The Olympics

The Olympics


News, information and stories about the Olympics.

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


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

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


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


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.


"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


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.


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.