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  • Italian, Israeli Olympic Chiefs Resign; "Female Hercules" Targets IOC


    Petrucci Resigns

    Gianni Petrucci is stepping down from the presidency of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) after 14 years at the helm.
    Gianni Petrucci with 1st VP Riccardo Agabio. (CONI)

    Petrucci, 67, presided over his final CONI board meeting Wednesday.

    "After 14 extraordinary years from every point of view, I'm leaving CONI in good health," he said.

    Elections to replace Petrucci are scheduled for Feb. 19. In the meantime, Riccardo Agabio, first vice president of CONI, will serve as Petrucci’s replacement. He is returning to serve as president of the Italian Basketball Federation.

    Three candidates are in the running to replace Petrucci: Raffaele Pagnozzi, the secretary general of CONI; Giovanni Malago, an Italian swimming official who organized the 2009 World Aquatics Championships in Rome; and Simone Gambino, president of the Italian cricket federation.

    Interested candidates must submit this form to CONI by 14:00 on Jan. 30.

    Israel Olympic Chief Resigns

    Zvi Varshaviak announced his resignation as president of the Olympic Committee of Israel on Tuesday.
    Israel enters the opening ceremony at the 2012 Olympics. (Getty Images)

    “I’m not 15 anymore, nor 37, but rather 74," he was quoted outlining the reasons he is resigning by Israeli news outlet Haaretz.

    “The second issue is ensuring that every Olympic athlete will have maximal conditions to prepare for the Games, and the third: that those who want to replace me will be deserving of the post. In my opinion, all these conditions have been met.”

    Elections are scheduled for Feb. 10.

    Upgrades Ahead for Toronto Pool

    Etobicoke Olympium will enjoy $20 million in upgrades ahead of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
    Etobicoke Olympium. (Etobicoke Diving Club)

    Mayor Rob Ford, Minister of Sport Bal Gosal and MPP Michael Chan joined officials from the organizing committee for Wednesday’s announcement at the future training facility for swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming.

    “For almost 40 years, the Olympium has nurtured community- and competitive-level swimming and diving programs at the provincial and national level,” Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop said.

    “We’re pleased the Games are providing an opportunity to breathe new life into this dynamic community facility.”
    According to Ford, improvements such a Myrtha Pools system and FINA-approved dive towers “will bring the Etobicoke Olympium up to the latest standards and will be a lasting legacy for generations to enjoy.”

    Etobicoke Olympium, which opened in 1975 ahead of the 1976 Montreal Olympics, will close for renovations July 1 and reopen next year.

    “Female Hercules” Targets IOC

    Mi Ran Jang says she wants to join the IOC now that she has retired from weightlifting.
    Mi Ran Jang at London 2012. (Getty Images)

    On Thursday, the gold medalist from Beijing and silver medalist from Athens announced her retirement.
    "Over my career, I've received more support and help that I deserved," Jang was quoted by the Yonhap News Agency.

    "Now, I will pursue my new dream of becoming an IOC member." She said she will meet with IOC President Jacques Rogge when he visits South Korea later this month.

    Jang is eligible to run for the IOC Athletes' Commission in 2016, due to competing at the London Olympics where she failed to medal.

    Medalist Says Gunshot “Almost Planned”

    Silver medallist Noe Hernandez of Mexico says the gunshot wound he received in an attack last month was planned.
    Noe Hernandez in 2011. (Getty Images)

    "They wanted to attack me or something like that because the shot was almost, almost planned," he was quoted telling a morning news program.

    Hernandez, who won silver in the men’s 20km race walk event in Sydney, was shot at a bar outside of Mexico City on Dec. 30. Reports say he lost his left eye and nearly lost all his eyesight in the right eye as a result of the attack.

    "When they put a gun to your head, they want to kill someone," he said of the attack.

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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