The Olympics

The Olympics


News, information and stories about the Olympics.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Blair Erection

Tony Blair has reiterated his support yesterday, for the London bid to host the 2012 Olympics.

He has stated that London's bid stands apart, from its four rivals, because of the long-term benefits the games would offer Britain and the capital city.


"We're bidding not just for the 17 days or three weeks that the games are on - we're bidding for the time before and after...If there is a unique selling point for London it is the legacy."

The bid will allegedly regenerate a run-down area of east London, where a 500-acre plot of land would be developed into a main Olympic precinct and one of the largest urban parks in Europe.

Blair went on to say:

"Legacy for the Olympic movement is the biggest thing we can offer..We will have new stadiums, we will be regenerating an entire area of London, and we're building an entire strategy for sport around our Olympic bid."

Blair will travel to Singapore to lobby for London, before next Wednesday's vote by the International Olympic Committee.

As with all politicians nearing their end of office, he is keen to have a monument to him erected.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sports To Be Eliminated

Taekwondo, baseball, softball and modern pentathlon are facing elimination from the Olympics in 2012; when the International Olympic Committee has a meeting in July in Singapore.

The IOC will hold a ballot to determine which among its 28 sports it may eliminate; to cut down on the size of the Summer Olympics, while increasing global interest for the games.

Any sport with less than 50% support.

In the event that a sport is dropped, there are others waiting to be admitted; golf, karate, roller sports, seven-a-side rugby and squash.

Doesn't that rather defeat the idea of cutting the Olympics down to size?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Sven Backs British Bid

Sven-Goran Eriksson has flown to Singapore to show his support for Britain's bid to host the 2012 Olympics.

Sven will not be the only big British name at the gathering, others include; David Beckham and Tony Blair.

The London 2012 chairman Lord Coe is still optimistic.


"It will be tough but we can win it..The prize is massive and this is a fantastic opportunity for us."

Monday, June 27, 2005

One World, One Dream

The slogan for the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be "One World, One Dream."

Liu Qi, president of Beijing's Olympic organising committee, said that the slogan:

"embodies the common aspiration of the 1.3 billion Chinese people in establishing a world of peace and better future,".

The slogan was picked out of 210,000 proposals in Chinese, French, Spanish, Portuguese and other languages.

The slogan was announced on Sunday, at a gala in the city's Workers Stadium featuring; breakdancers, basketball players performing with a military band, and television celebrities.

The ceremony was televised live.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Unions Back Paris Olympics

Five French trade unions, including the CGT and CFDT, have delivered a declaration to the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, supporting Paris's bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The Paris 2012 bid leader, Philippe Baudillon, is quoted as saying:

"A candidature can only work if everyone is informed and up to date ... whether it is the ecologists or the unions..It is an open discussion and never closed."

This sudden burst of enthusiasm is in marked contrast to the strikes and street protests against government policies that crippled public transport, during March, when the IOC delegation visited Paris.

Doubtless money, and the fact that French political pride has been wounded by the death of the EU Constitution, has more than a little to do with this volte face.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

China Pushes Ahead

The Chinese are proving to be no laggards, when it comes to organising the 2008 Olympics.

Putting many previous host countries to shame, the Chinese will being formulating their plans for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics this year.

The tickets for the 2008 Olympic Games will be going on sale in 2006.

A production team for the ceremonies will be selected in September. The Chinese are working on a spectacular opening ceremony, which is hoped will outdo all previous ceremonies.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Ali Backs Olympic Bid

Muhammad Ali, the former world heavyweight champion, will form part of the USA delegation in Singapore when the International Olympic Committee picks the 2012 host city July 6.

Ali won a gold medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics, and lit the cauldron in the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Ali is quoted as saying:

"When I look back and remember my greatest, most exciting moments as a boxer, competing in New York and competing in the Olympics are at the top of that list. To bring them together and hold the Games in New York City would be unforgettable for everyone involved, including myself."

Monday, June 20, 2005

Race For 2012 Games Hots Up

New York's chances for hosting the 2012 Olympics are still strong.

That is according to the Around the Rings Olympics Bid Power Index.

The index ranks Olympic bid cities based on inspections by the IOC and Around the Rings, bid books and bid strategies.

Paris is top, with a score of 89 out of 110.

London has 87 and New York 83.

Madrid comes in with 74, and Moscow trails at 64.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Helicopter Crash At Turin

A helicopter crashed Thursday on the slalom ski slope for the 2006 Winter Olympics, in Turin.

The pilot and a worker on the ground were injured, but not seriously.

The helicopter was carrying light poles to illuminate the slope in Sestriere at night during the games.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Kenteris Saga Continues

Those of you with long memories may recall the sorry tale of Greek sprinter Kostas Kenteris and his partner, Katerina Thanou, who fell foul of the doping rules in the 2004 Olympics.

Well, th is sorry saga is not yet over.

Kenteris had to testify in front of a prosecutor yesterday, on charges of avoiding a doping test on the eve of the 2004 Olympics and faking the now infamous motorcycle accident hours later.

Thanou and coach Christos Tzekos have already given their testimony, on June 6.

Kenteris' lawyer, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, is quoted as saying:

"Kenteris was set free without any conditions because there was not even the slightest indication that he committed the acts that are accredited to him,".

Doubtless this will go on and on.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

New York Race

New York is racing to revise its plans for the bid for the 2012 Olympics.

Specifically it is rushing to complete new plans for a stadium in Queens, at a cost of $600M, after the West Side stadium plan was vetoed.

The NYC2012 bid committee executive director, Jay Kriegel, has said that the team are working flat out to complete the new plans; which he hopes will be ready by next week.


"We have no question that this plan technically will be outstanding, will demonstrate the games will be an outstanding games,".

Both Kriegel and Mayor Bloomberg are hoping that the IOC appreciate that New York has managed to recover quickly, after the original plan collapsed.

Kriegel is quoted as saying:

"Faced with adversity, New York has gotten back up off the mat very quickly and has demonstrated the capacity to put something big, bold and incredibly complicated together in just a few days,".

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


The Korea Olympic Committee (KOC) is fighting to keep Taekwondo, the traditional Korean martial art, as an official sport in the 2012 Olympics.

They will dispatch 3 delegations to 15 countries to support their campaign in countries including; the United States, Argentina, Finland and Mexico.

The IOC will decide on the issue at the general assembly in Singapore in July.

Taekwondo first appeared at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, and will be retained for the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Monday, June 13, 2005

New Met Stadium

Mayor Bloomberg of New York has tried to resurrect New York's bid for the 2012 Olympics, by promising to substitute a planned baseball stadium for the football stadium which was rejected by state leaders earlier this month.

Mayor Bloomberg said that the new stadium would be built on land owned by the city, next to Shea Stadium in Queens, and would be used by the New York Mets.


"New Yorkers aren't quitters..We just don't walk away from our future."

The stadium will be completed by 2009.

It is hoped, by the mayor, that this will put New York back in the running for the 2012 Games.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Plan B From New York

It seems that all is not yet lost, for the plans to build a stadium in New York for the 2012 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee is going to allow New York to submit a Plan B, for the Olympic Stadium, thereby "pulling New York's nuts out of the fire" in respect of its desire to host the 2102 Games.

Giselle Davies, IOC spokeswoman, is quoted as saying:

"The IOC would allow an alternative proposal..It would need to go to the executive board for review [and] approval."

Davies noted that, as a "general rule", the city's bid was closed when the IOC evaluation commission completed its visit to New York in February.

The use of Plan B, contradicts Mayor Bloomberg's insistence that an alternative was impossible.

On Monday, a state panel rejected plans to build a stadium on Manhattan's West Side. This gave rise to Mayor Bloomberg suggesting that New York withdraw.


"There's no chance the stadium could be built elsewhere and help us with the Olympics because what the rules of the IOC are - you have to submit a plan..It can't have backups or anything. It can have one plan, and you have to follow that plan."

As yet no details as to what Plan B actually is, have been provided.

It is also suggested that the bid committee might go to Singapore with a modified Plan A, that would include the West Side stadium and an alternate site.

Thursday, June 9, 2005

Games Morale Boost For French

Philippe Baudillon, the leader of Paris's bid for the 2012 Olympics, is reported to have said that France needs the games to boost morale; after the French rejected of the EU constitution.


"If Paris gets the games, it will be a fantastic moment for France to imagine the future very positively, and we need that,".


"The people who said 'no' are frightened by the future...Getting the games would be a very positive moment for the country."

What utter nonsense.

The French rejected the EU constitution because their economy has been wrecked by the straight jacket of the Euro, and by the restrictive labour laws imposed by their own government.

Winning the Olympics will only put further strains on their already recession bound economy.

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

IOC Evaluation Report

Paris is still front runner, one month before the vote for the 2012 Olympic Games host.

In an evaluation report issued by the IOC Paris received the best overall review; London, New York and Madrid also got positive ratings, while Moscow was criticised.

The report focused on technical issues including; venues, financing, transportation, accommodation, security and public/government support.

The report acts a guide for the 117 IOC voting members, who vote in Singapore on July 6.

The report noted Paris's sports concept, "excellent accommodation," "high capacity and quality" transportation systems and "well-documented" budget.

It also noted that Paris had "fully taken into account" the IOC's framework for controlling the cost and size of the Olympics.

London was praised for the "significant sports and environmental legacies" involved in its plans for regenerating the city's rundown east side.

However, the IOC noted that "careful planning would be required to ensure that all facilities are completed on time." It also said that London's improved transportation plans were workable if "fully delivered" before 2012.

In reality, the transport system in London is unlikely to be upgraded in time for the Olympics; there is no way that the IOC can take that risk.

The report noted the uncertainty in New York over its proposed $2BN stadium on Manhattan's West Side.

Madrid was criticised for having hotels too far out of town.

Moscow was criticised the most:

"A lack of detailed planning in the candidature file and background information made it difficult for the commission to evaluate the project,".

Monday, June 6, 2005

Paris's Final Push

Paris went for broke yesterday in the race to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Champs-Elysees was transformed into a sports arena lined with wrestling mats, a running track and a swimming pool.

Thirty-eight Olympic sports were on display in Paris, one day before the International Olympic Committee issues its key report evaluating the five candidate cities.

The contest for the 2012 Games enters a final stretch Monday, there will then be 30 days left until the IOC's decision about which city will be the host.

Paris is confident that it will win.

Madrid also held a party.

However, not everything went according to plan. A flag measuring 1 1/2 miles long and 21 feet wide, claimed to be the world's largest, ripped in two when 1,500 volunteers unfurled it along the boulevard.

Castellana Boulevard was closed to traffic as athletes demonstrated their sporting prowess among children, alongside musical performances, clown shows and other festival events to show the city's "Olympic Passion."

The city also staged a round of the Triathlon World Cup in the morning, and hosted an exhibition handball match in the afternoon to raise funds for victims of the Asian tsunami.

Three of Madrid's landmark buildings also have been illuminated with the colors of the five Olympic rings for the celebrations.

Friday, June 3, 2005

Beijing To Make A Profit

It seems that Beijing may host the most profitable Olympics ever, by exceeding the $224M profit by Los Angeles in 1984.

That at least is the view of Hein Verbruggen, the International Olympic Committee official overseeing preparations for the 2008 games.


"I would not be surprised if Beijing makes more money than any Olympics".

Eight sponsors are on board so far. The IOC also has 11 international sponsors paying $866M in total for the four years to 2008.

The IOC claim that every Olympic Games since 1976 has made a profit, with Athens having a surplus of 7 million euros.

However, what these guys don't tell is that the numbers exclude the costs of the worthless infrastructure that is left behind.

To claim that Greece made a profit, after squandering $13BN, is an insult to people's intelligence.

Verbruggen is quoted a saying:

"It's perhaps hard to believe but there's nothing negative to say."


Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Beijing Will Be Ready

The IOC say that the facilities for the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be ready on time, thereby avoiding the delays that befouled the preparations for the Athens Games last year.

Kevan Gosper, part of the International Olympic Committee's team tracking Beijing's progress, said that the IOC had Beijing to slow preparations.


"We are completely confident that the venues will be completed on time..I have no doubt."

Beijing will spend $30BN to stage the games.

Beijing's National Olympic Stadium, which is shaped like a bird's nest, will be completed before the end of 2007. It will be able to stage test events a year before the games open.

The Aquatic Center, known as the "Water Cube", will be ready in October 2007. It will be the world's largest swimming centre.