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  • World Briefs: Rogge Offers View of 2008, More Tickets Overseas from Beijing, Krimsky Case


    IOC President Jacques Rogge: “The IOC hopes that Beijing 2008 realizes its potential as a spectacular Olympic Games.” (ATR)  
    Rogge Calls China Concerns “Natural”

    IOC President Jacques Rogge says he expects the volume of public comments involving the Beijing Olympics to increase in 2008 as the Games approach.

    “A remarkable amount of effort and dedication has been focused on an array of social and political issues in China, as Beijing prepares to host the Games. This, too, is natural. It is positive proof that we live in a world in which citizens are concerned and eager to express what they believe is best for the common good,” says Rogge in a statement published Dec. 21 at the IOC website, .

    Rogge’s comments covering other issues, is meant as a reflection on the year ahead.

    Rogge says the IOC faces a number of challenges, but says these can become positives.

    “As in sport, challenges can offer remarkable opportunities. Our goal for the International Olympic Committee in 2008 is to achieve as much as possible from these opportunities.”

    He pledged to bring to an even higher level the IOC’s zero tolerance of doping and illegal betting.

    “Fighting against these threats will help create a more level playing field for sport and for the young people who are essential to its future,” said Rogge.
    Beijing was forced to suspend first-come-first-served ticketing in October when demand crashed their IT system. (Getty Images)  
    Beijing Raises International Ticket Allocation

    In the face of growing demand from national Olympic committees and Games fans worldwide, Beijing 2008 has decided to double the number of Games tickets reserved for international buyers.

    The original plan reserved 25 percent of some 9 million tickets for internationals; now half go overseas, according to a statement received by the Associated Press.

    Zhao Huimin, BOCOG's director of international relations faced a room full of angry European NOC leaders at the continental general assembly in Valencia three weeks ago when he briefed them on Games preparations.

    “They have done nothing they promised to do. It's like fighting against a brick wall,” Marit Myrmael of Norway told ATR at the time of BOCOG’s ticketing process.

    Both domestic and international ticket demand are overwhelming. Some 53 more NOCs requested tickets this year than for Athens, while a crush of calls and web traffic crashed Beijing’s domestic ticketing system on the morning it was launched.

    John Krimsky Proceedings Continued to February

    A pre-trial hearing in the case of John Krimsky is continued until February 6. Krimsky was charged this month with four counts in Connecticut involving child pornography. Krimsky, 68, was marketing director with the U.S. Olympic Committee in the 1990s. He resigned earlier this month from his seat on the IOC commission for collectibles.

    Olympians among First Women in Hockey Hall of Fame

    U.S. Olympian Cammi Granato, Canadian Olympian Geraldine Heaney and Canadian player Angela James will be the first females to be inducted to the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in May. Granato was a gold medalist and Heaney’s team won the silver at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, when women’s hockey first became a sport.

    "I am immensely happy that we have reached the phase in hockey history when we rightfully can induct women to the player's category,” IIHF president Rene Fasel said in a statement.

    "This was a very important decision in the history of the IIHF and it feels very good that this coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the IIHF," he says.

    Shaun White Cited

    Olympic snowboarder Shaun White was cited for setting off a fire extinguisher in a Colorado ski resort. White set off the fire extinguisher in a game room at Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge, located west of Denver. He was charged after authorities saw that his clothes matched those seen in a security video, and his shoes matched footprints left in the powder from the extinguisher. He was ordered to appear in municipal court on Mar. 10 on a second-degree criminal tampering charge.

    Don Chevrier, Canadian Sportscaster, 69

    A man who narrated sports from baseball to curling for Canadian audiences for more than two decades has died.

    Don Chevrier called the “miracle on ice” U.S. – USSR hockey match in 1980 for ABC radio – his third Games. His last Olympic work came in Athens. But he is best known for being the voice behind the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team.

    "As anyone who knew him can attest, Don was one of the true gentlemen in our business. Our condolences go out to his family. Don will be sorely missed," said chairman of NBC Universal Sports and Olympics Dick Ebersol.

    Brian Griffith, Hired Muscle, 40

    Brian Griffith, a co-conspirator in the attack on Nancy Kerrigan before the 1994 Winter Olympics, died at the age of 40. Griffith, who served as Tonya Harding’s bodyguard under the name Shawn Eckhart, planned the January 1994 assault on Harding’s rival Kerrigan with Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly. Shane Stant clubbed Kerrigan on the knee during training for the U.S. Olympic figure skating trials for the Lillehammer Winter Games. All three men were convicted.

    World Briefs

    The Pacific Games Council has moved headquarters to Noumea, New Caledonia and has a new executive director in Andrew Minogue. The next Pacific Games take place in New Caledonia in 2011.

    The North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association will move to a new headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica. The new NACACAA president, Jamaica’s Neville McCook, says his country is a more convenient location and that he hopes to have found an office space by mid-January.

    Written by Ed Hula and Maggie Lee

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