Local Athletes Listed As Troublemakers

China listed nine U.S. athletes and one coach as possible troublemakers

Some of the U.S. Olympians who trained in San Diego at the Olympic Training Center made it on the Chinese troublemaker watch list.

During the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government was concerned about the possibility of demonstrations, so they created a list of nine U.S. athletes and one assistant coach it thought might cause problems.

USA Today obtained an internal U.S. Olympic Committee e-mail in which a Chinese official expressed concern over whether member of the U.S. team might stage some sort of demonstration. That list was given to the USOC during a meeting July 8 with the minister counselor for cultural affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Shu Xiao.

The 10 Americans on the list included:

  • Jessica Mendoza, softball
  • Jennie Finch, softball
  • Natasha Watley, softball
  • Amanda Freed, softball
  • Karen Johns, softball assistant coach
  • Laura Goodwin, golfer
  • Abby Wambach, soccer
  • Jonathan Page, cyclist
  • Jen Howitt, Paralympic basketball
  • Cheri Blauwet, Paralympic wheelchair racer

According to the email, Shu was concerned that some of the athletes were affiliated with Team Darfur. Some of the athletes listed didn't actually compete at the Olympics. Wambach was injured and Goodwin did not compete because Golf isn't an Olympic sport.

USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel told USA Today that the concerns were "entirely unjustified and unwarranted"
and also stated that the athletes remained unaware of this list because "we saw absolutely no need to
burden our athletes with this."

To read parts of the USOC e-mail click here.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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