Athletes will go for the gold soon at the Summer Games, but if you can't get to Athens, you can watch Americans compete for spots on the U.S. Olympic team on home soil. Called trials, the competitions either determine wholly or help pick the teams in numerous sports. We asked Elissa Leibowitz to run down the events. (Note: Ticket availability was as of press time.)
When/Where: Through June 3 at Fort Benning, Ga.
Why Go: An upcoming trip to Atlanta could include a two-hour detour south to see pistol, rifle and running-target competitions.
Info: USA Shooting, 719-866-4670, www.usashooting.org; Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism, 800-847-4842, www.georgia.org.
* JUDO/TAE KWAN DO
When/Where: June 5 in San Jose, Calif.
Why Go: Two sports for the price of one, as both martial arts have merged their Olympic trials into one event. Four tae kwan do athletes will compete for two spots; each of 12 judo weight classes will send one athlete to the Olympics, with five players in each class competing.
Admission: $25; buy through TicketMaster (408-998-8497, www.ticketmaster.com).
Info: San Jose Sports Authority, 408-288-2930, www.sjsa.org; San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, 800-726-5673, www.sanjose.org.
When/Where: June 7-13 in St. Peters, Mo.
Why Go: National fave and potential medalist Laura Wilkinson will be making a big splash at this year's trials, held 30 miles from St. Louis.
Admission: All-session passes are $95 to $130; one-day tickets are $10 to $30. Buy through Metrotix (800-293-5949, www.metrotix.com).
Info: USA Diving, 317-237-5252, www.usadiving.org; St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, 800-325-7962, www.explorestlouis.com.
When/Where: June 12-13 and 18-20 in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Why Go: Dressage (like ballet on horseback) is one of three Olympic equestrian events; the team members in other equestrian events have been chosen.
Admission: Bleacher seats are $25 for June 12, 13 and 18; $60 for the 19th; and $75 for the 20th. Apply for tickets through Cornerstone Events Management (818- 841-3554, www.cornerstonedressage.com).
Info: San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce, 949-493-4700, www.sanjuanchamber.com.
When/Where: June 14-19 in Mason, Ohio.
Why Go: Approximately 150 athletes will compete in an 80-acre sports facility 25 miles north of Cincinnati.
Info: USA Archery, 719-866-4576, www.usarchery.org; Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 800- 791-4386, www.ohio4fun.org.
When/Where: June 16-17 and 19 in Redlands, Calif.
Why Go: Three of the six races -- which loop around roads surrounding Interstate 10 an hour east of L.A. -- will send winners to Greece.
Info: USA Cycling, 719-866-4581, www.usacycling.org; Redlands Bicycle Classic Committee, www.redlandsclassic.com; Redlands Chamber of Commerce, 909- 793-2546, www.redlandschamber.org.
When/Where: June 24-27 in Anaheim, Calif.
Why Go: Remember Mary Lou Retton, Mitch Gaylord and the medals their teams won 20 years ago? The 34 athletes seeking spots on this year's team are probably the strongest U.S. contenders since then.
Admission: All-session passes are $65 to $360; buy through TicketMaster (714-740-2000, www.ticketmaster.com).
Info: 2004 Gymnastics Trials, 714-704-2436, www.2004gymnasticstrials.com; Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau, 714-765-8888, www.anaheimoc.org.
* TRACK AND FIELD
When/Where: July 9-18 in Sacramento.
Why Go: See the speedy athletes destined for Wheaties boxes and shoe contracts before their gold-medal egos set in.
Admission: All-session passes are $160 to $260; individual tickets are $15 to $35. Buy through California State University- Sacramento ticket office and Tickets.com (916-278-4323, www.tickets.com).
Info: USA Track and Field, 317-261-0500, www.usatf.org; Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau, 916-808- 7777, www.discovergold.org.
When/Where: July 7-14 in Long Beach, Calif.
Why Go: This is the first time swimmers, including Baltimore phenom Michael Phelps, will compete for Olympic spots in an above-ground pool (part of a temporary arena built on a parking lot).
Admission: One-day passes are $20 to $60; all-session passes are $200 to $400. Buy through TicketMaster (213-480-3232, www.ticketmaster.com).
Info: Long Beach Sports Council, 562- 495-8352, www.longbeach2004.com; Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 800-452-7829, www.visitlongbeach.com.