Names In The News
The Spanish Olympic Committee has chosen L.A. Lakers player PAU GASOL to replace tennis player RAFAEL NADAL as the country's flag bearer at the London Games. Nadal had to pull out of the Games due to an injury. Gasol took to twitter to express his joy. Gasol: "I am very happy to be Spain's flag bearer. It's one of the best moments of my career. Thanks to the sports federations and COE." (REUTERS, 7/20). ... During the U.S.A. men's visit to Barcelona, Lakers player KOBE BRYANT talked about the possibility of playing basketball in Spain later in his career. Bryant: "Give me three years and you will see me playing for Barcelona. I really like Spain, and I could finish my career here. But if I had to pick, Barcelona I really enjoy, more than Madrid." He added: "I would like to finish my career in Barcelona because I really enjoy the city, there is a nice beach and I could also go see the games of the football team" (MUNDODEPORTIVO.com, 7/21). ... FC Barcelona and Spain national team midfielder ANDRES INIESTA said he wants to see one of his Spain teammates win the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or award. Iniesta: "I hope that one of my team-mates from the national team wins the Ballon d'Or" (GOAL.com. 7/22). ... Russian Football Union President NIKITA SIMONYAN said that FABIO CAPELLO "will be officially unveiled" as Russia's head coach on Wednesday.The 66-year-old Italian quit as England boss in February and will now replace Dutchman DICK ADVOCAAT as head of the Russian squad (DAILY MAIL, 7/21). ... Manchester City striker CARLOS TEVEZ "switched sports" to caddie for fellow Argentinian ANDRES ROMERO in the final round of The Open. Tevez and Romero have been friends since they met at the 2008 Open at Royal Birkdale. Tevez said, "The chance to walk along the course and be around these great players is a pleasure and something unforgettable" (SUNDAY TIMES, 7/22). ... Voting is under way "to determine which member of Team GB will carry the Union Flag" at the opening ceremony. The favorite for the role is four-time Olympic gold medalist CHRIS HOY. The BBC understands Hoy "is on a nine-person shortlist," with the winner to be announced on Monday. Another possibility is rower KATHERINE GRAINGER who has won a silver medal "at each of the past three Games." Others in the running "are likely to include" diver TOM DALEY and marathon runner PAULA RADCLIFFE (BBC, 7/20). ... Footballer FABRICE MUAMBA "carried the Olympic torch through London" four months after collapsing on the field during an EPL match. Muamba is "still not well enough to play," but he was able to walk 300 meters with the torch on Saturday as the relay reached London (AP, 7/21). ... Retired New Zealand National Netball team mid-courter TEMEPARA GEORGE and LAURA LANGMAN shared the ANZ MVP award. Langman is the Northern Mystics captain and Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic skipper (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 7/22).