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Heavy Medal: August 3, 2008 - August 9, 2008

Phelps Gets First Gold (Updated)

By Barry Svrluga There might have been a more spectacular and thoroughly dominant manner in which Michael Phelps could have begun his Olympics Sunday morning here, but it would be unimaginable. In an event in which he was supposed to...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 10:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Opening Ceremonies Do Well on NBC (Updated)

Pleased to offer a report from television columnist Lisa de Moraes below. But first, this is a good place to mention that Paul Farhi's blog on Olympic TV coverage, "Playback," is up and running. Check it out ... here's Lisa:...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  August 9, 2008; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies , Television  
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Favored U.S. Team Falls to Latvian Pair

Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, the American gold medal favorites in beach volleyball, opened with a surprising loss, falling 21-19, 21-18 to Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Martins Plavins of Latvia. From the AP account: The Latvians won the first set in...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  August 9, 2008; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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U.S. Women's Volleyball Team Defeats Japan

The women's team also was affected by the stabbing death of Todd Bachman -- his daughter, Elisabeth is a former national team player. They learned of Bachman's death hours before facing Japan on Saturday. Here's the AP account of the...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  August 9, 2008; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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U.S. Men Make Gymnastics Team Finals

The U.S. men's gymnastics team locked up a spot in Tuesday's Olympic team finals with a sixth-place finish in qualifications Saturday at Beijing's National Indoor Stadium. Competing without its stars--twins Paul and Morgan Hamm, who withdrew because of injuries--the...

By Liz Clarke  |  August 9, 2008; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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U.S. Women's Basketball Team Wins (Updated)

From Michael Lee: Diana Taurasi's first shot barely grazed the front of the rim. Then Katie Smith's shot came up short on a long jumper, Lisa Leslie missed badly on a layup and Tina Thompson missed a jump shot. The...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  August 9, 2008; 9:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Phelps Sets Record, Hoff Advances

On the first of nine days of the Olympic swimming meet, American Michael Phelps broke his own Olympic record in the 400-meter individual medley, and Katie Hoff, who like Phelps grew up training at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, put...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 9, 2008; 9:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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China Loves Redeem Team

Crazy scene at halftime of the U.S. women's basketball game on Saturday as thousands of mostly Chinese fans crowded around the section where the 10 of the 12 members of the U.S. men's team were seated. (Deron Williams was the...

By Michael Lee  |  August 9, 2008; 9:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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U.S. Sweeps Fencing Medals

The United States swept all three medals in women's sabre Saturday at the Fencing Hall. Mariel Zagunis defended the gold medal she won at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games by defeating teammate Sada Jacobson, 15-8, in the gold medal bout....

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 8:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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First Judo Medals

From the Associated Press: Romania's Alina Dumitru won the women's 48-kilogram Olympic judo gold, throwing Cuba's Yanet Bermoy to the mat and stunning world champion Ryoko Tani of Japan in the semifinal. In the men's 60-kilogram class final, South Korea's...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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How Should Total Team Score Be Measured?

What nation really "wins" the Olympics? Is it total gold medals? There, China leads, at the moment, 29 to 17 over the United States. Or is it total medals of any kind? There, America leads China, 59-52. Of course, these...

By Thomas Boswell  |  August 9, 2008; 7:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Local Rowers Advance

The U.S. men's four -- which includes two area rowers -- finished third today to advance to the semifinals. Brett Newlin, Giuseppe Lanzone (Annandale), Paul Teti and David Banks (Potomac) advanced to Wednesday's semifinals. Racing in the first of three...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 7:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Women's Soccer Team Wins

From the Associated Press: Midfielder Carli Lloyd scored on a first-half volley to lead the U.S. women's soccer team to a 1-0 win over Japan in Qinhuangdao and put the Americans' Olympic title defense back on track at the Beijing...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 7:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Phelps Sets Olympic Record

Michael Phelps's arduous program in his third Olympic Games began tonight at the National Aquatic Center in Beijing with an easy and dominant swim in the preliminary heats of the men's 400-meter individual medley - setting a new Olympic record...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 9, 2008; 6:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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U.S. Men Gymnasts Advance

With four countries yet to perform, the U.S. men's gymnastics team locked up a spot in Tuesday's Olympic team finals with a better-than-expected performance during Saturday's qualifications at Beijing's National Indoor Stadium. Competing without its stars--twins Paul and Morgan...

By Liz Clarke  |  August 9, 2008; 6:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Spaniard Pedals to Gold

From the Associated Press: Samuel Sanchez of Spain has taken the gold medal in the men's road race. Davide Rebellin of Italy won the silver on his 37th birthday and Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland the bronze. The three were among...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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U.S. Soccer Women Up 1-0

Carli Lloyd has put the U.S. women's soccer team up 1-0 against Japan in the 28th minute of the second game in Group G play for both sides. Lloyd gathered a long crossing pass from deep in the left corner...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 5:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Chalupny Out for U.S.-Japan Game

From the Associated Press: Defender Lori Chalupny has been ruled out of the U.S. women soccer team's match against Japan today in Qinhuangdao. Chalupny, a regular starter for the U.S. women's team, had to be replaced in the Americans' opening...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 4:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Pang Wei Wins Shooting Gold

China's Pang Wei won the men's 10-meter air pistol today over Jin Jong-oh of South Korea and Kim Jong Su of North Korea. Pang, the 2006 world champion, beat Jin by 3.7 points to the delight of the home crowd....

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 4:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Shooting  
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One and Done

Eva Lee lost her opening-round singles match to Canada's Anna Rice, 21-15, 19-21, 19-21, in badminton competition today at the Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium. The loss emliminates Lee from the tournament....

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 3:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Archers Advance

U.S. archers Jenny Nichols and Khatuna Lorig finished 24th and 26th, respectively, among 64 competitors today in the ranking round at the Beijing Olympic Green Archery Field. Both advance to the elimination round of the women's bracket on Tuesday. Top...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 3:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Eventing Team is in Second

Gina Miles had a personal best on McKinlaigh at her first Olympics to move into third place after the morning session of the first day of dressage. "I was very pleased with McKinlaigh," said Miles, who had a score of...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 3:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Shootists Advance to Finals

Jason Turner and Brian Beaman advanced to the eight-man final round of the 10m air pistol competition today at the Shooting Range Hall. Turner's qualifying score of 583 was one point off the medal pace. The field of eight is...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 3:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Shooting  
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Middleweight Estrada Wins Opener

Shawn Estrada of East Los Angeles, Calif., scored a 10-2 decision over Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna of Argentina in the first round of the middleweight competition today at Workers' Gymnasium. Estrada's next bout will be Aug. 16 against James Degale of...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 3:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Zabriskie Out of Road Race

From the Associated Press: American cyclist David Zabriskie, who missed this year's Tour de France because of a broken back, dropped out of Saturday's Olympic road race after completing about half of the 152-mile route. Zabriskie was at the rear...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 3:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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U.S. Gymnasts Top Weak Field

The U.S. men's gymnastics team may have lost its two stars, twins Paul and Morgan Hamm, but it compensated with an admirable display of breadth and camaraderie in Saturday's team qualifying at the Beijing Games. The Americans had a...

By Liz Clarke  |  August 9, 2008; 2:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Good Start in Sabre

Sada Jacobson, Mariel Zagunis and Becca Ward all advanced to the semifinals today in the individual sabre competition. Ward edged Azza Besbes of Tunisia, 15-14, and will face Zagunis, who defeated Bao Yingying of China, 15-9. Jacobson scored a 15-11...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 12:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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China Gets First Gold of Games

China got its first gold medal in the second final of the Games Saturday morning as Chen Xiexia won gold in the women's 48-kg weightlifting event. Turkey's Sibel Ozkan won the silver medal and Chen Wei-Ling of Taiwan the bronze....

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 9, 2008; 12:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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First Gold Medal Given Out

Report from the Associated Press: Katerina Emmons spoiled China's bid for the first gold medal of the Beijing Olympics on Saturday by winning the 10-meter air rifle for the Czech Republic. Emmons, the wife of American shooter Matt Emmons, finished...

By washingtonpost.com Sports Editor  |  August 8, 2008; 11:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Shooting  
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Practice Makes Perfect Trash Talk

First, LeBron James started talking a little smack. Then, Kobe Bryant spewed some trash talk. Once they got started, Dwyane Wade wanted to get in some words, then Deron Williams, and Michael Redd and Chris Paul. Tayshaun Prince didn't say...

By Michael Lee  |  August 8, 2008; 2:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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NBA Stars Will Follow Money To Europe

At Team USA's news conference on Friday, several of the NBA superstars were asked if they would be willing to break Commissioner David Stern's heart and leave the world's best basketball league to play abroad, in their prime, at the...

By Michael Lee  |  August 8, 2008; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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No Dragon

Well, it wasn't a dragon but it was spectacular nonetheless. Li Ning lit it but you still have to see it. And now come the fireworks. We saw a rehearsal Sunday night: spectacular. Long show. Don't give up on it....

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 8, 2008; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Gymnast Flies

Former Chinese gymnast Li Ning, an Olympic gold medalist, is holding the torch and "flying" around the top of the bowl. Now he is "running." This is impossible to describe but pretty amazing. I am not sure if he's going...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 8, 2008; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Spoiler Alert: Final Torch Bearer

After three hours and 45 minutes, the Olympic flame entered the stadium carried by shooter Xu Haifeng, China's first Olympic gold medal winner. Xu passed the flame to Gao Min, a diving Olympic gold medalist for China. She ran about...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 8, 2008; 11:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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China Arrives!

Exactly three hours into the ceremony, a roar began to emerge from near the tunnel through which the athletes processed. With the appearance of the Chinese flag, and basketball superstar Yao Ming carrying it, the roar intensified, resounding inside the...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 8, 2008; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Meet New Asia

Everywhere, you hear it. Asia is young, terminally hip, utterly digital, educated in business, on the way to rich, casually multi-lingual, materialistic by default setting, transparently shallow yet fetchingly friendly, star-struck, fame-centric, in a desperate hurry, fascinated with America...

By Thomas Boswell  |  August 8, 2008; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Spoiler Alert: Cauldron Rumor

A source inside the Bird's Nest, sweat filling his shoes, informs us that there is a rumor floating around that a fire-breathing dragon will light the cauldron....

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 8, 2008; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Americans Enter

Well into a long, demonstration-free parade of nations, the United States emerged with a large part of their 600 strong participating. The U.S. team earned a solid roar that sounded at least partly positive. President Bush and the First Lady...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 8, 2008; 10:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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American Apparel

The Americans wore Navy blazers, white pants and white berets. Carmelo Anthony made that hat his own, wearing it at an intriguing angle....

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 8, 2008; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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By the Numbers

Artistic director Zhang Yimou used 14,000 performers, 9,000 from the nation's army, and an additional 600 to put on the fireworks displays. The elevated globe that produced the splendid final act weighed 16 tons. One hundred and ten minutes of...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 8, 2008; 9:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Torchbearers Named

Organizers just released the list of torchbearers, all former Chinese Olympians: Xu Haifeng (shooting), Gao Min (diving), Li Xiaoshuang (gymnastics), Zhan Xugang (weighlifting), Zhang Jun (badminton), Chen Zhong (taekwondo), Sun Jinfang (volleyball) and Li Ning (gymnastics). No word on who...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 8, 2008; 9:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Around the World in a Minutes

Don't miss the part in which the giant ball emerges from beneath the stage. It's covered with Chinese acrobats, arranged at nine equidistant lines of latitude, who circle the globe, walking, somersaulting, etc. Soon a depiction of the oceans and...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 8, 2008; 9:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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A Bird's Nest in the Bird's Nest

Amazing what you can do when you put dozens of tiny lights all over a thousand performers's full-body white suits, then turn them on and off strategically. You can make electric formations all over the stage, symbolizing the move from...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 8, 2008; 8:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Cool Scroll

Perhaps the best part of a long segment on Chinese writing and painting -- which began with the unraveling of a massive scroll on which Chinese dancers/acrobats applied the script with their movements -- was the finale. It came after...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 8, 2008; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Order of Nations, As Promised

Here it is, the order of entry for the parade of nations during tonight's Opening Ceremonies. Remember, the Chinese determined the order by the number of strokes in the first character of each country's name in Mandarin. For those of...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 8, 2008; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Stunning Start

I have no idea how this will be topped. The Ceremonies open with a beyond breathtaking "Fou Formation." What is a Fou Formation? There are 2,008 men on stage simultaneously playing the ancient percussion instrument--made of clay or bronze--known as...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 8, 2008; 8:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Opening Ceremonies About to Begin

We're just moments before the start of the Opening Ceremonies and Chinese President Hu Jintao and International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge are due any minute. Fans in this 91,000 seat venue are already chanting, waving flags and flashing hand-held...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 8, 2008; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Koreas Won't March Consecutively

A day after International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge announced that North and South Korea would march in the Opening Ceremonies consecutively--rather than together as in Athens in 2004 and Sydney in 2000--organizers announced another change. Instead of marching immediately...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 8, 2008; 5:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Davenport's Out, Too

Lindsay Davenport pulled out of the women's singles competition Friday afternoon, citing the same right knee injury that kept her out of Wimbledon. Davenport, the 1996 gold medalist, will compete in the doubles competition with partner Liezel Huber. Davenport, 32,...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 8, 2008; 2:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Gary Russell Out of Games

Bantamweight Gary Russell Jr. of Capitol Heights, one of the U.S. boxing team's top contenders for a medal, is out of the Olympics after collapsing Thursday night while trying to make weight. Russell weighed 121 pounds Thursday and was trying...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 8, 2008; 12:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Lomong Describes Horrific Journey Out of Sudan

U.S. flag bearer Lopez Lomong, an entrant in the 1,500 meters, jolted tears out of even the most cynical of journalists as he described his journey from war-torn Sudan to the United States. Tom Boswell's take will be online and...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 7, 2008; 10:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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USA Basketball Mum On Darfur

LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or any other member of Team USA will not use the Beijing Olympics as a platform to raise awareness to the crisis in Darfur. Back in May, James told ESPN that he would encourage his teammates...

By Michael Lee  |  August 7, 2008; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Don't Mess With Marcie

Smack-talking women's wrestlers at the Olympics? What, did someone sneak Vince McMahon and his rowdy WWE coterie in here on fake credentials? "I heard she wanted a rematch," said Marcie Van Dusen, the U.S. champ at 121 pounds, speaking of...

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 7, 2008; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Phelps: Off Comes the 'Fu'

Michael Phelps is still sporting the, um, rather interesting facial hair that he had when he arrived here in Beijing. He is, however, vowing to lose it shortly. "It's probably going away today or tomorrow," he said Thursday afternoon at...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 7, 2008; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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The Father and the Son

Together they have 13 Olympics as fencers, referees and coaches, and U.S. Olympic fencing team captain Jeff Bukantz wondered aloud on Thursday if this had to be some kind of record. Chances are such things are not kept. But it...

By Les Carpenter  |  August 7, 2008; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Fifty-five Seconds to Make the Team -- Again

Emily Silver made her first Olympic team by finishing fifth in the 100-meter freestyle during trials last month in Omaha. The process would have seemed to be simple and joyous. The top six finishers in the race qualify to swim...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 7, 2008; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Fencer in the Rye

Kelley Hurley, the women's epee on the U.S. fencing team, was sitting on a chair by herself at a news conference when she was asked how she happened to get into this sport. She laughed and said "everybody has a...

By Les Carpenter  |  August 7, 2008; 10:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Karolyi Advocates Lifting Age-Minimum for Gymnasts

Martha Karolyi, the Romanian-born coach who has been instrumental in developing some of the world's top female gymnasts over the past three decades, said Thursday that the only solution to countries skirting age restrictions for Olympic gymnasts is to...

By Liz Clarke  |  August 7, 2008; 10:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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The Boy, His Uncle, And His Grandpa

You likely won't find a greater age disparity on a U.S. Olympic team than archery. The three male members range between 55-year-old Butch Johnson and 19-year-old teammate Brady Ellison. "Then you have me in the middle," said 32-year-old Vic Wunderle....

By Michael Lee  |  August 7, 2008; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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So, This Is Why They're Dropping Baseball

There's a baseball in the air somewhere out there, although it's difficult to see in the smog that's sitting over Wukesong Baseball Field on the outskirts of Beijing, at around 6:30 p.m. And there's a Chinese player settling under the...

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 7, 2008; 9:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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From the Dugout to... the Dugout

Davey Johnson isn't interested in managing in the major leagues again. No way. Been there, done that. Got fired four times. Doesn't need the aggravation again. But what if some MLB team called to ask about his availability? Well, the...

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 7, 2008; 9:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Brush Off Your Mandarin

This is a new one: The marching order of the 205 nations (officially, National Olympic Committees; in Oly-speak, NOCs) will be determined by the number of Chinese strokes in the first syllable of each country name as written in Mandarin....

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 7, 2008; 8:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Federer, Nadal On Course

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are seeded 1-2 in the men's singles tennis draw announced Thursday. Federer will play Dmitry Tursunov of Russia in the first round; Nadal, who will replace Federer atop the rankings after the Olympics, faces Potito...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 7, 2008; 7:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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U.S. Men Win Soccer Opener

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 7, 2008; 7:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Morgan Hamm is Out

Morgan Hamm, who with his twin brother Paul propelled the U.S. men's team to a silver medal four years ago in Athens, has withdrawn from the Games because of an ankle injury. Paul Hamm dropped out of the Olympics on...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 7, 2008; 7:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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South and North Korea Will March Separately

Unlike at the 2000 and 2004 Summer Games, South and North Korea will not march together in the Opening Ceremonies, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said. The two nations's political leaders refused to approve such an arrangement, Rogge said....

By Amy Shipley  |  August 7, 2008; 6:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opening Ceremonies  
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Athletes Risk Positive Tests for Eight Years

All blood and urine samples taken from athletes at these Games will be stored for eight years, giving anti-doping authorities a chance to re-examine samples as new tests are developed, World Anti-Doping Agency and Olympic officials said. "There is a...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 7, 2008; 5:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Doping  
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Memmel Gets Limited Work in Gymnastics Training

Chellsie Memmel was an interested bystander, for the most part, when the U.S. women's gymnastics team held its 90-minute training session Thursday at Beijing's National Indoor Stadium, where the women's gymnastics competition gets under way Sunday. Memmel, who injured...

By Liz Clarke  |  August 7, 2008; 4:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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U.S. Women Lose Soccer Opener

A bad start for the U.S. women, widely considered a serious contender for gold despite a few key injuries (most notably star striker Abby Wambach). Since the top two teams in each group plus two third-place teams make the quarters,...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  August 6, 2008; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Lomong to Carry U.S. Flag

U.S. track star Lopez Lomong, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, has been selected to carry the flag for his adopted country in Friday's Opening Ceremonies. Team captains voted on the honor Wednesday night, with Lomong, 23, winning the...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 6, 2008; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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USOC Supplies Tents to Chinese Earthquake Victims

U.S. Olympic Committee officials received calls this summer from athletes and coaches requesting that the organization take action to help the earthquake-ravaged Sichuan province in China, USOC Chairman Peter Ueberroth said Wednesday. After speaking with Olympic officials in China, the...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 6, 2008; 7:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Bhavsar Settles In as Full-Fledged Olympian

Raj Bhavsar admitted it wasn't easy to continue training with the same intensity after being named an alternate to his second consecutive U.S. Olympic team in July. Bhavsar, 27, had been an alternate before, traveling to Athens in 2004...

By Liz Clarke  |  August 6, 2008; 6:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Torres and The Relay

Dara Torres won both the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle races at U.S. Olympic trials, immediately defining herself - at age 41, heading into her fifth Olympics - as one of the stories of the Beijing Games. Now that she's here,...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 6, 2008; 5:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Shanteau and Hansen: Tied Together

Eric Shanteau qualified for his first Olympics by finishing second in the 200-meter breaststroke at last month's U.S. trials. At the time, the most interesting aspect of that race was the failure of favorite Brendan Hansen, a former world record...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 6, 2008; 5:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Darfur Activist Barred From Traveling to Beijing

The Chinese embassy on Tuesday revoked the visa of 2006 Olympic gold medalist Joey Cheek, effectively barring the speedskating champion from attending the 2008 Beijing Games, according to a statement issued on Cheek's behalf. Cheek is co-founder of Team Darfur,...

By Liz Clarke  |  August 5, 2008; 8:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Politics  
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Who Cares For Short Shorts?

The U.S. Men's Olympic Volleyball team brought some attention to itself earlier this summer with a funny video about its desire for longer shorts. FIVB requires players to have their shorts at least four inches above the knee, which didn't...

By Michael Lee  |  August 5, 2008; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Boxers Meet Great Wall

Last Thursday the members of the U.S. Boxing team woke up to the news that the day's training site had been trained. Instead of working out at the gym at Beijing Normal University, they would instead run the Great Wall...

By Les Carpenter  |  August 5, 2008; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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No, Not That David Lee

One of the funnier storylines from the 1999 cult-classic "Office Space" was the character Michael Bolton, a computer programmer who had to constantly answer questions about sharing the same name as the brutally bluesy singer. During a hilarious exchange in...

By Michael Lee  |  August 5, 2008; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Heavy Medal to Undergo Light Tuneup

A quick FYI from washingtonpost.com management: This blog, and all blogs on the site, will undergo an upgrade from noon ET Tuesday till about 3 pm ET Wednesday. You may see a limited number of posts on this blog in...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  August 5, 2008; 8:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Choose Your American Flag Bearer

So one question that will be answered in the next day will be one that will resonate with viewers of Friday's Opening Ceremonies. That is: Who will carry the flag and lead the U.S. team into National Stadium (a.k.a. "The...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 5, 2008; 5:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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U.S. Team Treated to Impressive Digs

Most Olympians struggle to manage tight training schedules at odd hours in workout venues swarmed by athletes from other nations. Not the U.S. Olympic team. The U.S. Olympic Committee spent some $2 million to virtually replicate the its national training...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 4, 2008; 9:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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New Volleyball Debuts in Beijing

It looks a bit like a basketball with the dimples of a golf ball: Meet the new volleyball being debuted in international competition at these Games. It has just eight panels instead of the usual 16. Officials say the ball...

By Amy Shipley  |  August 4, 2008; 8:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Byers Missing Waffle House

BEIJING - Dremiel Byers is such a regular at Waffle Houses in Colorado Springs, Colo., that he doesn't even need to place his order anymore. Byers just backs up his big truck and the cook starts putting his favorites on...

By Michael Lee  |  August 4, 2008; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Second Star Goes Down

Hanna Ljungberg will miss the Games because of a hamstring injury, the second women's soccer star to be forced out by injury. Midfielder Johanna Almgren will replace Ljungberg when the Swedes open play against China on Wednesday. American forward Abby...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 4, 2008; 9:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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U.S. Swimmers: From Singapore to Beijing

The U.S. swimming team arrived in Beijing today after completing a week-long training camp in, of all places, Singapore. That camp followed a grueling training session in Palo Alto, Calif., one that lasted from July 8 through July 25, when...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 4, 2008; 9:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Radcliffe Says Yes

Paula Radcliffe told the AP Monday that she'll run the Aug. 17 marathon "unless my leg break down." The British world record holder is training with her team in Macau, trying to overcome a stress fracture in her left thigh....

By Jon DeNunzio  |  August 4, 2008; 9:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Memmel Update

U.S. gymnast Chellsie Memmel was able to train with the team Monday, and officials expect she'll be fit by Sunday, when the women's competition gets under way, despite the ankle injury she suffered during training last weekend. Memmel, the...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  August 4, 2008; 8:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Byers Moving Into Spotlight

BEIJING - U.S. Greco-Roman super heavyweight Dremiel Byers finally has his opportunity for Olympic glory after spending most of his career in the shadow of close friend, rival and American amateur wrestling star Rulon Gardner. Gardner, an Olympic medallist in...

By Michael Lee  |  August 4, 2008; 7:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Twittering From Beijing

Our coverage of the Olympics is really ramping up this week, and one way you can follow it is via If you haven't used it before, here's how Twitter describes itself: Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co-workers...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  August 4, 2008; 12:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Memmel Injured, Not Out

Gymnast Chellsie Memmel injured her ankle in training but is expected to be able to compete when the women's competition begins next Sunday, according to a news release from USA Gymnastics. "USA Gymnastics is monitoring Chellsie on a daily basis,"...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  August 3, 2008; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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