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  • 49 Votes Could Decide 2018 Race; New Olympic Sports; Felli Defers Retirement


    IOC president Jacques Rogge announces eight sports are in contention to join the Olympic Program in 2020. (ATR)
    IOC Majority is 49 for 1st Round Win for 2018 Bids 

    The contest among Annecy, Munich and PyeongChang for the 2018 Winter Games could be decided by a majority of 49 votes or less, if there is a victory in the first ballot on July 6 at the IOC Session in Durban.

    Out of 110 IOC members, six will not be allowed to vote in the first round as the members from countries with bids are not allowed to vote are not allowed to vote. France, Germany and Korea each have two members, meaning those six will sit out the first ballot.
    Six other IOC members will not be attending the Durban session, dropping the number of voting-eligible members to 98 in the first round. Take away another vote for the IOC President, who would only vote to break a tie. That leaves 97 members voting in round one and it’s possible that some other members may choose to abstain from voting, which could lower the simple majority number even further.

    If the vote goes to a second round, IOC members from the city eliminated would be eligible to vote in what would be the second and decisive round. Depending on abstentions, the majority vote could still hover around 49 votes.

    Salt Lake City was the last host to be decided on the first round, winning 54 of 89 votes at the 1995 Session in Budapest.

    The six members excused from the Durban Session are: Prince Nawaf Faisal Fahd Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia; Alpha Ibrahim Diallo of Guinea; James Easton from the U.S.; Joao Havelange of Brazil; Mounir Sabet from Egypt; Randhir Singh from India.

    New Sports to Compete for Spot on 2020 Olympics

    The IOC Executive Board approves a list of eight sports to battle for a spot on the program of the 2020 Olympics.

    The eight could be shortlisted further as the process unfolds towards a decision at the 2013 IOC Session in Buenos Aires, says IOC President Jacques Rogge.

    Wakeboarding is on the sports program for regional and beach games throughout the world. (Getty Images)
    The list of contenders includes baseball and softball, both of which were dropped from the London program. Squash, karate, and roller sports, which tried to enter the program for London and Rio De Janeiro are invited to try again.

    Newcomers to the list are sports climbing, wakeboard and wushu.

    World Squash Federation president N Ramachandran issued a statement welcoming the chance to try again for the Olympics.

    “I truly believe that Squash would be a great Olympic sport. It fulfills all the criteria for inclusion in the Games, has proven universality and growth and we have an absolute commitment from all our top athletes that an Olympic medal would be the pinnacle of their careers,” he says.

    Rogge notes that the sports the IOC will choose from will also include one more to be determined at the 2013 IOC Session. That will be the sport the IOC chooses to cut from the current list of 26 core Olympic sports as the IOC moves to a roster of 25 core sports starting in 2020.

    Rogge said that no decision was made on whether to allow baseball and softball to combine as one sport for the purpose of the Olympics.

    IOC communications director Mark Adams and Jacques Rogge hold a rare, late-night press conference. (ATR)
    sports are seeking such an arrangement as a way to improve their chances for re-admission to the Olympics.

    Winter Sports Disciplines

    The EB meeting in Durban Monday okayed the addition of three new disciplines to the program for Sochi in 2014.

    Ski slopestyle, snowboard slopestyle, and snowboard parallel special slalom won the nod in Durban, all events with both men and women. Those join the five other new disciplines approved by the EB in April: ski halfpipe, women’s ski jumping, biathlon mixed relay, figure skating team event and luge team relay.

    "The IOC's decision to add slopestyle to the Olympics recognizes the millions of youth who are already participating in the sport in terrain parks around the world,” says U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association president Bill Marolt in a statement.

    "It's gratifying to see the modernism shown by the IOC in bringing in so many new events to better showcase the excitement of skiing and snowboarding as action sports to the world,” he says.

    Felli to Remain at IOC Until 2014

    IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli will turn 65 in 2012, the age at which staff at the Lausanne headquarters are supposed to retire.

    But Felli will stay on until 2014, through the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, Rogge announced at his press conference Monday evening.

    Written and reported in Durban by Ed Hula.

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