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Bobek Gets Good Spot in Short Program Draw

From News Services
Tuesday, February 17, 1998; Page C4

 Nicole Bobek has the 27th spot in the field of 28 for Wednesday's short program, worth one-third of the total score.
(File Photo)
All three U.S. women figure skaters fared well in yesterday's draw for the short program, while three other medal contenders wound up with early spots.

Nicole Bobek probably had the best draw, getting the 27th spot in the field of 28. Bobek goes between Russia's Irina Slutskaya and France's Vanessa Gusmeroli in what should be an entertaining conclusion to Wednesday's program, worth one-third of the total score.

World champion Tara Lipinski, 15, will skate 11th, while U.S. champion Michelle Kwan drew the 17th spot. Both will be first in their warm-up groups.

Maria Butyrskaya of Russia, the European champion, was very unlucky, getting the first spot. Judges are forced to save some higher marks for later skaters who might perform well, so Butyrskaya could suffer on the scoreboard.

France's Surya Bonaly goes third and China's Lu Chen skates seventh.

Swoosh No More
If the U.S. Olympic Committee gets its way, NBC won't have to worry about how many sponsors' logos its broadcasters will wear at the next Olympics: They won't be wearing any.

CBS signed an agreement with Nike before the Winter Olympics that includes the network's broadcasters sporting swoosh-laden apparel on the air, prompting complaints from the USOC and some CBS personnel. When NBC carries the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, the USOC said it doesn't want that outlet's reporters wearing corporate trademarks.

"I think it's a bad idea," said John Krimsky, the USOC's managing director for business affairs. "I don't think talent should be wearing logoed products."

CBS's contract with Nike includes between 80-90 Olympic commercials and requires the network's announcers to wear clothing on the air that bears the company's trademark swoosh. Backlash from some CBS news reporters and the USOC prompted the network to reduce Nike's presence-telling broadcasters they can wear only one swoosh-adorned garment from a Nike wardrobe that includes at least six items, including jackets, hats, vests and boots.

NBC said it doesn't have a policy against announcers wearing corporate logos on the air, although it hasn't decided on its broadcasters' Olympics wardrobe.

"We just use common sense," NBC spokesman Ed Markey said.

Coach Left Behind
South Korea's Olympic ski jumpers said yesterday that Seoul sports authorities had barred their German coach from traveling to the Nagano Olympics with them.

Ralf Gortz, adviser to the South Korean ski jumping team, said in a statement that the team "jumped far behind their capabilities" in Sunday's large hill competition and last Wednesday's normal hill.

Gortz said this was because "head coach Jochen Danneberg, who has been working with the boys for the last two years, was not allowed to coach his team during this Olympic Games."

He added: "The team members are totally upset and do not understand why their chief coach is not here."

The South Korean ski jumping team members are newcomers to the international circuit and their jumpers finished in low positions in the two events, with a best of 40th.

The team members are ages 14 to 17 and the youngest of all 20 teams in the ski jumping competition.

In his statement, Gortz included documents saying that the Korean Olympic Committee had decided not to send Danneberg, hired to promote ski jumping in the country, because he was not Korean.

"I asked them to show me the rule because there isn't such a rule, but they said they couldn't," Gortz said.

The Korean Olympic Committee had made the decision not to send Danneberg but to send national coach D.éK. Choi, a former slalom racer with little experience in jumping.

Hockey Draws
CBS's coverage of the U.S.-Canada men's hockey game drew more viewers than any NHL regular season game this decade, although the overall ratings for the Winter Olympics are the lowest in 30 years.

The game, which started at 11:35 p.m. EST, was watched by 4.9 percent of U.S. homes with television sets, the network said. CBS estimated 15 million people watched all or part of the game, won by Canada, 4-1. This is the first Olympics in which NHL players have participated.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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