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  • Olympics Link for Cruise Ship Crash; Chinese Sport Awards


    Salzburg Olympic Bid Mayor Escapes Cruise Ship Disaster

    Salzburg mayor Heinz Schaden is back in his office days after fleeing the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster in Italy.
    Salzburg mayor Heinz Schaden during the city's bid campaign for 2010. (ATR)

    Schaden has been mayor of the Austrian city since the 1990s when Salzburg bid for the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games. Schaden played a prominent role in the international campaign of both bids.

    Schaden tells a Salzburg newspaper that he left the ship with his keys and cash – but not the clothing still packed in luggage. He escaped uninjured.

    He said the ship shook violently when it struck a rock near the island of Giglio. He tells the newspaper the gash in the side of the ship “was as big as a bus”.

    The ocean liner remains stuck just off the Tuscan coast. According to a report in The New York Times, 11 people are confirmed dead from the crash and as many as 24 people are unaccounted for.

    Li, Sun Bag CCTV Honors

    Though both absent from the 2011 CCTV Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony, French Open winner Li Na and 1,500m freestyle world record holder Sun Yang were crowned China's best athletes Sunday at Beijing National Stadium.
    The annual CCTV Sports Awards are recognized as China's equivalent of the Laureus World Sports Awards. (ATR/Tencent)

    The 29-year-old tennis player was unable to attend due to the ongoing Australian Open, where she plays her second round match Wednesday.

    "I am very appreciative of my team's work to help me to reach this achievement," she said in a statement.

    "I also need to thank all the support from my fans on whom all our livelihood depends. I wouldn’t be here without their support."

    Others in the voting for the women’s award included diving world champion Wu Minxia, table tennis world champion Ding Ning, swimming gold medalist Jiao Liuyang and discus athlete Li Yanfeng.

    Sun, who is training on Australia's Gold Coast, snatched Best Male Athlete of 2011 after beating worlds hurdles silver medalist Liu Xiang, gymnast world gold medalist Chen Yibing, table tennis world champion Zhang Jike and badminton world champ Lin Dan.
    Liu Xiang was also a surprise winner after being awarded the Judging Committee’s Special Award. (ATR/Tencent)

    "I'm honored to have this award because the other four candidates also performed very well. Though I’m in Australia, my parents received the award for me at the ceremony,” he told Around the Rings.

    “The award will boost my confidence and winning desire in 2012. To be honest, my New Year's wish is to win the London Olympic Games.”

    The bronze medal-winning women’s volleyball team unexpectedly beat out China's badminton, diving, gymnastics and table tennis squads to win the Best Team award.
    Even head coach Yu Juemin was surprised.
    “We didn’t expect to win the Best Team because other teams had better results than us,” Yu told ATR.

    “I believe that our team’s fighting spirit has been influencing lots of fans. Winning the award will stimulate our team to play better at the London Games next year. ”

    The 11 total titles came from votes cast by 120 sports specialists.
    Logo Launch Close for Madrid 2020

    Madrid 2020 confirms that the launch of the bid's new logo and website will take place at Spanish Olympic Committee offices on Jan. 30.

    A few days before that milestone, the bid will officially present the Madrid 2020 organization in a media event at the Cibeles Palace.

    Bid president and Spanish NOC leader Alejandro Blanco will join new Madrid mayor Ana Botella to unveil the bid committee structure and its senior figures.

    Korean President Imagines Grand Future for PyeongChang

    South Korea’s president Myung Bak Lee wants PyeongChang to become a winter sports “mecca.”
    The president of Korea (left) pushes a bobsleigh on behalf of the PyeongChang bid. (ATR)

    According to a report in Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, Lee said the 2018 Olympics are only the beginning for the city.
    Lee made the comments in PyeongChang at an event designed to show “South Korea's commitment to hosting the 2018 Games successfully,” the news agency reported.

    "What I wish is that the Gangwon Province will grow steadily through this," Lee was quoted as saying. "Rather than organizing the Olympics for just one year, it should become a four-season tourist attraction visited by two million or three million people from countries without winters."

    New Speakers for Sports Security Conference

    The International Centre for Sport Security has more speakers lined up for its annual conference.

    Leaders in sports security will converge in Doha from March 14 to 15 for this conference that will include a panel on considerations for the London Olympics.

    John Yates, former assistant commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police Service, and David Greer, chief executive of Skills for Security, will take part in the panel. They will join John Stevens, former commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police, and Peter Ryan, IOC security advisor.

    The center also announced that Marc Timmer, UEFA head of stadium and security, will speak at the event.

    “The International Sport Security Conference provides an important platform for sharing information and exploring best practice, as well as addressing the most pressing issues in sport security today,” said ICSS president Mohammed Hanzab.
    “We are very pleased that John Yates, David Greer and Marc Timmer will be sharing their thoughts and experiences at this year’s event.”

    PR Agency Selected for House of Switzerland

    Weber Shandwick will promote Switzerland House at the London Olympics.

    PRWeek reports that the public relations agency was selected by the government body Presence Switzerland over five other companies.

    “We were looking for an agency that offered a combination of Olympic know-how, country branding expertise, and a depth of contact within the media and political worlds; Weber Shandwick fit that bill,” said Kieu Duy Tran, head of marketing and communications for the House of Switzerland.

    Media Watch

    Even in China, former Olympic venues fall victim to the status of White Elephants. Venue management are seeking ways to make their sites profitable in Beijing.

    After ending his presidential bid, Jon Huntsman endorsed Mitt Romney, who he had choice words for during the campaign and had a feud with from the 2002 Olympics in Utah – Huntsman’s home state.

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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