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February 14, 1994 - Image 20

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-14

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8 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, February 14, 1994

GYMNASTICS
Continued from page 6
formance on the floorexercise. Wymer,
who also received two 10's Friday
against Western, was somewhat in shock
over her weekend's performance.
"This is probably the best week-
end I have ever had, and probably will
ever have," Wymer said. "I broke my
record by so much that it's unreal."
The fight for the all around crown
was a close one, with the winner com-
ing down to whether or not Jenny
Hansen could get a9.9 or better on her
final event, the balance beam.
Hansen did not get a 9.9 but instead
scored a 9.75 which was good enough

for a second place finish of 39.65, en-
suring Wymer the all-around crown.
Michigan's Andrea McDonald
proved that she was deserving of a
spot in the lineup by capturing third in
the all around with a 38.8
"She's beginning to get over a little
bit of her nervousness that she's had in
competition," coach Bev Plocki said.
Debbie Berman turned in another
excellent performance by scoring a
personal best of 38.625, and is hope-
ful that the team will be able to stay at
a high leve.
" We're such a close team, that
that's what's really helping right
now," Berman said. "If we stay close
the rest of the season, I think we can
stay up there."

NOTEBOOK
Continued from page 6
Senior Wendy Wilkinson is still
out of the line-up with an aggravated
knee problem.
"Its coming along," Wilkinson
said. "I hope to begin swinging bars
again in two or three weeks."
HIGHLIGHTS: Sophomore Jenny
Hansen of Kentucky was last year's
all-around national champion. She and
Beth Wymer fulfilled the high expec-
tations for a close competition. Dur-
ing the meet on Sunday.
"They really pushed each other
and they're both great athletes," Ken-
tucky coach Leah Little said.

SUGIURA
Continued from page 3
and we'd be all set.
5) Add the jump 'n' duck, or,
the fly-by shooting. You want
excitement and a surefire ratings
blockbuster? Please, come inside.
The current Nordic skiing biathlon
consists of cross-country skiing and
range shooting. Only watching
"Baseball's Greatest Pitching
Changes" on ESPN could be more

dull. Yet, with only a few minor
changes, we may have come upon
the sport of the 21st century.
First, we lose the cross-country
part, and switch venues to the ski
jump place. Put one guy on the top
of the jump and put the other guy in
the landing area and give him a
rifle. The first guy goes off the
jump, and then the second tries to
blast him out of the sky (Paint balls
would probably be better than real
bullets, for the cool splattering, easy
detection and significantly lower

mortality rate.). Better yet, give
both guys guns and have them shoot@
at each other. Have them switch
places and keep going until
sundown or until one is
hospitalized, whichever comes first.
Yes, it's a little morbid, but who
won't be tuning in to this one? And
for those budding Tipper Gores who
say it will be too violent, must we
invoke the name of Tonya Harding
yet again?
The answer is no.
Let the Games begin.

U

MOE
Continued from page 2
It only lasted two minutes. Then
Tommy came down."
Tommy came down all right. He
wobbled a bit at the start and was only
sixth after the first interval. Then he
made up for lost time, and was in first
place after the third interval as he
streaked through the remaining sec-
tions, Svingen, Bukkerittet, Boygen,
Loftet and Klemma.

Moe crossed at 1:45.75,:
dredths of a second faster than
From his cramped posi
the grandstand, Tom Moe
on the guard railing and imp
he be allowed across the fin
His son looked up at the sc
"For me, the biggest sur
when I came down and saw
and I was first on the board,"]
Moe still had to sweat+
big-time racers - the gold b
among them defending+
champion Patrick Ortlieb o

four-hun- and William Besse, the swift Swiss.
n Aamodt. One after another they tried, but
tion near no one could beat Moe's time.
pounded There were only two scares.
lored that Canada's Ed Podivinsky, starting 21st,
nish area. stopped a few hearts with his time of
oreboard. 1:45.87, which was good enough for
prise was the bronze medal. Nicolas Burtin of
my name France, the last man that Moe really
Moe said. feared, finished sixth after starting
out some from the 33rd position.
)usters - Kyle Rasmussen, Moe's teammate,
Olympic started 26th and shot all the way to 11th.
f Austria Was the course changing? Was
the track getting faster?
Moe and Aamodt, standing side
by side, watched and waited.
AJ Kitt, another American of
promise, posed the last real threat
from the 30th position. But it soon
became clear that this was not Kitt's
course, or his day. He finished 17th.
After the top 30 racers were done,
Moe realized that no one from the sec-
ond division could pull off a miracle.
His time would hold. He would be the
only American besides Johnson to have
won Olympic gold in downhill.
Later, Aamodt was asked if the
delay after Mullen's crash had hurt
his chances.
He jokingly replied, "I think it hurt
me by about five-hundredths," the mar-
gin separating him from the gold.
Tom Moe, draped in a conspicu-
ous fur coat he called "a timber wolf,"
was finally able to bust through secu-
rity and join his son.
"I just looked at him," Moe Sr.
said. "We don't have to say much."
Maybe it was meant to be. Al-
though Moe deprived Aamodt and
Norway of the gold, he sort of kept it
in the country.
In the 1800s, Moe's great-great-
great grandfather emigrated to the
United States from Oslo.
"They shouldn't feel too bad,"
Tom Moe said. "Because a Norwe-
AP PHOTO gian still got a medal."
)84. And, his father got to see it.

SAINT-JEAN

Tommy Moe won the first downhill gold medal for the U.S. since 19

AMP,

arniouin ce
a special

Continued from page 1
best year.
In 1992, he played with superstars
like former Kentucky standout Jamal
Mashburn in a California summer
camp. That same summer, during the
finals of the European championships
(his French Junior team defeated Italy
for the title), he played for his largest
crowd ever - no more than a few
thousand. There were six times as
many people at Michigan's season
debut. It was an exhibition game.
That was just one of many eye-
opening experiences, the kind his
mother envisioned for him when
she heard her son was going to play
overseas.
"I knew it would form his
character," says his mother, George,
in French.
She doesn't speak English, so
Olivier conducts his own interview
on the reporter's behalf, translating
interview questions written in
English. He's asking things like
"When did you first realize your son
had basketball talent?" to which she
laughs uproariously, amused at the
awkward situation. He reminds her to
keep it short, that he "doesn't want to
pay 100 francs for this phone call,"
and she regains composure.
"'In the United States, I knew
he'd have to struggle and fight (to
achieve) all the time. In France, it
was getting too easy for him."
George should know about
challenges. She was on a club team
similar to the one he played for, and
she now coaches a team on par with a
small Division I school in the States.
"Once she was playing against
Roma, this team in Italy," Olivier
says, leaning back grandly, trying to
contain a smile. "She had to play

defense on this American player -
the leading scorer in Europe - who
had 32 points a game. That woman
didn't score a point."
He shakes his head in true awe,
speaking of his mother as he would
Dominique Wilkins, his favorite pro.
"I was seven or eight years old,
and I remember that well."
Clearly, Olivier would love to
emulate his mother's skill, to repeat
her successes as a player. If recent
games are any indication, he just
might.
Against Michigan State Feb. 5,
Olivier scored a season-high 11
points. He had eight points and the
game's feature dunk in the Indiana
game three days later. Even before
these performances, Fisher had said,
"Now, I have more confidence in
him than I ever have."
Olivier knows he has a future at
Michigan, but is realistic about life
after college. His first choice is to
study business.in France for a few
years. If he's ready, he'll play for a
European pro team.
He continues talking, glancing
around at the murals on the
lounge's cinderblock walls. They're
painted in explosive reds and
yellows and greens, with profiles of
African women and men wearing
beaded necklaces and elaborate
headwear. On one wall is painted
the word "umoja," which means
"unity" in Swahili.
"In France, the color of the skin
is not a problem," he says without
the slightest discomfort. "You've
got racism everywhere in the world,
but history was different (in
France), so now we don't have to
deal with this kind of problem. In
America, you have to deal with it.
The Black people try to be
different, try to find an identity.
"I don't consider myself 'French

MCELL UY/Dily
African.' I'm just Black. It's cool. I
like it."
Olivier knows who he is, even
while under the double scrutiny one
gets as a foreigner who also happens
to be an up-and-comer on the hottest
basketball team in the country.
But if he's so sure of his
identity, how come nobody else can
agree about it?
"He's not a trash talker,"
assistant coach Brian Dutcher says.
"He talks trash about
everything," Olivier's hallmate
Vijay Sardeshpande says.
"He's not homesick or down
about anything," hallmate Dale
Winningham says.
"He calls home constantly,"
Crawford says, smiling. "His phone
bill was $400."
Like a successful traveler,
Olivier has adapted to his numerous
surroundings and has managed to
find his niche in all of them.
When he's pacing the hardwood
of Crisler, he's the hard-nosed sixth
man and defensive specialist who
may already be better than his
coaches ever anticipated.
When he's playing Mortal
Kombat on his Sega system, blaring
Sade or challenging his next victim at
the quad's ping-pong table, he's just a
college kid, providing comic relief for
those who "chill" with him.
His friends say he's exceedingly
generous, frequently treating them
to pop or food from the Union.
On the weekends, he goes out
with Bobby and his friends, and
usually winds up the centerpiece of
the dance floor.
"He'll see a video on MTV, and
at the next party he'll be doing that
dance," Crawford says. "He's real
tall, so you can see him over
everybody across the room."
But true assimilation, Olivier
has learned, does not come as easily
as the latest moves.
"He's very trusting at times,
which might be bad," Crawford
says. "In the U.S., you have a lot
more;people trying'totake
advantage of you. I don't know if
he's learned that yet."
Olivier says that "Sometimes
you think you're friends with
somebody, and it's not true. You
get played most of the time."
Inevitably, there are bits of
meaning lost in the translation,
which can combine to create a gulf
of misunderstanding. He has
learned to accept these culture gaps,
just as he has learned that
goaltending, OK in international
play, is illegal in the U.S. game.
Is there anything in this country
that's called French that is really

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