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  • Dow Stadium Wrap; Taekwondo Youth Camp; Dubai 2024


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    Stadium Wrap Tells Dow’s Story

    Dow Chemical says its one-kilometer wrap around London Olympic Stadium makes good business sense for the company.
    An artist's rendering depicts how the stadium will look with Dow's fabric wrap. (LOCOG)

    On August 4 during a conference call, George Hamilton, vice president of Dow Olympic Operations, discussed the benefits of the giant wrap that his company is providing for the London Games.

    He said the project supports the reasons Dow became a top-tier sponsor and allows it to use the “Olympic platform as a way for Dow to better tell its story about how our chemistry and our science contribute to creating solutions for the world’s problems,” said Hamilton.

    “It’s a platform that we otherwise would not have had,” he added.

    Hamilton hailed the giant wrap as a sustainable solution with a 20 percent lower carbon footprint than conventional materials. Dow will achieve this low footprint through sustainable options like inks that reduce emissions and the use of post-industrial recycled content, said Hamilton.

    It will also be re-purposed after the Games, although Dow is still working out the details.

    Last year, plans for the decorative wrap were dropped to save tax-payers money.

    London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe said Dow’s decision to supply the fabric curtain benefited the British public.

    “This was a way of also protecting the public purse, which given the state of the British and global economy, we were clearly and acutely conscience of,” he said.

    Dow has not disclosed the cost of the project. Coe said that this was a procedural issue and that the organizing committee does not discuss commercial arrangements.

    Third Taekwondo Camp

    The third World Taekwondo Youth Camp is underway in Muju, South Korea.

    Designed for taekwondo athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 – although some participants are much younger – the camp brings together 254 athletes from 27 countries for five days of training and education.
    More than 250 youngsters from 27 countries are in Muju for the camp. (ATR)

    The camp is organized by the Taekwondo Promotion Foundation with assistance from the World Taekwondo Federation. And while the express purpose is to train the next generation of athletes, the camp fits into WTF’s plans to highlight taekwondo’s growing international stature.

    For years, taekwondo was seen as an almost entirely Korean sport. WTF officials, however, are now quick to mention their 200 member national federations, the eight largest in the Olympics, and that other countries are now claiming top awards at competitions. Iran won the men’s overall title at the 2011 world championships and China the women’s overall title in 2009, the first time Korea failed to claim the position.
    Substantial focus this year was given to the Taekwondo Park, also in Muju. Work on the site is now about 25 percent complete, with an opening planned for spring 2013. Videos promoting the park were played routinely. When completed, the camp will serve as a year-round training facility for taekwondo. On Thursday, officials from TPF and Muju’s high school signed a memorandum of understanding to support the park when operational.

    Dubai Not Wed to August Olympics

    The United Arab Emirates National Olympic Committee tells Around the Rings a future Dubai bid will not necessarily respect the competition dates traditionally reserved for Summer Olympic Games.
    Dubai has a population of more than 2.2 million. (Getty Images)

    “The feasibility study had looked at the options and proposed dates outside the August calendar,” secretary general Saeed Abdulghaffar Hussain told ATR a week after the NOC passed on 2020 in favor of 2024.

    The study he references found that as much as 70 percent of the infrastructure needed to stage the Games is already in place or planned but that the city could improve its chances by waiting another four years.

    “The decision was taken because it was felt a bid would be better timed for 2024 in order to allow important ‘human’ elements for a successful bid – such as sports participation, grass roots sports activity and sports federations – be strengthened,” Hussain said.

    The emirate has invested heavily in sports infrastructure and was considered a likely bidder despite the extremely high summer temperatures sure to draw some criticism.

    In an unprecedented move, the IOC requested NOCs interested in 2020 to submit proposed dates should cities want to stage competition outside the “normal Olympic Games” period of July 15 to Aug. 31.

    These letters were due in Lausanne by July 29, the same day Dubai passed on 2020.

    Sailing, Rowing, Triathlon Test Events

    LOCOG observers are pulling double-duty this week with test events in sailing and now rowing underway at 2012 venues.

    An international invitational regatta hit the waters of Weymouth on July 31 and runs through Aug. 13.

    Meanwhile, the FISA World Rowing Junior Championships kicked off Thursday in Eton Dorney and wraps up Sunday.

    Triathlon is next in line, with its ITU World Championship Series stopping by London this weekend for an early bike/run through Hyde Park and swim in the Serpentine.

    Around the Rings will be on the scene at both Eton Dorney and Hyde Park, so check back Friday and Monday for continued coverage of the London Prepares series of test events.

    Hilton Sponsors Chinese NOC

    Hotel giant Hilton will put up Team China and family for reduced rates through at least 2019.

    “We are honored to have Hilton Worldwide’s loyalty program as our official hotel sponsor of the Chinese Olympic Committee,” COC vice president Yang Shuan said in a statement.

    “The level of competitive sports in China has reached a new height, and having a partner like Hilton Worldwide will help foster athlete development and further promote the Olympic Movement.”

    Olympic gold medalists Yang Yang and Tao Luna joined COC and Hilton executive at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai to announce the eight-year deal.

    Written by Ann Cantrell, Ed Hula III and Matthew Grayson.

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