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Cesar Garcia's Olympic Competition to Start on Friday -- August 27, 2004

ATHENS, Greece, August 26. HAVING spent the last 12 days watching other athletes in all sports and all different venues compete, it is now time for Auburn's Caesar Garcia to have his moment in the sun in Athens, Greece, at the XXVIII Olympics. Auburn’s Dan Froehlich reports on Caesar’s upcoming competition as well as highlights of other Auburn Olympic performances.

Garcia, the USA's top qualifier in the men's platform diving competition, will join Kyle Prandi of Strongsville, Ohio, in the preliminaries of the platform competition, which is set to start on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in Athens, Greece.

Auburn diving coach Jeff Shaffer has accompanied Garcia to Athens as Shaffer is one of the coaches on the USA staff.

Also over in Athens is Garcia's family, which had to raise an estimated $58,000 to bring all six of Caesar's siblings along with his parents to the games.

The preliminaries will be shown during NBC's primetime coverage on Friday beginning at 7 p.m. Should Garcia advance to the semi-finals, they will be shown during Saturday's primetime coverage, also beginning at 7 p.m.

The Auburn swimming and diving program has already collected a program-tying five medals at the XXVIII Olympics. Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry brought home a complete collection of medals with her as she won gold in the 200 backstroke, silver in the 100 backstroke and bronze in the 200 IM. Mark Gangloff won a gold as a part of the USA's 4x100 medley relay while George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago won a bronze in the 200 IM.