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  • No Harm from Sochi Quakes; Minister Backs Tokyo Bid; Queen Honors LOCOG Stars


    No Harm from Sochi Earthquake

    The low-level earthquakes that have rumbled in Sochi this month appear to have caused no damage to venues or infrastructure for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi 2014 CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko tells Around the Rings.
    Dmitry Chernyshenko. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

    “There is literally no impact,” he said about the 5.3 quake that hit early Dec. 26, the third in the past month. The epicenter was in the Black Sea about 100 miles away from Sochi.

    Chernyshenko says he noticed the earthquake because he was still up after meetings in Sochi with his boss, deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak, the Olympics czar for the Russian government.

    “It was about half past two. It was not very strong. I am very pleased that all of our infrastructure that was built to resist earthquakes with a magnitude of nine, didn’t even have minor damage,” he said.

    Chernyshenko and his 2014 colleagues will enjoy what may be their last holiday for a while when the Russian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated next week. In 2014 the holiday will hit one month before the open of the Games.

    New Sports Minister Backs Tokyo Bid

    Japan’s newly appointed Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is the latest government official to back Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Olympics.
    Kazuo Ogura, Masato Mizuno,  Hakubun Shimomura, Tsunekazu Takeda and Noriyuki Ichihara. (Tokyo 2020)

    "I was elected in Tokyo, so this bid means very much to me,” Hakubun Shimomura said Friday in a statement distributed by Tokyo 2020.

    “I plan on attending the Candidature File submission press conference in Tokyo to reiterate the unequivocal support our newly formed national government will continue to provide the bid," he added, referring to the realization of the 2020 Games and the advancement of sport in Japan as matters “crucially important” to the government’s agenda.

    Shimomura’s statement followed a Thursday visit from senior leaders including Tokyo 2020 President Tsunekazu Takeda and CEO Masato Mizuno as well as Tokyo 2020 Council Secretary General Kazuo Ogura and Japanese Olympic Committee Secretary General Noriyuki Ichihara.

    Tokyo and the other two 2020 bids, Istanbul and Madrid, begin the international campaign for the Games on Tuesday and submit candidature files to the IOC by Jan. 8. The IOC will elect the host city Sept. 7 at the Session in Buenos Aires.

    Queen Honors Stars of London 2012

    Olympians, Paralympians and LOCOG leaders are among the stars of London 2012 set to receive New Year Honors next week.
    Jackie Brock Doyle at London 2012. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

    According to a Saturday statement from Mayor Boris Johnson, the LOCOG staffers in line for titles are Director of Communications Jacqueline Brock-Doyle, who will become an Officer of the British Empire, Director of the Cultural Olympiad Ruth MacKenzie, who will become a Commander of the British Empire, and Chairman Sebastian Coe, who adds a Companion of Honor to his lordship. CEO Paul Deighton and Deputy Chair Keith Mills are already knighted for their contributions to the Games.

    Also included in the New Year Honors are cyclist Bradley Wiggins (knight), sailor Ben Ainslie (knight), Paralympic cyclist Sarah Storey (dame), runner Mo Farah (CBE), heptathlete Jessica Ennis (CBE), cyclist Victoria Pendleton (CBE), Paralympic marathoner David Weir (CBE), cyclist Laura Trott (OBE) and tennis player Andy Murray (OBE), who earn recognition from the Queen following their gold-medal performances at London 2012.

    “There can be no doubt that the efforts of Team GB and Paralympics GB provided a truly amazing spectacle, inspiring people into sport, and it is only right they are properly honored for their contribution,” said Mayor Johnson.

    Written by Ed Hula and Matthew Grayson.

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