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  • Olympic Newsdesk -- Mascot Proposal for Rio; Pyeongchang Ready


    Muriqui Monkey for Rio Mascot

    Could the Americas' largest primate be the mascot of the 2016 Olympics?
    Rio de Janeiro state environmental minister Marilene Ramos will submit the muriqui as a mascot for the 2016 Olympics. (c Pablo Ferniocla)

    On Wednesday, a group at the Rio de Janeiro State Environmental Institute submitted a proposal to make the muriqui as the mascot for the Games.

    According to O Globo newspaper, the state’s environment minister, Marilene Ramos approved the plan and will submit the idea to Rio 2016 when the organizing committee begins its search for a mascot.

    The muriqui is an endangered species and according to the plan, its gentle nature reflects the nature of Cariocas, citizens of Rio. Proponents of the primate also say the way the muriqui lives harmoniously with others represent Olympic ideals.

    PyeongChang up to Olympic Challenge

    PyeongChang is ready for the 2018 Winter Olympics, says Korea’s culture minister.

    “A large-scale $140 million Olympic complex Alpensia Resort has opened in PyeongChang and it can be the hub of winter sports in Asia,” In-chon Yu said Wednesday at a press conference in Seoul.
    Korea’s culture minister In-chon Yu said PyeongChang is ready to host the Olympics. (Getty Image)

    “All competition venues in the Alpensia cluster and the coastal cluster can be reached within 30 minutes from PyeongChang.”

    Alpensia would host six venues, plus the Olympic Village, Media Village and IOC hotel.

    Ice hockey, along with all the other arena events, would be in Gangneung, the coastal city near PyeongChang, creating what’s called the coastal cluster. On the East Sea about 30km from PyeongChang, the city of 250,000 would host four venues as well as a second Olympic Village.

    Bid books are due to IOC headquarters in Lausanne Jan. 11, and the IOC will vote July 6 on the 2018 host at its session in Durban, South Africa.

    PyeongChang is bidding for the third straight time.

    Annecy City Council Backs Bid

    Annecy’s city council voted to back the city’s bid for the 2018 Olympics on Monday. This follows last week’s vote from the Haute-Savoie General Council to support the bid and the Oct. 28 vote of support from the Agglomeration Community of Annecy, which is comprised of the 13 towns neighboring Annecy.

    "This means that the Annecy 2018 bid has received an official guarantee that it can count on financial support from the City of Annecy and the surrounding towns", said Jean-Luc Rigaut, Mayor of Annecy, Co-chairman of Annecy 2018 and President of the Agglomeration Community. "This step once again demonstrates our wholehearted desire to make our town available to host an event as exceptional as the Olympic Games in the best possible conditions".

    Pound to Lead USA Swimming’s Review of Crippen Case

    Richard Pound will lead a five-person committee tapped by USA Swimming to review the findings of the NGB’s independent investigation into the death of open water swimmer Fran Crippen.
    Richard Pound will lead USA Swimming’s investigation into the death of Fran Crippen. (Getty Images)

    “An athlete should never lose his or her life in a sport competition, but when such an incident occurs, it is the duty of the sport community to conduct a thorough and complete review of the situation and factors that may have caused or failed to prevent such a tragedy,” Pound said Tuesday in a statement.

    Pound is a former IOC vice president and former head of the World Anti Doping Agency.

    “This Commission is committed to its charge, which is to provide complete and independent review of all the facts surrounding this tragedy, produce a transparent report and put forth recommendations on safety protocols and procedures so that this sort of incident does not happen again.”

    Water temperatures during the event reached as high as 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and several swimmers were later hospitalized for exhaustion.

    The International Aquatics Federation, FINA, formed its own five-person task force last week to investigate the causes and circumstances of Crippen’s death, FINA’s first-ever in a competition.

    Nepal NOC Office Padlocked

    The Nepal Olympic Committee was locked out of its offices Wednesday.

    According to local reports, a Maoist sports federation padlocked the doors demanding transparency from the NOC. The group claims the NOC is not coordinating its work with governmental sports agencies and is sending unauthorized representatives to meetings and events.

    The All Nepal Progressive Republican Sports Federation allegedly threatened “they would take further action” against the NOC if their demands were not met.

    Nepali Olympic leaders have already departed for the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

    Cake for British Airways

    Cake will handle Olympic public relations for London 2012 partner British Airways.

    The public relations and marketing agency will work with British Airways on its press coverage and online media ahead of the Olympics.

    "The challenge for brands in the run-up to 2012 will be about how they can cut through editiorially when so many othe sponsor messages are out there," Cake executive Michele Charles said.

    With reporting from Ed Hula III, Matthew Grayson, and Isia Reaves.

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