IOC Report: Atlanta Olympics Drew Record TV Viewers

From Staff and Wire Reports

Nine of 10 television viewers around the world tuned in to last summer’s Atlanta Olympics, making the Centennial Games the most watched sports event in TV history, according to the International Olympic Committee’s “Olympic Broadcast Analysis Report.”

Out of a potential global audience of 3.5 billion viewers, more than 3.2 billion people watched at least part of the games, the report said.

The gross cumulative audience for the 17-day Games, which were shown in a record 214 countries and territories, reached 19.6 billion--18% higher than for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.



The IOC Athletes’ Commission criticized sports federations that have failed to comply with guidelines to standardize drug regulations.

The athletes, lamenting that “doping continues to be a blight on international sport,” reiterated their call for year-round testing of competitors, both during and out of competition.


The president of Cuba’s Olympic Committee, Manuel Gonzalez Guerra, has died in Havana at 83, according to Puerto Rican Olympic official Hector Francisco Cardona.

Manuel Gonzalez had suffered health problems for months and underwent open-heart surgery in March in Mexico.

Pro Football

Two weeks after his San Francisco 49ers had lost to the Green Bay Packers in last season’s NFL playoffs, Steve Young discovered his injured ribs were not only cracked, but dislocated as well.

Young and his doctors didn’t know why, despite treatment, it still felt like there was “a knife in my back,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle. But two weeks later further tests revealed the dislocated rib in his back. It was popped back into place, and Young said he has been fine since.


The Philadelphia Eagles traded defensive tackle Ronnie Dixon to the New York Jets for a seventh-round pick in this weekend’s draft. . . . The New England Patriots signed defensive end Ferric Collons for $1.25 million for two more seasons, matching an offer sheet he had signed with the Eagles.

Auto Racing

Kenny Wallace, best known as Rusty’s little brother, finally got something of his own to boast about in Winston Cup stock car racing, taking the pole position for the Goody’s 500 Sunday at the Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Wallace had a fast lap of 93.961 mph in a Ford Thunderbird.

Mike McLaughlin, driving a Chevrolet, turned a lap of 109.935 mph in winning the pole for Sunday’s BellSouth-Oprylands USA 320 in NASCAR’s Busch Grand National Series at Nashville, Tenn.


Top-seeded Richard Krajicek, near perfect on his serve, advanced to the Japan Open semifinals with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over David Prinosil at Tokyo. His semifinal opponent will be No. 6 Patrick Rafter, who outplayed fellow Australian Todd Woodbridge, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

The semifinals of the Godo Seat Open at Barcelona, Spain, will be an all-Spanish affair as Carlos Moya, Albert Costa, Alberto Berasategui and Alberto Portas won quarterfinal matches.


A three-man battle for the starting quarterback position will be the feature of USC’s spring football game today at Howard Jones Field at 11 a.m. Sophomores Quincy Woods and John Fox and freshman Mike Van Raaphorst are rated even at the end of spring practice by Coach John Robinson and offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. The $20 admission fee includes a barbecue lunch.


Olympic gold-medal winning gymnast Kerri Strug claims in a lawsuit filed in Tucson, Ariz., that a Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) promotion company cheated her out of $850,000. She signed with the 1996 World Gold Gymnastics Tour for about $1.1 million. Strug says she has been paid $280,000.

Nevada Las Vegas men’s basketball Coach Bill Bayno is expected to sign a contract extension through 2002 today. Bayno will receive an annual base salary of $150,000. . . . St. Joseph’s University signed men’s basketball Coach Phil Martelli to a new four-year contract through the 2000-01 season. . . . Trent Shippen, for the last three years women’s basketball coach at Ricks College, has been named women’s coach at Brigham Young. . . . Jacksonville University is looking into a report that basketball Coach Hugh Durham violated NCAA rules by watching pickup games involving a recruit.

Soccer’s world governing body, FIFA, extended a European ban on former World Cup referee Kurt Roethlisberger, who was accused of trying to arrange a bribe. . . . UEFA, the governing body of soccer in Europe, pledged to keep European games on public television but said it may also start offering some matches to pay TV companies. . . . Miami of Ohio changed the nickname for its athletic teams from Redskins to the RedHawks. . . . Mississippi State football player James Jones pleaded guilty to marijuana possession and was fined $250 by a municipal judge in Starkville, Miss. . . . Heavyweight boxer Tommy Morrison pleaded not guilty to drunk driving and speeding and will stand trial June 12 at Fort Scott, Kan. . . . Loyola Marymount will honor basketball legend Pete Newell at the Pride of Lions Dinner and Auction today.