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Olympic Trivia - Wednesday

Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2002

TV for Wednesday, 2-13

All times EST

NBC 4-5 p.m. -- Biathlon: men's 10-K sprint.

NBC 8-11:30 p.m. -- Alpine skiing: men's combined. Ski jumping: K120 individual. Speed skating: women's 500. Short track speed skating: women's 1500. Luge: women's singles final.

MSNBC 1-6 p.m. -- Biathlon: women's 7.5-K sprint. Women's hockey: Canada vs. Russia. Curling: men, U.S. vs. Germany.

CNBC 6 p.m.-midnight -- Men's hockey: Switzerland vs. Belarus; France vs. Ukraine. Curling: men, U.S. vs. Norway.

Today's lesson

When the Mormons settled in Utah, they wanted to be left alone to their own

brand of religion. They even drew up a constitution for a seperate state

called Deseret (Native American for "honey bee, which thrive in Utah,

nicknamed the Beehive state).

And some of the early Mormon settlers, persecuted back east, were downright

mean. In the mid-1800s, a group from Arkansas traveled through Utah on the

way to California. They asked some Mormons for food and were refused. "We're

going to tell the federal government on you," the settlers reportedly

taunted the Mormons in 19th Century frontier trash talk. The Mormons

reportedly persuaded a nearby Indian tribe to attack the Arkansans.

Then, a group of Mormons showed up acting as good guys and persuaded the

travelers to disarm, saying they would guide them to safety. Not wanting the

settlers to reach California and tattle to government officials, the Mormons

ambushed the Arkansans in what became known as the Mountain Meadows

Massacre. It resulted in the death of 120 people, including small children.

Last year, more than 150 years later, the descendants of that Mormon group

officially apologized to the descendants of the victims for the action of

their ancestors.

Olympic Classroom

Today's questions comes from the 3rd grade SOAR classes at North Augusta (Ga.) Elementary School.

Q. Can kids play in the Olympics? Is there an age limit?

A. There is no universal age requirement for the Olympics. Each sport sets its own limit. For instance, starting with the 2000 Games, gymnasts were required to be 16 years old by the end of the calendar year in which the Games are held.

Neat to know

Before they continued on t heir westward march, the early Mormon settlers

tilled the soil before they left a location. That allowed the groups that

followed them to immediately begin planting crops, bettering their chances

of survival.

Stats and numbers

70,136: The number of antacid tablets on immediately available to the

medical staff for the Games.

Pop quiz

Where were the first Winter Olympics held? (Yesterday's answer: Lake

Placid in New York has hosted the Winter Games twice, in 1932 and 1980).

Story time

A French girl, Corinne Niogret, won a gold medal in biathlon (a combination

of cross country skiing and shooting) at Albertville, France, in 1924.

Local farmers were so thrilled that they gave the 19-year-old girls a cow. A

competitive biathlete doesn't really need a cow, but not wanting it to be an

"udder" disaster, she sold it for $1,100.

Online "ratings" way up

NBC is getting good TV ratings. But the really big jump is coming with its online site. The amount of NBCOlympics.com visitors for the first day of competition was 177 percent higher than during the opening day in Sydney. And what are most people looking for: TV listings. On Saturday, 41 percent of the site users went to the NBC/CNBC/MSNBC TV schedules. One of the reasons is that the online listings break down the schedule, detailing at what times certain sports will appear _ information that network officials usually try to keep quiet in hopes of forcing people to stay tuned.

Britney and Kelly

Kelly Clark, the 18-year old snowboarder who gave the United States its first gold of the Games, said that she plans to put the medal on a wall next to a framed piece of encouragement from Britney Spears.

"She wrote, 'Let it rip,'" Clark said.

Monday night, NBC arranged for a phone conversation between Clark and Spears during the "Jay Leno Show." Clark, standing on a street in Park City, was doing an interview with Leno when he brought Spears, one of the night's guests, out to talk to her.

Leno joked that maybe Spears should get Clark's autograph now.

"I would love that," Spears said.

She also said that she once dreamed of being an Olympic gymnast, going so far as to attend a camp run by Bela Karolyi.

"I took it seriously until they started telling you what to eat," she said with a laugh.

Kiss and Cry in the NFL?

Harvey Greene, media relations director for the Miami Dolphins, is working as a volunteer at the figure skating venue. Greene's role: to escort the skaters to the "Kiss and Cry" zone.

"I think we're going to start having a 'Kiss and Cry' at Pro Player Stadium," Greene joked.

Name game

Name the country from its official initial: ISL. (Yesterday's answer: EGY is

Egypt).



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