Sports Leaders Use Special Olympics to Create Social Change
United Nations’ representative Wilfried Lemke says changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through the Special Olympics is one of his top priorities.
More than 7,000 athletes from 180 countries will compete in the Special Olympics World Summer Games. (Getty Images)
With the Special Olympics underway, Lemke, the UN’s secretary general’s special advisor on sport for development and peace, and other sports leaders from around the world rallied together on Monday to discuss how to improve the lives of the mentally-handicapped.
“We are just in the first steps of this movement you call a revolution,” said Lemke.
Lemke met with Special Olympics Chairman and CEO, Tim Shriver, and underscored the UN’s commitment to this goal. The Special Olympics is looking to partner with the UN and International Sports Federations to end the exclusion of mentally-impaired people in society.
To this end, representatives from the International Softball Federation, UNICEF, FIFA and the World Tenpin Bowling Association also expressed their support at the meeting.
The President of the Bowling Association, Kevin Dornberger, showed his support by signing a proclamation with the Special Olympics on Tuesday.
Special Olympics athlete Loretta Claiborne spoke on how sports improve people’s lives and unite them together. Basketball player Dikembe Mutumbo and Olympian gold medalist Nadia Comaneci also attended the meeting.
The Special Olympics World Summer Games started in Athens on June 25 and will end July 4.
Russia Approves Sustainable Policy for Sochi
Russia's Olympic leaders have approved a sustainable development policy for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.
At a meeting of the Sochi 2014 Supervisory Board Wednesday, members rubberstamped the concept for the sustainable development program, which will now be refined for implementation.
Sochi 2014 said today that the new system would unite international standards and best practices in this area as part of the operational activity around the preparations and hosting of the Games.
The meeting was chaired by Alexander Zhukov, head of the Russian NOC and a deputy prime minister of Russia. Others in attendance included Marat Bariev, executive director of the NOC, Sochi mayor Anatoly Pahomov and Mikhail Terentiev, secretary general of the Russian Paralympic Committee.
“The Sochi 2014 project allows Russia to take a giant step forward. We are already seeing the great positive legacy that the Olympic Games offers, including the development of a volunteer movement for the first time in Russia, free-barrier construction for people with a disability and the implementation of green standards," Zhukov said in a statement.
VANOC Chief for Riot Review
Vancouver 2010 CEO John Furlong will help lead an independent
review of the riot that erupted earlier this month after the final game of the Stanley Cup.
Rioters took to the streets in Vancouver following the hometown Canucks’ loss in the Stanley Cup final. (Getty Images)
Thousands of troublemakers took part in the riot after the Vancouver Canucks lost the game to the Boston Bruins. An estimated 100,000 people were in downtown Vancouver. The match was held at the venue used for ice hockey in the 2010 Olympics.
Furlong will co-chair the review with a former deputy attorney general of Nova Scotia. Their report is due at the end of August.
WADA Revokes Lab Accreditation
An anti-doping lab in Ankara, Turkey is no longer accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
WADA suspended the lab in May for non-compliance with its standards and on Tuesday revoked its accreditation, meaning it cannot conduct tests on doping samples on behalf of WADA.
The lab in question falsely said women’s basketball superstar Diana Taurasi tested positive for drugs, then later retracted the report.
The laboratory may appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days. It may also choose to reapply for accreditation, but must begin the process again as a new laboratory as outlined in the International Standard for Laboratories.
In 2009, the lab was suspended for the first time.
Written by Ann Cantrell and Mark Bisson.
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