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United States Athletic Teams

SPORTS
August 21, 2008 | Kevin Baxter, Times Staff Writer
BEIJING -- Mike Day's coronation as BMX cycling's first Olympic champion, which seemed so certain a day earlier, was put on hold after rain canceled today's semifinals and finals at the Laoshan Cycling Complex. With the rain falling before dawn and expected to continue until 6 a.m. Friday, the four-rider U.S. team never left the Olympic village. That proved to be a wise decision when the day's events were officially postponed at 8:45 a.m., about 15 minutes before the scheduled start.
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SPORTS
August 17, 2008 | K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune
BEIJING -- The pink, blue, yellow and green ponchos that appeared early Sunday morning at a rainy Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground gave Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh's quarterfinal match a rainbow backdrop. And the second-seeded American duo continued its march toward a second pot of gold with a 21-18, 21-15 victory over third-seeded Ana Paula Conelly and Larissa Franca of Brazil. "When we saw the matchup, it steeled us because the Brazilians are so talented," Walsh said.
SPORTS
August 16, 2008 | Melissa Isaacson, Chicago Tribune
Cat Osterman was almost apologetic. "It was bound to happen," said the U.S. softball team pitcher. "I'm not too worried about it." And the crisis? The first hit off Osterman in the Beijing Games in 11 innings. Osterman also has struck out 21 in two victories, but U.S. Coach Mike Candrea apparently was trying to keep his players on their toes as the round-robin tournament heads into its last three days of play before the semifinals.
SPORTS
August 14, 2008 | K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune
BEIJING -- In lieu of actual competition, the U.S. women's Olympic basketball team's dominance is creating math assignments. Over three straight victories in preliminary play, including Wednesday night's 97-41 blowout of Mali, Team USA is enjoying an average margin of victory of 47 points. Through three games of its gold-medal march in 2004 at the Athens Olympics, Team USA's margin of victory stood at 31.3 points and eventually dropped to 23.8 points over eight games. Does this matter?
SPORTS
August 14, 2008 | Melissa Isaacson, Chicago Tribune
BEIJING -- The U.S. women's softball team, seemingly on another roll to an Olympic gold medal, may run into its toughest test yet Friday against Japan. Japan, coming off a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics, gave the Americans their toughest battle in Athens with a 3-0 victory in eight innings and has defeated the American team twice since then. Both the USA and Japan had tough victories against Australia in recent days, Japan defeating Australia in the opener, with the U.S.
SPORTS
August 14, 2008 | Diane Pucin, Times Staff Writer
BEIJING -- Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin have moved on to the next big thing already. They are the smiling co-favorites for the Olympic gymnastics all-around gold medal, a competition that happens Friday at the National Indoor Stadium. Johnson and Liukin politely insisted that winning a team silver medal Wednesday was fine, even if the U.S. had come into competition as favorites after defeating China at the 2007 world championships.
SPORTS
August 13, 2008 | BILL PLASCHKE
BEIJING -- So you've always wanted to swim like Michael Phelps? Well, now you have. Phelps became the most prolific gold medalist in Olympic history this morning by winning a race with water filling his goggles. The previous night, in a tiny darkened hotel pool wearing faded board shorts, I nearly splashed to the bottom with water filling my goggles.
SPORTS
August 13, 2008 | Diane Pucin, Times Staff Writer
BEIJING -- When Jonathan Horton went to the 2007 gymnastics world championships in Stuttgart, Germany, his mother told him to bring home an all-around medal. "I told her, 'Mom, you're crazy. It's too soon.' When I came to Beijing, my mom told me to just come and have a good time. I told her I was going to win an all-around medal," Horton said. "She looked at me like I was crazy." Horton's achievement at those world championships was almost overlooked because the U.S.
SPORTS
August 12, 2008 | BILL PLASCHKE
BEIJING -- He wore his blue USA sweat jacket zipped up to the neck, tight, as if it were a nylon piece of armor. His eyes were vacant, pierced by the reality that even in its most charmed moments, life carries no shield. "It hurts," said Hugh McCutcheon, the U.S. men's volleyball coach. "I think it's something that no one should ever have to go through." His sport is one of both soaring sets and vicious spikes.
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