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  • Olympic Newsdesk -- UN Chief Visits IOC; USOC Awards; McDonald's Prices Rise


    (ATR) IOC president Jacques Rogge and UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon affirmed their commitment to easing the access of Palestinian and Israeli athletes to sport.
    Jacques Rogge with Ban Ki-Moon. (IOC)

    The pledge came after a meeting between Rogge and Moon at IOC headquarters in Lausanne that reviewed initiatives using sport as a tool for peace.

    It followed a deal brokered by the IOC between the Palestinian Olympic Committee and Olympic Committee of Israel last week to allow Palestinian athletes to train in Israeli facilities ahead of the London Olympics.

    Rogge and Moon reviewed joint programs put in place last year. In 2010, the IOC attended for the first time the UN General Assembly meetings; it was granted observer status in October 2009 in recognition of the Olympic body's contribution to the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals through sport.

    “As a global sports organization, the IOC has the moral duty to place sport at the service of humanity. This mission was reconfirmed by the Olympic Congress held in 2009 in Copenhagen, where the secretary general gave a very inspiring speech," Rogge said after Tuesday's meeting.

    "We are proud to be a part, through sport, of the international community’s efforts to achieve the MDGs. These goals have been identified by the UN as some of the world’s most pressing issues that require the support and involvement of everyone. We look forward to continuing our collaboration in 2011 and beyond."

    The IOC and its partners have implemented various activities across the globe using sport as a tool for change. The IOC recently teamed up with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to launch a three-year sport and education program for some 8,500 young people living in the Osire refugee settlement in Namibia.

    Other IOC members at the meeting Tuesday were chairman of the International Relations Commission Mario Pescante, Denis Oswald, Sepp Blatter, Princess Haya Al Hussein, Patrick Baumann and Gian-Franco Kasper.

    USOC Names Athletes, Teams of 2010

    Lindsey Vonn and Evan Lysacek are among the big winners in the U.S. Olympic Committee’s end-of-year honors.

    The USOC announced Tuesday its awards for the best Olympic and Paralympic athletes of 2010, all of which went to gold medalists from the Vancouver Winter Games.
    Alana Nichols was the winningest athlete at the Vancouver Paralympics. (Getty Images)

    "All of these athletes represent the best in Olympic and Paralympic sport for Team USA," USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement.

    "Their personal achievements last year and throughout their careers are remarkable, and I am thankful that we have such outstanding ambassadors of excellence."

    Vonn and Lysacek were the SportsWoman and SportsMan of the Year for their dominance on the slopes and on the ice. She won gold in downhill skiing and bronze in Super-G, while he topped Russian favorite Evgeni Plushenko to win the men’s figure skating title.

    Steven Holcomb, Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curt Tomasevicz were crowned Team of the Year for ending a 62-year medal drought with their four-man bobsled win in Vancouver.

    Alana Nichols and Taylor Chance were the Paralympic SportsWoman and SportsMan of the Year.

    Nichols won four medals in alpine skiing’s sitting division, making her Team USA’s most decorated Paralympian of the 2010 Winter Games.

    Chance anchored the defense for the U.S. sled hockey team, which did not allow a single goal en route to gold. The sled hockey squad also won its second consecutive Paralympic Team of the Year award for its dominance in Vancouver, where it outscored opponents 18-0 in five games.

    McDonald's Ups Prices

    Increased ingredient costs are eating away at Mcdonald’s profits and the TOP sponsor announced it will raise prices on certain items to cover its losses.

    "As commodity and other cost pressures become more pronounced as we move throughout the year, we will likely increase prices to offset some, but not necessarily all, of these cost increase," McDonald's chief financial officer Pete Bensen said on Monday.
    The cost of your Big Mac may increase in the future. (Getty Images)

    Food supplies are expected to rise 2 percent to 2.5 percent this year in the United States and rise 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent in Europe, according to the restaurant’s predictions.

    Price changes are expected to be effective in the upcoming months.

    Also on Monday, McDonald’s announced fourth quarter profits increased 2 percent to $1.24 billion.

    London Eye Lights Up for Low-Carbon Living

    London 2012’s first sustainability partner is using the London Eye to encourage low-carbon living ahead of the Games.
    The lights were meant to symbolize low-carbon living. (EDF Energy)

    EDF Energy cast bright lights from the iconic Ferris wheel Tuesday at sunrise to symbolize its vision for the British capital as well as to celebrate the launch of its three-year sponsorship of the landmark.

    The U.K. energy supplier will help power Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Games.

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    Written by Mark Bisson, Matthew Grayson, and Isia Wilcox.

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