This week, Sahuarita residents can attend local concerts or relax in their living rooms while various international attractions entertain and amaze us.

The Sahuarita Middle School Music Department will present a community concert tomorrow afternoon.

It will include a 90-member choir known as Voices of SMS singing choreographed, patriotic and uplifting selections. In addition, the SMS Jazz Ensemble, composed of 30 students, will play music from its repertoire.

The concert will take place at the Sahuarita Unified School District Auditorium at 351 W. Sahuarita Road on Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. For more information, call 625-3502 ext. 1482.

A concert of a different kind is playing Thursday evening featuring the live comedy of TV, movie and standup star Sinbad.

This comedian is best known for his TV roles in “A Different World,” “The Cosby Show” and “Saturday Night Live.” He is also known for such comedy films as “First Kid,” “Houseguest” and “The Cherokee Kid.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. on Feb. 9 at the Diamond Entertainment Center at Desert Diamond Casino at Interstate 19 and Pima Mine Road. The show starts at 8 p.m.

Ticket prices are between $25 and $50 in advance and $30 to $55 on the day of show. You can purchase tickets at the Desert Diamond Casino Box Office or by calling (520) 393-2799, or online at

Many people will be glued to their television sets over the next two weeks. The 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, begin Friday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. on NBC with the opening ceremony.

The event has always included the athletes’ parade and oath, speeches, the entry of the Olympic flag, the arrival of the last torchbearer and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron.

This year promises to offer an unforgettable glimpse into today’s Italy.

According to Italy’s official Web site at, the opening ceremonies will “show a large piazza (or public square) that will welcome the athletes as real heroes, placing them at the center of the scene and transforming them” into the main characters of the show.

It “will alternate moments of extreme visual evocation (or suggestion) to mass choreographies … mixing sumptuous costumes with future apparel, combining rhetoric and irony, fire and ice.”

A group of eight skaters, known as “Sparks of Passion” will be dressed in futuristic costumes and wearing protective helmets outfitted with “a propulsion system that produces trails of fire” while they speed skate in a line.

The NBC network coverage of the games begin on Saturday at 2 p.m. There is a complete schedule listed at Satellite and cable customers may go to their respective provider’s Web site for schedules of their favorite events on other channels.

The two weeks of competition include Alpine, cross-country and freestyle skiing, biathlon, ski jumping, figure skating, long and short track speed skating, ice hockey, snowboarding, bobsledding, luge, skeleton and curling.

The closing ceremony will take place on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 6 p.m. on NBC.

I was not familiar with curling, so I looked it up. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it is “a game played on ice, in which large circular flat stones are slid across the surface towards a mark.”

A few other events that I researched at included the biathlon, which includes cross country skiing and rifle shooting. The luge is a feet-first race on a sled down an ice track. The skeleton is a head-first run on a sled down the same track. All seem a bit too rigorous for me.

My favorite competition is figure skating. I have watched this event since I was a child.

I was, however, disheartened after the 2004 world championships when French judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne admitted she had deliberately underscored Canadian pairs skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier to give their Russian rivals an advantage.

The old 6.0 ranking scale, in place since 1901, has now been replaced by a system designed to reduce the opportunity for unscrupulous judges to manipulate a competition.

A computer randomly selects scores from nine of the 12 judges, then discards the highest and lowest marks. The seven remaining scores are averaged to give the final result.

Mary Lou Retton was a gold medalist from the 1984 Summer Olympic gymnastics competition, and I am recognizing her this week because she is an Olympian.

She just celebrated birthday No. 38 on Jan. 24.

She was the first American woman to win the gold medal in the all-around in women’s gymnastics and was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame.

She is now a motivational speaker and corporate spokeswoman and travels the world as a “Fitness Ambassador,” promoting the benefits of proper nutrition and regular exercise.

Retton serves as national chairwoman and sits on the board of governors of the Children’s Miracle Network. She was a commentator for NBC at the ’88 Olympic Games and wrote a daily column for USA Today at the ’92 and ’96 Olympics. In addition, she co-hosted the weekly television series “Road to Olympic Gold.”

She is a wife and mother of five children. I applaud her for being such a great role model to so many.

Scenes from Sahuarita welcomes notices of anniversaries, weddings and other special events in Sahuarita. E-mail Rebecca Diaz at or phone 275-4452.

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