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  • German Government Backs Munich; Afghan Sport Growing; Kobe for London


    Federal Backing for Munich 2018

    Munich 2018 now boasts support from all levels of German government.

    The Federal Cabinet voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of the bid book.

    “We clearly have a nationwide appreciation of the huge benefits the Games would bring to Bavaria, Germany and the Olympic Movement,” bid chair Katarina Witt said in a statement.

    “Excitement levels are soaring all over the country.”

    Wednesday’s result follows three seals of approval secured last month at the district, city and regional levels.

    The regional council of Berchtesgadener Land lent its blessing less than two weeks after both the Garmisch-Partenkirchen district council and Munich city council approved the bid book within hours of each other.

    The votes were 84%, 80% and 94% in favor, respectively.

    Under the bid's two-park concept, ice competitions would take place in Munich and snow competitions in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, about one hour south of Munich. Bobsleigh, luge and skeleton would be held at the sliding center at Lake Königssee in the Berchtesgadener Land.

    “I am very happy to have support from the government in Germany,” said German Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, “and this strong backing from the Federal Cabinet will undoubtedly reinforce the bid’s presence on the international stage.”

    Around the Rings was on the scene late last month as Munich 2018 made its first international presentation to the Olympic family at the Association of National Olympic Committees general assembly in Acapulco, Mexico.

    The bid will also present next week in Guangzhou on the sidelines of the Asian Games and on Nov. 26 at the European Olympic Committee General Assembly in Belgrade, Serbia.

    Bid books are due to IOC headquarters Jan. 11.

    Munich is vying for the 2018 Winter Olympics alongside Annecy, France and PyeongChang, Korea.

    The IOC will select the host city at the 2011 Session in Durban, South Africa.

    Afghan Boxing, Sport Growing

    Despite the travails of a civil war and the presence of close to 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, leaders of the country’s boxing federation say that sport is holding its own and growing.
    Afghan Boxing Federation President Dad Akhtari and secretary general Sabir Sharifi at the AIBA Congress. (ATR)

    “We now have 40 national sporting federations,” Afghanistan Boxing Federation secretary general Sabir Sharifi told Around the Rings at the just-ended AIBA Congress in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He attended the congress with ABF President Dad Akhtari.

    While acknowledging that conditions for athletes in any sports were not ideal, Sharifi said “young people are taking up boxing, taekwondo, athletics, football. They are growing every day.”

    He says Afghanistan will send 10 boxers to the Asian Games this month in Guangzhou, China. About 127 Afghan athletes are to compete at the Asian Games in a half-dozen sports, including cricket.

    “The Americans help with some good things,” noted Sharifi.

    “They help build schools, roads, other things for Afghanistan people that help with sport,” he said.

    Kobe Commits to London

    Basketball star Kobe Bryant wants another crack at a gold medal.
    Kobe Bryant said he wants to play for Team USA at the London Olympics. (Getty Images)

    Making an appearance on Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski’s radio show, Bryant said he’s willing to be on the U.S. team at the London Olympics.

    "You guys want me there, I am there and I'm ready to defend," Bryant said.

    "And then when you guys need me to put some points on the board, I'll do that, too."

    "You get a chance to see and meet the greatest athletes in the world," he said. "Aside from just the basketball part of it and being with a great group of guys, it's an opportunity to meet some of the best at what they do. It's great for me, I get a chance to talk to them and meet them and go to their events and watch new sports. It's just a blast."

    Bryant was a member of the Beijing team that won gold. Several other members of that squad have expressed interest in representing the United States in London.

    Canadian Broadcaster Scores Big With Vancouver 2010

    CTV is the latest network to be honored for its coverage of the Vancouver Winter Games.
    Chris Cuthbert did play-by-play of the gold medal hockey game. (Gemini Awards)

    The broadcaster took home six trophies Tuesday from an industry party in Toronto, The Canadian Press reported.

    Chief among CTV’s Geminis was the award for best live sporting event of the year.

    Other hardware went to Catriona Le May Doan for sports analysis, James Duthie for sportscasting and Chris Cuthbert for his play-by-play of the men’s gold medal hockey game, in which Canada beat the U.S. 3-2 in overtime.

    Stephen Brunt and Matt Dunn also won a Gemini for best sports feature segment for their closing essay of the Games.

    A televised awards gala on Nov. 13 will follow Tuesday’s private bash.

    Written by Matthew Grayson and Ed Hula III.

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