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Introducing ... 'Press Center'

Greetings, and welcome to the first installment of what should be a daily post on Heavy Medal for the duration of the Olympics. In Press Center, we'll aim to give you a morning roundup of how other news organizations are covering the Beijing Games (focusing on English-speaking media for the most part, for obvious reasons).

The best (non-Post) thing I stumbled upon so far this morning is the Boston Globe's "Vanishing Act" package. It seems the Chinese have built an eight-foot wall a few feet in front of rundown storefronts in Beijing's Xuanwu district.

Here's a video (I tried to embed it, but the player does not seem to agree with our blog platform), and the Globe's Olympics Blog has a bunch of photos, too.

Here are a few BBC items of note -- posted as I try not to get too aggravated that we in the U.S. are not allowed to watch a lot of the video on this site (all competition videos have this message attached: "Cannot play media. Sorry, this media is not available in your territory.").

- Athletes from Georgia, Russia plea for peace on shooting medal stand. Russia's Natalia Paderina took the silver and Nino Salukvadze of Georgia the bronze in the women's 10m air pistol event; they are former Soviet Union teammates.

- A cool interactive map of the venues. What really caught my attention was the way they map BBC reporters' locations and their Twitter posts. Tom Fordyce reporting "It's going bananas at the archery final between China and South Korea," for instance.

We have a couple Twitter feeds, too (the Olympic reporting crew and blogger Dan Steinberg), but sadly, no geo-tracking yet.

- Live, All-Sport Text Commentary. Those of us who follow soccer on BBC.com are familiar with the concept -- a constantly refreshing feed of short, time-stamped news/analysis/snark. For instance:

1223: Michael Phelps has been beaten! But only in the men's 200m freestyle heats. Still, that's something for Switzerland's Dominik Meichtry to tell the grandchildren. Ross Davenport is sixth and will qualify for the semis, fellow Brit Robbie Renwick just misses out.

Also, in the cool graphics department, see USAToday.com's interactive Phelps tracker, comparing the swimming stud's performances with the guy he's chasing, Mark Spitz.

- The Wall Street Journal's China Blog includes updates from Olympians. Early this morning, they posted an item from U.S. rower Chris Liwski, who explains why he skipped the Opening Ceremonies and his concerns about the "ubiquitous haze."

This can be a community effort, btw -- if you see something we should share here, post it in the comments or email me.

- Jon

By Jon DeNunzio  |  August 10, 2008; 8:09 AM ET
Categories:  Press Center  
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