Olympics over the years, providing pride and delight for the people of
* There is Ron Morris, who won a silver medal in the pole vault the
1960 Olympics in Rome.
* There is Linda Murphy -- a Volleyball Hall of Fame member and 12
time All-American -- who was a member of the first U.S. women's Olympic
volleyball team in 1964.
* And there is the most successful local Olympian, Cathy Ferguson. In
swimming, Ferguson won two gold medals at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, one in
the 100-meter backstroke and one as a member of the 4x100 medley relay team. She helped set world records in both races.
These three athletes were truly from the city, having grown up here or
attended schools in Burbank.
In this year's Olympics -- taking part Sept. 15 to Oct. 1 -- there are
again athletes with links to Burbank. However, unlike some previous
Games, the athletes who will take part in the Sydney Games aren't as
But they all have links to the city just the same.
Three athletes with local ties will be competing for the U.S. Men's
Soccer Team. Along with Pete Vagenas, the American squad will feature
John O'Brien and Joey DiGiamarino.
All three athletes have been schooled at the Burbank-based American
Global Soccer School out of Woodbury University under Coach Afshin
"With his international playing background, I think Pete does better
in international matches than he does in competition like (Major League
Soccer)," Ghotbi said of Vagenas, who plays for the L.A. Galaxy and
"I think he should well and I'm hoping the team will do well."
The Americans will be one of 16 teams taking part in the pool-play
men's soccer tournament.
With the preliminaries beginning Sept. 13, the U.S. will open pool
play with a match against the Czech Republic. Winners of the four pools
will qualify to play for the championship.
Probably the most decorated athlete taking part in the Olympics is
former resident Sheila Douty (formally Cornell).
Douty is a first baseman for a U.S. Softball Team that is favored to
win the gold.
The Americans open the competition Sept. 16 with a game against