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  • Stiff Competition for London 2012 Volunteers; Sustainability Concerns for LOCOG


    Competition Fierce for London 2012 Volunteer Program

    More than 240,000 applicants are in the running for 70,000 spots as London 2012 volunteers.
    London 2012’s first volunteers joined organizers during two-years-to-go events in July. (Getty Images)

    The deadline passed Wednesday, and now organizers must sort through them all.

    “This is a long process and will take time but we’re asking people to be patient,” LOCOG chair Sebastian Coe said Friday in a statement.

    “This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is really worth it!”

    The "Games Maker" program has slated Feb. 2011 through Feb. 2012 for its interview and selection process, with training to follow.

    London Mayor Boris Johnson, meanwhile, needs another 8,000 volunteers to help visitors get around his city during the Games.

    Johnson’s aptly named "London Ambassadors" will spread themselves across the capital, telling tourists where to go, what to do and how to get there.

    Registration closes Dec. 31.

    London 2012 Going for Green, Might Fall Short

    The London Olympics may not turn out as green as once hoped.

    A report released Friday by the London Assembly welcomes LOCOG’s push toward sustainability but warns that London 2012 may lack the “transformative” nature long touted by Games organizers.

    "London's air quality is a particular cause for concern, as failing to reduce levels of pollutants could have consequences for London's international reputation as well as the health of those attending the event,” Darren Johnson, chair of the Assembly’s Environment Committee, said Friday in a statement.
    Environment Committee chair Darren Johnson (London Assembly)

    "We also need to see clear targets for re-using temporary materials, more detail on how organizers will promote sustainable travel and plans for recycling facilities on site and around London."

    The 48-page report, titled “Going for Green”, praises London 2012 for its “ground-breaking” approach to mapping its carbon footprint but suggests LOCOG find a way to encourage sustainable travel by Games spectators as they buy their tickets.

    Other recommendations include metrics for measuring future carbon savings and the re-use of temporary materials as well as plans for how sustainability standards will be applied at non-competition venues.

    The London Assembly requested by June 2011 proof that the live sites and cultural events that come along with the Games will be sustainable as well.

    To read the full report, click here.

    To watch a video of Johnson summarizing the report, click here.

    Memorial for Kumaritashvili

    A memorial was held for Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luger who died the day of the Vancouver Opening Ceremony.
    Nodar Kumaritashvili on the track at Whistler. (Getty Images)

    The ceremony was held because Kumaritashvili’s tomb in his hometown of Bakuriani was completed.

    Several IOC Members reportedly made the trip. Svein Romstad, luge federation secretary general, was also present.

    Georgian minister for sport and youth affairs, Lado Vardzelashvili, and the president of Georgia's Olympic Committee, Gia Natsvlishvili, paid their respects.

    Kumaritashvili also posthumously received the IOC’s top award.

    Media Watch

    An editorial in The International Herald Tribune discusses the pain of losing an athlete during competition.

    Commonwealth Games Federation and Jamaica Olympic Association president Michael Fennell is profiled in Jamaica’s The Gleaner.

    Written by Matthew Grayson and Ed Hula III.

    For general comments or questions, click here.

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