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  • Sochi 2014 Touts Warm Welcome; Tokyo 2020 Wins Vote; Chile for 2019 Pan Ams?


    Sochi 2014 Touts Warm Welcome

    Olympic organizers in Russia want everyone to feel right at home.
    Language services understandably play a vital role in Games organization. (Sochi 2014)

    Over the weekend at the Sochi 2014 Translation Forum, more than 650 translators, interpreters, students and linguistics professors learned exactly what that will take.

    More than 1,000 translators and interpreters will be summoned to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Games.

    “We’re aiming to provide the warmest welcome possible when we welcome the world to Sochi and speak the same language as our Olympic and Paralympic guests, so the Forum helped us to reach this goal,” said organizing committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko.

    “As the first forum of its kind in the history of the Olympic Movement, the Sochi 2014 Translation Forum was a further example that we are going to deliver the most memorable and innovative Games in history.”

    In attendance for the event were London 2012 chief interpreter Wilhelm Weber, Sochi 2014 language services advisor Maureen Sweeney, PyeongChang 2018 planning service director general Kim Nam Su and IOC head of media operations Anthony Edgar, who also serves as language services curator for Sochi 2014.

    Both volunteers and professionals will make up the massive language workforce required when 5,500 athletes; 13,000 journalists and millions more spectators descend upon Sochi come 2014.

    Vote of Confidence for Tokyo 2020

    Both houses of Japan’s bicameral legislature now back Tokyo 2020.
    Wednesday's vote of confidence followed a speech by seven-time Olympic speedskater and track cyclist Seiko Hashimoto, herself a Councillor. (Kyodo News)

    A day after the lower House of Representatives passed a bill calling for government, lawmakers and citizens alike to unite in support of the Olympic bid, the upper House of Councillors followed suit Wednesday.

    “Domestic support for the 2020 bid is increasing steadily, and the passing of the resolution by both Houses of the Diet will further highlight the growing support to host the Games in Japan to the IOC and to the wider Olympic family,” said Tsunekazu Takeda, president of both Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese Olympic Committee.

    The legislation also highlights the contributions the Games could make to Japan’s sporting development as well as to the country’s ongoing recovery from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

    The congressional stamp of approval arrives just a week after Japan’s government formalized its bid support with the establishment of the Tokyo 2020 Council, a 64-member advisory board headed by Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara and including Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

    Santiago for 2019 Pan Ams?

    Chilean Olympic Committee president Neven Ilic says he’s willing to try for a third term in order to complete some unfinished business.
    Chilean Olympic Committee president Neven Ilic. (ATR)

    “I think a lot of time in the same office is not healthy for anyone, but there are other factors that have started operations,” he told Radio Cooperativa, citing the 2014 South American Games in Santiago as well as a potential bid for the 2019 Pan American Games.

    “That has made me rethink the idea of moving, and I'm willing to [run again].”

    Until last week, NOC bylaws actually stipulated a maximum tenure of eight years, but changes made since would allow Illic to stand for reelection.

    Santiago was among several interested 2019 contenders mentioned by the president of PASO as the 2011 Pan Ams came to a close in Guadalajara.

    According to Mario Vazquez Rana, the others are Lima, Peru; Bogota, Colombia and an undetermined city in the U.S. (though the USOC insists it’s not considering bids of any kind).

    The election for the 2019 Pan Am host will be held in 2013. Illic’s current terms expires in 2012.

    Toronto 2015 Taps Athlete Advisors

    Organizers of the next Pan American Games now include 10 top Canadian athletes.

    Toronto 2015 unveiled Thursday its newly created Athlete Advisory Council to include Carla Qualtrough, chair (para-swimming); Nathaniel Miller (water polo); Marie Dannhaeuser (para-swimming); Trevino Betty (athletics); Warren Sawkiw (baseball); Nicole Forrester (athletics); Erika Schmutz (wheelchair rugby); Alexandra Orlando (rhythmic gymnastics), Jane Thornton (rowing) and John Hastings (kayak).

    “Other international Games have had such advisory councils before, but this is the first one in Canada that reports into the organizing committee, so their input will be both vital and impactful,” said Toronto 2015 board member and Olympic champion diver Sylvie Bernier.

    Media Watch

    New York Times football writer Rob Hughes says the influence of former FIFA president and newly resigned IOC member Joao Havelange “will be with both bodies long after he has gone”.


    In a Nov. 24 story titled “European Olympic Committees Wraps Up General Assembly in Sochi,” ATR incorrectly reported the edition of the 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival for which Sarajevo, Bosnia is bidding. Sarajevo is the sole candidate for the 2017 winter EYOF.

    Written by Matthew Grayson.

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