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  • Salt Lake City Announces Bid; Putin to Sochi Test Events?


    (ATR) Utah Governor Gary Herbert says Salt Lake City will bid for the Winter Olympics.
    Salt Lake City's Olympic Cauldron Park during 10th anniversary celebrations earlier this year. (ATR)

    “Salt Lake City and the great state of Utah are ready, willing and able to host a future Olympic Games,” he said on Monday.

    “I don’t think this announcement is a big surprise,” he added.

    Herbert said he is not willing “to put the cart before the horse” and will wait for a U.S. Olympic Committee decision on whether to bid for the 2024 Summer or 2026 Winter Olympics before formally bidding.

    He touted that 40 percent of winter athletes train in Utah, and explained how Salt Lake City has become a winter sports hub following the 2002 Games.

    According to a study commissioned by the government, 74 percent of the Utahns want to bid.

    The announcement took place in front of a display about the 2002 Olympics – complete with an Olympic Torch.

    Joining Gov. Herbert was Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, who co-chaired the exploratory committee along with Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell and other experts.

    Putin Wants to See Sochi Test Events

    Alexander Zhukov invited the president of Russia to watch Sochi 2014 test events.
    Alexander Zhukov and Vladimir Putin together before the London Olympics. (Getty Images)

    According a report in Ria-Novosti, Zhukov, also Russian Olympic Committee president, told Vladimir Putin he could also see the progress of work toward the next Winter Olympics.

    “Let's go,” Putin responded. “I haven't been there for a long time. Let's go and see.”

    Zhukov was also directly asked about the status of construction and infrastructure projects.

    “We are confident they will be ready,” said Zhukov. “It's vitally important for Russia's athletes. The new facilities are perfect for training. We have set up several teams whose task is to make sure the facilities meet all the athletes' training needs.

    “The infrastructure, too, is just about ready. The new railway should soon become operational. Highway construction is nearing completion. They are, perhaps, the most important projects.”

    Thousands Cheer Japanese Olympians, Paralympians

    A parade of Japanese Olympians and Paralympans in the earthquake-hit town of Sendai drew 48,000 fans.
    Thousands line the streets of Sendai. (Aflo Sport)

    In a statement from the Tokyo 2020 bid committee, 42 athletes were in the "Thank you for your support, Tohoku" parade, organized by the Japanese Olympic Committee as part of its “Hang in there, Japan” program.

    "The 'Thank you for your support, Tohoku' event showcases sport's role in inspiring dreams, hopes, goals and positive change,” said IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda, also president of both the JOC and Tokyo 2020. “We have a great sense of responsibility to unite Japan's entire population behind a common vision for the country.”

    Athlete Calls for IOA Ban

    India’s lone gold medalist from an individual sport says he wants the Indian Olympic Association to be suspended by the IOC.
    Abhinav Bindra. (Getty Images)

    Writing in The Hindustan Times newspaper, Abhinav Bindra said such action would be a “blessing in disguise.”

    “If our Olympic association is banned, it could be a blessing in disguise,” he wrote in an editorial titled “These People Make My Blood Boil.”

    “All athletes for once should stand united and not allow the administrators to divide them so as to continue their dictatorial rule. With no multi-sport event in 2013, Indian athletes could afford a moratorium for about three to six months provided we all stand united and are empowered to go change the present system.”

    Bindra added the election of Lalit Bhanot as IOA secretary general is “ridiculous.”

    “It's about politics and stooping to a new low. It's a disaster. It only shows that nobody cares. The IOC ethics commission had categorically said that Suresh Kalmadi (former IOA chief and CWG chairman), Bhanot and VK Verma (former Badminton Association of India chief) should be suspended from the IOA. But, obviously, Mr Bhanot has been allowed to contest the elections.”

    At the Beijing Olympics, Bindra won gold in the men’s 10m rifle event.

    Oil Revenue Will Flow to Rio

    Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff vetoed part of a new oil revenue-sharing law that would have diverted funds from the state of Rio de Janeiro.

    Last week, Rio governor Sergio Cabral warned that if the law were signed by Rousseff, the Olympics and 2014 FIFA World Cup would have been placed in jeopardy.

    "Rio thanks President Dilma," Cabral said in a statement.

    Under the terms of the new law, Brazilian states would receive a more equitable share of the country’s oil revenue. Rio de Janeiro is the leading oil producer and also the leading recipient of the funds.

    Sports Minister Visits Annecy 2013

    Valérie Fourneyron, France’s sports minister, paid an official visit to the organizing committee of the Annecy 2013 Military Games.
    Valérie Fourneyron visits Annecy 2013. (Annecy 2013)

    The meeting took place at Ecole Militaire de Haute-Montagne.

    According to a statement, “the minister encouraged the Annecy 2013 team after members brought her up to speed on preparations for France’s largest-ever hosted military sporting event, which will bring together some of the world’s biggest champions in the six disciplines of the World Games.”

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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