Bid adieu to international soccer, midfielder Zinedine Zidane, 32. The three-time world player of the year last week announced his retirement from the French national team, which he led to the 1998 World Cup title and the 2000 European championship. Zidane (right) scored twice in the '98 Cup final against Brazil but is known more for his playmaking ability. "When we don't know what to do," teammate Bixente Lizarazu once said, "we just give it to Zizou, and he works something out." It paid off: Les Bleus lost just seven of the 93 games Zidane played. "It's not easy to stop after 10 years full of highs and lows ... especially highs," said Zidane, who will continue to play for Real Madrid. "But my hour has come."
Threatened to go on strike to prevent contraction, the Japanese Pro Baseball Players Association. Last Thursday 98% of Japan's 750 players authorized a walkout. While no strike date has been set, it could happen as early as Sept. 8, when an owners' meeting will be held to approve the merger of the Orix BlueWave and Kintetsu Buffaloes. The players are concerned that owners will turn the 12-team, two-league system into one league with 10 teams and cost hundreds of players and front-office employees their jobs.
Died after leaping from a 10th-floor dormitory window, two-time U.S. Olympic triple jumper Robert Howard. Police in Little Rock believe that Howard, 28, who was a medical student at Arkansas, stabbed his wife, Dr. Robin Mitchell, to death before taking his own life. "Nobody that I know of had any hint that there were any kind of problems at all, let alone problems to that degree," said Dick Booth, an assistant track coach at Arkansas who had helped Howard (who finished eighth at the 1996 Games and seventh in 2000) in his unsuccessful bid to make the 2004 Olympic team.
Died of a stroke, the oldest known U.S. Olympic medalist, 102-year-old James Stillman Rockefeller. Nearly three decades before he became the chairman of Citigroup and sat on numerous boards, the Yale varsity oarsman rowed to a gold medal in the eights at the Paris Games in 1924. (A true Eli, Rockefeller was more proud of beating Harvard in the '24 regatta, which landed him on the July 7, 1924, cover of TIME.) Rockefeller, who was a grandnephew of John D. Rockefeller, hung his Olympic medal on a nail to the side of the library fireplace in his Greenwich, Conn., home. Miffed that his medal was really made of bronze, Rockefeller had it gold-plated. "My grandfather was painfully modest," his grandson Stillman Rockefeller says. "It was so out of character for him to gild something."
August 22, 2004
Died two days before her 92nd birthday, Julia Child, the French Chef who balanced a devotion to buttery cuisine with a lifelong love of athletics. She captained the basketball team at the Branson School in Ross, Calif.--a 6'2" center, she was dominant on the jump balls that followed every basket in the 1920s--and enjoyed swimming, hockey and tennis while a student at Smith College. Later she became an avid golfer and skier and, after moving to Cambridge, Mass., a staunch Red Sox fan. Asked what she would serve at the victory banquet if Boston won the World Series, Child warbled, "That's easy. Butterflied leg of lamb, beans, tomato salad and lots of ice cream and cake."