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  • Chinese Olympic Team Prediction; North Korean Award for IOC Member; 1904 Anniversary


    11/23/11

    Chinese Olympic Team Prediction

    The director of the General Administration of Sport of China, Liu Peng predicts a strong showing from China at the London Olympics.
    The winter motivational meeting for the Chinese Olympic team. (ATR)

    “We have abilities of achieving some good results at London Olympic Games after three years of effective administration and training,” Liu said at the winter motivational meeting for the Chinese London Olympic team in Beijing on Tuesday.

    “Until Nov. 20, 254 Chinese athletes have qualified for 138 events in 17 sports for next year,” he said.

    Liu, who is also Chinese Olympic Committee president, said he is very satisfied with the result of Chinese sports in 2011.

    “A majority of sports had a stable performance and improved their results at international competitions this year.”

    Liu stresses that some sports achieved some good results.

    “Swimming and track and field have improved dramatically in 2011.

    “Women’s volleyball team finished last at the World Grand Prix this year and faced lots of pressures from the public since then. However, they showed their power after learning from this mistake and came third at the World Cup qualifying for London. ”

    Chinese athletes have claimed 44 gold medals at Olympic events at international competitions in 2011, the best achievement since 2008, when Chinese athletes won 51, according to the statistics released by Liu.

    Liu also mentioned there were some challenges the Chinese team would be facing next year.

    “Other countries have also improved their abilities,” Liu added. “We also will face some new issues coming from adjustment of events, the changes of rules as well as some special conditions of competing away (from home). ”

    At the Beijing Olympics, China won 100 medals, 51 of them gold.

    Sheikh Ahmad Honor from North Korea

    Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmad received the “Friendship Order, First Class” from Kin Jong-Il, Supreme Leader of North Korea.
    Sheikh Ahmad in Pyongyang with Kim Yong Nam. (OCA)

    The Sheikh was presented with the award on Tuesday by Kim Yong Nam, chairman of North Korea’s parliament.
     
    According to a statement on OCA’s website, he received the award “in recognition of his efforts, relations and cooperation initiatives in Asia.”

    During the award ceremony, Kim said the “distinguished relations” between North Korea and Kuwait, Sheikh Ahmad’s home, were valued.

    Both men pledged to continue the strong ties between the two countries, and Sheikh Ahmad said the OCA would continue to support Korean athletes.

    Olympic History

    On Nov. 23, the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis ended.

    Part of the World’s Fair, the third Olympics were considered a sideshow of sorts to the Fair, which was already established as a premier international event.

    The Games had several oddities about them, unlikely to be repeated in modern Olympics.

    For one, the Games were the longest in Olympic history, lasting for four months. Three events at the Games are no longer on the Olympic Program: lacrosse, roque (in which only the U.S. competed) and tug-of-war.

    Difficulties in getting to the Midwestern city and ongoing war meant many teams couldn’t make it to the Games. The U.S. sent 523 athletes, and Canada sent the second-largest team with 52 Olympians.

    As would be expected, the U.S. dominated the medal tally winning 239 medals. Germany finished second with a grand total of 13.

    The marathon was full of bizarre stories, the most famous from Fred Lorz, originally thought to be the winner.

    Lorz of the U.S. did cross the finish line first, even though he did not win.

    The race took place on a hot and humid day, with the event’s entourage of doctors, journalists and others following the runners in cars and horses constantly kicking dust in their faces. Lorz hitched a ride in a car at around midway, then felt rested enough to resume running. Thomas Hicks was eventually found to be the winner, and Lorz was banned for life from amateur competition.

    Perhaps most shameful was the infamous “Anthropology Day” of the World's Fair. On that day, aboriginal people from various continents competed in sports competitions.

    Carl Aage Praest, Football Bronze Medalist, 89

    Carl Aage Praest, part of Denmark’s bronze medal winning football squad at the 1948 Olympics died. He was 89.

    Danish media indicate he died Nov. 19.

    He turned professional following the Games and was ineligible for Denmark’s then-amateur international side.

    Atlanta ATR Offices Closed
    The Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is an annual tradition. (Getty Images)

    In observance of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, the Atlanta offices of Around the Rings will be closed.

    However, our reporters on assignment throughout the world will still be working that day.

    Some staff will return to the office on Nov. 25, with normal hours resuming Nov. 28.

    Written by Ed Hula III and Tencent’s Norman Li.

    For general comments or questions, click here.

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