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  • Incheon 2014 Progress; Olympic Medalist Coach Banned for Life


    Asian Olympic Chief on Incheon 2014 Progress

    Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah says he is satisfied that the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon will receive the same level of Korean government support as the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
    The 2014 Coordination Committee finished its latest inspection of Incheon on Wednesday. (OCA)

    Sheikh Ahmad admitted to being worried that the Korean central government would focus only on the 2018 Games to the detriment of the 2013 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games and 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.

    But his concerns were alleviated Wednesday after meetings with Korean president Lee Myung Bak in Seoul and the speaker of the National Assembly.

    “After both meetings they have given their blessing, guidance and support for the Asian Games,” he was quoted on the OCA's website. “We are more confident the situation is stable and we are going in the right direction,” he added.

    The total budget for the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon will be $1.62 billion.

    Of that figure, Korean organizers said nearly $1.4 billion would be spent on venue construction. Around $100 million is going on road projects, $54 million on private venue construction, $11 million on training venues, with other costs accounting for $59 million.

    The Korean government will cover 19 percent of the budget with the Incheon government funding around 80 percent, according to an OCA report.

    The figures were unveiled at the 3rd Coordination Committee meeting for the 17th Asian Games at the organizing committee’s new headquarters in Incheon on Wednesday.

    With 437 events in 36 sports at the Games, organizers will use 49 competition venues. Of these, 26 exist and 23 will be new, of which 16 are already under construction and seven at the design stage. There will also be 54 training venues.

    Work on the 61,000-capacity main stadium began in June and completion has been brought forward three months. Construction is set to finish by April 30, 2014.

    Tsunekazu Takeda, the OCA’s Coordination Committee chairman, praised Incheon Asian Games chiefs on reducing the continental multisport event to a more manageable size. The number of sports is down from 42 to 36 and the competition venues from 53 to 49.

    He said Incheon 2014 will create a model for future Asian Games "in terms of creativity and cost-effectiveness".

    “This can only be done with the understanding of many people,” said Takeda, who is president of the Japanese Olympic Committee. He thanked Games organizers for their “extensive presentation, hard work and wonderful arrangements”.

    Olympic Medalist Coach Banned for Life

    Olympic gymnastics coach Don Peters is permanently banned from the sport after a series of sexual abuse allegations.
    Don Peters coached the 1984 U.S women's Olympic gymnastics team. (Getty Images)

    The Orange County Register reports that a hearing panel by USA Gymnastics banned Peters from competitions and kicked him out of the sport’s Hall of Fame.

    "A USA Gymnastics' hearing panel has concluded the investigation regarding Don Peters and has ruled that Peters will be listed as "permanently ineligible" for membership in USA Gymnastics, and that Peters' membership in the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame will be revoked, along with any rights and privileges connected to either," the national governing body said in a statement.

    So far, three women accused Peters of sexual abuse, one of whom was Doe Yamashiro. She said Peters abused her from the time she was 16.

    Olympian Kathy Johnson, who also trained under Peters but did not report any sexual scandals, said she was disappointed and angry over the situation.

    “It's a challenge to put into words the deep sadness I feel for the victims – who ultimately became the heroes in this story – the bitter disappointment in someone I trusted and thought I knew and the raging anger I feel about an inadequate system to protect our sport's most vulnerable,” Johnson told the Register.

    Peters coached the 1984 women’s Olympic team that won eight medals in Los Angeles.

    Putin Backs Maslenitsa Festival in Sochi

    The traditional Russian Orthodox festival of Maslenitsa will be celebrated during the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
    The burning of the Shrovetide is a traditional part of Maslenitsa and marks the end of winter. (Getty Images)

    Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, expressed his support of the idea that the world’s best winter athletes be exposed to the celebration in three years’ time.

    “It’s a good idea,” Putin told ITAR-TASS news agency. “It’s possible and necessary to combine major international competitions with such festivals to promote Russian traditions and culture.”

    Celebrated the week before the start of Great Lent, Maslenitsa is known as “Butter Week” or “Pancake Week” because of the traditional foods eaten during the festival.

    The Orthodox Church uses the Julian Calendar, making its religious feasts fall on different dates than Western European churches’ holy days.

    NOC Briefs

    The United Arab Emirates NOC and TNT agreed to a three-year partnership. (UAE NOC)
    ... TNT Express is supporting the United Arab Emirates National Olympic Committee as its first official supplier. As part of this three-year agreement, TNT will handle logistics for the governing body through London 2012. “This is the beginning of an integral relationship which will play a significant role in the NOC achieving its ongoing strategic goals, from spreading the Olympic message to our children through to the ongoing performance development of our representative athletes,” said Saeed Abdul Ghaffer Hussein, the NOC’s secretary general.

    ... Generations for Peace inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the Serbian Olympic Committee on Wednesday. On hand for the signing ceremony were Vlade Divac, SOC president, Sarah al-Faisal from Generations for Peace, and Serbian sports minister Snezana Samardzic-Markovic.

    ... South Africa’s Olympic Committee, SASCOC, placed two member federations under its own control. The karate and powerboat federations are being run by SASCOC due to allegations that they were not run “in a professional and businesslike fashion,” according to SASCOC secretary general Tubby Reddy.

    ... Jim Scherr, former U.S. Olympic Committee CEO, is reportedly one of the finalists for commissioner of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The NCHC will begin play in 2013 with some of the top university teams among its membership. Scherr lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., where the league is based.

    Media Watch

    ESPN looks back at the Hungarian football team of the early 1950s, the golden era for football in Hungary. The team won gold at the 1952 Olympics.

    Written by Mark Bisson and Ann Cantrell

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