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Everything posted by panamfan

  1. Opening Ceremony of the Ist Junior Pan American Games held last night at Pascual Guerrero Stadium in Cali, Colombia. (Spanish Commentary)
  2. I just made an interesting find. The records of PAX-I, the organizing committee for the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis, are held in the archives of Indiana University/Purdue University of Indiana (IUPUI). Apparently, IUPUI has digitalized all of the PAX-I records, including all audiovisual materials included therein. These materials include the master tapes of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Apparently, they are available to view online, but you need to be able to login to the IUPUI computer system to do so. Here is a link if anyone wishes to try their luck with it. Boy how I would love to see those. The Tenth Pan American Games- Indianapolis- Opening Ceremonies- Master 1, 1987-08-07 | ArchivesSpace Public Interface (iupui.edu)
  3. The 1999 ceremonies are among my favorite pan ams. I just wish the whole ceremonies would surface. They were vvery nice, if somewhat low budget, with great music by Victor Davies. The interesting thing about the Clausura Winnipeg 1999 video is that it appears to be from a raw feed - without TV announcers or commercials. I wonder if the person who posted it has the whole ceremony or if what he put up was all he has? Canadian broadcasts of ceremonies (Edmonton 1983, Victoria 1994, Winnipeg 1999, i.e.) never seem to show up on youtube. Do canadians not record from TV at home to the extent that others do? There are plenty of CFL broadcasts that show up, but not much else.
  4. Rosalie Drysdale sings the theme song for the 1999 Pan Am Games, Reach Out - Go For Gold, live to a worldwide audience of 400 million viewers, from the Winnipeg Stadium during the grand finale of the opening ceremony. Song was composed by Victor Davies. Posted on her official youtube channel.
  5. AT LAST!!!! A nice portion of the Closing Ceremony of the XIIIth Pan American Games in Winnipeg in 1999. Held at Winnipeg Stadium. I have also relinked another video showing the "Guess Who" reunion performance at the end of the ceremony. ENJOY!
  6. Wow! Check this out! An original TV broadcast of one hour of highlights recapping CBS coverage of the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley! I don't know how they found this, but Wow!
  7. Closing Ceremony of the XIVth Pan American Games in Santo Domingo 2003 in full 1080p HD! Enjoy!
  8. Official posts of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games:
  9. Two new videos of the Sheffield 1991 World University Games Opening Ceremony. First is the TV broadcast version of the ceremony. This version includes Helen Sharman's infamous dropping of the torch. Ironically, she comments during an interview at the beginning about how horrible it would be if she were to drop the torch! Second, is a recap of the ceremony with interviews and explanations of some of the production numbers in the ceremony. Enjoy!
  10. Very rare footage from Indianapolis TV of the 1982 National Sports Festival - including footage from the lighting of the flame at the opening ceremony! Enjoy!
  11. Opening Ceremony of the 1989 South Asian Federation Games in Islamabad.
  12. Los Angeles 1984 Closing Ceremony - raw satellite feed - no cutaways for commercials.
  13. The IOC had added two new ceremony videos to its official website (NOT its youtube channel) Highlights of the CBS broadcast of the Squaw Valley 1960 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony hosted by Walter Cronkite: https://olympics.com/en/video/squaw-valley-1960-opening-ceremony The Moscow 1980 Opening Ceremony (just the protocol part - not the cultural part): https://olympics.com/en/video/opening-ceremony-moscow-1980
  14. Finally uploaded to the Official Olympic Youtube Channel: The Torino 2006 Closing Ceremony in full:
  15. I already posted that, but thanks for re-posting it. The COMPLETE Opening Ceremony of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. COMPLETE and UNCUT. ENJOY! Home video of the 2011 Winter World University Games Opening Ceremony in Erzurum, Turkey.
  16. 1995 United States Olympic Festival Denver Dates: July 22-31, 1995 Opened by: Roy Romer, Governor of the State of Colorado Final Torchbearers: Dot Richardson (softball) and Nigel Traverso (field hockey) Athletes Oath: Officials Oath: Athletes: 3600 Sports: 36 TV: CBS and PRIME Network Hours: CBS 7 1/2 PRIME 21 TOTAL 28 1/2 Host: CBS Andrea Joyce PRIME Barry Tompkins Saturday July 22 -- 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM CBS CBS Sports Show. Scheduled: U.S. Olympic Festival - Boxing and Figure Skating from Colorado Springs, Col. (Live) -- 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM PRIME U.S. Olympic Festival: Scheduled - Opening Ceremonies, Diving, Swimming, From Denver. (Same-day Tape) Sunday July 23 -- 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM CBS U.S. Olympic Festival: Boxing and Figure Skating -- 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM PRIME U.S. Olympic Festival: Scheduled - Gymnastics, Swimming and Diving. From Denver. (Same-day Tape) Monday July 24 -- 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM PRIME U.S. Olympic Festival: Scheduled - Swimming and Women's Volleyball. From Denver. (Live) Tuesday July 25 -- 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM PRIME U.S. Olympic Festival: Diving and Men's Volleyball. From Denver. (Same-day Tape) Wednesday July 26 -- 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM PRIME U.S. Olympic Festival: Men's Basketball and Weightlifting from Denver. (Same-day Tape) Thursday July 27 -- 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM PRIME U.S. Olympic Festival: Scheduled - Figure Skating, Boxing, Canoeing, from Denver. (Same-day Tape) Friday July 28 -- 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM PRIME U.S. Olympic Festival: Scheduled - Track and Field and Wrestling. From Denver. (Same-day Tape) Saturday July 29 -- 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM CBS CBS Sports Show. Scheduled: U.S. Olympic Festival - Figure Skating from Denver, Men's Gymnastics from Boulder, Colo. (Live) -- 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM PRIME U.S. Olympic Festival: Scheduled - Track and Field and Water Polo. (Same-day Tape) Sunday July 30 -- 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM CBS Gymnastics - Women Gymnastics - Men - Individual Finals Figure Skating Boxing -- 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM PRIME U.S. Olympic Festival: Scheduled - Track and Field and Gymnastics (Live) THE WASHINGTON POST OPENING CEREMONIES LIGHT FESTIVAL'S FIRE By Johnny Ludden July 22, 1995 The 1995 Olympic Festival kicked off tonight with an extravagant opening ceremony featuring spectacular fireworks, a performance by singer Kenny Loggins and a parade of about 3,600 athletes, drawing an estimated 25,000 spectators to Mile High Stadium. On a day when the event lost another of its top draws -- gymnast Doni Thompson -- and on the night before the U.S. Olympic Committee's executive committee meets to discuss the festival's future, the opening ceremony turnout was not anything to celebrate. Last year's festival drew a record 82,000 to its free opening ceremony in St. Louis, and San Antonio attracted 62,702 paying spectators in 1993. The lowest turnout came in the event's first year when 2,000 people came free to Colorado Springs in 1978. Back then, there were no seats for the spectators and folding chairs were provided for the 1,900 athletes. There were plenty of seats available tonight at Mile High Stadium, which has room for about 76,000. Although the official attendance was listed at 41,105 tonight, including tickets sold, officials and athletes, many people with tickets decided to skip the ceremony. Those who did show watched the athletes dressed in red, white and blue and divided by state, stream into the stadium on the first of 10 days of competition in 36 sports at sites in Boulder, Colorado Springs and here. John Naber, a four-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, served as master of ceremonies and USOC President LeRoy Walker and Festival '95 co-chairmen Roger Ogden and Tim Leiweke addressed the crowd before Colorado Gov. Roy Romer officially declared the competition open. Following the athletes' and officials' oath the festival cauldron was lit by Dot Richardson, a softball player, and Nigel Traverso, a men's field hockey player. Loggins entertained for about an hour followed by a fireworks display. The ceremony ended with the Colorado Children's Choir and the National Repertory Orchestra performing as the athletes left. "You will see, I am sure, many of the Atlanta participants here this week," Walker told the spectators. "We think the road to Atlanta begins right here in Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs." It doesn't for Thompson, who withdrew today because of a pulled muscle in her lower back. The 14-year-old, who won five medals, including the all-around title at last year's festival, has been on the U.S. national team for three years and is a strong candidate to compete next year in Atlanta. UCLA guard Tobi Bailey also was scratched from the festival today. Bailey, who was probably the biggest name among the festival's basketball players, will play overseas in another tournament for USA Basketball. Competition began this morning when the East rallied from a two-game deficit to beat the South, 9-15, 11-15, 16-14, 15-13, 15-12, in a 7 a.m. men's volleyball match, joining rowing, team handball, tennis and diving as the only sports in action on the first day. The games will pick up Saturday as Fort Washington's Derrick Delmore attempts to defend his title in junior men's figure skating. Delmore will go up against California's Trifun Zivanovic and Michigan's Ryan Jahnke, both of whom finished ahead of Delmore in the 1995 U.S. Championships. Alaska's Sydne Vogel, the 16-year-old U.S. junior champion and a candidate for the '98 Winter Games, will try to hold off Georgia's Brittney McConn in junior women's figure skating. "This is a big competition for me," said Vogel, who is aiming for the 1998 Winter Olympics. "This is a big step." The District's Demarcus "Chop Chop" Corley, the national Golden Gloves champion, will try to climb up USA Boxing's rankings when he fights in the light welterweight division Saturday as boxing starts with semifinals in six weight divisions. Finals in two diving and six swimming events also take place Saturday. CBS coverage of Gymnastics PRIME coverage of Gymnastics CBS coverage of Figure Skating
  17. 1994 United States Olympic Festival St. Louis Dates: July 1-10, 1994 Opened by: Final Torchbearer: Al Joyner (athletics) Athletes Oath: Marion Jones (athletics) Officials Oath: Athletes: 2200 Sports: 17 TV: CBS and PRIME Network Hours: CBS 8 PRIME 20 Total: 28 Host: CBS Jim Nantz PRIME Paul Kennedy Friday, July 1 -- 8:00 PM - (CT) (KTVI Channel 2 ABC (now FOX) affiliate in St. Louis) Opening Ceremony Saturday July 2 -- 10:00 PM - 11:00 PM PRIME Olympic Festival - From St. Louis. (Live) Sunday July 3 -- 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM CBS Eye on Sports - Scheduled: U.S. Olympic Festival from St. Louis, segments will include taped coverage. (Live) -- 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM PRIME Olympic Festival - From St. Louis. (Live) Monday July 4 -- 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM PRIME Olympic Festival - From St. Louis. (Live) Tuesday July 5 -- 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM PRIME Olympic Festival - From St. Louis. (Live) -- 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM PRIME Olympic Festival - From St. Louis. (Live) Wednesday July 6 -- 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM PRIME Olympic Festival - From St. Louis. (Live) Thursday July 7 -- 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM PRIME Olympic Festival - From St. Louis. (Live) Friday July 8 -- 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM PRIME Olympic Festival - From St. Louis. (Live) Saturday July 9 -- 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM CBS Eye on Sports - Scheduled: U.S. Olympic Festival from St. Louis. Segments will include taped coverage. (Live) -- 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM PRIME Olympic Festival - From St. Louis. (Live) Sunday July 10 -- 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM CBS Eye on Sports - Scheduled: U.S. Olympic Festival from St. Louis. Taped coverage of the international track series from Lausanne, Switzerland. Women's Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. (Live) -- 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM PRIME Olympic Festival - From St. Louis. (Live) For The Record U.S. Olympic Festival Kicks Off In St. Louis Seattle Times News Services The U.S. Olympic Festival '94 kicked off last night in St. Louis with an old-fashioned lawn party under the Gateway Arch on the banks of the Mississippi River. "St. Louis has gone out of its way to make sure you have a good time and that the U.S. Olympic Festival '94 goes down as the best ever," Florence Griffith-Joyner, three-time Olympic gold medalist, said in welcoming about 2,200 athletes, who with volunteers and fans crowded the grounds of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial for a two-hour show. The festival, designed to give athletes a taste of the Olympics, featured only mixed doubles tennis yesterday. Today, the festival kicks into gear with 17 events, including boxing, basketball, figure skating, swimming and diving. (Athletes Oath: Marion Jones) Opening ceremonies under the Gateway Arch on July 1 were emceed by Bob Costas and featured Al Joyner, who in 1984 had become the first American to win the Olympic triple jump since the 1904 games in St. Louis, as the final torch bearer before the cauldron was lit. The final such festival, however, was held the following year in Denver. Local News clip - Preview of Opening Ceremony CBS coverage of Gymnastics PRIME coverage of Gymnnastics CBS coverage of Figure Skating
  18. 1993 United States Olympic Festival San Antonio Dates: July 23-August 1, 1993 Opened by: Final Torchbearers: Sean O'Neill (table tennis) and Sharon Cain (handball) Athletes Oath: Officials Oath: Athletes: 3000+ Sports: 37 TV: TNT and PRIME Network Hours: TNT 10 PRIME 20 TOTAL 30 Hosts: TNT Ernie Johnson, Jr. and Nicole Watson PRIME Paul Kennedy Reporters: Ron Thulin (Basketball) Jim Simpson (Figure Skating) Bill Land (Swimming) Mel Procter (Boxing) Ron Thulin (Diving) Craig Sager (Athletics) Analysts: Hubie Brown (Basketball) Peter Carruthers (Figure Skating) Mary Wayte (Swimming) Craig Sager (Swimming) Kevin Kiley (Boxing) Cynthia Potter (Diving) Craig Masback (Athletics) Friday, July 23 -- 10:00 PM - 10:30 PM (CT) KENS (CBS affliate in San Antonio) Opening Ceremonies TBS, Prime team on Olympic fest Variety Staff Mar 5, 1993 Turner Broadcasting and the newly merged Prime Network have teamed to acquire the rights to the U.S. Olympic Festival for the next three years, creating what is believed to be the first joint programming venture between two cable networks. No financial details of the deal were disclosed. Terms of the deal call for Turner's TNT to carry 10 of the 30 hours of programming available and Prime to offer its affiliates 20 hours from the festival, which runs from July 24 to Aug. 1 in San Antonio. This is the first successful partnership between Prime and Turner, though not the parties' first attempt. The two cable companies, along with CBS, had considered a joint bid for the NCAA basketball tournament a few years back. The deal never materialized and CBS got the package exclusively. There have been several joint production ventures between cable and broadcast networks, such as CBS and TNT on the Winter Olympics in Albertville and Turner's deal with ABC on the Pan Am games, though this is thought to be the first programming venture between two cable networks. Turner also has a deal with ABC under which the broadcaster will carry a portion of Turner's Goodwill Games. The 1994 Festival will be in St. Louis, and will be held in Denver in 1995. Copyright © 1993 Reed Business Information FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 8, 1993 USOF-'93 TV Schedule to Include Live Coverage from 15 Sports COLORADO SPRINGS -- The United States Olympic Committee, TNT Sports, Prime Network and the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee have announced the television schedule for U.S. Olympic Festival-'93, which opens July 23 in San Antonio, Texas. In an unprecedented agreement, the two cable networks will cooperatively produce and televise a total of 30 hours of coverage -- 10 on TNT and 20 on Prime Network -- over a nine-day span from July 24-Aug. 1, and it will include live coverage from 15 sports ranging from archery to wrestling. In addition to the planned coverage of archery, basketball, boxing, diving, figure skating, gymnastics, ice hockey, speed skating, swimming, synchronized swimming, track and field, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling, the two cable networks will air athlete features and cover breaking news at all the Festival venues, as well as continuously updating scores and results from the 37 different sports at USOF-'93 in San Antonio. Both cable networks will begin their coverage on Saturday, July 24, with TNT's first two-hour show starting at 4:00 p.m. (Eastern) and featuring basketball, figure skating and synchronized swimming. Prime Network's telecast that day will begin at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) and include coverage of archery, figure skating and swimming. TNT's other two-hour shows will air on July 25, 28, 31, and Aug. 1, the final day of the '93 Festival. Prime Network will broadcast two-hour shows each day from July 25-Aug. 1, except on Wednesday, July 28, when it will air a four-hour show. The networks' talent should be announced in another two to three weeks, but Prime Network has announced that Paul Kennedy will serve as its host during the multisport event in San Antonio. "We're excited about the schedule and look forward to watching the coverage TNT and Prime Network have planned for the U.S. Olympic Festival," USOC Executive Director Harvey W. Schiller said. "The U.S. Olympic Festival is a showcase for our Olympic hopefuls and this is an excellent opportunity for millions of Americans to preview and follow the athletes who will most likely represent the USA in Atlanta at the 1996 Olympic Games." "We look forward to bringing the U.S. Olympic Festival to our national viewership with great anticipation," said Dan Wilhelm, Prime Network's vice president of programming and network operations. "The talent and prestige associated with this event promises to offer many memorable moments that we are happy to share with our audience." The U.S. Olympic Festival telecast package is part of a three- year agreement with the USOC which allows TNT and Prime Network to jointly produce and televise the U.S. Olympic Festivals in 1993, '94 (St. Louis) and '95 (Denver). It furthers Turner Sports' increasing role in Olympic-related programming. In addition to TNT's weekly series U.S. Olympic Gold, TNT televised the 1991 Pan American Games from Cuba and the 1992 Olympic Winter Games from Albertville, France. TNT will also televise the 1994 Olympic Winter Games from Lillehammer, Norway, and its sister network, TBS, will televise the 1994 Goodwill Games from St. Petersburg, Russia - - having already televised the 1986 (Moscow) and 1990 (Seattle) Games. TNT is seen in 57 million homes throughout the United States. As a 24-hour sports cable service, Prime Network will distribute its coverage of the U.S. Olympic Festival to its regional affiliate systems, covering every major television market in the United States and reaching 38 million cable homes nationwide with its telecast. Individuals should check with the regional sports network in their area for specific dates, times and replay information for the Prime Network telecast of the 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival, but among the affiliates which should be able to pick up the coverage are: Home Sports Entertainment (southwest), Sunshine Network (Florida), Prime Sports Network (PSN) - Rocky Mountain, PSN - Upper Midwest, PSN - Midwest, PSN - Intermountain West, Prime Ticket Network (west), Home Team Sports (mid-Atlantic), KBL Sports Network (western Pa., and region), SportSouth Network (southeast), New England Sports Network, Prime Sports Northwest, Empire Sports Network (western and central N.Y.), Madison Square Garden Network (northeast), Pro Am Sports System (Mich., northwest Ohio), and Satellite Sports Networks (serving dish owners nationwide). The U.S. Olympic Festival will also be offered to SportsChannel Chicago, SportsChannel Philadelphia, SportsChannel Pacific, SportsChannel Ohio and SportsChannel Cincinnati. The combined TNT and Prime Network schedule, subject to change, follows (all times listed are Eastern): USOF-'93 TELEVISION SCHEDULE Date Network Time Coverage Sat., July 24 TNT 4-6 p.m. FIGURE SKATING -- Pairs, technical program SYNCHRO. SWIMMING -- Duet (W) BASKETBALL -- East vs. North (M) Sat., July 24 Prime 9-11 p.m. SWIMMING -- 800 m freestyle (W), 100 m freestyle (M/W), 200 m Breaststroke (M\W), 200 m Backstroke (M\W), 200 m Butterfly (M\W), 1,500 m freestyle (M), 4x100 m freestyle (M\W) FIGURE SKATING -- Technical (M\W)*, Pairs Technical* ARCHERY -- 70 m (M)*, 60 m (W)* Sun., July 25 TNT 4-6 p.m. BASKETBALL -- South vs. North (M) FIGURE SKATING -- Pairs, Women's finals SYNCHRO. SWIMMING -- Solo (W), Team (W) Sun., July 25 Prime 9-11 p.m. FIGURE SKATING -- Men's singles, final BASKETBALL -- West vs. East (M) Mon., July 26 Prime 9-11 p.m. BASKETBALL -- North vs. West (M) SPEED SKATING -- 500 m (M\W), 1,500 m (M\W) WRESTLING (G-R) -- North vs. West (M)**, East vs. South (M)** Tue., July 27 Prime 9-11 p.m. SPEED SKATING -- 1,000 m (M\W)*, 3,000 m (M\W)*, 5,000 m (M\W)* ICE HOCKEY -- North vs. South (M) VOLLEYBALL -- North vs. South (W) WEIGHTLIFTING -- 99 kg (M)**, 108 kg (M), 108+ kg (M), 83+ kg (M) Wed., July 28 TNT 8-10 p.m. BASKETBALL -- Gold-medal game (M) DIVING -- 1 m springboard (M) Wed., July 28 Prime 12-4 p.m. BASKETBALL -- Bronze-medal games (M\W) WRESTLING (FS) -- North vs. West (M)**, East vs. South (M)** Thu., July 29 Prime 9-11 p.m. BOXING -- Semifinals (M) - 106 lbs., 119 lbs., 132 lbs., 147 lbs., 165 lbs., 201 lbs. GYMNASTICS -- All-Around/Team (M) BASKETBALL -- Gold-medal game (W)** WRESTLING (FS) -- North vs. South (M)**, East vs. West (M)** Fri., July 30 Prime 9-11 p.m. BOXING -- Semifinals (M) - 112 lbs., 125 lbs., 149 lbs., 156 lbs., 178 lbs., 201+ lbs. DIVING -- 10 m platform (M) TRACK AND FIELD -- Pole vault (M), triple jump (M), 4x100 m relay (M\W), heptathlon 200 m (W), decathlon 400 m (M), 100 m hurdles (W), 3,000 m steeplechase (M), 1,500 m (W), 10,000 m (M) Sat., July 31 TNT 4-6 p.m. DIVING -- 10 m platform finals (W) GYMNASTICS -- All-Around/Team (W)** Sat., July 31 Prime 9-11 p.m. WATER POLO -- Gold-medal game (M)* GYMNASTICS -- Individual event finals (M) Sun., Aug. 1 TNT 4-6 p.m. TRACK AND FIELD -- Long jump (M)**, 100 m (M\W)**, 110 m hurdles (M)**, 200 m (M\W), 1,500 m (W) DIVING -- 10 m springboard finals (M) GYMNASTICS -- Individual event finals (W) BOXING -- Finals (2 bouts) Sun., Aug. 1 Prime 9-11 p.m. DIVING -- 3 m springboard (W)* BOXING -- Finals TRACK AND FIELD -- All events excluding 200 m (M\W) and 1,500 m (M) * Same Day Tape ** Previous Day Tape For more information contact: Gayle Plant, USOC, at (719) 578-4529 Greg Hughes, Turner Sports, at (404) 827-3362 Denise Seomin, Prime Network, at (713) 661-0078 Cheryl Patrick, SALOC, at (210) 246-1993 *** USOF-'93 *** The Albany, GA Herald July 17, 1993 Top athletes to compete at U.S. Olympic Festival Sportstalk by Matt Meachem Tribune Media Services Why will 3500 of America's top amateur athletes by gathering in San Antonio? To compete in Olympic Festival '93, an Olympic-style competition held every non-Olympic year for the country's premier amateur athletes. It is the nation's largest multi-sport competition, and is an event of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). It was created in 1978 as a national multi-event competition that would showcase American athletes during the non-Olympic years. The Festival gives athletes an opportunity to participate in 37 Olympic and Pan-American sports, as well as to compete against top amateurs from across the country. U.S. Olympic Festivals of the past have been the proud hosts of many of our Olympic medalists. Greg Louganis, Valerie Brisco-Hooks, Evelyn Ashford and Edwin Moses are among the Olympic champions who have continued their quest for Olympic gold at the Festivals. Festival viewers have also been introduced to future Olympic stars such as gymnasts Mary Lou Retton and Bart Conner, spinter Carl Lewis and figure skater Scott Hamilton, all of whom made their debuts by winning gold at the U.S. Olympic Festival. "The U.S. Olympic Festival is a showcase for our Olympic hopefuls," says USOC executive director Harvery W. Schiller, "and this is an excellent opportunity for millions of Americans to preview and follow the athletes who will most likely represent the U.S. in Atlanta at the 1996 Olympic Games." Turner Network Television (TNT) and Prime Network are teaming up for coverage of the U.S. Olympic Festival, which begins this week in San Antonio. Ernie Johnson, Jr. and Nicole Watson anchor TNT's studio coverage. Paul Kennedy serves as host for Prime Network. The two networks are jointly producing and televising a combined 30 hours of coverage, 10 on TNT and 20 on Prime Network. The agreement between the USOC and the two cable networks also includes the televising of the 1994 and 1995 Festivals from St. Louis and Denver, respectively. TNT's coverage begins on Saturday, July 24, at 4:00 p.m. (ET), and continues through Saturday, Aug. 1. It will feature live coverage of basketball, figure skating, diving, gymnastics, track & field and boxing. Prime Network's coverage includes two hours of daily coverage from July 24 through August 1, with four hours slated for July 28. Each telecast offers live action as well as taped highlights from earlier in the day. U.S. OLYMPIC FESTIVAL : There's Ignition at the Alamodome : Opening ceremony: Scaffold catches spark from fireworks before sellout crowd in new San Antonio building. July 24, 1993 WENDY WITHERSPOON TIMES STAFF WRITER SAN ANTONIO — The new Alamodome was the site of a Texas-sized comeback Friday, when the United States Olympic Festival held its opening ceremony before a sellout crowd of 62,702. If the opening ceremony is any indication, the festival will play much better here than it did in its last try, in Los Angeles in 1991, when it suffered the worst attendance in 10 years. The crowd at the Alamodome was twice that at the opening ceremony at Dodger Stadium. Many of the 3,000 athletes who will compete in 37 sports over the next nine days raised their arms in appreciation as they marched into the Alamodome. Kristi Yamaguchi, the 1992 Olympic gold medalist in figure skating, was at the ceremony, but will not compete this week. "It's wonderful to be back," said Yamaguchi, who competed in the festival in 1989. "I had always loved coming to the Olympic Festival. There's an energy in the air." Yamaguchi took the festival torch after swimmer Pablo Morales, the 1992 Olympic gold medalist in the 100-meter butterfly, carried it into the building. Yamaguchi handed it to Sean O'Neill, a table tennis player from McLean, Va., and Sharon Cain, a team handball player from San Antonio. They lit the festival caldron, signaling the opening of competition. The torch lighting sparked an indoor fireworks finale, which ignited part of a scaffold. No one appeared injured before the fire was put out. The developmental nature of the festival was exemplified just before the caldron was lit, when Yamaguchi sat next to up-and-coming figure skater Michelle Kwan, answering questions from reporters. Kwan, 13, was visibly in awe of Yamaguchi. Kwan, from Torrance and the youngest skater in the women's senior division, admitted that she was nervous about the competition. "It's really exciting coming to (the Alamodome) and seeing this huge rink," Kwan said. The Alamodome contains two side-by-side ice rinks that will hold figure skating competition today and Sunday; speedskating, Monday and Tuesday; and hockey, Tuesday through Aug. 1. Figure skating is one of the hottest tickets at the festival. More than 21,000 have been sold for Sunday's afternoon session, eclipsing by more than 100 the festival's previous record for an event, set at the 1987 gold medal men's basketball game in North Carolina. Track and field is the most star-studded event at the festival, with 16 Olympians scheduled. In other sports, the caliber of athletes is not as great. "The competition wasn't exactly what I thought it would be," said cyclist Linda Brenneman, who won the first medal of the competition when she helped her team win a time trial Friday. Brenneman, who trains in Mission Viejo, said the athletes here seem to be more serious than at previous festivals. They come from all walks of life. Badminton player Traci Britton is a 40-year-old mother of three who works as an administrator for a property management company at Manhattan Beach. Britton said that the mixture of young and old has a purpose. "Part of the reason the older players are there is for their experience and their ability to give information to the younger players," she said. Moreover, thousands of athletes will exchange information in the days ahead. Some will emerge as successors to Morales and Yamaguchi. And for some, this will last a lifetime. "It's a good feeling," Britton said. "I look at it as the closest to the Olympics that I'm going to get, and it's a thrill." Home Video of Opening Ceremony TNT and Prime coverage of Gymnastics TNT coverage of Figure Skating
  19. 1991 United States Olympic Festival Los Angeles Dates: July 12-21, 1991 Opened by: Ronald Wilson Reagan, Former President of the United States Final Torchbearers: Lily Chiang (rhythmic gymnastics) and Mike Swain (judo) Athletes Oath: Officials Oath: Athletes: 3000+ Sports: 36 TV: ESPN Hours: Hosts: Barry Tompkins and Sharlene Hawkes Reporters: Al Bernstein (Boxing) Tim Brando (Gymnastics, Figure Skating, Swimming) Steve McFarland (Diving) Drew Goodman (Athletics) Ron Frankin (Basketball) Adrian Karsten (Features) Analysts: Sugar Ray Leonard (Boxing) Peter Carruthers (Figure Skating) Debbie Thomas (Figure Skating) Cynthia Potter (Diving) Wendy Wyland (Diving) Craig Masback (Athletics) Dwight Stones (Athletics) Bart Connor (Gymnastics) Kathy Johnson (Gymnastics) John Naber (Swimming) Friday July 12 -- 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM (PDT) (KTTV Channel 11) Preview -- 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM (PDT) (KTTV Channel 11) Channel 11 presents live coverage of the opening ceremonies of the U.S. Olympic Festival ’91 from Dodger Stadium. Saturday July 13 -- 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM U.S. Olympic Festival - Scheduled: Women's figure skating and boxing semifinals. From Los Angeles. (Live) -- 12:00 AM - 2:00 AM U.S. Olympic Festival - Scheduled: Women's figure skating and boxing semifinals. From Los Angeles. (Taped) Sunday July 14 -- 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM U.S. Olympic Festival - Scheduled: Women's figure skating and boxing semifinals. From Los Angeles. (Live) -- 12:00 AM - 2:00 AM U.S. Olympic Festival - Scheduled: Men's figure skating and boxing semifinals. From Los Angeles. (Taped) Monday July 15 -- 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM U.S. Olympic Festival - Scheduled: Swimming and Women's basketball. From Los Angeles. (Live) -- 12:30 AM - 2:30 AM U.S. Olympic Festival - Scheduled: Men's basketball. From Los Angeles. (Live) Tuesday July 16 -- 2:00 AM - 3:00 AM U.S. Olympic Festival - Scheduled: Women's basketball gold medal game. From Los Angeles. (Taped) Wednesday July 17 -- 1:00 AM - 2:00 AM U.S. Olympic Festival - Scheduled: Men's basketball gold medal game. From Los Angeles. (Taped) Thursday July 18 -- 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM U.S. Olympic Festival - Scheduled: Boxing finals. From Los Angeles. (Taped) -- 12:30 AM - 2:30 AM U.S. Olympic Festival - Scheduled: Men's gymnastics and track and field. From Los Angeles. (Taped) Friday July 19 -- 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM U.S. Olympic Festival - From Los Angeles. (Live) -- 2:00 AM - 4:00 AM U.S. Olympic Festival - Scheduled: Women's gymnastics and track and field. From Los Angeles. (Taped) Saturday July 20 -- 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM U.S. Olympic Festival - Scheduled: Women's diving and track and field. From Los Angeles. (Live) -- 12:00 AM - 2:00 AM U.S. Olympic Festival - From Los Angeles. (Taped) Sunday July 21 -- 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM U.S. Olympic Festival - Scheduled: Men's 10m diving finals. From Los Angeles. (Taped) -- 12:00 AM - 2:00 AM U.S. Olympic Festival - Scheduled: Women's diving and track and field. From Los Angeles. (Taped) UPI Archives July 10, 1991 Once a staple of ESPN's summer programming, the U.S.... By JEFF HASEN UPI Sports Writer (0) LOS ANGELES -- Once a staple of ESPN's summer programming, the U.S. Olympic Festival will see the majority of its premier events shoved to tape-delay and the wee hours by a cable network now replete with major league baseball telecasts. The festival, featuring more than 3,000 athletes in 37 Olympic or Pan American Games sports, will still get 30 hours of air time, but the basketball finals will be delayed until the early-morning hours in most of the country and the boxing finals won't be shown until two days after they are contested. Sponsored by weedingwisely.com Sponsored Video Watch to learn more Only nine hours will be shown live during the games, which begin in Los Angeles Friday night with opening ceremonies and end July 21. 'These games aren't really for the viewers of ESPN who get to watch pro athletes 24 hours a day,' said swimming and diving analyst John Naber, who will work his sixth consecutive festival for ESPN. 'They're designed to give the up-and-coming athletes the experience of what it will be like if they make the Olympic Games. 'You have to look at the festival from a long-term perspective. These games will not help (athletes for) next year (at the Olympics), but they might help in 1996.' Some sports, including boxing, will feature athletes who surely will be in Barcelona next summer. But many squads are split because of the Pan American Games in early August and swimming's greatest hopes are eying the more important Pan-Pacific meet later this summer. 'For swimmers who need to 'taper,' you have to pick your spots very carefully,' Naber said. Saturday's live coverage from 4:00-7:00 p.m. EDT includes pairs and the women's original program in figure skating and boxing semifinals. A midnight-2:00 a.m. delayed show has the men's original program and more boxing semifinals. Sunday's 4:30-6:30 p.m. live show has more skating and boxing, as will the midnight-2:00 a.m. taped telecast. U.S. OLYMPIC FESTIVAL : LOS ANGELES--1991 : Baseball Puts Festival on Back Burner : Television: Priorities change at ESPN, which has angered some by cutting back events and shifting coverage to late night. By LARRY STEWART JULY 10, 199112 AM TIMES STAFF WRITER After the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, ESPN and the U.S. Olympic Committee struck a deal in which the all-sports cable network would televise the next three U.S. Olympic Festivals, beginning in 1985. It was an arrangement beneficial to both parties. The USOC would be getting the exposure it sought for the event it had been staging in non-Olympic years since 1978, and ESPN would be getting quality summer programming. ESPN allotted 39 hours of coverage for the 1985 Festival, which was far better than the spotty weekend coverage previously provided by ABC. Most of the coverage was scheduled for prime time, and the ESPN publicity department put out tons of promotional material. For ESPN, the Olympic Festival was the next best thing to the Olympics. For the USOC, sports that got television exposure only once every four years were going to get an annual display on national television. And in prime time, no less. The first three years of the marriage between ESPN and the USOC went well. So, after the 1988 Seoul Olympics, ESPN and the USOC renewed their vows for three more years. ESPN, according to sources, paid $2 million to the USOC for the rights to the Olympic Festivals in 1989, ’90 and ’91, and the relationship remained solid. But as the third and final of those Olympic Festivals gets under way later this week, the marriage is on the rocks. The big change came in 1990, when ESPN added baseball to its summer fare, turning the Olympic Festival into a fifth wheel. With the addition of baseball, the need for summer programming was diminished greatly, and scheduling conflicts put the Festival on the back burner. The number of hours was cut to 30, and some of the coverage went from prime time to late night. The use of tape delay increased. The women’s basketball gold-medal game, for instance, is scheduled to be shown Tuesday, July 16, at 11 p.m. That’s 2 a.m., Eastern time. The men’s title game the next night will be on at 10 p.m., 1 a.m. in the East. On Friday, July 19, late-night viewers can watch women’s gymnastics and track and field at 11 p.m. (2 a.m. in the East). The boxing finals will be tape delayed two days. Of course, not all the Festival coverage will be at odd hours. On Saturday, the first day of competition, there’s figure skating and boxing on from 1 to 4 p.m. and then again from 9 to 11 p.m. Sunday, there’s figure skating and boxing from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and from 9 to 11 p.m. And much of the weeknight coverage begins at 9 p.m. in the West. The opening ceremony Friday will be covered in a two-hour special from 8 to 10 p.m. on Channel 11, with Marc Summers and Susan Anton as the co-hosts. Channel 11 also offers a half-hour preview show at 7:30. ESPN takes over Saturday and follows the Festival, as best it can, through its conclusion, July 21. An ESPN spokesman acknowledged that commitments to other programming is one reason for moving much of the coverage to a later start. “But,” the spokesman pointed out, “some of the late coverage in the East will be on in prime time in the West, and we are talking about a West Coast event.” The question now is, will ESPN continue to televise the Festival in the future? “ESPN has completely washed its hands of the Festival,” said a source close to the USOC. Ideally, the USOC would like to sell about 30 hours of weekday coverage to the Prime Network or Turner Broadcasting, then sell an additional 10 hours on weekends to a major network. That thinking, however, would appear to be unrealistic, as is a three-year, $2-million rights fee. No matter how well intended an event may be, if it is expensive to cover and gets only a 1 cable rating, it simply is not attractive to television. But ESPN executives, at least publicly, are not talking about giving up on the Festival. “We love the Olympic Festival,” said Steve Bornstein, ESPN president. “We think it’s a good event and would like to continue our association with the USOC. “We’d like to continue televising the Festival, but on a more affordable basis, at a more reasonable rights fee.” However, industry sources say ESPN, by selling time to Olympic sponsors, probably has not lost money on the Festival. Loren Matthews, ESPN senior vice president in charge of programming, said: “I don’t think you can simply say that since we now have baseball we’re no longer interested in the Olympic Festival.” Added Matthews: “To be honest, we haven’t given future Olympic Festivals a lot of thought. The next one isn’t until 1993, and negotiations on a new deal probably won’t take place until after the 1992 Barcelona Games.” Matthews did acknowledge that the presence of baseball has changed things, but, he said, so has the presence of other summer programming, such as water sports, auto racing, horse racing and bowling. “Our overall summer inventory has improved greatly since 1985,” he said. Baseball averages a 1.8 rating in ESPN’s 59.1 million homes, other summer programming averages about a 1.5 and the last two Olympic Festivals have averaged a 1.1. Couple low ratings with high rights fees and production costs, and the Festival loses considerable appeal to television networks. Besides the three-year, $2-million price tag, production costs for the Olympic Festival were reportedly running as high as $2 million a year at one time. ESPN, before the 1989 Festival, hired an outside company, Windfall Productions, to produce the coverage. For Windfall, the Festival hasn’t been a windfall, causing the production company to look for ways to cut costs. One way was to eliminate coverage of some the Festival’s 37 sports. Event coverage this year will be limited to track and field, boxing, figure skating, gymnastics, swimming and diving and men’s and women’s basketball. Naturally, those involved in the eliminated sports are not pleased. Betty Watanabe, the executive director of synchronized swimming, wrote a letter to Ralph Mole, the head of Windfall Productions, in May. Watanabe and others involved in the eliminated sports feel short-changed. “While I am sensitive to the costs associated with the production and recognize there may be other factors involved, I also have the responsibility of providing our athletes with the benefits they expect and deserve from their participation in the Festival,” Watanabe wrote, echoing the feeling of other executive directors. “We have benefited from the television coverage and exposure in the past and would like, very much, for it to continue, especially the year before the Olympics.” On the phone, Watanabe said: “The Festival is the only place in the past where we’ve gotten a lot of coverage. It’s a slap in the face for us to send our top athletes, which a lot of sports don’t do, and get no coverage out of it.” An ESPN spokesman said some of the other sports will be covered in feature form, and also pointed out that 30 hours is a still a pretty healthy amount of time to devote to one event. ESPN also has a impressive list of announcers working the Festival. Barry Tompkins will be the host and will be joined in the studio by feature reporter Sharlene Hawkes. Commentators include Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson (gymnastics), Sugar Ray Leonard (boxing), Cheryl Miller (basketball), Peter Carruthers and Debi Thomas (figure skating), Dwight Stones (track and field) and John Naber (swimming). Play-by-play duties will be shared by Al Bernstein (boxing), Tim Brando (gymnastics, figure skating and swimming), Ron Franklin (basketball), Craig Masback (track and field) and Steve McFarland (diving). Times staff writer Randy Harvey contributed to this story. Bill Fitts bio at espnpressroom.com https://espnpressroom.com/us/bios/bill-fitts/ He led ESPN’s efforts at the multi-sport, multi-venue U.S. Olympic Festival throughout the 1980s. Record-breaking heat in Baton Rouge caused the primary remote truck to catch fire. Personnel begged Fitts “to abandon ship.” He yelled, “Not until the next commercial.” U.S. OLYMPIC FESTIVAL / LOS ANGELES 1991 : Opening Ceremony Plays on Past in Hopes of Igniting the Present July 13, 1991|RANDY HARVEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER Email Share For at least one night, U.S. Olympic Festival organizers tried to put their financial woes on hold and celebrate the beginning of the largest multi-day, multi-sport competition in Los Angeles since the 1984 Summer Games with an impressive opening ceremony at Dodger Stadium. Befitting the smaller scale of the event, one which involves more than 3,000 athletes in 36 sports over 10 days, the ceremony was not as grand or extravagant as the one for the Olympics seven summers ago at the Coliseum. With the crowd reported at 29,500, neither was it as well attended as organizers had hoped. But it was colorful, featuring 1,000 choir members, 1,000 dancers, 700 musicians, three sky-divers and fireworks in a 2 1/2-hour program produced by Radio City Music Hall. There were other reminders of 1984, including the official opening declaration--"Let the Games begin"--by Ronald Reagan, who, as President, performed the same function for the Summer Olympics. The games will have competition in 15 sports today. A 27-day, 1,700-mile torch run through the state culminated with heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, who competed in the 1983 Festival in Colorado Springs, Colo., running one lap around Dodger Stadium before handing the torch to two California athletes, rhythmic gymnast Lily Chiang of Walnut Creek and judo player Mike Swain of Santa Clara, who ignited the flame in the caldron. Elizabeth Primrose-Smith, the local organizing committee's executive director, said that she hopes the Festival will "re-ignite the Olympic flame" in Los Angeles. References to the 1984 Summer Games were appropriate because U.S. Olympic Committee President Robert Helmick said earlier Friday that the Festival was brought to Los Angeles by the USOC as a reward for the city's contribution to the Olympic movement. "It's been seven years since we were here in 1984, when the Olympic movement for (years) before the opening ceremony almost came to an end on several occasions," he said, referring specifically to the financial problems in 1976 at Montreal and the U.S.-led boycott in 1980 at Moscow. "But as a result of the success in Los Angeles . . . the Olympic Games are again in good shape and we are able to independently finance them. I would like to thank Los Angeles." Helmick's tribute to the city's glorious Olympic past diverted the focus at least temporarily from the uncertain future of the Festival over the next nine days. He confirmed that the local organizing committee's financial problems were so serious as recently as January that the USOC considered moving the Festival to another city. The only time the USOC has taken such action before was in 1983, when Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee officials said that they did not want to be responsible for another multi-sport event one year before the Summer Games. The Festival was moved that summer to Colorado Springs. "We received a report that there could be some problems tied to holding the Festival in such a large city," Helmick said of findings submitted last December to the USOC by its Olympic Festival committee. "But we made the decision that there would be a Los Angeles Festival and committed to making this a success for the organizing committee. We think you'll see over the next few days that our efforts will produce results." USOC officials emphasized that the difficulties this year should not reflect upon the organizing committee, which has recruited more corporate sponsors and raised more money than any of the organizers for the past 10 Festivals. The problem is that the local organizing committee also has a record $15-million budget, which Don Porter, chairman of the USOC's Festival committee, attributed to the "the high cost of doing business in Los Angeles." Primrose-Smith expressed optimism Friday that the Festival will generate $3.4 million in ticket revenues, which the organizing committee needs to break even. In response to a question at a news conference about the progress of ticket sales, she said: "I can't give you a figure, but I don't think you're going to see empty seats all over the place." Primrose-Smith clarified a report in Friday's Times about a $1-million, short-term, no-interest loan the organizing committee acquired to bridge the gap between bills that are due and anticipated revenues. She said that $600,000 came from the Amateur Athletic Foundation, $300,000 from the USOC and $100,000 from ARCO. Helmick said that the USOC loaned the money "to ensure that no one closed down a venue" but added that it was not an unprecedented gesture. He cited the $800,000 that 1987 Pan American Games organizers at Indianapolis borrowed. The USOC, he said, eventually forgave about $300,000 of that debt. The Festival has lost money in other cities, but there has been particular concern about this one because of the competition for the entertainment dollar in Los Angeles. USOC spokesman Mike Moran pointed out Friday that the Festival has been held in other major markets, including Houston and Minneapolis-St. Paul, but said: "This is the first time it's been in an astronomically sized market." USOC officials have expressed disappointment that, unlike other Festival sites, Los Angeles has not greeted the event with considerable fanfare. Harry Usher, chairman of the organizing committee's board of directors, said that the city government's policy of spending no public funds on events such as this one, including the 1984 Summer Olympics, extended to banners and flags. "I'd like to have more money so that we could have banners around and things like that, all those things you can do when you're running the Olympics," said Usher, who was second in command to Peter Ueberroth with the LAOOC. "It would be wonderful if the city had pumped this event. But there's no city of L.A. money involved, and that's the game we have to play here." U.S. OLYMPIC FESTIVAL LOS ANGELES 1991 : NOTEBOOK LAT ARCHIVES JULY 21, 1991 12 AM PT ASSOCIATED PRESS Mayor Tom Bradley will pass the U.S. Olympic Festival torch to San Antonio’s mayor, Nelson Wolf, in tonight’s 7:15 p.m. closing ceremony at Loyola Marymount’s Gersten Pavilion. San Antonio is the site of the 1993 Festival. There is no Festival in Olympic years. The ceremony also will include closing statements from the local organizing committee’s chairman of the board, Harry Usher, executive director Elizabeth Primrose-Smith and Bradley. Her profession takes 94-pound Sherry Getchman into combat with psychopaths, drug dealers and street gangs. For a break from the tension, Getchman goes in for a foot in the face and a fist in the chest. By day and a lot of nights, the 5-foot-4 Getchman is a member of the vice squad with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. Otherwise, she is a single parent with a teen-age son and one of the country’s best in her weight class in the martial arts sport of taekwando. Getchman, 34, who lost a decision Friday in the finweight division (95 pounds or less) at the Festival, said that she discovered taekwando when she signed her son up for lessons in the sport seven years ago. “Watching my son’s classes, I couldn’t sit there anymore,” Getchman said. “I had to do it.” U.S. OLYMPIC FESTIVAL LOS ANGELES 1991 : NOTEBOOK : Closing Ceremony a Picnic for Volunteers July 22, 1991|ELLIOTT ALMOND Email Share The closing ceremony was held Sunday, appropriately enough, in the Sunken Gardens at Loyola Marymount. A parade of politicians took the podium to praise the volunteers who attended the ceremony, which really was a giant picnic. "This was just a thank-you to all the volunteers," said Harry Usher, one of the movers behind the Festival organizing committee. Paying homage to the city and its workers were Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley and San Antonio Mayor Nelson Wolff. San Antonio will be the host of the 1993 Festival. While the Festival party was under way, across campus in Gersten Pavilion, the Southern California Basketball Summer Pro League was being held. People were lined outside the arena waiting to get a seat, something that rarely happened during the weeklong Festival. But those having a grand time in the Sunken Gardens did not care. Manuel Morales, 28, an El Salvadoran who lives in Los Angeles, was flipping hamburgers all day in preparation for the grand finale. He said he cooked 875 burgers. "This is for the Olympic Festival," he said. "They've been staying here three or four months. Everybody seems to be happy." Clip of Opening Ceremony ESPN coverage of Gymnastics Playlist of clips of ESPN coverage of Figure Skating Clip of ESPN coverage of Track & Field
  20. 1990 United States Olympic Festival Minneapolis Dates: July 6-15, 1990 Opened by: Final Torchbearer: Jackie Joyner-Kersee (athletics) Athletes Oath: Officials Oath: Athletes: 3000+ Sports: 37 TV: ESPN Hosts: Barry Tompkins and Tim Brando Reporters: Bart Conner John Nabor Tracy Caulkins Candy Costie-Burke Saturday July 7 -- 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM Figure Skating - Pairs Figure Skating - Women's Original Program Basketball - Men - West vs South Synchronized Swimming - Duet -- 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM Boxing - Semifinals Figure Skating - Ice Dancing Figure Skating - Men's Original Program Basketball - Men - North vs South Synchronized Swimming - Duet Sunday July 8 -- 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM Boxing - Semifinals Figure Skating - Women's Free Program Figure Skating - Pairs -- 12:00 AM - 1:00 AM Synchronized Swimming - Team Figure Skating - Ice Dancing Figure Skating - Men's Free Program Monday July 9 -- 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Basketball - Men - North vs West Weekend Highlights -- 12:00 AM - 1:00 AM Swimming Basketball - Men - East vs South Rythmic Gymnastics - Preliminaries Tuesday July 10 -- 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Basketball - Men - Bronze Medal Game Ice Hockey - South vs East -- 9:00 PM - 11:30 PM Swimming Basketball - Men - Gold Medal Game Ice Hockey - North vs West Rythmic Gymnastics - All-Around Final Wednesday July 11 -- 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Water Polo - Men - Gold Medal Match -- 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM Boxing - Finals -- 12:30 AM - 2:00 AM Boxing Water Polo - Women - Gold Medal Match Water Polo - Men - Bronze Medal Match Thursday July 12 -- 7:30 PM - 11:00 PM Diving - Men - 3m Springboard - Preliminaries Diving - Women - 3m Springboard - Preliminaries Gymnastics - Men - Team and Individual All-Around Track & Field Friday July 13 -- 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Diving - Women - 10m Plaform - Preliminaries Track & Field Weekend Preview Saturday July 14 -- 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Track & Field Diving - Women - 3m Springboard - Finals -- 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM Track & Field Diving - Men - 3m Springboard - Finals Gymnastics - Men - Individual Event Finals Ice Hockey - Gold Medal Game Sunday July 15 -- 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM Track & Field Diving - Men - 10m Platform - Finals Diving - Women - 10m Platform - Finals Gymnastics - Women - Individual Event Finals LOS ANGELES TIMES Is This Something to Feel Festive About? July 07, 1990 MIKE PENNER TIMES STAFF WRITER MINNEAPOLIS — They have finally settled on a name, the United States Olympic Festival, but don't let that fool you. This is really America's Summer Camp, 10 days of fun and frolic for children of all ages, and this year, they picked the right spot for it. Lots of lakes here. A big tent, too--that fabulous fiberglass fixture known as Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, famed for Hefty bag home runs, collapsing roofs, collapsing Rams and now, the world's largest indoor Bunsen burner. No festival is really Olympic without a flame, so they erected a 30-foot high caldron inside the Metrodome and had Jackie Joyner-Kersee light it. That was the highlight of Friday night's opening ceremony, although a lower roof would have added a needed edge to the proceedings. So what's an Olympic Festival? It's best to start with what it's not. It isn't the Sports Festival--and, as the event's organizers will rush to remind, hasn't been since 1986. It isn't the Special Olympics or the Olympic trials or the pre-Olympics. And it isn't the Mini-Olympics, which is what ABC's Wide World of Sports labeled it while covering the inaugural competition in 1978, which was more than a mini-mistake in the eyes of many chagrined festival organizers. This year, it isn't even the Mini-Goodwill Games, which has been a considerable problem no one in the Twin Cities is eager to address. Ted Turner's athletic extravaganza, scheduled two weeks hence in Seattle, has siphoned off most of the world-class competitors, leaving the Olympic Festival with Joyner-Kersee, 1988 Seoul divers Wendy Lucero and Wendy Williams and a handful of others recognizable outside their hometowns. Joyner-Kersee, twice a gold medalist at Seoul, will run two relays here and brush up on her high-jumping and javelin-throwing. So thankful were the festival planners that they immediately named her official torch lighter. A favor for a favor. This Olympic Festival, as with most others, is a sprawling intramural meet, attended by 3,000-plus participants, from 50 states and 37 sports. Since sides are required, there is the North, the South, the East and the West. Or, the Yellow, the Green, the Blue and the Red. Or George, Paul, John and Ringo. The affiliations are only for affiliation's sake. The South ice hockey team, for instance, features six players from Minnesota. Joyner-Kersee attended UCLA and lives in Southern California but will run for the North's 400-meter team. And the West hockey team is basically a device for tuning up young prospects for this year's world juniors championships. The experience is what matters. Most of the field here won't get anywhere near Barcelona in 1992. But maybe a few will be ready by 1996. That's the hope, the supposed premise of the Olympic Festival. The long-range future is now. But the festival also attempts to go where the real Olympics can't, or won't. An 11-year-old gymnast, Lily Chang of Walnut Creek, is here. So is a 60-year old shooter, Don Hamilton of Kingston, Mass. So, too, is 29-year old judoist Eddie Liddie, participating in his 10th festival and looking for his 10th medal. Even some of the sports are on the fringe. A gold medal in bowling? Someone will win one here. Racquetball is scheduled. Badminton shuttlecocks are cocked. Roller skaters are ready. That's one more reason why Minneapolis is right for the Olympic Festival. Quaintness plays well in this corner of the country, where every barely published author from Minnetonka and folk singer from Winona is toasted with chest-puffing civic pride. This is the place, remember, where an entire state fell into depression when Garrison Keilor left for Denmark. Schmaltz and feel-good go down smoothly here, which is why tens of thousands waved their souvenir flashlights in the dark Friday night, cheering Joyner-Kersee on during her last leg to the semi-Olympic flame. Or why others danced in the aisles while The Fabulous Thunderbirds--the rock band, not the roller derby team--played their clean-cut boogie and Sarah (100-Meter) Dash belted out the festival's theme song, "The Road to '92." Or why hundreds of festival athletes rushed the stage when Otis Day and the Knights launched into the song that made them famous in "Animal House," "Shout." They even applauded the official festival mascot, Willie Win One, which is supposed to be a cute and cuddly abominable snowman--of course--but looked more like someone's runaway pet shaggy dog after ear-removal surgery. Bigfoot under fiberglass. There were also fireworks inside the Metrodome, a blimp inside the Metrodome, drill teams, marching bands, audience-participation card tricks and a choir. Much ado about nothing that really matters? To Friday night's revelers, this was the Super Bowl. The big time, even if it's just the kind-of-big-time, had come to the Twin Cities. The Minny Olympics were under way. Clip of Opening Ceremony ESPN coverage of Gymnastics Clips of ESPN coverage of Figure Skating https://www.youtube.com/c/3Axel1996/search?query=1990 U.S. Olympic Festival Clips of ESPN coverage of Track & Field
  21. 1989 United States Olympic Festival Oklahoma City Dates: July 18-30 Opened by: Henry Louis Bellmon, Governor of the State of Oklahoma Final Torchbearer: John Smith (wrestling) Athletes Oath: Trip Zedlitz (swimming) Officials Oath: Tommie Lou Vernon (boxing) Athletes: 4200 Sports: TV: ESPN and TNN Hours: 32 (ESPN) 2 (TNN) Total: 34 Host: Jim Kelly Opening Ceremony: Jim Kelly, Lorianne Crook, and Charlie Chase Reporters: Tim Brando Ron Franklin Barry Tompkins ? Analysts: Dick Vitale Al Bernstein Bart Conner Dwight Stones ? Friday July 21 -- 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM TNN Opening Ceremonies Saturday July 22 -- 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM ESPN Boxing Figure Skating Synchronized Swimming -- 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM ESPN Boxing Figure Skating Sunday July 23 -- 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM ESPN Boxing Figure Skating Synchronized Swimming Monday July 24 -- 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM ESPN Wrestling Figure Skating -- 10:00 PM - 11:30 PM ESPN Equestrian Speed Skating Basketball Tuesday July 25 -- 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM ESPN Wrestling Rythmic Gymnastics -- 9:00 PM - 11:30 PM ESPN Boxing Equestrian Rythmic Gymnastics Wednesday July 26 -- 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM ESPN Basketball - Men Wrestling - Freestyle -- 10:00 PM - 11:30 PM ESPN Basketball - Men - Final Wrestling - Freestyle Thursday July 27 -- 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM ESPN Diving Gymnastics Weightlifting -- 10:00 PM - 11:30 PM ESPN Diving Gymnastics Friday July 28 -- 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM ESPN Diving Gymnastics Track & Field -- 9:00 PM - 11:30 PM ESPN Gymnastics Diving Track & Field Saturday July 29 -- 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM ESPN Diving Volleyball Track & Field Gymnastics -- 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM ESPN Diving Volleyball Track & Field Sunday July 30 -- 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM ESPN Diving Gymnastics Track & Field -- 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM ESPN Track & Field Diving Volleyball Main event: 1989 Olympic Festival TV coverage Mel Bracht Published: Mon, July 20, 2009 12:00 AM The Olympic Festival provided 32 hours of needed summer programming for ESPN, then just 10 years old and without a broadcast deal with Major League Baseball. Jim Kelly hosted the coverage. Tim Brando, Ron Franklin and Barry Tompkins handled most of the play-by-play assignments. Among the analysts were Dick Vitale, Al Bernstein, Bart Conner and Dwight Stones. ESPN had 250 press credentials, the most of any media organization. TULSA WORLD Olympic fest crowd a record GIL BROYLES Jul 22, 1989 NORMAN - As an event, it was bigger than Oklahoma-Nebraska football. As theater, not much could hold a candle to the record 76,014 fans who packed the University of Oklahoma's Owen Field, held miniature torches aloft and joined in a fireworks-punctuated rendition of "Oklahoma!" The 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival is only beginning. Opening ceremonies Friday night smashed the festival attendance record and set a standard for Owen Field, where sellouts of the 75,004-seat stadium are standard in a football-crazy state. Olympic gold medalist John Smith, a wrestler from Del City, was selected by the 4,200 participating athletes to bear the torch up stairs and light the flame that will burn until closing ceremonies July 30. Over the past month, the flame criss-crossed the state for 3,000 miles, borne by runners in all 77 counties. "The feeling . . . I can't describe it," Smith said. "You're representing a lot of athletes and also representing the state of Oklahoma. "All I was thinking was, don't fall." There was no evident faltering in the 2 1/2-hour extravaganza that lacked nothing in terms of patriotic goosebumps and down-home, country-and-Western music. Former President Reagan had top billing on a program that featured a homecoming for some of Oklahoma's best-known names in sports and entertainment. Reagan, making the precompetition charge to the gathered athletes from teams representing the North, South, East and West, drew an ovation when he asked them to "win one for the Gipper." Reagan told the athletes they "represent all that is good about our country" because of their years of sacrifice and hard work in pursuit of a goal. It was an adoring crowd that gathered on a bright, breezy evening for the ceremonies, televised to a national cable audience by The Nashville Network. The previous record crowd of 60,000 saw 1985 opening ceremonies at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. The packed house was a boost for the sponsoring Oklahoma Centennial Sports Inc. that is spending $1 million of a $10.5 million operating budget on opening and closing ceremonies. The crowd repeatedly erupted into cheers for local and national celebrities, including comedian Bob Hope and 1988 Olympic gold medal sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner. FloJo, who won the 1988 Sullivan Award as the top American amateur athlete, was a "mystery torch runner" whose identity was kept from the crowd until she entered the stadium. She created a sensation as a spotlight focused on her graceful form gliding around the field attired in a snug, hot-pink track suit. She handed the torch to a group of Oklahoma sports legends, who in turn gave the flame to figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi of Fremont, Calif. Smith lit the gas cauldron at the center of Owen Field. Trip Zedlitz of Oklahoma City, who won two gold medals in festival swimming competition that was completed Thursday, took the athletes' oath on behalf of participants. Tommie Lou Vernon, a boxing official from Broken Arrow, took the officials' oath. On an evening filled with emotional moments, one of the earliest came when former OU football coach Barry Switzer was introduced as a celebrity escort for the South team's entry into the stadium. Switzer, the winningest active college football coach when he resigned from the troubled program June 19, made a triumphant circuit of the football field where he reigned for 16 years. OU 1978 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims, in Switzer's group, grasped his former coach in an exuberant bear hug as the ovation rose from the crowd. The patriotic prologue to the 10-day festival provided a glimpse of the top amateur athletes in the country early in the four-year Olympic quadrennial period. The 4,200 competitors, who are staying at the athletes' village across the street from the stadium, paraded around the field waving miniature U.S. flags. In the next week, new gymnastics darlings and track and field heroes likely will emerge from the field of athletes preparing for the 1992 Olympics. For Oklahomans who braved traffic jams, the ceremonies provided a massive dose of Sooner pride along with the country-and-Western theme. Oklahoma native Reba McEntire, in a shining white fringed outfit, led the crowd in hand-clapping sing-alongs. Oklahoma's Patti Page and Roger Miller also performed musical numbers in the show. The Oak Ridge Boys performed laser-punctuated songs before an ear-popping fireworks display ended the ceremonies. Opening Ceremony - TNN live telecast ESPN coverage of Gymnastics playlist of clips of ESPN coverage of Track & Field playlist of clips of ESPN coverage of Figure Skating
  22. 1987 United States Olympic Festival Raleigh-Durham Dates: July 13-26, 1987 Opened by: Final Torchbearers: J.R. Reid (basketball) and April Heinrichs (soccer) Oath: Athletes: 3000 Sports: 34 TV: ESPN Hours: 43 Hosts: Jim Kelly and Gayle Gardner Friday July 17 -- 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM Preview, opening ceremonies, swimmming and wrestling finals, and diving preliminaries. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) Saturday July 18 -- 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM Scheduled events: Figure skating, diving, and basketball. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) -- 7:30 PM - 11:00 PM Boxing, figure skating, diving, Greco-Roman wrestling. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) Sunday July 19 -- 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM Scheduled events: Figure skating, diving, and basketball. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) -- 7:30 PM - 11:00 PM Figure skating, boxing, diving. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) Monday July 20 -- 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM United States Olympic Festival. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) -- 7:30 PM - 11:00 PM Basketball, roller skating, speed skating, and volleyball. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) Tuesday July 21 -- 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM United States Olympic Festival. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) -- 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM Boxing finals and hockey. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) Wednesday July 22 -- 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM United States Olympic Festival. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) -- 7:30 PM - 11:30 PM Basketball, roller skating, speed skating, and volleyball. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) Thursday July 23 -- 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM United States Olympic Festival. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) -- 7:30 PM - 11:00 PM Volleyball final and gymnastics. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) Friday July 24 -- 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM United States Olympic Festival. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) -- 7:30 PM - 11:00 PM Gymnastics, track and field, synchronized swimming, and tae kwon do. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) Saturday July 25 -- 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Gymnastics, track and field, synchronized swimming, and tae kwon do. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) -- 10:30 PM - 11:00 PM Track and field, equestrian, and finals in tae kwon do, From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) Sunday July 26 -- 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM Gymnastics, synchronized swimming, and equestrian. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) -- 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Hockey finals, track and field finals, and closing ceremonies. From Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Live) U.S. Olympic Sports Festival Roundup : Flame Is Lit at Opening Ceremony July 18, 1987|From Times Wire Services RALEIGH, N.C. — University of North Carolina athletes J.R. Reid and April Heinrichs highlighted the opening ceremony of the U.S. Olympic Festival Friday night, lighting the symbolic flame at Carter-Finley Stadium. Reid, 19, the Atlantic Coast Conference's basketball rookie of the year last season, played in the 1986 Festival at Houston and will play for the South team this year. Heinrichs, 23, was named U.S. Olympic Committee female soccer athlete of the year last season by the U.S. Soccer Federation, and was America's leading scorer in international competition. The co-captain of the national women's team was a star at Heritage High School in Littleton, Colo., a Denver suburb. The torch bearers were chosen by the competing athletes. The Festival, the largest single event in the history of the state, will encompass competition in 34 sports by 3,000 athletes. Events are held in Raleigh, Durham, Carey, Chapel Hill and Greensboro. A crowd of 52,700 filled the North Carolina State stadium for the opening ceremonies. A marching band of 300 members and a concert orchestra from the area opened the ceremony with "N.C. Olympic Fanfare," followed by a fireworks display." At Durham, two noted athletes--divers Greg Louganis and Michele Mitchell--continued their Festival domination by winning the preliminary rounds of platform diving. Greco-Roman wrestlers were the only other athletes competing Friday. The Festival gets into full swing today with competition in 17 sports. Louganis, holder of 41 national titles, two gold medals from the 1984 Olympic Games and all but two of the golds in Festival diving since 1979, led the preliminary round off the three-meter springboard Thursday. He moved into first place in the platform event Friday with a late surge. "I felt pretty steady," Louganis said after taking the lead on his sixth dive, a reverse triple-twist on which he scored 91.08 points. "I hate to rate myself today, but I was probably a 6 1/2." That still was far better than Bruce Kimball, who was second with 578.25 points, well behind Louganis' total of 645.90. Mike Wantuck was third with 577.56. In wrestling, two-time Olympian Mark Fuller of Gresham, Ore., led the advance into the third-round. Fuller, a 114.5-pounder, beat Steve Biedrycki of Quantico, Va., 3-2, 8-2, reaching today's final against top-seeded Shawn Sheldon of Albany, N.Y. Highlights of Opening Ceremony ESPN coverage Day 2 playlist ESPN coverage Day 8 ESPN coverage Day 10 ESPN coverage of Gymnastics Playlist of clips of ESPN coverage of Figure Skating
  23. 1986 United States Olympic Festival Houston Dates: July 25-August 3, 1986 Opened by: Final Torchbearers: Kirk Baptiste (athletics) and Kristie Phillips (gymnastics) Oath: Athletes: 3000 Sports: TV: ESPN Host: Jim Simpson Co-host: Leandra Reilly Reporters: John Nabor Tim Brando Jim Kelly Judy Sladsky Misha Petkevich Becky Dixon Betty Yopko Al Bernstein Friday July 25 -- 8:00 PM - 10:30 PM Opening Ceremonies -- 3:00 AM - 5:00 AM Opening Ceremonies (Tape) Saturday July 26 -- 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Figure Skating Team Equestrian Speedskating - Men -- 8:30 PM - 11:00 PM Boxing - Semifinals Figure Skating Judo Cycling -- 3:00 AM - 7:30 AM (Tape) (Repeat of day's broadcasts) Sunday July 27 -- 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM Figure Skating Individual Equestrian Speedskating - Men -- 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Boxing - Semifinals Figure Skating Cycling -- 3:00 AM - 8:30 AM (Tape) (Repeat of day's broadcasts) Monday July 28 -- 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Tape) (Repeat) -- 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM (Tape) (Repeat) -- 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM (Tape) (Repeat) -- 8:00 PM - 11:30 PM Basketball - Men - East vs South Roller Skating Tae Kwon Do -- 3:00 AM - 8:30 AM (Tape) (Repeat of day's broadcast) Tuesday July 29 -- 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Tape) (Repeat) -- 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM (Tape) (Repeat) -- 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Boxing - Finals Tae Kwon do Rythmic Gymnastics Wednesday July 30 -- 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM (Tape) (Repeat) -- 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Ice Hockey Rythmic Gymnastics Wrestling - Freestyle Diving Thursday July 31 -- 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (Tape) (Repeat) -- 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Basketball - Men - Finals Gymnastics - Men Diving - 3m Springboard Weightlifting Friday August 1 -- 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (Tape) (Repeat) -- 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM Track & Field Diving - 10m Platform Gymnastics - Women -- 3:00 AM - 5:30 AM (Tape) (Repeat) Saturday August 2 -- 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Diving - Men - 10m Platform Volleyball - Women - Final Ice Hockey - East vs West -- 8:00 PM - 11:30 PM Track & Field Gymnastics - Men Soccer - Men - Final -- 1:00 AM - 2:30 AM (Tape) (Repeat) -- 3:00 AM - 6:30 AM (Tape) (Repeat) Sunday August 3 -- 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM Volleyball - Men Team Handball Wrestling Diving - Women -- 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Track & Field Ice Hockey - Final Gymnastics - Women - Individual Closing Ceremonies -- 12:00 AM - 2:30 AM (Tape) (Repeat) -- 3:00 AM - 6:00 AM (Tape) (Repeat) Monday August 4 -- 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM (Tape) (Repeat) UPI Archives July 25, 1986 Sports Cast--Preview: Broadcast column;NEWLN:ESPN carries U.S. Olympic festival By RANDY MINKOFF, UPI Sports Writer CHICAGO -- For those of you who miss neo-Olympic style sporting events provided by the Goodwill Games the past three weeks, ESPN has some more coming up. The U.S. Olympic festival begins Friday in Houston with many of the nation's top young athletes competing. The major difference between the festival and the Goodwill Games is that the competition will be an all-American affair. However, the festival, formerly the National Sports Festival, does beg comparisons. Gymnastics, basketball, boxing and track and field are the big lures for the festival, just as they were for the Goodwill Games. ESPN will have 37 hours of live coverage, with a heavy emphasis this weekend. The Festival is in its second year of a three-year contract with ESPN and the cable network is hoping overexposure from the Goodwill Games won't be a factor in mirroring the disappointing rating numbers recorded by WTBS with its Moscow-based event. One advantage the Olympic Festival may have is in familiarity. The Goodwill Games could serve as a 'tease' for viewers who want to see more of the same; additionally, more names should be familiar to the average viewer because they are all from the United States. The festival is ESPN's biggest annual undertaking with 125 people involved, including six play-by-play announcers and 12 analysts. ESPN has sold nearly all of the ad inventory for the 10-day coverage, according to Jack Bonanni, an ESPN vice president for advertising sales. 'Companies were particularly enthusiastic about securing sponsorship in the Festival, primarily because they desire involvement in an event that will feature the young athletes likely to represent the U.S. in the 1988 Olympic games,' Bonanni said. Coverage begins Friday with the opening ceremonies and full competition is set to begin Saturday. Beginning at 3 p.m. EDT Saturday, figure skating, equestrain and men's speedskating will be featured. After that two-hour segment, ESPN will show a 2 -hour segment beginning at 8:30 p.m. with boxing, figure skating and cycling. Sunday, a 3-5:30 p.m. slot will include figure skating, equestrain and men's speedskating. An 8-11 p.m. segment features boxing, figure skating and cycling. The Modesto Bee Thursday July 24 1986 E3 Sports Linda Cearley TVRadio Olympic Festival begins 10-day run on ESPN Have your days seemed empty since the Goodwill Games ceased to fill the television screen for half of your waking hours? Do you miss the thrill of ranging across the sports and the seasons all in a single day? Well cheer up Bunky ESPN is ready to help Beginning Friday with the opening ceremonies you will be able to catch 37 hours — spread over 10 days —of the US Olympic Festival or as ESPN likes to call it for Ted Turner's sake "this year's only competition officially sanctioned by the Olympics" And just for good measure the cable network will have a nightly one-hour program of highlights from tile Commonwealth Games although that event has lost much of its appeal with 31 of the 58 eligible countries boycotting in protest of Great Britain's policy on South Africa But back to Houston for the Olympic Festival It's hard to imagine how ESPN following hard on the heels of the Goodwill fiasco could botch up its presentation badly enough to do anything but come out smelling like a rose in comparison to TBS' debacle from Moscow For starters ESPN will once again have reliable Jim Simpson and Leandra Reilly (a Goodwill survivor) anchoring the Festival telecasts Among the other announcers will be veterans Al Bernstein ' Jim Kelly Marty Liquori John Sanders and Dick Vitale And the analysts will include Bart Conner (gymnastics) John Naber (swimming) Misha Petkevich (skating) Chris Marlowe (volleyball) and Phil Boggs (diving) - Ten sports — boxing basketball diving figure skating gymnastics track and field volleyball equestrian roller skating and rhythmic gymnastics (no I'm not kidding) —will get comprehensive coverage usually two sports to a telecast In addition ESPN will have single cameras at competition sites to cover seven additional sports — ice hockey speedskating cycling taekwondo (a form of martial arts) team handball weightlifung and wrestling The festival's 18 other sports will be covered briefly with news reports and "Page Two" pre-filmed features But ESPN will not gut its regular schedule of live-action and feature programs in order to show the Olympic Festival Formula One racing pro bowling tournaments and US Pro tennis action all will be shown not to mention Australian rules football ' In me past the Olympic Festival has showcased many of the United States' best young athletes Dont let the pall cast by the Goodwill Games keep you from tuning in a pretty good show. Los Angeles Times U.S. Olympic Festival : Houston Celebrates the Occasion With a Party July 26, 1986 JULIE CART Times Staff Writer HOUSTON — Here in Yew-ston, where, we are frequently told, the greatest athletes in the world breathe the sweetest air, we had us a party Friday night. Invited a few folks over to the Astrodome. Everyone wore a cowboy hat and boots, and there was fringe on the girls' skirts. We waved the flag--the red, white and blue one with only the one star. Almost forgot. We got to talking about The Great State of Texas so much we near forgot to mention the U.S. Olympic Festival. Those were the U.S. Olympic Committee officials in the corner with the tight smiles. Don't ask a Texan to give a party and expect to get a word in edgewise. Friday night's expansive, huge, bloated U.S. Olympic Festival opening ceremony was meant to celebrate amateur sport. The festival is a showcase for the nation's Olympians of tomorrow. Instead, 32,401 fans were treated to what amounted to a Chamber of Commerce highlight film. Most out-of-town sportswriters wanted to hear about Texas' sesquicentennial about as much as they wanted to spell it. The problem with most international sports events is the rampant nationalism. No trouble with that here. What we have here in Texas is rampant statism. By the time "Houston's own" Carl Lewis carried the other flag with all the stars onto the AstroTurf to lead the athletes processional, the crowd was ready to cheer anything that even had a remote twang to it. Some 3,000 athletes followed Lewis, marching behind the banners that delineate the four geographical teams here. To nobody's great surprise, the appearance of the South team drew a roaring cheer. But the ovation was premature. The Texans on the South team decided to march in apart, behind the banner of the Lone Star. The Texas delegation was by far the rowdiest to enter the arena. Their enthusiasm was infectious. As the renegade Texas athletes circled the infield behind the South team, Texans who had been placed on other teams broke rank and joined their fellow statesmen. The arrival of the athletes, more than one hour into the 1 1/2-hour program, lifted the mood from glitzy variety show to youthful celebration. Wherever athletes gather and are told to behave, there will surely follow pandemonium. Many of the athletes here are in their first major competition, and to parade in front of 32,000 fans is heady stuff. As festival ushers attempted to herd each team around the infield in some semblance of cohesiveness, the athletes danced and waved for the cheering crowd. Among the colorful marchers were the usual unauthorized "Hi Mom" signs and others carrying various personal messages athletes no doubt hoped to beam home via ESPN, which televised the ceremonies. One section of the North team hoisted a cardboard polar bear, an apparent reference to their regional climate. It will be an achievement of no small measure for the athletes to sustain over the 10 days of the festival the youthful exuberance they showed Friday night. The crowd offered only polite applause to the cavalcade of drill teams, western dancers, Mexican dancers, bands, color guards and 100 pre-teen fiddlers in red cowboy hats. The arena warmed with the arrival of rock and roll group Otis Day and the Knights. When the group cut loose on "Shout," the collective inhibitions in the Astrodome fell away. Impromptu dancing broke out between baton twirlers and trombone players, while square dancers from the Texas Hoedown segment mixed it up with the Folkloric Dancers from the Mexican Fiesta group. The festival torch arrived, carried by Olympic sprinter Kirk Baptiste and diminutive gymnast Kristie Phillips. Guess in which Great Texas City Kirk and Kristie live. The Olympic Festival Torch was first lit June 21 at the summit of 14,000-foot Pike Peak near Colorado Springs, where a permanent flame burns in tribute to the 1,100 Americans who have won Olympic gold medals since 1896. From there the torch crisscrossed the state on a 4,600-mile course. Hundreds of runners from Texas ran through 125 cities, although organizers do reluctantly admit that between Midland and Lubbock the torch traveled by car. Hey, it's a big state. Houstonians are especially proud of The Desert Rats--a group of two dozen lawyers who used their vacation time to run the torch day and night the 625 miles from Colorado Springs to El Paso in four days. The torch, flame blazing, was brought to the Astrodome Friday night via bicycle. It was then entrusted to Baptiste and Phillips. The pair mounted a platform on the floor of the Astrodome and lit the torch to officially open the competition. Festival chairman Ernest Deal opened another kind of competition when, in his remarks during the lighting ceremony, he took the opportunity to announce Houston's interest in bidding as a site for a future Summer Olympic Games. "In 10 or 12 years, when it becomes North America's turn to host the Olympics, there is only one place for them to be," Deal said. "That is right here. We want our gold medal." Why wait? If they're giving medals for showmanship, give Houston one right now. ESPN coverage of Gymnastics Playlist of clips of ESPN coverage of Figure Skating ESPN coverage of Roller Figure Skating ESPN coverage of Heptathlon
  24. OOPS! The dates of the 1985 Festival were July 24-August 4. Sorry for the omission!
  25. National Sports Festival VI Baton Rouge Dates: , 1985 Opened by: Final Torchbearers: Greg Louganis (diving) and Valerie Brisco-Hooks (athletics) Oath: Athletes: 3500 Sports: 34 TV: ESPN Executive Producer: Bill Fitts Host: Jim Simpson Reporters: John Naber Leandra Reilley Phil Boggs Greg Louganis Roger Twibell Jim Kelly John Misha Petkevich Judy Sladky Ralph Boston Larry Rawson Dick Vitale Chris Marlowe Friday July 26 -- 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Preview, Taped Highlights -- 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Opening Ceremonies Saturday July 27 -- 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM Diving - Women Figure Skating - Women -- 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Track & Field Swimming Sunday July 28 -- 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM Diving - Men Figure Skating - Men - Long Program -- 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Track & Field Swimming Monday July 29 -- 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Tape) Diving - Men Figure Skating - Men - Long Program -- 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM (Tape) Track & Field Swimming -- 8:00 PM - 10:30 PM Basketball - Finals Swimming Volleyball - Finals -- 12:00 AM - 2:00 AM Volleyball - Men - Final (Tape) Tuesday July 30 -- 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Volleyball - Men - Final (Tape) -- 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM Basketball - Finals Swimming Volleyball - Finals -- 8:00 PM - 11:30 PM Swimming Volleyball - Finals -- 12:00 AM - 2:00 AM Swimming (Tape) Wednesday July 31 -- 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Swimming (Tape) -- 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM (Tape) Swimming Volleyball - Finals -- 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM Volleyball - Women - Final Basketball - Finals -- 12:30 AM - 3:00 AM (Tape) Volleyball - Women - Final Thursday August 1 -- 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Tape) Volleyball - Finals Basketball - Finals Baseball - Finals -- 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM Basketball - Men - Final -- 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM (Tape) Volleyball - Finals Basketball - Finals Baseball - Finals -- 10:00 PM - 12:00 AM Boxing - Finals Gymnastics - Men - Finals -- 1:00 AM - 3:00 AM (Tape) Gymnastics - Men - Finals Friday August 2 -- 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM (Tape) Boxing - Finals Gymnastics - Men - Finals -- 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Boxing - Finals Gymnastics - Women - Finals -- 1:00 AM - 2:30 AM Gymnastics - Women - Finals (Tape) Saturday August 3 -- 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM Synchronized Swimming - Duets -- 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Ice Hockey Water Polo Gymnastics - Men - Finals -- 12:00 AM - 2:00 AM (Tape) Synchronized Swimming - Duets Sunday August 4 -- 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Synchronized Swimming - Team Competition -- 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Gymnastics - Women - Finals Ice Hockey Water Polo Boxing - Finals -- 12:00 AM - 2:00 AM Gymnastics - Women - Finals (Tape) Monday August 5 -- 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Gymnastics - Women - Finals (Tape) -- 12:30 PM - 3:30 PM Gymnastics - Women - Finals Ice Hockey Water Polo Boxing - Finals -- 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Review Closing Ceremonies -- 12:30 AM - 2:30 AM (Tape) Review Closing Ceremonies -- 3:00 AM - 6:00 AM (Tape) Review Closing Ceremonies UPI Archives March 13, 1985 Sports Briefs PERTH, Scotland -- ESPN has acquired the exclusive television rights to the National Sports Festival for three years beginning in 1985, it was announced Tuesday. ESPN will televise over 35 live hours of the 1985 Festival, which will be held in Baton Rouge, La. This year's competition will feature over 150 events in 34 sports from the schedule of the Olympic and Pan American Games. The Festival, which was designed to develop and showcase American amateur athletes, is expect to attract almost 3,000 competitors and 250,000 spectators. The 1986 Games are scheduled to be held in Houston with the 1987 event taking place in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. UPI ARCHIVES JULY 26, 1985 The National Sports Festival, America's largest gathering of Olympic-quality... ByMIKE RABUN, UPI Sports Writer BATON ROUGE, La. -- The National Sports Festival, America's largest gathering of Olympic-quality amateur athletes, officially opened Friday night in typical Louisiana summer conditions -- hot and humid. A crowd estimated at 60,000 braved the warmth and the traffic to watch the three-hour spectacular patterned after the cermonies which open the Olympics every four years. The opening cermony of the sixth Festival featured the lighting of a torch above Tiger Stadium by a laser beamed from one end of the arena to the other. Olympic stars Steve Lundquist, Greg Louganis and Valerie Brisco-Hooks took part in the torch lighting ceremony. Sweat poured off performers and spectators alike in temperatures and humidity which left the discomfort index close to 100 degrees. The conditions so concerned Festival officials that they decided to reduce the length of two long-distance races this weekend. The men's and women's marathon, scheduled for Sunday, will not be conducted over the traditional distance of just over 26 miles and instead will be cut to 13 miles. The shortened marathons will be held at 6 a.m. to take advantage of cooler temperatures. The 50-kilometer walk has also been shortened to 30-kilometers. 'We decided in the best interests of the runners and their safety to shorten these events,' said Festival track and field coordinator Phil Henson. 'We consulted with the USOC sports medicine staff and Dr. Robert Voy, the USOC's chief medical officer, and we agree that it will benefit the athletes in view of the possible problems from heat and humidity.' Although limited sporting activity began on Wednesday night, the first major rush of action does not take place until Saturday with action in 20 sports scheduled around the city. Track and field will dominate the first weekend of the Festival, with such Olympic stars as Brisco-Hooks, Al Joyner, Willie Banks and Jeannete Bolden on display. Basketball will also begin on Saturday in a prime showcase for young talent who hope to make the United States' 1988 Olympic team. As the initial outbreak of competition neared, however, the concern over the weather conditions seeped into almost every venue. University of Kansas basketball coach Larry Brown, who will guide the North team during the Festival, said he thought the weather would even have an affect on indoor sports. 'You've got to be careful with these conditions,' Brown said. 'The kids sweat a lot, the basketball gets slick and they tend to slip on the floor more than usual. 'Of course most of them play in the summertime anyway so maybe it is not that much of a problem. United States Olympic Committee secretary general George D. Miller said that while the weather was a drawback to having the Festival in cities such as Baton Rouge, other factors outweighed the conditions. 'There is a spirit in this town,' said Miller. 'They are very proud of their country and they are proud to have all these athletes here. 'They wanted to Sports Festival here and were willing to work hard to put it on. That is the kind of community we want hosting the Festival. 'We have the best medical staff possible. We will do everything we can to make sure all health precautions are taken.' The weather, however, seemed just fine to some people, including Olympic gold medalist Lillie Leatherwood. Leatherwood, who ran a leg on America's winning 4x400 relay team, is from Ralph, Ala. 'This weather doesn't bother me at all,' said Leatherwood, who was sitting in the shade when she said it. 'I'm used to it. If I was back home it would be worse than this.' Sports Festival Off To A Blazing Start July 28, 1985 By Jody Homer, Chicago Tribune. BATON ROUGE — It wasn`t the Olympics and there wasn`t the hoped-for full house, but all things considered, the people of Baton Rouge could be proud of Friday night`s opening ceremonies at the National Sports Festival. They have worked for the last year on this biggest sports event in their history. Some 60,000 of them came dressed in red, white and blue to watch it begin. Organizers of the two weeks of competition modeled the opening ceremonies on the Olympics. They kept secret how the torch, or cauldron, would be lit and who would have the honor of carrying the flame into the Louisiana State University stadium. They promised it would be one of the most unusual torch lightings anywhere, including the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. It was. Rumors had circulated that the mystery guest would be an Olympic gold medal-winner, either Carl Lewis or Edwin Moses. Moses carried the American flag into the stadium, but two Baton Rouge athletes, a weightlifter and a blind swimmer competing in one of the five disabled events, brought the flame into the stadium. They passed it to double Olympic gold-medal winning swimmer Steve Lundquist. The relay continued when Lundquist passed the flame to Olympic diver Greg Louganis and track superstar Valerie Brisco-Hooks, who have five 1984 gold medals between them. Louganis and Brisco-Hooks took their torches to the far end of the stadium, and then the mystery of the cauldron lighting was solved. A green laser beam transported the flame from the Olympians` torches across the field to the cauldron, which burst into flames in the darkened stadium. The Sports Festival is held in non-Olympic years, with competition in 34 sports for thousands of already established and up-and-coming U.S. amateur athletes. A handful of events began Wednesday and Thursday, before the opening ceremonies. Most begin Saturday. All track and field events will be Saturday and Sunday. Gymnastics is saved for the end of the week. At the first NSF in 1978 in Colorado Springs, only 3,000 curious spectators watched the opening cermonies. It was a record Festival crowd that packed Tiger Stadium for Friday`s festivities, which included 1,000 aerobic dancers, bands such as Cheap Trick, parachute teams, thousands of colorful balloons and the traditional parade of 3,500 athletes. The entertainment was staged on a 60-foot wide, two-tiered platform. A pyramid towered 70 feet over the platform with a cauldron resting on top. NSF officials had hoped to sell out the 76,000-seat stadium, but with only 40,000 to 50,000 tickets having been sold by Thursday, they revised their estimates. NSF executive director Bill Bankhead said just under 40 percent of the 300,000 tickets for all events must be sold to break even, and close to that percentage was gone by Friday. None of the past Sports Festivals have lost money. Only a few events in Baton Rouge were sold out. Oddly, the one area where ticket sales are particularly weak is track and field, despite the presence of many would-be medalists. To boost attendance, track tickets have been dicounted $3. Earlier in the day, officials of The Athletics Congress and the NSF decided to shorten the race-walking event and the marathons for men and women. ``We decided it was in the best inteests of the runners and their safety,`` said TAC festival coordinator Phil Henson. ``We consulted with the USOC sports medicine staff, and we agree that it would benefit the athletes in view of the possible problems from heat and humidity.`` The weather was on everyone`s mind Friday as the temperature reached into the 90s and was expected to stay there. The marathons have been shortened to half-marathons beginning at 5:45 a.m. Sunday. And Sunday`s 50-kilometer race- walk has been shortened to 30 kilometers. ESPN coverage of Gymnastics ESPN coverage of Swimming https://www.youtube.com/user/swam4texas/videos Playlist of clips of ESPN coverage of Figure Skating 1985 U.S. Olympic Festival - Figure Skating - YouTube
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