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READERS COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS

COMMENT: I think it was very unfair the way they treated Brooke Bennett after her race and even during the race. They gave all the credit to Janet Evans and skipped over her.

Janet Dodson, Pinellas Park

COMMENT: I was really disappointed in the coverage of Brooke Bennett. I think not only did we fail to get to really see her at the end of the race, but they cut her off. The commentator gave twice as much time to Janet Evans. And I think when she was actually swimming, it was really poor of them to talk about how she didn't give respect to Evans. I thought it was just inappropriate. Overall, I think Bob Costas is doing a good job. But is Summer Sanders' voice irritating anybody else except me?

Kip Mitchell, St. Petersburg

COMMENT: NBC's coverage is atrocious. Where is ABC when you need them? They cut up the programing into blocks of four to five minutes and the commercial breaks are four or five minutes. They've deleted a lot of serious events. The U.S. women's soccer team is a potential medal winner, and we've seen very little coverage of what it's doing in the Olympics. I just think NBC's priorities are completely backward.

Richard Bell, St. Petersburg

COMMENT: Hooper's comments are dead on line. I think he could make some comments about the horribly bad announcing team on the women's swimming. I just finished watching the 800-meter heats, and in the final heat, they didn't mention who the swimmers were. They must know there are people from other nations interested in the swimmers. It's incredibly bad reporting.

Siegmund Smith, Madeira Beach

COMMENT: Is it really necessary to listen to the commentators hyperventilate during the swimming races? It's so irritating. You wonder if the swimmer is going to make it or if the commentator is going to pass out. We turn it on mute just to get rid of them.

Denise Mielens, Spring Hill

COMMENT: The Olympic gymnastics is good with John Tesh, but Tim Daggett is one of the most critical people I've ever listened to. He has never said one good thing.

Robert Markford, St. Petersburg

COMMENT: It's too much hype and not enough substance.

Brian Anthony, Brandon

COMMENT: I just want to say I have a lot more respect for the Chinese (gymnastics) coaches. When their Mo Huilan did not do as well as expected, when she stepped out (of bounds), they stood between her and the cameramen. Whereas when both Dominique Dawes and Shannon Miller did poorly and were crying, both cameramen were right in their faces and none of the coaches was there to guard them and give them some privacy. I have no respect for the journalists that would stick their cameras in those athletes' faces.

Kathi Burgess, Clearwater

COMMENT: It was most unkind to keep the camera on the tearful faces of the American women gymnasts last night, for such a long time. I felt such sorrow and misery. I had to turn away.

Marie Ramm, Clearwater

COMMENT: Hey, Ernest Hooper: Put an all-points bulletin out on the medal ceremonies. They sure have disappeared from the coverage.

Tim Brooke, St. Petersburg

COMMENT: I have turned off the Olympics because the coverage is so poor. The athletes who deserve the coverage are not getting their due.

Jack Chernoff, Tampa

COMMENT: It's horrible. You do not get to see any sports at all, or very little. They're covering only the Americans. The Olympics is (about) seeing everybody perform. We're not seeing that.

Fred Jones, St. Petersburg

Q: What tattoo did Terry Tomalin select to put on his arm?

Linda Blankenship, Gulfport

A: Tomalin, who seems to spend more time in the water than on land, had the Chinese symbol for the water god tatooed on his shoulder.

Q: I've heard the expression repechage. What is that? It's not in my dictionary. And on the Olympic medal, there is a woman depicted. Who is she?

Pat Wrinn, St. Petersburg

A: Repechage is a French term; it means athletes or teams are given a second chance to advance to the championship bracket after losing in the preliminaries. You will see it used often in judo and rowing.

The woman depicted on the medals is Lady Victory, otherwise known as _ believe it or not _ Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. According to mythology, during wartime she would hover over the army of choice and bring victory. She also was present during sporting events, music competition and plays. She would present the victor with the olive wreath.

Lady Victory has appeared on every Olympic medal since 1928. The Atlanta medals were designed by Malcolm Grear Designers in Providence, R.I., and made by Reed & Barton. The gold medals are a sterling base clad with six grams of gold, the silver is sterling silver and the bronze is solid bronze.

Q: How many torches were made for the Olympic torch run?

Barbara Forbes, St. Petersburg

A: About 17,000, said Joel Grear of Malcolm Grear Designers, the company that designed the torches. Approximately 10,000 were used during the U.S. portion of the torch run, but more were needed for the torch's journey through Greece.

Q: Why do the Summer and Winter Olympics alternate every other year, rather than being held at the same time every four years?

Rena Guay, St. Petersburg

A: To generate more publicity and interest in each. In most cases the Winter Games took a back seat to the Summer Games on TV and in newspapers.

Q: I seem to recall an event called the modern pentathlon, but I don't see it listed in this year's Games. Has it been removed?

Denise Ginex Kraemer, Tampa

A: No, but it may be on its way out. For this year's Games, the modern pentathlon, which consists of shooting, fencing, swimming, riding and running events, was reduced from a four- to one-day event, and the team event and 56 athletes were deleted from the competition. Only 32 athletes, all male, participate. The competition will be held Tuesday.

_ SHARON GINN

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