Winter Olympics: In Brief

Satan on move; Eberharter's early pointer; Latvia wants to be seen
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Many footballers find themselves torn between club and country, but few resolve the issue by attempting to satisfy both simultaneously. Ice hockey's Miroslav Satan, on the other hand, is embarking on a gruelling odyssey.

The leading scorer of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres and linchpin of the Slovakian national side will play four games in five days, taking him to three cities and covering 3,968 miles. Tonight, he plays for the Sabres against Ottawa Senators. Saturday, he has to be in Salt Lake City for Slovakia's opener against Germany. Then on Sunday, it's off to New Jersey for the Sabres' game against the Devils. And after a day off Monday, he'll be back in Buffalo for Tuesday's game.

To ease his task, he will be ferried round in a private jet belonging to the Sabres owner John Rigas.

Eberharter's early pointer

The favourite for the men's downhill skiing, Stephan Eberharter of Austria had the best time in yesterday's training for Sunday's event. Eberharter clocked 1min 39.07sec, just ahead of his team-mate Fritz Strobl, the American Daron Rahlves and the Norwegian veteran veteran Lasse Kjus.

Eberharter, this season's World Cup downhill champion, is favourite in the absence of the injured Hermann Maier.

Latvia wants to be seen

Latvians are appealing for the NBC to show their national team marching into the Olympic stadium during the opening ceremony. US networks have cut to commercials without showing the Latvian team in each of the last five Games.

Latvian television, via a separate live feed, has been able to show their athletes marching, but Latvian-Americans have missed it, and Ojars Kalnins, who heads the Baltic republic's Latvian Institute, charged with promoting the country's image, said 100,000 Latvian-Americans take it personally.

"We didn't have an Olympic team for 50 years and for those living in the United States seeing the Latvian team is symbolic of winning the Cold War," said Kalnins, a recent Latvian ambassador to the United States.