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  • 2020 Bids Visit Innsbruck; 2017 World Games Awarded; New WOA Patron Unveiled


    Turkey, Doha Support YOG

    The 2020 Olympic bids from Doha and Istanbul announced their support of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck.
    The stage is set for the first-ever Winter YOG beginning Friday in Innsbruck. (ATR)

    Doha’s delegation will be led by Sheikh Jassim bin AbdulAziz bin Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani. Bid CEO Noora Al Mannai has also traveled to Austria.

    “The 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games is an excellent opportunity for our team to experience an important new event in the Olympic calendar, meet members of the Olympic Family and to listen and learn,” she said. “We are pleased and proud to be here in Innsbruck.”

    Ugur Erdener, IOC member, Tukish Olympic Committee chief and World Archery president leads the Istanbul team.
    Turkey 2020 also released a message from the country’s sport minister Suat Kılıç.

    “The Prime Minister of Turkey Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made the Olympic Games a personal priority and a national imperative,” he said. “Turkey’s bid to bring the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to Istanbul is a mission that has the full support of the government; it is a mission that should also be embraced by all political parties and indeed by the entire nation.”

    Wroclaw, Poland to host 2017 World Games

    The International World Games Association selected Wroclaw, Poland as the host of the 2017 World Games.
    Wroclaw is one of the host cities for the Euro 2012 football tournament. (Getty Images)

    The decision was announced Thursday at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

    Budapest was the other bid city. Cape Town withdrew its bid due to financial reasons.

    ”We are happy to present our sports in Wroclaw in the summer of 2017, and we are sure that we will be offered optimal conditions for our sportsmen and women there” said IWGA president Ron Froelich.

    “All the bids we received were of very high quality, and it was not easy for us to reach a decision.”

    Cali, Colombia will host the 2013 Games. The World Games are for sports not in the Olympic Program.

    Azeri Ski Resort

    Could a ski resort help Baku land the Summer Olympics? The bid thinks so, praising the opening of the Shahdag Ski Complex, Azerbaijan’s first.
    Konul Nurullayeva. (Baku 2020)

    One the eve of the opening of the inaugural Winter YOG, Baku 2020 CEO Konul Nurullayeva said the ski complex will compel Azerbaijan to send a team to the next Winter YOG.

    With the opening of this resort, I believe Azeri youngsters will start to embrace winter sports with great enthusiasm – and in four years time we will be ready to compete on the world stage at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games” she said. “And of course at the Winter Games themselves.”

    She continued: “With this Bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Baku in 2020 and with the backing of the Olympic Movement, together we can accelerate the development of new sports in our country.”

    New WOA Patron

    Prince Albert of Monaco is lending support to yet another Olympic cause.
    Prince Albert II with former WOA patron Juan Antonio Samaranch at the 2006 Turin Olympics. (Getty Images)

    The longtime Peace and Sport patron will now play that same role for the World Olympians Association under the leadership of newly elected WOA president – and Peace and Sport founder – Joel Bouzou.

    “[Prince Albert] is an Olympian and a true humanist who has always believed that the values of sport can change lives and can change society for the better,” Bouzou said Thursday in a statement.

    “His involvement and advocacy will greatly increase our influence and will make a huge difference to convince new stakeholders that Olympians across the globe can and should contribute to improve the world in which we live.”

    The IOC member and five-time Olympian in bobsleigh succeeds late IOC president – and WOA founder – Juan Antonio Samaranch as patron of the worldwide organization for Olympians.

    Thursday’s announcement arrives less than two months after Bouzou beat out incumbent Dick Fosbury and former VP Charmaine Crooks at the quadrennial WOA General Assembly in Lausanne.

    Hungarian President Denies Plagiarism

    Hungarian President and IOC member Pal Schmitt is facing accusations that he plagiarized his 1992 doctoral thesis.
    Hungarian president and IOC member Pal Schmitt. (ATR)

    AFP reports that the online publication HVG says most of the thesis is taken from a text written by the Bulgarian sports official Nikolai Georgiev in the 1980s.

    In a statement from the president’s office, Schmitt denied the allegations saying the work “was honoured with a summa cum laude, which speaks for itself.” The office also refuted the charges by arguing that Schmitt and Georgiev, who died in 2005, corroborated on research and used identical sources.

    "As a consequence, the office of the president firmly rejects the accusation of plagiarism.”

    Schmitt has been an IOC member since 1983 and is a former fencing champ, having won a gold medal at the Olympics in 1968 and 1972.

    AIPS Award Ceremony in Innsbruck

    Athletes, officials and leaders in the world of sport will be recognized for their positive roles by the International Sports Press Association, AIPS, on Friday.
    MS Dhoni is one of cricket’s top stars. (Getty Images)

    Following the75th AIPS Congress in Innsbruck, Prince Albert of Monaco, Prince Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan and Fabrizio Macchi, Paralympic athlete and charity patron, will receive the Power of Sport award.

    Fair Play trophies will go to the Barcelona FC Youth team and the Kenyan women’s marathon team.

    The captain of the Indian cricket team MS Dhoni and former French football referee Patrice Tondela will also receive the award.

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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