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MORSI PICCOLI

(final edited version not provided, please see microfilm)

ITALY'S FAVORITE SPORT FOR A DAY

All the Italians needed to get really interested in the Olympics was a double gold medalist.

The country's sports newspaper, Gazzetta dello Sport, which on one day during the Games devoted its first 23 pages to soccer, put speed skater Enrico Fabris on the front page the day after he won gold in the 1,500 meters to add to his gold in the team pursuit and bronze in the 500.

"Fabris, the man of the Games" was the headline.

The 24-year-old policeman also was on pages 2, 3 and 5. He wasn't on page 4 because it had a full-page ad - that didn't have him in it.

But in the truest measure of Olympic success these days, hours after the 1,500 he was offered about $1.2-million to appear on an Italian reality TV show.

Amazingly, he turned it down.

"That is not my target," he said.

Let's see how long that lasts.

BUT WILL HE TAKE OFF HIS SHIRT FOR COSMO?

The women's part of the curling tournament isn't the only one with sex symbols.

David Murdoch, the skip of the British men's team, "has become somewhat of a pin-up at the Games and has a growing female fan base," the BBC reports.

David Murdoch

Age: 27

Hometown: Lockerbie, Scotland

Occupation: Farmer

Astrological sign: Aries (April 17, 1978)

Favorite video: Britain's women curlers winning the 2002 gold.

CURL ON, DUDES AND DUDETTES

The curlers just could be cooler than the snowboarders.

The Swedish women's team, which plays for the gold against Switzerland today, made a video with Swedish heavy metal band HammerFall last month.

In the video for Hearts on Fire, the team shows up for a match in a dingy rink and find that its opponent is a wild-haired, leather-clad heavy metal band that can't curl.

The women win, with the help of an on-ice drum kit, as they morph into leather- and chain-clad singers and air guitarists.

Says the band on its Web site, www.hammerfall.net, "The result is an amusing and, for us, a little unusual video.

NO SEX, PLEASE, WE'RE BRITISH OLYMPIANS

To get an idea of the kind of fortitude the United States will face when it takes on Britain for the men's curling bronze Friday: As a member of the '02, team Britain's Ewan MacDonald and his wife, fellow Olympian curler Fiona, "famously enforced a no-nookie ban" so they could concentrate on the competition, the BBC says.

BY THE NUMBERS

$2.50 -- cost of meals at a hospital where American snowboarder Tyler Jewell would eat to save money during training

5 -- members of the Army's World Class Athlete Program, which supports active-duty soldiers, competing or coaching at these Games

30 -- packs of drugs, including asthma medication and antidepressants, Italian police say were found in the raid of the Austrian cross country skiers and biathlon compound

103 -- pairs of designer sunglasses Johnny Weir says he owns after buying a $320 pair of Roberto Cavalli shades Monday in Turin

THUMBS UP

Bode Miller. Hey, buddy, thanks for bracing yourself to ski through the pain Saturday after turning an ankle playing basketball.

THUMBS DOWN

The U.S. men's hockey team. Hey, guys, those games that count that you said you'd be ready for? They started Wednesday.

QUOTE

"She has a few aches, a few pains, as we all do when we get older."

John Nicks, coach of 21-year-old Sasha Cohen, explaining she had on an ice pack and a leg wrap after Tuesday's short program

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