Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Five-Ring Circus

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Five-Ring Circus

Article excerpt

Dennis Rodman didn't make the Olympics, but U.S. softball star Kim Maher has picked up the slack.

Tattoos? She has lots of them, all over her body.

Piercings? Plenty of those, too, including some in places we can't begin to talk about here. Her parents had no idea how extensive her body art was until an Olympic questionnaire fed the information into a data bank that, in turn, anointed her as the queen of self-mutilation.

"Yeah, it's a little sick," she said. "No, let's call it a unique style that appreciates differences."

She has the Olympic rings tattooed on her ankle. She has two more tattoos on her ankle and another on her backside, which she doesn't want to talk about. She also has her last name on her back and a tattoo of a mask.

Why? "Everyone wears a mask," he said. "You don't really know if anyone is themselves."

Who Knows? Zola Budd Might Show Up

Mary Decker Tabb Slaney stayed at home in Eugene, Ore., and watched the opening ceremony on television. "It was very spectacular, but the reason I chose not to take part is I didn't want to be out there for anywhere from five to seven hours, running up and down ramps in heels," she said. "With all of my injury problems, doing something like that wouldn't be beneficial."

What? No Antler Dance?

American fans dominate the stands with their flag-waving and "U-S-A" chants, but our friends at Reuters report that foreigners are making a mark, too.

Brazil's Bola 7 cheerleaders - whose trip to Atlanta was sponsored by a pharmacy - wear orange wigs and yellow T-shirts. When ushers took away their trumpet and maracas at a volleyball game, they just borrowed a Chinese drum. Norwegian fans ring cowbells.

French teen-agers have shaved the letter "F" into the back of their heads. The Poles have imported a cavalry bugler. Kazakhstan followers strummed their mandolin-like balalaikas. Tunisians sported dunce-like caps and played bagpipes called mezoueds.

But the grandest title must go to Mitsuko Kasahara. …

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