September 27, 1998 |
The Italian doubles players were in sorry shape: Andrea Gaudenzi needed a shot of cortisone for his ailing shoulder before this Davis Cup tie to get through the pain. Diego Nargiso was in the hospital less than a month ago suffering from hypoglycemia. No matter. Team Fragile found a doubles pairing that helped put them back together again and into the Davis Cup final against Sweden. Italy took a 3-0 lead in this best-of-five-match semifinal against the United States on Saturday.
September 26, 1998 |
There were clues that Jan-Michael Gambill could turn petulant at the slightest bit of adversity and implode in a sea of unforced errors. It had happened against Carlos Moya at the U.S. Open earlier this month. But veteran Todd Martin was supposed to be the safe, predictable choice. Rarely has he come up so short on such an important occasion, missing the simplest of volleys and losing a tiebreaker without winning a point. The combination was devastating for the United States on Friday.
June 9, 1998 |
It's back to basics for Italy under Coach Cesare Maldini, who stepped in two years ago when Arrigo Sacchi left for Inter Milan after losing a friendly to Bosnia during the World Cup qualifying process. Maldini, who coached Italy's under-21 team to European championships in 1992, 1994 and 1996, got rid of the intricate defenses and notion to press from midfield that Sacchi had espoused.
February 20, 1998 |
In a race against history and constantly changing Japanese weather patterns, Italy's Deborah Compagnoni sloshed her away through the rain--yes, the rain--into the Olympic record book Friday when she won the women's giant slalom on Mt. Yigashidate. Compagnoni's victory with a two-run time of 2 minutes 50.59 made her the first Alpine skier to win gold medals in three consecutive Olympics.
February 17, 1998 |
It should be quite a show on snow--La Wrecka vs. La Bomba. Talk about a contrast of guile and style. Austria's Hermann Maier won the men's super-giant slalom in Hakuba three days after one of the most harrowing downhill crashes ever witnessed. Italy's Alberto Tomba, one of the best gate racers ever, doesn't ski in speed races because his mother thinks it's too dangerous.
July 19, 1996
Australian sprinter Dean Capobianco was cleared of steroid allegations by an Australian tribunal, but his status for the Games remained in doubt. Meanwhile, the case of Italian high jumper Antonella Bevilacqua, who tested positive for a banned stimulant, was referred to a meeting next week of the sport's world governing body. Officials said she probably will be disqualified.
August 4, 1995 |
Without even leaving his Rancho Cucamonga home, Mike Powell had his MacArthuresque vow upon learning that his world record in the long jump was broken last Saturday--"I will get it back"--virtually fulfilled.
April 12, 1995 |
It is April 12, 1995, the last Wednesday before Easter, and do you know where Alexi Lalas is? In a better world, or a smarter one, he would be here, banging in headers for the Los Angeles Itos or the San Jose Hooligans of the new, up and running MLS--Major League Soccer, to those who promote it, and Missed Opportunities, Inc., to the rest of the globe. You do remember Major League Soccer, don't you?
September 13, 1994 |
History loped onto the field here late Sunday afternoon, entering a newly finished stadium in a crisp white uniform and curly red ponytail. The most improbable hero in Italian soccer was suddenly a long way from Detroit. Everything Alexi Lalas does at this point makes history, as the first U.S.-born player to take the field in the 94 years of the Italian first division, considered the world's best professional soccer league.