MOSCOW (AP)—Wrestling's governing body is preparing for what could be the match of its life, holding a special congress in Moscow to discuss changes to modernize the sport and keep its place in the Olympics. Saturday's meeting of the federation, known by the acronym FILA, comes four months after the IOC executive board recommended that wrestling be dropped from the sports program of the 2020 Olympics.
In the wake of the Olympics, we laud the athletes for their hard work, tenacity and commitment. Hovering in the shadow of the Olympics is the Paralympics, which is set to begin in London, August 29. Often forgotten, this athletic contest is about so much more. It’s about overcoming obstacles and not letting them stand in your way. An amazing young woman from our community is a testament to this. Swimmer Alyssa Gialamas is on her way to her first Paralympics. She exudes the Paralympic virtues of courage, determination and inspiration.
It is tradition that at the conclusion of every Olympics in modern times, the president of the International Olympic Committee declares that «these» were the «greatest Games in history.» It was said in Athens 2004 and it›s a virtual certainty that current IOC chief Jacques Rogge will again make the by-now obligatory declaration. And these Games were indeed great theater and went off without major incident. Aside from a few snafus, which always occur, London organizers are to be commended, and there are many other reasons to be joyous from an international perspective. And there is also cause for caution. The following is one man›s account of the London Games - both good and bad - from various perspectives.
LONDON (AP)—Given the depths of his anguish, you might have thought Wu Jingbiao had lost a loved one. Heaving with shame, the double world champion weightlifter wept like a child in the arms of the TV reporter interviewing him.
"I let my country down,'' he sobbed. "I let the Chinese weightlifting team down. I let everyone who has cared about me down. I am sorry.'' He had won the silver medal.
ATHENS 08/03/2012 (AP)—There’s still one group that loves the training pool for athletes at the former Olympic village in Athens’ northern fringe. Frogs. They appear to delight in sitting on debris that floats on the half-filled pool’s murky waters. The athletes village itself has fared somewhat better, turned into housing for workers.
AP- AP Wire Service
Jul 05 11:46
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) _ Greece, Lithuania and Russia entered the final qualifying tournament for men's basketball as the favorites to claim the last three berths for the London Olympics.
This hasn't changed going into Friday's quarterfinals, with all three having won their groups and expected to advance to Saturday's semifinals where two berths will be decided. The final berth will be determined on Sunday.
The Friday lineup offers: Russia vs. Angola, Greece vs. Nigeria, Macedonia vs. the Dominican Republic, and Lithuania vs. Puerto Rico.
The shock so far was Nigeria beating Lithuania 86-80 on Wednesday in Group B. The result allowed the Africans to advance, and eliminated the host team Venezuela.
"Nobody expected us to beat Lithuania,'' said Derrick Obasohan, who led Nigeria with 20 points. "But we stayed tough, played hard and we're moving on to the next round.''
Lithuania took the bronze medal in three straight Olympics -1992, 1996 and 2000- and lost the last two bronze-medal games in Athens and Beijing.
"There's a lot at stake, there's history at stake,'' Lithuania's Martynas Pocius said. "We've been to every Olympics since `92 so we want to make it. For some of the guys it could be their last Olympics and for a lot of the guys it might be our first Olympics, so we really want to make it.''
Next up for Nigeria is Greece, a silver medalist in the 2006 world championship.
"We are trying to build our chemistry,'' Greek player Vasileios Spanoulis said. "Unfortunately, we didn't have the time to work too much in preparation. ... We're trying to build our chemistry through the games.''
Saturday's semifinals will pit either Greece or Nigeria against Russia or Angola. The other semifinal will have Lithuania or Puerto Rico face Macedonia or the Dominican Republic.
The two semifinals losers play on Sunday for the final berth.
Nine teams have already qualified for London: Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Britain, China, Australia, Tunisia and the United States.