Back to top

Day 1: An emotional triumph over adversity

The dream appeared shattered when he slipped on the starting block, fell into the water and was disqualified from the selection trial. Facing life-long humiliation and disgrace, he was spared when a team-mate made a noble and agonising sacrifice of his own spot in the team, assisted by the consoling words of a television station's accounts department. It was the start of one of the most heart-warming comebacks in Australian sport since Warnie won the battle against his mum's drugs.

Il Thorpista, the Prima Donna of Australian swimming, won the 400 metres freestyle gold medal on Saturday. That's another empty space in his cabinet filled up. But the hardship suffered by Craig Stevens was not ignored as His Thorpness paid tribute to the Peter Gunn namesake.

One down, seven to go. Phelpsy won the 400 IM. Spitzy, are you worried yet?

I saw the last stages of a very exciting women's volleyball game on SBS. Germany came from two sets down to beat Cuba 20-25, 24-26, 25-22, 25-15, 17-15 in two hours flat. Rather than trying to explain here, the play-by-play description on the Athens 2004 website will make it all clear...

In women's basketball, the US beat New Zealand 99-47. Ouch. Brazil beat Japan 62-25. Double ouch. The Australian Opals, meanwhile, could only muster a twelve-point victory over Nigeria.

The Hockeyroos lost to Germany 3-1, the Matildas beat Greece 1-0, and the Aussie Spirit (err, that's the softball team's nickname) beat Japan 4-2. The US women's soccer team beat Brazil 2-0.

Meanwhile, the Kostas and Katerina story gets even murkier. They say that they stacked their motorbike on the way to their drug test. And that they were picked up by a passer-by who drove them 30 kilometres to hospital. The good samaritan is now nowhere to be found, and there a no witnesses to the crash. Locals heard nothing.

More on::