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  • Acapulco Report - IOC Set to Approve Women's Ski Jump, New Sochi Events


    (ATR) Women's ski jumping makes another attempt at landing on the Olympic program when the IOC Executive Board considers new events for the 2014 Sochi Olympics during its three-day meeting in Acapulco.
    The EB will also hear proposals to add new events in alpine skiing, biathlon, figure skating, luge and snowboarding.
    Other top items on the agenda: a proposal from the international federations to add a second or third logo to the clothing athletes wear; and a $55 million renovation of the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, which would entail closing the building.

    The logo issue is of great interest to the 205 NOCs, who just concluded their assembly. The NOCs currently are the only entity represented on the clothing besides a smaller manufacturer mark.

    Additions to the Sochi program, however, will have the greatest immediate impact. Women's ski jumping was turned down twice by the EB in the run-up to Vancouver, and backers of the sport were unsuccessful with litigation in the Canadian courts.

    The IOC said that the sport did not have enough elite jumpers and women's ski jumping advocates have contradicted the perception that girls stop jumping after their teenage years because their bodies change.

    Deedee Corradini, president of Women's Ski Jumping USA, told ATR after the Vancouver Olympics that they are not asking for a new sport, just the other half of an event that's been in the Olympics since 1924.

    "If you read the Olympic charter, it says the Olympic Movement is all about equality for men and women and they do not want discrimination of any sort," Corradini said.

    FIS went to the IOC with a request to let women jump in 2014 and FIS president Gian-Franco Kasper said earlier this year he is "quite convinced" that the IOC will agree.

    Quality of competition has continued to improve for women's ski jumping, which has had a FIS Continental Cup series since the 2004-05 season and has announced a FIS World Cup for 2010-11.

    Other events proposed are men's and women's snowboard and Alpine slopestyle, men's and women's ski halfpipe, a parallel racing Alpine team event, mixed relay in biathlon, a team event in figure skating, and a luge team competition.

    None of the events require the building of additional venues, so some - but not all -- are expected to win approval.

    According to the Associated Press, IOC officials said women's ski jumping may be accepted on a conditional basis, with final approval depending on the quality of competition at the 2011 world championships in Oslo, Norway, next February.

    The slopestyle and ski halfpipe events have immense youth appeal, particularly the halfpipe. Ski cross made its debut in Vancouver.

    Ski halfpipe and slopestyle were unanimously accepted by FIS Congress to push to IOC. Ski halfpipe is held on the same pipe as snowboard.

    Opening Day for EB – Reports on London, Rio De Janeiro, Innsbruck

    Sebastian Coe led a team of four from London
    The IOC EB meeting in Acapulco. (ATR)
    2012 for a report to the EB Sunday.

    IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli says the IOC was pleased with what London has in mind for ticketing. He revealed to reporters the first stages of a plan that would allow friends and families of Olympians the chance to buy tickets to events at face value close to the time of the event.

    LOCOG spokesperson Jackie Brock-Doyle said one, if not two, tickets per athlete would be set aside from the NOC allocation. The ticket would then be available for purchase by a parent or friend of the athlete through their NOC.
    This scheme has never been proposed before by an organizing committee.

    "The challenge is how do you get the tickets into the hands of parents," said Brock-Doyle, who noted that the parents of gold medal-winning swimmer Rebecca Adlington bought tickets from a scam artist.
    "We feel quite passionate about this. It's quite innovative."
    She said perhaps 50,000 tickets would be involved, but plans have not been worked out and would have to be run by the LOCOG athletes commission.
    He said athletes do not get tickets through their NOCs in some countries.

    "LOCOG has been working very hard to propose to us an inventive solution to be able to give priority to the athletes," he said.

    Felli said the IOC recognizes that LOCOG is taking a risk in not being able to sell the tickets as soon as possible.

    The opening day of the EB meeting also included a report on Rio 2016 delivered by IOC Coordination Commission chair
    Nawal El Moutawakel.
    He said the IOC was pleased with the way the organizing committee is structured, with "good people coming aboard with a lot of experience. We can see the commitment of the three levels of government," he said. 

    Felli said the construction is on time and the first marketing program will be out by the end of the year. IOC President Jacques Rogge will be in Rio at the end of the year for the launch of the new logo.

    Brazil will elect a new president on Oct. 31 and Felli said the IOC is confident that whoever takes over form President Lula will "know exactly what kind of support the government is promising," he said. "It will be a continuation of the system."

    Innsbruck 2012 chief executive Peter Bayer reported on progress toward the first Winter Youth Olympic Games, now just 16 months away. Bayer tells ATR that organizers are on track and had no critical issues needing IOC attention. Earlier in the day, Rogge told NOC leaders at the ANOC assembly to respect deadlines ahead for their dealings with the Innsbruck OCOG.

    “We are a small team and we appreciate his help with this,” said Bayer.

    The IOC President will hold a closing press conference Tuesday.

    ATR coverage of the ANOC General Assembly
    is Proudly Presented by Annecy 2018

    Written and reported in Acapulco by Karen Rosen and Ed Hula.
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