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Monday, August 14, 2000
Accident deflates Olympic plans for blimp in Sydney

 SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- The new-look Goodyear Blimp could be grounded during the Olympics after being damaged when high winds at Sydney's Bankstown Airport flipped the airship onto its side.

 The blimp, which recently had G'day and Good Luck painted onto its sides for the Sydney Games, is under contract to hover over Olympic venues to provide a camera-platform and a birds-eye view of the action for international TV broadcasts.

 Nobody was injured when the huge blimp was blown off its mooring mast during a severe wind gust last week, but Goodyear's Australian marketing manager Kris Matich said he was surprised at the extent of damage to the gondola and structure of the helium envelope.

 "We'll be working tirelessly to repair the damage to enable (the blimp) to fulfil its television broadcast commitments," Matich said.

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