Today: Last Update:

  • Munich 2018 Won't Campaign For Referendum; Beijing Pollution Discrepancy


    Munich 2018 Won’t Campaign For Referendum

    Munich 2018 will stay out of the politicking ahead for the May 8 referendum on whether Garmisch-Partenkirchen should be included in the bid to bring a second Winter Olympics to the Bavarian mountain town.
    A sample ballot for the coming referendum.

    A Munich 2018 spokeswoman tells Around the Rings that any campaigning for the referendum will be handled by the “Olympi-Ja” group in Garmisch formed last year to be a local support group.

    Opponents of the plan to bring the alpine ski events to Garmisch were successful in gathering more than 2,000 signatures on a petition calling for a “no” vote on whether to be part of the Munich bid.

    The pro-Olympics group also gathered signatures to include a “yes” to the Olympics vote on the May 8 ballot.

    Thomas Bach, IOC vice president and head of the German NOC, says he is confident the voters in Garmisch will support the 2018 bid.

    "It is good that the date is now resolved,” says Bach in a statement on the NOC website.

    “I expect the popular vote from a convincing majority for the Olympic Games,” he says, noting that the pro-Olympic group took less time to gather the signatures needed for the pro-Olympics question on the ballot.

    China, U.S. Grapple Over Air Pollution Data

    A top environmental official in China says the improvements in air quality brought by Beijing 2008 are there to stay, refuting recent data from an American think tank.
    An organizing committee staffer dons a protective mask on the eve of the Beijing Olympics. (Getty Images)

    WSJ reported Wednesday that the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research claims the Chinese government managed a 30 percent improvement during the Summer Olympics but that 60 percent of that achievement was gone a year after the Games.

    Now Beijing Municipal Environment Protection Bureau deputy director Du Shaozhong tells Chinese state media his stateside colleagues are just plain wrong.

    "I do not know how the American researchers came up with a mere 30 percent improvement," he was quoted Friday by People’s Daily.

    According to Shaozhong, air pollution was cut by more than half during the Games and that no evidence exists to suggest that gain was fleeting.

    In fact, he said, BMEPB statistics show January was Beijing’s first month of entirely blue skies since 1998.

    Multi-Platform Viewers Doubled Down During Vancouver

    Research shows dual-platform viewers of the Vancouver Olympics watched double the coverage of their TV-only counterparts, a finding that should help shape NBC’s coverage of London 2012.

    “That’s good news for us and good news for advertisers,” NBCUniversal senior VP of strategic marketing and metrics Sheryl Feldinger told a media research conference in Toronto on Thursday.

    According to a story in The Hollywood Reporter, analysis of the viewing habits of roughly 3,000 people during last year’s Winter Games indicate NBC’s unprecedented online coverage didn’t cannibalize its flagship TV broadcasts.

    Instead, the study conducted by Arbitron and Omniture found that users by and large went to their TV for competition’s biggest moments and to their computer for information – or to relive those key moments.

    Also Thursday, Feldinger said DVR technology will factor heavily into viewing habits given the time difference between the U.S. and London, as will an additional platform.

    NBC – and, in turn, viewers – will have a third screen to play with next year. Mobile phones are expected to feature in NBC’s multi-platform coverage of the London Summer Games.

    No Underground Calls by Games-Time

    Tube travelers will be without cell signals during the London Olympics.

    Mobile Choices reported Friday that the hopes of Britain’s five major carriers to have the technology in place by the 2012 Games will go unrealized.

    “We have been working closely with infrastructure partners and London Underground for some time with the hope of delivering mobile services to London Underground and are disappointed that it will not be possible to deliver such services in time for next year’s Olympic Games,” the networks said in a joint statement.

    Tube management company Transport for London still expects to install free Wi-Fi access at 120 stations by the time the Games open July 27.

    New Pants Ahead for Norwegian Curlers?

    Team Norway may unveil a new look at the men’s curling world championship underway this weekend in Regina, Canada.
    Norway’s pants were the talk of Vancouver 2010’s curling competition. (Getty Images)

    The squad’s checkered pants made headlines worldwide during last year’s Olympics, and now the skip is hinting at a second act.

    "Hopefully they'll be with us at some point this week," Thomas Ulsrud told The Regina Leader-Post on Wednesday.

    "We would like to wear them here. This is a big deal.”

    Loudmouth Golf makes the famous bottoms, and the pair from Vancouver has more than 500,000 fans on Facebook.

    Ulsrud also suggested Norway’s next pants may incorporate the curling powerhouse’s national flag.

    Canada will look to defend its title from last year as well as add to its gold medal from Vancouver when the championships begin Saturday in Regina. Norway lost in the final match on both occasions.

    Competition wraps up April 10.

    Written by Matthew Grayson and Ed Hula.

    For general comments or questions, click here.

    Your best source of news about the Olympics is, for subscribers only.