With the Opening Ceremony one week away, NBC is preparing for the pomp and pageantry of the XXX Olympiad with “30 Greatest NBC Olympic Moments,” airing at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 21.
Visitors to NBCOlympics.com were invited to view videos of 30 selected memorable Olympic moments and vote for their top three. The results will be revealed during the one-hour special.
Olympic legend Carl Lewis made the cut for his performance in the sprint relay in 1992. After failing to make the U.S. team at 100 meters, in which Lewis had won the last two Olympic gold medals, the 31-year-old won long jump gold. Lewis then anchored the 4x100 relay squad to victory — in world record time — for his eighth career gold medal.
Also among the unforgettable moments, both triumphant and tragic, is the vault by gymnast Kerri Strug, which secured the gold medal for the U.S. Women's Gymnastic Team, also known as the Magnificent Seven, in 1996. Strug, who had a reputation for “faltering on big stages,” fell on the first of two vaults, injuring her ankle. Limping back to the top of the runway, with coach Bela Karolyi bellowing, “You can do it!” Strug took a moment to compose herself before charging down the runaway, executing a perfect Yurchenko one-and-a-half and sticking the landing before collapsing to the mat in agony.
The vault scored a 9.712 to secure the win, and the Magnificent Seven remain the only U.S. women's team to claim Olympic Gold in gymnastics.
Other Olympic moments presented for consideration include:
2004 - Carly Patterson wins all-around (gymnastics)
2004 - Paul Hamm Wins all-around (gymnastics)
1996 - Donovan Bailey's 100m gold in world record time (track and field)
1996 - Michael Johnson's 200m world record
1992 - Derek Redmond limps across the line with his father (track and field)
1992 - Dream Team wins gold (basketball)
1992 - Jackee Joyner Kersee repeats as heptathlon champion
NBC's coverage of the XXX Olympiad, taking place in London July 27-August 12, begins with the Opening Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 27.
PHILADELPHIA — A panel of three federal judges indicated Tuesday they were having second thoughts about their ruling last week that Carl Lewis, the nine-time Olympic gold medalist who has had a bumpy entry into New Jersey politics, was eligible to be on the ballot for a state Senate seat.
The same three judges from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asked for additional arguments, posed more questions and promised a new ruling soon in the complicated saga. With the election seven weeks away and ballots to be printed any day, there could be a lot of activity in the case, and the race, in short order.
Lewis, a Democrat, is trying to run in the 8th Legislative District, a Republican stronghold in New Jersey's outer Philadelphia suburbs. If he stays on the ballot, he'll face Republican incumbent Dawn Addiego.
New Jersey Secretary of State Kim Guadagno, a Republican who was also elected lieutenant governor as Gov. Chris Christie's running mate, says she removed Lewis from the ballot under a residency provision that's been in the state constitution since 1844. But Lewis and his supporters say he's been singled out for political reasons.
A week ago, the judges had the most challenging questions for the state assistant attorney general who was defending Guadagno's decision.
Tuesday, it was Lewis' lawyer Bill Tambussi who got the most extensive grilling.
Lewis, 50, grew up in Willingboro and became an international star when he won four gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. He went to college in Texas and settled in California. He bought homes in southern New Jersey in 2005 and 2007, but continued to pay taxes in California and voted there through 2009.
Judge Thomas Ambro observed to Tambussi: "If it wasn't for the fact that he voted in California, you might not be here."
"We would not be here," Tambussi responded.
"The more you look at it," the judge said as Lewis looked on, "the more concern I have."
After last week's ruling, Burlington County Republicans who intervened in the case asked for the entire 3rd Circuit to take up an appeal.
Instead, only the judges who made the initial ruling — and never issued a complete opinion — did so.
A full-court review is unusual, and the court's action this week is even rarer. But the veteran election lawyers in the case said almost everything about the saga was different from anything they had seen before.
The argument Tuesday wasn't so much about the facts of where Lewis was a citizen and where he was living — though those issues came up.
Instead, it focused on the finer legal point of what kind of analysis the judges should use to evaluate whether the residency requirement violates Lewis' constitutional right to equal protection under the law: strict scrutiny or the rational basis.
"I'll make it really simple," Mark Sheridan, a Republican lawyer, said after the hearing. "Strict scrutiny, we lose. Rational basis, we win."
The case is time sensitive, though it's before a federal court, a deliberative sort of place where urgency does not always matter. The judges said they were aware of practical deadlines for the election.
The ballot-printing deadline was Monday, though county clerk's offices were holding off, at least for a few days.
Tambussi said it wouldn't be fair to voters to oust Lewis so late in the election because the Democrats might not be able to find and nominate a new candidate in time — and even if they can, it could mean they would have to pay to reprint ballots.
Sheridan pointed out that candidates have been changed later than this. In 2002, New Jersey Democrats switched U.S. Senate candidates 29 days before the election.
But back then, the state did not have early voting by mail like it does now. -- (AP)
“Oprah’s Next Chapter” presents a special two hour episode as 10 of the greatest Summer Olympic legends come together and Oprah Winfrey goes inside their triumphs and untold stories, and discovers what happens after the glory on “Oprah Salutes Superstar Olympians,” airing at 8 p.m., Sunday, July 22 on OWN.
As the world prepares for the 2012 Summer Games, taking place in London July 27– August 12, Winfrey sits down with 10 legendary Olympic legends including track and field stars Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner Kersee and Al Joyner; celebrated gymnasts Bart Conner, Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton and Shawn Johnson; diver Greg Louganis and world record-breaking swimmers Janet Evans and Mark Spitz.
According to the network, Mary Joyner, the daughter of Al Joyner and the late Florence Griffith Joyner, talks to Winfrey about how her mother’s death has impacted her life. A pretty and popular sprinter, Griffith Joyner, who came to be known simply as “Flo-Jo,” is considered “the fastest woman of all time,” based on the fact that she still holds the world record for both the 100 meters and 200 meters, both set in 1988 and never seriously challenged. The image of pure rapture as her husband Al scooped her up and joyously spun her around after her gold medal victory in the 100 meters at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 is one that still endures in the annals of sport. Flo-Jo died suddenly of epilepsy in 1998 at the age of 38.
Winfrey’s salute to the superstars of summer will also include an in-depth look at who to watch in 2012, including Lolo Jones (track & field), Gabby Douglas (gymnastics), Missy “The Missile” Franklin (swimming), Michael Phelps (swimming), Carmelita Jeter (track & field) and Jordan Wieber (gymnastics). Also featured is Winfrey’s conversation with decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner about life after the Olympics.
PHILADELPHIA — Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis was ordered back on the ballot in a New Jersey state Senate election by a federal appeals court Tuesday in possibly the final word in a court drama over whether the celebrity political newcomer would meet a four-year residency requirement for state senators.
The drama played out in a series of court rulings that began rolling out not long after Lewis declared his candidacy in April. He bounced between being on the ballot and off it for months.
Tuesday's ruling was a split decision, 2-1, that said the state failed to demonstrate a compelling state interest for keeping Lewis off the ballot. The court said a full ruling would come later.
Tuesday, Mark Sheridan, a lawyer representing Burlington County Republicans who sought to keep Lewis off the ballot, said his clients would appeal the latest ruling.
"I think the court absolutely got it wrong," he said. They applied the wrong standard."
Meanwhile, Lewis's lawyer said the court got it right.
"Today's decision puts this matter with the voters of the Eighth Legislative District, where it rightfully belongs," Lewis attorney William Tambussi said. "We are pleased that the voters now have a meaningful choice."
Lewis, a Democrat, wanted to run in the reliably Republican 8th Legislative District, challenging Republican Sen. Dawn Addiego.
It was Republican Gov. Chris Christie's running mate and lieutenant governor, Kid Guadagno, in her capacity as secretary of state, who ruled Lewis should not be able to run.
The 50-year-old Lewis grew up in southern New Jersey, went to college in Texas and settled in California. In 1984, he moved from track star to celebrity when he won four gold medals at the Los Angeles Olympics.
Over the next 12 years, he collected five more golds in the Olympics. He bought homes in New Jersey in 2005 and 2007 and started coaching track at his alma mater, Willingboro High School, in 2007. But, he continued to vote in California through 2009 and registered to vote in New Jersey only this year. -- (AP)
TRENTON, N.J. — Jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, former NFL coach Bill Parcells and "Superman" actor Christopher Reeve are among the nominees for the New Jersey Hall of Fame's 2012 class.
The hall announced the nominees for its fifth class on Tuesday. In all, there are 50 nominees from the fields of arts and entertainment, sports, enterprise and history.
Gillespie and Parcells, both of Englewood, and Reeve, of Princeton, were joined by artist Alexander Calder of Hoboken and Revolutionary War heroine Molly Pitcher of Trenton.
It's now up to voters to choose. They have until January to cast their ballots at www.NJHallofFame.org .
The top two vote-getters in each category will be inducted in June.
Previous inductees include Civil Rights activist Paul Robeson, rock musician Bruce Springsteen, actor Jack Nicholson and Olympian Carl Lewis. -- (AP)
MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. — Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis gave up on his race for New Jersey state Senate on Friday, a day after a federal appeals panel removed him from the ballot because he didn't meet a four-year residency requirement.
He had to decide quickly whether to drop out or press on with a court battle. Thursday's ruling came with less than seven weeks before the Nov. 8 election and just as ballots are to be printed and sent out, first to voters overseas, then to others.
Lewis said he would still be involved in Democratic campaigns and charity work — and encouraging people to vote.
"Service does not need a title," he said. "They made their choice, we move on, that's where I am."
His withdrawal caps a week of suspense in his stop-and-go challenge to Republican incumbent Dawn Addiego for a seat representing the heavily Republican 8th Legislative District in the outer ring of southern New Jersey's Philadelphia suburbs.
The Democrat's campaign, begun in April, has been heavy on legal proceedings and light on political debate — though Lewis did knock on plenty of voters' doors.
Lewis, 50, grew up in southern New Jersey but settled in California. He bought homes in New Jersey in 2005 and 2007 and became a volunteer track coach at his alma mater, Willingboro High School, in 2007. But he continued to vote in California until 2009 and didn't register to vote in New Jersey until he started his campaign.
He said he won't run for statewide office or Congress but said he could possibly run for the state Legislature in the future.
The only thing he's ruled out is resuming a project he embarked on with Republican Gov. Chris Christie before he entered the race: becoming a New Jersey fitness ambassador.
The fitness program led to a partisan spat early in his campaign. Lewis said Christie's staff threatened to scuttle the program if Lewis ran. The administration dismissed Lewis' interpretation as a misunderstanding but acknowledged that the program was dead.
"I'd like to work with people whom I can trust," Lewis said with a wink. -- (AP)
TRENTON, N.J. — The political career of nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis has been declared a false start.
A federal appeals panel ruled Thursday that he should be removed from a state Senate ballot because he does not meet the New Jersey's four-year residency requirement. Lewis' lawyer said he has not decided whether to appeal, but time is running short: Ballots are about to go to the printer for an election less than seven weeks away.
The ruling in the topsy-turvy and politically charged case came nine days after the same three-judge panel from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Lewis, a Democrat, should be on the ballot. But instead of issuing a full legal opinion, the court scheduled another hearing, which it held earlier this week.
And when its opinion came out Thursday, it was different than the earlier order:
"Lewis has failed to show that, as applied to him, the four-year state residency requirement for the office of state senator in New Jersey has treated him unequally," the opinion said.
And in a footnote, the Philadelphia court gave the practical directive to county clerks' offices: "The printing of ballots without Lewis' name may proceed."
It's not clear whether it will be that simple.
Democratic officials could ask a court to halt the printing of ballots for two reasons: so they could challenge Thursday's ruling or so they could nominate a replacement candidate.
Burlington County Democratic Committee Chairman Joe Andl said Thursday morning that his committee's legal team would need to review the ruling before making a decision.
But they won't have much time. The legal deadline to begin sending out ballots to residents living overseas — including military personnel — is Friday. And ballots are to be sent to other voters within days.
In a statement, Lewis' lawyer seemed resigned to the idea that the track star won't be running for office this year.
"It is unfortunate that the voters of the Eighth Legislative District are being denied a meaningful choice in this election by today's decision," said William Tambussi. "The extreme measures taken by the Republican Party to keep Carl Lewis off the ballot truly do a disservice to the voters."
Still, Tambussi said, Lewis was still considering his options.
Republicans, meanwhile, lauded the ruling.
"Carl Lewis clearly did not meet the constitutional residency requirement to run for Senate and, in spite of his celebrity status, he has to play by the same rules that everyone else has to play by," said Chris Russell, a consultant to the Burlington County Republicans who intervened in the case. "Frankly, it never made much sense that someone who had not paid income taxes in New Jersey and didn't register to vote in New Jersey until the day he announced his candidacy, should be on the ballot for State Senate in New Jersey."
Lewis, 50, grew up in Willingboro, New Jersey, went to college in Texas and settled in California.
In 1984, he was one of the big stars of the Olympic in Los Angeles, winning four gold medals in track and field and moving from famous in his sport to famous everywhere. He would add five more Olympic golds over the next 12 years.
He bought homes in New Jersey in 2005 and 2007 and began working as a volunteer track coach at Willingboro High School. But he continued to pay taxes in California and voted there in 2009. He registered to vote in New Jersey only this year.
Secretary of State Kim Guadagno, a Republican who is also the lieutenant governor elected as Gov. Chris Christie's running mate, removed Lewis from the ballot.
In its ruling Thursday, the court, which was weighing not only when Lewis became a resident but also which legal standard should be used to review whether the requirement itself was constitutional, said that was the right decision.
Lewis and his supporters say it was a politically motivated move designed to keep the well-known Democrat from running against Republican incumbent Dawn Addiego in the 8th Legislative District, a reliably Republican area in the outer ring of New Jersey's Philadelphia suburbs.
Lawyers for the state say they were just trying to enforce a residency requirement that's been part of the state constitution since 1844. -- (AP)