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THE INSIDE TRACK | PAGE TWO

2008? Southland to Seek an Earlier Alternative

May 01, 1997|RANDY HARVEY

Los Angeles made it official Wednesday that it's not bidding for the 2008 Summer Olympics. That's OK. Been there, done that. Twice.

"We're not making a bid for 2008 because we think it's a dead loser," said John Argue, president of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games.

U.S. cities believing otherwise are either naive, foolish or both--cities such as Baltimore, Cincinnati, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington that indicated they would send $100,000 nonrefundable checks to the U.S. Olympic Committee by today's deadline.

Argue, however, did send a letter informing the USOC that Los Angeles will be a candidate for the Games in 2012, the next time the United States can reasonably expect consideration from the International Olympic Committee.

Meantime, others here are pursuing one of the few international sports festivals that has never come to Southern California.

Long Beach Gay Games 2002 Inc., in conjunction with the L.A. Sports & Entertainment Commission, has submitted an official bid that will be heard in November by the Federation of Gay Games.

Dallas, Montreal, Toronto and Sydney, Australia, are other candidates for a nine-day event that includes 20,000 athletes in 30 sports.

Organizers will provide more details in an upcoming news conference. They tried to recruit Greg Louganis as a spokesman, but he wasn't available. They are awaiting a response from Ellen DeGeneres.

*

Bill Shoemaker, who rode in a record 26 Kentucky Derbies, favors Santa Anita Derby runner-up Silver Charm in Saturday's race at Churchill Downs. . . .

Silver Charm's trainer, Bob Baffert, doesn't appear to feel any pressure. Filling out an information form at a Louisville hair salon this week, he listed his occupation as "porn star." . . .

Baffert got a laugh when the hairdresser, trying to make casual conversation, asked him about his favorite roles. . . .

Pulpit was not amused. . . .

Word around local basketball gyms is that Dominguez High point guard Kenny Brunner is bothered about the allegations of point shaving at Fresno State and wants out of his letter of intent. . . .

All the hype about the recruiting of Baron Davis and Schea Cotton brought back memories for Jamaal Wilkes. . . ..

He was visiting Stanford with Bill Walton and Greg Lee when their host excused himself. "OK, let's cut to it," Lee said. "Where are we going to school?" Before the host returned five minutes later, they had decided on UCLA. . . .

Stanford struck back this year, with twins Jason and Jarron Collins and Chelsea Clinton. . . .

With offices in Beverly Hills under the name "JumpBall," Wilkes operates year-around youth basketball clinics in West L.A. and Canoga Park and plans to open others in Orange and Riverside counties. Cost: $135. . . .

Reinforcing Sports Illustrated's selection of UCLA as America's No. 1 jock school, the Bruins recently won the NCAA women's gymnastics championship and are ranked first in the nation in men's tennis and women's water polo, second in women's track, third in men's volleyball, men's track and women's tennis and fourth in baseball and softball. . . .

Once a marquee event in Southern California, the USC-UCLA dual track and field meet scheduled for Saturday is now small enough to fit into the Trojans' Cromwell Field. But it's as competitive as ever. In 43 men's and women's events, 28 Pacific 10 leaders will be represented. . . .

One of the best contests should be the women's high jump, in which USC freshman Emelie Fardigh of Sweden hopes to challenge UCLA senior Amy Acuff. . . .

The distant relative of country and western singer Roy Acuff believes she eventually will clear 7 feet. . . .

Byron Scott's wife, Anita, represented the Lakers at the WNBA Sparks' draft this week. Their 8-year-old daughter, Londen, looks like a future selection. . . .

Before the Sparks hired Linda Sharp, she had a chance to return as the women's coach at USC. . . .

The Trojans also contacted Cheryl Miller, but she's committed to the Phoenix WNBA franchise. . . .

Jimmy Connors, playing in the Coopers & Lybrand over-35 tournament today through Sunday at Riviera, says tennis' senior tour is more legit than golf's because: "We're not 50 and we can't ride around the playing surface in a cart."

*

While wondering if you really thought you could escape "Ellen" by reading the sports section, I was thinking: Larry Bird can go home again, Larry Brown could too if he remembered where it was, Captain Bodgit will win the Kentucky Derby.

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