The Buzz

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SO MUCH FOR the age of technology and real-time information. The International Olympic Committee is doing everything it can to protect the billions of dollars spent on broadcast rights to televise the 2004 Athens Games throughout the world, including $793 million by General Electric Co.'s NBC. That apparently includes restricting what athletes can write on their blogs.

The IOC has banned athletes, coaches and staff from posting accounts of Olympic competition and activities on their own Web sites. U.S. athletes like star swimmer Michael Phelps and soccer player Brandi Chastain have kept blogs. An exception is apparently being made if an athlete had a pre-existing site. (Ms. Chastain is best known for scoring the winning penalty kick in the 1999 Women's World Cup and subsequently ripping off her jersey top to reveal her sports bra. Hence her Web site: itsnotaboutthebra.com.)

But U.S. race walker Philip Dunn and others continue to post to their blogs. Mr. Dunn wrote last week that "one of the best parts of the Olympics is the camaraderie, the coming together of nations in a peaceful gathering. What's wrong about sharing that with friends, family and even strangers back home? Wouldn't the fostering of the Olympic spirit through a personal Web site bring more attention and adulation to the movement as a whole? . . . I shall not be silenced!"

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