USA Wrestling With a circus like a...

With a circus like atmosphere and the world s athletes the 2003 Titan Games Rev Up 2004 Olympic Pre

By UL | Dec. 22, 2002, 12 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The 2003 Titan Games will take us back to a simpler time; a competition stripped of such glamour sports as swimming, basketball and gymnastics, and focused on combative sports steeped in Olympic history and teeming with intriguing and flamboyant personalities. Add in a circus-like element of four simultaneous competitions plus the lure of the world's best, and what you have stuffed into the Event Center at San Jose State University is positively Titanesque. Played out over three days, Feb. 13-15, the Titan Games are Cupid's antithesis as there will be no love lost between combatants battling for over $80,000 in prize money and for the title of Ultimate Titan. The "Road To Athens" for America's elite boxers, fencers, shot putters, wrestlers, weightlifters and judo, taekwondo and karate athletes matches them up with the world's powers in each of these respective sports. It's a sporting mix sure to please any fan. Boxing, wrestling, weightlifting and forms of judo were all part of the original Olympic Games and the excitement and intensity generated by these sports carries with us today. U.S. boxers will re-acquaint themselves with their biggest rivals, the Cubans. Wrestling will showcase college legend Cael Sanderson and local hero Eric Guerrero, a former star at San Jose's Independence High School and three-time national champion at Oklahoma State. Weightlifting's Shane Hamman and Cheryl Haworth, both 2000 Olympians, will be hoisting massive amounts of weight. Judo will welcome the world's best to San Jose State, which has won 38 of the past 50 judo collegiate championships. Taekwondo and karate add to the martial arts spectacle that will be on display. With its grace, style and speed, fencing will command much attention, as will the top four shot putters in the world as they throw outdoors to the delight of San Jose State University students and others. The female titans of this event are sure to be a marquee attraction. Led by 2000 Olympic weightlifting bronze medalist Haworth, all but two (boxing and shot put) of the eight sports on display will have female competitors. Two women wrestlers will compete as well, and their Road to Athens is the sport's first as their event wasn't added to the Olympic program until after the 2000 Games in Sydney. The 2003 Titan Games gets started with the Night of Champions on Feb. 13 followed by USA vs. Mexico competitions in boxing, judo and karate. The Night of Champions is a VIP reception honoring Olympic champions in each of the respective Titan Games sports. In addition to the four-ring circus going on inside, sport clinics and demonstrations will be conducted throughout the event by the sports' stars and legends, along with local area bands performing before the competitions begin. With their rich combat sport history, USOC relationship and extensive Olympic alumni network, San Jose and the San Jose Sports Authority are perfect hosts for the inaugural Titan Games and provide the proper platform needed to launch USOC initiatives highlighting the "journey" of athletes to the Games and bringing Olympic-type extensions to the public. Furthermore, participants from Russia, Mexico, Cuba, China, Puerto Rico and Vietnam appeal to the Bay Area's ethnic diversity. Pre-sale tickets for The Titan Games will be available at www.ticketmaster.com and directly through the involved National Governing Bodies beginning December 23 - January 15, 2003. Olympic fans using their Visa card to purchase tickets will receive an additional $4 off the pre-sale ticket price. All ticket holders will also receive a free 2002 Olympic Winter Games beret. While the Titan Games may not include all the Olympic sports, they're without a doubt the most painful ones. Don't miss it!