The Olympics

The Olympics

Text

News, information and stories about the 2016 Brazilian Olympic Games and the Olympics in general.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Five Tasks

Liu Qi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPC and Secretary of the Beijing Party Committee, is reported to have told the 9th session of the Ninth Beijing Committee of the Communist Party of China that in preparing for the 2008 Olympic Games Beijing should do a better job.



Specifically he identified five tasks



- constructing the facilities



- exploring the market



- organising the publicity work



- servicing and guaranteeing



- promoting humanistic Olympics.



He noted that promoting a humanistic Olympics would be the central task.



He concluded by stating that the preparation of the 2008 Olympics in 2005 would enter a key period.

Monday, December 27, 2004

A Dose of Realism

It seems that despite the hype about London's chances of winning the bid to host the 2012 Olympics, members of Parliament are somewhat more sanguine.



In a survey of 204 MPs, carried out by CommunicateResearch, 72 per cent were "not particularly confident" or "not at all confident" that London will win.



Not one MP said that he or she was "very confident" that London will succeed.



This is a setback to the London bid, as it needs to persuade the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that it has widespread public support.



Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, was quoted as saying:



"Public support is critical...We have to demonstrate that the people of the UK are behind this bid and will be enthusiastic supporters of a Games in 2012."







Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Anti Doping Policy Hailed

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Jacques Rogge, has hailed 2004 as being a breakthrough year in the war against Olympic drug cheats.



"It's a positive year, if I dare say, for the fight against doping..."



Rogge said that the increasing influence of the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the change of attitude by US anti-doping authorities had been the main improvements. Quote:



"This changing position has led to its first results...We also made major scientific breakthroughs. From the detection of (the blood-boosting drug) EPO to blood testing in Athens, we've made constant progress...".



Rogge welcomed the scandal surrounding the Balco laboratory in the US, in the sense that it sends a strong message out to the cheats that they will be hunted down.



Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Royal Mail Joins In

In an attempt to drum up support for London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics, the Royal Mail will be postmarking every letter with a bid postmark during Christmas and up to 6 July 2005.

It is hoped that the postmark will encourage people to sign up to support the bid for the Olympics.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Babies

In rather a bizarre publicity stunt, organisers of the London bid for the 2012 Olympics have offered every child born today the chance to play a part in the 2012 Olympics; if London wins the right to host the event.



The children will be offered parts in the opening and closing ceremonies.



Monday was chosen as 2012 day, because it is the 20th day of the 12th month.



Lord Coe, bid leader, said:



"To mark 2012 Day we wanted to do something special which benefits the whole country and provides a legacy.."



The offer may be difficult to fulfill, if London wins, as there are on average 1,855 babies born each day in December in the UK.



If you want to register your child, then email childrenspromise@london2012.com

Friday, December 17, 2004

Oscars Shifted

The Oscars for 2006 have been moved by 1 week, to 5 March, in order to avoid clashing with the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.



The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences felt that the clash between the Olympic closing ceremony and the Oscars should be avoided. Academy President, Frank Pierson, said :



"It didn't seem fair to make (TV) viewers have to choose between these two special events.."



In another shifting of dates, the 21 December budget meeting for the Turin Olympics has been postponed.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Jones Sues

It is reported that U.S. sprinter, Marion Jones, has filed a defamation suit against Victor Conte. Conte has accused her of injecting drugs, to help win five medals at the Sydney Olympics.



Conte appeared on U.S. TV in December; saying that he watched Jones inject herself with substances from his company, BALCO, in the weeks leading up to the Sydney Olympics.



The lawsuit describes Conte's charges as:



False, malicious and misleading..”.



Jones is seeking $25M in damages from Conte.



Jones's lawyers issued a statement to the press; in it Jones alleges that Conte has a “vendetta” against her, “a long standing grudge” that’s the result of her refusal through the years to have anything to do with Conte, despite his “relentless quest to get to Jones.”



Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Olympics 2014

Although it seems to be a long way off, officials in Korea are currently deciding as to which town should bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics.



The Gangwon Province city of Pyeongchang will likely become the sole South Korean bidder, for the 2014 Winter Olympics; after rival city Muju was turned down on Wednesday, by an international sports body, due to concerns about environmental damage.



The International Ski Federation (FIS) has conducted a 3 month onsite inspection at the Muju ski resort, at the invitation of the Korean Olympic Committee, to decide between the two rival cities.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

No Room

The Chinese are fearful that there may be an accommodation shortage in Beijing, when it hosts the Olympics in 2008.



They estimate that the capital would be around 2.2 million hotel beds short of projected demand during the entire Games.



Therefore a tourism promotion conference is going to be held next April, to attract international hotels and travel agencies to improve and expand accommodation.



The Games are scheduled to start at 8:00 p.m. on August 8, 2008 (8/8/8/08). This series of 8's is deemed to be very lucky by the Chinese.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Pathetic

I read this story with utter incredulity, evidently some people have nothing better to do than look for things to complain about.



It seems that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has asked for a tape of NBC's broadcast of the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics, after it received at least one indecency complaint.



The opening ceremony, broadcast throughout the world, featured a pregnant woman and a man and a woman. They performed interpretative dances covering the history of Athens and Greece. The ceremony also included statues of naked men.



It seems that out of the billions of people who watched the ceremony, one or two small minded individuals are intent on causing trouble.



No wonder TV networks pump out bland, mindless pap; by dumbing down and sanitising output to avoid offending anyone, the network executives are in fact undermining what should be the basic principles of good broadcasting.



Namely it should be:



- Challenging



- Stimulating



- Entertaining



Thursday, December 9, 2004

BALCO Rumbles On

The BALCO drugs scandal might cost Marion Jones her five track and field medals, from the Sydney Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) opened an investigation on Tuesday into doping allegations against Jones.



IOC president, Jacques Rogge, set up a disciplinary commission; to look into the claims made by Victor Conte who was head of BALCO, the lab accused of illegally distributing steroids.



Conte reportedly told ABC's "20/20" that he gave Jones drugs before, and after, the Sydney Olympics. He said that he watched her inject herself with human growth hormone.



Jones denies the allegations, and has threatened to sue Conte for defamation.



The U.S. Olympic Committee supports the IOC action.



World Anti-Doping Agency chief Dick Pound, a senior IOC member, has said Jones should be stripped of her medals if Conte is telling the truth.



The IOC could strip the entire team, including Olympic champion Michael Johnson, of the gold medals.





Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Finally Tested

The dynamic duo of Greek sprinting, Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, were finally given a drugs test last weekend.



The tests were a surprise, so that our two "heroes" did not have time to run off and fake another accident.



The were done at a Greek national team training facility near Athens. The results are not known.



The tests come less than two weeks before track and field's governing body is expected to decide whether Kenteris and Thanou should be suspended.



WADA chief Dick Pound said, in Athens on Monday, that he expected the two athletes would be found guilty by the IAAF.



"These people were avoiding tests and that's the same as a positive test...My prediction is that they are going to find that there was a doping violation and that there will be sanctions against the athletes and, I hope, against the coach."



Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Sanctions

Dick Pound, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president, has said that he expects the dynamic duo of Greek sprinting, Kostadinos Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, to be banned for doping violations.



Quote:



"My prediction is that they are going to find that there was a doping violation and that there will be sanctions against the athletes and, I hope, against the coach.."



Last week the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) charged Kenteris, Thanou and their coach Christos Tzekos with doping violations for missing tests in Tel Aviv, Chicago and Athens ahead of the August Games.



Kenteris, Thanou and Tzekos have until December 16 to respond to the charges. If found guilty, they will face two year bans.



The IAAF has charged Tzekos with distributing prohibited substances, assisting in the use of prohibited substances and tampering with the doping control process.



Greek prosecutors have also filed charges against the three over their failure to show up at the test, and about having faked the now infamous motorcycle "accident".

Monday, December 6, 2004

New York Confident for 2012 Games

New York's Olympic organisers have reserved almost all the outdoor advertising space in the city, that's over 600,000 billboards, for the 2012 Olympic Games.



There will also be squads of "brand enforcement agents", to prevent others from profiting from unauthorized ads tied to the Olympics.



Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed an executive order creating a special board, to crack down on "ambush marketing" by advertisers who are not official Olympic sponsors.



These actions are hoped to convince the International Olympic Committee that New York can control its advertising landscape.



However, the IOC may still not be fully satisfied; because the committee requires that host cities, in addition to locking up all available outdoor advertising space for Olympic sponsors, guarantee that prices charged to those sponsors will be capped "at 2004 rates adjusted solely for inflation."



New York does not meet that requirement; the cost of advertising space would be based on the average of rates from 2007 to 2010, plus a 20 percent premium and an inflationary adjustment.



The other cities, except London which has not discussed the issue, have met the rate cap.



Sunday, December 5, 2004

Guilty

Ludger Beerbaum, the German equestrian competitor in the Olympics, has been found guilty of riding a doped horse at the Athens Olympics.



Germany will lose the gold medal, and it will pass to the USA, unless the Germans appeal.



Beerbaum's horse, Goldfever, was confirmed as being doped; however, Beerbaum denies it, the steroids "apparently" were in a skin ointment.



Beerbaum's failing was to report the use of medication by team veterinarians.



Saturday, December 4, 2004

Rogge Pleads For Fair Play

Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), yesterday pleaded with the 5 cities competing for the 2012 Olympic Games to run a clean campaign. Quote:



"I made a plea for a strict respect of the rules. We have received far too many complaints about small issues that have no importance."



The cities made presentations to the general assembly of the European Olympic Committee, yesterday evening.



Paris is favourite, the choice will be made next July.

Friday, December 3, 2004

BALCO Rears Its Head Again

Steroid distributor, Victor Conte, has accused athletics star Marion Jones of taking illegal performance enhancing drugs before winning five medals at the Sydney Olympics.



ABC television showed an interview with Conte; in which he claimed not only to have supplied Jones with several banned drugs, but also instructed her how to use them and watched as she injected herself in the leg.



These athletes pretend to be concerned about fitness and health, yet they destroy their bodies by injecting themselves with poison.



Nauseating!



The full interview will be shown today on the American news show "20-20".



Jones denies the charges.



Conte claims to have supplied Jones with a variety of banned drugs from August 2000 to September 2001, including; EPO, human growth hormone, insulin and a form of THG.



Jones' lawyers have argued that Conte cannot be believed, because of his role in a scandal which has rocked athletics and cast a shadow over baseball.



The BALCO scandal has snared Conte, BALCO vice president James Valente, athletics coach Remy Korchemny and Greg Anderson, personal trainer for baseball star Barry Bonds.



The BALCO trial will begin next March.



Thursday, December 2, 2004

Turin on Track

It seems that, according to the Turin Olympics organisers, preparations for the Winter Games in 2006 are on schedule.



Unlike the recent Summer Games in Athens, where some venues were finished at the last minute, the construction in Turin is on schedule.



Many of the larger facilities are projected to be completed by this winter, when the organisers begin holding pre Olympic test events.



The bobsled track at Cesana will be ready for a World Cup scheduled there for January 20-23, 2005. A week before that, the European short track championships will be held at the new arena in Turin.



The 2006 Winter Games will run February 10-26, and feature about 2,500 athletes from 85 countries.



Tuesday, November 30, 2004

London Wields Big Guns

London, in its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, is bringing in Britain's sporting stars to add a touch of "glamour" to the proceedings.



David Beckham, and other captains of Britain's national sports teams, have been roped in to support the bid.



England soccer captain Beckham, rugby captain Jason Robinson and cricket skipper Michael Vaughan released a joint statement yesterday in support of the bid.



"We aspire to win world cups in our sports and know the Olympics is not an event in which we can take part but we want to win this race just as much as any athlete, swimmer or cyclist...".



Among others signing the petition were England rugby league captain Andy Farrell, Scotland soccer captain Barry Ferguson, Scotland rugby captain Gordon Bulloch and Wales soccer captain Gary Speed.



Monday, November 29, 2004

The Marble Olympics 2008

The Chinese are planning to use a large amount of marble, in the construction of their Olympic venues for the 2008 Games.



Marble from various parts of Rajasthan in India was exported to China this year, for building the infrastructure for the 2008 Olympics. This included granite, marble tiles, slabs and other articles.



The Chinese are using very high quality marble and granite, imported from India, in their Olympic constructions.



Sunday, November 28, 2004

Prague for 2016?

Prague is considering bidding for the 2016 or 2020 Olympics.



A study commissioned by them says that the cost would be around $5.5BN.



However, the report says that the Games could yield a modest profit; they all say that don't they?



They have two years to make their minds up if they are going to bid.



Friday, November 26, 2004

IOC Coverup?

I wonder how the International Olympic Committee (IOC) can "look at itself in the mirror" in the morning.



They claim, on the one hand, to be for probity and integrity; yet, when it comes to the media scrutinising their activities, they run for cover.



The IOC executive board are expected to announce today that they plan to ask the same Singapore meeting that decides the 2012 venue to expel Ivan Slavkov, the Bulgarian member at the centre of a BBC Panorama corruption sting.



Slavkov was suspended from the IOC, after the Panorama programme made allegations of "cash-for-votes" deals in the bidding for the 2012 Games.



Panorama's methods have seemingly upset the IOC, who seem somewhat publicity shy; the thought of secret cameras and undercover reporters sends shivers down their spines.



What have they to hide I wonder?



It seems that, according to reports, the dear old "incorruptible" IOC are now wary of having contact with British officials; this of course means that the London bid has even less likelihood of winning.



The IOC are reportedly worried about the media in the UK which, in their view, is far too inquisitive.



I repeat, what have they to hide?







Thursday, November 25, 2004

Turin Turmoil

It seems that all is not well in Italy, as Turin continues to prepare to host the 2006 Winter Olympics.



The organisers of the 2006 Turin Olympics have made two key appointments, to the executive board of the organising committee.



Mario Pescante, the new government-appointed supervisor of the Turin Games, and Turin Mayor Sergio Chiamparino have been appointed; in the hope that this will ease the political tensions in the committee.



Additionally, in sign that all is not well with the finances, the budget has been postponed until 21 December.



The Turin Games face a $242M shortfall; the committee expect, and hope, that the Italian taxpayer will cover this. However, support for the Games is very lukewarm in Italy.





Wednesday, November 24, 2004

No One Wants to Pay

As is typical with the Olympic circus; everyone wants to host it, but no one wants to pay for it.



This hypocritical stance was well demonstrated by the Welsh Assembly, in respect of the possibility of the UK hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.



The Assembly will try to ensure that London picks up the bill for using Cardiff's Millennium Stadium; in the unlikely event that London hosts the 2012 Olympics.



If the London bid is successful, several matches in the football tournament would be held at the stadium.



The Welsh Assembly quote:



"..have obtained an undertaking from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport that the UK Government will consider any extraordinary costs that might in principle fall to us in relation to hosting the events at the Millennium Stadium...



While this does not specifically state that the UK Government will meet these costs, we will make a strong case for them to do so
...."



They conveniently ignore the "alleged" economic benefits of the thousands of fans ect, that will "flock" to Wales to watch these matches.



Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Lubrication

The Great Wall lubricating oil has been designated as the official lubricant for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, quite an honour!



Sinopec, China's largest oil refining and petrochemical company and owner of the oil, singed a deal with the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympics (BOCOG) last month.



Sinopec will provide funds, and other forms of support, for; the 2008 Olympics and Paralympics, BOCOG, the Chinese Olympic Committee, as well as Chinese sports delegations for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin and 2008 Summer Olympics.



BOCOG has signed 6 partners for the 2008 Games, including; Volkswagen, China Mobile and Bank of China.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Olympics Torch Stolen

A torch used to carry the Olympic Flame, for the 1998 Winter Games in Japan, has been stolen from the Nagano Olympic Museum.



The museum allowed visitors to handle the torch, which was retained by a wire to prevent it from being stolen. However, the wire was cut; and the torch stolen.



This is one of a 1000 Olympic torches, made for the 1998 Winter Games held in Nagano. The museum has one other torch left.



Sunday, November 21, 2004

Another Olympics, Another Budget Balls Up!

Seemingly, and why should we be surprised when there are politicians involved, yet another Olympics budget has fallen apart.



This time the honour for lousy financial planning, falls on the forthcoming Turin Winter Olympics 2006. They are expecting a a $242M shortfall, small potatoes compared with the $8BN overspend by the Greeks!



However, to add spice to this little pot boiler, I understand that the police are investigating the possibility that construction contracts were fixed.



Corruption, in the Olympics; surely not?



As usual, when an Olympic's event looks like it will disintegrate into chaos, a politician raises his head; and tells the world that everything will be alright. The politician in question this time is Valentino Castellani, a former Turin mayor who is leading the "organising" committee TOROC.



He said that the games would be ready for the opening ceremony on Feb. 10, 2006. Needless to say, the good people of Italy will be the ones saddled with the bill for the shortfall.



Castellani played the "blame game", noting that state-owned companies, including public broadcaster RAI, have not played their part in sponsoring and promoting the games. National airline Alitalia, which is mired in major financial difficulties, has also not sponsored the games.



So there you go ladies and gentlemen, it's everyone else's fault; but most certainly not the fault of TOROC.



In typical myopic form, Castellani said:



"I don't see any scandal, any particular insoluble solution. I can't believe for a country like Italy that (US$260 million) will be a problem."



How very kind of him!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Madrid's Bid Dead?

It seems that the racist abuse, by Spanish fans of English footballers on Wednesday, may well have killed Madrid's chances of hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.



The IOC may be many things, but it is not stupid enough to knowingly associate its brand with racism.



Lord Coe, the head of the British bid team, was quick to recognise this. In his speech yesterday, outlining London's bid proposal, he put the athletic boot into Madrid.



He said that British Olympics would showcase Britain's "ethnic diversity and tolerance".



Referring to the scenes from Madrid, on Wednesday, he added:



"It was a disfiguring episode for anyone anywhere in sport."



Friday, November 19, 2004

Athens Busts Budget Again

It seems that the Athens Olympic budget has been busted again.



Previous reports that the cost of the Games would hit $12BN, seem to be a little on the "light side".



The total cost of the Athens Olympics may in fact exceed $14.6BN, according to Greece's 2005 budget submitted to parliament Thursday.



The extra costs have come from infrastructure projects, eg the metro extension to the airport, and other indirect public sector expenditures not included in the original Olympic budget.



Speaking as an accountant, I trust that the financial "experts" who forecast that the cost would not exceed $6BN get their backsides well and truly kicked.



Thursday, November 18, 2004

New York Does It Large!

New York unveiled its detailed plans for its bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics yesterday.



It is promising to beam the Olympic Rings into the night sky over Manhattan, to illuminate the Empire State Building with the national colors of competing countries and to cover every available surface with Olympics advertising.



The latter point will definitely please the judges, given the fact that the Olympics are now entirely the plaything of the marketing men from the corporate world.



The triathlon event would use Central Park, whilst baseball and basketball would be played at Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden respectively.



New York would construct new sites including; an aquatics center in a 35-acre waterfront park in Brooklyn and a park for equestrian events on the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island.



The Olympic village would be built in Queens, and would accommodate the 4,400 athletes.



Ticket prices will be extortionate; between $550 and $1,500 for the opening ceremony, whilst ordinary tickets would cost around $50.



The IOC will visit New York in February 2005, and announce the winner in July.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Security Matters

An Australian company has signed an agreement with the Chinese Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE), to develop security technology for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.



QR Sciences Limited (QRS), a company that specialises in the development of Quadrupole Resonance based explosive detection systems, formalised a memorandum of understanding signed earlier this year.



QRS will develop, and test, a multi-technology screening system; this will be capable of detecting radioactive and explosive materials, along with a range of weapons and narcotics.



The success of this will have positive repercussions for avionics, and other means of travel, worldwide.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Designer Apartments

It seems that the Olympics never quite fails to surprise me.



Tennis star Venus Williams will, if New York wins the bid for the 2012 Games, be expecting the athletes at the Games to be staying in her apartments.



No, she hasn't got an extremely large apartment in New York; she in fact has just set up a design company, that handles the interior design of apartments and houses.



Quote:



"...(Designing the apartments) was actually a really fun project... If we get the Olympics in New York in 2012 the athletes will be staying in something very much like (my design)...".



It seems that Williams's design skills were honed at the Athens Games; she helped design the orange newsboy caps, which were required headgear for McDonald's employees in Athens.



Hmmm!



Monday, November 15, 2004

London Olympics Bid

London hands over its bid for the 2012 Olympic Games today.



Lord Coe, Olympic medal winner and chairman of the bid, expressed his confidence in the chances that London might host the Games for the first time since 1948.



The 600 page bid book will be handed over to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by Amber Charles, a 14-year-old basketball player from east London.



The final decision will be made by the IOC in July 2005.



The IOC will visit each city, to judge for themselves the state of readiness of each bidder.



London's success would mean the transformation of 1,500 acres of East London's Lower Lea Valley, which is one of the UK's poorest areas.



Other events would be held at; Wimbledon, the new Wembley, Lord's and heritage sites like Hyde Park, Regent's Park, Greenwich Park and Horse Guards.



Sunday, November 14, 2004

New York Bid

New York will submit its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games to the IOC tomorrow.



Mayor Bloomberg believes that the Games will attract $12BN of economic activity, and create 135,000 jobs.



Quote:



"We're going to turn it up a notch and, for the next eight months, we're going to work harder than ever to get the Summer Games for 2012 right here where they belong...".



The five boroughs of New York would all play a part in the Games; mountain biking at the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, swimming and diving in Willliamsburg, Brooklyn, baseball in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, sailing off the Rockaways and the opening and closing ceremonies in a proposed new stadium on the Hudson River.



However, the plan for a West Side Stadium which would be home to the NFL's Jets, faces opposition from neighborhood groups. This uncertainty surrounding the stadium plan may complicate the bid.



Saturday, November 13, 2004

Dead Reckoning

As predicted, on this site before the Athens Olympics even started, the cost of hosting the Athens Olympics has topped $12BN.



The Greek Finance Minister, Giorgos Alogoskoufis, revealed the staggering cost of history's most expensive Games yesterday.



The original budget was around $3BN.



The $12BN cost does not include the cost of infrastructure, these costs have not been published.







Friday, November 12, 2004

Olympic Histrionics

The histrionic threat by Valentino Castellani, organiser of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics, to resign yesterday (as reported on this site) has been withdrawn; how surprising!



Following a meeting with the IOC president, Jacques Rogge, and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi; Castellani's ego was duly mollified.



The division of powers between himself and Mario Pescante, the government appointed games supervisor, had been clarified to his satisfaction.



Castellani, a former mayor of Turin, said:



"..a page had been turned.." and he would remain head of organising committee through the games in February 2006.



What a relief!



Thursday, November 11, 2004

What are The Odds?

The London Olympic bid book, for the 2012 Olympics, will be delivered to the IOC next week.



However, the smart money on which city will win the bidding is on Paris at 4/7; according to William Hill the UK bookmakers.



Whilst London comes second at 2/1, the level of betting from British punters is low. This does not augur well for London's chances.



The other odds are 13/2 Madrid, 12/1 New York, 33/1 Moscow.



Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Music For Olympians

Sandeep Chowta, the renowned Indian musician, is part of the international team that will put together the theme music for the summer Olympics being held in Beijing 2008.



Chowta is currently scouting for talent:



"We are looking for youngsters, between four and seven, to record for the theme song.."



Chowta, part of the AO band (which has worked with Sheryl Crowe, The Eagles and Celine Dion), will compose the theme song and track for the Beijing Olympics.



He wants to to create a combination of sounds from around the world, language is no barrier.



Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Memorial

The Israeli Foreign Minister, Silvan Shalom, has asked the organisers of the 2008 Beijing Olympics to commemorate the Israeli athletes murdered during the 1972 Munich Games.



Eleven members of the Israeli team were murdered in Munich in 1972 by terrorists.



Shalom made the request, to the Beijing Vice Mayor Liu Jingmin, on the basis of the $250M worth of construction work being done by Israeli companies for the 2008 Games.



Shalom has asked that the murders be mentioned and commemorated at the 2008 Games, for the first time.



Monday, November 8, 2004

Who Pays? You Do of Course!

It seems that the arrogance of Tessa Jowell, the British Minister in charge of Britain's bid to host the 2012 Olympics, knows no bounds.



When asked about the possibility of budget overruns, in the highly unlikely event that Britain gets to host the Games, she said that there would not be any.



Needless to say the idea of an Olympic budget, being managed by politicians, not being breached is of course pure fantasy.



When pressed on this rather obvious point, she tartly admitted that if it did go over budget then the overrun would be made up by increasing taxes.



I wonder when she will have the courtesy to ask the voters if they are happy with this arrangement?

Saturday, November 6, 2004

Date Fixed

Beijing has picked 8:08pm August the 8th 2008, as being the starting date and time for the 2008 Olympic Games.



This is a lucky date, as it contains a string of 8's (the luckiest number according to Chinese tradition).



This date also avoids a clash with the US Open tennis tournament and that American baseball pennant races, which are held at the end of August.



Friday, November 5, 2004

A Little Bit of Politics

Valentino Castellani, the chief organiser of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics (TOROC), has resigned 15 months before the Games are due to start.



It seems that Castellani, who will formally submit his resignation on 24 November, is feeling "undermined" by the Italian government's nomination of Mario Pescante, culture ministry undersecretary and former head of the Italian Olympic Committee, as overall supervisor for the Games.



Quote:



"The powers given to Pescante ... represent a lack of confidence in the work done here up until now, and above all, in the capacity to continue it..."



TOROC has been criticised for a $227 million budget shortfall; plus, as usual with Olympic events, there has been a distinct lack of enthusiam in the host nation for the event.



TOROC has also been under attack from the media, Il Giornale has publicly "shredded" every detail of TOROC's financing; alleging that excessive amounts have been set aside for food, wine and plane tickets.



Excess spending on drink and hospitality, by Olympic officials, surely not!



Let's face it, the Olympics are regarded by those who organise them as nothing more than a large trough of money in which they gorge themselves like pigs.



Thursday, November 4, 2004

Winter Sale

The tickets for the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, being held between 10-26 February 2006, have now gone on sale.



There are 1 million tickets; 650000 are available for the public, the remaining 350000 are reserved for national Olympic Committees, sponsors, international sports federations and broadcasters.



The tickets will be priced at between $25.50 and $1082 (how very reasonable!).



The first phase of the ticket sales start today, and will end on the 15th of December.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Dynamic Duo Wait in Limbo

The prosecutor deciding the fate of the dynamic duo of Greek sprinting, Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, has postponed his decision as to whether they should be charged for faking a motorcycle accident on their way to a dope test.



The reasons for the delay have not been explained. However, it is reported that the prosecutor is exploring the possibility of pressing charges against the doctors who "treated" the dynamic duo.



In the meantime, it is understood that the Supreme Court has been asked to review a recommendation that Parliament begin an investigation into state funding for a business owned by the coach of the sprinters.



Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Frugality Rules!

Jacques Rogge, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, expressed his support on Monday for Beijing's decision to scale back their Olympic construction.



He noted in Beijing, that the Chinese plans for a "frugal Olympics" wouldn't interfere with holding the 2008 Summer Games.



The Chinese have suspended their work on Beijing's 100,000 seat Olympic stadium, and several other facilities, whilst they redesign them to be more "frugal".



Rogge said that the IOC was confident that China could meet its commitments, with regard to its detailed agreement with the committee, on facilities and the conduct of the games.



Good to see the Chinese using common sense; there has to be a limit on how much is spent on the Olympics, otherwise no one would be able to afford to host them.

Monday, November 1, 2004

Plonker

Greek dope (sorry doping suspect) Kostadinos Kenteris, one half of the "dynamic duo" of sprinting who were disqualified from the Athens Olympics for missing a drugs test, says that he is looking forward to prosecution; so that he can clear his name.



Rather bizarrely Kenteris, in an interview, blamed the Greek Olympic Committee HOC and the International Olympic Committee for setting him up.



He went on to dig an even larger hole for himself by saying:



"Evidently, from what I understand... it starts with IOC President Jacques Rogge, who was looking for me to make sure I entered the Olympic village as early as 12:00 (that day)... and from below his court -- don't forget the HOC is holding elections in a few days....They executed me...".



Some people don't seem to know when to shut up and slink away.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Donation

Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong's and Asia's richest man, has donated US$12.8M to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.



Liu Qi, Hong Kong's top Communist Party official, has declared him to be a patriot:



"What we received is not just money but more importantly the patriotism of Mr. Li and his support for the Olympics..." .



Li is known to be close to the Chinese leadership, and frequently donates to charitable causes in the mainland.



Li, Nicknamed "Superman" for his moneymaking prowess, has an empire that includes real estate, shipping, mobile networks, oil and retail companies. He is ranked the world's 19th richest man by Forbes.



Saturday, October 30, 2004

Why The UK Won't Be Hosting The 2012 Olympics

London does not stand a "cat's chance" in hell of winning the 2012 Olympics bid:

  • The London transport infrastructure is not up to standard, and will not be in time for the Games.




  • The decision as to who will host the Games will be made next year. The near debacle of the Athens Olympic Games, with regard to delayed construction projects and cost overruns, means that the judging panel will never put themselves in a position like that again. They will be looking for infrastructure that is already in place. The UK does not have that infrastructure in place.




  • The voting panel for the IOC consists of a number of European countries. It is well understood that if the 2012 Games were to be held in Europe, then the 2016 Games (for political reasons) could not be held in Europe as well. Spain, for one, wish to bid for the 2016 Games; they will vote against London and Paris in the 2012 decision.




  • The cost overruns of the 2004 Games, $12BN against budget of $5BN, plus the expected costs of the 2008 Games ($35BN); means that the cost of holding the 2012 Games are prohibitively expensive. It would be lunacy to bid for them, we can't afford them.
In short, the Olympics aren't coming to Britain.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Idiot

The idiot who disrupted the Olympics marathon, by running near the finishing line and pushing the lead runner, has been cleared of indecently assaulting a 7 year old girl.



Cornelius Horan, who was a priest, said:



"I feel now I have completed my mission at sporting events to tell the world about the second coming of Christ..".



Thursday, October 28, 2004

All Change

One half of the disgraced "dynamic duo" of Greek sprinting, Costas Kenteris, has named Giorgios Panagiotopoulos as his new coach.



Kenteris sacked his last coach, Christos Tzekos, after his expulsion from the Olympic Games in Athens; for avoiding a dope test, and faking a motorcycle accident.



Kenteris and his partner in crime, Thanou, are expecting to find out on Monday if they will face misdemeanour charges; for obstructing a doping test, and for making false statements after their motorcycle "crash".



Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Putting it Behind Her

British world marathon record holder, Paula Radcliffe, has put her failure at the Athens Olympics behind her; yesterday she announced that she will run in the New York marathon on November 7.



During the Olympics she dropped out of both the marathon, and 10,000 metres.



She started as the favorite for the marathon in the Olympics. However, she crashed out in tears 6km from the finish; describing it as the most traumatic experience of her life.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Athlete's Fake Penis

In the increasingly bizarre world of athletics, especially the Olympics, nothing exercises some athletes' "mental capacities" more than how to cheat the dope tests.



The World Anti-Doping Agency director-general David Howman, yesterday displayed one of the devices that was used by a member of the Hungarian team in Athens in August.



It comprises a plug which is inserted in the rectum, a small reservoir for "clean" urine, and a tube which is attached to the underside of the penis.



If these cheats stopped wasting their time and energy on cheating, they might actually win gold without having to cheat.





Monday, October 25, 2004

Britain's "Plans" To Win the 2012 Olympics

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Demos, think tanks who advise the UK government, have come up with a "brilliant wheeze"; designed to ensure that the UK wins the bid to host the 2012 Olympics.



It seems that the bright boys in Demos and IPPR have suggested that pubs should stage their own Olympics, apparently this will sway the Olympic judges decision as to which country should host the 2012 Games.



Clearly the members of these "think tanks" don't get out much.



They also suggest that Britain should host "Street Olympics".



I have to say, I find it incredible that good money is being thrown away on coming up with ideas that have no chance of winning the bid.



The bottom line is very simple, the UK will not be hosting the 2012 Olympics.



Let us move on, and focus our attention on more pressing issues.



Sunday, October 24, 2004

Olympic Flower

It is reported that the Iranian sculptor, Jamshid Moradian, will visit Italy to take part in the third Symposium of Mountains and the Winter Olympic Games.



He will create the symbol for the Winter Olympic Games 2005, known as the "Olympic Flower".



The design depicts a rock from which five olive leaves, representing the 5 continents, protrude. Each of the leaves has a ring of the Olympics emerging from below.



The artistic work will be carved onto the mountain, and will be illuminated by lamps.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Judge Loses Place

It is reported that George Beckstead, the US judge involved in the scoring mistake that helped Paul Hamm win the gymnastics gold medal at the Athens Olympics, has lost his place on the committee of the gymnastics' world governing body.



Beckstead was not re-elected to the men's technical committee of the international gymnastics federation.



Friday, October 22, 2004

Hamm Breaths Sigh of Relief

It is reported that U.S. gymnast Paul Hamm will keep his gymnastic gold medal from the Athens Olympics, despite the protest from a South Korean competitor.



The Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected the request by Yang Tae Young to award him the gold. Yang Tae Young based his claim on the judges making a 10th-of-a-point mistake, that gymnastics officials said cost him the title.



The court statement said:



"An error identified with the benefit of hindsight whether admitted or not, cannot be a ground for reversing a result of a competition...".



I agree, judging sports will always be prone to human error; that's life.



Thursday, October 21, 2004

The Mafia and The Olympics

Yesterday's story about the attempted murder of Filippos Sirigos, sports editor of the newspaper Eleftherotypia, looks like being the thin end of the wedge of a very nasty affair.



It seems that Sirigos was not just unpopular for reporting on the case of the "dynamic duo" of sprinting's, Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, lame attempt to hide from a drugs test; by staging a fake motorcycle accident.



He was also reporting on the Octagon scandal (reported on this site some weeks ago); which involves the head of the Athens Games, Gianna Angelopoulos, and her husband.



This story alleges that $450M, originally intended for the Games, has been stolen by these two; using Octagon to syphon the money into various hidden bank accounts.



Gianna Angelopoulos and her husband are suing Sirigos for Euros10m in compensation.



There are strong rumours of Mafia involvement; specifically there is a suspect deal that gave the Karaiskaki soccer stadium to a company belonging to an alleged Mafia boss Sokratis Kokkalisso, who is also involved with Octagon.



So much for the Olympics cleaning up its act!



Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Decision Day

Today is the day that Greek prosecutors announce their findings into the scandal involving the dynamic duo of Greek sprinting, Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou



You will recall that these were the two idiots who avoided a drugs test, by faking a motorcycle accident.



Interestingly enough one of the main witnesses, sports editor Filippos Sirigos, has been stabbed and beaten. Gas canisters and petrol were also sent to the owner of the newspaper that Sirigos works for.



Seemingly some people don't like the truth to come out.



Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has condemned the attack, noting that it could damage Greece's reputation.



What's the betting that the dynamic duo get let off with a very light sentence?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

High Tech Games

The 2008 Olympic Games, being held in Beijing, promise to push the frontiers of technology.



The Beijing Olympic Games organisers are going to complete 116 technology projects, in time for the 2008 Games.



The projects will covers TV, telecom and architecture.



On site broadcasting, and on site wireless communication feature heavily in the projects.







Monday, October 18, 2004

London Parade

London will be hosting a parade today, for the British athletes who competed in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.



Once the parade is over, the athletes will meet the Queen.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Cooking Olympics

The Gastric Olympics start today in Germany.



Competition between the world's leading culinary "athletes" will be fierce, as they compete to see who can cook the best.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Apologies

Hungarian Olympic Committee chairman, Pal Schmitt, apologised yesterday for the doping incidents at the Athens Olympics involving his country's athletes.



He said that he was sorry that Hungarian athletes had cast a shadow over the Athens Games, with their doping infractions.



Three Hungarians lost their medals in Athens because of doping: hammer throw winner Adrian Annus, discus gold medalist Robert Fazekas and weightlifter Ferenc Gyurkovics, who won a silver. Two other weightlifters, Zoltan Kovacs and Zoltan Kecskes, also tested positive.







Friday, October 15, 2004

Bomb Threat

Greek police disclosed yesterday that they had received a bomb threat, before the Athens Olympic Games opening ceremony.



However, despite that fact that the stadium had 70000 people inside, they did not evacuate it.



The bomb scare was no more than that, a hoax.



The police received more than 80 other bomb threats during the course of the Games.



Thursday, October 14, 2004

Terror Scares

Yesterday Greece released a list of the top 86 security scares, during the 2004 Athens Olympics.



Topping the list was a propane leak at a seaside resort, housing America's leading business executives.



The minister of public order, George Voulgarakis, noted at the news conference that there was a very real threat that the use of a mobile phone would have resulted in a large explosion at the resort.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Zeppelin Flies Away

The 60 metre Olympics Zeppelin which was laden with cameras and sensors, and became a daily feature of the Athens skyline during the Olympics, has moved on.



Information collected by the Zeppelin was used together with images from the 1,200 street cameras, police helicopters and surveillance vans; as part of the US$1.5BN security operation. The operation officially ended on October 4.



The Zeppelin, which is operated by Airship Management Services Inc, stayed on a few extra days; while the company discussed potential future business deals.



These include possibly providing security at the Beijing Games in 2008, watching over the Muslim pilgrimage at Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, and filming Greek holiday destinations for the Greek tourism ministry.



Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Even Horses Do Drugs

It seems that some "athletes" will stop at nothing to win a glittery medal at the Olympics.



It is reported that Irish show jumper Cian O'Connor, who won gold at Athens, has had his horse tested for drugs.



The poor horse, who is totally blameless, was found to be doped with a banned substance.



O'Connor claims that he is innocent and that the second sample, when tested, will show that he is innocent.



The horse, Waterford Crystal, declined to comment.

Monday, October 11, 2004

A Cleaner Olympics

It is reported that the China Petrochemical Corporation has been named as an official sponsor of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.



It has promised to clean up its fuel, in order to meet the pre-Games anti-pollution standards.



The company will fund and provide petrochemical products and services for the 2008 Olympic Games, at a cost of $1.6BN, as well as for China's team at the 2006 Winter Games in Italy.



Other sponsors of the 2008 Games are; Volkswagen AG and Chinese firms Bank of China, China Mobile , China Network Communications and Air China.



Sunday, October 10, 2004

Rumour and Speculation

There is a rumour, gathering ground, on the net that sponsorship money was syphoned off from the 2004 Olympics into the pockets of certain individuals.



It seems that the money was laundered through an organisation called Octagon. I understand that this company is now being investigated.



The Head of the Athens First Instance Courts, on Thursday, ordered a preliminary investigation into Greek press reports; citing dubious links between Octagon Worldwide Holdings BV and sponsorship deals for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.



Athens dailies, "Eleftherotypia" and "Avriani", allege that Octagon acted as an intermediary in sponsorship deals involving the Athens 2004 Olympics Games Organizing Committee (ATHOC).



Press reports also claimed that no firm without Octagon representation succeeded in landing a deal with ATHOC.



The case has been assigned to a prosecutor.



This will get very messy, and could well undermine the Olympics as a whole.



Saturday, October 9, 2004

Overzealous

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has reportedly asked President Bush to shut down the part of his campaign website that uses the word "Olympics".



The site shows a cartoon game, "John Kerry's Flip Flop Olympics"which asks players to guess Kerry's stances on issues.



It seems that the use of the word "Olympics" is barred under a federal law; only the USOC, according to the USOC that is, can use the word.



The USOC overzealously guards this word, nothing to do with the royalties that it generates of course!



Money and the Olympics go hand in hand, sport is but a side issue.



The Bush team, so I understand, have ignored the request.



Quite right!

Friday, October 8, 2004

What a Whopper!

The Athens Olympics are but a faded memory. However, the bills are now being tallied up.



The Greek government is "trying" to add up the costs, and has stated that it will "announce it shortly...all these unanswered questions will be answered...".



The public deficit has breached 5.3% of GDP; which is not at all good news, as it breaches the EU 3% ceiling.



Estimates vary as to what the final bill will be. However, it is likely to be around $12BN (the budget was just under $6BN).



The Greek government is also trying to work out what to do with the $3BN of Olympic buildings, constructed for the Games. These will cost $100M per year to maintain.



As Premier Costas Caramanlis says:



"The country is facing an acute financial problem that can no longer be hidden..."



Quite!





Thursday, October 7, 2004

Milking It

Those of you who are worried that Paul Hamm may lose his Olympic gold medal, if the arbitration court rules in favour of South Korea, need not fear too much for Hamm's livelihood.



He has reportedly been awarded an endorsement deal with Marigold Foods, a Minneapolis dairy company.



Hamm will be awarded his own ice cream flavour of "gold medal pecan swirl".



The ice cream has a butter pecan base, blended with thick caramel swirls and caramel-filled chocolate "gold medals."



Hamm had better not eat too many of those, otherwise he may not be fit enough to compete in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.



Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Scraping The Bottom

The World Anti-Doping Agency Chairman, Dick Pound, has revealed how two disgraced Hungarian athletes provided false urine samples.



It seems that the boys, Robert Fazekas and Adrian Annus (an appropriate name), inserted balloons filled with someone elses urine into their anuses.



How nice!



They had their medals stripped from them, after they were found out to have provided false samples.



Seemingly, if you were not watching that closely, the "Heath Robinson" device of balloons and tubes made it look as they were actually unrinating.



As usual with scum bag cheats like this, Annus claimed that he was being "set up" by the IOC.



My message to Mr Annus is Blow it out your a**e!



Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Shattered Illusion

It seems that the idea that the Athens Olympics would create jobs was but a fanciful illusion.



It is reported that 50,000 people, who were engaged for the construction and maintenance of Olympic facilities, are yet again unemployed now that the Games have ended.



Additionally, the majority of the 150,000 people who got Olympic jobs were, in fact, economic migrants; residing with their families in Athens.



It seems that the local Athens authorities are now faced with the task of moving these people to places of employment.



Precisely how to they intend to do that I wonder?



Monday, October 4, 2004

Divided Loyalties

David Beckham has hit the headlines again, how surprising!



This time, his "fifteen minutes of fame" is down to him withdrawing from the Madrid team photo to promote their bid to host the 2012 Olympics.



Beckham, a very shrewd and intelligent individual, realised that a photo of him appearing in front of a banner backing Madrid's bid would look a trifle disloyal to his fellow Brits.



Having discussed it with his agent, he pulled out; needless to say his chums in Madrid were not best pleased.



It seems that Madrid 2012 signed a deal with Real Madrid, stating that all the Real Madrid players would promote the city's bid for the 2012 Games.



Beckham now has to deal with the problem of what he will be wearing on the pitch.



His new shirts will feature a logo supporting the Madrid bid.



Even Tony Blair might have trouble worming his way out of that.

Sunday, October 3, 2004

Corruption

Slavkov, Bulgaria's top Olympic official, has reportedly pleaded innocent of corruption charges; in front of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC's) ethics panel.



Slavkov was filmed by the BBC, discussing how votes could be bought to support a city's bid to host the 2012 Summer Games.



Slavkov's membership of the IOC has been suspended, and his credentials for the Athens Olympics were revoked.



A final ruling on expulsion will not come until next July.



Who says that justice is swift?



Saturday, October 2, 2004

Big Guns Support New York

The big guns are coming out in support of New York to host the 2012 Olympics.



US Secretary of State Colin Powell has reportedly asked his foreign minister colleagues to back New York's bid.



He has also recorded a videotape on behalf of the bid, which will make the same case. He describes the city as "a place where you can come and have a good time", that would make a "great" host for the Games.



Friday, October 1, 2004

British Olympics? No Chance

I reiterate what I have said before, that there is not a hope in hell of Britain hosting the 2012 Olympics.



My view has been confirmed by the decision to abandon Silverstone, as part of the Formula One 2005 calendar.



Bernie Ecclestone, F1 superemo, is also heavily involved in the bid for the 2012 Olympics. He is reportedly to be of the view that Silverstone is outdated, and does not receive the level of support from the government that it deserves.



The decision to axe Silverstone will send a very clear message to the IOC, that Britain simply does not have the money or the will to host major sporting events.



It is of course, classic brinkmanship, a last ditched attempt to embarrass the government into funding a rejuvenation of Silverstone.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

London's Bid

The Labour Party conference, in Brighton, tried to give London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics a kick start on Tuesday.



The culture secretary, Tessa Jowell, reportedly said "Let's unite as a country to work for it, win it and give the world an Olympic Games that none of us will ever forget....This is about how ambitious and bold we are as a country. In sport there is no higher place than the Olympics. That must be our goal...."



UGHH!! Utter claptrap.



Mayor Ken Livingstone at least tried to inject a note of realism, by noting that London still had "some way to catch up" in respect of infrastructure.



The bottom line is simple, London does not have the infrastructure to cope with hosting the Games; and will not have it in place in time.



There is not a hope in hell of London being awarded the 2012 Games.



Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Frosty Games

The mascots for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, starting on 10 January 2006, have been unveiled.



They are Neve a snowball, and Gliz a block of ice.



They were launched at a ceremony yesterday and, after a cartoon show introducing them, made an appearance in person.



They are meant to represent the spirit of the Olympics namely; competition, friendship and fair play. I will look at the contents of my ice box with new respect in the future.



Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), is a tad worried about the laid back attitude of the Italians with respect to meeting deadlines. He is reportedly not wishing to see a repeat of the last minute rush to complete, that occurred at the Athens Games.



The Italians are sanguine, and feel that there will be no problem.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

A Lot of Fuss

Paul Hamm's hearing, regarding the disputed gymnastic medal, was held in Lausanne yesterday. It seems that it was quite an ordeal; lasting over 11 hours.



The decision has yet to be announced. However, it seems that all the "stops" were pulled out to make sure that the hearing seemed to be important.



Hamm had 6 lawyers with him, there were also 40 people speaking 7 languages attending the hearing.



The arbitrators will now take a fortnight to deliberate over the issue.





A Jolly Junket

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) team, who will be judging which city hosts the 2012 Olympics, have announced the schedule of their jolly junket.



They will kick off in Madrid then visit London, New York, Paris and finally Moscow.



The IOC claim that the order of cities is logistical. However, from my modest grasp of geography, I would have thought it should be Madrid, Paris, London, New York then Moscow.



The team will be led by Nawal El Moutawakel, Morocco's 1984 Olympic 400 meters hurdles champion. They will meet bid leaders, and city/government officials during their visits.



They are scheduled to report in May 2005.



This will be an especially nice trip for the "lads" from the IOC; as they have not been allowed to travel, since the Salt Lake City corruption scandal in 1998.



Let us hope no one takes any bribes this time round!





Monday, September 27, 2004

The Waiting Is Over

The waiting is finally over for Paul Hamm; winner, for the time being, of the men's gymnastic Olympic medal.



Today the Court for Arbitration for Sport will hear the appeal from the South Korean gymnast, Yang Tae-young, who is disputing the scoring of the event.



Needless to say, with both the Koreans and Americans vowing to battle to the end for their respective sides, the hearing could be every bit as thrilling as the actual event.



Indeed, the US Olympic Committee is sending a bevy of lawyers along; as well as spending $300K on defending their man.



The hearing will take place in Lausanne, behind closed doors. A panel of 3 wise men will hear the case, then make their decision.



However, no one knows quite how these guys will come to a decision; rumour has it they will examine the entrails of a goat.





Sunday, September 26, 2004

The Never Ending Games

It seems that the 2004 Games are set to go on until 2012, that at least is the case from the drug enforcement perspective.



All the urine and bodily fluid samples, taken during the 2004 Games, have to be stored until 2012; just in case a new test has to be carried out.



As technology develops, it is likely that new tests will be devised over the coming years that can be used on these frozen samples.



It is therefore highly possible that titles won in 2004, will be removed in 2011; if the winners were proven to be cheating.



Imagine the litigation issues that would stir up!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Golf in The Olympics Handicapped

It seems that the suggestion that golf should appear in the 2012 Olympics has not pleased everyone.



It is reported that whilst the Royal and Ancient Club (R&A), which is the world governing body for golf aside from the USA, is backing the bid; the European and US PGA tours are opposing the bid.



It seems that there are issues over scheduling.



Friday, September 24, 2004

Hands In The Till, Surely Not?

It seems that there is something of a row going on, over the handling of the finances of the Athens Olympics.



Aside from massivley overspending, current estimates put the total costs at around $12BN, there are now accusations about the honesty of the bookeeping.



An audit report issued this week has caused the Athens Games chief, Gianna Angelopoulos, to state that the report into the 2001 accounts does not give an accurate picture.



Angelopoulos is quoted as saying that every euro would be accounted for.



The audit report claims that the Games organising committee (ATHOC) did not follow proper hiring procedures, awarded tenders without signing contracts and had several thousand euros in unaccounted payments. As an experienced fraud investigator, I can say that these are very serious control weaknesses; which would not be tolerated in a listed, reputable comapny.



It seems that the charges include the following:



  • Large sums were spent on receptions and out of town expenses




  • 39 of the 41 directors and general directors were hired by bending local labour laws offering large salaries, and awarding considerable compensation for employees who resigned and were not eligible for payment




  • Payments were made of about 4,000 euros for flowers sent to ATHOC itself, and several hospitals.




Angelopoulos has said that all unaccounted expenses would come out of the salaries of the relevant employees.



The audit reports for the years ending 2002, 2003 and 2004 will make very interesting reading.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

No Limits

It seems that there are no limits as to what the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are prepared to consider as a sport for inclusion in the Games.



It is reported that golf, rugby, squash, karate and roller sports are all being considered for inclusion in the 2012 Olympics.



The IOC has notified the governing bodies of these 5 sports that they will be "studied further", for possible inclusion.



This is part of a review of the 28 sports used in the Athens Olympics. Changes made will not become effective until the 2012 Games.



However, any new "sport" included in the 2012 Games will be at the expense of another already in the Games; which will be dropped to make way for the new one.



The IOC has sent out a questionnaire to all 28 of the Olympic sports federations, plus the 5 "wanabees".



Those fans of bowling, ball room dancing!, chess and bridge will be disappointed to know that they are not on the list for possible inclusion.



Basket weaving anyone?



Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Tick Tock

The countdown to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing has started.



Jiang Xiaoyu, vice-president of the Beijing organising committee for the games, unveiled a countdown timer yesterday in Tiananmen Square.



The Games, known as the humanitarian Olympics, are scheduled to start on the 8th of August 2008.



Less than 1,417 days to go!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Breed All About It

China is leaving nothing to chance, as it prepares for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.



Ping Ping, the polar bear, is leaving his home in Sea World on the Gold Coast; and returning to his original home at the Beijing Zoo.



Ping Ping must do his duty for his country, and breed; it's a tough life!



The Chinese feel that the zoo needs to have an injection of youth, and vitality, in time for the Games; what better way than to have a few new polar bear cubs?



Monday, September 20, 2004

Peasants' Revolt

The planning for London’s bid for the 2012 Games may be going smoothly, in terms of the planning applications. However, there are problems on the community relations front.



People living in the East of London, where the some of the Games will be held, are more than a little sceptical about the benefits of playing host to this bloated circus in their area.



They are still smarting from the Dome fiasco, which had promised a cornucopia of untold wealth and opportunities for those in the area. The reality was somewhat different; no extra jobs, and massive disruption caused by the construction of the country’s largest white elephant.



This time the residents of East London are not going to be so easily swayed. In fact, in order to make their point, they are threatening to hold demonstrations against the Olympics when the IOC inspection committee come to town next year.



Needless to say, the thought of a “peasant revolt” has caused Tony and his cronies some sleepless nights; Tony does not like to be embarrassed in front of the media. Therefore the London Olympic bid team have employed “community liaison” people, armed with pro forma answers to awkward questions, to try to keep the “peasants” in line.



However, I suspect that the residents have the upper hand; they wont settle for sweet promises without guarantees.



Power to the People!



A map of the sites for the proposed 2012 Games can be viewed here click map.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Dirty Voting

Those of you who think that the voting for the host city for the 2012 Olympics is based purely on economic, and infrastructure, considerations are deluding yourselves.



The reality is that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is dominated by Europeans; the leading European city in the race is Paris, the leading non European city is New York.



It is known that if a European city wins the bidding for 2012 then, in order to appear fair and unbiased, the 2016 Games will not be held in a European city. This causes a few problems for some of the European members of the IOC.



Milan, Budapest, Prague, Lisbon and Berlin have all shown interest in bidding for the 2016 Games. They know that a vote for Paris will stop their chances of winning the 2016 bid, therefore they will not vote for Paris.



Grubby business, isn't it?

Scotland's Parliament, A lesson To Be Learned

The debacle over the Scottish parliament raises issues beyond Scotland.



The parliament building, which was recently opened at Holyrood, was budgeted to cost around £40M; instead the costs ballooned to over £400M, spectacular incompetence by anybody's standards.



This confirms what has long been known by people with half a brain, politicians and governments in the UK are incapable of managing construction and investment projects.



The same inept and incompetent politicians are now trying to convince the British public, and the International Olympic Committee, that the infrastructure necessary to hold the 2012 Olympic Games will be in place, on budget and on time.



Don't fall for it, they know not what they say!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

No Growth At The Olympics

It is reported that one in ten drugs samples, taken in Athens, had been tested for human growth hormone (HGH).



The idea according to Dick Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), was to surprise drug cheats by re-testing samples kept over from the Olympics for new designer drugs.



Out of the 300 tests for HGH, none have rated positive so far.



However, there were 24 other doping violations announced during this year's Olympics.



In another move to stop cheating, the samples taken at the Olympics are to be kept for eight years for retroactive testing.



However, Dick Pound is "pissed off" with government's lack of enthusiasm for funding the work of WADA. They are still awaiting the US contribution, which accounts for 10% of the 2005 budget.



Friday, September 17, 2004

The Struggle Continues

The highest court in the world of sport will be in action on 27 September; as it hears an appeal from, Yang Tae-young, the South Korean gymnast who lost the title to Paul Hamm because of a scoring error.



Needless to say Hamm wants to keep his medal and, together with the US Olympic Committee, is doing everything possible the keep it draped around his neck.



The hearing, just like a real court hearing over something important, will have all the trappings of a real court with lawyers etc; it will take place at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne Switzerland.



In addition to the fight over the gymnastics medal, the Canadians are also going to be heard; as they kick up a fuss over the men's vault final.



I understand that the Hungarians are also "pissed" about something as well.



Does anyone really care now that the Games are over?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Record Breaking

It seems that the doping issues from the Athens Olympics, won't go away.



Ferenc Gyurkovics, the Hungarian weightlifter, has been stripped of his silver medal; after testing positive for banned substances on Saturday. Puerto Rican wrestler Mabel Fonseca has also been expelled for a positive drug test.



This now brings the total of those expelled from the 2004 Olympics, to 22; a record, up on the previous record which was 12 during the LA Games.







Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Prudent Swiss

The Swiss have pulled out of bidding for the 2014 Winter Olympics.



They believe that the costs of hosting the Games, especially the security aspects, are totally prohibitive.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Calling in The Feds

It is reported that Greek investigators examining the Kenteris and Thanou, the "dynamic duo" of sprinting, doping scandal have asked for information from their colleagues in the USA.



The investigators are very interested in information about BALCO, the drugs laboratory suspected of producing and distributing the banned anabolic steroid THG.



You will recall that the "dynamic duo" missed a drugs test; then found themselves in a motorcycle "accident", which is suspected of being faked.



Their coach, Christos Tzekos, and his nutritional "supplement" business is also being investigated.



It seems that our heroic "dynamic duo" can at least claim one gold medal, that being in the category of missing drugs tests. They have managed to miss 3 during 2004 alone.



Quite some achievement!



A Quick Statistic

The $12BN cost of hosting the Athens Olympics, has taken the total Greek public debt to over 112% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).



This is the equivalent of $75K for every Greek household.



Canada, which hosted the Games in 1976, ended up with a public debt of a "mere" 68%. They expect to finish paying for the Games in 2006.



Monday, September 13, 2004

No Bid

It is reported that New York may pull out of the bidding to host the 2012 Olympics.



It seems that there has been some local opposition to the proposal to build a $1.4BN stadium for the New York Jets.



Mayor Michael Bloomberg has issued an ultimatum that, if agreement is not reached soon on the new stadium, New York will pull out of the bidding.



Do you believe that?



I don't!



Sunday, September 12, 2004

Cuts

The $12BN cost of hosting the Athens Olympics, has put a very large hole in Greece's public finances.



It is reported that, in order to "shore those finances up", the Greek government will be cutting defence expenditure by $0.6BN; and selling off certain nationalised industries.



The first lined up for privatisation is the postal saving bank; and, appropriately enough, Olympic Airlines.



Saturday, September 11, 2004

All The Fun of The Fair

It is reported that China will complete Asia's longest roller coaster by the beginning of October 2004, in readiness for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.



The roller coaster has a track over 800 metres long, and is based the Shijingshan Amusement Park.



I understand that it cost around $6M, and is up to 33 metres high, that's one hell of a ride!



Friday, September 10, 2004

Bird's Nest

I understand that work on the $0.6M "bird's nest", the new Olympic TV tower in Beijing, has been halted.



It seems that cuts in funding for the Games have caused designers to reconsider their plans.



The official explanation is, that fears of traffic congestion are the main reasons for the delay in construction.



Thursday, September 9, 2004

Political Tosh

In the dying embers of the 2004 Olympics we see a fine example of political tosh.



It seems that the Iranian government has been greatly pleased by the fact that the Iranian judo champion, Arash Miresmaeili, did not fight an Israeli opponent in the first round of the under 66kg judo competition of the Olympics.



Much like the ostrich with its head in the sand, the Iranians do not recognise Israel. Therefore, by definition, how could they fight a representative from a country that doesn't exist?



All clear?



This, show of "principle", allegedly cost the Iranian a gold medal. To reward him for his "principled" stand, the Iranian government has awarded him $125K; the ceremony was shown on Iranian TV.



However, there is one small problem with this show of "principle"; it seems that Miresmaeili was over the 66kg limit, and would not have been able to fight anyway.



Sometimes the lies and posturing of countries and politicians just make me feel like retching.



Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Frugal Games

It seems that talk of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing being the most expensive and elaborate ever, may be premature.



It is reported that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, has called for there to be budget cuts. He is calling the 2008 Games "the Frugal Games".



Olympic construction projects will be reduced from 10 to 5, and others will be reduced in size.



The Beijing city government now says it will reduce new construction projects by half, from 10 to five, and scale back the size of others.



Among the cuts are plans to build a hotel, offices and shopping mall at the Wukesong centre.



Building plans are reportedly being postponed from 2004 to 2005.



Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Hands in The Till

It is some four years until the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. However, there are already accusations of impropriety regarding money.



It is reported that some of the money allocated for Olympic construction, may be being "nicked" by certain nefarious individuals.



I understand that the Chinese State Auditing Commission, which is highly respected for its professionalism and integrity, is about to investigate the matter.



The story seems to be the good old "officials on junkets" one; namely, officials and other individuals find reasons to tour cities that have held the Olympics in the past in order to "learn".



Needless to say, they don't use their own money, but that which has been allocated to pay for the construction.



It seems that the accusations go back to 2000, when certain individuals from Beijing went to Sydney on a "learning exercise". Athens, also hosted a very large group of Chinese officials during the 2004 Olympics.



The excuse, "how can we learn, if we do not see?", runs a little thin; when individuals from provincial towns, with no connection to the forthcoming Games in Beijing, take a "jolly". An additional problem, it seems, with these trips is that some of the provincial visitors cannot speak English; hence severely limiting "their learning experience".



Needless to say it is the poor old Chinese tax payer who has to fund these "jollies".



Monday, September 6, 2004

Filthy Lucre

Those of you who thought that the $12BN expenditure by Greece, on the 2004 Olympic Games, was a "tad excessive" should take a deep breath.



It seems that China intends to spend a stonking $35BN, on the 2008 Games being hosted in Beijing, now that's what I call serious money!



The Chinese, it seems, intend to do "the full monty" and build; roads, subways and another airport.



The costs of the Games rise each time for a number of reasons:



  • The host country's ego in trying to outdo the previous Games




  • An increase in the number of events considered to be Olympic sports. I understand that the ancient, and noble, "sport" of darts is being considered for inclusion




  • Increased security costs




  • The costs of bribing, oops sorry, "bidding" for the Games




That being said, there are some rewards to be had; if the host country doesn't "cock it up". I understand, for example, that Athens earned $1.5Bn from the sale of the TV rights; together with another $1.2Bn from those health conscience companies Coke and McDonald's.



The motto of the Games is in fact:



"Mo Money!, Mo Money!, Mo Money!"

Sunday, September 5, 2004

A Small Statistic

Mr Yuan Weiming, director of the State Sports General Administration (SSGA) of China, has done some sums.



He has worked out, and I have no idea how, that for each gold medal won at Athens; China spent around $40M to $100M investing in the training etc.



Wouldn't it have been easier, and cheaper, just to mine the gold instead?

Environmental Aspects of 2004 Panned

Worldwide environmental groups have panned the Athens Olympics 2004, for being environmentally worse than Sydney's Games in 2000.



Greenpeace noted, without deliberate irony, that it was surprised at the lack of solar energy used in the Athens Games; given the amount of sunshine Greece enjoys.



The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) noted that, efforts must now be made to undo the environmental damage done by the Games.



Needless to say the International Olympic Committee (IOC), don't seem to be too bothered; their prime concern is the money made from sponsorship deals.



Saturday, September 4, 2004

The Long March To Beijing

The group, Human Rights Watch, have asked the Chinese government to improve its human rights record before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.



A website, China Olympics Watch, is pressing for the end to censorship and for trade unions and other organisations to be legalised.



Human Rights Watch are hopeful that the IOC, and sponsors, of the Games will put pressure on the Chinese to improve its human rights record.



I think this will be a "long march".

Friday, September 3, 2004

Symbolism

Even though the Olympics 2008 in Beijing are still four years away, people are setting their minds to what should be the symbol for those Games.



I understand that three students, from Ningbo University, have started a campaign for the Tibetan antelope to be the mascot for the 2008 Olympics.



They have started a bicycle journey, with a banner proclaiming their support for the symbol; and are collecting signatures in support of their cause.



I understand that they have covered over 3500KM.



The antelope is on the endangered species list, and there is a campaign to protect it.



To read more about the antelope, and to see a very cute picture of one, visit Tibetan Antelope.

Thursday, September 2, 2004

The Party is Over

It seems that post Olympic reality is about to hit Greece.



It is reported that as a result of budget deficits hitting 5% (the $12BN cost of the Olympics will have had something to do with that), the government will be introducing emergency measures such as; increasing taxes and one off levies on businesses.



Other countries who, for reasons that escape me, are scrambling to secure the 2012 Games should take note.



In my view, the Games in their current form are unsustainable; both logistically and financially.

A Little Bit of Controversy

The Olympics, wherever they are held, have one abiding characteristic; they cause controversy.



Shortly after the handover of the Olympic responsibility from Athens to Beijing, controversy reared its head again.



This time the issue of Tibet, and its freedom, has been thrown into the Olympic melting pot.



It is reported that two members of the International Tibet Support Network (ITSN) displayed a banner; reading "No Olympic for China until Tibet is Free", at the Ethnic Minorities Park in Beijing.



This park will be part of the 2008 Olympic complex. The two protesters, Han-shan a US citizen and Liam Phelan from Australia, were arrested by the police together with two journalists.



It seems that this is one small action, in a series of increasingly intense protests being planned by ITSN.



The ITSN are campaigning for the Chinese occupation of Tibet to end.



In another action, just before the Games in Athens ended, the campaigners attempted to deliver a banner with 5 bullet holes (akin to the Olympic symbol) to the IOC.



They were stopped by the police, doubtless the police were concerned that the use of the symbol breached the trademark rules which are so jealously guarded by the IOC.



Wednesday, September 1, 2004

The Butler, Sorry, Coach Did It

It seems that one half of the "Dynamic Duo" of sprinting, Kenteris, can't keep his mouth shut; and is still protesting his innocence, in relation to the earlier doping scandal that got him kicked out of the Games.



My sources tell me that Kenteris has had non-stop coverage on his home island of Lesbos; being kissed by all and sundry, posing for photo's with old ladies, babies and even a priest. He is still proclaiming his innocence, and blamed it all on the coach; he thought that he was only taking vitamins.



Methinks he doth protest too much!



In other news...



Having gotten rid of the Olympics, Greece is now on war footing for a football match between Greece and Turkey; word has it the riot police are already on the streets, even before the game has started.



Ah, where did the Olympic spirit of co-operation and friendly competition go?



Happy Chappy

The head of the Olympics, Jacques Rogge, praised the Greek organisers for the successful organisation of the Olympics 2004.



He declared himself to be "very, very happy about the Games".



However, it seems that there may be more drug issues; over and above the 22 positive tests so far.



Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Undiscovered Country

I am pleased to say that, during the course of the Olympic Games, this site has had over 25000 unique visitors from around the world.



Thanks for visiting.



I have also had a number of emails from some of you; some supportive and complimentary, others critical.



I have appreciated the constructive comments, both positive and negative; and have copied below extracts of two emails, that I received on Sunday, that reflect the variety of views that have been expressed about this site. The authors have given me permission to use the extracts.



Regarding the future, this site will continue to grow and develop; as I begin to change focus from Athens to the Olympic Games to be held in Beijing in 2008.



Therefore, I hope that all of you; both those that like the site, and those that don't, continue to visit.



Ken



View One



"Hi there, first of all what a great site you have - found it only today and wished we had seen it before!!



We are British living in Northern Greece for the last 18 months and our only TV access at the moment is Greek..............



We watched the opening ceremony with our Greek neighbours....... When the doping fiasco started with their athletes it was a case of who was to blame, first the

Americans..., next the Greek Mafia and finally the Norwegians who apparently are tampering with the Greek athletes urine samples in Norway!!



Now that we have found you site we will visit often and will certainly recommend it to friends........."




View Two



"...You certainly know how to put the "frost" on the magnificent Olympics in Greece. Are you simply doing an overkill with your sense of humor?



Ok, granted, many negative occurrences are evident throughout the Olympics, however can you at least focus on a few positive facts? I'm curious; who is your employer?



Greece was like the parents of the bride. They had given gave birth to a beautiful baby- the Olympics. And now came the celebration of their daughter's wedding. They pulled out all of the stoppers. Of course, they will be paying off this "loan" for a long time to come. And if you compare it again to a wedding as a one day event, so much money for one day, so to speak, if it is an only child- it was well worth it.Greece has been slapped around enough, has been tough through global and media verbal abuse. Greece is such a SMALL COUNTRY because it has been made that way by surrounding countries occupations, by the take-over of 1/2 of Cyprus, which should have joined Greece decades before, as did the island of Crete.



Where am I getting to?



It's time to put Greece on the map again. Why don't you try a new approach and write about all the inhumanities history has imposed on Greece. Be mindful of what sources you use for reference.



Are you afraid to do this?



Maybe the Turks will censor such a brave task on your part? Then you can honestly report on what a great job such a small country has accomplished in Athens 2004.



Here's where you can start- the Romans using Greeks as slaves,the stealing of their mythology, teachers, the fatal abuse of their athletic,strong and courageous men in their colliseums. The Ottoman Empire's wrath and exile out of Constantinopole, Smyrna, etc. How the history books of Turkey have been changed with no reference of their "acquired": relics, land, etc. to the Greeks. Their children are led to

believe that they were the oppressed and the Greeks- the oppressor! The Italian

and German invasions What about Serbia- stole the young men, male babies,

trained them in their camps to fight against the Greeks. The new republic of

Macedonia, using the name of Macedonia, birthplace of the Greek-Alexander the

Great, as their newly formed country's name!



This is not propaganda or heresay.



It is the truth of a small country that surrounding nations would like to take

over.



I hope it will not crumble or get strangled by the expensive acceptance of the Euro and I pray it not have the same fate as Sarajevo.



I challenge you to a new view in your "reporting". Do you dare to change your approach. Be the "devil's advocate" or should I say "angel's advocate"? If you

need contacts for referencing, please feel free to contact me...."

Monday, August 30, 2004

Adieu Athens

The closing ceremony of the 2004 Olympics went without a hitch last night.



The show included fireworks, dancing, closing remarks by International Olympics Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge; and the presentation of the Olympic flag to the mayor of Beijing, China, where the 2008 Summer games will take place.



Kudos to the organisers, the Games went off without calamity or disaster.



Now those that attended the Games, along with the locals who delayed holidays, are all making their way to the airport.



It is estimated that 200,000 people will leave for overseas destinations over the next 48 hours.



What a Plonker!

In one of the most bizarre incidents of the Games, an Irish gentleman wearing a rather unusual costume grabbed the leading marathon runner (Brazil's Vanderlei de Lima) in yesterday's race.



Needless to say this put the poor chap (the runner) off his stroke, and he came in third.



Italy's Stefano Baldini won the race.



The incident happened after about 22 miles. The man, dressed in a green beret, a white shirt, a red kilt and green knee socks ran onto the course, grabbed de Lima and pushed him off the roadway onto the sidewalk.



He later claimed that he was promoting the "second coming".



Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Olympic Spirit

It is reported that Britain's Olympic boxing hero Amir Khan, who won silver today, has turned down the chance to become a professional boxer; opting instead to remain as an amateur fighter, for at least the next two years.



His performances in the ring in Athens have been likened to Muhammad Ali.



He has indicated that he wishes to fight in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.



Let Wheat Grow

Tonight sees the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, as the Greeks pass on responsibility for hosting them to the Chinese.



Therefore expect fireworks, and an Asian feel to tonight's ceremony.



The Olympic stadium will be put to good use afterwards, it will be turned into a wheatfield.

Dopehead

Another dope addled "athlete" has been kicked out of the Games.



This time it is the Colombian cyclist, Maria Luisa Calle Williams, who has been stripped of her bronze medal after testing positive for a banned stimulant.



Dopes Out

More dope ridden "athletes" have been ejected from the Games.



This time the honour falls on Hungary's Ferenc Gyurkovics, a silver medal winning weightlifter, and Puerto Rican wrestler Mabel Fonseca.

The Party's Almost Over

The Athens Olympics have abut a few hours left to run, before the closing ceremony.



However, the Chinese are already preparing to take the Olympic flag this evening; in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games, which will be held in Beijing.



The Chinese are promising that their Games will be the best ever.



This site will follow the progress towards the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

No Show

In rather a bizarre change of plans, Colin Powell has cancelled his visit to Athens; he cited "urgent responsibilities".



It seems he will visit later in the year instead.



Last night police fought running battles with demonstrators, as they attempted to march without success to the US embassy.



Prior to this announcement, demonstrators had managed to breach security by hanging a large banner on the Acropolis, in front of CNN, saying: "Powell, killer, go home".



Whilst the anti USA demonstrators will doubtless be crowing about their "success" in driving Powell away; the rumour is that Powell was persuaded by the Greek authorities not to come, for fear of provoking a PR and security debacle.



Missing Athlete

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) appear to have lost an athlete.



Having kicked out Russian 400 metres runner Anton Galkin, for drug offences; the IOC are now looking for Hungarian hammer thrower, Adrian Annus.



The Hungarian National Olympic Committee have been asked to notify the IOC of his whereabouts.



If anyone sees him in Athens, please drop the IOC a note.



Friday, August 27, 2004

Famine Follows Feast

The party is now almost over, and like all parties, there is a bill which someone is going to have to settle.



In Greece's case, the bill for the Olympics 2004 looks like topping $12BN; that's one hell of a price tag.



The money has been found from state funds, ie the Greek taxpayer will be "coughing up" for this for some time into the future.



The other question that has yet to be answered is this:



"What will a small country like Greece do with all the large Olympic venues that it has built?"



They will cost over $100M a year to maintain.



Christos Chatziemmanouil, president of Hellenic Olympic Properties, noted that a demand will have to be created.



Quite!