SURFING THE TUBE.
When producer Arthur Cohn first discussed making a movie about the 1972 Olympic Games tragedy - in which 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were taken hostage and later died along with some of their Palistinian terrorist kidnappers - he ran into some problems. ``Hollywood studios thought it would not be believable and authentic if actors played it,'' Cohn said, ``so we made the bold decision to make the film with the personalities that were there. This way we got an evenhanded account.'' And an Academy Award for best documentary feature this year. ``One Day in September,'' HBO, 8 p.m.
Has Bela Karolyi crossed the line between motivational coach and verbal abuser? In the latest HBO ``Real Sports'' installment, a profile of the U.S. gymnastics guru examines his ability to produce gold medalists against his techniques that some term too damaging to the girls' physical and mental well being. Recounts former Olympic hopeful Kristie Phillips: ``(He would say) 'Kristie, you're so fat, you look like an overstuffed Christmas turkey, that's why you cannot do that bar routine.' '' ``Real Sports,'' HBO, 10 p.m.
Shhhhh. Let's start playing some kickball and see if anyone notices. The U.S. men's soccer team checks off against the Czech Republic in a first-round match that kicks off Olympic competition two days before the opening ceremonies. Actually, it'll be tough to keep this one quiet. Andres Cantor calls the game, his first in English. Olympics: U.S. men's soccer vs. Czech Republic, MSNBC, 6:30 p.m. (MSNBC also has the U.S. women's soccer opener against Norway on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.)
If you've never seen the 1938 black-and-white documentary that Leni Riefenstahl made about the `36 Games from Munich, please, set the VCR. ``Olympiad,'' Turner Classic Movies, 11 p.m. (part 1); 1 a.m. Friday (part 2).
The U.S. Olympic contingent, given the 188th spot in the parade of 199 nations, has some time to kill waiting for Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, East Timor, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Nauru, Saint Lucia, Seychelles and Tajikistan to stroll by. Why can't we just go with the name ``America,'' dude? Sydney Games Opening Ceremonies, Channel 4, 7:30 p.m. to midnight. (tape)
Here's Jenny Thompson, Amy Van Dyken and Dara Torres - not the new ``Charlie's Angels,'' but about to make a bigger splash for Uncle Sam on day 1 of the Olympics in the women's 400-meter freestyle relay. Olympics: Swimming, Channel 4, 1:30 to 3 p.m.; swimming, men's gymnastics, women's triathlon and weightlifting, Channel 4, 7 p.m.-to-midnight; U.S. women's volleyball, Channel 4, 12:30-to-2 a.m. U.S. men's soccer, U.S. women's basketball, women's beach volleyball and women's water polo, MSNBC, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Boxing, CNBC, 4 to 9 p.m.
We've got Vince Carter up against a Sunday morning of NFL, and Lasorda's kids up against another dull Dodgers effort. Olympics: U.S. men's basketball vs. China, swimming, men's beach volleyball, canoeing and cycling, Channel 4, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Swimming finals, women's gymnastics, men's triathlon, men's weightlifting, Channel 4, 7 p.m.-to-midnight. U.S. women's soccer, U.S. softball and U.S. baseball, MSNBC, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Boxing and U.S. women's water polo, CNBC, 4 to 9 p.m.