Some U.S. athletes will commute from Tampa, Fla., to Havana to participate in the 1991 Pan American Games.
But not Pam Shriver.
As player-coach of the U.S. women's tennis team, Shriver expects to spend 10 straight days in Havana. That might not seem like a great sacrifice, but Shriver is one of the few professionals who will participate in the games, and the tennis tournament, Aug. 5-11, comes less than three weeks before the U.S. Open.
"You have to strike a nerve of adventure to play in this event," Shriver said. "What kind of tennis players compete in Cuba, anyway? It will be interesting to see Cuba, especially in light of the whole concept of communism in the world today. I got to the Soviet Union a year and a half ago to play the first pro tournament. It will be fascinating to play in this tournament."
* Alan Romefelt of Cockeysville always dreamed of becoming an Olympian. He grew up near Barnegat Bay, N.J., and figured his Olympic appearance would come in sailboat racing in the Star class. But his chance never materialized.
Now, at age 34, Romefelt is trying to qualify in a different sport -- international skeet shooting.
"When I first got involved in this sport, I thought I could walk on water with a shotgun," he said. "It was a humbling experience."
Romefelt shot as a teen-ager, then resumed his career in 1984. He recently won a gold medal in a Northeast regional championship to receive a berth for the initial phase of the U.S. Olympic trials in Chino, Calif., June 25-28.
"It's unrealistic for me to expect to win in Chino," said Romefelt, a national accounts manager for General Elevator Co. "I'd like to shoot well enough to stay in the hunt. And then, I'll work like a demon to get on the team."
* Women's soccer isn't yet part of the Olympics menu, which is unfortunate for the United States. The U.S. men continually struggle to score goals, but the women have developed an offensive machine.
The United States outscored five opponents, 49-0, en route to securing a berth in the women's world championships Nov. 16-30 in China. Denmark, Germany, Norway, Italy and Sweden also have qualified for the 12-team championship. * Look for fast times in the 1992 Olympic men's and women's marathons in Barcelona, Spain. The course from Mataro, a seaside town north of Barcelona, follows a line down the coast to the Olympic Stadium.
Manuel Fonesca, director general of sports for the local organizing committee, said, " We're offering the flattest race in the history of Olympic marathons over the first 38 kilometers. . . . The only uphill section comes at the end."
* Bring soap to Havana. That's the message the Canadian Olympic Association is giving to journalists covering the Pan American Games. The association warns that soap dispensed in Havana hotels is "about the size of Chiclets." The eight-page memo also advises that food served in Havana often has a disinfectant smell. . . . As usual, the U.S. canoe-kayak white-water team is dominated by paddlers from Bethesda. Jon Lugbill commands the top spot in men's single canoe, followed by Dave Hearn, a 15-time U.S. team member, and Jed Prentice. Marty McCormick and Elliot Weintraub will race in men's double canoe. Dana Chadlek secured a berth in women's single kayak, ahead of Kirsten Brown-Fleshman of Takoma Park. . . . Brandi Wood, a Dulaney High School senior, will swim in the 400-meter individual medley at the Pan Am Games. . . . The United States and Cuba will engage in a six-game baseball series -- three games in Millington, Tenn., July 6-8, and three in Santiago, Cuba, July 12-14. The teams are expected to meet in the Pan Am gold medal game. . . . From the people who brought you G.I. Joe cards and World Championship Wrestling cards comes the U.S. Olympic Trading Card series. Impel Marketing Inc. will print an inaugural American Olympic Decathlete series depicting Rafer Johnson, Bill Toomey, Milt Campbell, Bruce Jenner and Bob Mathias. . . . Skate America '91 in Oakland, Calif., Sept. 16-22 looms among the top pre-Olympic figure-skating events. Among those expected to compete from the United States are 1991 world women's champion Kristi Yamaguchi, 1991 U.S. women's champion Tonya Harding and two-time U.S. men's champion Todd Eldredge.