Back to top

Day 2: Puerto Rico destined for American statehood

Puerto Rico sealed its future as the 51st state of the USA on Sunday. Their men's basketball team defeated The Dream Team 92-73, in a slap on the face to the country that invaded their island two years after the last Athens Olympics. Only statehood, and thus their removal as a separate sovereign entity, can ensure that Puerto Rico does not repeat such a humiliation of its imperial masters in the future.

Read the comments by Allen Iverson, Lamar Odom, and coach Larry Brown given to the next day.

But while the Dream Team was unravelling on the basketball court, another American team was being knocked off by no less than the South Africans. Phelpsy's dream of eight out of eight came a cropper in 4x100 freestyle final. Roland Schoeman, Lyndon Ferns, Darian Townsend and Ryk Neethling set a new world record of 3:13.17, pushing the Dutch, anchored by Pieter van den Hoogenband, into second place, and the US, with the Phelpmeister running the second leg, into third. Australia finished sixth. They actually slipped back one place during Il Thorpista's final lap. See the Mail & Guardian's drool over the victory.

Also on Sunday: Iraq continued its unbeaten run in the men's soccer with a 2-0 win over Costa Rica. Back to men's basketball, the Boomers crashed 54-76 to the home team Greece - the Illawarra Mercury has the Wollongong angle on the game.

Australia beat New Zealand 4-1 in the men's hockey, while Germany's 2-1 win over Pakistan was a critical one. India lost 1-3 to the Netherlands. In softball, the US were hammering Australia 10-0 when the mercy rule was called after five innings. Jennie Finch (and more about her in another report) was rostered off this game, the winning pitcher being Lisa Fernandez.

NBC is running a daily Kleenex Moment of the Day. That doesn't, apparently, mean that they are necessarily tear-jerkers. There's a bit of a time lag, I presume for various commercial and entertainment considerations, but the Day One winner was Phelpsy and Eric Vendt doing the quinella in the 400 IM.

Meanwhile, the Australian uniform worn at the Opening Ceremony is still being panned. See this News Limited article with a photo of The Poo among the Aussie athletes strutting the stadium catwalk. "It was gimmicky and I don't think that's what this country is about", said leading Sydney fashionista Charlie Brown.

Snoopy was apparently unavailable for comment.

Olympic websites of various broadcasters of the games: United States - the NBC empire, Australia - Channel Seven and SBS, Great Britain - BBC, Canada - CBC, Ireland - RTE, South Africa - SABC.

More on::