The Olympics

The Olympics


News, information and stories about the Olympics.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Coe Laughs Off Depression

Lord Coe has laughed off reports that the London Olympic bid team are "in depression"; it is reported that they believe that Paris will win the right to host the Olympics in 2012.

It is reported that a London 2012 board member said:

"Paris is ahead. We expect them to win."

Lord Coe said, in response to this story:

"Paris is clearly a strong contender, but London's in a very strong position...We have six months to go and it's full steam ahead with a very motivated team. We're moving in the right direction."

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Story That Won't Go Away

In case anyone thought that they had been forgotten, despair not!

The dynamic duo of Greek sprinting, Costas Kenteris and Ekaterini Thanou, are scheduled to appear before Greek athletics officials today; they are facing charges of violating doping rules, which led to them being withdrawn from last year's Olympics.

The dynamic duo will be giving testimony before the five-member, Greek athletics federation (SEGAS) disciplinary commission accompanied by their lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos.

This procedure is expected to take around 80 days.

If found guilty by SEGAS, Kenteris and Thanou face a two-year ban.

They have also been charged by Greek police for faking a motorbike accident; which resulted in them spending four days in hospital, at a time when they were wanted for questioning by the IAAF.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Munich Bid Delayed

The German Olympic Committee has decided to wait before deciding whether to nominate Munich as a candidate for the 2014 Winter Olympics, or possibly the 2016 Summer Games.

This comes as a surprise, as earlier this week Manfred von Richthofen, the head of Germany's umbrella sports organisation DSB, said that Munich would get the "nod".

Von Richthofen said that he believed in a "majority in favour of a Winter Games bid" when the German Olympic Committee were due to decide the issue, at a board meeting yesterday in Frankfurt.

Von Richthofen, who is a member of the Olympic Committee board, said that Germany had a better chance to win the Winter Olympics than the Summer Games.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Auditor Slams Britain's Performance in 2004 Olympics

The National Audit Office (NAO) has issued a report, that states that Britain failed to get full "value for money" from the £83M spent on training athletes for the Athens Olympics.

The report says that UK Sport needs to do more in the run up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it notes that Britain underperformed when compared to targets set by UK Sport.

Specifically, UK Sport expected Britain to finish between 8th and 10th in the medal table; Britain finished 10th. It predicted 39 medals; Britain won 28.

Six targeted sports; gymnastics, judo, triathlon, shooting, taekwondo and weightlifting failed to win any medals at all.

The solution, according to the auditors, is for the funding on underachievers to be cut.

It is expected that the task of raising money for the 2008 Olympics will be more challenging, than for the 2004 Olympics; people don't back losers!

UK Sport CEO, Liz Nicholl, said:

"Athens represented the end of the first full Olympic cycle in which we have benefited from lottery funding and as such there was always going to be a lot to learn - both from what we did well and things we could have done better."

Monday, January 24, 2005

Train Supports the Olympics

Thameslink, a British train company, is showing its support for London's bid to hold the Olympics in 2012.

Lord Coe, heading the London bid team, will today unveil a 4 carriage Thameslink train at St Pancras Station London; the carriages are covered in the bid's livery.

Lord Coe will be joined by Keith Ludeman, chairman of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC).

Saturday, January 22, 2005

BBC Banned

Relations between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the BBC have hit an all time low.

The IOC have banned the BBC from televising a debate, between candidate cities for the 2012 games. BBC World was to have held a 45 minute broadcast, featuring representatives from; Paris, London, New York, Madrid and Moscow.

However, the dear old IOC decided that this would breach the rules (whatever they are); and banned it.

It is widely assumed that the IOC are still "pissed off" at the BBC for their programme showing that the IOC is corrupt; specifically that IOC votes can be bought by potential host cities.

Whoever said that the Olympics was not about politics and money?

Friday, January 21, 2005

High Tech Torch

A high tech torch, for the Turin Winter Olympics in 2006, has been delivered by the famous Italian designer Pininfarina.

The firm, which has styled many Ferrari cars, is one of Turin's most famous and is an official partner of the 2006 Games.

Pininfarina will produce 12,000 of the torches for the torch relay, which starts in December 2005.

Chairman Andrea Pininfarina, TOROC president Valentino Castellani and other dignitaries were on hand for the unveiling at a ceremony in Milan.

The torch is designed to resist wind up to 120 kilometers per hour, and work at sea level or at the top of the Alps.

It weighs 2kg, and is 75cm high.

Pininfarina says it is based on the idea that the flame should appear to wrap the body of the torch, rather than burn from a hole at the top.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Beijing Hosts International Exhibition

An international sports and venue facilities exhibition and trade show will be held in July in Beijing, which will be playing host to the 2008 Olympics.

This show will come at a critical time for the construction of the 2008 Olympic infrastructure.

Beijing will build over 30 sports venues for the Olympics competition, many of these projects will start this year.

The International Sports & Venue Facilities Beijing 2005 Exhibition & Trade Show is to be held from July 15 to 17, at the China International Exhibition Center in the Chinese capital.

Around 1,000 companies are expected to attend the exhibition.

Beijing Olympic venue owners, executives from China's provincial and municipal sports venues and sports industry specialists will be invited to attend the forums.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Turin Test Run Success

The first test event in the city of Turin, for the 2006 Winter Olympics, was a success.

The organising committee of the Turin Games, reported near-capacity crowds for the three days of the European Short Track Speed Skating Championship.

Apparently, over 13,000 tickets were sold.

The championships were held in the Palavela stadium rebuilt, at a cost of over 50 million euros, after 44 years of lying derelict.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Tyranny of The Minority

A few complaints, by a handful of prudish US viewers, that the Athens Olympics opening ceremony featured lewd nudity has caused a minor eruption in Athens.

Gianna Angelopoulos, the Olympic Games chief, has warned American regulators (the FCC) to keep their noses out of others' affairs.

The complaints centre on the opening ceremony parade of actors, portraying naked statues. These included Satyr and the nude Kouros male statues, both symbols of ancient Greece.

The problem is that NBC broadcast these; and a minority of people who cover chair legs, lest they arouse unclean thoughts, have complained.

Around 3.5BN people watched the opening ceremony, it would be an absurdity for the FCC to impose the views of a cultural minority.

As Angelopoulos said:

"As Americans surely are aware, there is great hostility in the world today to cultural domination in which a single value system created elsewhere diminishes and degrades local cultures....In this context, it is astonishingly unwise for an agency of the U.S. government to engage in an investigation that could label a presentation of the Greek origins of civilization as unfit for television viewing."

Monday, January 17, 2005

Scots Don't Want the Olympics

A row has broken out between the British government and the Scottish Nationalists, in relation to the bid to host the 2012 Olympics in London.

The Scottish Nationalist Party's Alex Neil, convener of Holyrood's enterprise committee, said:

"We've already had the Dome. Scotland's share of that was £100m and this is Dome Mark Two....It is us subsidising London, which has got three times the population of Scotland and is far, far wealthier than Scotland. Why should we subsidise London?".

Nationalist Alex Neil dubbed the games Dome Mark Two:

"The danger for Scotland is we could be robbed of something like £70m worth of Lottery and other funding....The fact of life is we're going to get nowhere near £70m, but we are going to see our local sports clubs and other good causes going down the tube because there's not going to be the Lottery money there to sustain them."

Independent MSP Margo MacDonald added:

"My concern is that in getting the games so much money will have to be spent that the money that should be going into development of sport in Scotland will have to be cut by £10m..".

However, Sports Minister Patricia Ferguson is claiming that the games would earn millions of pounds for Scotland from tourism.

I find that hard to believe, given the fact that London is 400 miles away from Scotland.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Blair Fights for Olympics

British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has come out in support of London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics.

He said that hosting the Olympic Games in 2012 could bring the UK "unparalleled" social and economic benefits.

In a letter of support for London's 2012 bid, Mr Blair stressed that the event was a "prize worth fighting for".


"I am determined to do all I can to bring those games to the United Kingdom."

He went on to say:

"The economic benefits are clear. An Olympic Games hosted in London would create significant opportunities for companies up and down the UK in sectors as diverse as construction, tourism, merchandise, catering, design and IT."

He concluded:

"Having carefully examined the hosting experience of other countries, this Government believes a London Olympics is a prize worth fighting for."

Friday, January 14, 2005


In what is probably one of the most absurd decisions of all, it seems that dancing is to be classified as an Olympic sport.

It will enter the schedule of the Olympics games list in 2006-2007.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Munich Bid

Munich is bidding to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

A feasibility study will be placed in front of Germany's National Olympic Committee, at the end of January.

Munich hopes that the fact that it still has the infrastructure from the 1972 Olympic Games, will sway the judging.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Rats Leaving the Sinking Ship

The chances of London succeeding in its bid to host the 2012 Olympics is being severely hampered, by the departure of a number of sports governing bodies from Britain.

The departures include:

  • The International Cricket Council, moving to Dubai

  • The International Badminton Federation, moving to Kuala Lumpur

  • The International Sailing Federation, moving to Monaco
The reason for the departures is simple, money; grants, tax concessions and other inducements are being offered by other countries.

The impression that these departures gives is that the British government does not "give a stuff", or care, about sports; which to some extent is true.

Sunday, January 9, 2005

Rosemary Kennedy Dies

Rosemary Kennedy, the oldest sister of President John F. Kennedy, the inspiration for the Special Olympics died this Friday at the age of 86.

She was the third child of Rose and Joseph Kennedy, was born mentally retarded; and underwent a lobotomy, a common practice in those days, when she was 23.

She lived most of her life in a Jefferson, Wis., institution, the St. Coletta School for Exceptional Children.

She died at Fort Atkinson Memorial Health Hospital in Wisconsin with her brother, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and her sisters by her side.

Saturday, January 8, 2005

Turin Finished

For the first time ever, in the history of the Olympics, the main venues have been completed a whole year ahead of the event.

Agenzia Torino 2006, the agency in charge of construction for the 2006 Turin Olympics, has reported that it had completed each of the venues to be used for official test events this winter.

The bobsled track in Cesana, which will also be used for skeleton and luge, is in the process of receiving its first layer of ice.

The ski jumping facility, in Pragelato, is also complete; and will host a World Cup event February 11-12.

All of the venues for Alpine and Nordic skiing are also ready.

The building agency said "final touches" were being made to the Palavela arena in Turin that will host a short track skating event January 14-16 and the European figure skating championships January 24-30.

The Turin Olympics will be held February 10-26, 2006.

Friday, January 7, 2005

Muju Protest

Pyeongchang County Korea has been chosen as the candidate for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

On December 23, the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) held a standing committee; and chose Pyoengchang County, in a choice between Pyeongchang and Muju, by a unanimous vote.

The KOC will present Pyeongchang County as the single candidate to the general committee on December 29.

Muju is objecting to the decision quote:

"We can’t obey KOC’s decision"

150 officials of Muju, who had cancelled the standing committee of KOC on December 21 by occupying the meeting room, held a protest demonstration on December 23 again.

Thursday, January 6, 2005

Boycott Of 2008 Olympics

A South Korean human rights group, in Washington, started a campaign to collect 1 million signatures on Wednesday to oppose Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Olympics.

The Asia Pacific Human Rights Association started the campaign, aiming to stop China from repatriating North Korean defectors hiding in its territory.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Adidas Goes For Gold

The chairman of sportswear manufacturer Adidas-Salomon has said that he is expecting massive growth in the brand's sales in China, as the 2008 Beijing Olympics draws near.

Herbert Hainer, chairman, said:

"You can already feel the anticipation ahead of the 2008 Olympics...In Asia, in four years' time, we will have turnover of two billion euros..."

Adidas is the world's number two sportswear brand, and China and Japan are their second most important markets after the USA.

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Money Talks

It is reported that Athina Roussel, the granddaughter of late shipping billionaire Aristotle Onassis, is going to bid to ride for the Greek equestrian team for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

She has recently joined the Avlona Equestrian club, near Athens, and is considered to be one of the richest women in the world (she was left $2.7BN by Onassis).

The club said that Roussel would train for the Greek national equestrian team, and the 2008 Olympics.

George Dendrinos, a member of the board of directors of the Greek Equestrian Federation and the Avlona Equestrian Club, is quoted as saying:

"Her presence here will bring another dimension to Greek equestrianism..Athina Onassis is a major boost not only for the Greek equestrian community, but for Greek sports in general. She will soon visit us to see the facilities and to discuss administrative matters...".

Doubtless her money will also bring an "extra dimension" as well!