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  • Nanjing Unveils YOG Mascot; Wushu, Taekwondo Award World Champs


    Rock for YOG Mascot

    Nanjing’s “Rain-Flower Pebble” is the inspiration behind the 2014 Youth Olympic Games mascot.

    Unveiled on Thursday, the mascot is known as “NANJINGLELE.” A statement says the mascot is designed to mimic one of the stones and incorporates the logo’s color scheme in its design.

    The name, too, has an explanation. “Lele” is the sound the pebbles make when rubbing against each other and is pronounced like the Chinese word for joy.

    “The design of NANJINGLELE is truly inspiring and will certainly capture the attention of the world’s youth and older generations alike,” IOC president Jacques Rogge said in a statement.

    Lacoste, Groupe BPCE Sign French Sponsorships

    Lacoste is the newest sponsor of the French Olympic and Paralympic teams.

    On Wedensday, CNOSF, the French National Olympic Committee, announced that the French athletic-wear company would replace Adidas as its uniform sponsor for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics.

    “CNOSF welcomes this new partnership with a brand, a symbol of relaxed elegance, founded by a great French champion, René Lacoste, a medalist from the Paris Olympics in 1924,” a statement said.

    Groupe BPCE extended their sponsorship of CNOSF until the 2016 Games last week.

    The official banking partner began the relationship in 2010.

    “Olympism is a perfectly universal value that we defend in our businesses,” said Francois Perol, the bank’s CEO.

    Estanguet Retires

    Canoe slalom champion Tony Estanguet is putting his paddle away.
    Tony Estanguet won C-1 gold in Sydney, Athens and London. (Getty Images)

    “Retired at 34!” he tweeted Wednesday.

    “Thanks to my family, my sponsors and to you all for this nice story.”

    Estanguet became the first Frenchman to win the same event three times at the Olympics with C-1 gold this year.

    Also in London, he won enough votes to be elected to the IOC Athletes’ Commission, though the results are still being disputed by two of his fellow candidates.

    Russia Streamlining Volunteer Visas

    The visa process could soon be streamlined for volunteers coming from outside Russia to help with the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

    According to an R-Sport report, Russia's upper house of parliament approved a bill Wednesday that would cut processing times in half for the international portion of a volunteer workforce that will eventually number 25,000 during the Games.
    It’s now up to President Vladimir Putin to sign the legislation into law.

    Taekwondo Heads to Mexico

    The World Taekwondo Federation signs its host city agreement with Puebla, Mexico. (WTF)
    The World Taekwondo Federation signed a host city agreement with Puebla, Mexico for the 2013 world championships on Thursday.

    It will be the first time Mexico has hosted a world championships and the first time for a Latin American host since 1982. The ceremony took place at the City Hall.

    The event is scheduled for June 16 to 23.

    WTF president Chungwon Choue said it is "a proud occasion" to bring the event to Mexico for the first time.

    Wushu World Champs

    Daniel Parantac of the Philippines competes in taiji sword at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. (Getty Images)
    Kuala Lumpur will host the 12th World Wushu Championships in October 2013.

    IOC member and International Wushu Federation president Yu Zaiqing traveled to the Malaysian capital on Monday to sign the hosting contract with Wushu Federation of Malaysia president Lim Soon Seng.

    Wushu is one of seven sports shortlisted by the IOC for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics.

    Yanukovich Touts Bid in Qatar

    On a promotional tour aimed at developing the country’s sport tourism sector in Qatar, Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich made time to stump for a nascent Olympic bid.

    "We have sport ambitions to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics in Ukraine, and we have the unique natural capabilities," he was quoted as saying.

    "I call on the Qatari business to think about the implementation of this project with us."

    Written by Ed Hula III and Matthew Grayson.

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