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Originally published January 26, 2005 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 26, 2005 at 4:26 PM

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Pacific Rim Sports Summit details released

Details of of the inaugural Pacific Rim Sports Summit, an international competition to be held in venues from Everett to Tacoma June 7-12, were announced Wednesday.

Seattle Times staff

Nine sports, nine countries, 900 athletes.

That's the rallying cry of the inaugural Pacific Rim Sports Summit, an international multi-sports competition to be held in venues from Everett to Tacoma June 7-12. The details of the event, jointly sponsored by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Seattle Organizing Committee, were announced today.

The schedule for the competition was determined by the participating National Olympic Committees and features sports in which these countries are traditionally strong. Not every country will participate in each event, however. The Summit will feature: archery, track and field, basketball (under 19 years of age), track cycling, diving, gymnastics, softball, synchronized swimming and indoor volleyball.

Missing from the sports announced today was short-track speedskating, which would have featured Seattle's Olympic gold medalist Apolo Ohno. It was not immediately known why the sport was dropped from the schedule.

The concept for the event began with discussions between the USOC and the Chinese Olympic Committee about creating a competition featuring athletes from the two nations. That evolved to include other nations primarily from the Pacific Rim. Countries competing besides the U.S. and China are Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico and New Zealand, and Russia. Of the nine nations participating, six finished among the top 10 in the final medal standings at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

More to come!

Complete details will be online soon at The Seattle Times.

"To bring a multi-national event of this caliber to the Seattle area will give our athletes and the visiting competitors an excellent opportunity to experience first-hand the rich heritage the Northwest region has for supporting international sport competition," said USOC Chief Executive Jim Scherr.

The opening ceremony will be at Safeco Field before moving to the KeyArena for the basketball finals, while the basketball preliminaries will be at the Everett Events Center. Track will be contested at West Seattle's Southwest Athletic Complex, while the Qwest Events Center will host indoor volleyball. Redmond's Marymoor Park will serve as the home for archery, cycling and softball, while Federal Way offers the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center for both diving and synchronized swimming. The Tacoma Dome will be the site for the gymnastics competition.

Also announced today was Lenny Wilkens as the event's honorary chair. Wilkens, who recently left as coach of the New York Knicks, coached the 1996 U.S. team to the gold medal in Atlanta, and was an assistant coach for the 1992 "Dream Team" that won gold in Barcelona.

"The Seattle community has always embraced its heroes and there are few as prominent as Lenny,'' said Bob Walsh, president of the SOC. "Along with leading the Sonics to an NBA championship (in 1979), America has routinely called upon him to lead our nation in international competition, so it's fitting that as a Seattleite, he has taken the torch to welcome the Pacific Rim's finest athletes to the great Northwest."

Tickets for the event go on sale Feb. 1, but prices were not announced. Ticketmaster will handle most of the sales.

The Summit also opened a Web site today, which is at: www.pacificrimsportssummit.com.

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