Banned from the Olympics

That's the case for Fiji, a tiny island-nation in the South Pacific with a handful of Olympic athletes. Because the country taps into New Zealand's TV feeds, the only time the Fiji team will be seen on TV (barring an unlikely medal finish in one of the few events it's participating in) is for a few seconds at the opening ceremony. The region has been getting increasingly wired, though, leading some residents to hope a solution may come from the Net.

Buoyed by the success of setting up a Web site to bring new and unheard-of training techniques to the athletes of the region, the Oceania Olympic Committee - the athletics body that overseas the Olympic qualifying efforts of 14 South Pacific nations, including Fiji, New Zealand and Australia - would like to see the Net bring blow-by-blow coverage of the events.

"If you could use the Internet somehow to see how a Fiji sailor is doing, rather than having to read a text version of it somewhere a day later, that would be great," says Dennis Miller, the sports director for the Oceania Olympic Committee.

Miller's view makes sense, and perhaps the IOC could find some wiggle room to allow for such experiments in Net broadcasting. But probably not. After all, Olympic coverage is all about money, and the Net, despite its reach, won't pay the bills.

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Bernhard Warner

PC World

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