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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Hillary Missed Chance to Dance With a Penguin

September 20, 1998|LISA DILLMAN

Jaromir Jagr's night at the White House state dinner for Czech President Vaclav Havel on Wednesday almost included a noteworthy dance.

The Pittsburgh Penguin star spotted First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and was going to ask her to dance.

"Hillary was dancing like nobody else," said Jagr, upon returning to training camp. "I walked over halfway, but I changed my mind at the last minute."

Nevertheless, he had a good time at the dinner.

"They were dancing rock and roll," he said. "I never saw anything like it. It was so funny when I saw our president [Havel] dancing to disco."

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Trivia time: What year did Canada win its last Olympic gold medal in men's hockey?

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Ticket to ride: A Sammy Sosa fan in New York who paid homage to the Chicago Cub star by writing Sosa's name and home run total on three of his car's windows was given a traffic ticket for having an obstructed view.

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Andre's list: The Czech Indoor tennis tournament was prepared to pull out all the stops to secure Andre Agassi for its event in October.

Let us count the ways.

"He has asked for a presidential apartment and two other luxury apartments in the best hotel in town, private pool and gym," tournament director Petr Kovarcik told the Czech daily Pravo. "We'll probably rent a villa with a pool and a gym for him."

That wasn't all. Agassi also wanted to watch American TV channels, so the organizers solved that problem too. "We'll buy him a satellite receiver," Kovarcik said.

Because Agassi will fly to Ostrava on a private plane, the entire cost of his stay will probably be more than the $200,000 he receives in appearance money, according to the tournament officials.

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Team Williams: Serena Williams loved playing mixed doubles with Luis Lobo of Argentina at the French Open and declared she was going to stay with him forever after they lost in the final.

She then played with Max Mirnyi of Belarus--winning Wimbledon--and stayed with him at the U.S. Open, despite having said she wanted to play with an American. Williams and Mirnyi won the U.S. Open.

What happened to now-forgotten Lobo?

"Oh, he was a great partner," Williams said. "I really loved Luis. He didn't come to Wimbledon. I had to find a new partner. It's been fait accompli ever since."

It was suggested that Lobo and Mirnyi duel for the right to play with Serena.

"Maybe you guys can have a wrestling battle," she said. "I'll be the referee."

Mirnyi was impressed. "Sure," he said.

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Breaking the ice: Goaltender Rachel Barrie, 15, is going to be the first female to play in the Ontario Central Junior A Hockey League.

Barrie, who will play for the Smiths Falls Bears, is not overwhelmed by her accomplishment.

"I really didn't think of it as that [significant], I just think of it as signing a card and making the team," she said.

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Trivia answer: 1952.

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And finally: Jocelyn Rafter, on her son Patrick's U.S. Open victory: "I just couldn't watch that last set, I was so nervous. I had to go fold some washing."

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