It was a day for the U.S. Olympic team to bask in the spotlight once again, this time with President Clinton on the South Lawn of the White House. But one part of Wednesday's ceremony evoked the cutthroat nature of some Olympic sports.
Women's figure skating silver medalist Michelle Kwan _ and not gold medalist Tara Lipinski _ was chosen to present Clinton with a U.S. team jacket. And Lipinski's mother wasn't happy.
"Don't you think it's a terrible thing for them to do to poor Tara?" said Pat Lipinski, who blamed the U.S. Olympic Committee for the perceived snub. "It's been like this for poor Tara. It's a terrible thing."
USOC spokesman Mike Moran said skier Picabo Street was chosen to present the jacket after a vote by the Olympic team, but Street is injured and was unable to make the trip. Moran said Kwan was the second choice in the balloting, and that there was no intended slight of Lipinski.
Meanwhile, the U.S. women's hockey team again outshone the men. The medal-less men's hockey team was not invited because several of its players trashed some dorm rooms in Nagano.
"It was kind of neat to walk in and say, "Hey, we're in the White House,' " captain Cammi Granato said.
MORE OLYMPICS: Triple gold medalist Michelle Smith defiantly denied tampering with a urine sample that may have shown signs of a banned substance. The Irish swimmer vowed to fight the latest charges. The champion U.S. women's soccer team will play Germany June 28 at Chicago's Soldier Field. The International Olympic Committee supports calls for changes in the judging system in ice dancing but has no plans to drop the sport from the Games.
TENNIS: The father of Steffi Graf walked free from a low-security German prison after spending more than two years in jail for evading taxes on millions earned by his daughter. A court in Stuttgart said it released Peter Graf, 59, after he served more than half his sentence of three years and nine months, because he had been an "exemplary" inmate. Top-ranked Martina Hingis and second-seeded Jana Novotna advanced to the quarterfinals of the German Grand Prix in Hamburg. Top-seeded Greg Rusedski and defending champion Mark Philippoussis were upset in the BMW Open in Munich. Fernando Meligeni upset second-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6-4, 6-4 and reached the quarterfinals of the Czech Open in Prague. Second-seeded Mary Joe Fernandez and fourth-seeded Mirjana Lucic won opening-round matches in the Bol Ladies Open in Croatia. Pete Sampras had a 3-2 lead in the first set over unseeded Davide Sanguinetti when rain began and play was halted at the AT&T Challenge in Atlanta.
BASKETBALL: The United States beat winless China 80-59 and improved to 4-1 in the four-nation International Women's Competition in Nagoya, Japan.
KAREEM VS. KARIM: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has reached a settlement with Karim Abdul-Jabbar of the Miami Dolphins in the former NBA star's lawsuit alleging trademark infringement by the football player. The parties agreed that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the trademark rights to that name for commercial purposes. To differentiate between the two, the football player will be known as "Abdul" for the purposes of commercialism.
SOCCER: Lazio of Rome scored three goals within 10 minutes to beat AC Milan 3-1 in the Italian Cup final in Rome. Spanish League champion Barcelona won the Spanish King's Cup for a record 24th time, beating Mallorca 5-4 on penalty kicks in Valencia. Claudio Lopez scored in the 84th minute as Argentina upset World Cup champion Brazil 1-0 in an exhibition game in Rio de Janeiro.
BOWLING: Eric Forkel took the lead after the first round of qualifying at the PBA Tucson Open. Forkel finished with a 1,486 pinfall and a 60-pin advantage over Wayne Webb.
BOXING: Satoshi Iida successfully defended his WBA junior bantamweight title with a 12-round decision over fellow Japanese Hiroki Ioka in Nagoya.
_ Compiled from Times wires.