The Olympics

The Olympics

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Japan Not To Boycott The Olympics

There have been concerns about whether Japan would boycott the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The IOC have confirmed that Japan will not boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics, despite security concerns following massive anti-Japan demonstrations in China last month.

Boycotts are now a thing of the past, according to IOC Coordination Commission Vice President Kevan Gosper.

Gosper said that the two countries can settle their differences through political channels.

On April 18, after a string of anti-Japan demonstrations in Beijing and other Chinese cities, Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan asked Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura about rumors that Japanese athletes would shun the Games.

Machimura told Tang there was no boycott plan, but that vandalism during the April demonstrations "prompts worries" about whether the Olympics can be held in an orderly manner.

Concerns also surfaced after Chinese people broke a Japanese diplomat's car window and struck journalists, after China lost to Japan last August in the Asian Football Confederation final in Beijing.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

New York Moves Up

New York is reported to have moved up on a list of cities competing to host the 2012 summer Olympics.

That is at least according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg who said:

"The report will be very complimentary on New York, but the one caveat is a question about the stadium,"

The stadium is the proposed $1.9 billion football stadium on Manhattan's West Side.

The mayor is counting on the stadium for the National Football League's Jets as a centerpiece in New York's bid to win the Olympics, but the project has met strong opposition from some politicians who say it would leave other needs neglected.

A key vote on the stadium could be held as early as next week by a state board.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Ken In Olympic Row

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, has managed to land himself in trouble over the Olympics bid by London for the 2012 Games.

There is a row going on about how many jobs will be lost, if the Olympics comes to London and various commercial sites are redeveloped.

Mayor Ken has accused some firms of inflating the number of jobs at stake, and of trying to hold the 2012 bid to ransom by excessive amounts of money for their land.

The Mayor said some firms were seeking a "huge windfall".

Angie Bray, a Conservative member of the London Assembly, has said to the Mayor:

"I think your tone is slightly unfortunate and does imply you regard them with distaste."

Mayor Ken has been accused of being hostile in his negotiations with 300 or so firms based around Marshgate Lane in Stratford, near where the Olympic stadium and athletes' village would be built.

If London wins, the London Development Agency will be able to compulsorily purchase the 250 acres of land required and the firms will get market value.

The counter claim is that the businesses will be forced out by 2007, but have to wait five years for a land tribunal to decide on the amount of compensation they will receive.

Bottom line, the Olympics is a total pain in the backside to host.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Close Call

International Olympic Committee President, Jacques Rogge, has said that the race to host the 2012 Olympics is "very close."

Quote:

"I do not expect many votes difference between one and two,".

He was attending an unveiling of a memorial, honouring the winning medallists of the 1908 London games.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

More Corruption

Mercedes Bresso, regional governor of Piedmont, is offering his support to the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics.

She plans to increase help for the February 10-26 Games.

Unfortunately she has an uphill task, Turin’s Olympic ambitions have been marred by cash problems and building delays.

Bresso is quoted as saying:

"The building work is going well now, there have been some difficulties but now it’s all going according to schedule and all the construction will be finished by the end of this year,".

Last year a row broke out over the hole in the Olympic budget, and an investigation was launched into possible bid fixing for building contracts.

The probe into bid fixing for Olympic building works is still ongoing, there are also reports of illegal labourers working on some of the construction sites.

Money corrupts, and the Olympics is about nothing but money these days.

Monday, May 23, 2005

IOC Avoids Further Corruption Embarrassment

The IOC, always a "tad mired" with the stench of corruption, has managed to avoid some embarrassment by the resignation of their vice president Kim Un Yong of South Korea.

Kim was due to face a vote for expulsion on corruption charges, his resignation saved the problems that this vote would have brought; namely the fact that he probably would have won it.

For those of you who don't have long memories, Kim was implicated in the Salt Lake City bribery scandal; where he was found to have made the organisers arrange a job for his son and musical appearances for his daughter, he had been resisting the IOC's attempts to expel him.

He currently resides in jail in South Korea, on charges of bribery and embezzlement. The good people at the IOC did at least manage to suspend his membership a year ago, when he was jailed.

Hardly an effective counter corruption policy, is it?

His resignation means that the vote on expulsion will now no longer be required. That vote would have, for reasons that only the IOC can explain, seen him supported by the membership.

Despite being corrupt, he was elected an IOC vice president two years ago.

Doesn't this tell you something about the IOC?

However, Kim was convicted of embezzling from the World Tae Kwon Do Federation, including $676K that had been donated by Samsung.

It seems that he used the money to buy the votes that won him the vice president's job!

I tell you, it really is about time that the Olympics were cut down to size and the IOC reformed.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Red Is Gold

Competitors in four combat sports at the 2004 Athens Olympics who wore red, won their events 55% of the time.

That at least is the conclusion of a study published in the latest edition of the journal Nature.

The study covered boxing, taekwondo and the two wrestling disciplines.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Blair To Avoid G8

Tony Blair will launch a series of special events next month in the UK, in respect of Britain's attempts to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

It is reported that he may even go to Singapore, when the IOC announce their final decision, in July.

Downing Street claim that this is:

"a symbol of his commitment to the bid - and his total support for the excellent bid team, who he feels have done a superb job...We are going for this hell for leather."

Both Blair and Chirac (French President) intend to appear at the G8 summit in Gleneagles when the Olympics decision is announced on 6 July.

However, as befitting leaders of international stature who enjoy travelling, there are rumours that Chirac and Blair plan to sneak away from the summit to Singapore.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

London Olympics Bill

It is reported that a London Olympics Bill will be introduced to Parliament as soon as possible, if London is selected to host the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Her Majesty The Queen included the Bill in her annual address outlining the Government's legislative programme to the State Opening of Parliament.

The Bill would set up the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), grant the Mayor of London specific powers relating to the preparation and staging of the Games and provide legal protection to Olympic logos and symbols.

London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe welcomed the news:

"This demonstrates the absolute commitment of Tony Blair and his Government to bringing the Games to London in 2012...It shows how advanced our plans are and work could begin immediately if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awards the Games to London on 6 July."

Culture Media and Sport Secretary Tessa Jowell, who is the Cabinet Minister with responsibility for London 2012, said:

"We will be hitting the ground running if the IOC awards the Games to London in 50 days time...The London Olympics Bill, which will be introduced at the earliest possible opportunity if we win the bid, is further evidence of our ability to deliver an outstanding Games."

Tory Sports spokesman Hugh Robertson added:

"We welcome the announcement of the London Olympics Bill. It shows how far advanced planning is for the 2012 Games...We agree with the Bill's principles and will work to ensure London has the best possible legislative framework to deliver a memorable Games if London is successful in the IOC vote 50 days from today."

And Liberal Democrat Don Foster said:

"All major political parties have shown their support for London's bid to host the 2012 Games...Now the Liberal Democrats are resolute that, if successful, the UK will take every opportunity to deliver a Games worthy of enriching the Olympic Movement."

That's the trouble with politicians, they are always very keen on spending other people's money.

Ask the Greeks if the $14BN wasted on the 2004 Games was worth it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Beijing Olympics Terror Target

China has warned that the 2008 Olympics in Beijing will be a top terror target, security forces and intelligence gathering with other countries will therefore be upgraded.

Beijing has outlined security plans for the Games, and will utilise foreign expertise and subway, taxi and bus drivers.

Qiang Wei, deputy Communist Party Secretary of Beijing, said:

"As a massive gathering of thousands of athletes, coaches, journalists and leading officials from more 200 countries, the Olympic Games is one of the prime targets for terrorists who want to make worldwide unrest,"

Adding:

"Apart from mobilising domestic resources, Beijing will team up with the security institutions of other countries during its preparations for the Games."

China has invited several leading police officials from six other capitals, including Moscow, to attend a forum in Beijing.

The aim, according to Qiang Wei, is to work together; quote:

"In the future, we will try to work with many more cities, especially those that have hosted the Olympic Games, to learn about their experiences,".

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Blair Backs Olympics

Prime Minister Tony Blair has endorsed a new brochure, that outlines a time line for the delivery of a London Olympics in 2012.

Blair is quoted in the pamphlet as saying:

"My commitment is total. I will do everything I can to deliver,"

The timeline:

2006 – Opening of the new Wembley Stadium.
2007 – Completion of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link between the Olympic Park and central London.
2008 – Work is finished on the Aquatics Centre and the Velopark.
2011 -- Terminal 5 at Heathrow opens

The brochure also says that if London wins the bid, the organising committee that will follow is to be led by bid chairman Sebastian Coe and Chief Executive Keith Mills.

However, Blair is likely to step down as PM within the next 18 months.

Monday, May 9, 2005

Finger Fighting Olympics

The game of rock, paper, scissors (RPS) has its own world championships.

Last year the RPS world championships were held in Canada, and attracted 1000 competitors from around the world.

This year the Australian contingent will be holding qualifying state, territory, then national rounds in August to pick Australia's best for the international finals.

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Singapore Influx

Up to 5,000 people are expected to be in Singapore for the IOC meeting and vote for the host of the 2012 Olympics.

This influx is expected to generate $24M for the local economy.

Thursday, May 5, 2005

IOC Blow It

Dick Pound, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chairman, claims that both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the official lab of the Athens Olympics made mistakes that enabled time-trial champion Tyler Hamilton to escape charges of alleged blood doping.

Quote:

"As far as I understand...(the lab director) blew it and also the IOC blew it,".

Hamilton tested positive for a blood transfusion in August, after winning the Olympic time-trial gold medal.

However, he kept his gold medal because the IOC said the result of a follow-up sample was "non-conclusive" because it had been destroyed by being deep-frozen.

Pound went on to say:

"The lab director didn't deal with (the sample) right away as a positive case, and the IOC didn't notice the problem for several days...It should have been reported as a positive case instead of merely suspicious, and the IOC should have been reading these forms every day...they didn't respond quickly enough,".

In December, Greek prosecutors launched an investigation into the blunder. They say that they want to determine if the deep freezing was deliberate or negligent.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Size Matters

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided that size matters after all.

They have imposed a ruling on sports manufacturers to reduce the sizes of uniform logos for the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics.

The IOC are to ban brand logos larger than 3.1 square inches, or 7.8 square centimeters, on uniforms starting at next year's Games.

Addidas and Nike are reportedly working on changes.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Money For Competing

Seattle SuperSonics guard Ray Allen is reported to have said that NBA players should be paid for appearing at the Olympics.

Quote:

"You're dealing with a different animal than the other sports..You've got people who are selling out buildings (venues) and if you want these particular (NBA) players there, how do you get them there?..You're making money off their merchandising. You're not making money off the discus thrower."

He added:

"I'm by no means saying I need to get paid..but you're talking about some of these young players who are some of the best players in the world and why would they want to play in the summer?..Most athletes, they hunger for the Olympics every four years. They spend their lives wanting to get there and that's what they want to do..But we're different. We've just finished an 82-game season and we want to chill out."

He said that salaries for the NBA professionals could be generated from merchandise that is sold featuring the players.

The Olympics is all about money anyway, what possible difference would this proposal make?

Otherwise, these guys needn't bother going and the Games will continue without them.