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  • Hickey Presents European Games Study at EOC General Assembly


    EOC president Pat Hickey (Getty)
    (ATR) European Olympic Committees president Pat Hickey tells Around the Rings that plans to stage a European Games are moving forward.

    "It looks like we are making very good progress," Hickey told ATR shortly be the official opening of the EOC's 40th general assembly in Sochi.

    Hickey said he will inform delegates from the 49 NOCs gathered in the 2014 Winter Olympic city that plans are heading in the right direction following positive feedback from 28 European federations after a lengthy period of consultation.

    Hickey and Zlatko Matesa, chairman EOC European Games Feasibility Study Group, are presenting the findings of the Deloitte report today.

    Due to a busy conference program, there will be no chance for a question and answer session following the presentation.

    EOC leaders had hoped they could put the European Games plan to a vote at the meeting in Sochi. But the final Deloitte report is still being pulled together.

    Hickey told ATR that all member NOCs would receive this report in two weeks time.

    "We will ask them to submit their comments on the report, then we will have an extraordinary general assembly on 12 April during the ANOC general assembly in Moscow," he said.

    Voting at the EGM will determine if the European Games plan gets off the ground or is scrapped altogether.

    The IOC member from Ireland wants to create a continental games in Europe along the lines of the Asian or Pan American Games. The European Youth Olympic Festival is currently the only multi-sport event for Europe.

    A European Games could be lucrative for federations, but how the event would fit into the already crowded European sports calendar is a major concerns. Other issues vexing the minds of EOC officials and federations surround the funding of the Games and how marketing and sponsorship revenues would be divided.

    The EOC's general assembly is taking place at the Radisson
    The EOC meeting is taking place at the Radisson Lazurnaya Hotel in Sochi (Getty)
    Lazurnaya Hotel in Sochi.

    In the opening session of the EOC assembly, Hickey and EOC secretary general Raffaele Pagnozzi will give their reports on the association's achievements over the past year and the challenges ahead as Europe's NOCs prepare for the London 2012 Olympics.

    IOC president Jacques Rogge will also deliver a short address to delegates.

    Association of National Olympic Committees secretary general Gunilla Lindberg and Pamela Vipond, deputy director of Olympic Solidarity, are among others scheduled to report on the opening day of the conference.

    Also Wednesday, Sochi 2014 partner Bosco, the sportswear company, is hosting three events: a Look of the Games briefing; the signing of a new MOU between Bosco and the city of Sochi administration; and the EOC General Assembly Welcome Dinner.

    Bosco’s founder Mikhail Kusnirovich will provide insights into the inspiration behind Sochi 2014’s Look of the Games.

    The MOU between Bosco and the city of Sochi names Bosco as the official outfitters of the city volunteers for the 2011/2012 Sochi 2014 test event program. Dmitry Chernyshenko, president and CEO of the Sochi 2014 organizing committee, will be among those in attendance.

    Thursday's program is dominated by progress reports from leaders of the next four summer and winter Olympics in London, Sochi, Rio and PyeongChang.

    The IOC's Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli will offer his views on developments in Games bidding and planning, as well as the first Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck that kicks off in January.

    Jean-Claude Killy, chairman of the IOC's coordination commission for Sochi 2014, is set to pay tribute to the fast-track preparations for Russia's first Winter Games.

    The EOC meeting closes Thursday evening with an official dinner hosted by Alexander Zukhov, president of the Russian NOC, and award of the 1st Piotr Nurowski Best European Young Athlete Prize.

    Around the Rings is on the scene for the EOC meeting as well as on Friday for the Russian Olympic Ball that is being held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Russian NOC.

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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