Colorado State Rams senior forward Ashley Augspurger is a first-team All-Mountain West star who this year averaged 13.4 points per game, along with 4.8 rebounds and three assists. At 6-1, she's big enough to have subbed at center for first-year coach Chris Denker, yet quick enough to have played point guard. Recently, the Wheat Ridge High School grad became just the twelfth CSU woman to surpass 1,000 points, which puts her in the company of former Ram greats like Becky Hammond and Katie Cronin. Did we mention that she carries a near-perfect 3.92 grade-point average? In biology. If the pros don't get her, she's headed straight for medical school. Whatever she chooses, Augspurger is the true personification of the oft-abused term "student-athlete."


The great David-and-Goliath story of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney was the shocking defeat of the world's greatest heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestler, a Russian who hadn't lost a match in thirteen years, by an engaging Wyoming farm boy named Rulon Gardner. The big news this year is that Gardner has been replaced as the USA's number-one heavyweight by Dremiel Byers, a 265-pound Army sergeant stationed at Fort Carson, in Colorado Springs. A former football player from North Carolina, Byers stunned the wrestling world last September by winning a gold medal at the World Championships in Moscow. But that's not good enough: Byers says he's determined to become America's lone heavyweight at Athens in 2004 and win Olympic gold for his beloved grandfather.
The great David-and-Goliath story of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney was the shocking defeat of the world's greatest heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestler, a Russian who hadn't lost a match in thirteen years, by an engaging Wyoming farm boy named Rulon Gardner. The big news this year is that Gardner has been replaced as the USA's number-one heavyweight by Dremiel Byers, a 265-pound Army sergeant stationed at Fort Carson, in Colorado Springs. A former football player from North Carolina, Byers stunned the wrestling world last September by winning a gold medal at the World Championships in Moscow. But that's not good enough: Byers says he's determined to become America's lone heavyweight at Athens in 2004 and win Olympic gold for his beloved grandfather.


There were problems. The new 1.6-mile road course around the Pepsi Center was by turns too rough and too slick. The pedestrian bridges were overcrowded. A stand of young trees along Auraria Parkway blocked the view of high-rollers holding $800 tickets. But the return of Indy car racing to the streets of the Mile High City -- the first Shell Grand Prix of Denver -- proved an exciting diversion for 40,000 motorheads who crowded into the sun-kissed venue on Labor Day. The race's sanctioning body, Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), faces defections by some top drivers and engine-makers, but the show will go on again this summer. Meanwhile, the best T-shirt spotted at the inaugural race on September 1: "Too Dumb for Opera. Too Smart for NASCAR."
There were problems. The new 1.6-mile road course around the Pepsi Center was by turns too rough and too slick. The pedestrian bridges were overcrowded. A stand of young trees along Auraria Parkway blocked the view of high-rollers holding $800 tickets. But the return of Indy car racing to the streets of the Mile High City -- the first Shell Grand Prix of Denver -- proved an exciting diversion for 40,000 motorheads who crowded into the sun-kissed venue on Labor Day. The race's sanctioning body, Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), faces defections by some top drivers and engine-makers, but the show will go on again this summer. Meanwhile, the best T-shirt spotted at the inaugural race on September 1: "Too Dumb for Opera. Too Smart for NASCAR."

Best Colorado Contribution to the Super Bowl

Malcolm Farley

Denver sports artist Malcolm Farley was hired by Pepsi to paint original art to grace the outside of 800 million soft-drink cans. The "Official 2003 Super Bowl Party Cans" sported Farley's signature along with a painting featuring a Super Bowl championship team, player or coach. Proceeds from auctions of the originals went to NFL charities and Farley's own pick, the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The artist, who began painting athletes at a young age, prefers to create his works live in a public venue, with as many people watching as possible. He has painted at such events as the U.S. Open, the Super Bowl, the 2002 Olympics in Sydney and the Stanley Cup championships. Next stop...the Pepsi Center?

Best Colorado Contribution to the Super Bowl

Malcolm Farley

Denver sports artist Malcolm Farley was hired by Pepsi to paint original art to grace the outside of 800 million soft-drink cans. The "Official 2003 Super Bowl Party Cans" sported Farley's signature along with a painting featuring a Super Bowl championship team, player or coach. Proceeds from auctions of the originals went to NFL charities and Farley's own pick, the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The artist, who began painting athletes at a young age, prefers to create his works live in a public venue, with as many people watching as possible. He has painted at such events as the U.S. Open, the Super Bowl, the 2002 Olympics in Sydney and the Stanley Cup championships. Next stop...the Pepsi Center?


The entire history of Denver's hapless and benighted major-league baseball franchise has been a losing battle against the physics of altitude -- specifically, the thin air that torments pitchers trying to throw curveballs at Coors Field, and that allegedly puts Rockies batters off their stride when they play on the road. Last year, the Rox installed a humidor meant to cool and moisturize their baseballs so the ol' horsehide would react as at sea level. The jury's still out on that move. This time, manager Clint Hurdle has positioned a time clock by the entry to the dugout as a reminder to the Rockies that they have to work each day. But that's not all. The scientific wizards of Rockiedom are talking about using a fancy hyperbaric chamber that would simulate the atmospheric conditions of full-speed batting practice in, say, Philadelphia or Chicago -- although it won't replicate the breeze at Wrigley Field. Will the new contraption make any difference to a club that collectively batted 79 points lower on the road than at home last year? Who knows? Ask Todd Helton and Larry Walker come mid-July.
The entire history of Denver's hapless and benighted major-league baseball franchise has been a losing battle against the physics of altitude -- specifically, the thin air that torments pitchers trying to throw curveballs at Coors Field, and that allegedly puts Rockies batters off their stride when they play on the road. Last year, the Rox installed a humidor meant to cool and moisturize their baseballs so the ol' horsehide would react as at sea level. The jury's still out on that move. This time, manager Clint Hurdle has positioned a time clock by the entry to the dugout as a reminder to the Rockies that they have to work each day. But that's not all. The scientific wizards of Rockiedom are talking about using a fancy hyperbaric chamber that would simulate the atmospheric conditions of full-speed batting practice in, say, Philadelphia or Chicago -- although it won't replicate the breeze at Wrigley Field. Will the new contraption make any difference to a club that collectively batted 79 points lower on the road than at home last year? Who knows? Ask Todd Helton and Larry Walker come mid-July.


Who knew? History can be fun. And the Colorado Historical Society's experts, who know the state like the backs of their own hands, have a great handle on how to impart that knowledge without being the least bit stodgy. Focusing on locations and themes ranging from the bowels of Denver's rapidly disappearing skid row to the throwback tourist havens of Manitou or Eldorado Springs, the year-round tours they lead have the character of a downright lark through time; participants leave at the end of the day feeling both relaxed and informed. Upcoming treks include "A Tasty Tour of Boulder County," featuring visits to local makers of goat cheese, mead and other gourmet oddities, and a three-day summer raft trip following John Wesley Powell's route down the Green River. Make your reservations early.

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