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Olympic Spirit

August 2, 1996 | SYLVIA L. OLIANDE
Balloon popping and an egg-rolling relay are unlikely to ever be sanctioned as Olympic events, but they will be highlights this month in the Warner Center Children's Corner's Summer Games. Preschoolers at the nonprofit day-care center in Woodland Hills have caught the Olympic spirit and have chosen the Games as their learning theme for August.
February 8, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
SOCHI, Russia - Blaze Kotsenburg was partying with friends at 3 a.m. in Salt Lake City on Saturday, all of them gathered around a television set moments before his little brother Sage was scheduled to fly his snowboard down a mountain in Russia. His cellphone rang. Blaze fished it out of his pocket. Who could be calling at this hour? "Blaze, it's Sage," said the scratchy voice on the other end. "Hey everybody, shut up, it's my brother calling from the Olympics!" Blaze shouted to his friends.
June 27, 2012
Re "Locked and loaded for the Olympics," June 25 The Olympic Games are supposed to represent countries coming together with pride and talented athletes and friendly relations with the world community, and yet London is preparing for the 2012 Games with a mass deployment of weapons worthy of wartime peril. It's amazing that for a period of two weeks, people get along with each other, compete fairly and show respect for their peers while the world rejoices at the accomplishments of these dedicated men and women.
February 6, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
SOCHI, Russia - From the gently rolling Black Sea to the jagged Caucasus Mountains, from gleaming modern stadiums to colorfully ancient Matryoshka dolls, the Sochi Olympics open Friday with every conceivable natural wonder except one. There is a visible lack of joy. The strong-armed dream of Russian President Vladimir Putin has thus far succeeded not in embellishing the Olympic motto, but altering it, from "swifter, higher, stronger" to, "unfinished,...
March 12, 1994
For two weeks, we have been spoiled by the gallant acts of courage, sportsmanship, and competition. The world has come together, embraced by the sheer joy of the Olympic spirit. For two weeks we were one world, once again. But now that the majestic harmony of the Olympics has come to an end, it sure will be good to get back to the bloodshed in Bosnia, the endless fighting in the Middle East, the starvation in Somalia, and the senseless violence raging on here at home. Geez, was it just youthful optimism, or for a brief second, did I actually believe that the world could really get along together?
March 8, 1999
Leave it to ebullient ski racer Picabo Street to find an upbeat take on the scandal surrounding the selection of Salt Lake City for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. "It could be a blessing in disguise," she says. "Everybody's talking about the Olympics." Not that the 27-year-old Street, a double Olympic medal winner, has any sympathy for Salt Lake spreading lucre among International Olympic Committee members--a situation branded in an investigatory report as a "culture of gift-giving."
September 16, 2000
The Summer Olympics are not one man's opinion. They are 6 billion people's impressions. They are not one writer's predictions. They are what the athletes no one has ever heard of before Sydney do. They are not body suits designed to give more ad space to a shoe company that pays its employees starvation wages. They are all the athletes who will never get an endorsement contract. They are not the hype over what an American woman might do. They are the wonder of what an unknown will do. They are not politically correct.
January 28, 1998 | ELLIOTT TEAFORD
One failed shootout apparently hasn't soured Paul Kariya on the Olympics, although he believes there are better ways to settle ties at the end of regulation. Despite losing the gold-medal game in a shootout to Sweden, Kariya calls the 1994 Lillehammer Games one of the highlights of his career. He can't wait to get to Nagano next month. "We were never expected to get that far," Kariya said of Team Canada's performance in Norway.
I used to laugh at even the notion of synchronized swimming. I still do. But now, thanks to the Internet, it's at least an informed laugh. The 1996 Olympic Games, starting Friday in Atlanta, is the first to occur since the rapid flowering of the Internet's most popular entity, the World Wide Web.
February 11, 2010 | By Kim Murphy
Chris Shaw, an ophthalmology professor at the University of British Columbia, has made no secret of his misgivings about the Olympic Games in his home city. The event is going to soak taxpayers and primarily benefit land developers who backed Vancouver's Olympic bid, he warned in several public forums and a book about the Olympics, "Five Ring Circus." Shaw was walking into his office several months ago when two plainclothes police officers approached him, one of them holding his book.
December 19, 2013 | By David Wharton
Just two days ago, President Obama made news by placing two openly gay athletes on the delegation that will represent the U.S. at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Now it is known the delegation has three. Brian Boitano, a figure skating gold medalist who was included on Obama's original list, has announced that he is gay. "I am many things: a son, a brother, and uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, an author, and being gay is just one part of who I am," Boitano said in a statement.
August 8, 2012 | By Chuck Schilken
Aly Raisman had quite a night Tuesday, first claiming a bronze medal on the balance beam in dramatic fashion and then winning the U.S. team's first-ever gold medal in floor exercise. It was the kind of night that makes you want to stand up and cheer -- but, first, just make sure you're not sitting in front of the meanest man on the planet when doing so. Raisman's father, Rick, did not follow that simple rule of thumb when his daughter was in the midst of the floor performance of her life.
August 6, 2012 | Bill Plaschke
LONDON -- The Olympian without a country is not without a budget. Guor Marial shows up for an interview at the Olympic village dressed in jeans and a polo shirt purchased from Target. He trains in old gear from Iowa State University. He will run the marathon Sunday in shoes purchased online. "If you want the really good shoes, the ones you can use for the Olympics," he says, "I can get those for a hundred bucks. " The Olympian without a country is not without feelings. Guor Marial has painfully felt the differences while wandering through the first week of these Olympics without any national logo on his sweats, without teammates at his side during training, and without any real buddies except an advisor who serves as his coach, sports committee and roommate.
July 30, 2012 | BILL PLASCHKE
The Bad News Brits turned their heads up to the thousands of cheers as if standing under a warm shower, the roaring passion washing over their torn jerseys and mismatched socks. They had just lost to France, 44-15. The Bad News Brits walked off the handball court at the Copper Box as champions walk, blowing kisses to women, throwing wristbands to children, waving at all that love. The British men's handball team now has a lifetime record of 9-62. "My heart was racing, and there was a tear in my eye," said playmaker Ciaran Williams.
July 30, 2012 | By K.C. Johnson
LONDON - The opening ceremony had ended. The image of the majestic fireworks still lingered. And then came the biggest bang of all: Our double-decker media shuttle bus hit an overpass. Standing passengers lurched forward. Glass from the upper level cracked but didn't shatter, leading one to believe that those who decided to stack a second level on this city's distinctive vehicles accounted for such mishaps. A security official quickly boarded and asked all to evacuate.  Nobody was hurt, save for some fatigue-induced crabbiness.
July 26, 2012 | By Marcia Adair
LONDON - On its 69th and penultimate day of touring, the Olympic torch has been carried nearly 8,000 miles by sports heroes, pop stars, actors and thousands of everyday people.  On Thursday, it was the turn of Esa-Pekka Salonen, principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic . A white-clad Salonen carried the torch for the 330 yards along Cheapside from Gresham Street to Wood Street...
August 13, 1996
The Olympic flame may have been extinguished in Atlanta, but for a group of preschoolers it still burns brightly--at least in spirit. Heading into the final session of a seven-week summer program saluting the Olympic Games and the cultures of the world, Temple Ramat Zion's nursery school in Northridge spent Monday morning staging Olympic-like games. Although the events bore little resemblance to traditional contests, similarities existed, such as the Atlanta-like heat and chaos.
July 24, 2012
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge is holding firm that there will be no moment of silence for the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Games at the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics, despite pleas from the U.S., Germany and Israel. Writers from around the Tribune Co.will discuss whether the IOC should mark the 40th anniversary of the tragedy with a moment of silence at the Opening Ceremony. Check back throughout the day for their responses and join the conversation by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own. Barry Stavro, Los Angeles Times Political events and boycotts are almost as much of an Olympic tradition as the torch is in the Opening Ceremony.  Since 1956 various countries have boycotted at least six Games, but their lasting impact was minimal, at least in international diplomatic circles.
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