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Volume 24 No. 155


          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).