Olympics 2000

Stan Smith, one of America's all-time tennis stars, has agreed to be coach of the US men's Olympic Tennis team, after John McEnroe turned down the offer. McEnroe says he has a schedule conflict.

Smith hopes the big stars will play - "It will be the highlight of their lives" - but he is philosophical: "Players who really want to play will do the best."

Already, Pete Sampras, winner of 13 Grand Slam events, has turned down the invite. So has Jan-Michael Gambill.

NBC - which will telecast the Sydney Olympics - had to be ecstatic when its coverage of the US track and field Olympic trials was the second-highest-rated broadcast of the weekend a fortnight ago, behind the Tiger Woods-dominated British Open. Plus, it far outdistanced cycling's Tour de France.

On the other hand, NBC had to be discouraged that routine baseball on Fox beat it last Saturday. And the network could not have been oblivious to the less-than-starry events that the trials beat on Sunday, including women's golf and basketball, a car race, and an NFL quarterback challenge.

More proof that America didn't get to be the capital of capitalism for nothing: Kellogg's, the cereal people, decided that Olympics and cereal go together like snap and crackle.

So they have slapped photos of potential US Olympic track and field medalists Maurice Greene and Marion Jones, and swimming stars Jenny Thompson and Lenny Krayzelburg, on boxes of Frosted Flakes and Crispix.

"It's exciting," says Greene, the world record holder in the 50- and 100-meter dashes, "to be part of a group of US Olympic hopefuls whose faces will appear on cereal boxes across the country."

Organizers of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, which will be held in 2002, are trying to at least remain slightly visible as hoopla over the September Games in Sydney increases.

Of course, any new scandal news would propel Salt Lake to the top of the page again but that's not what they have in mind.

Ergo, two announcements:

*Sandstone bricks, which were used to build Salt Lake roads in the early 1900s, are for sale. For $50, brick aficionados can have them personalized and used to help pave pathways in the downtown Olympic Legacy Plaza.

*The Winter Games now have an official nut supplier. Diamond of California, involved in walnuts and other in-shell nuts, becomes the 39th corporate participant for the 2002 Olympics.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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