ATHENS—Is it too late to add a 51st state?
In perhaps the most stunning upset in Olympic basketball history, Puerto Rico beat the United States' latest incarnation of the "Dream Team," 92-73.
It was only the third U.S. loss in Olympic history and the first since NBA players were added to the roster.
Everyone realizes the loss was a fluke and that the United States will still contend for a gold medal. But, it did little to silence the critics who believe the sometimes boorish behavior of the NBA pros has turned sentiment against the team.
Carlos Arroyo led the winners with 24 points. While the Puerto Rican team played effective defense, the Americans were eventually undone by bad shooting.
The U.S. trailed by 22 at halftime and cut the lead to 8 late in the fourth quarter. In the end, some good shooting gave Puerto Rico the win.
The U.S. next plays Tuesday against Greece.
Other results on Sunday were Argentina over Serbia-Montenegro, 83-82; Spain over China, 83-58; Lithuania over Angola, 78-73; Italy over New Zealand, 71-69; and Greece over Australia, 76-54.
Swimming: Any hope that Michael Phelps had to win eight gold medal died as the U.S. 400-meter relay team was shocked by South Africa. The United States started poorly as Ian Crocker, who said he was suffering from a sore throat, swam a dreadful opening leg. Phelps followed, and while faster, did not make up the kind of ground necessary to compete for the gold. At the end, the Netherlands caught the United States for second place. The South Africans turned in a time of 3:13.17 seconds, a world record.
Other winners were Petria Thomas of Australia in the women's 100-meter butterfly; Laure Manaudou of France in the women's 400-meter freestyle, and Kosuke Kitajima of Japan in the men's 100-meter breaststroke.
Archery: Panathinaiko Stadium, home to the 1896 Olympics, came alive on Sunday as the archery competition started with preliminary rounds. And, an American remade that history by being one of the first winners in the stadium. Jennifer Nichols beat Rina Puspitasari of India, 160-151. She will now face Tetyana Berezhna of the Ukraine in the round of 32 on Tuesday.
Badminton: The United States a badminton power? Well, let's not get carried away. But Howard Bach and Kevin Han, formerly singles players, teamed up for an impressive opener in the men's doubles competition. They beat South Africans Dorian James and Stewart Carson, 15-4, 15-1, to advance to the round of 16. They play fifth-seeded Jens Eriksen and Martin Lundgaard Hansen of Denmark on Monday.
Baseball: Cuba is supposed to win in the Olympics, right? It didn't disappoint on Sunday with a 4-1 win over Australia. The other contender, Japan, also sailed easily with a 12-0 win over Italy, called after the seven inning by the so-called "slaughter" rule. These two top teams play Monday in what could be a precursor to the gold medal game. The United States did not qualify for the tournament. The other winners were Canada over Taiwan, 7-0, and the Netherlands over Greece, 11-0.
Beach volleyball: The world of beach volleyball maintained its natural order as top-ranked Misty May and Kerri Walsh won an easy two-setter over Japan's Chiaki Kusuhara and Ryoko Tokumo. In a match on the men's side, Dax Holdren and Stein Metzger rallied to beat Andrew Schacht and Josh Slack of Australia. The United States and Brazil are considered the teams to beat.
Boxing: The United States advanced another boxer to the second round when Vanes Martirosyan defeated Benamar Meskine of Algeria, 45-20, in the welterweight division. Things get difficult in the next round as he faces Lorenzo Aragon Armenterus of Cuba on Thursday. Martirosyan took the spot that everyone thought was going to go to Andre Berto. But Berto was disqualified in a match at the trials. He then became the one-man Haitian team. He lost on Sunday.
Cycling: Australia's Sara Carrigan won the women's road race, but it was Germany's Judith Arndt that everyone will remember. As Arndt crossed the finish line she gave the middle-finger salute, said to be directed at the German Cycling Federation for not sending her teammate sprinter Petra Rossner to this event. Arndy believed working as a team she would have won. The International Cycling Federation, taking a hard stand, fined her 165 Swiss francs. Americans Kristin Armstrong, Christine Thorburn and Deidre Barry finished eighth, 15th and 16th.
Equestrian: The strong wind that was flapping flags and overturning objects was quite distracting to the horses during the dressage portion of the three-day event. And you think golfers need it quiet. Scores are difficult to give meaning to, as all riders have not been scored. The United States is counting on John Williams and Kim Severson to have the best performances although the first day was disappointing.
Fencing: No surprise at the fencing venue as defending gold medalist Timea Nagy of Hungary beat Laura Flessel-Colovic of France. Kamara James of the United States lost her first-round match.
Field hockey: It was the men's turn to take to the field on Sunday providing the following scores: Australia over New Zealand, 4-1; South Africa over Argentina, 2-1; Germany over Pakistan, 2-1; Netherlands over India, 3-1; Britian over Egypt, 3-1; and South Korea and Spain played to a 1-1 tie.