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People and things to know as you follow the Olympics


Basketball: Lynx guard Seimone Augustus is on the Team USA roster.

Baseball: Left-handed pitcher Brian Duensing, now in Triple-A for the Twins, is on this roster of top minor-leaguers.

Swimming: Jillian Tyler, a University of Minnesota swimmer, will compete for Canada in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Track: Triple-jumper Shani Marks, a former Gopher, and doubling distance-runner Kara Goucher, who grew up in Duluth, headline Minnesotans on the track. Marks will be blogging about her experiences here.

One sprinter will compete for his native country: Roman Cress will run for the Marshall Islands.

Becky Holder of Mendota Heights will compete in eventing, the dangerous jumping, dressage and a cross-country race that are part of a three-day event.

Rowing: Matt Schnobrich and Micah Boyd, both St. Paul natives, will sit next to each other on the prestigious men’s eight boat, with a medal a real possibility.

Volleyball: Lindsey Berg, another former Gopher, is on the squad.

Beach volleyball: Former Gopher Nicole Branagh made the highly popular and scantily clad outdoor version of the sport.

Wrestling: Ali Bernard, of New Ulm, and Jake Deitchler, of Ramsey, will compete.


Has China lived up to its promise of openness?

How censored will the Internet be?

Why beer-guzzling, spittin’, scratchin’ fans should watch the Olympics

Pollution: A Mother Jones report

Foreign Affairs: A critical look at the Games

Olympic business and corporate sponsors


• Human rights: Amnesty International’s 2008 report details numerous human rights violations in China. Xinhuanet, the online news service of China’s Xinhua News Agency, disputes the report here.  


NBC Olympics site

The Financial Times Olympics page

People’s Daily, from China

Xinhua, Chinese news agency

Yahoo sports site

The International Olympic Committee

The U.S. Olympic Committee


• University of Minnesota student Dave Lindeman has assembled a Beijing Travel Guide at his website, which offers a wide array of videos on many facets of Chinese life, including entertainment, transportation, culture, sightseeing and communicating with people there. Here are a couple of samples, the first dealing with taking a taxi ride in Beijing, and the second, a visit to a popular nightlife attraction — a Chinese karaoke room.

Chinese culture

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