Concerned about possible demonstrations during the Beijing
Olympics, the Chinese government produced a list of nine American athletes — two
with ties to Stanford — and one assistant coach it thought might cause problems
during the games.
The U.S. State Department knew about China's concerns and made "multiple
representations" to the country's government to reinforce the American belief in
freedom of expression.
USA Today reported Thursday that it had obtained an internal U.S. Olympic
Committee e-mail in which a Chinese official expressed concern that members of
the U.S. team might stage some sort of demonstration.
USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel confirmed that the list was given to the
federation during a meeting July 8 with Shu Xiao, minister counselor for
cultural affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, the e-mail said.
The athletes included softball players Jennie Finch, Jessica Mendoza (a
former Stanford player), Natasha Watley, Amanda Freed, and softball assistant
coach Karen Johns; soccer player Abby Wambach; cyclist Jonathan Page; paralympic
basketball player Jen Howitt; paralympic wheelchair racer Cheri Blauwet (a
Stanford med student); and golfer Laura Goodwin.
Formula One title favorite Lewis Hamilton has been the target
of racist messages at a Web site aimed at promoting his failure in the decisive
Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Web site (or Burst Hamilton's Tires) says, in
Spanish, that "Hamilton cannot finish the race" and that "We want Hamilton to
Hamilton enters the final race of the year with a chance to win his first
title and become F1's youngest champion at age 23. He has a seven-point
advantage over Ferrari's Brazilian driver Felipe Massa, and can win the
championship by finishing fifth or better on Sunday.
David Beckham will join AC Milan in January on a three-month
loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy to maintain his fitness and prolong his career
with the English national team.
The former England captain's stint in Serie A will begin Jan. 7, and he will
rejoin his Galaxy teammates in March.
"He will have to go back to Galaxy by the time the MLS starts, and training
before that," Milan sporting director Umberto Gandini said Thursday. "David is
committed to the LA Galaxy and the MLS. Only David knows his future, but for
sure he has a commitment to go back to the MLS and fulfill that."
The Earthquakes' Frank Yallop has been named a finalist for MLS coach of the
year and English midfielder Darren Huckerby as newcomer of the year. The winners
will be announced Nov. 11.