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SYDNEY 2000 / SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES | SPOTLIGHT / THE
SHORT AND SWEET SIDE OF THE GAMES

Good Thing Rodman Isn't Playing

September 15, 2000|RANDY HARVEY

Announcement during the opening ceremony: "Please be upstanding for the Australian national anthem."

As opposed, we suppose, to downstanding.

AS ALWAYS, SEVEN IS FIRST, FOLLOWED BY NINE AND 10

The Sydney Morning Herald's critic, Tony Davis, wasn't too impressed with today's offerings from four of the five major over-the-air networks available here:

ABC: "Not a lot."

SBS: "Very little."

Nine: "Not much."

Ten: "Just about nothing."

Davis, however, was more complimentary of Seven, the official Olympic network here, which was televising the opening ceremony.

YOU DON'T WANT TO BE THE BUTT OF JOKES

As a public service, the same newspaper warned opening ceremony spectators about performing the wave, or, as it's called here, the Mexican wave, which ignores the fact that it originated at the University of Washington.

" . . . just remember," the newspaper cautioned, "when you stand up to wave, your seat will flip up behind you.

"You won't hear it, and you'll flop down on the upturned edge, causing discomfort to tender areas."

FINALLY, A PLACE DARRYL STRAWBERRY CAN DRIVE SAFELY

Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their Olympic transport system.

Shades of Atlanta, the local organizing committee (SOCOG) has been unable to move many athletes, officials and journalists to their destinations. The organizers hope to solve the problem by recruiting 100 soldiers from the Australian Defense Force to act as drivers.

SOCOG is so short of drivers after some quit--complaining that they have to wait up to three hours to get transportation back to their dormitories at the end of their shifts--that one who was fired this week after getting into an accident was recalled. Even bad drivers are too valuable to spare.

"We've had drivers get lost," U.S. Olympic Committee vice president Sandy Baldwin said.

"We've had athletes standing on street corners. This morning, the women's water polo players missed a scrimmage because their driver took them to the wrong university."

On Thursday, a Ukranian cyclist was knocked off her bike by a car as she rode back to the athletes village after training. The 24-year-old cyclist, who was not identified, was treated at a local hospital for a shoulder injury and released, a police spokeswoman said.

The transport problems were the focus of the first daily coordination meeting between SOCOG and the IOC.

ENDING SPOTLIGHT TIME WITH A NICE RHYME

Muhammad Ali, the final torchbearer in Atlanta, will not have such an important role in Sydney but, nevertheless, is here.

Asked at a news conference to reveal the secret of his greatness, he said, "Be cool, don't be a fool."

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