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  • Olympic Newsdesk -- Munich Shrugs Off Doubts; Legacy Woes for Vancouver Village


    No Doubts for Munich Olympic Bid CEO

    Leaders of the Munich bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics say that without a doubt, Willy Bogner will continue as chief executive of the campaign, despite revelations he is fighting an undisclosed illness.

    “We have been aware of his condition,” bid media chief Jochen Faerber tells Around the Rings.

    Bid CEO Willy Bogner. (ATR)
    He says Bogner disclosed the illness to the media for the first time in an interview with a German newspaper last week which was published Monday. Faerber, who was present while Bogner spoke to Bild, says he was surprised when Bogner mentioned his intestinal illness.

    Since then, Farber says he’s been focused on getting word out that Bogner still heads the bid team.

    Munich 2018 supervisory board chairman and German NOC Secretary General Michael Vesper adds his vote of confidence in comments to Reuters.

    "Willy Bogner will be at the full disposal of the Munich 2018 bid with all his force," Vesper tells Karolos Grohmann.

    "We are confident he will lead a successful Munich bid for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Vesper is quoted.

    Bogner, 68, has been CEO of Munich 2018 since November.

    He met with reporters covering the Sponsors Sports Venue Summit in Munich Tuesday, confirming his health issue but insisting his work for the bid will not be affected.

    He says he is looking forward to making the first international presentation of the bid in Acapulco next month at the general assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees.

    Annecy, France and Pyeongchang, South Korea are the other two candidate cities for 2018.

    Sales Slump Persists for Vancouver Olympic Village

    The allure of Vancouver’s Olympic Village isn’t working as planned.

    Salesman Bob Rennie told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation he is hard-pressed to sell condos in the former Athletes’ Village, now called Millenium.
    The recent occupancy of winter sports’ biggest stars hasn’t translated to condo sales for Millennium. (ATR)

    "[Maybe] I have to [cover] the HST portion … or a couple years maintenance fees," Rennie said Wednesday in an interview with CBC News. "We are going to announce those incentives mid-September."

    Marketers for the $1.1 billion development had hoped the star power of its recent occupants would guarantee sales, but Millennium sits two-thirds empty. Only 254 of 737 units have sold, and some retail space remains un-leased.

    Meanwhile, 13 of the occupied units might not stay that way for long.

    Vancouver correspondent Bob Mackin reported for Around the Rings in early July that six buyers had filed lawsuits to withdraw from their contracts because of deficiencies and the delay in a promised city park east of the site.

    Seven disgruntled owners have since joined in, and lawyer Brian Baynham told CBC he expects to take Millenium to British Columbia’s Supreme Court within weeks.

    "At the present time, they are insisting on the return of their deposits," he said. "They believe that Millennium [is] in breach of their agreements."

    Rennie told ATR in July that “cool heads will prevail” because the park will get built and the developer will fix missing appliances and other deficiencies.

    One of the people suing is personal trainer and Rennie friend Mike Talic, a 1992 immigrant to Vancouver who was the mayor of the Sarajevo 1984 Olympic Village.

    Waves High, Field Deep At Surfing Champs

    The world’s best surfers have high waves and higher hopes this week in Panama, where a world champion will be crowned.
    Panamanian legend Kenny Myers is competing in the Kahunas and Grand Kahunas divisions. (ISA)

    More than 100 competitors took to the Santa Catalina waters Sunday for the opening of the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship.

    Only 70 remain after four days of competition, with South Africa, Australia, Peru and Brazil atop the ratings.

    Costa Rican Craig Scheiber stole the show Wednesday, surfing into second place in the Grand Masters division behind former world champion Magoo de la Rosa.

    Scheiber then upped the ante on 8- to 10-foot waves, posting the round’s highest combined tally in the Kahunas division.

    Host Panama's hopes ride on Santa Catalina legend Kenny Myers and Sonia Garcia, the only Panamanians left.

    Forecasts predict 3- to 6-foot waves for the remainder of the competition, which ends Saturday.

    Asian Games Honor Outside Help

    A pair of Olympic experts will receive honorary doctorates from the organizers of the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou.
    Ruffolo at a 2007 press briefing in Beijing. (ATR)

    Accomplished choir director Victoria Vakulishya serves as a consultant to the Ceremonies & Cultural Events Department and is planning a host of concerts in the southern Chinese city ahead of November’s competition.

    Sports marketing vet Jeff Ruffolo is a three-time Summer Olympic radio commentator now serving as an executive advisor for the Guangzhou Games. He received a similar honor from BOCOG for his two years as a senior expert to the Beijing organizers.

    The Asian Games, scheduled for Nov. 12-27, are the second largest sports event in the world.

    Written by Matthew Grayson.

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