Spitz: 'I never got invited'
Ex-swimming star 'a bit upset' about not being in Beijing
Mark Spitz told Agence France-Presse: "I am going to sit there and watch Michael Phelps break my record anonymously?" (Getty Images / August 10, 2008)
Spitz, who won his seven swimming golds in 1972 in Munich, said no one connected with the Olympics - not the International Olympic Committee, swimming's world governing body, nor NBC - has invited him to Beijing. So, as of now, he won't be there.
Spitz told Agence France-Presse in Hong Kong: "I never got invited. You don't go to the Olympics just to say, 'I am going to go.' Especially because of who I am. I am going to sit there and watch Michael Phelps break my record anonymously? That's almost demeaning to me. It is not almost - it is."
Spitz, 58, a stockbroker, said he would have liked to present gold medals to Phelps.
"They voted me one of the top five Olympians in all time," Spitz said. "Some of them are dead. But they invited the other ones to go to the Olympics, but not me. Yes, I am a bit upset about it."
CyclingIn the first official doping case of the Beijing Olympics, Spanish cyclist Maria Isabel Moreno was kicked out of the Games yesterday after testing positive for EPO. Moreno, who was to compete in the women's road race and individual time trial, was tested in the athletes' village July31 and left China later the same day before learning the result, the IOC said. IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said Moreno's sample came back positive for EPO, a blood-boosting hormone that enhances endurance. Moreno, 27, is the first athlete caught under the IOC's Beijing drug-testing program, which began with the opening of the Olympic village July27 and runs through the end of the Games on Aug.24. The program includes a record 4,500 doping controls.
VolleyballIn the days since a knifing attack at a Beijing tourist attraction, the coach of the U.S. men's volleyball team said his family has been consumed with the shock of his father-in-law's death and with arranging care for his severely wounded mother-in-law. Hugh McCutcheon said he has been helping his wife Elisabeth Bachman, a former Olympian, "talk through" the grief. Beyond that, he said he realized the attack has affected his men's team, which worked hard to qualify for the Beijing Olympics, and the women's team, including teammates of Elisabeth's at the 2004 Athens Games. "The sphere of influence of this has been vast," a gaunt, emotionally raw McCutcheon said in an interview yesterday, his first public remarks on the attack and one of his few moments away from the hospital in past days. "It hurts. I think it's something that no one should ever have to go through," McCutcheon said. "But life's not fair, so it's never going to be about that at the end of the day. It happened, and it seems that the sooner we can come to grips with that and process it, the better off we're going to be."
RatingsNBC's prime-time Olympics coverage averaged 31.7 million viewers Sunday night, or 6 million more than the comparable night in Athens four years ago. Nielsen Media Research estimated some 107 million people watched the Olympics for at least a few minutes on one of the NBC networks Sunday.