Olympians on Costas

Wesley Mann

Four U.S. athletes share their tale of the tape about Costner.

THE DUELIST: Tim Morehouse

"Apple pie is to America as Bob Costas is to sports," says the fencer and former seventh-grade teacher from the Bronx, who aims to improve on the silver medal he earned in Beijing in 2008. Morehouse is on a quest to bring his sport into the mainstream: He parried with Jane Eyre star Mia Wasikowska for a fashion shoot, has a book about fencing just out, and he's represented as a model by Wilhelmina (he was naked except for one white glove in ESPN The Magazine's annual "Body" issue). "If you've never checked out fencing, this is the Games to do it," says Morehouse, who is to be married in December to 60 Minutes associate producer Rachael Kun. With combatants hooked up electronically so touches can be scored, he notes the sport is "as wired as you can get." En garde! -- Mike Barnes

THE SURE SHOT: Carmelo "Melo" Anthony

Costas and Anthony both left Syracuse University early -- the sportscaster for an announcer job with the Syracuse Blaze minor-league hockey team during his senior year, the basketball star for the NBA after leading the Orangemen to an NCAA championship as a freshman. Costas had Anthony and coach Jim Boeheim on his HBO show On the Record in 2003. When a reporter asked Anthony, 28, if he was nervous before the big interview, Costas, standing next to the New York Knicks star, scoffed, "He just won the national title!" Says Anthony now: "Nah, I wasn't nervous. Bob's always been cool." This is Anthony's third trip to the Games; as with the other two times (2004, when the U.S. team won the bronze, and 2008, the gold), he'll be cheering hard for superstar swimmer Michael Phelps: "We know each other from back in Baltimore, so I try to support him." -- M.G.

THE POOL SHARK: Missy Franklin

Two months after attending her junior prom at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo., Franklin, 17, will compete in seven swimming events in London (the first American woman to qualify for so many). At the Olympic trials, the U.S. prodigy broke the American 100-meter backstroke record held by her idol, Natalie Coughlin, and managed the best time in the 200m back this year. Franklin, known for her closing kick in races, is some specimen: She's 6-foot-2 and wears a woman's size 13 shoe. "Middle school was my awkward phase," she told Costas during the trials. "But I've started wearing heels now. I realize that my height is such an advantage, and I love being tall." Of course, Costas couldn't resist responding, "Maybe you can let me know what that's like." -- M.B.

THE SWIFT KICKER: Carli Lloyd

From her spot at center midfield, Lloyd has been in the middle of the two biggest U.S. women's soccer games in recent years. The 30-year-old from Delran, N.J., scored the gold medal-winning goal in overtime against international powerhouse Brazil at the 2008 Olympics, but three years later she missed a penalty kick in a loss to upstart Japan in the World Cup final. She's a big Costas fan. "He makes watching sports even more fun. His ability to pull a viewer into a wide variety of sports and share the stories of the athletes and the drama of competition is remarkable," she says. "Hopefully he'll have some nice things to say about women's soccer during the Olympics!" -- M.B.

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