The IOC makes its first inspection of Innsbruck since it won the right to host the first Winter Youth Olympic Games. (Getty Images)
IOC Checks on Innsbruck YOG Preparations
The IOC Coordination Commission for the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympics is meeting with the YOG leadership on its first inspection visit to the Austrian city since it won the Games last December.
Led by Gian-Franco Kasper, president of the International Ski Federation, the eight-member commission spent Monday in a series of meetings covering all aspects of YOG 2012 preparations.
Kasper and his colleagues, who include the IOC’s Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli, Italy’s Ottavio Cinquanta and Russia’s Victor Khotochkin, met with the new YOG leadership for the first time.
Last month, Peter Bayer was appointed the new CEO of Innsbruck 2012; Richard Rubatscher was named as the new chair of the Winter YOG 2012 supervisory board. Bayer was promoted to the post following the resignation of Martin Schnitzer over a financial scandal linked to the city’s role in the UEFA Euro 2008 football championships.
On Tuesday, the IOC commission went on a venue tour to inspect plans to hold events in the two major zones in Innsbruck and Seefeld.
All YOG venues already exist with the exception of curling and biathlon, which will have temporary facilities. Nearly two-thirds of medal events are planned for the venue clusters at Olympiaworld and Seefeld Arena. The YOG committee claims the two zones are just 30 minutes apart thanks to good transport links.
Plans for a purpose-built Youth Olympic Village with 2,000-plus beds have come under considerable scrutiny.
Kasper and Felli will hold a press conference Wednesday lunchtime at which they will give their assessment of the city’s YOG preparations to date.
More than 1,000 athletes aged 14-18 years will participate in the inaugural Winter YOG in January 2012. The seven sports on the program mirror those of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. There will be a limited number of disciplines and events.
Singapore hosts the first ever Summer Youth Olympics next August.
US Airways Flying to Rio
US Airways is not an Olympic sponsor but that is not stopping the airlines from making 2016 plans.
The airline announced on Monday that it will start daily non-stop service from its hub in Charlotte, N.C. to Rio de Janeiro on Dec. 15. The flight will originate from Philadelphia before stopping in Charlotte and then continuing to Rio de Janeiro.
The new route will be the fifth new international route for US Airways this year and its first route to South America.
“US Airways, like the Olympic Games, is going to South America for the first time,” said Andrew Nocella, senior vice president for marketing and planning, in a press release. “US Airways customers can enjoy affordable fares and a flight schedule that allows for easy connections from 82 cities to Rio de Janeiro.”
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…A national poll finds 64 of Japanese citizens support a Hiroshima Nagasaki bid for the 2020 Olympics. The poll was commissioned by the Mainichi Shimbun
newspaper. IOC polling on the 2016 Tokyo bid found 56% of the population supported the bid. The newspaper reported “it seems that many respondents agreed with Hiroshima and Nagasaki's proposal to co-host a celebration of peace in the atomic-bombed cities.”
…Olympic champion and world record holder in the 100m and 200m Usain Bolt was awarded one of Jamaica’s highest honors Monday. Bolt, 23, became the youngest recipient of the Order of Jamaica. The award is given to individuals who “by their service and contribution have had a meaningful and significant impact on national life.”
… Ugandan athletes are set to train for the 2012 London Olympics in Belgium. Uganda Olympic Committee secretary general Peninah Kabenge said on Monday that the UOC has been in talks with Belgium Olympic Committee and expects a deal to be reached soon. Uganda's last Olympic medal came in 1996 when Davis Kamoga won bronze in the 400m.
…Saint Kitts and Nevis will host the 2011 Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly. The meeting will take place Nov. 5 – 12, 2011. Saint Kitts and Nevis prime minister Denzil Douglas made the announcement on his weekly radio show over the weekend. “This will do tremendous good for our little country, as it will further showcase St. Kitts and Nevis to the entire world because 71 nations will be represented at this meeting together with several observers” he said.
Written by Ed Hula III and Sam Steinberg.
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