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  • Innsbruck Passes Final IOC Inspection; Last Surviving London Venue Restored


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    Co-Comm Concludes Trip to Innsbruck

    The IOC Coordination Commission is done inspecting Innsbruck ahead of the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games.

    “The Innsbruck Organizing Committee heads into the final few months of preparation with an extremely organized and creative team who are working tirelessly to ensure an unforgettable elite sporting event for the world’s best young winter athletes,” Co-Comm chair Gian-Franco Kasper said Tuesday at the end of his delegation's fourth and final visit to the Austrian ski haven.

    “This unique host city has a rich Olympic history, and today we can feel the excitement building as it makes history again with the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games,” he added.

    Kasper and company were impressed by progress on the Youth Olympic Village, which will hold 1,660 athletes and officials and serve as affordable housing after the Games.

    The legacy of Innsbruck 2012 will also include a venue that will hold the snowboarding and freestyle events. It's expected to be one of the best winter freestyle sport and training centers in Europe.

    A Culture and Education Program will also be integrated into the schedule that will enable athletes to experience different cultures and learn about healthy lifestyles.

    “Holding 63 medal events and a wide-ranging Culture and Education Program in the space of just 10 days requires a tremendous amount of detailed planning, organisation, coordination, leadership and monitoring,” said chief organizer Peter Bayer.

    “I am proud of our team. The vision of the Youth Olympic Games is within touching distance, and there is great enthusiasm among all the members of the Organising Committee,” he added.

    The first Winter YOG will be staged Jan. 13 through 22 of 2012.
    Herne Hill Helped

    Herne Hill velodrome, the last extant finals venue from the 1948 Olympics, is ready for a new life now that renovations to its track are complete.
    The new track at Herne Hill. (British Cycling)

    The venue had fallen into disrepair until British Cycling signed a 15-year lease to the site back in March, pledging to restore the track over the summer.

    That work was unveiled Wednesday at a ceremony with British sports minister Hugh Robertson, head of British Cycling Brian Cookson and British cycling greats.

    "It is fitting that the year before London 2012, we are able to celebrate the refurbishment of the track at one of the key venues from the 1948 Games," Robertson said.

    "As the popularity of cycling continues to grow, it is vital that people are provided with the facilities and opportunities to ride their bikes, be they young people starting out, serious racers, or others simply cycling to keep fit."

    British Cycling posted a Flickr gallery of the event here

    Own The Podium CEO Resigns

    Alex Baumann will step down as CEO of Canada’s Own the Podium program due to a second bout with cancer.

    The high-performance training program was widely credited with Canada’s strong showing at the Vancouver Olympics. His resignation is effective Oct. 1.

    In a written statement published Wednesday, Baumann said: "There is a saying that, when a person gets cancer, the whole family gets cancer. I watched over the months the impact this diagnosis had on my wife and children.

    "The waiting, the worrying and the uncertainty probably put more stress on them than me. It is times such as these we realize the importance of family and time together."

    He will move to New Zealand so he can be closer to his family, he added.

    Media Watch

    Pride, the British mascot for the 2012 Olympics, gets pilloried by The Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone.

    Some environmentalists are afraid pollution in the waters of Rio de Janeiro could lead to the city’s embarrassment during the 2016 Olympics.

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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