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  • Ukraine 2022 Talks; Istanbul 2020 Presentation; Jet Set Boss to NCAA


    Ukrainian President Leads Bid Talks

    Viktor Yanukovych will chair a Thursday meeting on Lviv's possible Winter Games bid, an idea touted by the Ukrainian president since he took office in 2010.
    Viktor Yanukovych at December's final draw ceremony for Euro 2012. (Getty Images)

    According to an Interfax report, National Olympic Committee of Ukraine leaders will brief Yanukovych and others on preparations for applying to host the Games and will plan ahead for the application process.

    "The participation of the head of state in the meeting on the 2022 Olympics is the proof of the authorities' interest in holding such a large sporting event," NOC president and IOC member Sergey Bubka was quoted by the Russian news agency.

    Ukraine is co-hosting the European football championships in June and has injected billions into venues and infrastructure. Lviv, located near the Carpathian Mountains and not far from Euro 2012 co-host Poland, is one of four Ukrainian cities staging matches during the UEFA showpiece.

    The race for 2022 won't officially get under way until after the IOC decision on the 2020 Summer Olympics in September 2013.

    Istanbul Previews ANOC Presentation

    Six senior sports figures from Turkey are in Moscow this week for Istanbul’s presentation to the ANOC General Assembly, the first international campaigning for the five 2020 bids.

    World Archery president, IOC member and NOC chief Ugur Erdener leads the delegation alongside NOC vice president Hasan Arat, Turkish Tennis Federation president Ayda Uluç and national volleyball team veteran Neslihan Demir Darnel as well as bid committee members Ali Kiremitçio─člu and Murat Ilbak.

    “We want the NOCs to know that they are fundamental to our master plan. A successful Games concept starts and ends with the needs of athletes at its heart. We are seeking and reacting to feedback from NOCs around the world and we have also built on the lessons of our recent Olympic bids,” Erdener said in a statement.

    Arat added: “Istanbul 2020 will outline some of the most ambitious and exciting Games’ plans ever proposed by a mega-city at Saturday’s ANOC General Assembly. These plans will accelerate Istanbul’s existing program to deliver a world-class transport and urban infrastructure whilst maintaining the integrity of the city’s rich history and culture. The NOCs and their athletes can be assured that Turkey’s incredible economic strength will underpin every promise we make."

    Bid Brochure for Squash 2020

    Squash’s campaign for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics now boasts a bid brochure to go along with its logo, social media portal and merchandise.
    "I would happily trade all my six world titles for Olympic gold," Nicol David says on the cover of the brochure. (WSF)

    The document, released Tuesday with French and English commentary, is available online at Squash 2020’s website as well as in print through the 135 national members of the World Squash Federation.

    "I am delighted that this brochure has captured the essence of our sport in a striking way," WSF president N Ramachandran said in a statement.

    "It highlights our sport as highly dynamic, definitely athletic, global, growing and innovative too; and we are very happy to present details of the benefits our sport can bring to the Olympic Movement."

    Squash is vying with karate, roller sports, wakeboard, softball, baseball, sports climbing and wushu to secure the one place available on the program. The IOC will vote at its 2013 Session in Buenos Aires.

    Click here to view the brochure.

    Jet Set Boss to NCAA

    Olympic marketing expert Mark Lewis is the NCAA's new executive vice president for championships and alliances.
    Mark Lewis at an Around the Rings newsmaker event in September 2009. (ATR)

    Lewis, the former president of Olympic hospitality provider Jet Set Sports, replaces interim executive VP Greg Shaheen and will now oversee 89 collegiate championships a year as well as associated business initiatives.

    "Mark is a remarkable executive who has made an incredible impact throughout his career whether in the business sector, with a wide range of Olympic entities, or as a senior executive with a national network," NCAA president Mark Emmert said Tuesday in a statement.

    Lewis added: “The important relationships with our corporate champions and partners, along with our media partners, play a critical role in our ability to support more than 430,000 student-athletes in the classroom and on the field of competition. I will work tirelessly to enhance opportunities for student-athletes as we move forward.”

    Lewis is also a former VP of sponsorship for NBC, where he oversaw Olympic and NFL partnerships for General Electric, and once ran OPUS, the organization charged with securing $1.5 billion in local sponsorship for Salt Lake City 2002.

    NBA Players for Team GB

    As many as three NBA players will suit up for the home team at the 2012 Olympics.
    Ben Gordon will again wear blue and red in London. (Getty Images)

    Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng is a Team Great Britain veteran, but both Detroit Pistons guard Ben Gordon and Charlotte Bobcats center are newcomers to national duty.

    All three "confirmed their availability and commitment" for the Games, according to a British Basketball statement, and are among a preliminary squad of 21 players to be trimmed to 12 by early July.

    "I am very excited to pull on the GB jersey this summer and play for my country,” said Gordon, who is averaging 12.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game this season.

    “To be invited into camp is the first step in that journey and I am immensely proud to have the opportunity.”

    Great Britain is using a host nation qualification place to compete in the 12-team Olympic tournament.

    Click here to view the full 21-man preliminary roster.

    Cuban Defection at CONCACAF Qualifier

    A former member of Cuba’s national football team is now seeking asylum in the U.S.
    Yosmel de Armas before the March 24 match, his last for Cuba. (Getty Images)

    According to a Reuters report, Miami attorney Alex Solomiany said all Yosmel de Armas had were “the clothes on his back” when he left the squad in between March 24 and March 26 matches at an Olympic qualifying tournament in Nashville, Tennessee.

    "I'm representing him pro bono," Solomiany added.

    Defections at sporting events held on North American soil are common for Cuban teams. Often athletes defect for the chance to turn professional – sport in communist Cuba remains an amateur affair.

    Written by Matthew Grayson and Ann Cantrell.

    For general comments or questions, click here.

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