The Olympics on TV

September 07, 2000

The Olympics on TV

The start of the Summer Games of the XXVII Olympiad is less than a week away, and NBC and its cable affiliates will offer wall-to-wall coverage for the two weeks of the Games.

While many people know about the U.S. men's basketball team or Mia Hamm, anchor of the women's soccer team, here are a handful of other athletes, some with Olympic experience, some without, who each have a chance of doing something special during their time in Sydney.

This information came from on the Web.

Dominique Dawes

  • Age: 23
  • Home: Silver Spring, Md.
  • Sport: Gymnastics
  • Specialty: Floor exercises

Olympic history: In 1992, she was part of a team that won bronze. In Atlanta, she was part of the squad that netted the U.S. its first gold medal in women's team gymnastics.

Why watch her: On her third Olympic team now, she won a bronze medal on floor exercises in Atlanta. The performance made her the first African-American woman to earn an individual medal in gymnastics.


Gary Hall Jr.

  • Age: 25
  • Home: Paradise Valley, Ariz.
  • Sport: Swimming
  • Events: 50m and 100m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay, 4x100m medley relay.

Olympic history: At his first Olympics in 1996, Hall won silver medals in the 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle, and gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay.

Why watch him: After winning four medals at the 1996 Games in Atlanta, he is bidding to duplicate the feat in Sydney. The last American swimmer to do that was Mark Spitz in 1968 and '72.

Jenny Thompson

  • Age: 27
  • b: Menlo Park, Calif.
  • Sport: Swimming
  • Events: 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle relay

Olympic history: In Barcelona, Spain, in 1992, she won gold in the 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m medley relays and an individual silver in the 100m freestyle. As an encore in 1996, she won gold as a member of three relay teams - 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m medley.

Why watch her: Winner of five gold medals, she is tied with speed skater Bonnie Blair for most golds ever won by an American woman. In Sydney, Thompson is not only gunning for the record, but her first gold in an individual event as well.

Hot on her heels is fellow swimmer Amy Van Dyken, winner of four golds in Atlanta and Thompson's Olympic teammate again this year.

Lance Armstrong

  • Age: 29
  • Home: Austin, Texas
  • Sport: Cycling
  • Events: Road race, time trial

Olympic history: As part of the 1992 team, he placed 14th in the road race. In 1996, he improved to 12th in the road race, sixth in the individual time trial.

Why watch him: After beating testicular cancer and winning the Tour de France the last two years, Armstrong goes for his first gold medal as part of his third Olympic team. Though a collision with a car on Aug. 29 resulted in a fractured vertebra in his neck, he still plans to race in Sydney.

If he takes the gold in the road race, he will become only the second person to win the Tour, the Olympic road race and the road race world title.

Marion Jones

  • Age: 24
  • Home: Raleigh, N.C.
  • Sport: Track and field
  • Events: 100m, 200m, long jump, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay

Olympic history: This is her first Olympics. She missed the 1996 Games after breaking her foot.

Why watch her: Jones is bidding to become the first woman to win five golds in a single Olympics. The record is four, and if the young star of the track circuit and Nike ads is to be successful, she'll have to nail the long jump, her weakest event.

The U.S. Olympic Baseball team coached by former Los Angeles Dodgers manager and Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda will have a local flavor when it takes the field in Sydney.

Waynesboro, Pa., native Matt White, 22, is among the players on the squad. He is a pitcher in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization.

Also on the team are four former Hagerstown Suns players: Anthony Sanders, 26, Brent Abernathy, 22, Mike Coolbaugh, 28, and Rick Krivda, 30.

Sanders is an outfielder in the Seattle Mariners organization; infielder Abernathy is also a member of the Devil Rays farm system; Coolbaugh, an infielder, now plays for the New York Yankees affiliate in Columbus, Ohio; and Krivda is a pitcher in the Baltimore Orioles organization.

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