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  • SportAccord Closes; Quebec City Next; Moscow for ANOC?


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    SportAccord Closes
    Hein Verbruggen at the closing ceremony for SportAccord. (ATR)

    Hein Verbruggen, president of SportAccord, officially closed the ninth annual SportAccord Convention in London on Thursday night.

    More than 1,500 delegates attended the six-day gathering of sport federations.

    See You Next Year

    The leaders of world sport will gather next in Quebec City with London 2012 knocking on the door.

    The 10th annual SportAccord Convention is provisionally slated for May 20-25, roughly two months before the opening ceremony to next year’s Olympic Games.

    Moscow Next Up for ANOC Assembly?

    Association of National Olympic Committees secretary general Gunilla Lindberg tells Around the Rings next year’s ANOC general assembly will be in Europe while Itar-Tass reports that an agreement has been reached to have the meeting in Moscow.

    The decision was apparently approved in principle at Wednesday's meeting of the IOC Executive Board.

    A vote has yet to be recorded by the ruling ANOC Council.

    Lindberg added that a postal vote would take place over the next week to make the hosting rights official.

    “The ANOC Assembly is an excellent opportunity to host the presidents of the Olympic Committees from around the world and the heads of international federations,” Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov was quoted by  ITAR-TASS.

    Usually, in a Summer Olympic year, the host country will stage the meeting. However, the British Olympic Association withdrew from hosting the 2012 general assembly due to costs. With large numbers of attendees, ANOC meetings can cost in excess of $4 million to organize.

    Bits of Sochi Bound for London 2012

    Games-goers will get a taste of winter at the London Summer Olympics.
    Move over pipers – Sochi will use Marble Arch for a promotional display during the London Olympics. (Getty Images)

    Russian organizers revealed Thursday during SportAccord plans for an exhibit of sorts during the 2012 Games.

    Marble Arch, located opposite Hyde Park and the famous Speaker’s Corner, will be the site of all things Sochi throughout the two-week competition.

    “The public activities will run under the name of Sochi World and will focus on master-classes and spectacular shows on an ice-rink,” organizing committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko said in a statement.

    “The aim will be to present a new feature of the Sochi Games by reflecting the many different aspects of Russian culture across all its regions.”

    Russian figure-skating stars will offer British youth on-the-spot lessons at the bespoke rink, and the host country’s best skaters will be asked to join in.

    Sochi World will also include an interactive visitor experience and hospitality pavilion designed to fit right alongside the Marble Arch landmark.

    Aquatics Champs Next in Line for Russia?

    Russia hopes to sandwich the aquatics world championships in between its 2014 Winter Olympics and 2018 FIFA World Cup.

    The country’s swimming federation announced Wednesday its handover of a bid book to international aquatics federation (FINA) president Julio Maglione on the sidelines of SportAccord.

    Russia is competing in a joint process for either the 2015 or 2017 champs. Kazan, a city 800km east of Moscow, is its host of choice.

    “Kazan has a good chance of being selected, having a brand new facility,” All Russian Swimming Federation president Vladimir Salnikov told his country’s media in reference to the 4,500-seat arena built for the swimming, diving and water polo competitions of the 2013 World University Games .

    Seoul, Budapest, Hong Kong and Marrakech are also bidding for 2015 and 2017. FINA will reveal a shortlist of candidates after this week and will announce a pair of host cities July 15 during this year’s world champs in Shanghai, China.

    Pan Am Organizer Touts “Best on Best”

    Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop tells Around the Rings he’s employing a three-pronged plan to ensure “best on best” competition at the upcoming Pan American Games.
    Ian Troop at SportAccord. (ATR)

    “We’ve met with every national Olympic committee, and now we’re meeting with every international federation,” he told ATR during SportAccord.

    “This is an athlete-centered Games, so you’ve got to create the relationships which allow you to do your best to bring the very best athletes possible to your events, and the IFs call a lot of shots when it comes to Olympic qualifiers.”

    Troop said he wants summer Olympic spots at stake in at least 20 of the program’s 48 sports – a Games record - but that qualifiers aren’t the only way to attract great athletes.

    He’s also working toward bilateral agreements between the Canadian Olympic Committee and its Pan Am counterparts as well communicating the advantages of participation in Toronto 2015.

    It’s the last major multi-sport Games before Rio 2016, he noted, and will provide Olympic-level operations in a time zone similar to the one athletes will experience just over a year later.

    “No one of them is a miracle solution, Troop said, “but together I think they create a compelling story which says the very best are coming.”

    Eight Join Peace and Sport

    Following the SportAccord Convention, eight sporting federations announced they were partnering with Peace and Sport.
    Of the eight, archery, cycling, gymnastics and triathlon are on the Olympic Program.

    Peace and Sport says the partnerships will help promote peace throughout the world.

    The federations will work with the organization to develop initiatives they have already in place to improve disadvantaged areas of the world.

    Peace and Sport provides federations with a platform for networking, political support and operational cooperation.

    Written and reported in London by Ed Hula.

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