Postcard from Athens

Athens 2004

August 18, 2004|By CANDUS THOMSON

Big White, Baby White and Margarita.

Those are just a few of the names that U.S. white-water paddlers have given to the churning pockets of froth on the slalom course at the Helliniko Olympic Complex. Competition started yesterday and ends Friday.

Big White is a huge drop on the 1,312-foot-long course. Baby White is its smaller, but still challenging, sibling. But Margarita?

For sure, a wrong move can land you in the drink, but that's the same everywhere.

The difference is the Greeks are pumping seawater rather than freshwater through the channel -- the first such manmade venue in the world. So the course has a decided green tinge. And, of course, it comes in its own salt-rimmed cup.

What's ahead today

Men's and women's shot put competition goes back to its roots - the original Olympic Stadium.

It's a relatively stress-free day for Michael Phelps, who has to only get through the first two rounds of the 200-meter individual medley.

Paul Hamm of the United States is among the favored gymnasts in the men's all-around.

The cycling time trial features two of Lance Armstrong's most prominent chasers from the Tour de France, the United States' Tyler Hamilton and Germany's Jan Ullrich.

The U.S. women play South Korea in basketball.

Today's TV schedule

NBC

12:30 p.m.-4 p.m.: swimming, track and field, women's beach volleyball*, cycling

8 p.m.-midnight: track and field, gymnastics, swimming

Bravo

5 p.m.-8 p.m.: tennis, equestrian

MSNBC

1:30 a.m.-7 a.m.: track and field*, men's beach volleyball*, canoeing, rowing, team handball

10 a.m.-4 p.m.: softball*, men's soccer*, table tennis, weightlifting, archery

USA

7 a.m.-10 a.m.: women's basketball*, women's water polo, rowing

CNBC

5 p.m.-8 p.m.: boxing

Telemundo

1 p.m.-8 p.m.: boxing, men's soccer

Tomorrow's early TV schedule

NBC

12:35 a.m.-2 a.m.: women's volleyball, cycling, canoeing

2 a.m.-5 a.m.: prime-time replay

Bravo

Midnight-1 a.m.: sailing, judo

MSNBC

2 a.m.-7 a.m.: rowing, softball*, men's basketball*, badminton

Telemundo

1:30 a.m.-3:30 a.m.: soccer

*indicates live coverage

Note: NBC carried on WBAL/Channel 11 and WRC/Channel 4.

On baltimoresun.com

For breaking news and results from the Summer Games, go to baltimoresun.com/olympics.

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