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READERS COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS

COMMENT: I was extremely annoyed by John Tesh repeatedly referring to the U.S. women's gymnastics team as "little girls." First of all, five of the seven team members are over 18, and that's legal adulthood the last time I checked. In addition, the team turned in a performance that was inspiring, courageous and heroic. If NBC wants to attract and keep female viewers, it had better start giving female Olympians the respect they deserve.

Juliette Fincher, St. Petersburg

COMMENT: NBC does the lousiest job. I've been watching tonight from 7:30 to 8. I timed it. Ten minutes of competition; the rest was commercials and talking.

Donna Wendt, Clearwater

COMMENT: NBC stands for "nothing but c---". All we get to see is men's basketball, women's basketball, gymnastics and swimming. When are we going to see some other sports?

Rob Ralph, Seminole

COMMENT: I always thought that medal ceremonies were one of the best things that ABC did when it covered the Olympics. I guess NBC doesn't think it's very important to see the American flag being hoisted and the pride in the faces of the medal winners _ it doesn't matter what medal they've won.

James Raulerson, Clearwater

COMMENT: Last night at 7:30, when NBC's Tom Brokaw came on, (he told) millions of people that the American girls gymnasts had won by a small margin over the Russians _ before we were allowed to view it. It ruined the Olympics coverage for us.

Joye Besteman, Safety Harbor

COMMENT: Why don't they show the Games when they happen? The gymnastics was great. But unless you were going to put a bag over your head, you knew the results before it even came on the air.

William Derby, St. Petersburg

COMMENT: I just noticed all of the comments were negative. I wanted to say the television coverage has been great. I especially love the features they do on the individual athletes. It makes me very glad that I'm watching it on television and I'm not there in Atlanta, where I might miss all that stuff.

Laurel Graham, Tampa

Q: Why is Bela Karolyi barred from being with his girls?

Dorothy Metz, St. Petersburg

A: Karolyi is not one of the U.S. team coaches, though his lesser-known but respected wife, Martha, was named head U.S. coach. Coaches who do not have official positions with the squad _ coaches such as Karolyi and Steve Nunno _ must stay outside the competition area.

_ SHARON GINN

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