Aug 06 Olympic Sports at midnight

Aug. 06, 2008, 11:51 a.m. (ET)

The supervisor is Mary Byrne. The supervisor can be reached at 011-86-10-666-27060.

OLY--China-Sanitized Beijing

BEIJING - It all began when my colleague Steve's favorite noodle lady was forced to close down. Soon after, the Popsicle lady was gone, followed by the scary fruit guy. The Beijing that visitors and television viewers see during the Olympics isn't my Beijing. It's unnaturally sanitized and stiffly coiffed, with much of its frenetic grittiness and earthy charm falling victim to zealous organizers who want to host a flawless event. By Anita Chang. AP Photos. AP Video. MOVED.

BC-OLY--China-Protests

BEIJING - Foreign activists unfurled pro-Tibet banners at a key Olympics venue Wednesday and spoke out against China's rights record in Tiananmen Square, in the first attempts to use the spotlight of the games to raise other issues. One athlete, U.S. swim star Amanda Beard, also made a public political gesture, on behalf of animal rights. All of the groups tangled with Chinese authorities, who are determined to make sure the communist government's plan for the Beijing Games to be an international showcase for the country goes off without a hitch. No arrests were reported despite the rare displays of dissent in the capital, where normally stringent controls over criticism of the government have been tightened even further for the 17-day Olympic competition. By Audra Ang. AP Photos. AP Video. MOVED.

- With:

- BEIJING - OLY--Olympic Torch. By Henry Sanderson. MOVED.

OLY--Inside the Rings

BEIJING - Some athletes have been through far more hardships than others to reach the Beijing Olympics. Iraqi sprinter Dana Hussein is one of them. A sniper took a potshot at her while she was training in Baghdad. She runs in donated spikes. And all the risks she takes were almost for nothing: a dispute nearly kept Iraq out of the games. By John Leicester. AP Photos. MOVED.

OLY--What To Watch

UNDATED - The Olympic flame will be lighted Friday in Beijing, marking the start of 16 days of competition involving thousands of athletes. With all the action, keeping track of what to watch for can be tough. This guide provides a brief summary of each major sport.

OLY--Happy Games

BEIJING - On the eve of their national coming out party, almost everyone in Beijing seemed to be practicing something. At the National Indoor Stadium, Chinese gymnasts tumbled and did flips, much to the delight of the 200 or so volunteers who sat together in the stands and cheered every move they made. In the square outside the iconic Bird's Nest stadium, hundreds of white-gloved Chinese soldiers practiced their own kind of sport, never missing a stride while marching stiffly in suffocating heat as their officers barked orders. And almost everywhere around the Olympic Green, it seemed, Chinese eager to show off their skills and their country were practicing their English. Luckily, no Olympic medals will be at stake in the foreign language competition, though golds could be given out for effort. And, truthfully, the English was often better than the few snippets of Mandarin that a few Western visitors dared to practice themselves. More important to the Chinese, perhaps, it almost always came with a smile, even when the message wasn't anything to smile about. By Sports Columnist Tim Dahlberg. MOVED.

BC-OLY--CYC-Cyclists-Masks

BEIJING - A group of American cyclists has apologized to Beijing Olympic organizers after arriving in China's capital wearing face masks. Michael Friedman, Sarah Hammer, Bobby Lea and Jennie Reed released a statement Wednesday, a day after they caused a stir by showing up in the protective gear. By Noah Trister. MOVED.

BC-OLY--SWM-Phelps Settles In

BEIJING - Like a kid hanging out in his college dorm, Michael Phelps is having a blast at the Olympic village - watching movies, playing spades with his roommates, goofing around whenever possible. He's even sporting a fu manchu mustache. Come Saturday, it will be time to get down to business. By Jaime Aron. AP Video. AP Photos. MOVED.

- With:

- BEIJING - OLY--SWM-Torres-Coach. MOVED.

BC-OLY--US-Hispanic Shortage

BEIJING - Hispanics have rapidly emerged as the largest minority group in the United States, comprising 15 percent of the population, but on the U.S. Olympic team assembling in China they are - for a range of reasons - strikingly underrepresented. By National Writer David Crary. AP Photos. MOVED.

OLY--Olympic Laggard.

BEIJING - It has more than a billion people, a population wild about sports and a tradition of athletics that stretches back for centuries. So how is India looking toward the Beijing Olympics? ``With a great deal of dismay, I have to say,'' says one prominent sportswriter. When it comes to the Olympics, India has long been a laggard. Last time around, in the Athens Olympics, it earned just one medal - a silver in shooting - and it has been decades since an Indian took home a gold. The economy is booming and the business of sports is growing, but India just can't seem to keep pace. By Tim Sullivan. AP Photos. MOVED.

OLY--SOC-CAS-Player Release

BEIJING - Three European soccer clubs Wednesday won their appeal to keep their players out of the Olympic soccer tournament. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Lionel Messi of Argentina and Diego and Rafinha, both of Brazil, can be withheld from the Beijing Games. Soccer's governing body previously ruled players must be released for the Olympics because they are under 23. By Steve Wade. AP Photos. MOVED.

OLY--GYM-Not So Perfect

BEIJING - Turns out, the perfect 10 wasn't so perfect. At least not in the minds of international gymnastics officials. Four years after a series of scoring errors marred the competition at the Athens Olympics, fans who tune into gymnastics once every four years are in for a big shock Saturday. The perfect 10 is passe. Fifteens, 16s - maybe even a, gasp! 17 - are all the rage. By National Writer Nancy Armour. AP Photos. MOVED.

OLY--SOC-US-Norway

QINHUANGDAO, China - The United States women's soccer team opened its Olympic title defense against fellow medal contender Norway, losing 2-0. Norway dominated from the opening whistle, getting both goals in the first four minutes. By Ryan Lucas. AP Photos. MOVED.

- With:

- TIANJIN, China - OLY--SOC-Argentina-Canada. MOVED.

- TIANJIN, China - OLY--SOC-China-Sweden. MOVED.

- SHENYANG, China - OLY--SOC-Germany-Brazil. MOVED.

- SHENYANG, China - OLY--SOC-North Korea-Nigeria. MOVED.

- QINHUANGHO, China - OLY--SOC-Japan-New Zealand. MOVED.

- ALSO:

- BEIJING - OLY--VOL-Brazil-Juliana. By Jimmy Golen. MOVED.

- BEIJING - OLY--US Flagbearer. By National Writer Eddie Pells. MOVED.

- BEIJING - OLY--CYC-Cyclists-Masks. MOVED.

- BEIJING - OLY--GYM-Paul Hamm's Message. MOVED.

- BEIJING - OLY--TEN-Men's Draw-Changes. MOVED.

- BEIJING - OLY--BKO-US Arrives. MOVED.

- NEW DELHI - OLY--WEI-India-Doping. By Sandeep Nakai. MOVED.

- BEIJING - OLY--FHK-Azerbaijan Appeal. MOVED.

- BEIJING - OLY--Cheek-Visa. By National Writer Eddie Pells. MOVED.

- BEIJING - OLY--SWM-Bare Beard. MOVED.

- ROME - OLY--Italy-Olympic Row. MOVED.

SUMMER GAMES PLUS:

The content listed below is available to Summer Games Plus subscribers. Summer Games Plus is a comprehensive service for the 2008 Olympics by AP and STATS LLC that includes text, photo, video, and multimedia coverage of events leading up to and during the Beijing Games. To subscribe, please contact your local bureau chief or the radio and television sales executive in your region or STATS LLC at salesstats.com.

For editorial questions, call AP Sports at 011-86-10-666-27060. For technical and service questions, call AP Customer Support at 877-836-9477 or e-mail apcustomersupportap.org. Hosted and commercial clients should contact their respective account manager at STATS.

OLY--ATH-Crawford Moves On

DALIAN, China - They are no longer coach and student, but they will always be friends. It's simply the way Shawn Crawford has to have it, even if the friend in question is one of the most troubled, divisive and disliked characters in track and field - Trevor Graham. By National Writer Eddie Pells. MOVED.

OLY--JUD-Riner on the Rise

BEIJING - Teddy Riner has taken a liking to Beijing, where people have started calling him ``The Great Wall.'' The French media are building him up as their country's greatest athlete since football's Zinedine Zidane. And he's only 19. Riner stands 6-foot-8, 285 pounds, towering over most of his opponents. ``Everything is perfect,'' he says of Beijing. ``The food, the atmosphere. I am completely ready.'' By Eric Talmadge. MOVED.

OLY--ARC-International Archer

BEIJING - Khatuna Lorig's Olympic career began in 1992, when she won a bronze medal in archery for the Unified Team of the former Soviet Union. Sixteen years later, Lorig is preparing for her fourth Olympics - with her third different country. She competed for Georgia in 1996 and 2000 and is now a member of the U.S. team. By Noah Trister. MOVED.

OLY--GYM-The Remaining Hamm

BEIJING - With so many questions about Paul Hamm filling a news conference Wednesday, it could make someone wonder which of the twins actually is competing in the Olympics. For the record, it's Morgan. And no, Paul isn't in Beijing - at least not yet. By Barry Wilner. MOVED.

AP Photos.

OLY--BOX-Fighting Chances

UNDATED - A decade ago, top boxing promoters like Bob Arum and Don King joined dozens of aspiring managers and trainers at every Olympic games, where they fought to sign the best fighters on the perennially star-studded U.S. teams to pro contracts after medals were hung around their necks. These days, Arum and King stay home when the American amateurs and their top international counterparts step into a spotlight that has shrunk along with Olympic boxing's prestige and usefulness for a pro. ``Unless you can win a gold medal, it's probably not worth it to go through all the nonsense of the Olympics,'' Arum says. By Greg Beacham. AP Photos. MOVED.

BC-OLY-BBI--Knight's Renaissance

NEW ORLEANS - Half a decade had passed since Brandon Knight got his last sniff of the major leagues. He had pitched three years in Japan, the last of which was, in his words, ``a train wreck.'' Then an offer to pitch in Mexico fell through. He was 31. He had a little boy at home in Ventura County, Calif., and an offer to coach at the local college where he once played. There was only one place he could go if he wanted to keep pitching professionally - an independent minor league team in New Jersey, for $2,300 a month, and only because the pitching coach, Brett Jodie, was an old teammate and friend. Time to hang it up, right? Nope. Knight, now 32 and with two young sons, made his first major league start for the New York Mets on July 26 and is heading to China with the U.S. Olympic team. By Brett Martel. AP Photos. MOVED.

BC-OLY--EQU-Tryon-Pack Horse

SEATTLE - The horse Amy Tryon will ride at the Olympics in the graceful, precise sport of equestrian isn't Best in Show. More like Best in Tow. Poggio II was a pack horse. The 16-year-old bay gelding and Tryon are representing the United States in their second consecutive Summer Games next month. A decade ago, while most of his competitors were being groomed for blue ribbons or thoroughbred racing, Poggio was lugging camping gear and other equipment up and down the Cascade Mountains east of Seattle. Tryon and Poggio have been competing in England during weeks of Olympic tuneups before equestrian events begin Aug. 9 in Hong Kong. They compete in eventing, a three-day test combining dressage, show jumping and cross-country. By Gregg Bell. AP Photos. MOVED.

- Also:

- BEIJING - OLY--IOC Notebook. By Stephen Wilson. MOVED.

- BEIJING - OLY--Olympic Notebook. MOVED.

- TAICHUNG, Taiwan - OLY--Taiwan-Field of Dreams. By Peter Enav. MOVED.

- SHENYANG, China - OLY--SOC-Brazil-Dunga. By Tales Azzoni. MOVED.

- DALIAN, China - OLY--ATH-Track Camp.

- BEIJING - OLY--GYM-Brazil-Hypolito. MOVED.

- BEIJING - OLY--GYM-Shewfelt's Recovery. MOVED.

MULTIMEDIA AND VIDEO

NBC VIDEO

As part of its coverage of the 2008 Olympics, the AP is offering links to NBC video coverage of the games within stories and via STATS Hosted Solution. The NBC video will be available from July 31 to Aug. 26. For information on how to access or implement these videos, please contact AP Customer Support at (877) 836-9477 or apcustomersupportap.org. Hosted and commercial clients should contact their respective account manager at STATS.

AP VIDEO

For editorial questions, call AP Video at 202-641-9800. For technical and service questions, call AP Customer Support at 877-836-9477 or e-mail apcustomersupportap.org. Hosted and commercial clients should contact their respective account manager at STATS.

BASKETBALL - NEW: A mob of Chinese and American fans greeted the United States men's and women's basketball teams when they arrived in Beijing Wednesday. Filename: 0806dv-basketball-plus.

GYMNASTICS - NEW: The United States men's gymnastics team is still hoping to be competitive despite the loss of defending gold medalist Paul Hamm. Filename: 0806dv-oly-gymnastics-plus.

MICHAEL PHELPS - NEW: Swimmer Michael Phelps spoke with the media on Wednesday and talked about making mistakes since Athens and about growing a mustache ahead of the Beijing games. Filename: 0806dv-oly-phelps-fp.

CHICAGO MAYOR IN BEIJING - NEW: Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley toured Beijing's subway system on Wednesday. He is in China to lobby for Chicago to host the 2016 summer Olympics. Filename: 0806dv-oly-chicago2016-plus.

TIBET PROTEST - NEW: Four Tibet activists have been detained after unfurling two banners outside the national stadium, where the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games will be held. Filename: 0806dv-oly-tibet.

FIRST PERSON The following first-person videos are available:

- NEW: American long distance runner Leonel Manzano: 0805dv-oly-manzano-fp. - NEW: U.S. Divers Ready For Action: 0805dv-oly-divers-fp. - NEW: Runner Dee Dee Trotter Aims for Gold: 0805dv-oly-trotter-fp. - NEW: U.S. Long Jumpers Aim High: 0805dv-oly-jumpers-fp. - NEW: Becky Hammon Switches Side: 0805dv-oly-hammon-fp. - Natalie Coughlin, swimmer: 0716dv-coughlin-fp. - Brendan Hansen, swimmer: 0716dv-hansen-fp. - Paul and Morgan Hamm, men's gymnastics (one file): 0716dv-hamms-fp. - Ryan Lochte, swimmer: 0716dv-lochte-fp. - Ian Crocker, swimmer: 0716dv-crocker-fp. - The Lopez family, Jean (coach), Mark, Steven and Diana, Taekwondo (one file, 3 Olympians and their coach): 0716dv-lopez-fp. - Katie Hoff, swimmer: 0716dv-hoff-fp. - Shawn Johnson, women's gymnastics: 0716dv-johnson-fp. - Michael Phelps, swimmer: 0716dv-phelps-fp. - Lisa Leslie, women's basketball: 0716dv-leslie-fp. - Melanie Roach, women's weightlifting: 0716dv-roach-fp. - Laura Wilkinson, women's diving: 0716dv-wilkinson-fp. - Crystl Bustos and Jennie Finch, USA Softball: 0716dv-softball-fp.

DWYANE WADE VIDEO DIARY - NBA star Dwyane Wade is teaming up with AP to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. men's Olympic basketball team. The Miami Heat guard is one of 12 basketball superstars selected to represent the U.S. at the Beijing Games in August. In his latest video, he and teammates say they're ready to win gold: 0728dvs-dwyane-wade.

PODCASTS

AP podcasts are available in mp3 format and through major podcast providers.

- NEW: AP Olympic Beat (Updated daily during the games). The AP's Jack Briggs hosts as U.S. field hockey and volleyball players discuss the pollution. Dave Lubeski and John Leicester of the AP talk about changes in Beijing over the years and government pressure on opposing voices. http://podcast.ap.org/podcasts/AP-Olympic-Beat.xml?SITE=AP&TYPE=podcast&NAME=Olympic-Beat

- NEW: The AP's Brian Horton hosts as Charles Hutzler, the AP's chief of bureau in China, talks about reactions to the upcoming Olympics from everyday citizens of Beijing. http://podcast.ap.org/podcasts/AP-China-Beat.xml?SITE=AP&TYPE=podcast&NAME=China-Beat

MULTIMEDIA

Summer Games Plus subscribers will find the multimedia referenced below at ftpnews.stats.com. Customers needing access to this FTP should contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupportap.org or 877-836-9477 or their STATS LLC account manager.

BOXING TWINS - NEW: An audio slideshow on Puerto Rican Olympic boxers. Filename: oly-box-twins.

MEASURING BEIJING'S AIR - UPDATED: An interactive on pollution in Beijing is updated DAILY throughout the Games. It includes pollution readings on the Olympic Green, taken by The Associated Press and updated daily; Historical data on air pollution in China and other key world cities; Pollution readings across China; An animated explainer on the different methods the Chinese have used to try to decrease air pollution. Filename: oly-fea-pollution.

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN OLYMPIAN - An audio slideshow on six U.S. Olympians explaining what being part of the team means to them. Filename: oly-fea-feelings.

WEEKLY CHINA GALLERY - UPDATED: A weekly gallery of images from China. Filename: chinaweekly.

NUTRITION - Take a peek inside the fridge of U.S. Olympic weightlifting team member Carissa Gump. Filename: oly-fridge.

OLYMPIC BODIES - Janet Schmidt and Jeff Sygmanin of the Kismayer Fitness Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center break down six body types that are ideal for Olympic athletes. Filename: oly-bodies.

POLLUTION - An interactive looking at measures in Beijing to reduce air pollution. Filename: oly-beijing-green.

TABLE TENNIS SCHOOL - An audio slideshow on a table tennis school for Chinese athletes. Filename: oly-ping-pong.

SOCCER ACADEMY - An audio slideshow on the Three Highs soccer academy in Beijing. Filename: oly-cost-of-gold.

VENUE TOUR - An interactive tour of Olympic venues. Filename: oly-08-venues.

TORCH RELAY - An interactive map tracking the international torch relay. Filename: oly-torch-int.

LONG ROAD TO BEIJING - An interactive on transporting equipment to the games. Filename: oly-longroad.

AIR QUALITY - An interactive on air quality in Beijing. Filename: oly-usoc-pollution.

PARALYMPIC SAILOR - An interactive with audio from Paralympic sailor John Ruf. Filename: oly-para-sailor.

SPORT EXPLAINERS The following interactive sport explainers are available: - Athletics: oly-trackandfield. - Basketball: oly-basketball. - Cycling: oly-cycling. - Equestrian: oly-equestrian. - Fencing: oly-fencing. - Gymnastics: oly-gymnastics. - Modern Pentathlon: oly-pentathlon. - Swimming: oly-swimming. - Diving: oly-diving. - Wrestling: oly-wrestling. - Judo: oly-judo. - Boxing: oly-boxing. - Taekwondo: oly-taekwondo. - Volleyball: oly-volleyball. - Triathlon: oly-triathlon. - Sailing: oly-sailing. - Kayak & Canoe: oly-paddling. - Racket sports: oly-racket-sports. - Water Polo: oly-waterpolo. - Soccer: oly-soccer. - Shooting: oly-shooting. - Handball: oly-handball. - Field Hockey: oly-field-hockey. - Baseball & softball: oly-baseball-softball.

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