Magazine article Newsweek

Diving In: An Australian Swimming Phenom, American Gold Medals and a Spectacular Ring of Fire Mark the First Days of the Olympic Games

Magazine article Newsweek

Diving In: An Australian Swimming Phenom, American Gold Medals and a Spectacular Ring of Fire Mark the First Days of the Olympic Games

Article excerpt

48 Years Round The Track In 1952 John Lucas failed to qualify for the U.S. team in the 10,000-meter run. But that hasn't stopped him from running at every Olympics (except Moscow) since then. He arrives a day or two before the Games begin, sneaks into the track-and-field stadium, then runs his own personal 10K. Lucas, 74, did it again last week in Sydney as dozens of workers prepared the stadium for opening ceremonies. He finished in 61 minutes--34 off the gold-medal pace. But on his own, he says, "I never lose."

Full Moon Over Sydney Remember the quaint old days when athletes shook hands after a victory? Now they shed their clothes. Following an early-round win, the Italian soccer team celebrated with a mini-striptease that would've made Brandi Chastain duck and cover. As 93,000 Aussies watched, the Italians yanked off their shorts, then took a bare-butted victory lap you probably won't be seeing on NBC. Of course, Italy's show was a bit less diplomatic than Chastain's. The squad they'd just knocked off was the home team--Australia.

Damn the Thorpedo, get Katie! The Olympic torch crisscrossed Australia, but the most outrageous part of its journey was the "violet mile" of Sydney's Oxford Street, the gayest stretch of a city gay enough to make San Francisco look like Burlington, Vt. Drag queens in feather boas and skintight sequins lined balconies to watch. Said one: "I wish Katie Couric was here with us. I'd love to meet her." Turns out Couric was only a mile away at NBC's studio. …

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