The Olympics

The Olympics


News, information and stories about the Olympics.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Pac Man Logo Upsets Inuits

The new logo for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics has caused quite a stir amongst the Inuit population of Canada.

The freehand interpretation of an Inuit stone figure, known as "inukshuk", is called "Ilanaaq" the Inuit word for "friend."

However, Edward John, the grand chief of Canada's First Nations Summit has condemned it.

He said that the logo does not reflect the indigenous people of Canada's western coast.


"We're very surprised at the choice..If the Games were in the North or in the Arctic, and we had a totem pole or a west coast design, I'm not sure (the Inuit would) be happy either,".

Chief Stewart Philip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs added:

"I can't help but notice the remarkable resemblance it has to Pac-Man,".

John said that he would be sending a letter to International Olympic Committee President, Jacques Rogge, about the matter.

They may have a job convincing Rogge, he is quoted as saying:

"I loved it immediately..I smiled when I saw it. It reminds me of a hockey goalie."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Office Olympics

In order to mark Administration Professionals Day, Pascagoula Parks and Recreation Department are hosting the annual Office Olympics today.

This was formerly known as Secretaries Olympics.

Secretaries, administrative assistants and office workers can competee between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Recreation Department on Pascagoula Street in the old high school gym.

Free lunch will be provided.

Sponsor Office Depot will award one $100 shopping spree, two $50 shopping sprees and many other prizes to this year's winners.

In the Chair Challenge, participants will race backwards through an obstacle course on a wheeled desk chair. Contestants will see how fast they can type using an old-fashioned typewriter in Type Mania.

Other games include File Crazy, Trash It and Toss Your Boss.

Erm, are they sure about the last one?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

London Olympic Bid In Trouble Again

A coalition of more than 300 businesses in London, have written to the IOC accusing the bid and the London Development Agency (LDA) of acting in bad faith.

It seems that if London were to win the 2012 Olympics, these businesses would have to relocate.

They claim that three reports examining land issues contain conclusions that are "neither impartial nor true".

The businesses, located in Marshgate Lane, are concerned that the LDA has failed to provide adequate alternative land to relocate to. They also note that the valuation of land prices is 25% below market value.

They also claim that there is a £2BN shortfall in the LDA's budget for relocation or acquiring alternative sites.

Monday, April 25, 2005

London Caves In

The London bid team for the 2012 Olympics has caved into pressure from the IOC, and withdrawn the offer of inducements for national sporting bodies.

The IOC Ethics Commission had been asked to examine the financial incentives offered by London and New York.

The London bid team issued this statement:

"In light of President Rogge's remarks and the importance of London 2012's commitment to working in close co-operation with the IOC, we feel it is in the best interests of the Olympic movement to withdraw the charters at this stage..The IOC President has made clear that all candidate cities need to avoid a bidding war in the race to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012."

London had promised to give a $50K credit to each National Olympic Committee towards the cost of using British training camps, as well as air fares for team members and discount cards for restaurants, shops and theatres.

It had also offered free accommodation and living expenses for technical delegates from international sporting federations, to stay in London for up to a year to oversee preparations.

Meanwhile, in a twist of fate, New York's bid team was cleared of any wrongdoing by the IOC over their offer of inducements.

The IOC Ethics Commission ruled that the creation of an Olympic Sports Marketing Council was an integral part of New York's bid, and that there was no case to answer.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Shot Across The Bows

Olympic President, Jacques Rogge, has fired a warning shot across the bows of the five cities bidding for the 2012 Olympic Games.

He issued a statement at the Berlin Intercontinental Hotel, where the final presentations for the 2012 Games are being made, saying:

"We do not want a kind of bidding war in the final few days. This would not be good for the Olympic movement,".


"But remember where we (IOC) come from and where we never want to go back. I want a fair system for candidate cities and I want a fair system for the IOC".

Thursday, April 21, 2005

USA Win Gold

The Team USA have won a gold medal in the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, the international artisan bread and pastry competition known as the olympics of baking.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Question Of Ethics

As ever with the Olympics, ethical questions are never far beneath the surface; sport, and "gentlemanly" behaviour, long ago capitulated to the dominant force of money.

It is reported that the IOC ethics commission has summoned leaders of the five cities, bidding for the 2012 Olympics, to see if any of them broke bidding rules by offering incentives.

It seems that both New York and London promised subsidies, free marketing and other benefits to international sports federations and national Olympic committees.

The IOC are trying to determine if these proposals go beyond what the cities listed in their official bid documents in November. Needles to say, both New York and London bid officials claim that their proposals were included.

The rules have been tightened since the Salt Lake City bid scandal, which led to the removal of 10 IOC members for accepting bribes.

London is offering a package of more than $20M in assistance to athletes and Olympic committees, including $50K "credits" to each national Olympic body toward the cost of using pre-games training facilities in Britain.

London is also budgeting an extra $10M to cover flexible, round-trip economy air fares for all the athletes and their team officials.

New York promises to market each of the 28 Olympic sports for free in the period leading up to the games. Federations would get free office space, with computers, phones and staff.

As said, it's all about money; sport no longer enters into the equation.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Sports Won't Be Dropped

The International Olympic Committee President, Jacques Rogge, said on Monday that it is unlikely that any sports will be dropped from the Summer Olympics.

This means that new sports will not be admitted to the Olympics programme.

Rogge, in referring to review of the 2012 Games programme, said:

"There should be no anxiety...The process will be a totally fair process. Reading the report, I have only one conclusion. We have very strong federations, and strong federations should have nothing to fear."

Rogge also ruled out raising the number of Olympic sports above the limit of 28. He said the cap was approved by the IOC in 2002, and is enshrined in the Olympic charter and host city contracts.

As he said:

"We do not want the Games to become too big...If you go above the number of 28, you increase the demands on the organising committee and cause saturation among the public. The rules are set. There is no way we can change that."

To my view the Games are too big, too difficult to organise and too costly; the best idea would be to cut them back significantly.

Monday, April 18, 2005

London's Passion

Lord Coe, Chairman of London's Olympic bid committee, has told the Olympic sports federations in Berlin that London's passion and enthusiasm to host the 2012 Olympics is matched only by its commitment.


"We have made great progress with our plans. We have listened and we have learned. We believe we have chosen the best venues. Each one will present every sport at its best. We want to help you grow...We want to bring a new generation of participants and spectators to the Games and to all its sports".

He said that the London organisers had reached an agreement with the BBC to broadcast an extra 1,000 hours of sport, if London wins the Games.

He said:

"This will bring all sports to the widest possible audience...It will take your sport and the Olympic experience to a new generation of young people...I well remember returning from the 1984 Olympics and witnessing the unique enthusiasm that the Games can foster".

Lord Coe confirmed that funding had been agreed for a hockey stadium, the third new facility in London.


"Work will start, regardless of whether our bid is successful..What this means is simple there would only be two permanent venues left to build for London to host the Games (after the hockey stadium)".

The vote for the host nation will take place on 6 July, in Singapore.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

One In, One Out

IOC officials have reviewed the 28 sports in the Summer Olympic Games, and the 5 new sports hoping to get into the Olympics.

However, any changes in the program are still far off.

The 5 new sports are; golf, rugby, squash, karate and roller sports.

A panel will submit its report next week to the IOC executive board, which is holding a three day meeting in Berlin.

The report has not been made public, and commission members are under orders to keep it secret. However, it is not expected that any sports will be dropped or added.

No sport can be added, unless one is dropped.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Scotland's Entry For The Winter Olympics

Brother and sister, John and Sinead Kerr from Scotland have been confirmed as competitors for Britain in next year's Winter Olympics being held in Turin.

They have performed well over the past 18 months, and were told that they will be the only British skaters at next year's games.

John is reported to have said:

"We are obviously delighted, because we have been fighting for this for the last three or four years, and it will be terrific to be performing at the Olympics...We know this is going to be a long struggle and it might be that we have to work hard for 2006, while concentrating on 2010, but we have always regarded this as a project in progress. We just have to keep going, working hard, and hopefully it will all come together."

They finished 12th at the world championships in Moscow last month.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Olympics Fails Athens

As already noted in previous articlesabout the enormous budget deficit left with the Greeks after hosting the Olympics, it seems that the Greeks have not benefited at all from hosting the 2004 Games.

It is reported that the Games in Athens failed to increase visitors at Greece's antiquity sites and museums.

The Acropolis in Athens was, once again, Greece's most visited archaeological site or museum.

Figures show that museum attendance rose by 42%. However, it was only because several top Greek collections had been closed for renovation the year before.

Compared to 2002, when all the museums were still open, attendance in 2004 actually fell by 7%.

As noted, the money spent on the 2004 was not well spent at all.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Pig Olympics

It is reported that thousands of Shanghai residents have turned up to a city park this week, to watch a herd of pigs compete in the "Pig Olympics".

The pigs compete in a number of competitions including; running over hurdles, jumping through hoops, diving and swimming.

The pigs are a midget species from Thailand, and begin training soon after birth. They can begin performing professionally from about one year of age.

One citizen of Shanghai is quoted as saying:

"It's incredible..I never thought that a pig could be so clever, dexterous and versatile."

They sound infinitely preferable to some of the human athletes, who compete in the Olympics.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Salzburg Rejects Winter Olympics

Voters in the city of Salzburg have resoundingly rejected a plebiscite on whether to hold the 2014 Winter Games.

The no vote followed a region-wide plebiscite on April 2, that was in favour of hosting the Olympics. Both votes were non-binding.

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Suspect Pleads Guilty To Atlanta Bombing

It is reported that Eric Rudolph is to plead guilty to the 1996 bombing of the Atlanta Olympics.

By "copping a plea" he will save his miserable neck from the death penalty.

Rudolph who, by perverse chance, is an anti-abortion crusader was charged with carrying out a series of blasts in Georgia and Alabama in the late 1990s. A tad hypocritical of him to claim to be "pro life", yet still be so happy to kill and injure people.

The Olympic bombing killed one woman, and injured approximately 100 others. He then, allegedly, went on to set off bombs at a lesbian nightclub in Atlanta and at two abortion clinics in Alabama and Atlanta. The Alabama abortion clinic blast killed an off-duty police officer, and critically injured a nurse.

He managed to evade capture for five years, until he was seen foraging for food near a grocery store trash bin in Murphy, N.C.

The deal will mean that he will receive four life sentences.

Thursday, April 7, 2005

Nelson Mandela Backs London Bid

Nelson Mandela has come out in favour of London hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.

Mandela praised London's ethnic diversity yesterday, and said it would be unrivalled in its suitability to stage the Games.


"There is no city like London. It is a wonderfully diverse and open city providing a home to hundreds of different nationalities...I can't think of a better place to hold an event that unites the world."

This support is a considerable boost for the London campaign, which is still behind Paris the favourites.

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Beijing Upgrade

It is reported that Beijing is planning to upgrade its emergency medical services, in time for the 2008 Olympics.

Seemingly the upgrade will cost approximately $400M. Emergency service outlets will be arranged in 132 communities in Beijing.

Beijing Emergency Medical Center will serve as the HQ of the first-aid provision and command system. It will add 400 new ambulances to its first-aid vehicle fleet, and begin to provide helicopter-based emergency medical services.

Additionally sporting venues, major media centres and the 2008 Olympic Village will be equipped with medical equipment.

These facilities will be able to be used twenty four hours a day, in the event of an emergency.

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

New York Plays For The Sympathy Vote

The organisers of the New York bid to host the 2012 Olympics, have stated that they don't want sympathy over the September 11 attacks to play a part in the voting process.

This statement of course now reminds everyone of that tragedy and ensures, albeit unintentionally, that New York will get a sympathy vote.

New York deputy-mayor Dan Doctoroff said on Saturday:

"I certainly don't want people to vote for us out of sympathy..And New Yorkers certainly don't want people to vote for us out of sympathy."

He then went on to say that the attacks could still have a positive bearing on voting, because of the way it had changed people's views of New York.

"I think there is a somewhat more subtle point that could potentially play a role and that is the perception of New York and New Yorkers in the wake of 9/11..People saw out of New York and out of New Yorkers the very values that I think lie at the foundation of the Olympic movement: resiliency, the ability to get up after a defeat and move forward, determined to be more creative than ever before".

Good campaign tactics in my view.

Monday, April 4, 2005

Erroneous Decision

The dynamic duo of Greek sprinting, Kostas Kenteris and Ekaterian Thanou, were cleared by the Greek athletics federation of missing drugs tests in March.

This perverse decision does not exactly cover the Olympics with glory does it?

It would seem that IAAF are also concerned about this decision, and have announced it will appeal against it.

The IAAF stated that the Greek decision was "erroneous", and said it would be referring the case to CAS - the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The dynamic duo were found innocent of any wrongdoing by their national federation last month, despite being kicked out of the 2004 Games.

Kenteris, the 200m Olympic gold medalist at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, and Thanou, silver medalist in the 100m, had been accused by the IAAF of breaking doping rules by missing that test and others in Tel Aviv on July 27-28, and Chicago on August 10-11 last year.

They also allegedly faked a motorcycle crash, and used it as their excuse for not attending one of the tests.

However, the Greek authorities decided to dismiss the charges against the duo instead they banned their coach for 4 years.

A tad perverse I would say.

The IAAF website says of the matter:

"The IAAFs Doping Review Board has reviewed the decision received from the Greek National Federation to clear the Greek athletes, Konstantinos Kenteris and Ekatherina Thanou, of anti-doping rule violations under IAAF Rules.."

"The Doping Review Board has concluded that the decision is erroneous and the IAAF will now refer both athletes cases to arbitration before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on a timely basis under IAAF Rules...The CAS decision in both cases will be final and binding

Both athletes are suspended, pending the outcome of the CAS decision.