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  • One Month to Pan Ams; European Women and Sport; Hungary Out


    One Month to Pan Ams

    Guadalajara says its ready to stage history’s best Pan American Games 30 days out from the opening ceremony.
    The Pan American Torch Relay kicked off late last month and will hit 38 cities in 50 days before arriving in Guadalajara for the Oct. 14 opening ceremony. (COPAG)

    “People are responding well. They have already seen the changes in the city, the facilities, that there are almost 100 athletes from Jalisco that will compete,” chief organizer Carlos Andrade says in a month-to-go statement.

    “All the economy that the event is bringing to the city and the promotion for Mexico will rise.”

    Roughly 5,700 athletes representing 42 countries will begin arriving in Guadalajara on Sept. 29.

    According to the organizing committee, the Pan Am Village will officially open Oct. 4 with a housing complex of 942 apartments as well medical services, dry cleaning, restaurants and a 3,000-seat cafeteria.

    “The sports venues that will host the 36 sports will be in great conditions,” says Andrade, adding that Telmex Athletics Stadium will be finished by the end of September.

    The venue’s test event was cancelled earlier this month after recent rains postponed the track’s installation, the latest in a series of construction delays to trouble these Pan Ams.

    Competition is scheduled to open Oct. 14 with spots at London 2012 up for grabs in 15 of the 26 sports on the Summer Olympic program.

    EOC Forming Women and Sport Commission

    As the last continental committee without a commission devoted to promoting women’s sports, the European Olympic Committee is considering forming a Women and Sport Commission.
    Rower Ekaterina Karsten was honored as the first gold medalist from Belarus. (Getty Images)

    IOC member Anita DeFrantz tells Around the Rings that a major outcome of the EOC executive board meeting this past weekend in Minsk, Belarus was a request to organize the commission.

    Although the EOC had a Women and Sport Commission “many years ago”, it is the last continental committee to broach the subject, said DeFrantz.

    “Representatives from 24 European Olympic Committees attended the meeting. We have hosted such seminars in each of the five continents. The European seminar was the last to be organized.

    “I believe that there will be a very vibrant organization as a result of the excellent seminar,” added DeFrantz, who chairs the IOC Women and Sport Commission.

    The EOC was in Belarus partly to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus.

    DeFrantz noted that festivities included an homage to rower Ekaterina Karsten. She was the first gold medalist from Belarus.

    Hungary Out of London Olympics

    “Hungary” will not appear at the London Olympics.
    Traditionally, Hungarian Olympic teams have had “Hungary” on their Olympic uniforms. (Getty Images)

    Traditionally, Hungarian Olympic teams have had “Hungary” on their Olympic uniforms.

    Instead, the English name will be replaced with its Hungarian equivalent – Magyarország.
    Hungarian Olympic Committee board member Istvan Kovacs made the announcement in Hungarian media.
    The move apparently comes as the government starts an effort to become “more Hungarian” as some reports have speculated. IOC member Pal Schmitt is the president of Hungary.
    Kovacs also downplayed the chances of his country’s success in London. Out of a team of around 120 athletes, he predicted at most eight gold medals. “Ko-Ko”, as he is known, won a gold medal in boxing at the Atlanta Olympics.
    Christchurch to Welcome Olympians

    Christchurch will welcome home New Zealand’s Olympic team following the Games.

    The New Zealand Olympic Committee said in a statement the city was selected to “symbolize national pride and character” following a devastating earthquake in February that rocked the city center.

    NZOC also announced it's donating more than $160,000 to athletes in Christchurch who suffered due to the quake. A portion of the money came from an IOC grant.

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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