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  • Smooth Start for Winter EYOF; Clegg Joins Madrid 2020; Grenoble Torch on Auction


    02/19/13

    Impressive Start for Winter EYOF

    European Olympic Committees president Pat Hickey tells Around the Rings the 2013 European Youth Winter Olympic Festival in Brasov, Romania is running smoothly.
    Russia takes gold and bronze in girls 5km cross-country skiing Tuesday. (Brasov 2013)

    “Everything is going very well. The Romanians are doing a great job organizing it,” the Irish IOC member told ATR from Brasov.

    IOC president Jacques Rogge spent two days in Brasov earlier this week to meet with organizers and open the EYOF. It’s the 11th edition of the winter EYOF that he launched at the start of the 1990s – and the last he'll oversee before stepping down as IOC chief in September.

    More than 1,000 athletes from 45 countries are competing in four winter Olympic sports and eight disciplines. The EYOF ends on Friday.

    Rogge is also paying close attention to preparations for the summer EYOF in Utrecht, the Netherlands in the summer. Around 3,000 youngsters aged 14-18 will compete in nine Olympic sports in the July 14-19 event.

    Former British Olympic Chief Joins Madrid Bid

    Simon Clegg is joining Madrid 2020 as an international consultant, the first for the Spanish bid.
    Simon Clegg in 2008. (ATR)

    The appointment of Clegg, who served as British Olympic Association secretary general for more than a decade and played a key role in the London 2012 bid, was announced on Tuesday.

    In his statement on the hiring, Clegg stressed the economic benefits of an Olympics – noticeable because the current weak state of the Spanish economy is seen as a problem for Madrid 2020.

    “The indisputable economic impact of London 2012 to the UK demonstrates just what a positive financial driver hosting the Games can be for a country,” Clegg said. "Britain’s Office of National Statistics found the Olympics to be a key reason Britain ended its five-year recession in the third quarter of 2012, the time period when the Games took place." 

    He also noted Madrid’s plans to utilize existing venues for the Games, which the bid says will further drive down costs.

    Rare Grenoble Torch on Auction

    A Paris gallery will auction a torch from the 1968 Olympic Winter Games in Grenoble.

    One of only 33 made for the relay, torches from Grenoble are second in rarity to those from Helsinki, of which 22 were produced.

    The Beaussant Lefevre auction house expects the torch to draw a winning bid of up to $40,000.

    The auction begins at 1400 CET Feb. 22.

    For more information, check the website.

    Jamaican Olympic Leader, 73

    IAAF president Lamine Diack is among those mourning the death of Neville “Teddy” McCook.
    Neville McCook. (IAAF)

    McCook, an IAAF Council Member since 1999 and secretary general of the Jamaica Olympic Association, died Feb. 11 in Kingston after a battle with prostate cancer and diverticulitis.

    “The broad smile and immense energy of my close friend and colleague Teddy McCook will be greatly missed by all who had the fortune to make his acquaintance,” Diack said in a statement.

    “Teddy’s belief, vision and commitment to Athletics which decades ago nationally saw the creation of the Gibson Relays meeting has most recently helped power the IAAF Council’s decision to create a new international competition in 2014, the IAAF World Relays. A staunch supporter of the work of the IAAF High Performance Centre in Kingston, Teddy’s lifelong mission was the enhancement of Athletics, and our sport has lost one of its strongest advocates.”

    McCook was also president of the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association from 1984 to 1996 and president of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association from 2007 until his death.

    Reported by Mark Bissonand Ed Hula

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