Come back, Meltemi. All is forgiven.

We would welcome back those wacky Athens winds -- what are a few submerged sailors, after all? If you don't want to get wet, don't go to sea, my friends -- if they would cool off the joint. We are Meltemi-ing ourselves. The stench of unwashed journalists in the Main Press Center will soon be visible. Scientists will photograph it and it will look something like the rings of Saturn -- colorful gas.

The ferocious heat has lit a burner under the Dutch oven that is the Olympic Stadium, just in time for track and field. This is that wonderful Olympic time when track and swimming overlap (Channel 2! Channel 18! Channel 2! We're exhausted!)

Last night's double action didn't disappoint. Michael Phelps was scarily good in the pool, and a real Olympian out of it, giving Ian Crocker -- ill earlier in the Games -- a chance at a gold medal tonight in the medley relay.

At the track, there were only a few finals, but the Ethiopians' 1-2 finish in the men's 10,000 was amazing, especially that final lap by Kenenisa Bekele, distance running's new star. We're schvitzing just riding the escalator, and this guy is just flying around the track.

He's a cool breeze. Just what we needed.

BUST OF THE DAY: Alan Webb was knocked about like a pinata in the first round of the men's 1,500 meters, failing to qualify for the semifinals by .11 of a second.

SURPRISE OF THE DAY: U.S. men's beach volleyball pair Dax Holdren, above, and Stein Metzger, seeded 12th, upset fourth-seeded Germans Martin Dieckmann and Jonas Reckermann in a medal-round match.


"We came into this meet as a team and we're going to leave it as a team. It's the right thing to do."

-- Michael Phelps, on his decision to give his spot in the medley relay final to teammate

Ian Crocker.

MALTA, MY MALTA: There is last, and then there is the last that Tanya Blake finished in the final heat of the 800 meters. That is the kind of last where the TV cameras pan from the finish line, show the winners celebrating, drinking water, checking their time, getting their nails done and leaving the stadium, then pan back to you crossing the finish line. Let's just say it's over for Tanya and wish her well.

Meanwhile, Our Man Mario Aquilina is still in 39th after 10 races, but he's only one point from moving up to 38th. He just has to catch Stanley Tan Kheng Stong of Singapore. With one race to go, let's help Mario with the hot air behind our shouts of "Go, Mario!" Let him hear you!

SIGN OF THE ACROPOLIS: German Anna Dogonadze won the women's trampoline gold medal. That's not the sign. Trampoline as an Olympic sport -- that's the sign.

-- Tracee Hamilton