Rogge Among Russia's Newest "Friends"
Leaders of the IOC and three international federations are the latest recipients of Russia's Order of Friendship.
Dmitry Medvedev decorates Jacques Rogge before an audience of Russian athletes. (Kremlin)
President Dmitry Medvedev presented the state decorations Tuesday to IOC president Jacques Rogge, International Weightlifting Federation president Tamas Ajan, International Association of Athletics Federations president Lamine Diack and International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel.
"Under your leadership over the past 10 years the programs of Summer and Winter Olympics have improved greatly while the Youth Olympic Games have given a new impetus to the entire Olympic Movement," said Medvedev in a speech directly mostly at Rogge.
"Largely due to these steps, cooperation between Russia and the IOC has reached a new level: we are preparing for the 2014 Sochi Olympics and I have no doubt that our efforts will be very successful and we will host great Olympic Games."
Rogge and company are in town to attend annual general meetings of the European Olympic Committees later this week in Sochi as well Friday's centenary celebration of the Russian Olympic Committee.
“Hard Route” Ahead for Sport Climbing
Climbing is gearing up for its Olympic bid.
A meeting over the weekend in Munich solidified support for the 2020 campaign among national governing bodies for the shortlisted sport.
More than half of the IFSC’s member federations attended in person with the rest joining in via live stream. (IFSC)
"It is fantastic to see how our National Federations are positively responding to this initiative,” said International Federation for Sport Climbing president Marco Maria Scolaris.
"In this meeting we climbed the first section of a hard route, and we prepared the next one.”
Tops on the agenda were the development of closer cooperation among climbing countries as well as improvement to the sport’s presentation, competition model and sponsorship income in view of 2020.
Climbing is among eight sports shortlisted by the IOC ahead of a 2013 decision. It's expected there will be room for only one to join the program, currently capped at 28 sports.
Olympic Champion Retires
Olympian Enrico Fabris is retiring from the sport of speedskating.
Enrico Fabris helped win Italy’s first medal at the Turin Olympics. (Getty Images)
His coach Gianni Romme told the Associated Press that the Italian athlete has been dealing with a lack of motivation.
"His motivation was shot. It didn't happen in one day. It was a long process," Romme said.
Fabris won gold medals in the 1,500m and team pursuit at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. He also claimed Italy’s first Olympic medal in the 5,000m event, winning bronze.
His performance declined since then and his coach commented that the Olympics were the peak of his career.
"As an athlete, you cannot do any better than to peak at the Olympics. He got as much out of his career as possible," Romme told the AP.
Indian NOC Forms Athletes’ Commission
The Indian Olympic Association will form an Athletes’ Commission with its chair to sit on the IOA executive board.
Candidates will come from the pool of Olympians who are qualified for the 2012 Games.
"The Indian Olympic Association has decided to give more representation to sportspersons in its General Assembly and Executive Board with full voting rights," the IOA said in a statement.
In Beijing, 24 Indonesians competed in seven sports and took home five medals, good enough for 42nd in the final tally. (Getty Images)
Indonesia Targets 2016 Olympic Success
Rita Subowu, president of the Indonesian National Olympic Committee (KONI), says she is targeting a “top 20” performance at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
She made the comments after seeing Indonesia’s strong showing at the Southeast Asian Games.
For London, 25 athletes have already qualified and Subowu said KONI does not have “a specific target” for the Games.
Lufthansa Starts Flights to Rio
Lufthansa is setting a course for Rio de Janeiro as the city prepares for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
Lufthansa will once again have direct flights to Rio de Janeiro. (Getty Images)
Deutsche Welle reports that the German airline’s decision to restart non-stop flights reflects a trend with European companies.
"Based on investments, we're seeing a growing interest among European and German companies to position their production in this market," said Lufthansa board member Kay Kratky.
She added that this interest translates into more business for airline companies.
With another carrier flying to Rio, this could pose problems for the country’s airports.
"The airports are already bursting at the seams," said Wilfried Grolig, German ambassador to Brazil. "It is difficult to imagine how the passenger traffic during the Games will be mastered if nothing significant happens with the airport infrastructure."
As the controversy over Dow Chemical’s Olympic sponsorship grows in London, the possibility exists
it could become a hot-button issue in next year’s mayoral election.
Reuters offers a recap of Mitt Romney’s tenure as SLOC president and finds a contrast
with Mitt Romney as a presidential candidate.
Written by Ann Cantrell and Matthew Grayson.
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