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January 09, 2002|Larry Stewart

A consumer's guide to sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

What: "Bud Greenspan's Favorite Stories of Winter Olympic Glory"

Where: Showtime, Monday, 10 p.m.

Bud Greenspan knows a few things about Olympic stories. The award-winning sports historian has written, produced and directed eight official Olympic films. The Salt Lake City Olympics will mark his ninth, and the fourth he has done about the Winter Games.

This 90-minute documentary consists of seven Winter Olympic stories that Greenspan rates as his favorites.

The first segment is on Katarina Witt. No surprise here. Witt, who won gold medals in figure skating at the 1984 and '88 Winter games, is the favorite of many. Greenspan focuses on Witt's battle with Debi Thomas at the '88 Calgary Games, with Witt and Thomas taking a look back.

The other segments are mostly lesser-known stories. One focuses on ski jumpers Espen Bredesen of Norway and Jens Weissflog of Germany.

Another is about Australian speedskater Colin Coates, who competed in the 1968 Grenoble Games and made Australian Olympic history by finishing sixth in the 10,000 meters at the 1976 Innsbruck Games. At 41, he also competed in the 1988 Calgary Games, although he wasn't supposed to.

Australian officials named him coach-manager of the speedskating team and agreed to let him put his name on the roster as a potential participant only so Coates could mingle on the ice with team members. Australian officials were shocked to see him competing in the 10,000.

There's a segment on American bobsledder Billy Fiske, who was killed as a fighter pilot for the British Royal Air Force during World War II. There's also a segment that focuses on the 40-kilometer cross-country skiing relay at Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994.

The other segments are on U.S. speedskater Jack Shea, and the British ice dancing team of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

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