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READERS COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS

COMMENT: NBC may be getting high ratings for the Olympic coverage, but I can compare it to the way the utility company always gets high ratings. It has a monopoly on the coverage, and it doesn't mean it's doing it right. I am so sick of seeing coverage of features and commercials, and not sports. It's driving me crazy. ... You want to watch the Olympics, but you find yourself yelling at the TV. Dick Ebersol should be canned.

Edward Kain, Tampa

COMMENT: Thank goodness there are sports bars, because that's where I've been going every afternoon and evening to watch Canadian satellite TV, and catch all the action Bob Costas is talking about but never shows.

Jim Stratton, Largo

COMMENT: As a mother of another 800 freestyler, and as a person interested in local athletes, I was very disappointed they did not show Brooke Bennett's heat of the 800 freestyle. That was in very poor taste. They could have done better by our local swimmer.

Cindy Conklin, Dunedin

COMMENT: As far as swimming is concerned, the commentary has been really lousy. In several of the heats, they didn't even bother to mention anyone else if there was an American in there. They're concentrating far too much on Americans and leaving everybody else out.

Anne Brookman, St. Petersburg

COMMENT: I would like to see a lot more of the other events, especially the men's basketball. They barely show any of it. If they can't show all of the events, they should put some on the other sports channels.

Angela Dennis, Clearwater

COMMENT: NBC's overdramatization in each event is beginning to get annoying. Why don't they just let the athletes do what they love to do, and stop making everything seem like the end of the world?

Collette Macon, St. Petersburg

COMMENT: I'm really disgusted with the coverage of the Olympic events. As a woman and a sports fan, I think it's insulting to our intelligence that they are trying to make it all a big soap opera. We're here to see all the Olympic events and all the contenders, and I think they're doing a disservice.

Jean Ciselli, New Port Richey

COMMENT: I'm tired of seeing stories about the athletes. I'd like to see them competing more. As far as women needing to see emotional stories to be involved in the Olympics, I think that's hooey.

Diane Wardell, Seminole

COMMENT: Why can the broadcasting companies televise six basketball games in a row during March Madness? They can televise the World Series day games, and they televise golf every Thursday and Friday, but we can't receive live coverage of the Summer Olympics? This is the time of year that children are home from school and they might become fans of the Olympics, and maybe someday an Olympic athlete.

Jerry Woodka, St. Petersburg

COMMENT: I can't imagine that they're keeping John Tesh on board when he should be doing fluff pieces, not commenting on the Olympics. He constantly cuts in with comments on things he knows nothing about. I think John Tesh and NBC should stick to the other kind of news reporting, because their Olympics coverage is kind of pathetic.

Bruce Stout, Clearwater

COMMENT: I don't appreciate John Tesh. The way he talks negatively toward the women's gymnastics team, he's not referring to them as if they're capable of doing anything. He should just go back to Entertainment Tonight. I don't know why they have him covering the Olympic Games. They should have someone like Mary Lou Retton.

Anthony Murray, Tampa

COMMENT: Without a doubt, this is the poorest coverage of the Olympics I've ever seen. We should be able to watch these events all day long.

Jane Quittner, Belleair

COMMENT: John Tesh's comments are very negative. The only input he gives to the show is, "Big step, big step." I feel like he takes away from the accomplishments of the athletes.

Troje Zibilich, Tampa

COMMENT: I think NBC's coverage is good. The only bad thing maybe is they're not showing anything live. Other than that, it's excellent. I'm glad I'm not seeing any baseball. If the fans out there want to see baseball, they can turn on ESPN. When do we get to see gymnastics? Once every four years. It's a lot better than some guys sitting on the bench who get up, swing the bat and run.

Aslan Hajizandi, Palm Harbor

COMMENT: It's the worst coverage I've ever seen on TV. I wish they'd get rid of all of the commentaries, camera work and all of the editorials and show us the athletes.

Marge Wood, New Port Richey

COMMENT: I wish someone would tell NBC executives the reason (the ratings are so high), obviously, is that everyone wants to see the Olympics. And everyone's really angry because NBC has screwed up the coverage where they won't show the sports or the medal ceremonies or anything except the human interest stories on the athletes.

I'm sure if you went to the Olympics you could write the world's greatest feature story on practically every athlete, and it's not that big a deal. After the Olympics, I don't know _ I'm going to boycott NBC except for Seinfeld, I guess.

Fred Smith, Port Richey

Q: I'm wondering why they are taking the compulsories out of women's gymnastics for the 2000 Olympics?

Jennifer Fowler, Clearwater

A: Mostly because they added time and expense and lacked fan appeal. There still will be compulsory routines for all but the elite (Olympic-level) gymnasts.

Q: How many medals are being awarded at the Olympics?

Ted Dick, Ocala

A: According to the official Olympic program, 1,933 medals will be handed out. In boxing and judo, two bronze medals are awarded because there is no format to determine third place.

Q: I'd like to know if any of the Dream Team is staying in the Olympic Village? If so, who?

Joan Smith, Spring Hill

A: The Dream Team elected not to, figuring its athletes would be hounded by autograph-seekers. Also staying elsewhere are the U.S. men's and women's gymnastics teams, the U.S. women's basketball team and many top track and field athletes. Charlotte Hornets center Vlade Divac, playing for Yugoslavia, is staying in the village.

Q: Why is Michael Jordan not playing on the Olympic basketball team?

Bill Camm, Tarpon Springs

A: Jordan was underwhelmed by his experience in Barcelona and said early on in the selection process that he did not want to be considered for a spot this time. Interestingly, Charles Barkley said the same thing, but changed his mind and was added to the roster in April.

Q: Do you have the address for Dominique Moceanu?

Billy Hugel, 14, Port Richey

A: Write to Moceanu or any other member of the U.S. gymnastics team care of USA Gymnastics, Pan American Plaza, Suite 300, 201 South Capitol Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46225.

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