Smashnova-Pistolesi Will Play Olympics
By Adrianna Outlaw
Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi will wear the label she's always wanted — Olympic competitor — after a clothing clash between Lotto, Smashnova-Pistolesi's clothing sponsor, and Speedo, which is the official clothing sponsor for the Israeli Olympic team, was settled yesterday.
The 18th-ranked Smashnova-Pistolesi, regarded as one of Israel's best hopes for an Olympic medal, will not wear a sponsor's log on her on-court apparel. The owner of eight WTA Tour titles will wear Lotto shoes for her matches and the official Speedo team uniform for all off-court Olympic functions, said Smashnova-Pistolesi's management firm, ITMS Sports, which helped broker the compromise.
"We've found a way to agree," Smashnova-Pistolesi said in a statement. "I'm very pleased. It was getting down to the wire and quite tiring, but I was sure that my manager would find a way to resolve the dispute. I look forward to representing Israel and my many great fans from Israel at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens."
The 28-year-old Smashnova-Pistolesi was born in Belarus, but moved to Israel in 1991 at the age of 14 and won the Roland Garros junior singles title the same year. Smashnova-Pistolesi, who completed mandatory service in the Israeli army in April of 1997, married her coach, Claudio Pistolesi on December 7th, 2002.
Kim Clijsters cited a clothing dispute in her decision not to enter the Olympics. The Belgian Olympic Committee declared all of its athletes must wear adidas — the official clothing sponsor of the Belgian Olympic team — and declined Clijsters' request that she wear Fila, which has been her clothing sponsor since May of 2002. As a result, Clijsters, who remains sidelined recovering from wrist surgery, did not enter the Olympics.
YAY Anna and good luck....would be wonderful to see you take a medal