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  • Minneapolis, San Jose Say No; Ukraine/Poland/Slovakia 2022


    Ukraine Considers Joining Poland, Slovakia

    The prime minister of the Ukraine says he may scrap the country’s 2022 Olympic bid and instead join with the joint Poland/Slovakia bid.
    Viktor Yanukovich. (Getty Images)

    Viktor Yanukovich made the comments on Ukrainian television Friday.

    "They are our rivals, but I told them that we will fight, as we are three Carpathian countries and, possibly, we could join up in order not to lose everything," he was quoted by the Interfax news agency.

    RIA Novosti says he made the proposal to share the financial costs of the Olympics. Ukraine is still saddled with debt from the Euro 2012 football championships.

    He added that negotiations for such a bid are underway.

    New KOC President

    Jung Haeng Kim is the new president of the Korean Olympic Committee. Kim replaces Y.S. Park, who served as KOC president the last four years.

    Kim defeated Elisa Lee in Friday’s election. It was his third time running. Kim is the president of the Korea Judo Association.

    A statement on the KOC website says his victory after two failed elections “made him even more passionate” to serve as KOC president.

    $276,000 for Grenoble Torch

    Bidders in Switzerland, Italy and the Americas pushed the auction price of a rare torch from the 1968 Winter Olympics to $276,000.

    The auction Feb. 22 was held in Paris by the Beaussant Lefèvre firm.

    A press release says that “strong interest” was shown by the bidders, who included private collectors and public institutions.

    The sale price exceeded pre-auction estimates by nearly five times. Still the torch fell short of the record $350,000 paid at a 2011 auction in Paris for a slightly rarer torch from the 1952 Oslo Olympics. There were 33 Grenoble torches made but just 22 for Oslo.

    IOC Vote a “Rude Shock” for Hockey

    President Leandro Negre says the International Hockey Federation is treating last week’s IOC vote as a “wake-up call” for FIH.
    Blue and pink brought color to Olympic hockey at London 2012. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

    "What happened in the IOC Executive Board was a rude shock for all of us,” the Spaniard was quoted Friday by the Indo-Asian News Service. “It was something we were not expecting.”

    EB members voted to exclude wrestling from a list of 25 “core” sports for the 2020 Olympics, but hockey and modern pentathlon only survived in the final round of balloting.

    "The hockey tournament was a success in the London Games in terms of crowd and finance. But the IOC vote was a wake-up call for us,” Negre said.

    “We believe that hockey is very strong in the Olympics, but we need to see how we can make it better.”

    Hockey debuted at the 1908 Olympics and has been contested at every Games since 1928.

    Minneapolis, San Jose Say No to 2024

    Mayor R.T. Rybak says Minneapolis will not bid for the 2024 Olympics, deciding a Super Bowl or Democratic National Convention would be a better fit.

    Minneapolis last campaigned for the U.S. nomination to the 1996 Games but the USOC picked Atlanta instead.
    “I've said in the past that I believe Minneapolis-St. Paul has what it takes to bid on Olympics," he told Minnesota Public Radio on Thursday.

    "When we really dug into the details of it we realized 'yep, you know what, we can compete and maybe we can win.' But the time and effort it takes to do that is better spent on doing some of these other events where we have an excellent chance of succeeding."

    Rybak’s comments come two days after the U.S. Olympic Committee sent letters to the mayors of 35 U.S. cities gauging interest in 2024.

    San Jose is another city already declining the opportunity.

    According to NBC affiliate KLIV 1590, Mayor Chuck Reed says the $3 billion+ price tag for the Games is far too much for a city with more immediate needs.

    Elizalde Remains on POC

    The Philippines Olympic Committee Executive Board voted to retain Francisco Elizalde as an ex-officio member of the POC. He has a spot as an IOC member, but retired after reaching mandatory retirement age.

    “I can’t imagine the POC without Mr. Elizalde, especially now that we are handling so many important matters,” POC president Jose Cojuangco was quoted by local media.

    More Time for Tissot, FIBA

    Tissot will keep time for the International Basketball Federation for another four years.

    Friday’s renewal makes the Swiss watchmaker the "Official Watch" and "Official Timekeeper" of FIBA and includes the rights to present the MVP and Best Five awards of each tournament.

    “The partnership with Tissot has delivered great benefits for FIBA in the past and we look forward to jointly making a next step in the new cycle,” IOC member and FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann said in a statement.

    England 2015 Gear Ahead

    Sales will soon begin for official Rugby World Cup 2015 merchandise.

    Following the Friday award of global master licensing rights to Elite Sports Properties, a range of gear will go up for purchase via the official online store in May.

    “We are delighted to see official merchandise on sale three years out from the event, providing fans with the opportunity to engage with Rugby's premier event and purchase official product earlier than for any previous Rugby World Cup,” said International Rugby Board chairman Bernard Lapasset.

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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