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  • PyeongChang Rail Link; Rio Golf Course; Sochi Paralympic Qualification


    PyeongChang Rail Link Ground Breaking

    South Korean officials began work on the high-speed rail link between Wonju and Gangeung via PyeongChang.
    Groundbreaking for the Wonju-Gangeung rail link. (POCOG)

    Korean president Myung Bak Lee was present for Friday's ceremony, calling the construction “one of the first efforts to successfully host the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

    “This project is a perfect example of the unified support of the Korean people and the determination of the government to achieve excellence," he added.

    When finished, the rail line will connect Gangeung, site of the ice events, and PyeongChang in 37 minutes.

    "We have taken the first significant step to fulfilling our bid commitment of efficient and effortless travel to PyeongChang," said POCOG president Jin Sun Kim. "We sincerely thank the government and the Korean people for their unwavering support."

    Rail projects related to the 2018 Games will cost $3.35 billion, PyeongChang 2018 says.

    Golf Course Work Cleared

    A judge in Sao Paulo is allowing for work to proceed on the golf course for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

    The Associated Press reports that the judge refused to annul contracts and stop work on the site, which has disputed ownership.

    The ownership of the land is being settled in a separate court case.

    Rio Olympic Website

    The City of Rio de Janeiro recently unveiled the website for its Olympic office (EOM).

    Headed by Maria Silvia Bastos Marques, the office’s website describes it a private-public partnership tasked with conducting municipal affairs for the 2016 Olympics and 2014 FIFA World Cup.

    “In addition, it functions as a point of contact and integration between the city, state and federal governments, and the different national and international actors involved in the process of preparing the city for the accomplishment of these sporting events,” the website reads.

    Two of the tabs on the website are for “projects” and “transparency”.

    Click here to visit the website.

    Sochi 2014 Paralympic Qualification

    The International Paralympic Committee announced qualification details for the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi.
    The Paralympic Flag arrives in Sochi. (Sochi 2014)

    A maximum of 692 athletes will compete in 72 medal events across five sports.

    “The publication of the Qualification Guide is another step along the exciting journey to the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games,” IPC CEO Xavier Gonzalez said.

    “The aim of the guide is to provide National Paralympic Committees with a comprehensive document that outlines the qualification systems necessary to be met for athletes and teams seeking to compete in Sochi.”

    Click here for full details on qualification.

    Tokyo Meets Sports Minister

    Japan’s sports minister Hirofumi Hirano reiterates that the entire Japanese government backs Tokyo 2020.
    Senior Bid Committee members meet with Hirofumi Hirano. (Tokyo 2020)

    “We have decided to provide Tokyo 2020 badges to all members in the cabinet in support of Tokyo’s bid,” Hirano said.

    “The entire government is fully behind the bid and its goal to host a spectacular celebration here in Tokyo.”

    Senior Bid Committee members met with Hirano on Friday to officially inform him of Tokyo’s selection as a Candidate City.

    The bid schedule, the Tokyo 2020 plan and public awareness were all topics of discussion during the meeting.

    Bubka to Miss Co-Comm

    The investigation of alleged illegal Olympic ticket sales is preventing Ukraine National Olympic Committee chief and IOC member Sergey Bubka from attending next week's Rio 2016 Coordination Commission inspection.
    Sergey Bubka at last week's ASOIF Assembly in Quebec City hours after the ticket scandal broke. (ATR)

    The UNOC is investigating details into former secretary general Vlodomyr Gerashchenko, who was filmed attempting to illegally sell London Olympic tickets.

    A source close to Bubka tells Around the Rings that Bubka is remaining in the Ukraine to deal with the matter and an extraordinary General Assembly of the UNOC will meet next week to discuss things further.

    On Thursday, the UNOC Executive Committee accepted Gerashchenko’s resignation.

    The EC declined to name an interim secretary general.

    ATOS, Rogge, Coe Pledge PBs for London

    As part of the launch of TOP Sponsor Atos’ 2012 marketing campaign, company officials, Jacques Rogge and Sebastian Coe pledged personal bests for the Games.

    The campaign, aptly titled “Personal Bests to Everyone’s Progress”, was launched Friday.

    “I will inspire the Atos team of Business Technologists for London 2012 to achieve their Personal Bests for the Games and flawlessly design, deliver and manage the world’s largest sports IT contract,” Thierry Breton, Atos CEO and Chairman pledged.

    “I will do my utmost, on behalf of the IOC, to ensure the Olympic Values are shared across the globe,” Rogge said.

    “I will give my personal best to use the London 2012 Games to inspire a generation through the power of sport and help create lasting change for Britain and the rest of the world,” Coe offered up.

    Atos says the campaign will be used across all communication channels and will highlight Atos’ work at the Olympics.

    “It’s fitting for us to put our Business Technologists at the heart of this campaign because it is their unwavering dedication to achieve their personal bests that has enabled us to produce outstanding results at every Olympic and Paralympic Games since our contract began with Salt Lake City in 2002,” Patrick Adiba, Executive Vice President, Olympics and Major Events at Atos said.

    “Our Personal Bests pledge will help galvanise the entire company and drive us towards our goal of making London 2012 the benchmark for technology at future major sporting events.”

    Olympic Figures on America’s Cup Board

    Four of the appointees to the America’s Cup Advisory Board have Olympic connections.
    Historically an open-sea yachting race, the America's Cup now features high-speed catamarans in harbor settings. (Getty Images)

    Peter Ueberroth served as chairman of the 1984 Los Angeles Organizing Committee and chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee from 2004 to 2008.

    Harvey Schiller was USOC secretary general from 1990 to 94 and president of the International Baseball Federation from 2007 to 2009.

    L. Jay Cross represented Canada at the 1976 Olympics in sailing.

    Geoffrey Mason, Senior Production Specialist of ESPN, worked seven Olympics in his television career.

    The 2013 America’s Cup will take place in San Francisco.


    Carlos Arthur Nuzman Nuzman received the award from Marcia Lins, Secretary of the Sport of the state of the Rio de Janeiro. (Brazilian Embassy)
    …Rio 2016 president Carlos Arthur Nuzman and LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe received the Personality of the Year Awards from the British Chamber of Commerce and the Brazilian Embassy in the U.K. A statement on the Rio 2016 website said “Nuzman and Coe stood out in forging closer ties between the two nations and mutual cooperation for the organisation and planning of both Games.”

    …A spokesman for Vladimir Putin says the Russian president has not made up his mind if he will attend the London Olympics or not. “Putin has not yet made that decision,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA-Novosti on Friday. British media reported earlier this week that Putin will skip the Games in an apparent snub of British policies.

    …The head coach of Belarus’ Olympic athletics team was reportedly arrested for embezzlement. The Associate Press cites a state television report that Anatoly Baduyev was extorting bribes and pocketing sponsorship funds. Belarus sent 50 athletes to Beijing and won seven medals, including one gold.

    Written by Ed Hula III and Hannah Reid.

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