Olympics: Japan committee chief Takeda to step down

Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) chief Tsunekazu Takeda, who is under investigation for suspected corruption, said on Tuesday he will step down from his position when his term ends in June and resign from the International Olympic Committee.


Reuters: Sports News

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Olympics: Japan’s superfan looks to complete Olympic circle in 2020

For most people, going to watch the Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but for 92-year-old superfan Naotoshi Yamada it has become a quadrennial ritual over the last five and a half decades.


Reuters: Sports News

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Olympics: German athletes earn more advertising rights during Games

German athletes and their sponsors will have more possibilities to advertise during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics following an easing of restrictions, the German Cartel Office said on Wednesday.


Reuters: Sports News

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Aly Raisman Won Gold in Two Olympics Without a Scratch, but Broke Her Elbow Falling Down Stairs

(BOSTON) — Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman says she is recovering from a broken elbow suffered in a fall on the stairs.Raisman in a Twitter post says “I survived two Olympic Games and 19 years of gymnastics without ever breaking a bone … the stairs got me … I fell and broke my elbow.”

She also posted a picture of herself on a couch, her right arm in a cast, snuggling with a dog. Raisman is native of the Boston suburb of Needham.

Raisman, captain for both the gold medal-winning 2012 and 2016 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics teams, is also a best-selling author and a survivor of sexual abuse. She’s been an outspoken advocate for women who were abused or victimized, and a harsh critic of USA Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body.

Sports – TIME

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Salt Lake City Gets Green Light to Bid for Winter Olympics

Salt Lake City got the green light to bid for the Winter Olympics — most likely for 2030 — in an attempt to bring the Games back to the city that hosted in 2002 and provided the backdrop for the U.S. winter team’s ascendance into an international powerhouse.

The U.S. Olympic Committee said Friday it was selecting Utah’s capital, which stood out as a predictable, slam-dunk pick in a process that also included Denver and Reno, Nevada.

With venues still in place — some of them upgraded — from the 2002 Games, Salt Lake claims it can host again at a lower cost than other candidates, which aligns with the International Olympic Committee’s new blueprint for the Games.

It’s almost a certain bet the bid will be for 2030, though the USOC left open the possibility of other dates. There are only two bidders for 2026: from Sweden and Italy, after voters in Calgary, Alberta, rejected a proposed bid.

USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland said Denver and Salt Lake City both presented strong cases, but that the board determined Utah was the better choice due in part to the existing venues, their proximity to each other, the city’s experience hosting the games and widespread community and political support. She said it minimizes the risk.

“It is critical to ensure that we have the ability to create an incredible experience for athletes while at the same time managing sustainability and fiscal responsibility,” Hirshland said. “It was clear to us when we were there and in what they presented that Salt Lake City very much understands the practical realities of hosting a Games, but also wants and supports what they represent.”

The city’s selection set off celebration at the mayor’s office where local leaders who worked on the plan gathered. Since 2012, Utah has said it’s ready and willing to host another Olympics.

One key hurdle for Salt Lake City will be erasing memories of the bidding scandal that marred the buildup to 2002 and resulted in several IOC members losing their positions for taking bribes.

Mitt Romney was brought in to steer the games through the scandal. The newly elected U.S. Senator for Utah told The Associated Press after the announcement that a series of processes put in place by the IOC will ensure no bribery scandal happens again.

Romney said Salt Lake City should have a great chance at winning the bid from the IOC because it has shown it can host the games without losing money. Salt Lake City ended up with a surplus after the 2002 Games, money he used to help maintain venues it will use again if it’s awarded the Olympics.

“We learned how to produce the Games for the same cost as the revenue that came in,” Romney said. “We will not put a glitzy show like Sochi or Beijing, that are reported to have cost as much $ 50 billion. We will show the world that you can produce an Olympics without having the government writing the checks.”

In many parts of the United States, however, the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City are remembered not for the bribery scandal but for a different reason.

After never surpassing 13 medals at a Winter Games, the U.S. used home-turf advantage, an influx of new sports and the emotion of the recent Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks to capture 34 over three weeks in Utah.

In the aftermath, Park City and other mountain towns near Salt Lake City preserved and improved upon many of the venues, and continued hosting key international events. The freestyle world championships will be held in Park City in February.

Utah organizers say they could host the games for $ 1.35 billion, some $ 50 billion less than it cost in Russia for the 2014 Sochi Games, which are the most expensive games ever and stood out as a blaring warning signal that the IOC needed to streamline its bloated Olympic structure.

The exorbitant costs have changed the dynamic of Olympic bidding. In 2002, cities were trying to bribe IOC officials to award them the Olympics. These days, the IOC finds itself wanting for bidders.

The IOC normally awards Olympics seven years before they’re scheduled, though that calendar has been in flux because so many cities have dropped out.

Last year, the IOC handed out the 2024 and 2028 Summer Games at the same time because there were only two cities left in what began as a much bigger contest for 2024. Paris will host 2024, Los Angeles will host 2028, and if Salt Lake wins 2030, it would mark the first time since the IOC began staggering the Games two years apart, in 1994, that the same country has hosted back-to-back.

At this time, Salt Lake could be considered a favorite in a 2030 contest that hasn’t really taken shape yet.

Hirshland said the USOC has the luxury of time to refine Salt Lake City’s bid.

In fact, Salt Lake could still be a favorite for 2026 had it been allowed to go that route. Recently, voters in Calgary rejected that city’s attempt to host, leaving Stockholm and a joint bid from Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy as the only two remaining candidates. A bid from Utah was considered, but putting it in front of the Los Angeles Olympics provided too many hurdles on the marketing side.

Rob Cohen, chair of Denver’s Olympic bid committee, called it disappointing that Colorado lost out on the chance to bid but said the process prepared the city as it looks for other chances to showcase the city on the world stage.

Sports – TIME

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Video Games Won’t Be Part of the Paris Olympics

The Olympic Games regularly add new events, but officials aren’t quite ready to embrace eSports.

This weekend, the International Olympic Committee met for the 7th Olympic Summit, where competitive video gaming was among the topics of discussion. The verdict? It’s still “premature” to discuss including them in the Olympic games.

That’s bound to be disappointing to supporters, who had hoped for a breakthrough in the 2024 Paris games. Tony Estanguet, co-president of the Paris Olympic committee, is a proponent of bringing video games to the Olympics.

Despite initial opposition to eSports, Olympic organizers didn’t entirely shut the door on the idea.

The IOC “agreed that the Olympic Movement should continue to engage with [the eSports] community.” It also said some titles were “not compatible” with the Olympic values, presumably referring to action and shooter games. Explaining, the IOC drew a contrast between how the eSports “industry is commercially driven” as opposed to the “values-based” aim of other sports, a claim that many might find fault with.

Still, the IOC did say it planned to invite stakeholders in the eSports industry to a liaison group, where they would “explore jointly collaborative projects”.

eSports might seem a strange fit in the Olympics, but many of the Olympics most popular events were similarly greeted with skepticism. Snowboarding wasn’t added until 1998. And as the X Games grew in popularity, the Olympics added Big Air aerials and slopestyle skiing.

Five new sports will debut in 2020, some of which, like skateboarding, are designed to appeal to younger demographics. That audience will likely be what ultimately convinces the IOC to add eSports to the games at some point. Viewership for events, both online and on TV, has regularly outpaced that of major traditional sports tournaments.

The IOC also has some time to change its mind. No final decisions about the competition in the Paris Olympics will be made until 2020, after Tokyo’s time with the Games is done.

Fortune

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Shaun White Apologizes to Special Olympics for ‘Insensitive’ Costume

Professional snowboarder Shaun White expressed regret after dressing up for Halloween as Simple Jack, Ben Stiller’s disabled character in the 2008 film Tropic Thunder.

“I owe everyone in the Special Olympics community an apology for my poor choice of Halloween costume the other night,” White, 32, wrote in a statement posted on his Twitter account on Monday, October 29. “It was a last minute decision. It was the wrong one. The Special Olympics were right to call me out on it. They do great work supporting so many athletes and I am sorry for being insensitive. Lesson learned.”

The three-time Olympic gold medalist showed off his costume two days earlier in a since-deleted post on Instagram. The Special Olympics condemned it soon after.

“We are truly disappointed that Shaun White, an acclaimed Olympian, would choose this costume which is so offensive and causes so much pain,” one of the organization’s cofounders, Soeren Palumbo, said in a statement to HuffPost. “Disability is not a joke nor should it be a punchline. We hope that Shaun White and others learn that this just continues stigma, stereotypes and discrimination.”

After White apologized on Twitter, the Special Olympics replied, “Thank you @shaunwhite for listening to our community. You always have an invitation to shred with our athletes at #XGames Aspen!”

Tropic Thunder was widely criticized and boycotted by disability advocacy groups around the time of its release. The action comedy repeatedly and excessively used the R-word to describe Stiller’s character.

A spokesperson for DreamWorks Pictures said in a statement to The New York Times in 2008 that the movie “satirizes Hollywood and its excesses and makes its point by featuring inappropriate and over-the-top characters in ridiculous situations.” The company added that it did not intend to “disparage or harm the image of individuals with disabilities.”

Us Weekly

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