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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS

Viewer's Guide

July 29, 1996|LARRY STEWART

The media sometimes just don't know when to back off.

Immediately after the pipe-bomb explosion at Centennial Park, a Channel 4 cameraman shoved his camera, with lights blaring, into the face of an injured young woman lying on the ground. The woman raised her head and motioned for the cameraman to go away.

In that case, the cameraman might be excused. He had also felt the blast, and in his shaken state might not have been thinking clearly.

But what was NBC's Cris Collinsworth's thinking after the first of the women's 400-meter qualifying heats Sunday morning?

American Sandra Farmer-Patrick, after fighting to a second-place finish on a painfully injured leg, was exhausted and in tears. That didn't stop Collinsworth from approaching her and asking, "Why are you in tears."

Farmer-Patrick was as gracious as she could be, certainly more gracious than Collinsworth, who should have told his producer that the interview would have to wait.

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