By thick green seaweed (above), the sailing venue for the Beijing Olympics. Last week the waters of the Bay of Qingdao, 200 miles southeast of Beijing, became filled with sludgy algae, which organizers said had drifted in after a storm. The infestation made it nearly impossible for dinghies to move through the water and delayed the training of several Olympic teams. "It has appeared in patches about the size of football pitches," said Britain's Iain Percy, who won gold in the single-handed dinghy in 2000. "How the organizers are going to set a milelong sailing course is a real concern." Officials said the water would be cleaned.
Its first major international soccer title in 44 years, Spain, with a 1--0 victory over Germany in Sunday's European Championship final. Fernando Torres (right) scored the goal in the 33rd minute. Spain nullified its reputation for underachieving in international tournaments by knocking off reigning World Cup champion Italy in the quarterfinals and a strong Russian team in the semis. Said Luis Aragones, 69, the oldest coach to win a Euro title, "We will be able to start saying we can win a European championship as well as any other thing."
By the Astros after he got into a clubhouse altercation with general manager Ed Wade, pitcher Shawn Chacon, 30. Earlier this month Chacon (2--3, with a 5.04 ERA) was demoted to the bullpen, and on June 25 Wade summoned him to a meeting with the G.M. and manager Cecil Cooper. Chacon refused to attend, and when Wade went to see him in the team dining room they had a loud argument; Chacon twice shoved Wade to the floor. The Astros said they will not pay the remainder of Chacon's $2 million salary for this season, a move likely to be challenged by the players' union.
By Big Brown trainer Rick Dutrow, a 15-day suspension handed down by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority when one of his horses failed a drug test. After finishing second in the Aegon Turf Sprint Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 2, 8-year-old gelding Salute the Count was found to have more than twice the allowable limit of Clenbuterol, a drug that allows horses to increase lung capacity. "It's just a mistake that happened," Dutrow said. "But it's not as big a deal as everyone is making it out to be."
July 6, 2008
For six months by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, jockey Jeremy Rose, for whipping a horse in the eye during a June 23 race. Rose, who in 2005 rode Afleet Alex to wins in the Preakness and Belmont, said he was trying to strike Appeal to the City in the shoulder late in a race, but in the video replay the filly, who finished third, can be seen jerking her head back after a blow to the left eye. (The horse spent five days in an equine hospital.) Rose must complete an anger-management course and pay the filly's veterinary bills.
After a June 22 loss to Qatar ended its chances of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, the Iraqi soccer team. Last year Iraq won the Asian Cup, and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki gave each member of the team a $10,000 bonus. But last Thursday the Iraqi Football Association fired coach Adnan Hamad and released every player. The association was reportedly upset with Hamad for the loss and for his criticism last month of the government's decision to disband the Iraqi Olympic Committee because of corruption issues. (Iraq will not compete in the Beijing Games.) Said a football association official, "We think that the team needs new blood and that new young players will strengthen it."
In the Bahamas, two-time British Open winner Greg Norman and former tennis world No. 1 Chris Evert. The couple, both 53, announced their engagement in December; PEOPLE reported that they wed before 140 guests at sunset last Saturday. This is Evert's third marriage and Norman's second.
They Said It
Former NFL defensive lineman, on his career total of 96 1/2 sacks:
"It would've been real nice to get 100 sacks and all that, but I'm O.K. with 96.5. It's triple digits, right?"
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
A Russian businessman promised the country's soccer team "two beautiful chicks" for each goal they scored before a 3--0 loss to Spain in the Euro 2008 semifinals.