The Olympics

The Olympics

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

Thursday, August 30, 2007

On The Buses

Good news for those of you planning to use the bus in Beijing next year at the 2008 Olympics.

Bus drivers have been banned from drinking alcohol within eight hours of starting work, and banned from "excessive" drinking at any time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fire Threatens Birthplace of Olympics

The fires that are raging in Greece, and which have killed approximately 60 people, are threatening the birthplace of the Olympics.

Olympia, the site holding the ruins of the stadium and pagan temples that hosted the Olympics for centuries from 776BC and the site of the Olympic flame ceremony every two years, was licked by flames.

The fire destroyed trees and shrubs, and scorched the new archaeological museum. Firemen struggled to bring the fire under control as a national priority.

Monday, August 27, 2007

New Doping Rules

Jacques Rogge, International Olympic Committee president, has announced new rules on doping. Any athlete banned for a doping offence, which carries a suspension of six months or more, will have to wait eight years for another chance to enter the Games.

This means that athletes found guilty of doping offences in the Beijing Games in 2008, will not be able to compete in the London Games in 2012.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Milking It

The London Olympics organisers (LOCOG), faced with an ever expanding budget (£12BN at the last estimate) for the 2012 games, are looking for ways of milking the event for every penny.

They have come up with a way of expanding the sponsorship list by adding another category, clothing and homeware.

A clothing and homeware manufacturer will be part of the "top-tier" sponsor group.

LOCOG chief executive Paul Deighton said:

"The addition of a new category demonstrates that there is a huge appetite from commercial companies to be part of 2012."

The other categories are banking and insurance, telecoms, automotive, airline, sportswear and oil and gas.

LOCOG's commercial director, Chris Townsend, said:

"It has become apparent over the last year or so that there was a great deal of interest from clothing and homeware companies so we decided to create this new category to harness that interest."

It's the money, not the sport that drives the Olympics.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Beijing Air Improves

A four day test carried out in Beijing, has concluded that the overall air quality has improved.

The test resulted in the removal of five million cars from roads in downtown Beijing, and the air quality was classified as "fairly good" for the duration of the four days.

However, a haze still hung over the city over the weekend.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Coe Goes For Gold

Sebastian Coe, head of the London 2012 Olympics, will hear next weekend if he has been elected vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, the world governing body.

If successful, he will be one step closer to becoming president of the IOC.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Legacy

Something of a storm is brewing between British athletes and the organisers of the London Olympics 2012, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), over the legacy of the games.

The legacy in many athletes eyes, and indeed as was promised to the IOC, was that the main Olympic stadium would become an international flagship venue for track and field events after 2012.

However, it seems that the legacy is changing as the organisers belatedly realise/admit that the legacy has to be commercially viable.

As I keep repeating, the Games are not about sport they are about money.

The final designs and legacy plans for the £500M stadium are not due to be signed off until the autumn. However, a new report by management consultants PMP proposes a multi-use facility which would only be available for athletics for a third of the year.

There are also no plans to re-house the warm-up track to be built alongside the Olympic Stadium after the Games, this makes it impossible for London to bid for the World Athletics Championships.

A spokeswoman for UK Athletics is quoted in The Telegraph as saying:

"An athletics legacy was part of the promise made by the London 2012 bid team in Singapore and UK Athletics fully expect that legacy to be delivered post 2012.

If athletics is to optimise its use of the Olympic Stadium facility and develop high quality athletics events for all age groups then there must be a warm-up track as part of that legacy.

UK Athletics would have grave concerns over revised proposals that would not enable the sport to enjoy the fruits of the promised legacy
."

Good old fashioned fudge will be the "dish" of the day, once the plans are finalised.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Small Query

The organisers of the London Olympics 2012 have, not surprisingly, received thousands of comments from residents and public bodies in relation to the Games.

However, one comment is particularly noteworthy.

It comes from Civil Aviation Authority's directorate of airspace policy.

Quote:

"Unable to view the details on the website, but have particular interest in the heights of proposed buildings."

Quite!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Chef!

It seems that the London Olympics 2012 is being used as an excuse by lobbyists to press the government to speed up the immigration processes for foreign chefs.

Sector skills council People 1st and the trade body the British Hospitality Association (BHA) have sent a joint letter to the prime minister urging him to act immediately on the issue.

Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st, said:

"The Government has known for some time that employers here are struggling to find highly skilled chefs.

There is a certain irony in the fact that a sushi chef with 12 years' training – who we really need in this country – gets denied entry, yet footballers from the same part of the world with less years' training behind them take priority
."

BHA chief executive Bob Cotton said:

"With our food tastes evolving, there is an urgent need for great chefs, and this will become even more of an issue with the influx of millions of tourists heading to London in advance of the Olympic Games."

Nice try!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's The Money Stupid

Those of you who think that the Olympics is about sport should think again, read this sorry greedy little tale of how the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) tried to bully a website owner into giving up his site, simply because he had the temerity to have the number "2012" in the URL.

Matthew Parker runs a site that offers to help people find houses to rent during the 2012 Olympics in London. Unfortunately he fell fowl of LOCOG, because his URL was www.london2012rentmyhouse.com.

LOCOG claimed that because they had a trademark on "2012" Matthew should not be allowed to use it in his URL or indeed run a website that, in their view, cashed in on their revenue stream

Funny how the concept of sport has been ignored by LOCOG, isn't it?

I also wonder quite how they intend to enforce their trademark on "2012", does that mean that every time a newspaper, blog site or other media organisation uses the number "2012" they have to pay a fee?

The dispute with Matthew has lasted for five months. Matthew and LOCOG have now reached an agreement allowing the old address to be redirected to the new one.

The old web address is www.london2012rentmyhouse.com. The new one is www.londonrentmyhouse.com.

It's the money, certainly not the sport, that drives the Olympics.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Olympics Pushes Up Costs

The 2012 London Olympics will increase construction costs by nearly £4BN.

That is the view of the Taxpayers' Alliance (TPA), who claim that construction inflation is one of the major "hidden costs" of the London Games.

The TPA expect that the Games will increase the cost of new public buildings such as city academies and GP surgeries and new private housing, making affordability even worse for first time buyers.

It seems that the Olympic legacy will be the fattening of construction companies bank balances.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Designers Sought

The organisers of the London 2012 Olympics are looking to improve their design capabilities, and are seeking a panel of design and creative services consultancies.

The Olympic Delivery Authority and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games have jointly asked for tenders to form a panel of suppliers specialising in a range of marketing, design and communications services.

Pity they didn't do this when they selected the firm that gave us the "Lisa Simpson Gives Head" logo.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Olympic Legacy

One of the curious side effects, or to use the fashionable term beloved by the IOC and other Olympic organs - "legacy", of the London Olympics 2012 is that of preserving Camelot's monopoly stranglehold over the UK lottery industry.

Camelot is expected to hold on to the National Lottery today, it has run the National Lottery since 1994. However, it is facing a rival bid from Sugal & Damani, an Indian based rival.

Despite the fact that Camelot is in a monopoly position, and as such it could be argued that it would be beneficial to open the market up to competition, it is unlikely to lose its stranglehold.

The simple reason being that it has been asked to guarantee £2.2BN for the Olympics 2012, the budget for which is spinning hopelessly out of control.

Sugal & Damani would have problems in guaranteeing that sum.

So those who look for an Olympic legacy need look no further than the lottery monopoly, something to be proud of!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Wasting Taxpayers' Money

Waste
As if enough of taxpayers' money was not already being wasted on the London 2012 Olympics, eg on absurd logos, it seems that the organisers have come up with another means to throw money away.

The Olympic Delivery Authority has announced that it is looking for six people to work on staff diversity.

Each post will attract a salary of around £100K pa. Needless to say, hiring six people on that level of salary is merely the thin end of the wedge; large salaries need to be justified, therefore the six people will of course be hiring their own retinues etc to justify their jobs and salary levels.

The jobs currently being advertised include; head of equalities and inclusion at the Olympic Delivery Authority, equalities and inclusion manager, and head of diversity and inclusion at the London 2012 Organising Committee.

Here they are:

-Locog

-ODA

Sounds like the same job to me, why do they need so many people doing the same thing?

What a spectacular self serving waste of money!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Gagging

Human Rights Watch have accused the Chinese government of "gagging" dissidents, and clamping down on domestic journalists to stave off potential political instability.

Brad Adams, Asia director of New York-based Human Rights Watch, said:

"The government seems afraid that its own citizens will embarrass it by speaking out about political and social problems, but China's leaders apparently don't realise authoritarian crackdowns are even more embarrassing".