Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Firsts are one of the wonderful aspects of the Olympic Games - there is the introduction of so many firsts, not only over the decades but at each Olympic Games themselves. These 2004 Summer Games are no different...

Sara McMann. Patricia Miranda. Toccara Montgomery. What might these three have in common, other than being female? They share a passion for the very same Olympic sport; a sport that will be making its debut at these 2004 Olympic Summer Games. The event is women's freestyle wrestling. And although women's wrestling has grown in popularity worldwide, it is in this Olympics the women wrestlers will have their chance at the gold.

Another thing these women share in common is that they are some of the members of the United States women's freestyle wrestling team. Sara, hailing from Pennsylvania, is a four-time US champion (2000-2003) and is the 2003 World silver medalist. Patricia is the daughter of political refugees from Brazil and is the Silver Medalist at the 2000 World Championships. Toccara, hailing from Kentucky, is a four-time US champion (2001-2004) and was two-time World silver medalist (2001, 2003). She is considered the US favorite to medal at the 2004 Olympics.

In addition to this "first" at the 2004 Olympic Summer Games, here are a few other interesting "first" tidbits:

    • Women’s Sabre is included for the first time in the Olympic Fencing competition schedule.
    • Two hundred and two National Olympic Committees are going to participate in the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games.
    • For the first time in modern history, during the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games a sporting event is going to be held in the Ancient Olympia Stadium.
    • For the first time in the history of Ancient Olympia Stadium women will compete in it during the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games.
    • For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, the entire official website is trilingual (Greek, English and French) two and a half years before the Games.
    • For the first time in Tennis, points accumulated during Olympic matches will contribute to athlete’s world ranking positions.
    • For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, all the Aquatics events will be held in one venue, at the Athens Olympic Sports Complex – OAKA Olympic Aquatic Centre.
    • The Olympic flame will visit for the first time all 54 Prefectures in Greece.
    • For the first time in the history of Boxing, camera equipment will be used for the verification of results.
    • For the first time, the Olympic and Paralympic summer Games will be organised by a single Organising Committee after the signing of the IOC – IPC Cooperation Agreement.
    • For the first time, stadiums built in three different centuries will host Olympic sports: Ancient Olympia Stadium (5th century B.C), Panathinaiko Stadium (19th century A.C.) and Olympic Stadium (20th century A.C.).
    • The Olympic flame has traveled to Africa and Latin America for the first time. A total of 260 million people have seen the Flame in their city.
    • The ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay is the first to travel the globe and return to the country that gave birth to the Games.
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