SAN FRANCISCO -- What's it like to walk into the spotlight on the Olympic stage?
Natalie Coughlin has gone through this twice, and escaped with 11 medals. So it must be easy for her by now?
"Trust me, the Olympics are terrifying," Coughlin said after swimming in the Santa Clara Grand Prix on Sunday. "In a good way, but terrifying. There's nothing like walking onto the deck at the Olympic finals in front of, well, in Beijing, it was like 18,000 people, then there are millions and millions of people watching at home. So you feel those nerves, but usually you channel them in a good way."
She continued: "You feel the adrenaline going though you. I definitely feel it in my legs more than anything. It feels like you just ran 5 miles right before the race. It's pretty indescribable, but terrifying and overwhelming are two adjectives that come to mind."
Coughlin competed on TV's "Dancing With the Stars" in 2009.
"People were like, 'Oh, you must be so nervous,' and I expected myself to be nervous, then I got out there and I was like, 'This is nothing. You think this is nerve-racking, you need to go to the Olympic finals, because this is nothing!' "
Beatles and Stones, sir
Paul McCartney blew the secret, announcing that he will perform at the end of the Opening Ceremonies on July 27.
That's cool, but in London, can you really have a Beatle and not a Rolling Stone? Doesn't seem fair, does it? Why not a three-part harmony -- Sir Paul, Sir Mick Jagger and Sir Elton John?
At least let Keith Richards light the Olympic flame by flicking a cigarette butt into the cauldron.
File under "Modern Situations," or, "Things Baron Pierre de Coubertin Didn't Foresee":
-- Keelin Godsey, a hammer thrower, will compete this month for a spot on the U.S. women's team. Godsey (5-foot-9, 186) is a biological female who lives his life entirely as a male, and is engaged to marry a woman.
If Godsey makes the women's team, he will be the first openly transgender athlete to compete for a U.S. Olympic team.
-- Caster Semenya, once forced to sit out 11 months while her gender was scrutinized, will run for the South Africa women's team. She has a shot at the gold at 800 meters.
-- Double amputee Oscar Pistorius, who runs the 400 meters on prosthetic blades, has not yet qualified for the South African team. He still has a chance, and he could wind up running on the 4x400 relay team.
Center of attention
If Anthony Davis makes the U.S. basketball team, he will be the first U.S. player without major pro experience to make the team since Christian Laettner in 1992. Davis (Kentucky) looms as the NBA's No. 1 draft pick.
Davis will get a long look because Dwight Howard (back operation) is out. Plus, the U.S. superstars will need someone to carry the projector and fetch doughnuts. And guard the big, hairy Euromen.
If the NBA has its way, and it often does, the 2016 Olympics basketball competition will be an under-23 format, as in soccer. The vote here for that plan: Yes.
Enough, already, of the weary NBA players winding down from their playoffs.