Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thursday's Hot Links...

Here's some of the hot links for Thursday, one day before the start of the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics in Beijing, scheduled to start at 8:08 pm, local time in the Chinese capital:

*Two stories in the Seattle Times on Bernard Lagat and Brad Walker in their Olympic preview section; the story on Lagat, written by columnist Steve Kelley, is titled, Former WSU runner Bernard Lagat has the "whole package"; the Walker story, written by Meri-Jo Borzilleri, is titled, A steady competitor in fickle pole vault;

*Columnist Phil Hersh of the Chicago Tribune writes his take on Olympic speedskating champion Joey Cheek, who suddenly had his visa permit to enter China revoked (he's president of the Team Darfur athlete's coalition), along with four US Olympic team cyclists who were thrown under the bus by the US Olympic Committee for wearing USOC-issued masks in the Beijing airport (we presume Cheek and the four cyclists were made to breathe the toxic fumes of the buses by the USOC in order to get China's political support for the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid);

*The New York Times has a whole section of articles on Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang, including one written by Jere Longman on Liu's low profile in the aftermath of his US tour in late May and early June;

*Finally, a story from the Los Angeles Times' Helene Elliott on Lopez Lomong, the third place finisher in the Olympic Trials 1500 meters, who will carry the flag into the National Stadium for the Opening Ceremonies Friday night.

Elliott also writes, "The USOC willingly sold out Cheek, its SportsMan of the Year for 2006, to minimize the potential for political protest and allow its Chinese hosts to save face. He was a "private citizen," said Jim Scherr, USOC chief executive, so he would just have to fend for himself.

And it's not the least bit cynical to think that in return, the U.S. might expect China's backing of Chicago's bid to play host to the 2016 Summer Games."

Before we forget, the Seattle Times has a preview section featuring bios on all 45 Washington-affiliated Olympians, which you can access here...

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