The Olympics

The Olympics

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

Friday, July 29, 2005

Housekeeping Olympics

Teams from 21 hotels in the New Orleans area competed Thursday in bed-making contests, mop-bucket shuffleboard and other contests as part of the ninth annual Housekeeping Olympics.

The event is sponsored by the Crescent City Hotel Executive Housekeepers Association, in conjunction with the Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association.

Overall winners in the competition were Hilton Riverside, first place; Astor Crown Plaza, second place; and St. James Hotel, third place.

The team from the J.W. Marriott hotel was named grand winner in the bed-making contest.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Olympic Lottery Launched

The first lottery game to raise funds for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics is to be unveiled.

The National Lottery has to raise £1.5BN for the Games.

To this end, a new scratch card game will be launched today.

Sebastian Coe, Chairman of London 2012, will be joined by Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell and other of gold medal winners to launch the game.

In addition to the scratch card, there will also be internet-based as well as themed around one-off events such as the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Olympic organisers are keen to screw as much money out of people as possible, whilst they are still enthusiastic for the idea of holding the Olympics in Britain.

Once the reality of the costs and disruption sets in, it will be far more difficult to raise money.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Munich Remembered

Steven Spielberg's next film has been given itss a title: Munich.

DreamWorks and Universal, which are co-financing the movie, announced the name Monday for thriller, which covers the aftermath of the killings of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.

Eric Bana (Troy) stars as a Mossad agent who leads a secret Israeli squad assigned to assassinate 11 Palestinians suspected of planning the killings. Munich co-stars Geoffrey Rush, Daniel Craig and Mathieu Kassovitz.

The film is due out Dec. 23.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Beijing On Target

There are still over 1000 days left until the start of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

However, China is well on target to be ready long before that. Eight of the 11 new venues planned for the Beijing Games are under construction, the rest will started before the end of this year.

Liu Qi, president of the 2008 Beijing Olympic organising committee, said:

"Preparations for the Beijing Olympics are going according to schedule and progressing relatively smoothly..All the venues will be finished in 2007, and surrounding roads and bridges will also be completed on time,".

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Drugs

It is amusing to see that that the leaders of the Turin Olympics are worried about the Italian tough anti drug laws.

It seems that doping offences, even in sport, would be treated as criminal.

Good!

It is high time the cheaters in the Olympics got a sharp shock.

Mario Pescante, the government supervisor for the Turin Olympics and an influential member of the IOC, is quoted as saying:

"I do not know what we are going to do about this, but I must find a solution,".

Pescante said that several options are being explored, including an exemption from Italian law for the period of the Olympics.

Nonsense!

Let the law do its job; stop bleating, and imprison the drugs cheats.

Pescante went on to say:

"The problem is not the police in the Olympics. The power of the judiciary, that is the problem. We can't control the judge, we can't control Torino,".

That is a disgraceful attitude, why should the Olympics be above the law?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Four Cities Added To 2008 Olympics

Beijing Olympic organisers have added an additional four cities as official co-hosts for the 2008 Summer Games.

The northern cities of Tianjin, Shenyang and Qinhuangdao and the eastern city of Shanghai will host soccer matches.

The four cities are hoping that their new status would bring urban renewal and renovation, as well as international sporting recognition.

A new 80,000-seat stadium will be built in Tianjin, the closest of the cities to Beijing, while the three other cities would refurbish existing arenas to Olympic standard.

Seven cities are now involved in the 2008 Olympics.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

China Launches Satellite

China will launch a micro-satellite next month, especially for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The satellite will monitor the surroundings of the venues in Beijing during the Olympics.

The 130-kilogram satellite will send pictures and messages to the control centre once a week.

Monday, July 18, 2005

London Bombings and The Olympics

A Populus poll carried out for The Times, following the London bombings, has confirmed that most British people continue to back the 2012 Olympics.

59% said that they thought hosting the games in London would increases the danger of a further terrorist attack on Britain.

68% said that the benefits of having the Olympics in Britain would be "well worth" the money the government will spend on the games.

Those living in London and the South East are least pessimistic about the chances of Britain becoming a target for terrorists as a result of hosting the games.

Public support for the Olympics is higher in London and the South East, where most of the sporting events will be held.

Of those questioned in the area, 72% said that they supported the games, compared to Scotland, where support is at its lowest, at 56%.

70% said that they thought the UK would face a "real struggle" to complete the large scale projects on time.

85% said that they thought the cost of staging the Olympics would exceed the current estimates of planners.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Italy To Fight Terrorism

In the wake of the recent London bombings, security looms high on the Olympic agenda.

To this end, Italy has promised that it will fight terrorism "with every tool that we have" to ensure the safety of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

Government officials and Turin organisers unveiled plans for a symbolic "Olympic Truce" for the games next February.

It seems that there have been threats on the internet mentioning Italy as a possible target for future attacks.

Mario Pescante, a government minister and supervisor of the Turin Games, said:

"We're doing everything in our power to ensure that the Turin Games represent a white flag...The other day I took part in a four-hour meeting on security. We will confront terrorism with every tool that we have."

Pescante refused to divulge details of the security plans for Turin.

Valentino Castellani, head of the Turin organising committee, said:

"The safest places in Italy in 2006 will be the Olympic sites...They will be protected and checked before by police, (access) will only be by accreditation, and X-ray security checks will be carried out."

Pescante, who is also an International Olympic Committee member and head of the European Olympic Committees, said that the truce appeal was not "explicitly related" to the London attacks.

Inspired by the cease-fire between warring city-states during the ancient games in Greece, the Olympic truce was reintroduced on a more symbolic level for the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

No French Bid For 2016 Olympics

Bertrand Delanoe, the mayor of Paris, is still upset about losing out to London in the race to host the 2012 Olympics.

He has decided not to bid for the 2016 Olympics, saying:

"Paris will not be a candidate . . . and if I can support a South American or an African bid, I will do it gladly,"

The Olympics have never been held in Africa or South America. With the 2012 Games in London, it's unlikely the 2016 Games will be held in Europe.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

French Still Fuming Over Olympics

In the true spirit of the entente cordiale, Betrand Delanoe the mayor of Paris is still crying fowl over the decision to award the 2012 Olympics to London.

Delanoe, president of the Paris bid, said that London had not respected the rule of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stating that meetings between bid officials and IOC members should be only informal.

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"The IOC knows that (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair had written to IOC members to offer to meet them,".

Delanoe said that Blair had then met IOC members in his hotel suite in Singapore, before Wednesday's vote.

Delanoe shrilly squawked:

"Everybody was aware of it and could see it..that's against the rules. I saw people coming out of Blair's suite."

My message to Delanoe is simple:

Shut up, you have lost, get on with your life!

Monday, July 11, 2005

No Wembley Fiasco

Lord Coe, leader of London's successful Olympics bid, promised that there was no danger of the 2012 Olympics in London being plagued by the same problems, which affected the new Wembley national stadium.

The Wembley project almost collapsed, after being besieged by political rows and financial problems in its early years.

Lord Coe said measures would be taken concerning the building of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, East London, and other Olympic sporting facilities to ensure that no similar problems occurred.

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"This is a wholly different project and structures will be in place to make sure that government, the British Olympic Association and all the other agents of delivery will work, and will work extremely well."

London mayor, Ken Livingstone, said that the appointment of key personnel to the London organising committee will keep the project on track.

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"The key thing now is we attract someone with a track record of delivering things to budget. I want to see someone who has done this sort of thing successfully somewhere else in the world...There's no need for someone to be learning it on the way up. We want to bring to London people who have built great stadia without last-minute hitches and cost over-runs..We want the best and brightest people who want to come to help us put these Games together."

Coe added:

"Anybody that is involved in organising and delivering a Games has to be of the highest quality and that was very clear in, for instance, Sydney. We had a number of the Sydney team on board during the bidding process so I know the calibre of the people we are looking for...You don't want to hurry those decisions because you want the right person but we don't sit around for the next year deciding how that is done. It doesn't necessarily have to be someone with Olympic experience, management is a skill that crosses all sorts of environments."

Whatever they promise, it is a sad reality that politicians and long term projects are a recipe for disaster.

Expect to see the costs of the Olympic project explode, and the deadlines fail.

Friday, July 8, 2005

Baseball and Softball Excluded

Baseball and softball have been voted off the 2012 London Olympics.

The two sports failed to win a majority of votes in a ballot of members, at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Singapore, and became the first sports to be axed from the Games since polo in 1936.

Their ejection allows two other sports eg golf, squash, karate, rugby sevens and roller sports to be added.

Softball federation chief Don Porter said:

"This is payback for Mexico City..They wanted us out in 2002. It has taken them three years but they have got us...We didn't expect this at all. The discussions we have had all week led us to believe we were safe to assume the program would remain unchanged for 2012...I don't want to say it's an anti-U.S. thing, but they are two native American sports."

Baseball federation president Aldo Notari said:

"The problem with baseball is that the best players are not going to the Olympics Games...But baseball is still in Beijing. It is still necessary to work for the future in 2016...Needless to say, these sports will be disappointed..But this does not disqualify them for ever...Olympic sports they are in Beijing, and Olympic sports they will remain. As such they will remain eligible for the Olympic program after 2012."

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Blair's Victory Dance

Tony Blair led the celebrations in Britain yesterday, after London beat Paris and three other cities to win the right to host the 2012 Olympics.

Over 10,000 Londoners partied, cheering and waving the Union Jack in Trafalgar Square.

As with all successful bids, the bid team promised that the Games would be the best ever; they promised that they would transform the rundown eastern part of London into a modern sporting ground.

Blair, who is in Gleneagles for the G8 summit, said:

"It's not often in this job that you punch the air and do a little jig and embrace the person next to you...It's a fantastic thing and I'm thrilled,".

When he arrived in Scotland for the G8 summit, French President Jacques Chirac said:

"Like all French people I am, of course, disappointed. Nevertheless, I wish to congratulate London and the London authorities with all my heart...And I'm going to have an opportunity shortly to pass on my warm and personal congratulations to Her Majesty the Queen and Prime Minister Tony Blair,".

He then went on to the banquet hosted by the Queen where he, following on from his rude comments about British trustworthiness and cuisine, dined on humble pie and sour grapes.

The celebration in Trafalgar Square was rather apt, given the fact that the centre piece is a statue of Admiral Lord Nelson who defeated the French at the Battle of Trafalgar 200 years ago.

Now that the party is over, it is up to the bid team and the politicians to make good their promises.

I shall be watching with interest.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

London Wins Vote

In a nail biting climax to the vote in Singapore, as to who would host the 2012 Olympic Games, London stormed in with 54 votes against runners up Paris.

One in the eye for a rather cocky Chirac, who had belittled English cuisine and London's chances earlier this week.

London, bidding for the first time to stage sport's biggest event, started as outsiders but they won through in the end.

London has staged the Games in 1908 and 1948. It becomes the first city to hold the Summer Olympics three times.

Lord Coe said:

"It's just the most fantastic opportunity to do everything we ever dreamed of in British sport. This was the most splendid team performance..We are taking home the biggest prize in sport."

People hugged each other in Trafalgar Square, as they watched the announcement in Singapore on a huge screen.

Champagne was sprayed around under Nelson's Column and at Waterloo station, and thousands danced in the streets after the announcement was made.

A great waste of money, in my view. However, there is something innately satisfying about beating Chirac.

Let us hope the East End of London really does benefit form these Games.

Voting Underway

Voting is currently underway in Singapore, as to which of the five hopeful cities will be awarded the dubious honour of hosting the 2102 Olympic Games.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

The Value of Cherie Blair

Precisley what value does the presence of Cherie Blair, in Singapore this week, add to the British bid to host the 2012 Olympics?

A cynic might argue that she is merely there on a "jolly".

Monday, July 4, 2005

France and Britain Go Head To Head

The run up to the 2012 Olympics vote this Wednesday has become more frenetic.

The French have been upset by criticisms of their Stade de France stadium, during a London press conference. However, they have decided not to make a formal complaint.

Tony Blair, who arrived at Singapore on Sunday, is expected to meet members of the International Olympic Committee to promote the UK bid.

England football captain David Beckham is also expected to lobby for London.

The IOC executive board will meet on Monday to discuss a number of Olympic issues, such as the contract for the Games.

Paris is still the favourite to win the bid. The recent spat between Chirac and Blair, over the EU, has added zest to the competition between the two countries.

Should France lose, it is widely expected to herald the death knell for Chirac as President of France; he has already been humiliated over the EU constitution debacle.

Friday, July 1, 2005

Rogge's Guts

IOC President Jacques Rogge has said that he has a "gut feeling" that the July 6 vote, for the 2012 Olympics, will come down to one or two votes.

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"This is a gut feeling because I cannot read the hearts and minds of my colleagues," said Rogge.

Rogge, as he is president, will not vote in the 2012 election.