SBD Global/July 12, 2012/Olympics

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  • Unwanted Olympics Tickets To Be Available To U.K. Public

    At least half of the hundreds of thousands of unwanted Olympic tickets returned from sponsors and foreign countries "will be offered for sale to the U.K. public," according to Jacquelin Magnay of the London TELEGRAPH. A LOCOG spokesperson said "it was only right" that overseas countries that bought the tickets through their National Olympic Committees, sponsors and rights-holding broadcasters, had the chance to buy and sell tickets within their original allocation of 12% of all Olympic tickets. The spokesperson said, "We will not leave them on the [sponsors'] portal for ages if other countries [or sponsors] don't buy them. There is no chance they will loiter around for ages, we will get them into the hands of the British public" (TELEGRAPH, 7/11).

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  • LOCOG To Call In More Armed Forces, Olympics Could Have More Than Afghanistan

    Britain's armed forces will provide more than 13,000 personnel for the Olympics.

    The military has been asked to provide up to 3,500 extra troops to guard the London Olympics, "amid concerns that private security firm G4S will be unable to deliver" the 13,700 guards it promised, according to Hopkins & Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. Concern for the potential lack of guards has forced Ministers "into the last-ditch move only a fortnight before the Games." A Whitehall insider accused the Home Office of "sticking its head in the sand" over the need to deploy extra military personnel. The armed forces are already providing up to 13,500 personnel for the Games – split between the venues and back-up for police. Under the contingency plans, this could reach 16,500 – 7,000 more than are being deployed in Afghanistan. The move will "raise fresh questions over the extent to which the Games will appear overly reliant on the armed forces." Last week it was confirmed that surface-to-air missiles would be located at six sites around the capital, despite protests from residents and some MPs. The issue of "venue security has been the most contentious" for organisers and the government leading up to the Olympics, after LOCOG admitted in December that it "had wildly underestimated the number of staff required to deliver security" at 34 Olympic venues in London and around the country (GUARDIAN, 7/11). In London, Matthew Taylor reported G4S is "considering bringing in staff from other parts of its business empire amid growing fears of a security shortfall." The security company said that it had put employees working on other contracts on standby "as time runs out to train and accredit the number of guards needed to secure Olympics venues." The decision to consider transferring G4S employees has "raised concerns that key parts of the U.K.'s criminal justice system could be left short-staffed" (GUARDIAN, 7/11).

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  • Union Urges London Bus Workers To Take Deal, End Threat Of Olympics Strike

    London bus workers are "being urged to accept a peace deal" that will end a potential bus strike during the Olympics, after British union Unite "secured an offer from bus operators," according to Dan Milmo of the London GUARDIAN. Members of the union were threatening stoppage on July 24, just days before the Olympics opening ceremony, "in a row over bonus payments for working during the Games." An offer was made following days of talks between Unite and privately owned bus operators. A vote will take place next week, although Unite "declined to reveal details of the offer until it had been passed to members" (GUARDIAN, 7/10).

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  • Decision On German Bid For 2022 Winter Olympics Won't Come Before '14

    The German Olympic Committee (DOSB) revealed that it "will decide on a German bid" to host the 2022 Winter Olympics no sooner than '14, according to the SID. DOSB President Thomas Bach and General Dir Michael Vesper announced the decision in an open letter on the organization's website. The letter said, "Between the IOC's decision about a host for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Sept. '13 and the filing deadline for 2022 Winter Olympics bids the following winter, there is enough time to hold a referendum with all involved partners to decide if we should submit a bid." After Munich lost the 2018 Winter Games bid to the South Korean city of Pyeongchang, "voices for another bid," increased in the Bavarian state capital, especially after the U.S. decided not to submit a bid (SID, 7/10).

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  • Australian Cyclist In Clash Over Olympics Sponsors

    Industry lobby group Mining Australia has been "forced to pull its television and online advertising campaign" after the Australian Olympic Committee ruled it was in breach of strict advertising guidelines, according to Georgina Robinson of the BRISBANE TIMES. The "golden girl" of Australian track cycling, Anna Meares, appears in the video in cycling gear branded with her sponsor BHP Billiton's logo as she "talks about her campaign to win gold in the London Games." However, BHP Billiton "is a rival" to official Australian team sponsor Rio Tinto, although Rio Tinto also helps "to fund the Mining Australia campaign" (BRISBANE TIMES, 7/12).

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  • Federation Not Opposed To Making Handball A Winter Olympics Sport

    The Int'l Handball Federation "would not be opposed" to switch the sport from the Summer to the Winter Olympics, according to the DPA. IHF President Hassan Moustafa does not "rule out the idea of integrating handball into the program of the Winter Olympics." He said, "After all our world cups are played during the wintertime, the men's World Cup in December and the women's World Cup in January." The reason why the IHF is even considering this switch is the "possibility of beach-handball becoming an Olympic sport" (DPA, 7/11).

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  • Olympics Notes

    A Malaysian mining magnate has offered the country's Olympic badminton team a gold bar worth 2M ringgit ($630,000) if they can "bring home a first gold medal" from the London Games. Andrew Kam, a badminton enthusiast and Chair of the Kuala Lumpur Racquet Club Berhad, offered "the additional sweetener" to the team, who have already been offered 1M ringgit ($315,000) by the government and a separate private firm to win gold. Men's singles silver medalist Lee Chong Wei, who lost the gold medal match to China's badminton great Lin Dan at the Beijing Games, "is likely to be Malaysia's greatest hope of a maiden gold" (REUTERS, 7/11).

    CLEAN IT UP: The PTI reported that the London Olympics is all set to go down "as the most dope-tested Games" with more than 6,000 samples expected to be analyzed. Wowld Anti-Doping Agency President John Fahey said that its' intention is to make the upcoming Games "as clean as possible" (PTI, 7/11).

    LOOKING EAST: ASIASPONSORSHIPNEWS.com reported that the IOC is hoping a Chinese company will join its TOP sponsorship program for the London Games. IOC Marketing Head Gerhard Heiberg said that the TOP program has "mainly attracted western companies that have experience in sports marketing," but the IOC is "trying to make the program more universal" (ASIASPONSORSHIPNEWS.com, 7/11).

    SPANISH ATHLETES: MUNDO DEPORTIVO's Lluís Carles Pérez reported that the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) is sending 282 athletes to the London Games. It will be their "fourth largest participation" in the Games after Barcelona in '92 (397), Sydney in '00 (295) and Athens in '04 (288). The COE will send 168 men and 114 women or a 60/40 ratio (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 7/11).

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