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  • Olympic Newsdesk - Mayor Tackles London Legacy; OCA Inspects Asian Games Bids


    09/27/12

    Johnson Gets Started on Olympic Legacy

    Mayor Boris Johnson has approved key 2012 Olympic legacy milestones in his first meeting as chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation board.
    A post-Games rendering of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. (LLDC)

    Decisions were made that aim to secure the future of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, including the delivery of a multi-million dollar package of benefits for the communities of east London.

    The board approved a section 106 agreement for major mixed use development of the Olympic Park with new schools, $28 million of transport and infrastructure improvements, housing commitments and local employment and training programs.

    Detailed design will soon begin followed by development of the first neighborhood Chobham Manor. The first family homes are set to be ready at the end of 2014.

    The section 106 commitments includes: transport improvements that include extension of London’s bus and cycle networks through the park; three new schools; three new health centers; a site-wide target of 42 percent family housing units; a target of 35 percent affordable housing; and the establishment of an independent Quality Review Panel to ensure a high standard of design during the 18-year revamp of the Olympic Park.
       
    “After staging the greatest Games ever, there is not a moment to lose in delivering the legacy we have promised Londoners,” Johnson said in a statement.

    “Today we have made two key decisions that ensure our plans can move forward quickly, so that we can reopen it as the major visitor destination it promises to be and the brand new communities of east London can become reality.”

    Evaluation of 2019 Asian Games Bids

    A three-member evaluation commission from the Olympic Council of Asia will next week visit the three cities bidding to host the 2019 Asian Games.

    Led by OCA vice president Syed Arif Hasan, head of the Pakistan Olympic Association, the inspectors will visit Indonesia (Surabaya), Vietnam (Hanoi) and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) from Oct. 1 to 9.

    Hasan will be joined by Vinod Tiwari, the OCA’s director of international and NOC relations, and Mohammad Tayyab Ikram, a member of the OCA Coordination Committee and OCA Athletes Committee.

    During their visits, the evaluation team will meet with government officials as well as NOC and city representatives. They will also tour the venues proposed for use in the 2019 Games.

    The 31st OCA General Assembly in Macau, China, will select the host city for the 18th Asian Games on Nov. 8.

    Bulgaria Takes Over 2013 Deaflympics

    Sofia, Bulgaria will stage the 2013 Deaflympics after signing the host city contract Wednesday.
    Svilen Neykov and Craig Crowley show off their signed contracts. (ICSD)

    “On behalf of all the world’s deaf athletes, I would like to express my sincere thanks to our Bulgarian friends for offering to host the 2013 Deaflympics in Sofia,” said International Committee of Sports for the Deaf president Craig Crowley.

    “We will be forever grateful.”

    Greece was scheduled to host the 2013 Deaflympics but announced last year Athens would be unable to do so due to the country’s debt crisis.

    “Now the shadow of uncertainty has been completely lifted, I know deaf athletes everywhere will be training hard to make their dreams of Deaflympics participation come true.”

    Sofia first staged the Deaflympics in 1993 and now joins Copenhagen as the only two-time hosts.

    “Bulgaria has recently proven that we are good hosts thanks to the successful World Deaf Volleyball Championships and the World Deaf Wrestling Championships here in Bulgaria,” said sports minister Svilen Neykov .

    ” I believe we will once again show the world how well we can host sports events with the Deaflympics next year.”

    Competition will run from July 26 to Aug. 4 at venues such as the Vassil Levski National Stadium, newly built Arena Armeets and recently renovated Carlsberg Bulgarian National Tennis Center.

    About 1,500 athletes take part in the Deaflympics, organized every four years by the ICSD and sanctioned by the IOC.
    Taipei was the 2009 host.

    Blatter Talks Corruption

    FIFA president Sepp Blatter has blamed society for creating the culture of corruption that “touched” world football’s governing body.
    FIFA president Sepp Blatter. (Getty Images)

    Blatter and FIFA's reputations have taken a major knock following a string of bribery scandals over the past 18 months connected to the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding contest, the FIFA presidential election and the ISL kickbacks affair.

    “I don’t like when somebody says that there is too much corruption in football,” he said ahead of this week's FIFA Executive Committee meeting, which ends Friday.

    “Corruption is not in football, it is in our society, it is everywhere."

    The Swiss was defending FIFA and his anti-corruption initiatives to a group of reporters from the International Sports Press Association (AIPS). They were part of the "Young Reporters" program being run at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan.

    Blatter also denied that billionaire investors were ruining the sport, dismissed calls for salary caps and said FIFA was working hard to crackdown on the growing problem of match-fixing in football.

    For more coverage of Blatter's comments, visit World Football INSIDER.

    Pin Fever

    Watch for some big names to show up for the 31st Olympin Collectors Club Memorabilia Festival from Friday to Sunday in Atlanta.

    The city is home to a large number of Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Their alumnae organization has been working with Olympin and will have a reunion in conjunction with the show. That means there will be 15 or more Olympians and Paralympians attending the show at various times. At least 10 will attend the Friday dinner, with more involved on Saturday. Several are planning to have tables on Saturday where they will have memorabilia for show and / or sale. Most will be available for autographs and pictures, including special guest Pat McCormick, the only double and back-to-back gold medalist in women’s diving.

    Other confirmed Olympians and Paralympians attending the show include Dennis Berkholtz (handball, 1972 and 1976); Bob Pickens (wrestling, 1964); Mel Pender (athletics, 1968) and Tommie Smith (athletics, 1968).

    Peter Zeytoonjian will attend on behalf of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and official USOC artist Steve Allen will offer some of his Olympic art, including two special London Artist Proof prints for the auction Saturday night.

    The auction will also feature a discus autographed by Al Oerter.

    The event is set for the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown. Tables are still available for vendors; a banquet, reception and auction are on the schedule. Admission is free.

    To book a table or to check updates, visit http://www.olympinclub.com/benefits_fair.html.

    Reported by Mark Bisson, Christian Radnedge and Matthew Grayson

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