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Fri, August 27, 2004
Shots in the dark
By -- Toronto Sun

Day 13: So, how did Canada do?

Simon Whitfield had a shot at a medal in the triathlon.

Blythe Hartley had a shot at a medal in the three-metre springboard.

Right. And Charlie Brown had a shot at kicking that football.

CLANK, BANG, CLATTER

Don't worry, it's just Canada's Charles Allen with another personal best to reach the 100-metre hurdles final.

The guy runs through more hurdles than he jumps over. But who's counting?

TALES OF THE DEEP

It was a grabfest. Not to mention the elbowing, holding and tugging. No, not Canada's World Cup hockey tuneup against the U.S.

This was in Italy's 10-9 win over Greece in the gold-medal game of women's water polo. This was a cat fight -- hold the mud. Not to be outdone, the triathlon was equally naughty. Britain's Michelle Dillon says she was attacked by fellow competitors during the swim. "They were grabbing my feet, pulling the zipper down on my suit," Dillon was quoted in Britain's Daily Telegraph. "I swallowed masses of water. Luckily the zipper didn't come all the way down."

Michelle finished sixth. But if she keeps falling out of her bathing suit, I'm thinking that Vince McMahon might have a job for her.

BIG WHOOP

The CBC is going ga-ga every time a Canadian athlete scores a personal best. Actually, I think we lead the Olympics in personal bests. Still checking ...

Truth is, scoring a personal best at the Olympics is like being named Miss Congeniality at a beauty pageant. It's nice, but nobody cares, and it's not the reason you went there.

LIPSTICK ON HER COLLAR

You could accuse Tina Thompson of overdressing. The American basketball player may be the only athlete whose equipment bag includes lipstick. Maroon lipstick.

It's a habit that goes back to college at Southern California. "I accidentally left it on," she said. "And I played really well. I just wear it all the time. I'm not superstitious. It's more of a ritual."

Coming soon to a Revlon commercial near you ...

GAMES PANORAMA

Headline in the Los Angeles Times: "Athens Has 4.5 Quake, Judges Give it a 3.9."

Gil Lebreton of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, on U.S. wrestler Rulon Gardner, who took off his shoes, signifying his retirement, after winning another gold:

"Rulon was crying. Rulon's wife was crying. Rulon's coach was crying. The Iranian guy that Rulon beat was crying ... There were so many teary eyes ... a gymnastics meet almost broke out."

NAME GAMES

Whitney Ping, U.S. table tennis player ... Adam Kreek, Canadian eight rower. Appropriate, considering that's exactly where the team finished -- up a creek.

TAKES ONE ...

Doping stories have permeated the Athens Games.

Some believe this is not a bad thing because it means cheaters are getting caught. Others, such as Canadian Minister for Sport Stephen Owen, argue that it is not clear the Games are fair and therefore why should Canadians support the Olympics?

He's right. If we're going to spend money on cheating, we should spend it on experts in the topic.

Politicians.

SMART 'N' SASSY

From David Letterman's top 10 signs you're not winning gold in softball: "Won't go to third base because you're 'just not that kind of girl.' " ... U.S. Olympic swimmer Haley Clark on her appearance in Playboy: "I'm a freak. I vote Republican, I worship Martha Stewart and I don't mind being naked."

MEMO TO THE BOSS

This column isn't going to win any gold medals but, hey, it's a personal best for a rainy Thursday in an Olympic year while wearing my blue pants ...




Does Canada's low-medal haul in Athens bother you?
Yes, it depresses me
No, it's just sports
I'm disappointed, but not worried
We'll get 'em in Turin
Don't care

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