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Australians prefer Lycra

Never mind baggy shorts. The Australian women's basketball team prefers the skin-tight look.

The Aussies wear body suits in eye-catching teal, yellow and black. The uniforms, which extend to mid-thigh, resemble wet suits without sleeves.

The players don't deny the sex appeal of the Lycra outfits. They were introduced in 1993 to help draw attention to women's basketball in Australia, and now every team in the nation's professional league wears them.

"Sex always plays a part in a lot of things," forward Trisha Fallon said. "It was a way to promote our sport and get it off the ground. It was struggling. We needed to do something."

ALI REMEMBERED: Charles Barkley said he rejected a chance to meet Muhammad Ali with some of his teammates after the Opening Ceremonies.

"Ali, to me, is one of the three or four greatest black men to ever live," Barkley said. "I chose not to meet him because I wanted to remember him the way he was." Ali has Parkinson's disease.

OLYMPIC 'DO: Rower Allison Gill wants to savor every minute and every aspect of the Olympics. A member of Britain's eight crew, Gill had the Olympic rings shaved into the back of her head.

_ Compiled from Times wires.

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