Originally created 09/27/03

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Olympics

Greece proposes 16-day truce plan

Greece has introduced a U.N. resolution calling for a 16-day Olympic truce to coincide with the Athens Games next summer.

Greece's foreign minister said Friday the truce is seeking to create "a vital window of opportunity for the peaceful solution of conflicts."

The truce goes back to the ancient tradition of an Olympic truce between warring city-states during the games in ancient Greece that allowed athletes and spectators safe passage to participate in the sporting event.

Greece appealed for co-sponsors of the nonbinding resolution calling for a truce from Aug. 13-29, which the U.N. General Assembly is expected to adopt in November.

"If we could have peace for 16 days, maybe, just maybe, we can have it forever," Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou said.

Basketball

NBA considering games in China

The NBA is considering playing regular-season games in China, where such stars as Yao Ming have boosted the popularity of the game.

The league will use preseason games planned for Beijing and Shanghai in October 2004 to test facilities and travel arrangements, Marc Fischer, the league's Hong Kong-based managing director for Asia, said Friday.

Fischer, who was in Beijing for promotional events, told The Associated Press a definite plan is not yet in place.

"A major factor is how teams feel about coming all this way," he said.

Yao, the center for the Houston Rockets, and other Chinese stars like Wang Zhizhi and Mengke Bateer have brought a surge of interest in basketball.

Chinese national TV shows two NBA games a week while fans in Shanghai, where Yao starred before joining the NBA, can see as many as six a week.

  • Guard Raja Bell is set to sign a two-year contract with the Utah Jazz after spending last season with the Dallas Mavericks.
  • His signing depends on the outcome of a physical, Jazz vice president of basketball operations Kevin O'Connor said Friday.

    The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 3.1 points in 15.6 minutes in his 32 starts and 75 games with the Mavericks last season. In his three-year career, he has averaged 3.2 points, 1.7 assists and 13.6 minutes.

    Wrestling

    Limestone to add wrestling program

    In Gaffney, S.C., Limestone is adding wrestling to its athletic lineup.

    The school, which competes in NCAA Division II, announced Friday that former Cleveland State wrestling assistant Ben Stehura will head the new program as coach.

    "This is a phenomenal opportunity," Stehura said. "High school wrestling is blossoming in the South, and I look forward to building that trend into the collegiate ranks."

    Limestone is best known for its men's lacrosse team, which has appeared in the past four national championship games. The new team is expected to add 30 athletes to the school and bring the total of sports played there to 17 - eight for men and nine for women.

    Figure skating

    Canadian superstar calls it quits again

    In Richmond Hill, Ontario, Elvis Stojko retired for the second time after a figure skating career in which the Canadian won three world titles and two Olympic silver medals.

    The 31-year-old skater had announced April 29 he was making a comeback following a 13-month retirement.

    Stojko was the first man to land a quadruple combination jump in competition. He added a new dimension to figure skating by introducing martial arts themes.

    His last major International Skating Union competition was the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, where he finished eighth. Injuries hampered him his last two seasons.