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              IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch has "confirmed"
         that China is "seriously considering bidding" for the 2008
         Summer Olympic Games, according to Mike Dodd of USA TODAY. 
         Samaranch visited China last weekend and said that either
         Beijing, which lost a "close election" to Sydney for the
         2000 Games, or Shanghai, would be the candidate.  Dodd added
         that a Chinese entry "could change the complexion of the
         next two elections for the Summer Games" because a
         successful bid by front-runner Toronto would "cripple" the
         U.S.' chances for hosting the 2012 Games.  The IOC is
         "unlikely" to award two successive Olympics to North
         American cities (Mike Dodd, USA TODAY, 9/17).
              GREEK PASTIME?: In other Olympic news, Dodd reports
         that organizers for the 2004 Athens Games have "a major
         education project ahead," as they need to "familiarize their
         country with baseball and softball."  Athens Organizing
         Committee Managing Dir Costas Bakouris: "Nobody has a clue
         who Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa is."  Bakouris is "counting
         on" Orioles Owner Peter Angelos, who is of Greek descent, to
         "help organizers introduce the game to the country."  He
         says Angelos "is willing to bring the Orioles to Greece for
         a postseason tour in 1999 or 2000, though he didn't commit
         the entire major league squad" (USA TODAY, 9/17).

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