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  • Calls to Ban Iran from Olympics; Olympic Obituaries


    Ronald Lauder. (WJC)
    Call for Olympic Ban

    A Jewish organization wants Iran out of the Olympics.

    Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress issued a statement Thursday urging sport federations to ban Iran for continued refusal to compete against Israeli athletes.

    At the aquatics world championships in Shanghai on Sunday, Iranian swimmer Mohammed Alirezaei refused to swim a heat in the 100m breaststroke, apparently due to the presence of an Israeli athlete.

    “It is high time that a strong signal is sent to Iran that unless this long-standing boycott is lifted, Iranian athletes will not be allowed to enter major international events such as next year’s Olympic Games in London” Lauder said.

    Iranian athletes have routinely withdrawn from competitions against Israelis in numerous sporting events. Injuries, illness or fatigue are cited, not political reasons.

    “This kind of bigotry can and must be overcome, and Tehran must give clear undertakings that Iranian athletes do not shun their Israeli counterparts at sporting events” Lauder added.

    “To my knowledge, Israeli sportsmen are the only ones world-wide targeted by such a racist boycott, yet leading federations such as the International Olympic Committee and others are reluctant to take strong and unequivocal action. Iran’s behavior is unsportsmanlike and smacks of anti-Semitism. It must be stopped!”

    Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, Silver Medalist, 29

    Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, silver medalist at the Vancouver Games and three-time Olympian died of suicide on Monday. He was 29.

    He won a silver medal in aerial skiing at the Vancouver Olympics, and also entered the 2006 and 2002 Games as well. In Turin, he was kicked off the team after he got into an altercation at a bar.

    one-year-to-the-Games milestone is the top story in British papers. (ATR)
    Frank Foster, Olympic Composer, 82

    Frank Foster a saxophonist who played with Count Basie and composed music for the Lake Placid Olympics opening ceremony died on Tuesday. He was 82.

    He was a decades-long fixture with Basie’s big band and his "Lake Placid Suite", a composition for a jazz orchestra was commissioned specifically for the ceremony.

    According to media reports, his wife says Foster died of complications with kidney failure.

    Media Watch

    The Wall Street Journal profiles the “sad state” of British athletics and comes up with a dire prediction for British athletes. “They may actually run slower and jump lower than the last generation to fly the Union Jack.”

    Olympic stadium architect Rod Sheard discusses the design and thought behind his 2012 portfolio.

    French newspaper Le Parisien interviews two young French Olympians, discussing their emotions one year out.

    The U.K.’s hospitality industry may not be able to handle the 2012 Olympics.

    The Leander Rowing Club in Oxfordshire is poised to reach a significant Olympic milestone in London next year.

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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