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  • #ICYMI: Korea Tensions; Innsbruck Vote, Catalonia Recognition Hopes


    10/14/17

    (ATR) #ICMYI -- In Case You Missed It ... Sometimes the best stories don't get the attention we think they deserve. Here are our staff picks for articles this week they really want you to know about.

    Sport Can Rise Above Politics on Korean Peninsula -- ATRadio

    Bill Richardson (Richardson)
    Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson tells Around the Rings he is optimistic for peace during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics despite heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula.

    “I think there’s a possibility that sport can be a path towards easing tensions and diplomacy,” Richardson says on the latest edition of ATRadio. “I’m not saying it will reduce the tension but it could be a bridge.

    “And this is why I’m excited about these Olympics happening in South Korea. South Korea and North Korea may be working together to enhance the Korean medal count and Korean prestige in international sport.”

    An expert on North Korea who has visited the country eight times as a U.S. diplomat during his time in the House of Representatives, Richardson says he has urged U.S. President Donald Trump to speak more with South Korean President Jae In Moon about creating a dialogue with North Korean Premier Kim Jong Un.

    He adds that North Korea has a love for sport so he would be surprised if the country were to boycott the PyeongChang 2018 Games.

    Click here to read the full story and listen to the podcast.

    Crunch Time Ahead of Innsbruck 2026 Referendum

    (ATR) The final push is on to convince voters in Innsbruck and the surrounding Tyrol region to support a bid for the 2026 Winter Games.
    Event in Innsbruck in support of 2026 bid (OOC)

    The referendum is this Sunday, Oct. 15, and bid supporters are using events, public informational briefings and almost daily press briefings to make sure voters have all the information they need to make a well-informed decision. The so-called “Olympic Roadshow” has been touring the region over the past weeks, featuring many Olympic champions.

    “We are positive that the Tyrol vote will be in favor for the Olympics,” Austria Olympic Committee (OOC) President Karl Stoss said in a statement to Around the Rings. “Olympic Gold Medal winners like Benjamin Raich [Alpine skiing] and Toni Innauer [ski jumping] are helping us, spreading the arguments, talking about the Olympic dimension and the Olympic spirit.”

    Click here to read the full story.

    Catalonia Has 'All it Needs' For Tokyo Team

    Catalan Sport officials tell Around the Rings they are prepared to send an Olympic team to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, as the region’s autonomy remains unsettled.

    Catalan supporters (Wikimedia Commons)
    Gerard Esteva, president of the Union of Catalan Sport Federations, said to ATR that the region has training facilities, Olympic programs, and a robust budget already set up for athletes.

    “Therefore, we have all we need to be in Japan [for] 2020,” Esteva said.

    Esteva wrote to the IOC on September 27, days before the disputed Catalonia independence referendum stating it would initiate recognition proceedings if independence was declared. An IOC spokesperson acknowledged the letter to ATR saying “the IOC would reply accordingly”. The full text of the letter can be found here.

    The spokesperson did not respond to questions about if the IOC would accept the proceedings, or if the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) had written to the IOC. Last week NOC relations director of the IOC Pere Miró told ATR, "we must wait to see how the situation in Catalonia evolves" before weighing in.

    Click here to read the full story. 

    Homepage photo: Getty Images

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