Former Portland Pilots runner closing in on Olympic dream
The island of Guam is a United States territory set in the Western Pacific Ocean, due east of the Philippines. At 209 square miles Guam is the largest island in Micronesia but is still just the 32nd-largest island under U.S. control. Its inhabitants total a little less than 175,000.Accordingly, Guam doesn't exactly garner a whole lot of attention stateside when it comes to the Olympics: NBC has elected to go to commercial during Guam's opening ceremonies procession in each of the past two Olympics. But count the University of Portland as at least one corner of the continental U.S. that hopes the Guam flag does get some airtime during the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games on Friday in Beijing.
I think this is the ultimate athletic opportunity for him. I told him, 'You're gonna have every top athlete in the world next to you.'
-- Portland coach Rob Conner on Derek Mandell
Chris Preston is an editor for the Northeast Sports Network and a frequent contributor to Varsity Magazine. He can be reached at email@example.com.