We missed it. We were busy, sure, but too busy to see history? We have no excuse for missing Paul Hamm's wild ride.

Here in The Post's Athens office, we have a magic TV, with channels showing every event at the Olympics as it happens.

We also have Eurosport, for when we're feeling Euro. We have stations in Greek, for when we want to not understand what's happening. We have the CBC in French, for when we're feeling a certain je ne sais quoi. We have the CBC in English for when we're not. We have the BBC World. We may have al-Jazeera. Our thumbs got tired.

We have the Acropolis channel, which shows the Acropolis, day and night. Sometimes the blimp passes through the shot. Sometimes not.

We have a channel with a map of Greece. Athens is not marked. Seriously.

We have a shot of the Olympic Cigarette. Every 30 minutes we check to see if it's still lit. We will be the first to break the story when it burns down to the filter and sputters out.

We have the beach channel, showing people who are not pasty Irish-Americans on the beach, napping, tanning and drinking. But they do not have our TV. We mock them! (Too much French CBC.)

Yesterday we were able to see Tyler Hamilton, Bobby Julich and Dede Barry win cycling medals. We saw Rebecca Giddens on the white water. We watched the equestrians jump and the swimmers break that East German record at long last. We watched the Games return to Ancient Olympia; we saw Aquil Abdullah's photo finish. We saw Kim Rhodes wreak havoc on a lot of defenseless clay pots (we suspect an adult learning course gone terribly wrong).

But we did not see Hamm's big finish. We saw Hamm in 12th place. We thought Hamm was toast (and who hasn't made that mistake?). So we don't know what to think about the scoring, and any potential controversy, and Al Trautwig is not here to tell us, and we'll tell you why:

The magic TV doesn't get NBC.

BUST OF THE DAY: Andy Roddick and Venus Williams. A lot of us would rather be in New York, folks. Yet here we are, watching TV.

SURPRISE OF THE DAY: Surprise! You've won the bronze! Surprise! No you haven't. It's all part of the gritty, nefarious world of team eventing.


"I didn't think what I did was so serious. I won't do it again."

-- Canadian Ron Bensimhon, 31, who was sentenced to five months in jail for jumping off the 3-meter springboard at the diving venue Monday night wearing a blue tutu and white tights with polka dots. Because this is the cradle of democracy, he'll appeal.

MALTA, MY MALTA: When last we checked in with our favorite Laser sailor Mario Aquilina, he was in 33rd place. He's now in 37th after suffering something called OCS. It sounds like one of those diseases they make commercials about, the one where they say the disease over and over, but don't tell you what it is. You are supposed to consult your doctor about OCS. Then he'll consult the pharmaceutical company, and they'll have a good laugh, and then you're taking a drug you don't need for a disease you don't have and will never have. It could be a horse disease for all you know.

Anyway, Mario pulled an OCS, which stands for "on course side," which is defined as: "Malta isn't winning a sailing medal this year."

SIGN OF THE ACROPOLIS: "A lot of guys gave up their bodies to make plays last night. We played to win."

-- Larry Brown actually said these words about the U.S. men's basketball team yesterday. Because if you don't play to win against the Greeks . . .

-- Tracee Hamilton