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  • Innsbruck Chefs; Paralympic Conference; Dubai Eyes YOG, Asian Games


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    Innsbruck 2012 mascot Yoggl is “on vacation” but the chefs de mission certainly aren't. (Innsbruck 2012)
    Innsbruck Welcomes YOG Chefs

    Chefs de mission the world over are en route to Innsbruck for a three-day briefing on the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games.

    “With just 139 days left before the Opening Ceremony on 13 January 2012, the preparations are moving forward at an ever increasing speed,” says a letter to the delegates sent by the organizing committee and made available to Around the Rings.
    “We certainly hope that this seminar will show you our beautiful city, familiarize you with our venues and help you prepare for bringing your teams to Innsbruck in the best possible way.”

    A cocktail reception and welcome dinner Thursday kick off the weekend’s activities with venue tours, media workshops and teambuilding exercises to follow on Friday.

    IOC director of the Olympic Games Gilbert Felli will address the National Olympic Committee delegates once Friday and once Saturday before Sunday’s scheduled departures.

    During the chefs meeting, Innsbruck’s Young Ambassadors will also meet in the alpine haven.
    Four months later, more than 1,000 athletes aged 14 to 18 will hit the slopes of Seefeld and Innsbruck to compete in 63 medal events during the first-ever Winter YOG.

    Competition opens Jan. 13 and runs through Jan. 22.

    Paralympic Conference Brings Experts to Germany

    Experts in Paralympic sports are gathering until Saturday to discuss research topics related to the movement.
    Experts are discussing issues related to the Paralympics this week in Bonn, Germany. (Getty Images)

    Around 200 sports scientists, researchers, coaches, trainers and administrators converged on Bonn, Germany for the fifth VISTA conference, organized by the International Paralympic Committee.

    “It is quite possible that what is discussed between now and Saturday could benefit athletes and National Paralympic Committees that are preparing for London 2012, but also those who are looking further ahead to Sochi 2014, Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018,” said Phillip Craven, IPC’s president.

    The theme of this year’s conference, which runs from Aug. 31 – Sept. 3, is “A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Paralympic Success.”

    It will feature three keynote addresses from Liz Nicholl, CEO of the sports agency UK Sport; Yves Vanlandewijck, chairperson of the IPC’s Sports Science Committee and Mike McNamee, a professor from Swansea University. Wilfried Lemke, the UN’sport chief, will present a symposium on the legacy of Paralympic sport.

    Canadian Olympic Committee CEO

    Chris Overholt. (COC)
    Chris Overholt is the new secretary general of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

    The COC made the announcement Wednesday following the sudden departure of Jean Dupre.

    Dupre became secretary general in April of last year. The COC said in a statement he was leaving for personal reasons.

    Dubai Eyes YOG, Asian Games Bids

    The United Arab Emirates National Olympic Committee wants a Youth Olympic or Asian Games to serve as a test event for an Olympic bid.
    Dubai passed on a 2020 Olympic bid in July. (Getty Images)

    According to a report on Arabian Business’ website, UAE NOC secretary general Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Hussain said the Games would prep Dubai to bid for the 2024 Olympics.

    “We’re thinking of hosting the Olympic youth events during this time…which will be a sort of rehearsal for us. At least if not the Youth Olympics [then we’ll bid] for the Asian Games.”

    He did not say which edition of the Games they would bid for. The 2018 and 2022 YOG are yet to be selected, and 2019 and 2023 Asiad hosts are still unknown.

    Oscar De La Hoya Fondly Remembers Olympics

    The Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya says his victory at the Olympics his career’s highlight.
    Oscar de la Hoya dedicated his Olympic gold to his mother who died of cancer in 1990. (Getty Images)
    In an interview with T.V. network Univision, De La Hoya talked about his life and the importance of his gold in boxing at the 1992 Olympics.

    “The Olympics is what I like to remember the most. The fact that I dedicated it to my mother, may she rest in peace, was a dream come true,” said De La Hoya in an English version of the transcript.

    “That medal was the start of it all, in terms of boxing and emotionally. It made me a positive person for the community, for people.”

    The Mexican-American boxer won the gold medal just after graduating from high school.

    Bid Decision Criticism

    Trouble is brewing in Toronto over the way the city’s mayor, Rob Ford, decided to nix a bid for the 2020 Games.

    Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam wrote a letter to the mayor lambasting him for making the decision with only the counsel of his brother, Doug, also a Councillor.

    “I believe that you and Councillor Doug Ford disrespected our roles as elected representatives when you made a decision by fiat without council consideration,” Wong-Tam wrote.

    “Transparency in government would have required that an informative briefing on the bid and an invitation to the Olympic working group be presented to Members of Council on behalf of our constituents. Whether one supports or does not support an Olympic bid, what is of the gravest concern to me is the lack of accountability and transparency in your decision.”

    The open letter continues with Wong-Tam questioning the Mayor Ford’s overall style of governance.
    Toronto’s The Globe and Mail says Wong-Tam “is generally on the other side of issues from Rob Ford.”

    Ford told the daily he had not read the letter.

    Written by Ed Hula III and Matthew Grayson.

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