As the Olympic Games inch toward the start of track and field competition on Friday -- enough with the swimming already! -- we thought we should catch readers up on the latest news and features about Minnesota's tracksters ...
Barbora Špotáková ... If the name doesn't sound familiar to you, blame Down the Backstretch! Somehow, after 870 posts and a year-and-a-half of publication, we only recently figured out that Špotáková, the reigning World Champion in the women's javelin, was a Golden Gopher all-American in 2002. (D'oh!)
Špotáková, a Czech national, was ranked #1 in the world by Track & Field News in 2007 and is a favorite for javelin gold in Beijing. Her PR throw of 226-10 earlier this year ranks her #4 all-time in the event.
We brought ourselves up to speed on Špotáková with remedial reading HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Kara Goucher ... The Duluth News-Tribune re-connected with their local heroine over the weekend, HERE. Kevin Pates' feature on Goucher focuses on Goucher's family. Goucher's mother Patty Wheeler of Duluth will attend the Olympics, as will Goucher's husband Adam.
Goucher is sending updates to the News-Tribune from China, herself. Today's post is HERE; an earlier post is HERE.
Shani Marks ... Minnesota's Olympic Trails triple jump champion updated her Beijing blog yesterday, HERE.
The Sites We're Frequenting ... Despite the wait for competition on the track to begin, we've been enjoying other Olympics events as best we can. If you're interested, here's a list of web-sites we've found informative and interesting ...
Rings ... the New York Times Olympic blog.
Globetrotting ... the Chicago Tribune's Olympic blog.
MinnPost ... Jay Weiner's coverage of the Olympics.
Star-Trib ... the local paper's coverage.
IAAF ... the go-to site for news and results of track and field.
T&FN ... Track and Field News is collecting lots of great links on their site.
Let's Run ... even more track and distance running links.
RunBlogRun ... Larry Eder's personal take on the Games.