Sue Candrea, the wife of U.S. Olympic softball team coach Mike Candrea, died yesterday of complications from a brain aneurysm she suffered while traveling with the team. She was 48.
As the U.S. team prepared to leave for its final games on a pre-Athens national tour on Friday, Sue Candrea became ill at the airport and was taken to a hospital.
She underwent surgery that day but never recovered.
Mike Candrea stayed behind with his wife while the U.S. team went to Stratford, Conn. The two-time defending Olympic gold medalists swept a double-header on Saturday to complete the tour 54-0.
Sue Candrea had traveled with her husband throughout the tour.
"Sue was truly a cherished individual whose love and support of her family and softball touched all she met," said USA Softball Director of National Teams Ronnie Isham. "Her loss is a tragic one and comes as a shock to all."
The Candreas live in Casa Grande, Ariz. They have two children, a son, Mikel, 24, and daughter, Michelle, 21.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Security Preparations Continue
Tens of thousands of law enforcement and military personnel were on high-level readiness before full-scale Olympic security measures are enforced in the country.
Security already has been heightened in the capital since July 1, when about 11,000 police officers and others began moving into Olympic venues and facilities in the first stage of the "lock down" process, which included security sweeps and tests of all surveillance operations.
In the second and last phase -- which is expected to begin Tuesday -- about 70,000 police, soldiers and other forces are expected to be deployed around Olympic venues, ports and other sensitive locations.
Gardner Wins Wrestling Title
Olympic champion Rulon Gardner won his first Greco-Roman international title in three years Saturday, capturing the 2641/2-pound class at the Pytlasinski wrestling tournament in Warsaw.
Gardner defeated 2002 world bronze medalist Yuri Patrikeev of Russia, 2-0, in the final. In the semifinals, he beat 2003 world bronze medalist Mirian Giorgadze of Georgia, 3-1.
Gardner is trying to become the first American to win two Olympic gold medals in Greco-Roman wrestling.. . .
Swedish high jumping star Kajsa Bergqvist will miss the Olympics after rupturing her left Achilles' tendon during her first outdoor meet of the season.
Bergqvist, the former world indoor champion and 2000 Olympic bronze medalist, will be sidelined six to eight months.