roddick and Williams out of Tennis Competition

"Andy Roddick hit one last errant shot into the net and hung his head, his medal hopes over. A short while later, Venus Williams was gone, too. In back-to-back stunners at the Olympic tennis tournament, Roddick was upset by No. 16 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile 6-4, 6-4, and defending gold medalist Williams lost to Mary Pierce of France 6-4, 6-4. Both were third-round matches.

"I'm gutted right now. It's not every day we get to play this," Roddick said. "You can't say, 'Next year.'"

It was bad day for the U.S. team. No. 16 Chanda Rubin lost to No. 2 Amelie Mauresmo of France 6-3, 6-1, and Lisa Raymond was eliminated by Alicia Molik of Australia 6-4, 6-4. Only Taylor Dent won, beating Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 6-4, 6-4."

Read more at Andy Roddick and defending gold medalist Venus Williams both upset in Olympic tennis

Posted by Darren at 04:07 AM

U.S. Cycling Captures Three Medals

"Dede Barry showed the Americans the way to the medal stand Wednesday _ and that was just the start of an unprecedented cycling medal haul.

Tyler Hamilton won the men's time trial gold medal and teammate Bobby Julich took the bronze, hours after Barry won the women's time trial silver Wednesday. No other nation in the Olympics won more than two medals in the four road competitions.

"I believe we are one of the best cycling countries in the world, with Lance Armstrong winning the last six Tour de Frances and great results here today," Hamilton said. "It says a lot about U.S. cycling."

Hamilton edged defending men's time trial gold medalist Viatcheslav Ekimov of Russia by about 19 seconds, taking home the first American road gold since 1984 _ when Alexi Grewal won the road race in Los Angeles."

Read more at U.S. Cycling Captures Three Medals

Posted by Darren at 04:03 AM

Marion Jones

Country -United States
Sport - Track Field
Event(s) - Long Jump
Birthdate - October 12, 1975
Birthplace - Los Angeles, California
Height - 5'9" / 175 cm
Weight - 145 lbs / 65.8 kgs
Residence - Chapel Hill, North Carolina"

"Four years ago, American Marion Jones sprinted and jumped her way into Olympic history by winning a record five medals, including three golds, at the 2000 Games in Sydney. Much has changed for the world's most famous female track star since those golden days, including the end of her marriage to shot putter C.J. Hunter, the start of a new relationship with 100m world record-holder Tim Montgomery, and the birth of their son, Tim Montgomery, Jr. In Athens, Jones won't defend her titles in the 100m or 200m. She failed to qualify in the 100m, finishing a surprising fifth at the U.S. Trials. Jones pulled out of the 200m final citing fatigue. Jones did qualify for Athens in the long jump, winning the Trials with her longest jump since 1998, 7.11m (23 feet, 4 inches)"

Source - NBC Athlete Bios - Marion Jones

Get more information on Marion Jones at:
- Marion Jones Time Line - a timeline of Marion Jones' life.

- Marion Jones - Olympics 2004 - 'Jones made history at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. She landed three gold medals, winning the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and the 1,600-meter relay, and two bronze medals, in the long jump and the 400-meter relay. She became the first woman to win five medals at one Olympics.'

- Marion Jones - pictures, photos, wallpapers, posters and desktop themes.

- Marion Jones Pictures

- Marion Jones Profile - USA Track and Field - 'Career Highlights - 2004 Olympic Trials long jump champion; 2000 Olympic 100m, 200m 4x400m champ, bronze medal in LJ and 4x100m; 2-time World 100m champion (97, 99); 2-time World 4x100m champion (97, 01); 2001 World 200m gold medalist; 13-time U.S. Outdoor Champion (4 in LJ, 4 in 100, 5 in 200); 2002 U.S. Champion (100m & 200m); 1999 World LJ bronze medalist; 2002 World Cup 100m gold medalist.'

- Marion Jones Photogallery

Posted by Darren at 02:11 AM

Devin Vargas Advances and Rau'Shee Warren is Defeated in Boxing

"Moments after the American boxing team's winning streak ended, Devin Vargas started a new one.

Light flyweight Rau'Shee Warren became the first U.S. boxer eliminated from the Olympics, losing a frustrating 22-9 decision Wednesday to China's Zou Shiming.

But Vargas joined six teammates in the second round with a 27-7 victory over Morocco heavyweight Rachid El Haddak in the afternoon session. In the evening, American super heavyweight Jason Estrada was scheduled to fight Tonga's Ma'afu Hawke in the final bout of the preliminaries.

Vargas, a 22-year-old from a boxing-crazy family in Toledo, Ohio, impressed the crowd at Peristeri Olympic Boxing Hall with his dominance of El Haddak. Moving nimbly and surprising the Moroccan with even the simplest jabs, Vargas showed that his work on skill and strategy over the past six months has turned him into much more than a brawler."

Read more at Devin Vargas advances, but Rau'Shee Warren takes Americans' first boxing defeat at Olympics

Posted by Darren at 01:36 AM

Tyler Hamilton wins Men's Time Trial - Cycling - Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Tyler Hamilton from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Vlatcheslav Ekimvov from Russia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Bobby Julich from United States

Posted by Darren at 01:24 AM

Kim Severson Third After Olympic Cross-Country

"The U.S. eventing team may be a question mark in the medal department, but its star, Kim Severson, seems headed for glory.

The squad's anchor rider, who put in the American contingent's best dressage test, rode fault-free cross-country on Winsome Adante this afternoon to move up from fourth to third in the individual standings.

Notice I said a fault-free trip, not a perfect trip.

Kim was taken aback by Dan's attitude as she took off on the obstacle-studded carpet of grass that snaked through the Markopoulo Equestrian Center, about an hour outside of Athens."

Read more at Severson Third After Olympic Cross-Country

Posted by Darren at 01:21 AM

Monique Hennagan - Women's 400m

"While most of the U.S. track and field team trained in Crete, Monique Hennagan came straight to Athens and is living alone in the Olympic Village in a suite that eventually will house 10 athletes.

The 1998 North Carolina graduate would like to finish these Olympics with another place all by herself -- at the top of the women's 400-meter award stand.

Hennagan, 28, picked up a gold medal in the 2000 Sydney Games, but she had to share the stand with her three teammates in the winning 4x400 relay.

After a fourth-place finish at the 2000 U.S. trials, she went to Sydney just hoping to fulfill her relay responsibilities. Now she is aiming to win outright.

"Coming in here, I feel a lot more confident than I did before," she said. "In Sydney, I really didn't have much of a chance. Now I feel like I'm one of the best, and I can compete with the best.""

Read more at Monique Hennagan on track for individual gold

EVENT: women's 400 meters
BORN: May 26, 1976
BIRTHPLACE: Columbia, S.C.
HIGH SCHOOL: Spring Valley (1994)
COLLEGE: North Carolina (1998)
PERSONAL BEST: 49.56 seconds (2004)
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5-8 1/2, 130
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 2004 U.S. Olympic trials 400 champion; 2002, '03 U.S. indoor 400 champion; 2000 Olympic 4-by-400 relay gold medalist; 1996 NCAA indoor 400 and outdoor 800 champion

Get more information on Monique Hennagan at:
- Monique Hennagan - 'A national champion while in high school and college, Hennagan earned her first USA senior title at 400m at the 2002 USA Indoor Championships, and she successfully defended her title in 2003 before going on to win a bronze medal in the 4x400m relay at the World Indoor Championshipsstarted running in elementary school because of all the encouragement she got when she regularly beat her boy schoolmates and cousins in footraces...was twice ranked the top high school 400m runner in the nation, and as a senior, clocked the nine fastest times in the nationshe was also an all-state volleyball player and played basketball in high schoolshe won 12 state titles in high school, despite not being able to compete in the state meet as a 9th-grader because she went to a private school...Hennagan was the first North Carolina woman to win an NCAA titleshe earned her degree in psychology and African American studies...has applied with Lutheran Services to be a mentor for children in the foster care system and would eventually like to be more involved in community youth programs...works part-time for UPS, who provides her with health benefits and a steady income as a part of its Athlete Training Assistance Program (ATAP)she is a part-time Human Resources Supervisor and recruiter for hub operations.'

- Monique Hennagan - NBC Bio - 'Monique Hennagan, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist in the 4x400m relay, returns for her second Games in the 400m. Hennagan will attempt to improve her Olympic performance in her individual event; she failed to advance past the second round in Sydney.'

- Monique Hennagan - USC Sports Profile - 'Olympic gold medalist Monique Hennagan returned home to Columbia and is a third year volunteer coach with the South Carolina track and field program. Her primary responsibilities include working with the men's and women's sprinters and middle distance runners.'

Posted by Darren at 01:17 AM

U.S. softball more than Jennie Finch

That Jennie Finch. No one can get enough of her.

Finch is not quite the star of the U.S. Olympic softball team, but she is definitely the celebrity most wanted by the media, even when she isn't playing.

There she was, makeup perfectly applied, walking off the field after sitting in the dugout for two hours without ever throwing a pitch.

Lori Harrigan fired a one-hitter in the 90-degree heat of the early Greek sun, a scant kilometer from the blue Aegean Sea.

But the clamor wasn't around Harrigan. The reporters made sure to stop Finch, who had nothing to do with the 4-0 win over perennial U.S. pest China.

Media members wanted to make sure that got a ponder of the 6-1 Finch, who was recognized by ESPN.com as one of the ''hottest'' female athletes, ahead of Anna Kournikova, and by People magazine as one of its 50 most beautiful people.

Read more at U.S. softball more than Jennie Finch

Posted by Darren at 01:08 AM

Romania beat US and Russia for Gold - Women's Gymnastics

"The mistakes were so minor. The kind of errors only judges see.

Carly Patterson's foot grazing the lower of the uneven bars. Courtney Kupets' twirl ending here instead of there. Mohini Bhardwaj's itty-bitty wobble on the beam.

Courtney McCool (right) hugs teammate Mohini Bhardwaj after Bhardwaj competed on the vault.
Little things, but added together they cost the U.S. gymnastics team valuable fractions of points and, ultimately, an Olympics gold medal.

Done in as much by their own sloppiness as Romania's sheer superiority, the Americans settled for silver last night.

"Things happen," Kupets said. "It's disappointing. But what are you going to do?"

Romania finished with 114.283 points, beating the Americans by more than a half-point for its second straight Olympic gold. Russia, never a factor even with diva Svetlana Khorkina prancing and preening, won the bronze.

Silver is hardly anything to be ashamed of, of course. The U.S. men won one Monday night and were positively giddy. And it's far better than leaving empty-handed, which the U.S. women did in Sydney for the first time since 1976."

Read more at U.S. women settle for second place as Romania capitalizes on sloppy mistakes to capture gold

Posted by Darren at 12:36 AM

Two U.S. men qualify at Olympia; history for Heaston

"Two U.S. men advanced to the final of the shot put Wednesday, hoping to make even more history at the ancient site that gave birth to the Olympics 2,780 years ago.

Adam Nelson had the best qualifying throw of 69 feet, 4 3/4 inches and John Godina threw 67-4 1/4. Teammate Reese Hoffa failed to qualify for the final, ending U.S. hopes of a medal sweep.

The shot put is being held at this former religious sanctuary, about 200 miles southwest of Athens, two days before the rest of the track and field competition begins Friday at the Olympic stadium in the nation's capital.

"It's a privilege and honor to compete here," Nelson said. "There's something special about this place. It's a reminder of where it all began.""

Read more at Two U.S. men qualify at Olympia; history for Heaston

Posted by Darren at 12:34 AM

August 18, 2004

Kimberly Rhode wins Women's Double Trap Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Kimberly Rhode from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Lee Bo Na from Korea, South

The winner of the Bronze Medal: E Gao from China

Posted by Darren at 11:00 PM

USA Back On Target

The US "Dream Team" saw off a spirited display by Greece to seal a 77-71 win in the men's basketball competition.
The Americans, humbled by Puerto Rico on Sunday, showed more fight against the hosts in front of a hostile crowd.

But they did not have things all their own way as the Greek players drained a succession of three-pointers to keep the contest close in the second half.

Source BBC USA survive Greece scare

Posted by at 07:16 AM

Olympics-Fencing-U.S. and Swiss End Gold Drought

"Mariel Zagunis won the first fencing gold for the United States for 100 years when she beat Xue Tan of China 15-9 in the inaugural Olympic women's sabre final on Tuesday.

Marcel Fischer also made history -- and completed a disappointing night for China -- when he claimed Switzerland's first-ever win in the sport by beating Lei Wang 15-9 to take the men's epee title.

The 19-year-old Zagunis, who only made it to the Games as the third-ranked American when the Nigerian Olympic Committee declined to send Jacqueline Esimaye, raced to an 8-2 lead with an aggressive approach.

In spite of a spirited comeback that briefly took Tan to within three points, she held on to win comfortably."

Read more at Olympics-Fencing-U.S. and Swiss End Gold Drought

Posted by Darren at 06:15 AM

Mariel Zagunis wins Women's Sabre Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Mariel Zagunis from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Xue Tan from China

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Sada Jacobson from United States

Posted by Darren at 04:43 AM

USA Men Remain Unbeaten in Water Polo

"Using a strong second half, the United States men's Olympic water polo team won its second straight game Tuesday, 9-6 over Kazahkstan.

The Americans all but wrapped up a spot in the quarterfinals, having opened the Olympics earlier this week with a dramatic 7-6 decision over Croatia.

Wolf Wigo scored twice during a two-minute span of the second period to give the United States a 5-4 halftime lead.

"He is the heart of the team," said American Coach Ratko Rudic. "He is experienced and has a positive attitude.""

Read more at USA Men Remain Unbeaten in Water Polo

Posted by Darren at 04:42 AM

Even at Olympics, U.S. wrestler leans on incarcerated father for support

"Toccara Montgomery is neither ashamed nor embarrassed about the imprisoned father who will be an ocean away when she becomes one of the first women to wrestle in the Olympics.

"I always was a daddy's girl and I always will be a daddy's girl," Montgomery said, her voice filled with emotion. "He's always been a driving force in my life."

Paul Montgomery of Cleveland was sentenced to 33 years to life for a 1998 double murder and is not eligible for parole until 2032 - the year his daughter will turn 50.

Toccara occasionally visits her father at an Ohio prison, not all that far from where she attends classes and wrestles at Cumberland (Ky.) College. But she insists she doesn't need her father's physical presence to know he is with her."

Read more at Even at Olympics, U.S. wrestler leans on incarcerated father for support

Posted by Darren at 04:11 AM

US win Men's 4x 200m Freestyle Gold Medal

The US team has just won the Men's 4x 200m Freestyle Gold Medal in a close race from Australia.

The winner of the Gold Medal: United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Australia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Italy \

Posted by Darren at 04:04 AM

Michael Phelps wins Men's 200m Butterfly Gold Medal

Michael Phelps has just won the Men's 200m Butterfly Gold Medal.

The winner of the Gold Medal: Michael Phelps from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Takashi Yamamoto from Japan

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Stephen Parry from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

Posted by Darren at 02:55 AM

Water polo team opens with thriller

"The last time Brenda Villa netted the penultimate, game-leveling goal of an Olympic match, the United States came agonizingly close to a gold medal.

That was the final of the 2000 Games, when Australia responded to Villa's goal -- made inside the last 30 seconds -- with a snap shot from Yvette Higgins 1.7 seconds from time to capture a 4-3 win and the first Olympic women's water polo title.

Villa was back in top Olympic form in Monday's 7-6 win over Hungary, scoring the first two points in the opening three minutes of the tournament to help lift the Americans to a 4-1 lead in the first quarter.

Her four-goal haul included the equalizer at 6-6 in the last quarter, after Hungary had rallied from 4-1 down to a 6-5 lead.

This time attacker Kelly Rulon followed Villa's lead and -- to mark her 20th birthday and Olympic debut -- scored the winning goal."

Read more at Water polo team opens with thriller

Posted by Darren at 02:27 AM

Allen Iverson has broken right thumb, but will play

"Allen Iverson broke his right thumb but plans to play anyway Tuesday night for the U.S. Olympic basketball team, which is coming off an embarrassing loss to Puerto Rico in its opener.

Iverson originally injured the thumb on his shooting hand during the team's 92-73 loss Sunday, then aggravated it during practice Monday.

X-rays revealed the fracture, USA Basketball spokesman Craig Miller said."

Read more at Allen Iverson has broken right thumb, but plans to play against Greece as U.S. men try to rebound

Posted by Darren at 02:24 AM

U.S. sprinter Muna Lee nursing calf strain

"U.S. sprinter Muna Lee has not been working out in Crete because of a strained right calf.

She downplayed the injury and said she'll resume training Monday for the Athens Games. "It's fine,'' she said.

Lee, a former LSU star, is entered in the 200 meters at the games. Preliminaries in the event aren't until Aug. 23, and Lee said she expects to be healthy in time.

The injury apparently occurred during warmups for the 100 meters last Friday in Zurich, Switzerland. Lee did not run in the race, and she has been receiving constant treatment since arriving in Crete, U.S. women's coach Sue Humphrey said."

Read more at U.S. sprinter Lee nursing calf strain

Posted by Darren at 01:51 AM

Kim Severson rides into medal contention, and U.S. within reach of silver in three-day equestrian

"American Kim Severson rode into medal contention and the U.S. team moved within reach of silver Tuesday in the three-day equestrian event, horsemanship's equivalent of the triathlon. The three-day event, which is to conclude Wednesday, is a demanding test of skill and stamina that originally was devised as the test of a cavalry horse.

Severson was third with 36.2 penalty points after a lightening fast cross-country round. The rider from Keene, Va., on Winsome Adante, added no jumping or time penalty points to her dressage score and moved up from fourth."

Read more at Kim Severson rides into medal contention, and U.S. within reach of silver in three-day equestrian

Posted by Darren at 12:57 AM

Beach vollyballers go flat, may miss medal

"American beach volleyball pair Dain Blanton and Jeff Nygaard have until Wednesday to figure out why they've played two lethargic matches at the Olympics. It's probably too late to think about winning a medal. Flat and out of synch for the second time in pool play, Blanton and Nygaard lost to Canadians John Child and Mark Heese 21-16, 21-10 on Monday.

The eighth-seeded Americans must upset the fifth-seeded Swiss pair of Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel on Wednesday to have any chance of reaching the single-elimination medal round of 16.

``We just deserve to lose,'' said the 6-foot-8 Nygaard, a two-time Olympian with the indoor team."

Read more at Beach vollyballers go flat, may miss medal

Posted by Darren at 12:56 AM

Mardy Fish defeats Juan Carlos Ferrero

"Mardy Fish was down and out Tuesday, three points from defeat against former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero. And then, with some help, Fish turned things around for the biggest victory of his career, a 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 comeback against the fifth-seeded Spaniard to reach the third round of the Olympics.

Ferrero, the French Open champion and U.S. Open runner-up last year, double-faulted twice while serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set. That gave the 22nd-ranked Fish an opening, and he took control."

Read more at Fish, Henin-Hardenne ease into third round.

Posted by Darren at 12:47 AM

U.S. Assured of Rare Fencing Medal

"The United States was assured of winning its first fencing medal in 20 years Tuesday after Sada Jacobson and Mariel Zagunis advanced to the semifinals in saber competition.

In the quarterfinals, Jacobson beat Leonore Perrus of France 15-11. Perrus knocked out Sada's sister, Emily, 15-13 in the round of 16, preventing the sisters from playing each other.

``I honestly, really expected Emily to make the (final) eight. I had really thought she was going to do it. I had really prepared myself to fence her,'' Sada Jacobson said. ``I'm sorry she didn't win her bout, but when it comes down to it, it was only going to be one of us, anyway.''"

Read more at U.S. Assured of Rare Fencing Medal

Posted by Darren at 12:35 AM

Venus Loses First Doubles Match With Rubin

"Venus Williams slapped palms with Chanda Rubin after winning points, and wrapped a consoling arm around her shoulders after miscues.

Just the way she does with younger sister Serena, the only doubles partner Venus had ever played with until Monday night. There was one big difference, though: Williams-Rubin wasn't nearly as effective as Williams-Williams.

In a sudden end to Venus' bid for a second straight doubles gold medal, she and Rubin lost to eighth-seeded Li Ting and Sun Tian Tian of China 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 in the first round of the Athens Olympics."

Read more at Venus Loses First Doubles Match With Rubin

Posted by Darren at 12:32 AM

Thorpe, Not Phelps, Has Chance to Win Eight Olympic Gold Medals

"Only one swimmer can leave Athens with eight Olympic gold medals, and it's not Michael Phelps.

While much of the pre-Games publicity focused on Phelps's bid to break Mark Spitz's record of seven victories at one Olympics, Ian Thorpe is the one with a chance for eight career gold medals before the Games are over.

The 21-year-old Australian captured his fifth Olympic title last night with a victory in the 200-meter freestyle, where he passed defending champion Pieter van den Hoogenband in the final 50 meters before a boisterous crowd of 11,000 at the Aquatic Center. Phelps finished third, ending the American's quest to match or break Spitz's mark from the 1972 Munich Games.

`` (Thorpe) was on top of his game,'' Phelps told reporters. ``He's one of the greatest swimmers of all time. He has a perfect stroke. It's unbelievable how he moves through the water.''

Thorpe won the most anticipated swimming matchup in Athens in an Olympic-record 1 minute, 44.71 seconds, breaking the mark of 1:45.35 that Van den Hoogenband set in Sydney four years ago. The 26-year-old Dutchman was second in 1:45.23, while Phelps swam a personal-best 1:45.32.

``It was a final that excited a lot of people on three continents, but I wasn't focusing too much on that,'' Thorpe said at a press conference. ``I wanted to concentrate on what I wanted to do in the race, and I did that.''"

Read more at Thorpe, Not Phelps, Has Chance to Win Eight Olympic Gold Medals

Posted by Darren at 12:10 AM

August 17, 2004

Phelps May Get $510,000 as Olympic Payments Multiply

"Michael Phelps, the U.S. swimmer who set five world records at last year's world championships, may still take home as much as $510,000 in bonuses after failing in his bid to win a record-tying seven Olympic gold medals.

The 19-year-old will get $135,000 from U.S. Olympic and swimming groups for winning a gold and two bronzes in his first three events in Athens, and will receive $75,000 for each victory in his remaining five races. Swimwear maker Speedo International Ltd. had offered a $1 million bonus for matching Mark Spitz's record for gold medals in a single Olympics.

Two decades after the International Olympic Committee allowed athletes to be paid, the number of sponsors and sporting groups offering cash incentives is growing. Olympic teams from Albania to Zimbabwe plan to reward medalists, with the Singapore National Olympic Council pledging S$1 million ($583,000) for a gold medal."

Read more at Phelps May Get $510,000 as Olympic Payments Multiply

Posted by Darren at 09:30 PM

Softball: U.S. beats China 4-0

Softball: U.S. beats China 4-0
"The zeros are beginning to line up like Olympic rings for the U.S. softball team. Lori Harrigan allowed only a first-inning bunt single and Crystl Bustos homered Tuesday as the Americans posted their fourth straight shutout of the games, 4-0 over China.

Harrigan, a security supervisor at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas when she's not whipping fastballs past hitters, struck out eight as the U.S. (4-0) coasted past another of the tournament's medal contenders.

"She was awesome," said catcher Jenny Topping, who added two hits. "She had her full arsenal.""

Posted by Darren at 09:22 PM

US Men's Basketball Team Could Lose Agatin

"U.S. coach Larry Brown was despondent, the head of the U.S. selection committee was defensive, and Allen Iverson was hanging up on callers who asked what went wrong.

A day after their first Olympic loss in 16 years, the Americans were experiencing varying degrees of distress.

"I feel like a failure," Brown said. "I'm very disappointed, but very anxious to try to make it better and make it right. That's all I can do.

"If you don't play with unbelievable effort - plus the fact that these teams are really, truly teams and want it so badly - what happened last night is going to happen again and again and again."

Coming off a shocking 92-73 loss to Puerto Rico, the American men will play Greece tonight in front of a boisterous crowd. The noise of the fans rooting for the host nation will no doubt be ratcheted up now that everyone has seen how the U.S. team is not just vulnerable, but beatable."

Read more at We could lose again

Posted by Darren at 06:49 PM

Inexperience may hamper U.S. wrestlers

"Cael Sanderson was calmly answering all the usual questions a wrestler gets a few days before his Olympics debut, when one hit him with the unexpectedness of an opponent's five-point throw.

Does the most successful college wrestler ever consider himself the face of an inexperienced but eager U.S. Olympic freestyle team?

Immediately, a frown creased a face that, at least so far, has displayed only relaxed confidence.

"Am I going to get teased now from these guys," Sanderson said Monday, glancing up and down a table where six teammates tried to contain their laughter. "I am one of seven people ... trying to do the best I can here at the Olympics."

Sanderson, 25, is the best-known member of the U.S. freestyle wrestling delegation, but he doesn't equate that to stardom in a sport where even the best athletes compete in relative obscurity except during an Olympics."

Read more at Inexperience may hamper U.S. wrestlers

Posted by Darren at 06:48 PM

Italy defeats US in Men's Volleyball

"The U.S. men's volleyball team sees itself as being in a much better position to medal in Athens than four years ago during a miserable performance in Sydney.

But that's not to say success will be easy. The field is stacked, as the Americans found out Sunday when Italy beat them in four sets to begin the preliminary competition.

"It tells me we can play with this team," said opposite Clay Stanley, who led all scorers with 21 points. "We can play with any team. We've played with all of them. We've beaten all of them."

Matej Cernic had seven of his 18 kills in the third set to give his team a 2-1 edge, and the Italians rallied to take the last four points of the final set -- taking advantage of some late U.S. sloppiness."

Read more at U.S. Men's volleyball team falls to Italy in preliminaries

Posted by Darren at 06:47 PM

Michael Phelps' fall is latest big blow

"This is the downside of great expectations: They set you up for great failures.

And given Americas win-or-else mentality when it comes to sports, the Olympic Games could prove to be one magnificent disappointment for the highest-profile U.S. stars.

The U.S. men failed to even qualify for Athens in baseball, this countrys national pastime. The typically dominant U.S. track and field team has been rocked by a doping scandal. And Monday night, less than 24 hours after the U.S. mens basketball team was embarrassed by Puerto Rico in its Olympic opener, another American giant was toppled, if only by his own lofty goals.

Swimmer Michael Phelps picked up his third medal in three events Monday at the Olympic Aquatic Center. But after collecting his second bronze, any hopes of equaling Mark Spitzs record of seven gold medals along with perhaps tens of millions in additional endorsement money were dashed."

Read more at Phelps' fall is latest big blow

Posted by Darren at 06:36 PM

U.S. looks for first ever gold in women's fencing

"It's an old blood-sport that evokes memories of swashbuckling heroes of 17th and 18th century Europe.

Actually, its roots go back to 1190 B.C. in Egypt, where an ancient relief shows history's first known match.

The sport is Olympic fencing. Today, Americans have a shot at their first gold medal in it since the modern games began in Athens in 1896, and their first medal in two decades.

Sisters Sada, 21, and Emily Jacobson, 18, of Dunwoody, Ga., are competing in the women's sabre individual; Sada is the No. 1 seed in the sabre draw.

This is the first time women are competing for a title in the sabre category."

Read more at U.S. looks for first ever gold in women's fencing

Posted by Darren at 06:34 PM

Weightlifter Shane Hamman lifted USA into Olympics, now he wants to medal in them

"Iran's Hossein Rezazadeh has been known as the world's strongest man since lifting a weight equivalent to three regular-sized refrigerators to win the super heavyweight gold medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

American rival Shane Hamman performed a similarly impressive feat of strength in last year's world championships in Vancouver: He raised an entire country into the Olympics with a single lift.

Hamman didn't come close to beating the phone booth-sized Rezazadeh in those finals, but his American-record 507-pound lift in the clean and jerk gave him eighth place.

More importantly, it earned the United States three men's berths in the Athens Olympics; had he missed, no American male weightlifter would be competing.

The biggest lift of his life, in size, also turned out to be the biggest lift of his life in importance."

Read more at Weightlifter Shane Hamman lifted USA into Olympics, now he wants to medal in them :

Posted by Darren at 06:32 PM

American Women's Basketball Team Motivated by Men's Team Loss

"Swin Cash was part of the crowd that witnessed perhaps the greatest upset in the history of Olympic men's basketball, the United States' seismic loss Sunday night to Puerto Rico.

It left her in a foul state.

"Anytime you see your teammates go down, it motivates you," she said. "I was ready to play right after that game, just to try to do something about it. Especially when you're in a gym and you hear so many different things, people who aren't from either country cheering. It makes you want to get up and get out there."

Cash had to wait until yesterday to find out that the experience might have paid off, for herself and the rest of the U.S. women's team.

They blew away the Czech Republic, 80-61, before 954 at Helliniko Indoor Arena for their second lopsided victory in as many games, having dominated New Zealand by 52 points in the opener Sunday. That extended their Olympic winning streak to 19 and sent another signal that any other nation pondering gold is only fantasizing."

Read more at American women motivated by men's team loss

Posted by Darren at 06:30 PM

Yet another Argentine out injured: Calleri withdraws

"Agustin Calleri withdrew from his second-round Olympics match Tuesday against Igor Andreev of Russia because of a left abdominal strain, the latest in a string of pullouts by Argentine tennis players.

The walkover allowed Andreev to become the first player to reach the third round; he'll face No. 10 Nicolas Massu of Chile or Vince Spadea of the United States."

Read more at Yet another Argentine out injured: Calleri withdraws

Posted by Darren at 06:27 PM

Thorpedo sinks Phelps

"Ian Thorpe touched the wall, pumped a fist in the air and let out a yell that all but said, "Take that!"

Two lanes over, Michael Phelps was draped over the rope, huffing and puffing as he looked at the scoreboard.
Phelps' improbable pursuit of Mark Spitz is over, Thorpedoed by the man in black.

Thorpe thwarted Phelp's attempt to take home seven gold medals, winning the 200-meter freestyle Monday while the kid from Baltimore was relegated to bronze for the second night in a row - a medal to be savored, for sure, but not the color he needed to catch Spitz.

With his long arms churning smoothly, his enormous feet kicking furiously, Thorpe passed Pieter van den Hoogenband in the homestretch, finishing with an Olympic record of 1 minute, 44.71 seconds. The Dutchman's time was 1:45.23 - good enough for silver.

Though Phelps swam the fastest 200 of his life, it wasn't enough in this ballyhooed showdown."

Read more at Thorpedo sinks Phelps

Posted by Darren at 06:25 PM

American men earn silver - Gymnastics

"Twenty years later, the boys are back on the medal stand. The American men's gymnastics program, long overlooked and often unappreciated, won Olympic silver Monday, capping a four-year rebuilding project to take home a medal for the first time since the boycotted 1984 Games.

After faltering in the middle two rotations, Paul and Morgan Hamm led a rally. The Americans hit their last six routines, on parallel bars and high bar, to push past Romania and finish with 172.933 points.

The Japanese went last and needed to average about 9.5 over three sets on the high bar to win. They did it with ease, winning by 0.888 points."

Read more at American men earn silver

Posted by Darren at 06:22 PM

Warming up: QA with Jennie Finch

"Jennie Finch, who helped the United States win the gold medal in the 2002 World Championships, will make her Olympic debut in Athens. The righthanded pitcher led the University of Arizona to the NCAA title as a junior by going 32-0, an NCAA record for victories in an undefeated season. She joined baseball's Alex Rodriguez and auto racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the only athletes among People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" in the spring of 2004. In 2003 the California native was voted ESPN.com's "Hottest Female Athlete," unseating tennis player Anna Kournikova. She is a correspondent for "This Week in Baseball" on the Fox network and is engaged to Casey Daigle, a pitcher in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization."

Read the interview at Warming up: QA with Jennie Finch

Posted by Darren at 03:18 AM

Natalie Coughlin wins Women's 100m Backstroke Gold Medal

Natalie Coughlin, from the US, has just won the Women's 100m Backstroke Gold Medal from Kirsty Coventry from Zimbabwe (their first Olympic Swimming Medal ever I'm told).

The winner of the Gold Medal: Natalie Coughlin from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Kirsty Coventry from Zimbabwe

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Laure Manaudou from France

Posted by Darren at 02:57 AM

Americans prove to be world-class whiners

"Aaron Peirsol, an engaging, usually sensible American swimmer, accused a Japanese breaststroker of cheating teammate Brendan Hansen out of a gold medal Sunday night at the Olympic swim complex.

Kosuke Kitajima out-touching the hard-charging Hansen should not have happened, Peirsol said, because Kitajima employed something illegal called a dolphin kick as he began the 100-meter race.

"The whole stadium saw what happened at the start," Peirsol said. "Two-tenths of a second is what that was. It's Brendan's gold medal. There's nothing we can do about it. It breaks your heart, man. He knew what he was doing. It's cheating."

It should be noted that Kitajima held the world record in this event before Hansen bested it at the U.S. Olympic trials last month, and, coming from Japan, he happens to be too gracious and humble to lend credence to the controversy.

It should also be noted that Peirsol's accusation came on the night the U.S. men's 400-meter relay team felt it settled for a bronze medal. South Africa threw the swimming world into a tizzy, blowing past the Americans and the defending Olympic champion Australians, who finished sixth....

See, the great thing about being a proud American at the Olympic Games is that other nations never actually beat us. No, we beat ourselves. Or, in the case of Peirsol's claim against Kitajima, the world cheated to prevent us from our birthright. We're Americans, dag-gum it. We win or go home. Or ask for a continuance."

Read more at Americans prove to be world-class whiners

Posted by Darren at 01:55 AM

U.S. team served defeat in men's volleyball opener

"The name of the Olympic venue for men's volleyball is Peace and Friendship Stadium.

The idealism existed in title only Sunday night, as the U.S. men's volleyball team angrily exchanged words following its loss to Italy.

Players say the intensity from a close game just carried over a bit far.

"They were talking, saying bad things," said U.S. setter Lloy Ball. "I was just trying to defend my team."

The United States nearly forced a fifth game, but blew a lead late in the fourth set, losing the Olympic opener, 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-17, 25-23).

The fourth game was tight until the United States scored four straight points midway through, taking a 17-15 lead. They maintained that lead for the next several minutes, leading 23-21 just a couple of points away from forcing a decisive fifth game."

Read more at U.S. team served defeat in men's volleyball opener

Posted by Darren at 01:32 AM

US beat Czech Republic in Women's Basketball

"The U.S. women's basketball team overcame a slow start to beat the Czech Republic 80-61 at the Olympics Monday and avoid following the American men to an upset defeat."

Women Rally to Avoid Second U.S. Upset

Posted by Darren at 01:29 AM

Jenny Thompson has one more Individual Chance at Gold

"Jenny Thompson has one more individual race - the 50-meter freestyle - left in the most decorated career of any U.S. female swimmer. It will be her last chance to capture the individual gold medal that has eluded her in a career that has spanned four Olympics.

Thompson, 31, finished a sluggish fifth in the 100-meter butterfly last night, a race won by Petria Thomas of Australia in 57.72. Thompson was a full second behind, which left her medal count at 11, her gold-medal count - all from relay swims - at eight."

Read more at Testing Jenny's mettle

Posted by Darren at 01:26 AM

August 16, 2004

American 'sledging' only inspired South African swimmers

"The gold medal-winning, world record-breaking South African Olympic 4x100m freestyle relay team could have been forgiven if, over breakfast in the dining room in the athletes' village on Monday morning, they looked at the other swimming stars and said: "I told you so."

Ryk Neethling, Roland Schoeman, Lyndon Ferns and Darian Townsend are the toast of Olympic swimming on Monday morning after breaking the world record by half a second in three minutes 13,17 seconds and leaving the Olympic dreams of American teenage sensation Michael Phelps in tatters.

Phelps made the naive mistake of predicting he was going to beat Mark Spitz's record of seven golds at a single Games set in Munich in 1972. He also made the naive mistake of giving the South African team lip in the run-up to Sunday night's event.

The American team had shown earlier in the week that they feared South Africa by engaging in a little banter around the training pool. One team official said the Americans had engaged in what the Australians might call "swimming sledging", saying they were going to thrash them in Sunday night's race."

Read more at American 'sledging' only inspired SA swimmers

Posted by Darren at 11:23 PM

At 47, Martina Navratilova wins Athens debut

"A smiling Martina Navratilova lingered on court for several minutes to sign autographs for eager fans leaning over a railing to hand her tickets, hats, even a Greek flag. It was tough to judge who was more excited about Navratilova's Olympic debut at 47, making her the oldest tennis player at a Summer Games.

Navratilova and Lisa Raymond beat Yuliya Beygelzimer and Tetyana Perebiynis of Ukraine 6-0, 6-2, to reach the second round, earning standing ovations before and after from the sparse yet enthusiastic crowd on a blustery Sunday night.

"On my first serve of the match, I thought: 'OK, this is your first Olympic toss,'" Navratilova said. "And it was a good one, and a good serve, and that was all the jitters I had.""

Read more at At 47, Martina Navratilova wins Athens debut

Posted by Darren at 11:06 PM

U.S. defeat Japan 3-0 in Softball

"Not sun. Not wind. Not Japan. Right now, nothing can stop the U.S. Olympic softball team. Helped by two errors, one on a ball lost in the unforgiving Mediterranean glare, the Americans scored three runs in the eighth Monday for a 3-0 win over Japan. The victory extends the U.S. team's winning streak to 73 games.

Cat Osterman, the U.S. team's youngest player, pitched a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts as the United States (3-0) remained the only unbeaten team in the eight-team Athens tournament.

After two blowouts to open round-robin play, the U.S. team couldn't get a hit for the first seven innings. But Japan couldn't score either, and the game went to the international tiebreaker where each team gets to start the eighth inning with a runner at second base."

Read more at U.S. softball team gets another shutout

Posted by Darren at 10:59 PM

Natalie Coughlin advances to finals

"While Michael Phelps' Olympic dream began to crumble Sunday night, Natalie Coughlin's may be about to blossom.

Coughlin, the Concord resident and former Cal star, set an Olympic record in the 100-meter backstroke semifinals, and she enters tonight's final brimming with confidence.

"I just need to get some rest, sleep in, relax and just have fun," Coughlin said of tonight's race for the gold medal."

Read more at Coughlin advances to finals

Posted by Darren at 10:01 PM

Lauryn Williams Has No Problem Running with Marion Jones

"American sprinter Lauryn Williams said on Monday she would have no problem competing on the same team as Marion Jones in the Olympic 4x100 meters relay.

Even if Jones, who is under scrutiny by U.S. anti-doping officials, were eventually charged with an offence and the U.S. runners were stripped of any relay medal they might win, "it's fine with me" that Jones runs, Williams told a news conference.

"The coaches will make the best decision and as long as they feel they have made the best decision and that's who they have on the relay when it's time to run, I'm going to run and I am going to be very proud," Williams said."

Read more at Williams Has No Problem Running with Jones

Posted by Darren at 10:00 PM

Patterson, U.S. tune for finals

"Carly Patterson beamed.

Her American teammates, however, were hardly as cheery.

The U.S. gymnastics team began its quest for an Olympic gold medal with an up-and-down qualifying round Sunday that included some nice moments - mostly from Patterson - but also left plenty of room for improvement.

"That's why we have a day between competitions," Courtney McCool said after the United States faltered late and finished in second place behind defending Olympic champion Romania.

Most of the Americans can use the off day to improve on vault and floor before Tuesday's finals. The reigning world champions hardly looked the part on those events, stumbling around and turning a 0.99-point lead halfway through the meet into a deficit of 0.588."

Read more at Patterson, U.S. tune for finals

Posted by Darren at 09:45 PM

US defeat Croatia in Water Polo

"Tony Azevedo whizzed a last-second shot past Croatian goalkeeper Frano Vican to give the American water polo team a 7-6 victory in its tournament opener yesterday.

It was Azevedo's third goal of the game, and the horn went off almost immediately after the ball sailed over Vican's head.

After leading by three goals for most of the second and third quarters, the Americans faced splitting the competition points when Croatian driver Nikola Frankovic tied it, 6-6, with 26 seconds remaining."

Read more at Azevedo shot does trick

Posted by Darren at 09:23 PM

U.S. gymnasts take second, but with slips along the way

"Their emotions ranged from one extreme to the other, and understandably so.

Courtney McCool and Terin Humphrey, gym mates back home in Blue Springs, Mo., shared some satisfaction Sunday after the women's gymnastics qualification round at the Summer Olympics.

They also felt very similar, even bitter disappointment, thanks mainly to one hard-luck corner of the floor exercise mat.

Headlines will say the U.S. women placed a close second behind Romania in the first day of team competition with Carly Pattersons taking first place in the all-around qualifying.

"We have to be happy about the team doing so well," the 16-year-old McCool said. "We were thinking of the team first today. We're in second place and that's awesome.""

Read more at U.S. gymnasts take second, but with slips along the way

Posted by Darren at 08:27 PM

U.S. team is beat by its apathy

"These are now Olympics of two big surprises: The Greeks were ready and the Americans were not.

In the opening round of men's basketball Sunday, Puerto Rico handily beat a sloppy and ill-prepared U.S. team 92-73.

The Yanks were so blindsided the stats would suggest they were blindfolded. They clunked shots from short range, bumped into opponents and couldn't find the handle on the ball.

In the first half, they shot 8 percent from 3-point range and 31 percent overall while committing 15 fouls and 12 turnovers."

Read more at U.S. team is beat by its apathy

Posted by Darren at 08:01 PM

No eight golds for Phelps

"Soaking up the Olympic experience wasn't all it was cracked up to be for some Americans on Sunday.

While an early end to Michael Phelps' bid for eight swimming gold medals wasn't a stunning upset, Puerto Rico's 92-73 demolition of the men's basketball team was.

Phelps, who won the 400-meter individual medley Saturday, advanced through two rounds of the 200-meter freestyle Sunday. But his 8-for-8 hopes were dashed when South Africa swam to a wire-to-wire, world-record victory in the 400-meter freestyle relay.

What was supposed to be a dual between the United States and Australia instead was a South African tidal wave. Roland Schoeman, Lyndon Ferns, Darian Townsend and Ryk Neething combined to finish in 3 minutes, 13.17 seconds. The Netherlands, anchored by Pieter van den Hoogenband, got up for the silver in 3:14.36."

Read more at No eight golds for Phelps

Posted by Darren at 07:52 PM

Americans still stuck in deep sleep - Men's Basketball

"The NBA players in red, white and blue have been talking of wake-up calls in recent weeks.

The Italy game was a wake-up call, then the Germany game was a wake-up call, and now the 19-point loss to Puerto Rico yesterday in the opening game of the Olympics is the biggest wake-up call yet.

This is a bad case of institutional amnesia, for the wake-up call was delivered four years ago in Sydney, where we barely survived Lithuania en route to the gold medal."

Read more at Americans still stuck in deep sleep - The Washington Times: Sports - August 16, 2004

Posted by Darren at 07:45 PM

USA Basketball Team Thrashed

America suffered there first Olympic loss since 1988 whe they lost to Puerto Rico 92-73 on the opening day of the Men's Basketball tournament.

The stunning defeat in the Olympic opener ended an unbeaten run of 24 matches since NBA professionals were allowed to compete in the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992.

The U.S. team contained superstars Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson and LeBron James, but had no answer to inspired opponents.

The U.S. had been unimpressive in build-up, but had beaten Puerto Rico 96-71 in a warm up game in Florida just two weeks ago.

Source CNN 'Dream team' beaten by Puerto Rico

Posted by at 05:26 AM

Puerto Rico opens big lead over U.S.

"Puerto Rico stormed to a stunning 49-27 halftime lead over the United States on Sunday in Olympic men's basketball.

Puerto Rico thoroughly outplayed the United States, which has dominated the competition in the modern era.

Elias Ayuso had 12 points and Eddie Casiano added 10 to put the underdogs in control at the half.

The United States have not lost since the NBA began sending players to the Olympics in 1992, but a lack of outside shooting and team chemistry were obvious to the near-capacity crowd at the Helliniko Indoor arena."

Read more at Puerto Rico opens big lead over U.S.

Posted by Darren at 04:43 AM

American rowers ride wind to records

"America's Olympic rowers arrived in Greece saying they were ready for the rough conditions at their venue on a windswept, manmade lake outside Athens. Turns out they were right. With a tail wind packing gusts of up to 20 mph, both the U.S. men's and women's eights broke world records and won tough preliminary heats Sunday.

No records will fall Monday, however. Forecasts of even stronger winds prompted organizers to postpone those races. Only a few hours after Sunday's competition, the wind was strong enough to push up white-capped waves in the made-made lake."

American rowers ride wind to records

Posted by Darren at 03:48 AM

U.S. Riders Have Disappointing Day

"After a disappointing first day of dressage competition, the U.S. Olympic equestrian three-day team pinned its hopes for an individual medal on two top riders competing Monday: John Williams of Middleburg, Va., and Kim Severson of Keene, Va.

Williams, riding Carrick, and Severson, on Winsome Adante, will try to improve on Sunday's dressage debut, which ended with mixed success for the Americans.

Darren Chiacchia of Ocala, Fla, sits fourth on Windfall 2 after scoring 44.6 penalty points.

"I'm very proud of him," Chiacchia said. "There are now two phases to go."

But the other Americans didn't fare so well."

Read more at U.S. Riders Have Disappointing Day

Posted by Darren at 03:17 AM

Thorpe and Phelps Go head to head

Tonight was the first time we'd seen Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps swimming in the same race. It was only a Semi final of the 200m Freestyle - and they were around two seconds outside world record pace - but there was something special in thinking about what was to come in tomorrow's final and tonight's relay at the end of today's competition.

Obviously both were holding their cards close to their chest today but one has to wonder if we'll see some world records fall in the next few days.

Posted by Darren at 02:56 AM

U.S. Women Expect Tougher Game Vs. Czechs

"When U.S. coach Van Chancellor thinks about the Czech Republic's basketball team, it's almost enough to make him dizzy. "The Czech Republic ran an offense over there one time and let me tell you, I haven't figured it out yet," he said.

By Monday, though, look for Chancellor to have a plan. The U.S. team meets the Czech Republic in the second session of the preliminary round, and no one expects it to be as easy as the first game of these Olympics.

That was a 99-47 blowout of New Zealand on Saturday, the third-largest victory margin for a U.S. team in the Summer Games.

"We definitely know they're going to be better than New Zealand," guard Shannon Johnson said."

Read more at U.S. Women Expect Tougher Game Vs. Czechs

Posted by Darren at 02:23 AM

US defeat Australia - Softball

"Lisa Fernandez and the U.S. softball team showed Australia no mercy. Fernandez allowed one hit and the Americans dominated their old Olympic nemesis, blowing out the two-time bronze medalists 10-0 Sunday in a game called after five innings because the Aussies were too far behind.

International rules state a game ends whenever a team trails by more than seven runs after five innings - the so-called slaughter rule.

This one certainly qualified.

After an eight-run fourth inning, all Fernandez had to do was get three outs in the fifth to finish off Australia (1-1), the only team to beat the United States twice in Olympic competition. Both times, Fernandez was the loser."

Read more at U.S. Softball Team Again Shows No Mercy

Posted by Darren at 02:22 AM

August 15, 2004

Vicente Escobedo says he's prepared, physically and mentally

"The U.S. boxing team isn't expected to fare well at the Olympics, but that hasn't discouraged Vicente Escobedo.

A lifelong dream is at hand for the 22-year-old, 132-pounder from Woodland, whose first bout is Monday: competing in the Olympics for his country with a chance for a gold medal.

"Physically and mentally, I'm ready," he said in a phone interview from Athens, Greece, between workouts. "It's been three hard months of training for all of us. Now that we're over here, it's time to focus.""

Read more at Escobedo says he's prepared, physically and mentally

Posted by Darren at 11:13 PM

Romanian Gymnasts Edge Ahead of U.S. Women

"Daniela Sofronie displayed all her athleticism to edge Romania ahead of the United States in the Olympic women's gymnastics team qualifying Sunday.

With all six members of each team putting in high-caliber performances on all four apparatus, the defending champions grabbed the top spot on the last rotation with a combined score of 152.436.

They edged out the Americans by just 0.588 of a point while early trailblazer Russia slipped to third on 149.420.

The Romanian-American duel set an intriguing showdown for Tuesday's team final.

American Carly Patterson gained a psychological edge for the all-round competition when she edged past Sofronie to lead the standings with a total of 38.337. Russia's Svetlana Khorkina trailed in fifth place."

Read more at Romanian Gymnasts Edge Ahead of U.S. Women

Posted by Darren at 10:56 PM

U.S. Rower Aquil Abdullah Hopes to Make History

"Aquil Abdullah has already made history as the first black to row for the U.S. Olympic team. Now he's just two races away from becoming the first to win a medal.

The former college football recruit and his double scull partner Henry Nuzum finished a solid third in a five-team field Saturday to become one of two U.S. boats to advance to the semifinals in their respective events.

The other American boat to move straight to the semifinal round was the men's pair of Luke Walton and Russian-born Artour Samsonov. They advanced by beating the Czechs for third place in a four-boat heat, although they finished 14 seconds behind heat winner South Africa."

U.S. Rower Abdullah Hopes to Make History

Posted by Darren at 10:41 PM

US Cycling Coach Fined for Water Violation

"An American cycling coach was fined Sunday for giving a bottle of water to a rider outside the approved area during the men's Olympic road race.

Jim Ochowicz, the men's Olympic road coach and the president of USA Cycling, was fined the equivalent of about $162 by the International Cycling Union. No rider was named or fined, officials said.

Temperatures topped 100 degrees on parts of the course Saturday, so race officials allowed team cars to pass water and food to riders over an expanded stretch of the course."

Read more at Cycling Coach Fined for Water Violation

Posted by Darren at 10:39 PM

Hamm fuels U.S. push into finals

"There were controversy and confusion, and Blaine Wilson used the word "cheat" in describing the Olympic men's gymnastics high-bar judging panel. Saturday was not a routine opening day at Olympic Hall.

Still, when all was done, the U.S. had qualified for Monday's team finals with the second-best score and Paul Hamm, defending world champion, had stamped himself as the man to beat by qualifying with the highest total for the all-around finals.

Japan finished first with 232.134 points. The U.S. had 230.419 and Romania qualified third with 230.019. Defending Olympic and world champion China qualified fourth with 229.507. Also moving into the eight-team finals were Ukraine, Russia, Korea and Germany. Qualifying scores do not carry over to the finals."

Read more at Hamm fuels U.S. push into finals

Posted by Darren at 09:56 PM

U.S. stuns Canadian men's eight rowers

"The mighty Canadian men's eight rowing team suffered its first defeat since 2002 when the Americans upset the two-time defending world champions Sunday at the Athens Olympics.

Iain Brambell and his men's four teammates won their preliminary heat on Sunday. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Canada led for most of the race, but the Americans used a late charge to win the preliminary heat in a world-best time of five minutes, 19.85 seconds.

The Canadians crossed the line in 5:20.46 a time that also beat the former world-best mark held by the Dutch since 1999.

The U.S. automatically advances for the Aug. 22 final, while the Canadians must now try to qualify through Tuesday's repechage."

Read more at U.S. stuns Canadian men's eight rowers

Posted by Darren at 09:47 PM

Mohini Bhardwaj - Nothing ordinary about her

"Before she dislocated her elbow and quit gymnastics for a year ... before she came back, went to college, resumed training, worked three jobs and maxed out two credit cards to stay solvent ... before she became The Pam Anderson Gymnast ... Mohini Bhardwaj spent the 1996 Olympics in a Cincinnati bar.

Specifically, she marked the night the U.S. women's team struck gold by partying with friends at the Yacht Club, a now-defunct Clifton nightspot. Kerri Strug landed the gold-clinching vault on that bum ankle without Mohini Bhardwaj watching.

"I was a little upset," Bhardwaj says now. "I was real excited for the women (and) kinda bummed I wasn't there." She had missed making the team by .075 of a point."

Nothing ordinary about her

Posted by Darren at 07:55 PM

Thorpe, Phelps to clash in 4x100m free

"After winning their first gold medals on the opening day of the Athens Olympics, Michael Phelps and Ian Thorpe will cross paths for the first time on day two of the Games.

The main clash between the pair is Monday's 200 metres freestyle final but the second day of swimming will offer a sneak preview into the most eagerly anticipated race in Athens.

There is an even chance they could meet in the semi-finals of the 200m freestyle, but even if they are drawn apart, they will at least meet in the men's 4x100m freestyle relays, one of four finals on the second day.

The US had never been beaten in the event at an Olympics until Sydney four years ago when Thorpe anchored Australia to a famous victory."

Read more at Thorpe, Phelps to clash in 4x100m free.

Posted by Darren at 07:18 PM

Lindsay Benko earns her medal in prelims

"The first swim of Lindsay Benko's second Olympic Games resulted in her second medal.

It was silver, rather than gold. But it was an Olympic medal.

"I was really proud of the girls who swam (in the final)," she said Saturday after the United States finished second to Australia in the 400-meter freestyle relay.

Benko, of Elkhart, Ind., swam in preliminaries and was replaced in the final. Swimmers from prelims receive the same medal as those in the final."

Read more at Benko earns her medal in prelims

Posted by Darren at 07:02 PM

China Defeats US in Women's Volleyball

"The United States is poised to make a run at its first gold medal in women's volleyball, and China might be the biggest challenge.

Tough way to start the Olympic tournament.

Paced by the power of outside Hao Yang and limiting its mistakes, the Chinese team beat the Americans in four sets Saturday.

"One way or another, we've got to beat them some time," said star hitter Logan Tom, who had a team-high 14 points.

China, the team chosen by many to win gold in these games, was just a little too much for the United States -- which has a promising mix of young and old players hoping to use momentum from a fourth-place finish in Sydney in 2000."

Read more at U.S. woman drop volleyball opener to China

Posted by Darren at 07:01 PM

American Women's Eight Boat Sets Record - Rowing

"What might be the strongest American women's eight boat ever remained undefeated in 2004 with a big heat victory Sunday, setting a world record in the process.

The U.S. boat led by nearly three seconds after 1,000 meters, but the Germans charged hard over the second half, pulling to .3 of a second in a finish that energized the crowd.

Racing with a tail wind, the Americans' winning time was 5:56.55, eclipsing the previous mark of 5:57.02 set by Romania in 1999.

The victory means the U.S. women's elite boat, which won both World Cup events it entered this year, won't have to enter a repechage - or second chance race - on Tuesday and advanced directly to next Sunday's final. "

Read more at American Women's Eight Boat Sets Record

Posted by Darren at 06:59 PM

Americans extend streak to 71 Softball victories with mercy-rule drubbing of Italy

"Jennie Finch and the U.S. softball team made an Olympic debut that was sweaty, short and thoroughly satisfying.

Finch didn't allow a hit in three innings, and the Americans started their run toward a third straight gold medal on Saturday with a shortened 7-0 victory over Italy in their tournament opener.

Natasha Watley went 4-for-4, hitting a two-run double in the fifth to put the United States up by seven runs, invoking the mercy rule that ended the game.

Three-time Olympian Lisa Fernandez had a run-scoring single as the U.S. team extended its win streak to 71 straight games since July 2003."

Read more at Olympics: Americans extend streak to 71 victories with mercy-rule drubbing of Italy

Posted by Darren at 06:42 PM

America's MIT-Harvard tandem upset by Ireland in double sculls heat

"America's Harvard-MIT tandem in the men's lightweight double sculls was upset by Ireland in a preliminary heat Sunday. Greg Ruckman and Steve Tucker fell behind by about 3 seconds in the first 1,000 meters, and the Irish tandem of Sam Lynch and Gearoid Towey maintained their lead the rest of the way.

Ruckman and Tucker finished second, meaning their medal hopes hinge on a repechage or second-chance race on Tuesday. A strong showing there would put them into the semifinals.

Ruckman's journey to Olympic medal contention began with a failed attempt to join the Crimson crew in his freshman year. Tucker was drawn to the sport by a rowing machine at his MIT fraternity house."

Read more at America's MIT-Harvard tandem upset by Ireland in double sculls heat

Posted by Darren at 06:37 PM

Gold medalist Michael Phelps, Natalie Coughlin advance to semifinals in Olympic swimming

"Gold medalist Michael Phelps advanced to the semifinals of the Olympic 200-meter freestyle with a conservative swim Sunday, although rivals Ian Thorpe and Pieter van den Hoogenband and teammate Klete Keller were faster.

Thorpe, who won gold in the 400 freestyle Saturday night, led the way with a preliminary time of 1 minute, 47.22 seconds. The Aussie world record holder swam in the same heat with Van Den Hoogenband, who won the race at the Sydney Games four years ago.

Van Den Hoogenband was second-quickest in 1:47.32. Thorpe finished second to the Dutchman in Sydney.

Emiliano Brembilla of Italy was third in 1:47.95."

Gold medalist Michael Phelps, Natalie Coughlin advance to semifinals in Olympic swimming

Posted by Darren at 06:30 PM

Natalie Coughlin advances in 100 backstroke

"Natalie Coughlin advanced to the semifinals of the Olympic 100-meter backstroke Sunday, although the first and only woman to swim under 1 minute wasn't the fastest qualifier.

Coughlin won her heat in 1 minute, 1.45 seconds, which put her third-quickest heading into the evening semifinals.

Laure Manaudou of France was fastest in 1:01.27. Reiko Nakamura of Japan was second in 1:01.39."

Read more at Natalie Coughlin advances in 100 backstroke

Posted by Darren at 05:53 PM

Gymnastics opener tinged with controversy

"The first full day of Olympic competition brought the first full-blown controversy of the 2004 Summer Games. And it had nothing to do with security or facilities or anything Greek.

After falling off the high bar during the men's qualification round Saturday, American gymnast Blaine Wilson blamed officials from the sport's governing body, saying they forced him to change his routine three days before the Olympic meet began.

"They cheated," Wilson said after the U.S. team, led by reigning world all-around champion Paul Hamm, easily qualified for the finals, which begin Monday."

Read more at Gymnastics opener tinged with controversy

Posted by Darren at 05:16 PM

Phelps sets world record, earns first gold

"Michael Phelps won his first Olympic gold medal and broke his own world record in the 400-meter individual medley Saturday, an impressive start to his quest to eclipse Mark Spitz's 1972 record of seven gold medals.

Phelps won with a time of 4 minutes, 8.26 seconds, breaking the record of 4:08.41 that he set last month at the U.S. Olympic trials."

Phelps sets world record, earns first gold

Posted by Darren at 04:35 PM

US Men's Gymnastics Team Get off to Good Start

"The first day of Olympic competition got off to an early but fabulous start for the U.S. men's gymnastics team.

Fortunately, the team was not scheduled to compete in the morning qualification session. The timing of their afternoon session seemed to agree with the Americans.

Team USA didn't count a score lower than a 9.212, and botched just two of 30 routines.

The Americans started on parallel bars and dominated the event every gymnast that went up hit his routine and most even stuck their landings. Jason Gatson was the high U.S. scorer with a 9.712.

In the session's most dramatic moment Blaine Wilson took a nasty fall off the high bar, but recovered nicely.

The Hamm brothers pulled out great routines after Wilson's mishap and kept the team in the lead after two rotations."

Read more at Gymnastics - Early risers

Posted by Darren at 04:29 PM

Olympics-Swimming Superpowers in Pool Duel to Savor

"Australia and the United States, the superpowers of Olympic swimming, clash in a men's relay pool duel Sunday that could see the world record tumble.

China, the last communist superpower, had a dream start to Athens 2004, scooping four gold medals on day one to consolidate their position as Asia's titan of sport.

But for host country Greece, hailed for its superb opening ceremony, there was more shame to contemplate after its two top sprinters were suspended from its team over a drugs inquiry.

In the Olympic pool where spectators have been sweltering in the baking Greek Sun, the Americans are out for revenge."

Read more at Olympics-Swimming Superpowers in Pool Duel to Savor

Posted by Darren at 04:25 PM

Seven To Go: Phelps Wins First Gold in the 400m I

"Michael Phelps' magic number is now seven.

That's how many gold medals the 19-year-old American needs to break Mark Spitz's 1972 record of seven, this after Phelps won the men's 400 meter individual medley Saturday by breaking his own world record.

Phelps finished the medley in a time of 4:08.26, besting his previous record of 4:08.41 from the Olympic Trials. He also broke American Tom Dolan's Olympic record of 4:11.76, set four years ago in Sydney, and now holds the five fastest times ever in the event.

American teammate Erik Vendt repeated his silver medal performance at the Sydney Olympics with a time of 4:11.81, beating out Laszlo Cseh of Hungary, who won the bronze with a time of 4:12.15."

Read more at Seven To Go: Phelps Wins First Gold in the 400m I

Posted by Darren at 10:56 AM

Track star Marion Jones a blip on Olympic radar

"No name was bigger, no medal haul greater than the three Olympic golds and two bronzes won by the personable American at the Sydney Olympics.

On Saturday, though, as the 2004 Games began in Athens, Jones had disappeared from the Olympic radar.

As the television cameras of the opening ceremony zoomed in on the new hopes of the Olympic movement late on Friday, Jones was in Crete training at the United States camp.

Instead of waging another campaign for five golds, she seems likely to compete in only the long jump and perhaps the 400-meter relay in Athens. Unlike in Sydney, she did not qualify for the 100 and 200 meters, her primary events."

Read more at Track star Jones a blip on Olympic radar

Posted by Darren at 10:55 AM

Dream Team Opens Vs. Puerto Rico on Sunday

"The last time the United States and Puerto Rico met in a basketball game that meant something, a shoving match broke out and fans in San Juan threw drinks and debris onto the court. The episode happened last summer in a semifinal match at the Tournament of the Americas, one of five games between the teams in the past year.

"People got upset, and probably rightfully so, and it escalated," recalled Allen Iverson, one of three holdovers from the U.S. team that qualified for the Athens Games on that steamy night nearly a year ago in Puerto Rico.

The teams will play again Sunday night in one of six opening-round games on the first day of competition in men's basketball. The best game of the day, though, could be Serbia-Montenegro vs. Argentina in a rematch of the gold medal game at the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis."

Read more at Dream Team Opens Vs. Puerto Rico on Sunday

Posted by Darren at 09:12 AM

Volleyball: China beats U.S. in pool play opener

"With the United States poised to make a gold-medal run in women's volleyball, China was up to the opening challenge.

Paced by the power of outside Hao Yang, the Chinese team beat the Americans in four sets Saturday to start the preliminary competition.

China, the team chosen by many to win the gold in these games, was just a little too much for the U.S. - which has a promising mix of young and old players hoping to use momentum from a fourth-place finish in Sydney in 2000.

Heather Bown's block attempt on match point fell short in the fourth and least-competitive set, ending the match at 25-21, 23-25, 25-22, 25-18."

Read more at Volleyball: China beats U.S. in pool play opener

Posted by Darren at 09:08 AM

Australia v US begin Swimming Showdown

"That feisty kangaroo adorning the green-and-gold Australian banner several swim fans wrapped themselves in Saturday night wears boxing gloves for a reason.

The Aussies love a good scrap. And with all the ballyhoo about Michael Phelps and the "greatest American men's team ever," they haven't had to look hard for a sparring partner.

So on a night when Phelps' first gold-medal performance washed over the Olympic Aquatics Center pool like a tsunami, Australian swimmers made a pretty loud splash of their own.

Ian Thorpe, their beloved "Thorpedo," who reportedly is relishing his 200-meter Monday night showdown with the American teenager who has overshadowed him here, captured a second straight gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle with a narrow victory over countryman Grant Hackett and Klete Keller of the U.S.

And the Aussie women's 400-meter freestyle-relay team delighted in snapping the U.S.' 48-year Olympic winning streak in that event, although the Americans' silver medal had a silver lining for anchor Jenny Thompson."

Read more at Aussies, U.S. begin showdown in the pool

Posted by Darren at 09:06 AM

Jenny Thompson denied ninth relay gold

"Jenny Thompson lost out on a record-tying ninth Olympic gold medal Saturday night, giving up the lead on the final lap as Australia won the 400-meter freestyle relay with a world record.

Thompson, who has won all eight of her golds in relays, anchored the U.S. team and dove into the water ahead by nearly four-10ths of a second after Amanda Weir seized the lead on the third leg."

Read more at Jenny Thompson denied ninth relay gold

Posted by Darren at 09:05 AM

August 14, 2004

U.S. Women's Basketball Team Coast Past New Zealand 99-47

"The U.S. women's basketball team got just what it wanted from New Zealand in its Athens opener: a nice, easy tuneup for the rest of the Summer Games. With five players scoring in double figures, the Americans turned it on after a slow start and rolled past New Zealand 99-47 on Saturday.

Favored to win its third straight gold medal, the United States showed why, extending its Olympic winning streak to 18. New Zealand appeared well prepared but was no match for the Americans' athleticism, speed on the fast break, quick hands and feet on defense that resulted in 18 steals and six blocks."

Read more at U.S. Women Coast Past New Zealand 99-47

Posted by Darren at 11:57 PM

Phelps, Thorpe, Hackett Qualify Easily On First Day Of Olympic Swimming

"Michael Phelps made his first day in the Olympic pool look easy.

He began his quest to break Mark Spitz's record of seven Olympic gold medals as the fastest swimmer in morning preliminaries for the 400-meter individual medley with a time of 4 minutes, 13.29 seconds _ well off his world record of 4:08.41....

Ian Thorpe, the superstar of the Sydney Games, settled for being the second-fastest qualifier behind Australian teammate Grant Hackett in the 400 freestyle.

Hackett finished in 3:46.36. Thorpe, the world record holder, was next in 3:46.55.

Posted by Darren at 11:10 PM

Top U.S. Men's Saber Fencers (Keeth Smart and Ivan Lee Eliminated)

"The top U.S. saber fencers got knocked out of the Olympic tournament Saturday in the round of 16. Keeth Smart, who last year became the first American fencer to be ranked No. 1 in the world, stumbled early against Aldo Montano of Italy and lost 15-7.

Montano scored the first five points of the bout, and though Smart pulled within one, he struggled with Montano's attacks and the quick pace of the referee.

"I guess I was a little too excited," said Smart, who won his first-round bout against Gael Touya of France. "I was trying to go too fast."

Ivan Lee, who like Smart is from New York and first learned fencing at the Peter Westbrook Foundation, defeated Gianpiero Pastore of Italy 15-9 in the first round, but then had to face four-time gold medalist Stanislav Pozdniakov. The Russian dominated the bout, taking 12 of the first 16 points. He won 15-9."

Read more at Top U.S. Men's Saber Fencers Eliminated

Posted by Darren at 10:58 PM

Torri Edwards Doping Appeal Scheduled for Monday

"World 100 meters champion Torri Edwards will have her appeal against a two-year doping ban heard by a Court of Arbitration for Sport appeal panel Monday.

If the CAS clears Edwards, the American will be eligible to compete in the Athens Olympics, which opened Friday night.

"The hearing will be Monday evening, the composition of the panel will be announced later," CAS secretary-general Matthieu Reeb told Reuters Saturday.

Edwards, who inherited the title when compatriot Kelli White admitted taking a variety of banned drugs, tested positive for the stimulant nikethamide at a meeting in Martinique last April.

She was scheduled to run in the 100 and 200 meters once the Olympic athletics program opens next Friday and would probably have been included in the 4x100 relay team."

Read more at Torri Edwards Doping Appeal Scheduled for Monday

Posted by Darren at 10:53 PM

Dirrell earns Americans' first boxing win

"Middleweight Andre Dirrell got the U.S. boxing team off to a strong start Saturday, beating China's Ha Dabateer 25-18. "Even though the bout was slow, I still gave everybody else something to look at," he said. "I believe if I stick to my game plan, I'm going to get a gold medal. Can't nobody stop me."

A well-regarded left-hander from Flint, Mich., Dirrell counterpunched his way to an easy victory in the second fight of the day at Peristeri Olympic Boxing Hall as the other eight members of the U.S. team cheered him on.

The two-time national champion, and one of the top U.S. medal hopefuls, was content to let Ha chase him around the ring in the early stages. He came on strong late in the four-round bout, consistently landing counterpunches against the overeager Chinese fighter."

Read more at Dirrell earns Americans' first boxing win.

Posted by Darren at 10:48 PM

U.S. Softball Team Cruises Past Italy 7-0

"Jennie Finch and the U.S. softball team made an Olympic debut that was sweaty, short and thoroughly satisfying. Finch didn't allow a hit in three innings, and the Americans began their run toward a third straight gold medal on Saturday with a shortened 7-0 victory in over Italy in their tournament opener.

Natasha Watley went 4-for-4, hitting a two-run triple in the fifth inning to put the United States up by seven runs, invoking the mercy rule that ended the game.

Three-time Olympian Lisa Fernandez had an RBI single as the U.S. team extended its winning streak to 71 straight games since July 2003.

Finch, who has received more pre-Olympic publicity than her teammates because of her stunning looks, struck out five of the 10 batters she faced before being pulled by U.S. coach Mike Candrea."

Read more at U.S. Softball Team Cruises Past Italy 7-0

Posted by Darren at 10:32 PM

Americans surprised by warm welcome

"Where were the boos? The whistles of disapproval? The loud shrieks of protest? Weren't the Americans supposed to be greeted by a terrible show of anti-American sentiment as they marched in Friday's Opening Ceremonies? Well, here's what members of the American delegation heard as they followed women's basketball star Dawn Staley into the shimmering Olympic Stadium:


Lots of them.

Maybe a smattering of dissent, barely audible above the din. But not much. For the most part, there was respectful cheering, the kind you might have heard for Canada. Or Italy. Or maybe Spain."

Read more at Americans surprised by warm welcome

Posted by Darren at 06:15 PM

Jackie Frank - U.S. Water Polo Goalkeeper Diving In

"Jackie Frank put education ahead of sports, and it cost her an Olympic medal. Frank quit the U.S. water polo team in 1999 to focus on her college degree, studying at Stanford while the United States won a silver medal at Sydney without her. She promised herself it wouldn't happen again.

Frank, 24, is back in goal for the U.S. team - one of the favorites in Athens - giving her a chance to end her second-guessing about skipping Sydney.

At the time, it seemed like the best thing to do: The United States initially failed to qualify for the Sydney Games, so she figured she wasn't missing out.

"We were supposed to qualify at the World Cup, but we didn't," she said. "I'd taken off my freshman year to concentrate on water polo, and I decided to go back to school instead of trying to go through the rest of the qualifying.""

Read more at U.S. Water Polo Goalkeeper Diving In

Posted by Darren at 05:06 PM

U.S. Equestrian Team Pampers Its Horses

"Personal groomers. Long, carefree strolls in the sun. And the best meals - even if it's just carrots and straw - that money can buy.

The U.S. equestrian three-day team's horses are getting pampered in ways that any human athlete would envy, with every conceivable need, physical or mental, attended to with loving care.

``Team USA has the best support group in the world,'' said rider Darren Chiacchia, of Ocala, Fla.

In addition to an individual groom for each horse, there's a veterinarian; a farrier, or professional horseshoer; and even an acupuncturist for the American horses at the equestrian venue near Athens. The dressage and stadium jumping teams, which arrive next week, can expect the same TLC.

Team vet Brendan Furlong of New Jersey said the three-day horses, who will compete in the equestrian equivalent of the decathlon, fared well on their flight to Athens.

They benefited from a new, calming technique in transport: A plastic flap came down before the three-horse pallet was hoisted into the plane."

Read more at U.S. Equestrian Team Pampers Its Horses

Posted by Darren at 05:05 PM

US Women's Wrestling Team could become Fan Favorites

"The early line from Athens says that America's four women wrestlers will be our new darlings of these Games.

"Darling" is an unfamiliar term for Patricia Miranda (48 kilograms or 105.5 pounds), Tela O'Donnell (55 kg, 121), Sara McMann (63kg, 138.75) and Toccara Montgomery (72kg, 158.5), who over the years have been called "insane," "attention-grabbing," "boy-crazy," and, the ever-popular "dyke."

What the people who really didn't like them said was worse. But now women's wrestling is a recognized Olympic sport for the first time, and years of battling males, school boards, league rules, arrogance, ignorance and even resistance from within their own wrestling hierarchy will be forgotten when they compete under the Olympic banner on Aug. 22 and 23rd."

Read more at Quartet of women grapplers could become fan favorites in U.S.

Posted by Darren at 04:53 PM

Kevin Hall overcomes cancer, then red tape to reach Olympics

"Three operations cured American Kevin Hall of testicular cancer and left him with an Olympic dilemma.

The burly sailor has to get weekly injections of testosterone _ which, of course, is a steroid. And his use of a performance-enhancing drug became a problem when he qualified for the Athens Games.

Since he first got cancer in 1990 in his final year at university, Hall has been living an odyssey.

"It was sort of shocking and terrifying at first," he said. "The first operation happened quickly. I went from sailing practice to the university infirmary and then I was on a plane that night, and had surgery the next day.""

Read more at Kevin Hall overcomes cancer, then red tape to reach Olympics

Posted by Darren at 04:43 PM

Team USA built for marketing more than winning

"How ironic that the Parthenon would be a backdrop for the U.S. men's basketball team during these Athens Olympics. Despite numerous attacks throughout its 2,500 years (it was nearly destroyed by a mortar shell fired by the invading Venetians in 1687), it somehow still stands as a testament to the engineering skills of its builders.

If only Team USA had been constructed so brilliantly. Instead its roster looks more like something thrown together by Zorba the Greek after an all-night ouzo bender. Too many small forwards. Not enough shooters. No backup point guard.

True, USA Basketball tried to put together a balanced team of NBA stars only to have nine of 12 players defect for reasons ranging from injury to security concerns. But Stu Jacksonand Co. must have misplaced the blueprint when it came to naming replacements."

Read more at Team USA built for marketing more than winning

Posted by Darren at 04:35 PM

Americans get quiet reception as Olympics return to Greece

""The United States," the public-address announcer said in the three Olympic languages, though so many expected the lusty reaction would be in one.

And, um, well, is there a Greek translator in the house?

Because I'd put it about 2.3 on the public Richter scale. You noticed it. But it wasn't anything to write home except in a column about. There was a rush of whistles. European for boos at the U.S. entry followed by a bigger surge of cheers. Then there was a quick retreat to nothing, followed immediately by more nothing.

No cheers. No boos. No claps. No whistles. Twenty seconds passed. Then 30. Then a full minute of nothing, save for relief by some of us, as American athletes kept filing into the Opening Ceremonies."

Read more at Americans get quiet reception as Olympics return to Greece

Posted by Darren at 04:08 PM

1 gold medal is fine, says Michael Phelps, but 8 would be great

"All told, Michael Phelps will make 20 official leaps into the Olympic Aquatic Centre's outdoor pool, counting preliminary heats, semifinals and finals of each of his eight events. Not a day will go by between today and next Saturday that he will not compete.

And this from someone who remains insistent that he is pursuing only one gold medal at these Games.

"I'm here to take one event at a time," Phelps says, his tone unwavering. "The first goal is to get one. Once you're an Olympic gold medalist, you're one for life, no matter how many world records you have. How many people in the world have just one gold medal? I didn't win one in Sydney, and that's what I'm here to do.""

Read more at 1 gold medal is fine, says Michael Phelps, but 8 would be great

Posted by Darren at 04:03 PM

Middleweight - Andre Dirrell - first in ring For Americans

"Middleweight Andre Dirrell will meet China's Ha Dabateer in the second match of the Olympic boxing tournament.

Dirrell, a well-regarded fighter from Flint, Mich., will be the only American in action at the Peristeri Olympic Boxing Hall when competition begins today. Light heavyweight Andre Ward, another top medal prospect, drew a first-round bye in the draw, which was announced yesterday.

The 283 fighters in 11 weight classes were randomly paired in the draw, which produced at least one outstanding early matchup: Heavyweights Alexandre Alekseev of Russia and Odlanier Solis of Cuba will meet Wednesday in a rematch of last year's world championships final, won, 18-15, by Solis.

Alekseev and Solis both are strong medal favorites -- good news for Devin Vargas, the U.S. heavyweight. Vargas will fight Morocco's Rachid El Haddak in the first round."

Read more at Middleweight first in ring For Americans

Posted by Darren at 04:00 PM

U.S. Softball Team Faces Tough, Early Test

"As great as the U.S. softball team has been in winning the sport's first two Olympic gold medals, there's been one problem. Australia.

While the Americans are 15-4 in Olympic play, two of the losses were to the Aussies. Both were excruciating, too, each coming on game-ending home runs in extra innings.

The women known as Aussie Spirit would love nothing more than doing it again, maybe even in the gold-medal game on Aug. 23, a matchup that many consider very likely.

But why wait until then? Luck of the draw has the rivalry being renewed Sunday in the second game of round-robin play.

The Americans have been tightlipped about the game, realizing anything they say could end up as motivational fodder for the only team with a winning record against them in the Olympics. Instead, they're instead talking about their high hopes and equally high expectations.

"Anything less than winning a gold medal would be a huge disappointment for this team," pitching ace Lisa Fernandez said."

Read more at U.S. Softball Team Faces Tough, Early Test

Posted by Darren at 03:58 PM

LeBron James says experience with U.S. Olympic basketball team has made him more mature

"LeBron James, the youngest player on a very young U.S. basketball team, pronounced himself a changed man more mature, more worldly, more insightful during his first appearance on an Olympic stage at the Americans' opening news conference Friday.

"I've changed as a person. I believe I've matured on and off the court in the last three weeks," the 19-year-old said from a stage at the main press center, where he spent 40 minutes conversing with reporters during his team's first full day in Athens.

As the session progressed, James grew more comfortable discussing what he's learned during his pre-Olympic travels and over the course of a year in which he progressed from recent high school graduate to NBA Rookie of the Year to a representative of his country."

LeBron James says experience with U.S. Olympic basketball team has made him more mature

Posted by Darren at 03:54 PM

Mohini Bhardwaj Has Chance at All-Around - Gymnastics

"Pamela Anderson's investment in Mohini Bhardwaj keeps paying off.

Bhardwaj, whose quest to make the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team was bankrolled by the former "Baywatch" actress, was chosen as a surprise all-around candidate Friday when the Americans released their lineup.

Bhardwaj joins Courtney McCool and co-national champions Courtney Kupets and Carly Patterson in doing all four events during Sunday's team qualifications.

Bhardwaj would be eligible to compete for the all-around title if she finishes high enough.

The top 24 individual gymnasts advance to the all-around, though each country is limited to two qualifiers"

Local Gymnast Has Chance At All-Around

Posted by Darren at 09:04 AM

Japan, US stand between Aussies and softball gold

"Australia's softballers begin their quest for gold when they take on Sydney silver medallists Japan in the first match of the Olympic tournament in Athens today.

The Australians have won bronze at the past two Olympics and are hoping for a medal of a more precious kind this time around.

But the Japanese will be tough first-up adversaries - they are still hurting after an extra-inning loss to the Americans in the gold-medal game in Sydney in 2000.

The United States team start their quest for a third straight Olympic gold medal today when they take to the diamond against Italy.

Canada will take on Taiwan and China square off against hosts Greece.

Each team will play the others once and the top four teams go into a playoff round for the medals."

Read more at Japan, US stand between Aussies and softball gold

Posted by Darren at 09:01 AM

Swimmers Rally Around Teammate Crow Swimmers Rally Around Teammate Crow

"They've trained together 10 hours a day for two years, and now time is running out for the women of the U.S. synchronized swim team. When the Olympicsare over, they'll split up, with some going to college and others making their way into the real world. Tammy Crow has more immediate plans. When she gets home, she'll begin serving a 90-day jail sentence for a crash last year that killed her boyfriend and a 12-year-old boy.

The fact that she's here is upsetting to some people, who don't believe Crow deserves to be an Olympian.

Her teammates, who believe she's done nothing wrong, do.

``People have said things about our very good friend and teammate which aren't true,'' team captain Lauren McFall said. ``She's been working 20 years to be here and she wants to do this for the people back home.'' "

Read more at Swimmers Rally Around Teammate Crow.

Posted by Darren at 08:15 AM

Limited time together is a worry for U.S. women's hoops team, but players confident in talent

"Basketball player Janeth Arcain left the WNBA's Houston Comets this season just to make sure the entire Brazilian Olympic team could train together before the Summer Games. Then there are the Russians. They've been together for most for the year. Ditto for the Czech Republic and several other teams. All of which is a major worry for the U.S. women, who had barely more than a week together before landing in Athens on Wednesday.

Still, there's one key area where the Americans feel they hold the edge.

"Definitely we're going to be the most talented team to take the court," said guard Dawn Staley, who carried the flag for the U.S. delegation in Friday night's opening ceremony. "We just have to make sure we're on all cylinders when we do that.""

Read more at Limited time together is a worry for U.S. women's hoops team, but players confident in talent .

Posted by Darren at 08:13 AM

Michael Phelps Lands on U.S. 400 Relay Team

"Michael Phelps got his first Olympic win _ before the Athens Games even began. In a move that ticked off sprint star Gary Hall Jr. but should give Phelps his best chance to break Mark Spitz's record, the U.S. coaching staff tentatively reserved a spot for their most touted swimmer in the final of the 400-meter freestyle relay.

Swimming is perhaps the most highly anticipated sport at the Athens Games, beginning Saturday with Phelps as an overwhelming favorite to win his first gold medal in the 400 individual medley. He's the world record holder, going nearly four seconds faster than anyone else in the world this year.

"Obviously, he's going to win multiple gold medals," American backstroker Lenny Krayzelburg said. "There's no question about that. It's just a matter of how many.""

Read more at Phelps Lands on U.S. 400 Relay Team

Posted by Darren at 08:06 AM

Ward shoulders lonely burden of U.S. boxing hopes

"Andre Ward has learned to thrive in solitude during six years of lonely jogs, isolated training camps and globe-hopping trips to unfamiliar boxing venues.

But the light heavyweight, a 20-year-old husband and father of two boys, definitely prefers his family's company.

"They're in my heart, and it hurts, but they know Daddy is working hard," Ward said.

Ward spent much of the last year in self-imposed exile from his family to focus on gold at the Athens Olympics. After putting his professional career and much of his happiness on hold, he's determined to make his sacrifices worthwhile."

Read more at Ward shoulders lonely burden of U.S. boxing hopes

Posted by Darren at 08:04 AM

Team USA meets Brazil in soccer - Olympic Football

"Soccer action began last Wednesday, even though the Olympics technically did not get started until Friday night's opening ceremony, and the United States opened with a 3-0 win over Greece.

With only two of the 10 teams in the women's tourney being eliminated in the preliminary round, the United States' three group games are mere preludes to the main event.

The Americans will face Brazil Saturday in a battle of opening-game winners. Brazil defeated Australia on Wednesday, 1-0."

Read more at Team USA meets Brazil in soccer.

Posted by Darren at 07:55 AM

August 13, 2004

American Stars Set for Olympic Ad $$ Bonanza

"Big corporate sponsors won't have to fret that their chosen Olympic athletes will get tarnished by embarrassing situations in Athens all jocks are under 24-hour guard.

Apart from tight security, the other major concern of sponsors who are spending upwards of $10 million on their spokespeople is whether the athletes will win any new fame in the games.

The leader of the spokes-jock pack, cover-boy swimmer Michael Phelps, has already nailed down more than $2 million in sponsorship deals this year, including Visa and ATT Wireless.

If the swimming stud takes home several medals, his endorsement deals could triple past $6 million, experts say.

The close runner-up to Phelps in the sponsorship stakes is his teammate on the U.S. swimming team, Lenny Krayzelburg, whose deals with Speedo and Monster.com have reeled in about $1 million for him so far. He also stands to swell his deals with extra gold medals."


Posted by Darren at 06:38 PM

Swimming giants battle again

Great Britain's swimmers hardly registered a blip on the Richter scale when Australia and the United States held their respective news conferences within the space of 24 hours this week.

For the two giants of the pool, the Athens Games will be all about inflicting as much pain and embarrassment on each other as possible. No one else really matters.

The Aussies did their best to play down the long-standing rivalry when they appeared first before the world's media on Tuesday, insisting that to ignore the threat from other countries would be both "unfair" and tactically naive.

But you could not help feeling they were simply playing a game, refusing to give the Americans any motivational ammunition ahead of their big confrontation in the water.

Read more at Swimming giants battle again

Posted by Darren at 03:16 PM

Martina Navratilova set for Games

"Martina Navratilova admitted the chance to compete at the Olympics in Athens was a "a carrot I couldn't resist".

The 47-year-old will play doubles with United States team-mate Lisa Raymond, who was called up for the injured Jennifer Capriati.

"It's all a new experience, and this will be my only one," she said."

Read more at Navratilova set for Games

Posted by Darren at 03:12 PM

Marion Jones on 4x100-meter relay team

"Marion Jones is firmly on the 4x100-meter relay team and, if all goes as planned, she will run all three rounds of the event at the Athens Olympics, the U.S. women's coach said Thursday.

Coach Sue Humphrey said Jones and three other sprinters had separated themselves from the others.

The women's relay squad would be, in order, Angela Williams, Jones, Lauryn Williams and LaTasha Colander.

It's the same team that ran 41.37 seconds in Munich on Sunday"

Read more at Coach: Jones on 4x100-meter relay team

Posted by Darren at 03:06 PM

Olympics perfect birthday present for Justin Dumais

"On his 26th birthday today, Texas ex Justin Dumais will parade into a dazzling, packed stadium of applauding fans as the 2004 Olympics officially open in typically spectacular fashion.

"Pretty cool party," Dumais laughed. "I can only liken it to when they introduced us at the UT football game after we won the national championship (in men's swimming and diving). We had 80,000 people shaking the stadium for us."

In spite of tension that would make the NCAAs look like a practice meet, Dumais plans to keep things light here.

"This will probably be my swansong. I'm going to go out there and enjoy every moment of the competition. That's pretty much the reason I dive. lt has nothing to do with where I finish in the standings," he said. "I'm out there diving for the crowd. I'm going to have a smile on my face before every single dive.""

Read more at Olympics perfect birthday present for diver.

Posted by Darren at 01:02 PM

Jimmy Pedro, Lee Could Meet in Judo Round of 16

" American Jimmy Pedro's toughest test in the Olympic judo tournament could come as early as the round of 16.

Pedro, a 1996 bronze medalist and four-time Olympian, was placed in the same quadrant of the bracket as world champion Lee Won-hee of South Korea, setting the stage for a dramatic early matchup between two of the top contenders for the 73-kilogram gold medal.

Lee's only loss since February of 2003 was to Pedro last December.

The judo draw, announced Thursday night, is determined in part by each athlete's finish at the previous year's world championships - the top four finishers are separated in the Olympic bracket. But since Pedro did not attend the 2003 world championships, he was placed in the draw at random.

Not only does Pedro face the possibility of an early matchup with Lee - he also was one of just four competitors not to receive a first-round bye. Pedro will meet Kazakhstan's Sagdat Sadykov in the opening round, with the winner advancing to the round of 32. "

Read more at Pedro, Lee Could Meet in Judo Round of 16.

Posted by Darren at 12:57 PM

US Gymnastics team have large expectations

"There was a brief moment between news conferences where oddity and disparity met backstage. As the United States women's basketball team left the building, they passed the U.S. women's gymnastics squad.

What an image: 6-foot-5 Lisa Leslie she of the hoops team strolling by 4-foot-8 1/2 Terin Humphrey she of the balance beam.

The six tiny gymnasts took their places on the stage, America's glass menagerie greeting the world's press.

"They're typical gymnasts," Marta Karolyi, the team's national director who has been around the sport for more than 30 years, said later.

But actually they're a bit different this time around. There's a nose ring. Tattoos of flowers. One retired at 19 as one of Cuba's best gymnasts, only to make a comeback and finally make the U.S. team at age 26. Another flamed out as a teen-aged gymnast but now, at 25, is the captain of a team sure to grab the nation's attention for the next 1 1/2 weeks. Even Pamela Anderson, of "Baywatch" fame, will be in the Athens' stands cheering them on."

Read more at Smallest athletes have large expectations

Posted by Darren at 12:52 PM

Phelps leads real Dream Team

"Speedo has promised Michael Phelps a $1 million prize if he wins seven gold medals in Athens.

You know Speedo, the swimsuit company dedicated to embarrassing anyone who has ever eaten a stack of flapjacks or downed a couple of beers. A person with more than 1 percent body fat looks like a complete whale in a Speedo.

Some of us suck in our stomachs and blush just walking past the Speedo section of a department store.

But it's not as if Speedo is being frivolous with its hard-earned money. Only Mark Spitz has won seven swimming gold medals at one Olympics. He did it in 1972 in Munich back in the days when athletes trained on steaks and cigarettes.

Yet Phelps, a floppy-eared teenager from Baltimore, is so good that some think he actually has a chance. He is projected to be the star of these Games, the face we will end up associating with Athens 2004.

"I'd be satisfied with one gold medal," Phelps insisted. "How many people in the world have one Olympic gold medal?"

Not many. And seven seems impossible."

Read more at Phelps leads real Dream Team.

Posted by Darren at 12:51 AM

Laura Rauchfuss - Rower shows resilience from disappoint-ment

"Laura Rauchfuss was easy to spot among the members of the U.S. women's Olympic crew team who were rowing around Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J., during a late July practice.

As the women's eight-person and four-person boats raced up and down the lake, their every move examined by bullhorn-toting coaches in motor boats, Laura Rauchfuss rowed alone in a one-person boat.

For the 29-year-old Greenwich native, the solitude was both welcome and heartbreaking. Rauchfuss has always been the introverted sort, but in this case, the loneliness was a reminder of her status as an Olympic alternate who had unexpectedly lost her place in the woman's four-person boat.

"It's been a frustrating year," Rauchfuss said. "You train to compete and win, and my focus has been on a gold medal. It's been very difficult for me.""

Read more at Rower shows resilience from disappoint-ment

Posted by Darren at 12:49 AM

Torri Edwards banned two years

"US sprinter Torri Edwards, who was favored to win two medals here, was banned for two years yesterday by the US Anti-Doping Agency for using a banned stimulant in an April meet in Martinique.

Unless the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturns the ban on appeal, two-time champion Gail Devers will take Edwards's place in the 100 meters andLaShaunta'e Moore would step up in the 200. Had Devers decided to focus on the hurdles, defending champion Marion Jones would have taken the vacant spot in the 100, but Devers said Tuesday that she would run both events if Edwards were suspended. A ruling on the case is expected before track and field events begin next week.

Edwards tested positive for the banned stimulant nikethamide. She said she took it inadvertently, saying she did not know it was in glucose pills that had been bought for her on the island."

Read more at Edwards banned two years.

Posted by Darren at 12:48 AM

Kevin Eastler - Taking big steps - plenty of them

"Kevin Eastler is nearing the end of a four-year plan.

It started with the conclusion of the 2000 U.S. Olympic racewalking trials and continued Tuesday when he left Boston's Logan Airport on a flight bound for Athens, Greece.

The blueprint will conclude on the tip of the Balkan Peninsula sometime on Aug. 20, after he has kept at least one foot on the ground while covering 20 kilometers.

Yet through his pursuits, through that less-than-perfect route to the cradle of the modern Olympic Games, Eastler has been trying to find that delicate balance. As the Farmington native prepares to stride through Athens, he's learning about fatherhood, he's representing his country as an Olympian and as an Air Force captain, and he spent some time in Maine before he departed for the Summer Olympics."

Read more at Taking big steps - plenty of them

Posted by Darren at 12:42 AM

WADA chief chides U.S. track officials

"The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency again criticized U.S. track officials Thursday over recent drug use by American athletes, and warned that Marion Jones will be in a "deep hole" if she's lying about not using banned substances.

While acknowledging that Jones has never been charged with a doping offense, WADA chief Dick Pound pointed out it might be possible to strip an athlete of Olympic medals up to eight years later. That means Jones' five medals from the 2000 Sydney Games could be at risk if she is found guilty of using performance-enhancing substances.

Jones is under investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency but has not been charged."

Read more at WADA chief chides U.S. track officials.

Posted by Darren at 12:39 AM

U.S. hopes to reclaim diving prominence in Athens

"There was a time when the United States went to the Olympics expecting to capture plenty of gold, silver and bronze at the diving pool.

From Sammy Lee to Greg Louganis, from Pat McCormick to Jennifer Chandler, this was a sport that used to come with a medal guarantee for the Americans.

Not anymore.

The U.S. team has ceded its dominance to countries such as China, Russia and - heck - even Canada, the neighbor to the north where they like their water on ice.

Four years ago in Sydney, the Americans captured only one medal - albeit gold, courtesy of a stunning win by Laura Wilkinson on the platform. From a sheer numbers standpoint, it was the worst showing for the red, white and blue since the 1912 Stockholm Games."

Read more at U.S. hopes to reclaim diving prominence in Athens .

Posted by Darren at 12:37 AM

August 12, 2004

Serena Williams Withdraws from Olympics

Olympic Fever reports that Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Athens Olympic Tennis tournament just moments before boarding a plane to Athens.

'A doctor told her she could suffer long term damage if she plays on her knee at this time. She is the second US women's tennis player to withdraw in the past 2 days. Her sister, Venus, will now play doubles with Chanda Rubin.'

Posted by Darren at 11:01 AM

August 11, 2004

Greece Vs USA Womens Preview

Group G

Greece Vs Usa Kick Off 18:00 Greek Time

Greece Qualify as hosts for this event and taken on number 2 in the world USA in there first match, the Greeks have improved tremendously over the past few years and will surely be encouraged by the male teams success in Euro 2004, the Greeks also have seven US based players in there squad witch should make this match a bit fierce. The US on the other hand are falling the other way, this olympics will be the last major tournament for most of there players as they hit that age and they will surely be hoping to go out with gold.

Greece 1 - 1 USA

Key Player
Mia Hamm

Posted by at 09:21 PM

Sad Capriati Agonized Before Withdrawing

"Former Olympic tennis champion Jennifer Capriati said she agonized for days before finally pulling out of the Athens Games with a hamstring injury.

The 28-year-old, a gold medallist at Barcelona in 1992, is replaced in the U.S. team by Lisa Raymond.

"This was such a tough decision, and I am truly disappointed that the strain to my hamstring re-injured last week in Montreal will preclude me from competing for the U.S. Olympic Tennis Team in Athens," Capriati said after pulling out on Tuesday."

Read more at Sad Capriati Agonized Before Withdrawing.

Posted by Darren at 06:06 PM

Making the leap toward Olympics

"Local gymnastics schools get ready for next round of dreams

Every four years, another set of well-muscled sprites flips and twists across TV screens, prompting another wave of youngsters who want to learn how to do it themselves.

Local gymnastics schools are ready for the Olympic boost.

When you put together the fall schedule in Olympic years, you schedule more classes, said Joanne Goodson of Midlands Elite Gymnastics Academy in Gilbert. The retailers have Christmas every year. We get our Christmas every four years.

And like retailers, they never know whether the rush will be manageable or overwhelming. It depends on how compelling the Olympic competition is.

When Mary Lou (Retton) did her thing (in 1984) and when Kerri Strug did her thing (in 1996), it was incredibly huge for us, said Steve Macklen of Columbia Gymnastics Academy. We enrolled about 200 extra students after Kerri Strug."

Read more at Making the leap toward Olympics

Posted by Darren at 06:05 PM

Bartosz Wolski - Kayaker hopes to make waves in Athens

"Even as a toddler in his native Krakow, Poland, Bartosz Wolski loved kayaks.

He played inside the small boats while his mother coached other kayakers and his father took him for canoe rides, allowing the youngster to paddle. Wolski joined a kayak club when he was 10 and became the national champion in his age division by the time he was 13.

His family immigrated to the United States the following year, settling in New Britain.

Adjusting to American life was difficult, but Wolski never lost his passion for kayaking. He continued to train and race, fueled by an unstoppable drive and the support of his parents and New Britain's Polish community."

Read more at Kayaker hopes to make waves in Athens

Posted by Darren at 06:02 PM

Brenda Taylor Says She Turned Down Drug

"Brenda Taylor is nobody's fool. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a degree in cognitive neuroscience and is headed for law school when her track career ends.

So when the 400-meter hurdler was offered a performance-enhancing drug at the 2003 U.S. championships, she says she just said no.

"They offered me modafinil before the USAs last year, and I think I'm the only person that didn't take it," Taylor said.

Modafinil is the banned stimulant that resulted in sprinter Kelli White's positive drug test at last year's world championships in Paris. White, who won the 100 and 200 at the worlds, later accepted a two-year ban from the sport and admitted using undetectable steroids and the endurance-enhancing drug EPO.

Taylor just smiled and wouldn't answer when asked who offered her the drug, and she didn't say who the others were who took it. But in an interview at the U.S. pre-Olympic training camp she emphasized that she supports the hard line being taken against performance-enhancing drugs in track and field."

Read more at U.S. Hurdler Says She Turned Down Drug

Posted by Darren at 04:47 PM

Ex-Lockheed engineer combines motherhood with training for the Olympics

"As a teenager, Susan Williams dreamed about going to the Olympics. She wanted to be an aerospace engineer, too. And have a family.

The 35-year-old Littleton woman is on the cusp of having it all.

Considered a long shot, Williams put together two strong qualifying races and in June took the third - and last - slot on the U.S. women's Olympic triathlon team.

"It's still sinking in," she said recently after finishing a swim workout in Boulder. "I can hardly believe it. I'm so excited.""

Read more at Ex-Lockheed engineer combines motherhood with training for the Olympics

Posted by Darren at 04:34 PM

U.S. meets Greece in curtain raiser - Women's Football/Soccer

"At the end of a workout under a searing sun at an old Greek stadium, captain Julie Foudy gathered the U.S. women's soccer team in a midfield huddle.

"Let's get this party started!'' Foudy bellowed in a singsong voice.

The party that is the 2004 Olympic Games is indeed about to begin, with soccer kick-starting the festivities two days ahead of everything else.

The United States opens against Greece on Wednesday on the island of Crete, one of eight games two days before the opening ceremony for a sport that has to start early to squeeze everything in.

"We've been ready for a month,'' goalkeeper Briana Scurry said. "We're very excited to see what we've got.''

Most everyone knows what the United States has - a deep, talented team determined to reclaim its supremacy after disappointing finishes at the 2000 Olympics and the 2003 World Cup.

Greece, however, is another matter. The soccer-mad country that so euphorically celebrated its surprising men's European Championship title last month barely recognizes the women's game."

Read more at U.S. meets Greece in curtain raiser

Posted by Darren at 01:32 PM

Faster, Higher, Stronger, Cheater - U.S. athletics coming clean

"Faster, higher, stronger...cheater? U.S. athletics has introduced a fourth wheel into the Olympic motto, one that could force the powerhouse nation into its weakest medal haul in recent years in Athens. In just one year, a grand total of 18 athletes have been involved in doping scandals and the numbers are still growing.

It all started one year ago with leaked information on a previously undetectable steroid and the...shock hit the fan.

One by one, major stars from sprinter Kelli White to middle distance runner Regina Jacobs began dropping like flies as the clean up of U.S. athletics finally began.

After 25 years of rumours and cover-ups, the nation that pointed fingers quicker and shouted accusations louder than the others is now the one under the most serious scrutiny.

No, the suspicion goes way back beyond the discovery of THG.

Alarms roared last spring when news leaked that nine times Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis had failed a drugs test in 1988, the year a "disgraced" Ben Johnson was stripped of his gold medal at the Seoul Games."

Read more at U.S. athletics coming clean

Posted by Darren at 12:55 PM

Relay decision leaves Phelps gold bid in jeopardy

"Michael Phelps' bid to emulate Mark Spitz's record seven-Olympic-gold-medal haul has taken a potentially fatal blow with reports US swimming chiefs will leave the teenager out of the 4x100m freestyle relay in Athens, sources tell Eurosport.

Despite being the second fastest American over the distance this year, Phelps did not compete in the event in the US Olympic trials.

And according to sources within the German swimming team - who shared the pre-Games training facility in Mallorca with the US squad - American coaches will choose the relay quartet from the swimmers who qualified through the trials.

The decision is expected to be confirmed at the US team's press conference in Athens on Wednesday.

This leaves Phelps - who was aiming to emulate Spitz's haul at the 1972 Munich Olympics by competing in eight events in Greece - with an uphill task to match his compatriot's exploits in the remaining seven events."

Relay decision leaves Phelps gold bid in jeopardy

Posted by Darren at 12:52 PM

Grant Hackett predicts Michael Phelps Pain

"Australia's Grant Hackett believes US swimming star Michael Phelps could leave the Olympics with six gold medals but still go home disappointed.

Phelps is bidding to go one better than Mark Spitz's record tally of seven golds in one Olympics but Hackett believes it will be "very difficult".

"It certainly does put a lot of pressure on you," said Hackett.

"If you win six gold medals it would be a disappointment, even though it's a fantastic result."

Hackett, the defending 1500m freestyle champion, will face Phelps, as well as compatriot Ian Thorpe, in the 200m freestyle."

Read more at Rival predicts Phelps pain.

Posted by Darren at 12:46 PM

Jennifer Capriati pulls out of Games

"Former Olympic champion Jennifer Capriati has withdrawn from the USA tennis team for the Athens Games.

The 28-year-old, who is ranked seventh in the world, did not give a reason for her withdrawal from the tennis event, which starts on Sunday."

Read more at Capriati pulls out of Games.

Posted by Darren at 12:45 PM

Eight is enough for gold - Rowing

"The eight female rowers powering America's best boat at the Athens Games are imposing, each about 6 feet and 175 pounds.

Their long legs are thick from the explosive lower-body thrusts that begin each synchronized pull of the oars as they cut through the water. Their well-defined biceps would put many men to shame.

And anything less than Olympic gold will sorely disappoint them.

"This is by far, both from the rowing standpoint and the chemistry between us, the strongest boat I've ever been in," crew member Megan Dirkmaat says. "There's just something that clicks."

Americans have long been competitive in rowing, but the sport has seen a surge in popularity among women in recent years, drawing more of the country's biggest, strongest female athletes.
"The talent pool is thickening, for certain," says Kate Johnson, a four-time national team member who'll row with the eight in rowing's elite event."

Read more at Eight is enough for gold

Posted by Darren at 12:33 PM

Jenny Finch rejects Playboy Offer but is set for Riches

"After dethroning Anna Kournikova as the favorite internet sporting beauty and turning down a Playboy pictorial, American softball pitcher Jennie Finch is set for post-Olympic endorsement riches.

The 23-year-old blonde bombshell, who combines glamour-girl looks with Andy Roddick-style arm strength, is featured on "This Week in Baseball" striking out Major League Baseball stars with underarm lightning bolts worthy of Zeus.

"The attention I get has been great. It has opened so many doors for me," Finch said. "It's nice that people are accepting beautiful women as athletes. It's encouraging to girls that muscles don't mean you can't be beautiful."

Finch makes about 400,000 dollars in sponsorship deals with eyeglasses and telephones and could boost that total if the US squad wins a third consecutive gold medal. But she is not taking off her clothes despite a huge Playboy offer."

US softball beauty eyes post-Athens riches

Posted by Darren at 12:31 PM

Andy Potts hoping for Olympic triathlon gold

"In Andy Potts' dreams, he's on top of the podium in Athens, collecting the gold medal in the men's triathlon.

If Potts goes beyond it, he can see the parade down Nassau Street that would be the first to welcome an Olympic gold medalist from Princeton since Lesley Bush captured a diving gold in 1964.

"If I win a medal," Potts said, "I'll take a parade wherever I can get one. If Princeton has one, I'll be there."

Potts admits that it's been a long time since he even visited Princeton, yet it's listed as home to the current Colorado resident who qualified as the second American for the triathlon contingent after coming in 11th overall at the 2004 World Championships.

"I just consider myself a Jersey boy at heart," Potts said. "When I was little, my parents moved around a ton. When we moved to Princeton, we made my parents promise us we wouldn't move. Up until fifth grade, we made 12 moves. From then until I graduated, that's the longest I lived in one place. It's where I got my education and had my first athletic success. I still have a lot of friends there."

Read more at PHS graduate hoping for Olympic triathlon gold

Posted by Darren at 12:22 PM

Breaux Greer goes for javelin gold despite torn ACL

"Breaux Greer would never let a little thing like a torn knee ligament keep him out of the Athens Olympics.

Especially since he has a decent chance to become the first U.S. javelin thrower in more than a half-century to win a gold medal.

"They're going to have to take me off on a stretcher, probably," he said Tuesday at the U.S. pre-Olympic training camp, "because I'm going to give it everything I have. This would be a good meet for it, right?"

Greer tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the one he plants hard to the ground as he lets go of the javelin. It happened on the best throw of his life, his American record 287 feet, 9 inches in Bergen, Norway, on June 11."

Read more at Greer goes for javelin gold despite torn ACL.

Posted by Darren at 12:21 PM

Amateur boxers Jason Estrada, Devin Vargas look to end drought for U.S. heavyweights at Olympics

"Jason Estrada and Devin Vargas are two big men fighting for a couple of little guys.

As American heavyweights, they could get rich by winning Olympic boxing gold. As the fathers of young sons, they feel plenty rich already.

"He's my main motivation. Everything I do, I do for him," Estrada said of his 3-year-old son, Lennox. "Ever since he's been born I've been on a winning streak."

Estrada and Vargas have the task of trying to end a drought for U.S. heavyweights, who haven't taken home a medal of any sort since Ray Mercer won the 201-pound division in 1988.

Almost as important to Estrada and Vargas who are both unmarried is doing it for their sons.

"I keep reminding myself I'm doing this for Bishop," Vargas said of his 22-month-old."

Read more at Amateur boxers Jason Estrada, Devin Vargas look to end drought for U.S. heavyweights at Olympics ..

Posted by Darren at 12:20 PM

Equestrian Olympic Predictions

"Will America's top equestrians take home any gold medals at the Olympics? EquiSearch's Nancy Jaffer shares her predictions.

It's down to the wire now, with the Olympics that we have all been waiting for over the last four years finally starting for equestrians on Sunday, August 15.

Although opening ceremonies are Friday night, the first competition is two days later, when the eventers begin their dressage. The venue is in Markopoulo, just an hour or so from Athens, depending on road conditions and traffic which, I hear, are always dicey in this part of Greece."

Read more at Equestrian Olympic Predictions.

Posted by Darren at 12:16 PM

Passion for the pool drives Dingeldein to Athens

"While preparing her daughter to become an Olympian was never the intention, Libby Dingeldein's second-born would be active and on time.

One day while trying to hurry her then-college freshman along, Libby's daughter Margie retorted in a mock pout, "Mawwwwm, I'm not a land animal."

Margie was always at home in the water, able to move faster and transcend her small size, even as a baby.

She had long been considered by friends and family as a given to make the U.S. Olympic women's water polo team before the official announcement was made in June.

The 24-year-old Merced, Calif. native is also known for her intelligence, compassion and determination."

Read more at Passion for the pool drives Dingeldein to Athens.

Posted by Darren at 12:12 PM

Duncan Leads Team USA Past Feisty Turkish Squad

"After awakening to news of bombings in this ancient city, the U.S. Olympic basketball team decided to play on. And by the time the Americans finished an 80-68 victory over Turkey in front of a jeering and whistling crowd, they pronounced themselves ready for Athens but still jittery from the events of an anxious day.

The Americans final Olympic tuneup was similar to many others during an up-and-down tour through Europe. They were unable to dominate an opponent that figured to be vastly overmatched, but they got the job done in the end. What made this day different was a major off-the-court event that tested their focus. "

Read more at Duncan Leads Team USA Past Feisty Turkish Squad.

Posted by Darren at 12:07 PM

Miles hopes to vault onto Olympic medal stand

"As a high school freshman in Sacramento, Calif., Miles was a high jumper. One day after he had finished his high-jumping, his coach told him to either go do an extra running workout or learn the pole vault.

"Being a lazy freshman," Miles said, "I learned the pole vault."

Turns out, he was raising the bar for the rest of his life.

The other day at Arkansas State University, where Miles is associate director of Advisement Services, the school had a reception for Miles and former ASU athlete Kellie Suttle, who made the women's U.S. Olympic Pole Vault team."

Read more at Miles hopes to vault onto Olympic medal stand.

Posted by Darren at 11:54 AM

August 10, 2004

Former President Bush arrives in Greece to lead Olympic delegation

"Former President Bush arrived Tuesday for the Olympics and boarded a luxury yacht in the northern port of Kavala.

The U.S. delegation includes Barbara Bush and President Bush's twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, the White House said last month. Greek police would confirm only the arrival of the former president.

The yacht, owned by the family of Greek billionaire Spyros Latsis, was expected to travel south from Kavala and dock in Athens' port of Piraeus. Security has been very tight at the port, where at least eight cruise ships will serve as hotels during the Athens Games.

The U.S. delegation also includes tennis star Chris Evert; Thomas Miller, the U.S. ambassador to Greece; Alex Spanos, the owner of the San Diego Chargers who has helped raise millions of dollars for the president; and Spanos' wife, Faye."

Read more at Former President Bush arrives in Greece to lead Olympic delegation

Posted by Darren at 11:42 PM

US coach to anchor Chinese softballers against Americans

"American Treshan McDonald, incumbent head coach of the Chinese Olympic softball team, is confident of her disciples' performance in the upcoming Athens Olympic Games.

The 45-year-old told Xinhua Monday that her women players were ready to give their best performance in Athens when she attended the flag-raising ceremony as a member of the Chinese delegation.

"As two-time and reigning Olympic champion, U.S. is certainly astrong team and we must try very hard, but we are ready for the competition," said MaDonald.

McDonald took the helm of the Chinese team only last January, under the recommendation of the International Softball Federation."

Read more at US coach to anchor Chinese softballers against Americans

Posted by Darren at 10:02 PM

Doping watchdogs believe U.S. Olympic team is relatively drug-free

"Here, in one corner of an innocuous, two-story office building that sits across the street from Romano's Macaroni Grill and a Courtyard by Marriott, is where America's war against Olympic drug cheats is being waged.

And it's where Terry Madden, the chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, is being pressed about whether he and his quasi-independent organization can assure the sporting public that the U.S. Olympic team will be drug-free this summer. The Opening Ceremonies of the Athens Games are three days away, and Madden, understandably, doesn't want to get pushed into making sweeping declarations about the purity of the American contingent.

Finally, he says this: "We've done everything possible to send a clean team to Athens. I believe it's a clean team. Am I saying that 100 percent of America's athletes are going to be clean there? No. But I think we and the (U. S. Olympic Committee) have done everything possible to send the cleanest athletes.""

Read more at Doping watchdogs believe U.S. Olympic team is relatively drug-free.

Posted by Darren at 09:02 PM

The upshot is, look for U.S. to do well - Adam Nelson and Reese Hoffa

"Two athletes from the United States made literal journeys from Athens to Athens when shot putters Adam Nelson and Reese Hoffa qualified for the Olympic team along with John Godina, who in 1997 won a World Championship in ... Athens.

Nelson and Hoffa live and train in Athens, Ga. All three Americans will be medal hopefuls when the shot put competition is held Aug. 18 in Olympia, Greece, site of the ancient Olympics for nearly 1,200 years.

Two days later, the rest of the track and field events commence in the new Olympic Stadium in Athens, 280 miles and a couple millennia removed from the place where men competed for the honor of having a wreath placed on their heads."

Read more at The upshot is, look for U.S. to do well.

Posted by Darren at 09:01 PM

Softball's Jennie Finch ready to make her pitch

"After the Athens Games, just one face may stand out to marketers hungry for the next big thing: the pitcher with the ponytail.

Jennie Fitch throws against Canada during a 2003 Pan American Games preliminary match.

Jennie Finch is her name. Softball is her game. Her destiny: fame.

Never heard of her? Get ready for the full Finch. She tosses a ball 71 miles per hour and has set an NCAA record with 60 victories in a row.

Even NBC's Bob Costas will try but fail to make contact with one of her sizzling pitches in a taped Olympic segment. By the time the Olympic Games end, Finch may be as familiar as the NBC peacock.

Sports marketers say Finch, 23, ranks among the most marketable Olympians to come along since perky gymnast Mary Lou Retton enchanted a nation two decades ago. In an Olympics so beset by terrorism fears that the athletes have been issued gas masks, Finch provides the simplest diversion of all: sex appeal."

Read more at Softball's Jennie Finch ready to make her pitch

Posted by Darren at 08:10 PM

Soren Thompson - Globe-trotting fencer now heading to Athens

"The busy schedule Soren Thompson assembled to first reach and later prepare for the Olympics reveals the perfectionist personality that landed him a place on the U.S. Olympic fencing team. That he has completed his year of immersion in the sport feeling relaxed, confident and enlightened by his travels reveals the easygoing Carmel Valley native who, at 23, feels it was the perfect time to see the world.

Thompson has been out and about for more than a year now, having taken the year off from his studies at Princeton to focus on his fencing. To the perfectionist inside him, that meant going to the best training camps, competing at the best tournaments and seeking out the best training partners. Hardly any of it could be accomplished in the United States.

The bright-eyed, curious 20-something in him saw the byproduct of such an endeavor: The means to travel the world at an age when he was mature enough to undertake it and young enough to enjoy it without the restrictions of family or career.

"It's special for me to get this time to do that," said Thompson, who will make his Olympic debut in the men's epee individual competition on Aug. 17 in Athens, Greece. "I'm going to take the time that I can.""

Read more at Globe-trotting fencer now heading to Athens North

Posted by Darren at 08:00 PM

Marion Jones jumps to victory in short tuneup

"Marion Jones won twice yesterday in her first competition in more than three weeks, capturing the long jump and running the second leg for a U.S. 400-meter relay team that had the best time in the world this year.

Jones helped lead the United States to victory in a meet against Germany and France. The meet was used by U.S. coaches mostly as a chance to practice relays before the Athens Games, which begin Friday.

Jones leaped 22 feet, 4-1/2 inches on her last attempt to win the long jump. That was much shorter than the 23-4 she jumped to win at the U.S. Olympic trials in July.

Jones, a three-time champion at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, has qualified only to compete in the long jump in Athens. She also hopes to be selected for a relay team, and there's a chance she could take a spot in the 100 if Torri Edwards is banned because of a drug suspension."

Read more at Jones jumps to victory in short tuneup

Posted by Darren at 07:55 PM

U.S. stresses medals - Officials set goals; athletes just play

"Over the past few months, the U.S. Olympic Committee has made it clear to its athletes that they should be on their best behavior at these Athens Games, asking them in light of world events to be gracious guests, both in victory and defeat.

Were not the favorite kid in the world right now, former USOC president Bill Martin admitted earlier this summer, before returning to his full-time duties as the University of Michigan athletic director. We are sensitive to jingoism in its raw sense.

Yet that jingling noise the world hears as the massive U.S. delegation arrives in Athens this week is the Americans counting their medals even before the competition begins.

Months in advance of the 2004 Summer Olympics, the USOC went public with its lofty goal of a 100-medal haul in Greece."

Read more at U.S. stresses medals - Officials set goals; athletes just play.

Posted by Darren at 07:52 PM

Bernard Williams Tested Positive but will Still compete

"American sprinter Bernard Williams tested positive for a metabolite of cannabis at a meeting in Seville in June, but can still compete in Athens.

Williams, a gold medal winner in the US 4x100m relay team at the Sydney Games, only received a warning despite testing positive for the banned substance.

The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said Williams had committed a first offence."

Read more at Williams tested positive

Posted by Darren at 03:12 PM

Olympic psychologists part of team around Team USA

"Olympian Nia Nicole Abdallah, like most world class athletes, understands physical training isn't enough to be a champion, "It's more mental than physical."

Sean McCann has spent months helping the athletes prepare their minds for the Olympic games. He's one of ten sports psychologists who'll accompany Team USA to Athens, "We like to say we're part of the team around the team."

Weightlifter Tara Cunningham listens to a tape every day they prepared to help her relax and visualize her event, "Listening to the tape makes you feel like you've already been there, so it's like, when you get there, 'Ah, I've done this 30 times in my head.'""

Read more at Olympic psychologists part of team around Team USA

Posted by Darren at 02:32 PM

Anti-doping officials say U.S. attitude toward banned drugs has changed

"The United States' invigorated fight against drugs in sports has led to major anti-doping progress since the 2000 Sydney Olympics, officials said Monday, but a rash of positive tests on the eve of the Athens Games shows much work remains.

Officials in Athens, as well as back in North America, said improved cooperation between sports movements and governments such as the U.S. probe of BALCO that has led to suspensions for several track and field athletes has made it tougher for athletes to break the rules.

And they said the United States, which four years ago had a worldwide reputation of being soft on drug-using athletes, now has shown it will no longer tolerate doping."

Read more at Anti-doping officials say U.S. attitude toward banned drugs has changed dramatically since 2000 Olympics

Posted by Darren at 02:24 PM

U.S. boxers no longer dominate Olympics

"Once upon a time, not so long ago, boxing was a prime time sport at the Olympics.

Back then most Americans would rather watch George Foreman knock out some Russian with a big left hook than see some little 80-pound pixie doing flips on a balance beam.

There's nothing much more boring that a swim meet, but nowadays folks in the U.S.A. will stay glued to their TV sets to watch Michael Phelps splash around in the water and win a bunch of gold medals.

Swimming and diving, gymnastics and track and field will be the focus of NBC's prime time coverage in Athens.

Boxing can found in the afternoons over on CNBC or on the weekends on MSNBC.

That's because the good old U.S.A. can't whip anybody anymore."

Read more at U.S. boxers no longer dominate.

Posted by Darren at 02:22 PM

US Walkers struggling with Heppner's death

"Al Heppner's body was found at the base of a bridge three days after he finished fifth in the 50-kilometer walk at the U.S. Olympic trials.

His apparent suicide leap stunned the tightknit race-walking community of Chula Vista, Calif., which struggled with the death of one of its most outgoing and popular members.

His teammates knew only one way to try to move on: get back on the road, with hips swiveling, sweat dripping and Athens on their minds.

``It brought normalcy back into our lives,'' John Nunn said. ``It was something that was such a shock to us that the one thing we definitely knew how to do was to train and walk, so we might as well show up and do that.''"

Read more at Walkers struggling with Heppner's death

Posted by Darren at 02:20 PM

Professors Predict U.S. Olympic Medal Count

"The opening ceremonies of the 2004 Olympic Games are four days away, but a Dartmouth College professor said he already has a good idea how many medals the United States will win.

Professor Andrew Bernard said the United States will do better than any other country at the games, but won't do as well as its performance in 2000 in Sydney, Australia.

"Ninety-three medals, with 37 gold medals for the U.S.," he said.

Bernard and a colleague from the University of California at Berkeley came up with a statistical formula to forecast the medal race. It boils down to four factors: the country's population, per capita income, how well it did in the last games and whether the country is the host.

Plugging those factors into an equation gets an answer. But does it work? It seemed to for the Sydney games.

"We got the United States perfectly, with 97 medals and 39 golds," he said. "We predicted three weeks before the Sydney games, and that's what we ended up with. And then we had 96 percent accuracy over 35 countries.""

Continue reading Professors Predict U.S. Olympic Medal Count.

Posted by Darren at 02:12 PM

This team isn't close to a Dream Team

"Seen enough yet? I have. Certainly, I've seen enough to know this isn't a Dream Team.

Dream Teams don't lose to Italy and need a mid-court prayer to beat Germany, which wasn't good enough to get to Athens. Dream Teams don't get overly excited about an 18-point, exhibition-game victory over Serbia-Montenegro. Dream Teams don't go to the Olympics thinking that winning, even by the slimmest of margins, is good enough.

Not our Dream Teams, anyway."

Read more at This team isn't close to a Dream Team.

Posted by Darren at 02:03 PM

Be wary of Olympic basketball officiating

"At the first day of practice for the US mens Olympic basketball team, which has already suffered a jarring loss to Italy in tune-up competition, and looked very poor in subsequent wins against Germany and Turkey, players were reminded that international officiating may often fall short of expectations, so accept the fact and move on. Lets assume I just made the worst call in America, assistant coach Gregg Popovich is quoted as telling the squad. Get used to it. No matter what call you get, get used to it.

For at least one historic Olympic call, however, there has never been any acceptance. It occurred in Munich, Germany, in 1972, and for anyone who witnessed it (as millions did on television, although none of the current US team members, all of whom are too young) the call will live in infamy."

Read more at Be wary of Olympic basketball officiating.

Posted by Darren at 02:02 PM

U.S. a triple jump contender again

"Kenta Bell has jumped at least 57 feet in 10 consecutive meets. Melvin Lister uncorked a 58-footer at the U.S. Olympic trials. Walter Davis might be the most athletically gifted of the three.

The United States is back in the triple jump, a competition that at its best, "may be the most beautiful event on the track," Bell said.

"The triple jump is just a power ballet," Bell said, borrowing a phrase used by U.S. gold medalist Kenny Harrison in 1996. "You hit the ground and boom, you're gone. For that one brief second, you defy gravity. Then, just when everybody else thinks you're about to come down, you find a way to suspend yourself just a little bit longer.

"Then, when you touch down, you're gone again, even higher and farther than the one before.""

Read more at U.S. a triple jump contender again

Posted by Darren at 01:45 PM

U.S. struggles to make table tennis popular

"The ball moves so fast that 27-year-old Yassin Sibai doesn't even look for it. Instead, he focuses on his opponent's hands.

By studying minute changes in posture and flicks of his opponent's wrist, Sibai gauges the spin and direction of the small celluloid ball as it rockets toward him at nearly 100 mph.

While the persistent hollow clack of a Ping-Pong ball hitting the table reminds most Americans of community center rec rooms or lazy, rainy Sundays in Mom and Dad's basement, table tennis is an Olympic sport in which the competition -- particularly in Europe and Asia -- is stiff.

Ping-Pong is a registered trademark of the Parker Brothers corporation and therefore, for official purposes, the sport is called table tennis."

Read more at U.S. struggles to make table tennis popular.

Posted by Darren at 01:31 PM

U.S. athletes not to display Stars and Stripes in Olympic village

"American athletes staying in the Olympic village in Athens have been advised not to display their nationality for security reasons, athletes said Monday.

"We are not allowed to display the American flag outside of our apartments. I guess they obviously don't want us to be a target," said womans softball centre fielder Laura Berg.

Berg, who is among the 536-strong American squad which was officially welcomed into the village on Monday, said the athletes were continuously advised not to venture beyond the walls of the village on their own."

Read more at U.S. athletes not to display Stars and Stripes in Olympic village.

Posted by Darren at 01:30 PM

Gardner leads U.S. wrestling hopes

"Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin, one of the greatest Olympians ever, retired shortly after losing the gold in Sydney to unheralded American Rulon Gardner. Karelin's departure precluded any Athens rematch -- which is just fine with Gardner.

"I'm not disappointed at all that he's not here," Gardner said with a wide smile Monday at a news conference for the six-man U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling team. "I have one goal ahead of me this year -- to win a gold medal."

Gardner and his teammates arrived in Athens with high expectations: They want to bring home four medals, and hope for a top 10 finish from everyone on the team. They're particularly pumped by the idea of competing in Greece, the birthplace of the Olympics and their sport."

Continue reading Gardner leads U.S. wrestling hopes

Posted by Darren at 01:24 PM

Felix Sanchez - 400m Hurdles

"The 26-year-old is hoping to finally convert his domination of the 400m hurdles into an elusive Olympic gold medal.

Since the last Games in Sydney, where he exited in the semi-finals, Sanchez has come of age.

His blistering 47.49sec run at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton earned him gold and the Dominican Republic its first ever medal at the event.

He soared to greater heights in 2002 with a nine-race unbeaten record and became the first Latin American to win the Golden League jackpot, as well as being given third place in the Athlete Of The Year awards.

The New York-born athlete continued to impress the following year, becoming the first man since the legendary Ed Moses to retain the world title, and will be looking to cap that success with a medal at this summer's Olympics."

Read more at Athletics - Stars to Watch

Posted by Darren at 01:48 AM

August 09, 2004

Gymnastics / It's a whole new balancing act for USA

"Just when it looked like USA Gymnastics had risen above its underwhelming 2000 Olympics by assembling the nation's deepest talent pool ever, the International Gymnastics Federation upped the stakes.

The IGF essentially erased the Americans' treasured depth with a new scoring system, a format debuting in Athens this week that rewards specialization and demands perfection.

Instead of dropping the lowest score in an event, as teams have done for the last four Olympics, three gymnasts will now compete in the team finals on each apparatus -- and all three scores will count.

It will be either a Darwinian dream or nightmare for the United States, whose men's and women's teams are still favored to medal, despite the zero margin for error."

Read more at Gymnastics / It's a whole new balancing act for USA.

Posted by Darren at 09:05 PM

Kevin Han and Howard Bach - U.S. badminton duo hopes to revamp image

"Badminton is no picnic to Kevin Han and Howard Bach.

Leisure activities that might be backyard pursuits for most Americans are contested diligently, on an international scale, by athletes such as Han and Bach.

Badminton demands the same time, work and dedication, without yielding the riches and notoriety, as the Olympics' glamour sports of gymnastics, track and field, swimming and basketball

"I'm still an Olympian, just like them," said Han, who, with doubles partner Bach, will comprise the only U.S. badminton entry in Athens. "We're all on the same team, going after the same goal, a gold medal, and representing our country. That's why everyone plays."

There is nothing recreational about the way Han and Bach approach their Olympic endeavor. It has required hours of practice and trips to far-flung locations such as Peru, Brazil, Guatemala and Indonesia to compete."

Read more at U.S. badminton duo hopes to revamp image.

Posted by Darren at 06:17 PM

Carrie Tollefson Added to US Athletics Team

"Carrie Tollefson has been added to the U.S. Olympic team in the 1,500 meters after her two challengers gave up their attempts to meet a qualifying standard for the Athens Games.

Tollefson won the 1,500 at the U.S. Olympic trials three weeks ago in Sacramento, Calif., but did not make the team then because her time wasn't fast enough.

Tollefson, who lives in Dawson, Minn., has since run fast enough twice, but her spot in Athens wasn't assured until Amy Rudolph and Jen Toomey gave up their attempts to run the distance in 4 minutes, 5.3 seconds, which is the top standard in the event.

If either of them had done so, they would have bumped Tollefson, who met a slower standard but held the advantage because she won the event at the trials.

Monday is the deadline for athletes to meet qualifying standards for Athens."

Continue reading Tollefson added to U.S. Olympic track team

Posted by Darren at 03:33 PM

U.S. team to beat in women's rowing

"The eight female rowers powering America's best boat at the Athens Games are imposing, each about 6 feet and 175 pounds.

Their long legs are thick from the explosive lower-body thrusts that begin each synchronized pull of the oars as they cut through the water. Their well-defined biceps would put many men to shame.

And anything less than Olympic gold will sorely disappoint them.

"This is by far, both from the rowing standpoint and the chemistry between us, the strongest boat I've ever been in," crew member Megan Dirkmaat says. "There's just something that clicks."

Americans have long been competitive in rowing, but the sport has seen a surge in popularity among women in recent years, drawing more of the country's biggest, strongest female athletes.

"The talent pool is thickening for certain," says Kate Johnson, a four-time national team member who'll row with the eight in rowing's elite event."

Read more at U.S. team to beat in women's rowing.

Posted by Darren at 03:18 PM

U.S. Women Rout France in Spain

"Lisa Leslie scored 12 points and Sue Bird added 11, leading the U.S. women's Olympic team to a 68-38 victory over France on Sunday at the Spanish International Tournament.

The Americans, winners of the past two Olympic gold medals, rallied from an early 10-5 deficit and tied the game on a pair of free throws by Tina Thompson with 3:29 left in the first quarter. Leslie hit a layup a minute later to give the Americans the lead for good.

Leslie finished with a game-high nine rebounds, and Yolanda Griffith had six rebounds and nine points.

Sandra LeDrean led France with 12 points. "

Read more at U.S. Women Rout France in Spain.

Posted by Darren at 03:16 PM

Matt Emmons Heads to Athens - Shooting

"He was one of the most prolific college rifle shooters in the history of NCAA and he's already made his mark on the international scene by earning several medals on the World Cup Tour.

Now, former University of Alaska Fairbanks marksman Matt Emmons is gunning for Olympic gold.

Emmons, who graduated from UAF after the 2003 NCAA championships, has qualified to compete in all three rifle events: men's three-position shoot, men's 50-meter prone and air rifle-at the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, The games start on Aug. 13 and run through Aug. 27.

He is the first American to qualify in all three men's rifle events in the same Olympic year. "

Read more at Matt Emmons headed to Summer Olympics.

Posted by Darren at 12:32 PM

Dana Vollmer Stays in Pool whatever the cost

"For Dana Vollmer, the rationale is quite plain. Never mind that she is 16, already a veteran of two heart problems, one of which required surgery, or, as she prefers to say, "a procedure." Never mind that when she swims next week in the Olympics, there will be a defibrillator poolside, specifically for her, lest her heart begin to race, or stop, or do something else abnormal. Most would say, "Why swim?" Vollmer's answer, "Because I must."

"I basically said I would rather die swimming," she said, "than not do it at all."

Well, then, there you have it. If she stopped swimming, part of her -- a significant part of her -- would die, so she might as well press forward, because why limit yourself at such a young age? Plus . . .

"I don't think about it," she said. "I really don't.""

Read more at Vollmer Stays in the Pool No Matter What the Cost.

Posted by Darren at 12:25 PM

US defeat Turkey 79-67 - Men's Basketball

"One week before its opener at the Athens Games, the U.S. men's Olympic team took a step backward. The American team blew most of a 14-point fourth-quarter lead against a Turkish team missing Hedo Turkoglu, one of its two NBA players, before coming away with a 79-67 victory Sunday.

This was not an encouraging win for the Americans, who again struggled against a team that didn't even qualify for the Olympics just as happened earlier on their European trip against Germany.

A 19-8 run that included several 3-pointers narrowed Turkey's deficit to 68-65 with 3 1/2 minutes left before the U.S. team turned up its defensive pressure to close out the game."

Read more at U.S. basketball team struggles again, comes away with 79-67 exhibition win over Turkey .

Posted by Darren at 11:49 AM

Marion Jones gets two wins in Munich

Marion Jones gets two wins in Munich in first competition in more than three weeks
"Marion Jones won twice Sunday in her first competition in more than three weeks, capturing the long jump and running the second leg for a U.S. 400-meter relay team that had the best time in the world this year.

Jones helped lead the United States to victory in a meet against Germany and France. The meet was used by U.S. coaches mostly as a chance to practice relays before the Athens Games, which begin Friday.

Jones leaped 22 feet, 4 1/2 inches on her last attempt to win the long jump. That was much shorter than the 23-4 she jumped to win at the U.S. Olympic trials in July, and was just the ninth-best jump in the world this year.

Jones, a three-time champion at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, has qualified only to compete in the long jump in Athens. She also hopes to be selected for a relay team, and there's a chance she could take a spot in the 100 if Torri Edwards is banned because of a drug suspension.

The relay team, which also included Angela Williams, Lauryn Williams and LaTasha Colander, won Sunday in 41.37 seconds. But that may be the last time Jones will be on a U.S. relay this summer."

Posted by Darren at 11:49 AM

Kayaker Rami Zur - Competition is Enough

"Rami Zur won't ever be on the front of the Wheaties box. After the Olympics in Athens, he won't be a household name, a guest on Letterman or Leno, or an instant millionaire.

Those perks are reserved for the stars of track and field, swimming, boxing and gymnastics, the sports that will dominate NBC's coverage of the Games, which open Friday.

For most Olympians, the glory is less celebrated, the payoff more personal.

But for virtually all of the 10,000 athletes scheduled to begin competing Saturday at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics, reaching Athens was an odyssey filled with uniquely challenging chapters.

Zur's story began 27 years ago in Berkeley and has come full circle now that he will represent the United States in two kayak events at Athens, the 500-meter races for singles and pairs. "

Read more at For kayaker, competition is enough

Posted by Darren at 11:47 AM

Natalie Coughlin goes for five Gold Medals

Coughlin goes for five golds
"Natalie Coughlin is taking a low-profile approach to her first Olympics. Once given equal billing with Michael Phelps in the pursuit of multiple gold medals, Coughlin will swim just two individual events in Athens. She hopes to be placed on three relays, giving her a chance to win five medals.

''I feel it's better for me to do really well in two or three events rather than mediocre in four or five,'' she said.

Her scaled-down schedule still puts the most versatile American female swimmer in good position to make history. No American woman has ever won more than four swimming golds in one Olympics. Amy Van Dyken won two individual and two relay golds in 1996.

Coughlin owns five world records and 18 American marks in all four strokes freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke, making her an anomaly in a sport of specialists."

Posted by Darren at 11:46 AM

U.S. Men's basketball team expects to strike Gold

"When Larry Brown agreed to coach the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team he lamented the fact it would be as big of a challenge as it was an honor.

But even the perpetually prepared Brown could not have imagined he would be saddled with so many issues in the fortnight leading up to this week's Olympic competition in Athens, Greece.

Already the U.S. team has had its aura of invincibility punctured by an embarrassing 95-78 exhibition defeat Tuesday to a lightly-regarded Italian team, the first such loss with professional players on the roster.

That loss came after team captain Allen Iverson, reigning NBA Rookie of the Year LeBron James and Phoenix Suns star Amare Stoudemire were suspended by Brown prior to the exhibition opener against Puerto Rico. All three were late to a team meeting."

Read more at Keeping the faith

Posted by Darren at 11:43 AM

August 08, 2004

US Aim for Epic Medal Haul

"The United States is aiming for an epic medal haul as the Summer Olympics get under way this week in Athens

By David Nielsen, Scripps Howard News Service

The United States Olympic Committee has a thing for round numbers.

It desperately wants the U.S. to be No. 1 in gold medals and total medals won at the Athens Olympics.

And its calling for American athletes to come home with at least 100 medals.

Ninety-nine wont do.

The U.S. won 97 medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, more than any other country. By setting an even more ambitious goal for Athens, the USOC is setting itself up for criticism if it falls short.

Thats an acceptable risk, according to USOC CEO Jim Scherr."

Read more at The United States is aiming for an epic medal haul as the Summer Olympics get under way this week in Athens.

Posted by Darren at 11:57 PM

James Hickman targets Michael Phelps

"James Hickman is hopeful of beating Michael Phelps to win Olympic gold in the 100m butterfly in Athens.

Phelps is aiming to beat Mark Spitz's haul of seven golds at the Games, but Hickman is confident he can stop the 19-year-old's record attempt.

"In American Michael Phelps I've got a really tough challenge," he conceded on BBC Radio Five Live.

"But when I stand on the blocks I'll be ready for it and confident of winning the gold medal."

Great Britain failed to win a single swimming medal at the last Olympics in Sydney but Hickman sees plenty of reason for optimism this time."

Read more at Hickman targets Phelps.

Posted by Darren at 11:11 PM

Larry Brown Struggling to Connect with Team

"Larry Brown's face turned redder and redder as he lamented the demise of American basketball, the disinterest of Gen X and the dangers of overconfidence.

To say Brown was at his wit's end in the wee hours Friday would only begin to describe his feelings.

"They don't get it," he said repeatedly, shaking his head in a mixture of disgust and foreboding.

U.S. basketball players, from left, Emeka Okafor of the Charlotte Bobcats, and Phoenix Suns players Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion, listen to head coach Larry Brown, front, during a practice in Cologne, Western Germany, on Monday. The team is preparing for the Olympics in Athens.

When someone suggested the U.S. Olympic team could lose by 20 points in its exhibition game against Serbia-Montenegro, Brown didn't blanch.

"It might be like that at halftime," he said."

Read more at Brown struggling to connect with team 08/08/04.

Posted by Darren at 09:56 PM

Carlos Boozer Selected to US Olympics Basketball Team

"Another Alaskan appears to be headed to the Summer Olympics in Greece -- basketball star Carlos Boozer of Juneau.

Boozer is expected to be named to Dream Team IV, the fourth edition of the team since the United States began using NBA stars instead of amateurs for the Olympics. This time around, the U.S. team is somewhat of a recurring Dream Team, with almost every week bringing changes to the roster as superstars like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett pull out for reasons ranging from security concerns to personal conflicts.

Boozer is reportedly among those benefitting from the withdrawal of other players. The second-year pro for the Cleveland Cavaliers is expected to be named to the U.S. team later this week by USA Basketball.

Though neither USA Basketball nor the Cavaliers have confirmed the reports, Boozer's high school basketball coach in Juneau said it's a done deal.

"He called me last Thursday and he told me,'' said George Houston, who coached Boozer at Juneau-Douglas High School, told the Juneau Empire. "He's pretty pumped.''

Further confirmation came from LeBron James via the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio. James, the NBA's rookie of the year and a teammate of Boozer's in Cleveland, was named to the Olympic team last month."

Read more at Boozer selected for Olympic team .

Posted by Darren at 09:38 PM

Raising an Olympian - Tela O'Donnell

"Once upon a time, there was an old woman who lived alone except for a small light that followed her around like a pet. The people of the unhappy village nearby shunned her -- all except a young girl who was drawn to the woman's home by the warmth and music of the light.

Olympic wrestler Tela O'Donnell used to fall asleep listening to this story as a little girl. She lived alone with her mother, Claire, in a log cabin in the woods that her mother built by herself through the trial-and-error method. Claire O'Donnell called it their "nest."

Tela's mother was a wonderful storyteller. She couldn't read a simple picture book without leaping to her feet to act out each character. This was not surprising -- Claire O'Donnell had been trained in a high-modernist school of mime in Paris as well as formal Japanese Noh theater in Tokyo, before leaving it all behind for the forests of Kachemak Bay.

The details of the old woman's story came easily each night as Claire made them up.

It was her own story. Hers and Tela's.

Olympic athletes come from all walks of life. But none of them has a story like Tela O'Donnell's."

Read more at Raising an Olympian .

Posted by Darren at 09:37 PM

Gail Devers Olympic Profile - 100m Hurdles

-- Two-time 100-meter gold medalist is in her fifth Olympics.
-- Still needs Olympic hurdles gold to go with three world titles.
-- Five-foot-3, 121-pounder is 37.
-- Could turn up in 100 meters if Torri Edwards is disqualified.

Her schedule
Aug. 22 -- 100 hurdles heats
Aug. 23 -- 100 hurdles semi
Aug. 24 -- 100 hurdles final
Aug. 26 -- 4x100 heat
Aug. 27 -- 4x100 final

Note: The extent of Devers' participation in the relay is uncertain. "

Source - Track Field / Four to Watch

Posted by Darren at 08:53 PM

August 07, 2004

Michael Phelps Olympic Profile - US Swimming Team

-- Six-foot-5 19-year-old will swim in seven, maybe eight, events.
-- At last year's worlds, he won four golds and set five world records.
-- Finished fifth in 200 fly as 15-year-old at Sydney 2000.

His schedule
Aug. 14 -- 400 IM heat, 400 IM final
Aug. 15 -- 200 free heat and semi, 4x100 free heat and final*
Aug. 16 -- 200 fly heat and semi, 200 free final
Aug. 17 -- 4x200 free heat and final, 200 fly final
Aug. 18 -- 200 IM heat and semi
Aug. 19 -- 100 fly heat and semi, 200 IM final
Aug. 20 -- 4x100 medley heat, 100 fly final
Aug. 21 -- 4x100 medley final

Note: Phelps may not swim in every relay heat and may not be in the 4x100 free at all."

Source - Swimming / Four to watch

Posted by Darren at 09:34 PM

Tom Pappas Profile - Decathlon

"Tom Pappas

-- Greek heritage and 2003 world championship set up Oregon native as top Wheaties-box contender

-- Finished second to Bryan Clay in U.S. trials

-- Father, Nick, once set a land speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats

-- Wrestling ring in the basement kept Pappas and his two brothers busy as children.

Aug. 23 -- 100 (9:15 a.m. Athens), long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 (9:20 p.m.)
Aug. 24 -- 100 hurdles (9:35 a.m.), discus, pole vault, javelin, 1,500 (11:05 p.m.)"

Read more at Track Field / Four to Watch.

Posted by Darren at 08:48 PM

Williams duo head for Games

"Tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams plan to compete at the Athens Games despite injuries that forced them to pull out of recent tournaments.

"They've both been working hard and doing their rehab," said United States Olympic tennis coach Zina Garrison.

"I've spoken directly to Serena, and she's fine. I've spoken to Venus'agent and one of her sisters. They're both looking forward to going."

The Olympic tennis tournament is set to run from 15-22 August."

Read more at Williams duo head for Games.

Posted by Darren at 09:26 AM

IAAF wants 2 year Ban for Torri Edwards

"The IAAF, track and field's governing body, has ruled that American track star Torri Edwards should not be allowed to compete at the upcoming Olympic Games, according to a report.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the IAAF's review panel said Edwards should receive a two-year suspension for using a banned stimulant.

According to a statement from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Edward's case is now with the American Arbitration Association. That panel must rule before an official announcement on the sprinter's status is made.

Edwards tested positive for a banned stimulant at a meet in Fort-de-France, Martinique, in April. Under international rules, sanctions for stimulant use range anywhere from a warning to a two-year ban."

Read more at CBC Sports: IAAF wants 2-year ban for Edwards

Posted by Darren at 09:21 AM

Deena Kastor - US Marathon Runner

"Twenty years ago, a slight figure wearing a white painter's cap emerged from the tunnel at the Coliseum in Los Angeles to a burst of roars and applause.

Joan Benoit was the winner of the first Olympic women's marathon. Since then, however, Americans have had little to cheer about.

Athens might be different. Deena Kastor represents the country's best hope for a marathon medal since Benoit's 1984 victory.

"I couldn't have prepared myself any better," Kastor said as she and the other two U.S. women marathoners relaxed Friday at a seaside resort in Crete, where the U.S. track and field team has set up its pre-Olympic training camp.

"She made a mistake. She didn't drink enough fluids early in the race," De Reuck said. "She won't make that mistake again."

The loss only fueled Kastor's preparations for Athens."

Read more at Kastor Leads U.S. Marathon Resurgence.

Posted by Darren at 08:55 AM

Powell Beats Greene Again

Asafa Powell defeated reigning Olympic champion Maurice Greene over 100 metres for the second time in seven days at Friday's Zurich Golden League meeting.

Powell had a fantastic start and narrowly held off the challenge from his rival to win in 9.93 seconds.

American Greene also lost to rising Jamaican star Powell in the London Super Grand Prix meeting at Crystal Palace last week.

Powell Beats Greene Again

Posted by Darren at 08:48 AM

Team U.S.A. does a number on All-Stars

"The International Olympic Committee could save time and just ship the womens basketball gold medals to this country via UPS or Federal Express.

The United States womens national teams quest for its third consecutive Olympic gold medal earned rave reviews, standing ovations and curtain calls from a packed house inside Radio City Music Hall Thursday night.

The U.S. ballers served notice to the world that it is going to be difficult to dethrone when the Olympics commence next week by turning the much-anticipated "Game at Radio City" into the "Rout at Radio City" by blasting the WNBA All-Stars, 74-58, in a womens basketball mismatch."

Read more Team U.S.A. does a number on All-Stars .

Posted by Darren at 12:27 AM

August 06, 2004

Natalie Coughlin Olympic Profile

-- Concord and Cal product was first in 100 back, second in 100 free at U.S. trials.
-- Illness derailed her at last year's world championships, where she came away with only relay medals.
-- Her coach, Cal's Teri McKeever, is an assistant on the U.S. team -- its first female coach ever.

Aug. 14 -- 4x100 free heat and final
Aug. 15 -- 100 back heat and semi
Aug. 16 -- 100 back final
Aug. 18 -- 100 free heat and semi
Aug. 19 -- 100 free final
Aug. 20 -- 4x100 medley heat
Aug. 21 -- 4x100 medley final

Note: Coughlin may not swim in every relay heat. It is possible she'll swim in one more relay.

Source - Swimming / Four to watch

Posted by Darren at 09:29 PM

U.S. needs Iverson heave to beat Germany

"Things are not looking good for the NBA stars on the U.S. Olympic basketball team. The Americans needed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Allen Iverson from just across midcourt Wednesday to pull out an 80-77 exhibition victory over Germany - a team that failed to even qualify for the Athens Games.

A day after losing 95-78 to unheralded Italy, the United States celebrated a last-gasp triumph against Germany as though they had won an NBA championship. When Iverson's second 3-pointer in the final 1 1/2 minutes went through the net, two-time league MVP Tim Duncan raised a finger to the sky as if to say, "We're No. 1!" Other team members piled atop Iverson on the court.

Iverson has said in the past that he has never made a game-winning shot at the buzzer at any level: high school, college or pros."

Read more at U.S. needs Iverson heave to beat Germany.

Posted by Darren at 02:35 PM

US seeks 100 medals and good conduct award despite safety fears

"United States Olympic officials have some lofty goals for American athletes at Athens - win 100 medals to lead all nations and do it with grace and charm in the face of hostile crowds and terrorism fears.

An unprecedented number of sports psychologists have worked with American Olympians due to security concerns and worries over anti-American feelings in the wake of the US-led war in Iraq.

A wake-up call came at an Olympic football qualifier, when Mexican fans heckled the US visitors with chants of "Osama, Osama" - a reference to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the 2001 terrorist attacks here and in New York.

"There may be some hostile backlash for our country," US Olympic Committee (USOC) chief executive Jim Scherr said."

Read more US seeks 100 medals and good conduct award despite safety fears.

Posted by Darren at 11:05 AM

Fab Five - U.S. Women's Soccer

"The Fab Five of U.S. women's soccer are back for one last hurrah and a chance to make amends for failures of the last few years. And, just as importantly, they're back among friends.

Lilly, Chastain, Fawcett, Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy have been the team's nucleus since the late 1980s. They have celebrated at each other's weddings and grieved at parents' funerals. And they have become perhaps the most storied team in women's sports history.

Now in their early to mid-30s, they have come together again to try to capture the gold medal they couldn't win at the 2000 Sydney Games (silver) and the 2003 World Cup (bronze). And they have gathered to share yet another chapter in what they say will be a lifelong partnership.

"I love soccer and I love this team," Foudy said Thursday after a two-hour practice outside Athens. "But I think the reason we've all been around so long is because of the people we're doing it with.""

Read more at Fab Five of U.S. women's soccer back for one last hurrah.

Posted by Darren at 10:52 AM

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 10:48 AM

US Men's Basketball Team Confusion

"After two games of their pre-Olympic swing through Europe, it's already clear that the U.S. men's basketball team lacks experience, doesn't have many great shooters, isn't all that tall and is a month behind the competition in terms of preparation.

Now, they're about to face the defending world champions. And after listening to what the players and coach said Thursday, it's a safe bet that things could get worse before they get better.

"We've basically been trying to just pass, pass, pass to the point where we've been overpassing, because we're trying to play the right way, the way our coach wants to play," Stephon Marbury said. "But there has to -- there's going to be -- a break-off , where we're just going to have to take those shots that we normally take and make."

Marbury's comments appeared to be a telltale sign that the U.S. players still aren't on the same page with the coaches."

Read more at SI.com - World champs await confused U.S. men

Posted by Darren at 10:44 AM

Greene Objects to Jones absense in Zurich

"The Weltklasse meeting in Zurich, traditionally known as the 'three-hour Olympics' because of its quality and intensity, will tonight offer Olympians travelling on to Athens next week a searching test of their preparations.

Maurice Greene, beaten twice in Europe since arriving to prepare for the Games which start a week today, will face the man who consigned him to defeat at Crystal Palace last week, Jamaica's Asafa Powell, in a 100 metres that contains most of the obvious Olympic contenders other than the man currently leading the world rankings, Shawn Crawford.

But Greene, who appears supremely confident that he is in shape to retain his Olympic 100m title after regaining the form he displayed before breaking his leg in a motorbike accident two years ago, expressed disappointment yesterday on behalf of another prospective Olympian who has been denied a chance to perform in the intense atmosphere of the Letzigrund Stadium, fellow American Marion Jones."

Read more at Athletics: Greene objects to Jones absence from 'three-hour Olympics'.

Posted by Darren at 10:40 AM

WNBA Allstars to challenge US Olympic Team - Women's Basketball

"The WNBA on Monday began its one-month hiatus to accommodate the Olympics in Athens, Greece.

But the league isn't quite done playing.

The WNBA will hold a unique version of its annual All-Star Game tonight (4 p.m., ESPN), featuring the U.S. women's national team against the best non-Olympians in the league. The game, from Radio City Music Hall in New York, will be the U.S. players' final appearance in the United States before they take off for Salamanca, Spain, for a pre-Olympic tournament with Spain, Poland and France.

While All-Star Games typically feature dazzling offense and little defense, the game tonight could be a departure because the U.S. team has just nine practices scheduled before it begins play in Athens on Aug. 14 against New Zealand."

Read more at All-Stars to give Olympians test

Posted by Darren at 10:40 AM

Marion Jones Trying to Earn Place on 400m relay Team

Marion Jones is in the unfamiliar position of trying to earn a spot on the U.S. 400-meter relay team at the Athens Olympics.

Read about it at: Jones Trying to Earn Spot on Relay Team

Posted by Darren at 10:39 AM

Williams Sisters to Play in Athens despite Injuries

"Serena and Venus Williams (news - web sites) plan to compete at the Athens Olympics despite injuries that forced them to pull out of recent tournaments.

"They've both been working hard and doing their rehab," U.S. Olympic tennis coach Zina Garrison told The Associated Press on Thursday in a phone interview from Houston.

"I've actually spoken directly to Serena, and she's fine," Garrison added. "As far as Venus, I've spoken to her agent and one of her sisters. They are both still looking forward to going."

The sisters will be defending their 2000 doubles gold medal during the Aug. 15-22 tennis tournament on hard courts in Athens, and Venus will try to win a second straight Olympic singles championship. Serena also is entered in singles."

Read more at Williams Sisters Plan to Play in Olympics.

Posted by Darren at 10:37 AM

Ian Crocker - US Swimming Team

ESPN has a fascinating story about US Swimmer - Ian Crocker...

"The soft-spoken 21-year-old swimmer favored to win Olympic gold this month in the 100 freestyle has beaten Michael Phelps -- twice. He has broken a world record -- twice. He might very well become the first human being to butterfly 100 meters in less than 50 seconds. If it wasn't for Phelps, Crocker might be the swimmer on the cover of all the magazines -- the swimmer in all the commercials. And still it might be tough for most casual fans to recognize him. Two years ago, he couldn't even recognize himself.

Ian Crocker doesn't exude devil-may-care, like Michael Phelps. He doesn't give off any nice-to-meet you vibe, like Aaron Peirsol. He doesn't scream look-at me like Gary Hall Jr. He doesn't do Joe Cool, like Lenny Krayzelberg. He's got a shy gaze and a tentative way. He takes everything personally. He is the last to believe in his greatness.

Crocker is not really cut out to be an Olympic hero. Glory always rubbed him the wrong way. Most of his childhood trophies wound up shrouded in basement dust back home in Portland, Maine. This is a guy who secretly told his mom that international competition happened too quickly -- that he didn't want to be so good so soon. His parents, Rick and Gail, had to convince him to go to the Pan-Pacific Games in '99. Finally they went with him, as a concession."

Read more at ESPN.com - Who's that guy?

Posted by Darren at 10:36 AM

August 05, 2004

American track, soccer teams arrive in Greece

"The U.S. track and field team began arriving Wednesday on the sun-baked island of Crete for a mix of relaxation and training before heading to the Olympics in nearby Athens.

About half of the 531 American athletes have made the trip to Greece so far, looking to defend their spot atop the Summer Games medals table.

On Crete, security is tight, of course, but it's not obtrusive.

Plainclothes Greek police officers were stationed outside a section of the resort on Crete's northern coast. One officer, who wore swimming trunks and carried a handgun beneath his short-sleeved shirt, said there were many more police in the area they just weren't that easy to spot.

Mike Conley, executive director of elite athlete programs for USA Track Field, chose the location and said about 100 of the 115 members of the U.S. track team will spend time there."

Continue reading American track, soccer teams arrive in Greece.

Posted by Darren at 11:14 PM

US defeat Germany - Men's Basketball

"Things are not looking good for the NBA stars on the U.S. Olympic basketball team. The Americans needed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Allen Iverson from just across midcourt Wednesday to pull out an 80-77 exhibition victory over Germany - a team that failed to even qualify for the Athens Games.

A day after losing 95-78 to unheralded Italy, the United States celebrated a last-gasp triumph against Germany as though they had won an NBA championship. When Iverson's second 3-pointer in the final 1 1/2 minutes went through the net, two-time league MVP Tim Duncan raised a finger to the sky as if to say, "We're No. 1!" Other team members piled atop Iverson on the court.

Iverson has said in the past that he has never made a game-winning shot at the buzzer at any level: high school, college or pros.

The Germans' top player, Dallas Mavericks All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, appeared to have sent the game to overtime by making a 3-pointer over two defenders to tie the score at 77 with 3.2 seconds left."

Continue reading U.S. needs last-second shot to edge Germany

Posted by Darren at 08:22 AM

August 04, 2004

Michael Phelps and Ian Thorpe Battle will be Olympic Highlight

"Swimming, perhaps for the first time, is threatening to trump athletics as the main attraction at the Athens Olympics, thanks to Michael Phelps (news - web sites) and Ian Thorpe (news - web sites).

The pair are bidding for places in swimming immortality by tackling two of the sport's greatest records and their clash promises to be the highlight of the August 13-29 Olympics.

Phelps is aiming to better Mark Spitz (news - web sites)'s record of seven gold medals at a single Olympics while Thorpe, who already has three gold medals from Sydney four years ago, is chasing Spitz's career tally of nine.

Phelps surpassed Thorpe as the number one swimmer by setting five world records and winning four gold medals at last year's world championships in Barcelona.

But the American teenager has his sights set even higher in Athens, contemplating a gruelling schedule that would make him the greatest Olympian of all time."

Continue reading Phelps and Thorpe Battle Looms as Olympics Highlight

Posted by Darren at 10:54 AM

Daniel Kellner - Fencing

"Kellner said he first became interested in fencing at about the age of 14 when he had a hard time mastering a fencing video game.

"I couldn't make the fencing part work too well. I wasn't too good at the video game, but the sport intrigued me," he said. "So I asked my mom about fencing and she said, 'They have it at your high school.'"

Encouraged by his mother, he approached the fencing coach at Pingry High School who surprised and delighted Kellner by allowing him to participate in practices even though the boy was still in the seventh grade.

Kellner soon joined Pingry's middle school fencing team and over time, his interest in the sport grew.

"By tenth grade, it looked like I had talent at the sport and at that time, my current coach Simon Gershon had just come to this country from the former Soviet Union, so I began taking lessons with him in Manhattan," Kellner said.

Kellner attended Columbia University where he continued to participate in fencing competitions."

Continue reading Fencer says 'en garde' to Athens .

Posted by Darren at 10:51 AM

Tom Logan - US Women's Volleyball

Tom towers over volleyball opposition
"Four years ago, a young U.S. women's volleyball team finished fourth in Sydney, beating many expectations but suffering the frustration of coming so close to a medal.

Since then, the team has gained experience and put together an impressive run in international play. Last week, the team once again showed medal-contender form with a third-place finish in the World Grand Prix finals in Italy. The U.S. swept top-ranked China, lost to Italy, dropped a five-set semifinal thriller against Brazil and cruised to the bronze medal by sweeping Cuba.

One U.S. player, part of the young core from the Sydney team, emerged from the tournament with three awards: best scorer, best server and most valuable player. For her efforts, including a 19-point performance against China and 21 points in the loss to Brazil, Logan Tom is USATODAY.com's U.S. Olympic Athlete of the Week"

Posted by Darren at 10:48 AM

US Men's Basketball Team Defeated by Italy

"The U.S. men's team got off to a nightmare start in their campaign to reclaim their title as the world's top basketball team in Athens, losing an Olympic warm-up 95-78 against Italy on Tuesday.

Italy's smooth team play overwhelmed the cold-shooting, error-prone NBA all-stars, shocking U.S. coach Larry Brown and 14,800 spectators in Cologne.

The U.S. team, who have gone 24-0 in Olympic matches and taken three gold medals since professional NBA players began competing in 1992, were beaten three times at the 2002 world championships in Indianapolis and finished a dismal sixth.

Brown has vowed to avenge that performance in the American team's heartland two years ago but the uninspiring showing against Italy seemed to confirm fears that the days of U.S. invincibility in the game they invented are all but over.

"We have a lot of young players who learned a lesson tonight," said Brown, whose team face Germany on Wednesday in another exhibition. "There are great players and great coaches around the world."

Read more at Italy Stuns U.S. in Athens Basketball Warm-Up and at Italy Upsets U.S. 95-78 in Men's Hoops.

Posted by Darren at 10:47 AM

August 03, 2004

Dwight Phillips Favorite in Olympic Long Jump

"American long jumper Dwight Phillips underlined his status as favourite for this month's Olympic Games with the world's best leap in four years at an IAAF Grand Prix meeting on Monday.

World champion Phillips, a good bet for gold at the Athens Games starting on August 13, jumped 8.60 metres, bettering his previous best for the season set in May in Mexico by a huge 16 centimetres.

The American, undefeated in 2004, landed six centimetres short of the meeting record of 8.66 metres set by Cuba's Ivan Pedroso in 1995.

Sudan's Yamile Aldama, a serious contender for Olympic gold in the women's triple jump, comfortably won her event with a meeting record of 15.28 metres.

American Coby Miller completed a double in the men's sprints, clocking 10.15 seconds to beat a relatively weak field in the 100 metres before winning a close battle with compatriot Bernard Williams in the 200m with a time of 20.20 seconds."

Continue reading SI.com - Long jumper sounds Olympic warning in Austria.

Posted by Darren at 11:14 PM

Devin Vargas Fighting for Family

"When Devin Vargas represents the United States as a boxer in the Olympics in Athens, he won't just be going for himself.

There are a host of family members who have helped the Toledo native achieve this dream.

Vargas has been boxing since he was eight years old when he fought his first match in a horse barn.

But the sport has been in the 22-year-old's family for much longer."

Continue reading Boxing a family tradition for Olympic heavyweight.

Posted by Darren at 08:43 AM

Larry Kristoff - US Wrestling Team

"It's a long story, but Larry Kristoff probably became an Olympic wrestler because his grade school lacked a gymnasium.

"I lived on the Giant City blacktop," Kristoff said. "The schools I went to, we didn't have a gym. I never learned to play basketball.

"When I went to high school, all the kids went out for basketball. I didn't even know how to bounce a ball. There was nothing to do in the winter time."

Reid Martin, a coach at Carbondale high school in 1960, recognized that Kristoff and several other good athletes were wasting their talents during the winter months.

Martin decided to form a wrestling team, an act that had a profound effect on Kristoff. A senior at the time, Kristoff, a heavyweight, decided to give the sport a try -- a decision that led to two Olympic berths, nine World Games appearances and a stellar coaching career. "


Posted by Darren at 08:34 AM

U.S. Olympic basketball team preaches teamwork

"Ever since the United States finished sixth at the 2002 World Basketball Championships, the list of that team's shortcomings has been dissected, from poor fundamentals to sloppy teamwork.

For U.S. Olympic basketball coach Larry Brown, whose team is starting a pre-games European road trip, the key is forging his talented squad into a cohesive unit.

"This is a very young team that hasn't played together, but they're getting better," the Detroit Pistons' coach said. "But we aren't a team yet. We have two weeks to become a team. We've got a lot of work ahead."

The Americans open in Athens on Aug. 15 against Puerto Rico. They'll work toward preparing for that by playing Tuesday against Italy, which finished fifth at the Sydney Games.

"We have to be the best team at the Olympics in rebounding and defense. You don't have to have played together forever to accomplish that," Brown said."

Continue reading U.S. Olympic basketball team preaches teamwork as key to gold following 2002 embarrassment .

Posted by Darren at 08:23 AM

August 02, 2004

Guard Young - Gymnastics

"He was 12 years old, the son of an Olympic gymnast and he couldn't do the splits.

It was an inauspicious start for Guard Young.

"At 12 and not having splits is kind of late, and you get more inflexible as you get older," coach Mark Williams says. "We were kind of working with the timeframe that you've got to get this now or you may never get it."

He got it."

Continue reading Determination makes difference for Young.

Posted by Darren at 06:53 PM

Alaska's Tela O'Donnell - Wrestling

"Wrestler Tela O'Donnell lives in a dorm room at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, a long way from home.

Home is Homer, Alaska, where gender barriers are as rare as sunshine in winter.

"There's nothing you can't do," said Tela's mom, Claire O'Donnell.

Including be a woman and wrestle.

Tela has made Homer, a place where the sun shines five hours a day in winter, feel warm all over. She's the first Summer Olympian in Homer's history, making the 2004 Olympic team in late May, about six weeks before fellow Homer resident Stacey Borgman made the Olympics in rowing. Women's wrestling makes its Olympic debut in Athens."

Continue reading A surprise from Alaska.

Posted by Darren at 06:52 PM

Michael Phelps - Built for Speed - TIME Magazine

"Even before a single Olympic medal has been hung around his neck, Michael Phelps is rewriting the manual on what it means to be a world-class swimmer. Entered in five individual events and a candidate for each of the three relay races in Athens, Phelps has the potential to win eight gold medals, and eclipse the standard held by Mark Spitz, who won seven golds in 1972. It's a long shot, but no one is better prepared to do it. Just 19, Phelps holds the world record in three of those five individual events and is a fingernail's distance from the record in a fourth.

In a sport in which most athletes would be happy to qualify for one event, that he can try for eight medals is amazing. Trained in the individual medley, an event that requires mastery of all four swimming strokes, Phelps possesses a phenomenal ability to compete with the best specialists in three of those strokesbutterfly, backstroke and freestyle. In the fourth, the breaststroke, he's merely outstanding. In fact, at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials last month, Phelps became the first swimmer to qualify for six individual events. (He will drop the 200 backstroke in Athens.) "He is really redefining our expectations of swimming excellence," says Pablo Morales, a two-time Olympian in the butterfly and Phelps' role model. "He is blazing his own trail now, and there is probably a whole global army of young swimmers who are looking up to him.""

Continue reading TIME: Built For Speed

Posted by Darren at 06:37 PM

US Women's Football Team defeat China

"There were no surprises and certainly no revelations, but for the United States women's national soccer team, a final competitive run before the Olympic Games was just what it needed.

The Americans made the most of their many chances Sunday against a porous Chinese side as they went out 3-1 winners in front of 15,093 at Rentschler Field a day before they head to Greece in hopes of regaining gold-medal status.

"I'm really pleased, and I don't think we could have done any better," said U.S. coach April Heinrichs.

"We attacked with confidence, and defensively we had a back line where everyone contributed."

Fielding what is projected to be its starting lineup on Aug. 11, when the United States takes on Greece in its opening group match, the Americans rolled to 2-0 first-half lead with goals from Aly Wagner and Mia Hamm"

Continue reading U.S. women defeat China 3-1

Posted by Darren at 06:24 PM

Natalie Coughlin Poised for Olympic Medal

"When Natalie Coughlin swam her first butterfly race at age 6, she was disqualified.

Natalie Coughlin plans to swim the 100-meter backstroke and freestyle and three relays.

She didn't cry.

When she failed to make the U.S. team for the 2000 Olympics because of torn cartilage in her shoulder, it portended a rapid decline for the former high-school phenomenon.

She didn't quit.

When she went to Barcelona last summer with expectations of being the female counterpart to Michael Phelps at the world championships, she became ill and failed to win an individual medal.

She didn't even pout.

Throughout her career, the 21-year-old Northern Californian has proven as resilient as she is buoyant, in and out of the pool. Now, after excelling in the obscurity of non-Olympic years, she is in position to star on the only stage anyone outside her sport notices.

Though the Olympic schedule forced her to reduce the number of individual events she will enter in Athens, Coughlin still could become the first American woman to win five gold medals in swimming in one Olympics (100 backstroke, 100 freestyle and three relays). Amy Van Dyken won four golds in 1996 (50-meter freestyle, 100 butterfly and two relays). Kristin Otto of East Germany holds the overall record with six gold medals in the Seoul Olympics." Read more at USATODAY.com - Swimmer Coughlin poised for pedestal.

Posted by Darren at 06:21 PM

Heath O'Reilly Ready to Pursue Olympic Gold Medal

"Heather O'Reilly may be the next Mia Hamm of the U.S. National women's soccer team, but for now the former East Brunswick, N.J., High School standout is coming off the bench to provide fresh legs when the veterans, including Hamm, need a rest.

O'Reilly had a pair of scoring chances after entering yesterday's 3-1 win over China at Rentschler Field here.

The game was the national team's final tuneup before the 10-team tournament at the Athens Summer Olympics. Rain gave way to a humid, 80-degree day yesterday, similar to the conditions the team will face in Greece, where the host country will their first oppoent, on August 11."

Continue reading O'Reilly, U.S. teammates ready to pursue Olympic gold.

Posted by Darren at 06:15 PM

Americans will be fossil-fueled

The US Olympic Team is not just made up of young fresh faces to the scene - this year a number of older athletes are participating marking a change in times...

""In the past, it was believed that you had to stop swimming at 22," swimmer Gary Hall Jr. said recently. "The average age of Olympians was 16 to 20."

A sprint freestyle specialist preparing for his fourth Olympics, Hall, at 29, promises to swim faster than he did when he won gold and set an American record for the 50 freestyle in Sydney.

Unafraid of overstatement, Hall even promises to swim faster than any man has. He believes he can because he has been able to treat his training like a career, focusing all his energy on training instead of trying to find time between shifts at some pizza shop.

In 2000, the U.S. Olympic Committee started offering financial rewards to athletes and the sports' governing bodies based on performance. That has helped, and more athletes, in more sports, are finding more sponsor dollars.

"I think we've proven today that the barrier is fiscal, not physical," Hall said. "As people have been able to avoid having to get out and hold two jobs to be a swimmer, the age has gone up."

This year, Hall and Thompson will be swimming on a team headlined by 19-year-old Michael Phelps. Navratilova will wear the same uniform as Venus and Serena Williams, who are 24 and 22.

And to both the youngsters and their older teammates, Pedro has one piece of advice: Act as if this is the moment you've been waiting for your entire life.

"The Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he said. "Even though I've been four times.""

Read more of Americans will be fossil-fueled

Posted by Darren at 06:05 PM

US Men's Basketball Team - Time to move past Suspensions

" Larry Brown wants to move on. The U.S. Olympic basketball coach said Sunday that the suspension of Allen Iverson, LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire is forgotten. He would rather focus on a tough road trip against some of Europe's top teams leading up the Athens Olympics.

Brown refused to let Iverson, James and Stoudemire play in the team's 96-71 win over Puerto Rico on Saturday, punishment for the trio showing up late for a team meeting.

"It won't happen again. They'll play the next game and some will start," Brown said.

The U.S. squad arrived in Germany on Sunday, shook off the jet lag and held its first practice.

And Brown is having some second thoughts about whether this series of exhibitions, which includes a game against world champion Serbia and Montenegro, is ideal for his team."

Continue reading Focusing on U.S. Olympic team's tough road trip, Brown wants to move past suspensions.

Posted by Darren at 05:57 PM

Brown rethinking U.S. Olympic team's tough road trip

"Larry Brown wants to move on.

The U.S. Olympic basketball coach said Sunday that the suspension of Allen Iverson, LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire is forgotten. He would rather focus on a tough road trip against some of Europe's top teams leading up the Athens Olympics.

Brown refused to let Iverson, James and Stoudemire play in the team's 96-71 win over Puerto Rico on Saturday, punishment for the trio showing up late for a team meeting.

"It won't happen again. They'll play the next game and some will start," Brown said.

The U.S. squad arrived in Germany on Sunday, shook off the jet lag and held its first practice.

And Brown is having some second thoughts about whether this series of exhibitions, which includes a game against world champion Serbia and Montenegro, is ideal for his team."

Continue reading Brown rethinking U.S. Olympic team's tough road trip.

Posted by Darren at 09:01 AM

Jenny Thompson - Athens Olympics

"If ever there were a deity you would want on your side, it would be Athena. She was the goddess of wisdom and war.

If ever there were a swimmer you would want on your side, it would be Jenny Thompson.

Thompson, 31, will be swimming in her fourth Olympics at Athens. She has won eight gold medals, more than any American woman in any sport and one from equaling the Olympic record. Her eight golds have come in relays.

Certainly, Thompson has been through the wars. As long ago as 1987, when she was 14, she won a gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle in the Pan Am Games at Indianapolis. Her 14 World Championship medals are the most by any swimmer."

Continue reading Greek God or Olympic athlete?.

Posted by Darren at 12:09 AM

August 01, 2004

Patricia Miranda - Wrestling

"Stanford grad Miranda hopes to grab gold medal in Athens before entering Yale Law School

When her career began way back in middle school, Olympic freestyle wrestler Patricia Miranda learned to cope with all the rest of what came with the sport. She convinced her father that her grades wouldn't suffer, and that neither would she.

She gradually came to grips with the fact that the sport hurt, and featured a level of aggression she had never encountered. She reconciled herself that on school teams she would have to compete against boys and, eventually, men because there were no other girls or women willing to try.

There were taunts, of course, and Miranda learned to dismiss them. All except one -- the accusation that she was a joke."

Read more at Wrestling with her Olympic Dreams.

Posted by Darren at 11:00 PM

Roccara Montgomery Visualizes Gold Medal

"When Toccara Montgomery first became intrigued with wrestling as a sophomore in high school, her goal was to eventually be good enough to stop losing matches against boys.

Now the 21-year-old senior at Cumberland College, in Williamsburg, Ky., doesn't mind saying she often visualizes herself at a medals ceremony in the Summer Olympics in Athens.

"It's been playing back in my head, me standing on the podium, with my medal on, maybe holding flowers and just the anthem playing with the flag over my head," she said recently in Cleveland, her hometown. "It's something I'm looking forward to."

Montgomery, one of four members of the first U.S. Olympic women's wrestling team, is widely considered to be a strong contender for gold. She won a championship in the 2003 Pan American Games. She has lost some matches but also has won at least once over each of her main competitors in international events for her weight class, up to 158.5 pounds.

"It's really a tough weight class, but I feel confident. We'll see," she said."

Continue reading Wrestler Toccara Montgomery can visualize gold medal presentation

Posted by Darren at 12:36 PM

Michael Phelps may not Swim in 4x100 freestyle relay

"Michael Phelps might not get a shot at breaking Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals in one Olympics Games. He might only have the opportunity to tie it.

After dropping the 200 backstroke from his Olympics to-do list, Coaches told Phelps this week that he may not be swimming on the 4x100 freestyle relay team in Greece, ESPN The Magazine reported. If Phelps does not swim in the relay, it would bring his total to seven events, making it impossible for him to break Spitz's golden record."

Read more at MSNBC - Report: Phelps might be left off relay team.

Posted by Darren at 12:24 PM

US defeats Puerto Rico - Men's Basketball Lead up Match

"Allen Iverson and Larry Brown got their first Olympic tiff out of the way Saturday, and the American team defeated Puerto Rico 96-71 despite missing Iverson, LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire because of suspensions.

Brown, often at odds with Iverson during their six years together with the Philadelphia 76ers, scratched The Answer and the other two for missing a team meeting earlier in the day.

They sat on the end of the bench and watched their nine teammates put in a hot-and-cold effort to be expected from a group of players who are just getting to know each other and were further hamstrung by the suspensions."

Source - U.S. Hoops Wins Despite 3 Suspensions

Posted by Darren at 12:21 PM

July 31, 2004

Are the US Men's Basketball Team Beatable?

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at America the beatable?

Posted by Darren at 05:22 PM

Blaine Wilson's last shot at an Olympic Medal

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 05:20 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Posted by Darren at 10:34 AM

US Boxers Hungry for Gold Medals

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:31 AM

US Women's Soccer Team - End of an Era

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:29 AM

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

July 30, 2004

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

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

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

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

July 29, 2004

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

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

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

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

July 28, 2004

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

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

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

July 27, 2004

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

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

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

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

July 26, 2004

Andy Roddick - Excited by Olympics

"Andy Roddick is familiar with the spoils that can come with being a top tennis player: a U.S. Open title, No. 1 ranking, more than $6.5 million in prize money, endorsement deals.

Funny how a $20 T-shirt got him all pumped up. Not just any shirt, mind you. One emblazoned with the Olympic rings and ''USA Team 2004'' in light blue lettering.

''All along, I kind of knew I was going to be on the team,'' Roddick said. ''But, you know, it's amazing how something as small as a T-shirt makes it real.''" Read more at Roddick has pride in the uniform .

Posted by Darren at 11:55 PM

Beezie Madden - Equestrian

Beezie Madden is confirmed to head to Athens to compete in her first Olympics in Equestrian competition.

Although the top American equestrian showjumper and the fourth best in the world, according to the U.S. Equestrian Federation, Madden unsuccessfully attempted to join the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic teams. This year, she placed first in the U.S. Show Jumping Trials in May and will finally have a chance to join the squad when it travels to Greece in August.

The only woman on the four-member showjumping team, Madden, 40, is also the only Syracuse-area athlete of the 22 New Yorkers going to Athens, according to the U.S. Olympic Committee Web site.

Madden likes her chances of earning a medal in both the team and individual events next month."

Source - CNY equestrian to compete on Olympic team

Posted by Darren at 11:53 PM

Kerri Walsh and Misty May - Injury Dilemma

"Kerri Walsh and Misty May, two months ago the clear favorite for the Olympic gold medal in women's beach volleyball, now present one of the more interesting dilemmas on the U.S. team heading to Athens.

May, who has had an abdominal strain for two months, pulled out of the final of the AVP Hermosa Beach Open on Saturday after aggravating the injury. Now her participation in Greece is in question, although those who have seen May perform injured in the past are sure she will try to persevere.

"I think Misty will play," said rival Holly McPeak, who, along with partner Elaine Youngs also will represent the USA in Athens. "She's still one of the best players in the world, even when she's injured."

Said Youngs: "She can suck it up."" Read more at Injury biggest concern for top volleyball duo.

Posted by Darren at 11:50 PM

Tony Dumais and Laura Wilkinson Win US National Diving Championships

"Olympians Troy Dumais and Laura Wilkinson tuned up for the Athens Games next month by winning titles Sunday at the U.S. National Diving Championships.

Dumais won the men's 3-meter springboard by almost 100 points over his nearest challenger for his third straight U.S. title in the event.

Wilkinson took the women's 10-meter platform for the third year in a row and fifth year in the last six, defeating her closest rival by more than 50 points.

Dumais was sixth in the 2000 Olympics and Wilkinson was champion in Sydney. Dumais, of Ventura, Calif., beat runner-up Mitchell Richeson 707.07 points to 610.44."

Read More at Dumais and Wilkinson win titles at U.S. diving nationals.

Posted by Darren at 12:12 PM

US Basketball Team Camp

After being shunned by many of the NBA's biggest stars, the US Olympic team are getting tgoether for a training camp to prepare for the Olympic competition.

"This will not be a Dream Team. A more fitting moniker might be the "I Have a Dream" team. America's most eager good players will lace up their sneakers and don "USA" jerseys as training camp opens Monday for the Olympic men's basketball team, but most of the best players from the birthplace of basketball won't be in attendance.

"The players we have here want to be here. That's important," said Jim Tooley, the executive director of USA Basketball. "I think that'll go a long way."

Rejection has been the recurring theme for Tooley over the past several months as one superstar after another withdrew or turned down an invitation to represent the United States in Athens." Read More at Boston.com: U.S. basketball team to open training camp.

Posted by Darren at 12:00 PM

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

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

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

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

July 24, 2004

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

Brittany Viola Leads in 10m Platform Diving

"Brittany Viola led qualifiers in the women's 10-meter platform Friday at the U.S. National Diving Championships, topping a pair of 2004 Olympians.

Viola finished ahead of Sara Hildebrand, who will represent the United States in the 10-meter platform synchronized event in the Olympics next month in Athens. Viola had 523.59 points to 502.95 for Hildebrand.

Laura Wilkinson, the 2000 Olympic platform champion, was third with 500.22 points after the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. The finals are Sunday." Source - Viola Leads Qualifiers at Diving Event.

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

Francis Obikwelu beats Maurice Greene

"Maurice Greene was upset in the 100 meters at the Gaz de France track meet Friday, finishing second to Francis Obikwelu of Portugal.

Obikewelu posted a winning time of 10.06 seconds, easily beating Greene, the defending Olympic champion who finished in 10.14.

Running just three weeks before the Olympics in Athens, Greene wanted to race in Paris as a tuneup for defending his gold medal. At the U.S. trials earlier this month, Greene made it to Athens after winning the 100. "

Source - Obikwelu Wins 100 Meters at Gaz De France

Posted by Darren at 12:49 PM

Golden girl Jones took drugs at Olympics claims ex husband

THE full weight of C. J. Hunter, her 22�-stone former husband, landed on Marion Jones yesterday when he was revealed to have told anti-doping investigators that she took drugs during the Olympic Games in Sydney four years ago.


Posted by at 11:11 AM

US Basketball Team gets a shock

Detroit Shock coach Bill Laimbeer was happy USA Basketball added center Ruth Riley to the Olympic team, but he was especially pleased with the selection process.

"I'm very happy the committee chose a player from the pool of players who tried out," Laimbeer said, referring to players who had worked out and played with the Olympic team. "It's great for her and the organization. Nobody will enjoy the Olympic experience more than Ruth."

Riley replaces Los Angeles Sparks forward Delisha Milton-Jones who is out with a knee injury.


Posted by at 09:55 AM

July 23, 2004

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

Todd Wells Qualifies for Olympic Mountain Bike

Todd Wells has qualified for the Mountain Mike event at the Athens Olympics.

'"Four years ago during the Sydney Summer Olympics, Todd Wells was a working stiff punching the clock for IBM in Tucson, Ariz.

He wanted to get back into mountain bike racing - something that he had done professionally for two years before he had gone back to finish college - but he hadn't been able to land a new sponsorship after his first stint in the pro ranks.

"At that time I wasn't riding my bike at all," Wells said. "The real work thing is pretty rough, though, so I decided to see if I could start racing again and get a job.""'

Read More at Vail Daily News for Vail and Beaver Creek Colorado - Sports.

Posted by Darren at 04:34 PM

Lenny Krayzelburg Qualifies for Athens

'"Swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg will go to the Athens Olympic Games, thanks to placing second in his race during the U.S. qualifying trials, a feat greeted with greater acclaim and emotion than his three gold medals in Sydney four years ago.

The Jewish immigrant from Odessa had the media, 10,000 spectators and even his rivals cheering as he finished the finals of the 100-meter backstroke in 54.06 seconds, behind world champion Aaron Peirsol.

With only the top two in every race assured a berth on the U.S. Olympic team, Krayzelburg beat third place Peter Marshall by four-hundredth of a second."'

Read More at The Jewish Journal Of Greater Los Angeles.

Posted by Darren at 04:32 PM

Lisa Fernandez - Olympic Profile

Sports Network has a good profile of US Softballer, Lisa Fernandez

'"Sometimes athletes have to go to extreme measures to challenge themselves after being successful for so long.

That has been the case recently for pitcher Lisa Fernandez and the rest of the United States softball team, gold medal winners of the only two Olympic competitions - in 1996 and 2000. Team USA recently had back-to-back no-hitters on their "Aiming for Athens" tour, on the way to this year's Summer Games in Greece. The softball team has a pre-Olympic tour winning streak of 166, dating back to 1996. "'

Read More at The Post-Searchlight.

Posted by Darren at 02:43 PM

US Women's Gymnastics Team Aim for Repeat Gold

The US Women's Gymnastics Team is hoping for a repeat Gold Medal performance in Athens.

'"Two women in their 20's, thought to be too old for competitive elite-level gymnastics, and four teenagers make up the U.S. team that will try to win gold in Athens.

As an 18-year-old, Mohini Bhardwaj, just missed making the 1996 U.S. team, finishing 10th at the team trials. Now 25, the last time she competed at an international competition was as a member of the United States 2001 World Championship bronze-medal team."'

US Olympic Women Gymnasts Want Gold Medal Repeat

Posted by Darren at 02:32 PM

Rachelle Kunkel Wins 1m Springboard Title

'"Rachelle Kunkel won her third straight women's 1-meter springboard title Thursday at the U.S. national diving championships.

Kunkel, of West Valley City, Utah, beat Cassandra Cardinell 295.83 points to 254.31. Though she failed to advance to the 3-meter springboard finals at the championships, she will represent the United States in that event at the Athens Olympics.

"Yesterday was a huge bummer. It was terrible," Kunkel said of the 3-meter failure. "I'm definitely going to learn from that experience."

She qualified for the 3-meter in Athens last month and the Olympics trials."' Read More at: Kunkel wins 1-meter springboard; Dumais advances in 3-meter

Posted by Darren at 02:18 PM

Marion Jones Used Drugs - Ex Husband Alledges

'"Track and field superstar Marion Jones was using banned performance-enhancing drugs when she won five medals, three of them gold, at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, her ex-husband has told federal investigators probing the BALCO steroids scandal.

C.J. Hunter, a former shot-put champion and admitted steroid user who was divorced from Jones in 2002, said his ex-wife had had human growth hormone and a steroid-like substance known as "the clear" with her at the Sydney Games. At times, Hunter said, he personally injected Jones with banned substances. He also reported seeing Jones inject herself with drugs at the residence they shared in Australia, according to investigators' memos obtained by The Chronicle." ' Source - Ex-husband told feds Jones used banned substances during 2000 Olympics:

Posted by Darren at 02:10 PM

Jenny Thompson - Olympics Profile

The Sport Network has a good profile of US Swimmer Jenny Thompson - the most decorated female Olympian of all-time.

'"I think that my perspective on things have changed a lot," said Thompson. "I'm having a lot more fun with the sport than I ever have. I'm more relaxed with it. The gold medal isn't the main priority at these Games for me. I would love to do the best I can for my country and I want to swim better than I ever have before. The gold medal isn't waking me up. It's not what's getting me out of bed in the morning."'

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM

Laszlo Cseh Breaks Bone in Foot

Laszlo Cseh, one of the swimmers tipped to challenge Michael Phelps in Athens in medly races, has reportedly broken a bone in his foot at a training camp this week.

'The 18-year-old European champion in the 400 individual medley and 100 backstroke will have further examinations on the broken metatarsal bone today in Budapest's Sport Hospital.' Read More at Phelps' medley rival breaks foot.

Posted by Darren at 11:44 AM

July 22, 2004

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

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

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

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

Phil Trinter - Olympics Preview

Sports Network has a good Olympics preview of US Sailer Phil Trinter.

'Trinter had two passions in life - football and sailing. He loved football so much he received a scholarship to Indiana University. Trinter, a 6-foot-6, hulking offensive tackle, was a four-year letterman for head coach Bill Mallory and the Hoosiers from 1988-91. He even appeared in four college post- season bowls, including the 1990 Peach Bowl.

With his football behind him, Trinter now set his sights on sailing. He went into the working world, seeking some for employment. He when on to meet Joe Londrigan, who lured him onto a Star crew and the rest became history. Trinter and Londrigan went on to win the 1992 Star North Americans and a year later they were world champions.

Trinter became a member of the United States Sailing Team in 1993 and even sailed with Dennis Conner aboard STARS & STRIPES in the 1995 America's Cup in San Diego.'

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM

Shane Hamman - Olympics Profile

The Search Post has a good Olympics preview of Shane Hamman - US Heavy-weight weightlifting champion.

'He's already considered the strongest man in the United States and can squat over 1,000 pounds, clean and jerk 500 and snatch 430. With a 22-inch neck, 22-inch biceps, 22-inch calves, 35-inch thighs, not to mention a long braided beard, Hamman can look like a bully, but he's really a big teddy bear. "That happens sometimes, but most people like it. They like my look and they're not intimidated by me," Hamman said about his tough look. "I'm a pretty nice guy."'

Posted by Darren at 09:57 AM

July 20, 2004

Torri Edwards and Marion Jones make US Team

Torri Edwards and Marion Jones have been named in the preliminary US Olympics team despite ongoing investigations into doping allegations.

'Edwards, who faces a US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) hearing later on Monday, is set to compete in the 100m and 200m.

Three-time gold medallist Jones, still under scrutiny by USADA despite never failing a doping test, qualified in just one event - the long jump.

The final roster for the American team will be announced on 9 August.' Read More at Edwards named in US squad

Posted by Darren at 11:13 AM

Tara Cunningham takes on China - Weightlifting

'Tara Cunningham must beat one of China's so-called Dream Team weightlifters to repeat as an Olympic gold medalist in Athens next month.

Unlike the Sydney Games, when Cunningham, then competing as Tara Nott, unexpectedly won the gold medal at 105 1/2 pounds after original winner Isabela Dragneva of Bulgaria failed a drug test, she apparently will compete this time against one of China's top weightlifters.

Perhaps the only surprise was China didn't choose 19-year-old Wang Mingjuan, the two-time defending world champion at 105 1/2 (48 kg), but Li Zhuo, who beat out Wang before this spring's Asian championships. Zhuo set world records in both the snatch and the clean and jerk in September, but Wang won the world championship two months later in Vancouver.' Read More at Cunningham Must Face China for Gold Medal

Posted by Darren at 11:13 AM

July 19, 2004

Carly Patterson Makes US Gymnastics Team

Carly_patterson.jpg'Baton Rouge native Carly Patterson was a silver medalist in the all-around at last year's world championships and was also one of six chosen for the Olympics.
NEW WAVERLY, Texas -- In a somewhat anti-climatic announcement, Baton Rouge native Carly Patterson was named as one of the six gymnasts selected for the U.S. team for the Athens Olympics on Sunday.

Joining Patterson in Athens will be 26-year-old Cuban native Annia Hatch and Mohini Bhardwaj, whose training has been subsidized by former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson.

Courtney Kupets, who was co-national champion with Patterson, and Courtney McCool, the winner of a test event earlier this year at the Olympic venue, will lead the team. Terin Humphrey, part of the U.S. squad that won a gold medal at the world championships last summer, also made the team.' Read More at Patterson picked for Olympic team

Posted by Darren at 08:33 PM

Jarred Rome - Discuss

'Saving his best for last, discus thrower Jarred Rome of Marysville unloosed a final toss of 215 feet, 9 inches on Sunday, good enough for first place at the United States Olympic Track and Field Trials and earning him a spot on the American team at the upcoming Summer Games in Athens, Greece.'

Read More at Rome to Athens

Posted by Darren at 08:11 PM

Kevin Eastler Qualifies for Athens 20,000m Walk

'An exhausted Kevin Eastler had no problem settling for a third-place finish in the 20,000-meter racewalk at the Olympic Trials in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday.

The United States Air Force captain from Farmington was a shoe-in to make the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team anyway. All he had to do was finish the race with a decent time and a plane ticket to Athens was waiting for him at the airline counter.

Although he decided to lay low for this event, he still snatched third place with a time of 1:28:39. Tim Seaman was the No. 1 guy with a time of 1:25:40, while John Nunn played second fiddle to Seaman at 1:26:23.'

Read More at Racewalker Eastler qualifies for Athens.

Posted by Darren at 09:52 AM

July 18, 2004

Melvin Lister - Triple Jump

Interesting article on US Triple Jumper, Melvin Lister at Lister lands in Olympics on final triple jump try. Here's a taster...

'Lister, who until this week hadn't triple jumped as far as 55 feet in four years, moved from fourth to first on his final attempt at the U.S. Olympics Trials. The distance was 58 feet, 4 inches for a trials record.

"I've never pulled out anything that dramatic before," he acknowledged.

The top three make the Olympic team. Lister knocked off his training partner, Tim Rusan, who had held third place.

"I told him sorry," said Lister, 26, who installs car radios in Fayetteville, Ark. "I didn't want to stay home. Somebody had to stay home."

Walter Davis was second at 57-101/4 and Kenta Bell third at 57-81/4. Rusan was fourth at 57 feet. Lister's best was 56-103/4 until the last round.'

Lister lands in Olympics on final triple jump try

Posted by Darren at 09:26 PM

Bryan Clay Beats Tom Pappas in Decathlon

The US may have a new Decathlon star in Bryan Clay who beat Tom Pappas at the US trials this week.

'Bryan Clay had three personal bests Saturday to upset the reigning world champion Pappas at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials.

Clay, 24, with decathlon bests in the discus (170 feet, 11 inches), pole vault (16-8 3/4) and javelin (224-3), compiled 8,660 points - 178 more than his previous top score.

Pappas was second with 8,517 to earn a berth in Athens, but he was 267 points off his best, set at last year's U.S. championships.' Read More at Clay Upsets Pappas to Win Trials Decathlon.

Posted by Darren at 02:53 PM

Breaux Greer - Javelin

Breaux Greer could be one to watch for the Gold Medal in Javelin in Athens.

'Breaux Greer could have been a stud of a baseball player. He once threw a fastball 98 mph, drawing scouts to ogle him while he was in high school.

Instead, Greer decided to focus on throwing a different object: the javelin. Now he is one of the best in the world and headed to his second Olympics with a shot at getting a medal. Greer won the U.S. track and field trials on his first throw of 270 feet, 4 inches Saturday, despite competing with a torn ligament in his left knee.'Read More at - Greer wins javelin, aims for world record in Athens

Posted by Darren at 12:24 PM

Rulon Gardner Wins Tournament

'Olympic champion Rulon Gardner won his first Greco-Roman international title in three years on Saturday, capturing the 264 1/2-pound class at the Pytlasinski wrestling tournament in Warsaw.

Gardner defeated 2002 world bronze medalist Yuri Patrikeev of Russia 2-0 in the finals. In the semifinals, he beat 2003 world bronze medalist Mirian Giorgadze of Georgia 3-1.

Gardner is trying to become the first American to win two Olympic gold medals in Greco-Roman wrestling. The tournament was the last major tuneup before the Athens Olympics.'

Source - Gardner Wins Olympic Wrestling Tuneup

Posted by Darren at 12:17 PM

Marion Jones Pulls Out of 200 Final

Marion Jones has withdrawn from the 200m final at the US Trials in order to focus upon her Long Jumping and possible 4 x 100 relay in Athens.

'A person close to Jones said the triple gold medallist from the 2000 Olympics wanted to concentrate on the long jump at next month's Athens Games after already booking her place in that event.

"There is no injury," the source told Reuters. "She decided to pull out of the 200 because she wants to focus on the long jump in Athens and be a member of the U.S. 4x100 relay team."' Source Jones Pulls Out of 200 Final at U.S. Trials

Posted by Darren at 11:43 AM

July 16, 2004

Two added to US Men's Olympic Gymnastics Team

The Men's US Gymnastics team has been finalized with these last two additions.

'Blaine Wilson and Guard Young were added to the U.S. Men's Gymnastics Team on Thursday, filling the final two spots on the Olympic roster that will compete in the Athens Games next month.'

Read More at Olympic gymnastics: Two added to men's team

Posted by Darren at 04:25 PM

Marion Jones Qualifies for Athens

Marion Jones has qualified for the Athens Olympics in the Long Jump.

'Five-medal Sydney Olympic star Jones jumped 7.11 metres, the second-longest leap in the world this year, to book an Athens trip.

She had finishing fifth in the 100m final last weekend, failing to earn a chance to defend her title.

Jones' winning leap, aided by a 1.8m/sec tailwind, was the longest by an American since her own 7.13m effort at the 1998 Grand Prix final in Moscow.

The only longer leap in 2004 was 7.16m by Jamaica's Elva Goulbourne.' Source - Jones leaps into Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 01:38 PM

US Long Distance Swimmers Get $1 Million Incentive

I just saw this buried down the bottom of an article on the US Swimming trials.

'Hoping to spur more interest in the long distance events, USA Swimming is offering $1 million to an American swimmer who wins gold and sets a world record in either the women's 800 or men's 1,500.'

Source - U.S. Swimmng Trials: Veteran, youngster earn wins

Posted by Darren at 12:05 PM

Ian Crocker Breaks 100m Butterfly World Record

'Ian Crocker broke a world record with a time of 50:76 for the 100m butterfly stroke in the US at the Olympic swimming trials in California prior to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Crocker held the previous record at 50:98. The successful swimmer said on Wednesday that he was very happy to have improved upon the record he broke in Barcelona at the 2003 World Championship. ' Source - 100m Butterfly World Record Set

Posted by Darren at 09:10 AM

July 15, 2004

Michael Phelps - Going for Eight Gold Medals

Michael Phelps has announced that he will compete in 8 events at the Athens Olympics in August.

He will take part in the 200 meters freestyle, 100 and 200 meters butterfly and 200 and 400 meters individual medley. He will also enter three relay races. Source - Phelps to Bid for Eight Olympic Golds

Posted by Darren at 12:32 PM

The Marion Jones Saga

The plight of Marion Jones is one that is causing much talk around Athletics circles. It looks increasingly as though she won't qualify for the Athens Olympics.

'Jones, who won an unprecedented five medals at the 2000 Sydney Games and had talked of trying to match that haul in Athens, could go home empty-handed - if she goes to the Summer Games at all.

She won the 100 four years ago. This time she didn't qualify. She won the 200 four years ago. She'll try to qualify in that event starting Friday, but her stamina is in question after she seemed to fade toward the end of the 100.

And she was a bronze medalist in the long jump in 2000. On Monday night, Jones could do no better than seventh in the Trials' qualifying round - in an event in which only one other American has reached the Olympic qualifying standard this year.' Read More at - Jones' struggles evoke sympathy from other runners

Posted by Darren at 11:09 AM

Michael Phelps - Will he or Won't he?

The Santa Cruz Sentinal takes a look at the attempt of Michael Phelps to win 7 Gold Medals at the Athens Olympics.

'Let�s get something straight. If Michael Phelps wins seven gold medals in Athens he will not have tied Mark Spitz�s record, but crushed it and done a huge service for swimming along the way.

He has already brought unheard-of attention to the U.S. Olympic trials, with networks cutting away from the track and field trials just to show Phelps� semifinal races. Every year after an Olympics, USA Swimming reports a large increase in membership. Phelps� quest to win the most gold medals in a single Olympics in any sport will boost those numbers even higher.

What makes the attempt at the record so enthralling is that, in order to bring home the hardware, Phelps and his relay teammates will have to swim their best races ever under the weight of crippling expectations.' Read More at Phelps chasing more than Spitz: Pursuit of seven golds may be loftiest goal in sports history

Posted by Darren at 11:09 AM

US Olympic Uniforms

US_Olympic_Uniforms.jpgThe US Athens Olympics Uniform has been revealed in a fashion show.

'Nike and USA Track & Field unveiled the uniforms that members of the Olympic team will sport next month in Athens. And, just as with any couture runway show in New York, these fashions won't look good on just any body.

This was definitely a no-fat, no-flab affair.

The models, who paraded across a stage at the Sacramento State Alumni Center, are competitors at the Trials, including pole vaulters Stacy Dragila and Toby Stevenson, long jumper Grace Upshaw and track stars Justin Gatlin, Allen Johnson, Inger Miller, Sanya Richards, Jen Toomey and Shalane Flanagan....

he collection includes the Nike Swift Suit, which comes in two versions of a unitard, one of which was modeled by sprinter Justin Gatlin. "The suit feels real good," he said.

The women have several tops to pick from and two styles of shorts, a boy-cut version and a brief. Todd Van Horne, Nike creative director for Olympics and apparel, said the female athletes stressed they wanted "to look more feminine at these Games."' Source Sleek Olympic fashions are fresh and functional

Posted by Darren at 12:29 AM

July 14, 2004

US Men's Swimming Team to be Dominant

'When Aaron Peirsol pulled himself up on a lane line and pumped his fist at the crowd after breaking the world record in the 200-meter backstroke Monday at the Olympic swimming trials, he might as well have been trumpeting the whole United States men's team.

With only a few events left to swim here, the team has largely taken shape. The women have made a decent showing, but the men have been dominating center stage. Five of the six world records at this meet have been set by male swimmers, and the men have formed a team that looks like an Olympic powerhouse.

"The men's team is as good as I've seen since '76," said Eddie Reese, the Olympic men's coach. "As far as world-record holders, in the worldwide competition, it's an extraordinary team."' Read more at Men's Swimmers Have Potential to Be Dominant at the Games

Posted by Darren at 04:44 PM

Phelps Qualifies for six Olympic Events

Michael Phelps became the first American male swimmer Tuesday evening to qualify in six Olympic events, but once again he proved he is not invincible.

It should be noted, however, that Peirsol and Crocker both required world records to hold off Phelps. With a time of 50.76 seconds in the 100 fly, Crocker bested his own world mark of 50.98, which he set last year. Phelps finished second at 51.15.


Posted by at 01:40 PM

July 13, 2004

US Mountain Biking Team in Holding Pattern

The US Mountain biking team is awaiting news from its international body to determine world rankings which will impact who is chosen to compete for the US in Athens.

'This much is certain: Sue Haywood and Mary McConneloug will be third and fourth in the world's women mountain biking rankings when the International Cycling Union updates its points standings.

What's uncertain, though, is what order they will be -- and an Olympic berth is riding on that.'U.S. Olympic cycling roster still undecided

Posted by Darren at 02:07 PM

Phelps misfires on golden target

Michael Phelps, the American swimmer with the golden ambition of taking home seven golds at Athens was outclassed by fellow team mate Aaron Peirsol in the 200 metre backstroke who set a new world record, handing Phelps his first loss of the US Olympic simming trials in the process.

'Peirsol and Phelps were both under record pace for the first three laps, but Peirsol led all the way and pulled away on the final leg for a time of 1 minutes, 54.74 seconds -- breaking his own mark of 1:55.15 set two years ago'


Posted by at 12:20 PM

Michelle Collins Withdraws from US Olympic Trials

'Former world indoor 200m champion Michelle Collins, who faces a lifetime ban for a doping offense, has withdrawn from the U.S. Olympic trials with a leg injury, her coach said Monday.

"She is not running," Olympic men's coach George Williams, who is also Collins's personal coach, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"She called today from Texas to say she had hurt herself at the warm-up track (at the Olympic trials) and had left," Williams said.

Collins had been considered one of the favourites to make the U.S. team in the women's 400.' Source Collins out of U.S. Olympic trials

Posted by Darren at 09:04 AM

Tim Montgomery out of Olympics

'Men's 100-meter world record holder, Tim Montgomery of the United States has failed to qualify for the track event in next month's Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Montgomery, considered a strong contender to make the Olympic team, finished a distant seventh Sunday at the U.S. track and field Olympic trials in California.' Source

Posted by Darren at 09:02 AM

July 12, 2004

Lindsay Benko Makes Athens Olympics Team

Lindsay Benko has booked herself a place on the US Olympic Swimming team for the Athens Olympics in the 200 meters freestyle. Benko lead through the first three laps of the final at the US Olympic Trials only to be narrowly beaten in the finish by team mate Dana Vollmer. Both will represent the US in the event in Athens.

'An Olympian again, Benko achieved her most important objective of this meet, more than enough pain-reliever for the bruised competitor in her.

"I'm a little disappointed with the time, but I got the place I needed," Benko said before she could catch her breath after the race. "Second's just as good as first when you're here."' Source - Benko wins Olympic team spot

Posted by Darren at 12:03 PM

Alan Webb prepares for Athens

Alan Webb has had a roller-coaster of a ride in his lead up to Athens, with surprise wins, injuries and flat patches. His last few months since returning from appendix surgery show some promising hints as to what might be to come in Athens....

'Since returning from the surgery, Webb has improved rapidly, surprising perhaps everyone but himself. He won the Home Depot Invitational 1500 in May with a time of 3 minutes, 35.71 seconds, fast enough to qualify for the Olympics as long as he can finish in the top three at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Sacramento July 15-18.

Then Webb traveled to Europe, and shocked the international racing world by winning the 1500 Golden Spike in Ostrava, Czech Republic with a time of 3:32.73, the fastest 1500 time that had been posted up to that point in 2004.

He followed up that win with a victory in the Prefontaine Classic Mile in Eugene, Ore., the same event in which he set the prep record three years earlier. '

Read More at Resurgent Webb seeks to make mark in Athens

Posted by Darren at 12:03 PM

Christian Cantwell out of Shotput

One shock result out of the US Track and Field Trials this week was that Christian Cantwell will not compete in Athens. Cantell has thrown the four best throws in the world this year, but failed to perform at his best in the trials - fouling five of his six throws.

'``I picked a bad day to have a bad day,'' Cantwell said.

Adam Nelson, the silver medalist at the 2000 Olympics, won at 71 feet. Reese Hoffa was second at 69-4 1/4 to earn his first Olympic berth.

John Godina finished third at 69-2 to earn his third trip to the Olympics. He won the bronze medal in 2000 and the silver in 1996.' Read More at Cantwell shut out of Olympic spot

Posted by Darren at 12:03 PM

Caesar Garcia - Underdog Goes to Athens

'Garcia set the diving world on its collective ear last month. He was the underdog at the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials and came away with an impressive and improbable victory. Four years ago, Garcia finished last at the trials....
"I was very disappointed with my performance in 2000, not so much because I finished last, but because I felt like I crumbled under the pressure," Garcia said. "It was a big motivation for me and I found that the biggest battle I had to face was a psychological one. There were a lot of strong negative feelings I had about my diving after 2000.

"But, like all the other things I have ever come across, things improved after I started working on them."' Source Nice guys do finish first

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM

Jenny Finch - Softball

jenny_finch.jpgI think we'll see a few comparisons between Ancient Greek Gods and Athens Olympics Athletes over the next month or two - here's one between Aphrodite and US softball pitcher - Jenny Finch.

'Aphrodite is a goddess of love and beauty.

To her male fans, Jenny Finch is regarded in the same way. Plus, she can throw a 71-mph fastball from 43 feet that even major-league batters can't hit.

Aphrodite had magic woven into a girdle of finely wrought gold. When she wore it, no man could resist her.

There is magic in Finch's softball glove. When she pitches, no woman -- or man -- can hit her.

In a February exhibition, she struck out major-league batters Albert Pujols, Mike Piazza, and Brian and Marcus Giles.' Source - Aphrodite and Jenny Finch (softball) - Olympic athlete or Greek God?

Update - due to the success of this page we've added a second Jennie Finch page at Jennie Finch

Related Jenny Finch Links
- See Jenny Finch's Profile at Arizona Athletics: Jenny Finch
- When in doubt, seek out Jenny Finch
- Jenny Finch Fan Site
- Jenny Finch Olympics Profile

Update jennie_finch.jpgThis has been the most popular page on this site in the past 24 hours so we thought we'd put together a list of the latest Jennie Finch links that have appeared in news sources over the past few days to keep you up to date with the latest news in the Jennie Finch news frenzy.

- Silver No Option for 'Unknown' U.S. Softball Team - 'And then, of course, there is Jennie Finch: flaxen haired and standing 1.85 meters (6 ft 1 in) tall, she has been named one of People magazine's 50 most beautiful people and voted ESPN "Hottest Female Athlete." Expected to emerge from the Games with international recognition and endorsement deals to sign, she said: "Any attention that brings notoriety to our sport is good for softball." '

- SOFTBALL SALVATION - which picks up the story of the US softball team's coach wife recently passing away. '"Sue would want him in that third base box more than anyone," said pitcher Jenny Finch, also a former Arizona star. "She wanted to win the gold medal more than anybody."'

- Thoughts on Olympic Skin - picks up the story of the increasing trend of Olympic athletes to pose naked (or close to it) in the lead up to the games. 'Who cares if that appeal is rooted in sex? It's just an entry point. Jennie Finch exploded onto the scene as Page 2's surprise hottest athlete -- dethroning Anna Kournikova, no less. Want to know the bigger surprise? Women's softball is one of ESPN's hottest pieces of programming, and it can't possibly have everything to do with Jennie.'

- It's been 4 years already? - 'Jennie Finch is pitching for the U.S. softball team - the single most dominant aggregation of talent in these Games - and I'll try to catch a little of that because it's real easy on the eyes.'

- Olympicans Turn Gold into Green - 'Jennie Finch, who at 23 years old gets as much attention for her 71-mile-per-hour fastball as her sex appeal, already makes six figures off the diamond from companies such as Bank of America, 24 Hour Fitness and Sprint.'

- Security tight, but Athens eager to let games begin - '"There was so much hype about everything that was wrong -- or that was going to go wrong -- that the country deserves a lot of credit because I can tell you, being here is better than advertised," U.S. Olympic softball pitcher Jennie Finch said. "To tell you the truth, I was expecting to be scared a little bit when we arrived. But everyone has been treating us great. Yesterday, some of us walked into a beauty store, and they were so happy we came in they gave us free products."'

- Arizona softball star Jennie Finch ready to pitch products - 'After the Athens Games, just one face may stand out to marketers hungry for the next big thing: the pitcher with the ponytail.

Jennie Finch is her name. Softball is her game. Her destiny: fame.

Never heard of her? Get ready for the full Finch. She tosses a ball 71 miles per hour and has set an NCAA record with 60 victories in a row.

Even NBC's Bob Costas will try - but fail - to make contact with one of her sizzling pitches in a taped Olympic segment. By the time the Olympic Games end, Finch may be as familiar as the NBC peacock.

Sports marketers say Finch, 23, ranks among the most marketable Olympians to come along since perky gymnast Mary Lou Retton enchanted a nation two decades ago. In an Olympics so beset by terrorism fears that the athletes have been issued gas masks, Finch provides the simplest diversion of all: sex appeal.

She's also the queen of her sport.'

- US softball beauty eyes post-Athens riches - 'After dethroning Anna Kournikova as the favorite internet sporting beauty and turning down a Playboy pictorial, American softball pitcher Jennie Finch is set for post-Olympic endorsement riches.

The 23-year-old blonde bombshell, who combines glamour-girl looks with Andy Roddick-style arm strength, is featured on "This Week in Baseball" striking out Major League Baseball stars with underarm lightning bolts worthy of Zeus.

"The attention I get has been great. It has opened so many doors for me," Finch said. "It's nice that people are accepting beautiful women as athletes. It's encouraging to girls that muscles don't mean you can't be beautiful."

Finch makes about 400,000 dollars in sponsorship deals with eyeglasses and telephones and could boost that total if the US squad wins a third consecutive gold medal. But she is not taking off her clothes despite a huge Playboy offer.

"I don't know about the dollars but it's quite a great chunk of money," Finch said. "That doesn't interest me. It's more important that I'm a role model for girls."'

Other Older Jenny Finch Articles include:
- When in Doubt, seek out Jenny Finch.
- Official Jennie Finch Site
- Jennie Finch - picutes, photos, wallpapers, posters, desktop themes etc.
- ESPN - Jennie Finch
- Jennie Finch at 'AskMen' (biography, information and pictures)
- 2004 Summer Olympics Profile: Jennie Finch
- Jenny Finch Bio

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM

US Women's Volleyball Team Lose to Cuba

The US Women's Team has lost a lead up game to Athens against rival Cuba.

'The United States dropped the final two sets in losing to Olympic champion Cuba 23-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-22, 15-13 in the World Grand Prix women's tournament Saturday.' Source - U.S. loses to Cuba

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM

Tim Montgomery in 100m US Trials Final

The World's Fastest man, Tim Montgomery, has reached the finals in the 100 meter event at the US Olympic Athletics Trials - but only just.

Hanging over Montgomery's head is a life time ban from the sport for suspected steroid use.

'Running in a semifinal heat won by reigning Olympic champion Maurice Greene, Montgomery came from far behind to claim fourth place by 0.009 of a second. The top four from each semifinal reached the final later Sunday.

After crossing the finish line, Montgomery waited for the times to flash on a giant scoreboard. He smiled when his fourth-place finish appeared, then exchanged a high-five and a hug with John Capel, who was second in the heat.' Read More at Source - Tim Montgomery reaches 100-meter final at Olympic tria

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM

July 11, 2004

US Reputation On the Line

United States' reputation on the line at Athens Games is an interesting article by Tim Guidera about the reputation of the United States taking a battering with the recent investigations into Drug Allegations of US Athletes.

'A bully got put in its place this week.

It happened quietly, and in court, the way these things often do. And it happened to be an unfortunate turn for the American Olympic movement.

You can't help but feel a little uneasy about how the United States Anti-Doping Agency is going about its business of trying to catch steroid users and keep them from competing in the Athens Games. Given the authority to ban athletes by the United States Olympic Committee, USADA swaggered into Olympictown a while back, vowing to clean up the place by whatever tactics it deemed necessary.' Read More...

Posted by Darren at 02:58 PM

Michael Phelps on Track to Beat Spitz Record

'Michael Phelps made it three in a row at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials Saturday, dominating the 200-meter butterfly to stay on course in his bid to break Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals in Athens.

In a symbolic moment, Phelps and Spitz met for the first time during the award ceremony. Spitz presented Phelps with his medal and pulled the 19-year-old close, whispering something in his ear.

Spitz then climbed atop the medal stand and held Phelps' right hand in the air, as if passing off the baton to the swimmer who could break one of sport's most revered records � seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Games.' Source - Spitz passes baton as Phelps makes it three in a row

Posted by Darren at 02:47 PM

July 10, 2004

John Capel Focused on Gold in Athens

' World 200-meter champion John Capel will look up from the starting blocks of Saturday's opening round of the U.S. Olympic Trials 100 meters and see far beyond the finish line.

"My focus really is getting a chance to run the 200 in Athens," Capel said in an interview. "I don't think about much else."

The 25-year-old speedster has never experienced Olympic gold even though he won the 2000 Olympic Trials 200 meters final in a star-crossed race that left 100 meters world record holder Maurice Greene and 200 meters record holder Michael Johnson lame.

He flinched in the starting blocks of the Sydney final and figured a false start would be called. But officials let the race go and Capel was left regrouping as Greece's Konstandinos Kederis roared to victory.

The roar would be even bigger if native son Kederis wins in Athens.' Read More at - Athens Gold Is Capel's Focus

Posted by Darren at 10:53 AM

Christian Cantwell - Shotput

The World's four best Shot Putters are competing for just three places at the Athens Olympics currently at the US Track and Field Trials.

'"That's a curse for us in this country I guess," said John Godina, a three-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist. "The good news there is ... I think this is our best chance to get a true sweep at the Olympic Games with all three medals."

Along with Godina, Christian Cantwell, Adam Nelson and Reese Hoffa will try for an Olympic spot. Just which three have a chance to sweep at the games will be determined during the final Saturday....

The youngest of the bunch at 23, Cantwell is undefeated in his last 14 competitions. His improvement has been extraordinary. At the last Olympic trials in 2000, Cantwell arrived just after his freshman year at Missouri.
Read More - Cantwell leads world class shot put field at trials

Posted by Darren at 10:48 AM

Brendan Hansen Breaks World Record

Brendan Hansen set a new world record in the 100m breaststroke at the US Olympic trials in Long Beach, California.

The new world record time is 59.30 seconds.

The previous record was held by Kosuke Kitajima of Japan at 59.78 seconds. Source - Hansen breaks world record

Posted by Darren at 10:10 AM

Lance Armstrong Rules out Athens

Lance Armstrong has announced that he will not compete at the Athens Olympics.

Armstrong wants to spend more time with his children after the Tour de France in which he is currently aiming to win for the sixth time.

'"I've done the Olympics many times," said the American.

"If I don't have 100% motivation for something that's an important event, a very important event, then I don't want to take somebody else's spot."' Source - Armstrong rules out Athens

Posted by Darren at 10:05 AM

Michael Phelps Aims for 200 meter Gold

Michael Phelps is Eying off the Gold Medal for 200 meters butterfly amid speculation of more World Records to come.

'World record-holder Michael Phelps cruised into the semi-finals of the 200m butterfly and prepared to face the escalating demands of his ambitious six-event programme at the US Olympic swimming trials.

Phelps, 19, launched his Athens qualifying campaign by improving his own world record in the 400m individual medley on Wednesday.

But coach Bob Bowman said he didn't expect to see Phelps better his butterfly world mark in his semi-final Friday night, which will fall less than an hour after he competes in the 200m freestyle final.
Found at - Olympics: Phelps takes aim at 200m freestyle title

Posted by Darren at 09:34 AM

July 09, 2004

Emeka Okafor Joins US Olympic Basketball Team

Emeka Okafor has been selected to fill the final spot in the US Olympic Basketball team to compete in the Athens Olympics in August.

'"I came off a national championship, and now I have a chance to get a gold medal," he said. "That's one of the reasons I jumped at this opportunity. I'm really looking forward to it."

Okafor, the second overall pick in the NBA draft by the expansion Charlotte Bobcats, was officially added to the team along with Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, Lamar Odom and Dwyane Wade.' Read more at - Okafor rounds out U.S. Olympic basketball team

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

Lindsay Benko - Second in Qualifying Race

'Gold medalist Lindsay Benko is at it again trying to quality for a chance to compete at the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens.

Today, Benko placed second out of 62 other swimmers in the preliminaries for the 400-meter freestyle at the trials in California.
Read More at - Benko places second in preliminaries

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

Marla Runyan Hopes for Gold

Marla Runyan is gearing up for the US Track and Field Olympic Trials which start on Friday.

'Since crashing the Olympic party in 2000, the 35-year-old Eugene resident has emerged as one of the top female distance runners in the United States despite being legally blind as a result of Stargardt's disease, a form of macular degeneration.

Runyan has won the last three U.S. outdoor 5,000-meter titles, she's finished in the top five in both the New York and Boston marathons, and she set the American indoor record in the 5,000.

And now she's back at the Trials, which begin Friday and run through July 18, in Sacramento, where Runyan will compete in the 5,000 and possibly the 1,500.' Source - Runyan's New Role: Eugene distance runner is favored in the 5,000

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

US Olympic Rowing Team Announced

The US have announced a 45 member Rowing team for the Athens Olympics where they will compete in 12 of the 14 Rowing events.

The team includes 15 team members who have Olympic experience:

Laurel Korholz, Chris Ahrens, Pete Cipollone, Jennifer Devine, Hilary Gehman, Sarah Jones, Wolf Moser, Lianne Nelson, Henry Nuzum, Greg Ruckman, Kelly Salchow, Paul Teti, Steve Tucker, Bryan Volpenhein, and Mike Wherley.

None have previously won an Olympic Medal. Source - U.S. Rowing Team Sets Its Olympic Roster

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM

Dan O'Brien Retires

'Former Olympic gold medallist Dan O'Brien has retired from athletics after a back injury.

O'Brien, who won gold in the decathlon at the 1996 Olympics, was forced to quit after injuring his pelvic bone.' Source - O'Brien quits athletics

Posted by Darren at 12:57 PM

July 08, 2004

Four Teams Qualify for Synchronized Swimming

'Russia, Japan, the United�States and Spain have secured their places in the synchronized swimming team event of the 2004 Olympic Games after finishing top four of the Qualification Tournament here on Saturday, FINA website reported.

World champions Russia scored 99.167 points in the free routine Saturday and standing in the first place with a total points of 99.084 from their technical routine and free presentation.

World runners-up Japan clinched the second spot in a total of 97.918 while the United States maintained their position in the world championships in last July in 96.750.

The Spanish team, formed by a group of experienced swimmers coached by Anna Tares, was tied with the United States in the third place of the technical program, but was a little bit inferior during their free presentation and finished fourth in 96.4' Source - Four teams qualify for Athens synchronized swimming

Posted by Darren at 10:51 PM

Natalie Coughlin Could Win 5 Gold

After suffering from a virus a year ago heading into the World Championships in Barcelona Natalie Coughlin has recovered and could win as many as 5 Gold Medals at the Athens Olympics.

'After examining the Olympic competition schedule, Coughlin decided this spring to swim just two individual events in Athens. She hopes to be placed on three relays, for a shot at a mere five medals.

"It's better for me to do really well in two or three (individual) events than mediocre in four or five," she says.

Even a scaled-down schedule puts her in excellent position to make U.S. swimming history. No American woman has ever won more than four gold medals in swimming in one Olympics � Amy Van Dyken won two individual and two relay golds in 1996.

Coughlin planned all along for the 100 backstroke, in which she'll open in the preliminaries and semifinals today. But she was forced to decide between two events in which she holds the American record, the 100 freestyle and the 200 back. Here and in Athens, the 200 back semifinals are scheduled 12 minutes before the 100 free final.'
Found - Profile lowered, Coughlin on lookout for gold

Posted by Darren at 08:15 PM

Michael Phelps Breaks World Record

'Michael Phelps began his quest for Olympic history with a world record.

Phelps, 19, who hopes to break Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals in Athens, broke his own mark in the 400-meter individual medley with an electrifying swim at the U.S. Olympic trials last night.

In the first final of the eight-day event, Phelps put up a time of 4 minutes, 8.41 seconds, eclipsing the record of 4:09.09 he set at last year's world championship in Barcelona.' Source - Phelps breaks his own 400-meter world record at U.S. trials

Posted by Darren at 07:46 PM

Cheryl Hamworth Set to Go in Athens

Cheryl Hamworth is gearing up for the Athens Olympics where she will compete for the US in weight lifting.

'But Cheryl, now 21, shakes her head at the tag of being the world's strongest. She's only the strongest in the western hemisphere. That's all.

"Technique, it's all technique. If you're not doing it right, then you're not going to do it well," said Haworth, who will compete for the U.S. at the 2004 Olympics at Athens in August. "It all comes down to physics like keeping the bar close to your body."

While she speaks of physics, her opponents might call it physicality. Haworth stands 5 feet 9 and weighs 296 pounds, but it's her athleticism -- 5.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash and a 30-inch vertical leap -- that dispels many assumptions about weightlifters.

She said matching her bronze medal in the 2000 Olympics -- the first with women's weightlifting as a sport -- would be satisfying. She lifted 270 pounds in the snatch and 330.7 pounds in the clean and jerk without much competition at the May trials in St. Joseph, Mo., to secure her spot in Greece.' Source - Savannah's strongest set to go

Posted by Darren at 12:46 PM

Michael Phelps Qualifies for 400m Individual Medley

World Record holder, Michael Phelps, has qualified for the Mens 400 Individual Medley in a time of 4:16.11.

'The man who will chase Mark Spitz's seven gold medals from the Munich Olympics took early command of his heat and held off Ryan Lochte, who qualified for the finals in second (4:19.75). ' Source - Men's 400 IM Prelims: Surprise!: Phelps Cruises to the Top Spot�

Posted by Darren at 12:42 PM

Cincinnati Athletes make US Olympic Team

'Four Cincinnati natives were named Olympic rowers today, believed to be the largest rowing contingent the area has ever sent to the Games.

The three who represented the area in Syndey � Bryan Volpenhein, Greg Ruckman and Kelly Salchow � all will make a return Olympic trip, and Pat Todd will make his Olympic debut.

The four rowers bring the total of Greater Cincinnati Olympians to nine. They join boxers Ron Siler and Rau�Shee Warren, soccer player Heather Mitts, synchronized swimmer Becky Jasontek, and shooter Jason Parker. Also, Jason McKittrick will go to Athens as the alternate in archery.' Read More at - Four Cincinnati rowers on Olympic team

Posted by Darren at 12:42 PM

US Track and Field Team Young Guns

US track and field news has been dominated recently by drug allegations and probes - this has hidden from view an emerging group of US Athletes who are set to take the Athens Olympics by storm. They are ready to go at this week's US Olympic Trials for Track and Field Athletics events.

'Sprinter Lauryn Williams, miler Alan Webb, a trio of women in the 400 meters and pair of rising stars in the women's 400 hurdles are part of the 22-and-under crowd poised to make a run at the U.S. team.'

Source - Young talent looks to make Athens lineup, maybe even medal

Posted by Darren at 12:42 PM

IAAF Will Not Suspend Until Hard Evidence Found

The IAAF will not suspend athletes facing drug allegations until there is hard evidence of failing drug tests. This opens the way for four American Athletes facing life time bans to compete at the Athens Olympics if their hearings do not end before this time.

'USA Track & Field said Tuesday that Tim Montgomery � the 100-meter world-record holder � and five others facing doping charges would be allowed to compete at the U.S. Olympic trials beginning Friday in Sacramento

"We have no problem with that," Gyulai said. "Whether or not they can compete in the trials, we leave it in the hands of USA Track & Field."

Montgomery and sprinters Christye Gaines, Michelle Collins and Alvin Harrison have been notified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency they face lifetime bans in the BALCO steroid investigation. All are contesting the allegations.

None of the four failed a drug test. USADA is acting based on "non-analytical positives," evidence gathered in the federal probe of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.' Source - IAAF won't bar U.S. athletes from Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:41 PM

July 07, 2004

US Athletic Trials Give Benefit of the Doubt

US athletes currently under investigation for drug charges will be able to compete at the US Olympic Track and Field trials.

'"The law of the United States is quite clear," USATF chief executive officer Craig Masback said. "It says unless someone has received a full due-process hearing and found to be ineligible, they must be allowed to compete."

That means world 100-meter record holder Montgomery, sprinters Chryste Gaines and Michelle Collins, twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison and distance runner Regina Jacobs are free to enter the U.S. trials.

Montgomery and Gaines are entered in the 100, Collins and the two Harrisons in the 400 and Jacobs in the 1,500 at the trials, held at Cal State-Sacramento.'

Source - Innocent until proven guilty being used at U.S. trials

Posted by Darren at 03:09 PM

Michael Phelps goes for Gold Medal Record

Michael Phelps is aiming to bring home a bag full of gold medals from the Athens Olympics in August. He's also hoping to knock off Mark Spitz's record of seven Olympic gold medals.

'Michael Phelps wants to make history. The quest begins Wednesday in a temporary pool set up in a parking lot.

Phelps revealed that he will swim six individual events at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, setting his sights on breaking Mark Spitz's 32-year-old record of seven gold medals at the Athens Games.

It's a formidable task, one that Phelps will try to pull off swimming four different strokes against world-class rivals who specialize in only one.

But the 19-year-old from Baltimore doesn't seem concerned that he's spreading himself too thin. Besides the individual events, he also hopes to swim two or three relays in Athens.' Source - Phelps focuses on breaking Spitz record

Posted by Darren at 02:57 PM

Athens Olympics US Cycling Team Announced

USA Cycling Press Release - USA Cycling announced today the team that will represent the United States in the discipline of road cycling at this summer's Olympic Games in Athens. After securing the maximum start positions in both men's and women's road cycling, USA Cycling will be sending a mix of accomplished veterans and talented newcomers to Athens. Five men and three women will contest the road race, while two men and two women will also compete in the time trial.

Leading the men's roster is five-time Tour de France winner and 2000 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Lance Armstrong (Austin, Texas). Armstrong's well-documented career as a cancer survivor and cycling champion includes countless accomplishments and accolades but doesn't include Olympic Gold, a feat he'll try to achieve in his fourth Olympic Games. Currently, Armstrong is engaged in a quest to become the first-ever six-time winner of the Tour de France, but will soon turn his focus towards Athens.

Joining Armstrong is 2000 Olympian and top European-based pro, Tyler Hamilton (Marblehead, Mass.). A steadily improving rider, Hamilton became a household name after finishing fourth overall in the Tour de France last year despite suffering a broken collarbone in the first stage. A stage win in the 2003 Tour, along with convincing wins in the 2003 Li�ge-Bastogne-Li�ge World Cup and back-to-back wins in the Tour de Romandie in 2003 and 2004 signify Hamilton's arrival as an Olympic medal contender. Currently, Hamilton is considered one of Armstrong's biggest threats to unseat him of his Tour de France glory, but come August the two will form a strong one-two punch as teammates on the U.S. Team.

George Hincapie (Greenville, S.C.), often regarded as the faithful lieutenant of Armstrong on the U.S. Postal Team, returns to represent the U.S. in his fourth Olympic Games. Hincapie's addition to the squad came as a result of a fifth place overall finish at the Paris-Nice stage race earlier this year, a tough multi-day event in France. Hincapie's presence and talents as a one-day specialist and dependable support rider along with his prowess as a formidable sprinter gives the U.S. team another card to play in a traditionally unpredictable race.

Joining the three Olympic veterans is first-time Olympian, Bobby Julich (Corpus Christi, Texas). Julich rose to stardom in 1998 when he finished third overall in the Tour de France, one year before the rise of Armstrong. After modest results over the next few years, Julich returned to the spotlight in 2004 after making a move to the Danish-based CSC Pro Cycling Team. The move proved ideal for Julich after placing third overall at Paris-Nice securing him a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, and winning a stage at the Vuelta a Pais Basco, a major international stage race in Spain. Julich's presence on the Olympic team completes a solid roster of proven pros with serious medal potential in Athens.

Rounding out the men's roster is Jason McCartney (Coralville, Iowa). McCartney burst onto the global scene earlier this season after winning a stage in the Tour de Georgia, an impressive result that came against a strong field of top international competitors. McCartney's spot on the team came as a result of a win at the pressure-filled Team USA Selection Race last month. A solo breakaway in the race's final 20km sealed the deal for McCartney against a stacked field of the most talented domestic-based professional riders.

The three-woman team that will compete in Athens features all first-time Olympians. Despite her long career as one of the most successful riders in the peloton, Dede Barry (Boulder, Colo.) makes her first Olympic Team as the top-ranked American rider in the international rankings, ranked 15th in the world. After missing out on the 2000 Olympic Team, Barry retired from professional cycling but later returned to competition with renewed focus towards 2004. Barry's aggressive style and strength as a tenacious all-around rider complements her presence as a tactically savvy and experienced veteran.

Joining Barry is her teammate on the T-Mobile Professional Cycling Team, Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho). Armstrong earned a spot on the team after riding to a win in the USCF Elite National Championships last month. The first-time National Champion has steadily progressed through the ranks of professional cycling by achieving consistent results in some of the world's most prestigious events.

Completing the women's team is USCF Elite National Time Trial Champion, Christine Thorburn (Davenport, Iowa). Thorburn was a surprise victor at last month's nationals to upset a strong field and earn a spot on the Olympic Team. Like Armstrong, Thorburn has experienced steady progression throughout the last year that began with a spot on the U.S. National Team at the 2003 world championships. Since then, she has become a marked rider in the U.S. peloton. Together, the three riders will combine to form an experienced and eager squad with medal potential.

"This is definitely one of the strongest, if not the strongest, Olympic road teams ever assembled by the U.S.," commented USA Cycling CEO Gerard Bisceglia. "Guys like Lance, Tyler, George and Bobby are at the height of their careers and could very well be competing in their last Olympics. Their experience and talent, along with their hunger for Olympic success will hopefully translate into medals. The women's squad is also on par with the rest of the world in terms of talent and experience. On paper it looks as though we can have a successful Olympics across the board when it comes to the road race and time trials."

From these nominations, two men and two women will also contest the time trial in Athens. The announcement as to which of these riders will compete in the time trial will be made at a later date.

With the earlier announcement of the athletes that will represent the United States in Athens on the velodrome in the discipline of track cycling, Tuesday's naming of the road squad means that only the three nominations for the mountain bike team remain. The U.S. will name the three mountain bike athletes (one woman and two men), on July 13 following the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships this weekend in Bad Goisern, Austria.

2004 U.S. Olympic Team Road Cycling Roster
Lance Armstrong (Austin, Texas)
Tyler Hamilton (Marblehead, Mass.)
George Hincapie (Greenville, S.C.)
Bobby Julich (Corpus Christi, Texas)
Jason McCartney (Coralville, Iowa)

Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho)
Dede Barry (Boulder, Colo.)
Christine Thorburn (Davenport, Iowa)

Posted by Darren at 09:30 AM

July 06, 2004

Mike Powell gives US Athletics Predictions

Current World Record Holder in the Long Jump, Mike Powell, has written an interesting column entitled Olympic trials on trial where he takes a look at the lead up to Athens. He covers topics such as the drug controversies surrounding some in the US team but also gives some tips of which up and coming stars to watch out for in track and field events.

The Olympic trials are where athletes begin their road to stardom. Here are several to keep your eye on:

Shawn Crawford and John Capel will challenge Maurice Greene in the 100 meters.

Lauryn Williams and Muna Lee have the talent to challenge Marion Jones in both the 100 meters and the 200 meters.

Sheena Johnson has the second fastest time in the world this year in the 400 meter hurdles.

Larry Wade will give Allen Johnson all the he can handle in the men's 110 meter hurdles.

Alan Webb is starting to live up to the hype that surrounded him in high school and may be the one to put American distance running back on the map.

Shot putter Christian Cantwell comes into the trials with the best throw in the world.'

Posted by Darren at 04:13 PM

July 05, 2004

Introducing the US Boxing Team for Athens

ESPN has an interesting look at the US Boxing team who are currently in preparation to the Athens Olympics. The team has not won a Gold medal since 1996 and are hoping that this year might change that.

'One sure bet, according to insiders, is light heavyweight Andre Ward, a two-time national champion. Yet despite the accolades, Ward refuses to set himself apart from his team, which he believes will surprise a few people in August....

One sure bet, according to insiders, is light heavyweight Andre Ward, a two-time national champion. Yet despite the accolades, Ward refuses to set himself apart from his team, which he believes will surprise a few people in August....

And while Ward may have the speed and Vargas the power, the pedigree may be the sole property of 22-year-old junior welterweight Rock Allen, who comes from a fighting family that includes his coach/father Nasszim Richardson, best known for his work with middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins....

Holding up the middleweight end of the team is Andre Dirrell of Flint, Mich., a two-sport athlete in high school who is going for the gold not only for himself, but for his grandfather, Leon Lawson, who raised the 20-year-old and who still coaches him.' Read more at - Road to Athens; US Boxing

Improve Your Own Boxing Skills

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM

John Magera Shoots into US Archery Team

John Magera did not expect to make this year's US Olympics Archery Team - but in only his fourth archery competition ever he impressed selectors with his ability.

'Magera, a lifelong bow hunter, who picked up an Olympic style recurve bow for the first time 16 months ago, stunned the field at the Olympic trials in June by finishing third and securing the final spot on the U.S. team headed to Athens this summer. It was his fourth tournament ever.

"My goal wasn't to make the Olympic team," Magera said. "I was using the trials as a way to improve my ranking. I was actually aiming for the 2005 U.S. team."

Obviously, Magera's aim is better than even he expected.

For the past 25 years, Magera, a wildlife refuge manager, enjoyed bow hunting as a family pastime. He says he loved the beauty of the outdoors, the challenge of learning an animal's habits, and on occasion, when he did take aim and shoot, the fundamentally appealing arc of his arrow's flight.' Read more at 'Road to Athens - Archery

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM

July 04, 2004

Nike Predicament over Marion Jones

Nike is in a tough spot as it decides how prominently to place Marion Jones in its advertising whilst she is under investigation for drug violations.

'Jones, who won an unprecedented five track medals at the 2000 Olympics, is under investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, with the Athens Games to open in six weeks.

Nike featured Jones earlier this year as it rolled out its Olympic ad campaign as part of its "Speed" theme to highlight the performances of its top athletes. But the campaign has moved on to Serena Williams, who will be followed by ads featuring Lance Armstrong as he bids for a record sixth straight Tour de France title.' - Source - Jones' situation puts Nike in tough spot

Posted by Darren at 09:37 PM

Colleen De Reuck - Well Rounded Woman

US Marathon Runner Colleen De Reuck will be the oldest American woman to run an olympic Marathon at the Athens Olympics.

'The petite, blond housewife qualified at the trials on April 3 in St. Louis, clocking a record 2:28:25. Yet there she was in the kitchen of her Boulder, Colo., home, whipping together a tuna noodle casserole as she talked about training schedules and her upcoming, arduous 26.2-mile trek from Marathon to downtown Athens.

De Reuck puts in a day that pampered, spoiled athletes would never abide. Already she had mowed the yard; done the grocery shopping; kept a physical therapy appointment; drove 9-year-old daughter Tasmin to her dental checkup; and�walked Shaka, the family's black Labrador retriever, and a neighbor's dog, only to end up bathing both after a side trip in a muddy creek.

And with the Athens trip atop her agenda, De Reuck squeezed in a two-hour run and managed a weight-lifting session.' Read more at - Well-rounded woman: Colleen De Reuck juggles busy home life with Olympic preparations

Posted by Darren at 09:23 PM

July 03, 2004

Should NBA stars go to the Athens Olympic Games

Should NBA players selected for the Athens Olympics go to the Games this coming August. A number of high profile players have rejected their selection, mainly siting security concerns. The debate rages as this excerpt from a column shows:

'There are those who will look at Wallace and Hamilton and the rest as ungrateful, spoiled millionaires who have just insulted the nation that has allowed them to attain fame and fortune.

On a strictly emotional level, it is a difficult argument to challenge. What loyal American, having tasted this nation's bounties, could pass up a chance to wear the Red, White and Blue on the world stage?...

But on an intellectual level, you have to know that they made the right decision.

First of all, the Olympics are a myth, a sham created by profiteers who belong to the self-appointed, self-regulated Olympic organization, and the TV network that spends billions to make millions on competitions, the outcomes of which are pretty much pre-determined anyway.

And all you need to know about Olympic officiating can be learned by watching film of the 1972 basketball finals, where an offcourt official overruled the on-court referees twice, forcing replays until Russia had finally managed to upset the U.S. team.

The Olympics are a myth, pure and simple. They don't stand for anything more than the money the athletes, sponsors, committee members and networks can make off of them.'

Source - Don't blame NBA stars for skipping Olympics

Posted by Darren at 08:51 PM

July 02, 2004

US Womens Soccer Team Announced

'United States Olympic women's soccer coach April Heinrichs on Thursday announced a veteran 18-woman roster for the 2004 Athens Games.

The roster is a provisional one, pending acceptance by the U.S. Olympic Committee, which must certify all participants....

There were few surprises in the selection, with only goalkeeper Siri Mullinx overlooked for a berth in favor of Kristen Luckenbill.

Many of the stalwarts will take their bows in this Olympic campaign, with Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain, Bri Scurry, Kristine Lilly and Joy Fawcett all expected to retire after the Games.

Seven of the players - Scurry, Hamm, Fawcett, Chastain, Foudy, Lilly and Cindy Parlow - will be making their third appearance in the Games after winning gold in Atlanta in 1996.

Stars Abby Wambach and Heather O'Reilly will make their Olympic debuts alongside Shannon Boxx, Cat Reddick, Angela Hucles, Lindsay Tarpley, Heather Mitts, Aly Wagner and Luckenbill. O'Reilly, at 19, is the youngest member of the roster.'

The US Womens Soccer Team will play their first game against host team Greece on August 11. Source - U.S. women's soccer roster named for Olympics

Posted by Darren at 10:43 PM

US Olympic Team told not to Wave Flag

Washington Times reports that US Olympic Athletes have been told not to wave the US flag during medal ceremonies for fear that it will anger crowds and further damage US public image.

'The spectacle of victorious athletes grabbing a national flag and parading it around the stadium is a familiar part of international sporting competition, but U.S. Olympic officials have ordered their 550-strong team to exercise restraint and avoid any jingoistic behavior.

The plan is part of a charm offensive aimed at repairing the country's international reputation after the deepening crisis in Iraq and damaging revelations of the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. forces at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Posted by Darren at 01:55 PM

July 01, 2004

US Mens Volleyball Team Prepare for Athens

After a dismal showing at the Sydney Olympics the US mens team are getting set for the Athens Olympic Games.

'It's not going to get any easier for Team USA. In Sydney, three of the four teams in the medal round were from the same pool as the United States. In Athens, Team USA is grouped with Brazil, the top-ranked team in the world; Italy, the second-ranked team and a 2000 bronze medalist; fifth-ranked Russia, which finished second in Sydney; the Netherlands and Australia.'

Source - Team USA set for Athens

Posted by Darren at 08:54 PM

US beats Australia in Men's Water Polo

The US Men's Water Polo Team beat Australia 10-7 in a match in the lead up to the Athens Olympic Games.

'Despite winning the final quarter 4-2 the Aussie Sharks were unable to come back after poor shooting cost them the second and third quarters in front of 1624 spectators.'

Australia has a follow up game against the US later this week and also will play Hungary and Serbia & Montenegro later in the tournament.

Source - US defeat Aussies in water polo

Posted by Darren at 08:11 PM

June 28, 2004

US Rowing Trials Part 2 Underway

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:37 PM

Mohini Bhardwaj Still Has Olympic Hope

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

Posted by Darren at 10:26 PM

US Gymnastics Trials Heat Up

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 10:22 PM

June 27, 2004

Martina Navratilova Selected for Olympics Women's Doubles

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

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

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

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

Insider Tennis Strategies and Tactics

Posted by Darren at 04:03 PM

Paul Hamm and Brett McClure In US Gymnastics Team

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 03:53 PM

June 26, 2004

US Rowing Team Trials

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

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

Posted by Darren at 11:56 PM

Apathy Keeps NBA Stars Away from Athens

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

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

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

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

Source - Elko Daily Free Press

Posted by Darren at 06:14 PM

Emeka Okafor Will Play in US Basketball Team

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

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

Posted by Darren at 05:59 PM

Bhardwaj makes case for Olympics

Bhardwaj makes case for Olympics

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 05:55 PM

June 25, 2004

Blaine Wilson and Jason Gatson Prepare for Trials

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 04:34 PM

Claims of Montgomery Confession

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 03:55 PM

Male synchronized swimmer not allowed to compete in Olympics

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 01:10 PM

June 24, 2004

Tim Montgomery Faces Lifetime Ban

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

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

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

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

Source - Sprinter facing lifetime ban

Posted by Darren at 08:50 PM

US Gymnastics Trials Lose Meaning

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 08:25 PM

June 21, 2004

Dover Qualifies for Dressage

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

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

Posted by Darren at 01:46 PM

The Confident Maurice Greene

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 01:41 PM

June 20, 2004

Mary Sanders and Jennifer Parilla Qualify

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 07:41 PM

Montgomery responds to USADA notice of doping inquiry

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

'"The truth will prevail," he said.

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

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

Source - Montgomery responds to USADA notice of doping inquiry

Posted by Darren at 12:10 PM

Marion Jones 5th in Olympic Lead Up

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 12:02 PM

June 19, 2004

US Swimmers not phased by lack of Roof

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source - Pool roof no worry for US

Posted by Darren at 02:25 PM

Lebron, Marbury, Stoudemire Join Olympics

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

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

Posted by Darren at 02:20 PM

US Trim Medal Expectations

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

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

Posted by Darren at 02:20 PM

U.S. Athletes Aware of Possible Backlash

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 02:20 PM

Marion Jones is Focused despite Steroids investigations

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

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

Drugs probe 'focuses' Jones

Posted by Darren at 02:15 PM

US Olympic Team has Opportunity to Reverse Global Public Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Darren at 01:53 PM

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