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SBD Global/July 26, 2012/Olympics
Coe's Final Report On London Games Points To Promises On '05 Fulfilled
Published July 26, 2012
RAISING THE BAR? The GLOBE & MAIL’s Paul Waldie noted IOC officials “gathered for their 124th annual meeting in the elegant calm at the five-star Grosvenor House Hotel, a bit smug over their full coffers and special privileges.” The “entire city seems to be at the IOC’s beck and call,” and the “fine trappings are befitting an organization long criticized for being corrupt, secretive and the epitome of an old boys’ network.” Waldie: “One look at the IOC membership and it’s easy to see why this group expects the best.” There were “few quibbles or complaints to disturb the tranquility of the IOC annual meeting.” Canadian IOC member Dick Pound did “raise concerns about the duration” of the Opening Ceremony. U.S. IOC member Anita DeFrantz also “lamented the lack of women in the organization.” In a presentation yesterday, she noted that just 3% of “national Olympic organizations have a female president and only 20% of IOC members are women.” She “urged all organizations to do more.” Still, Waldie writes the “overall tone of the meeting Tuesday was of control and order.” Rogge “directed the proceedings, introducing a series of presentations by various officials and selecting questions from members” (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/25). In London, Charles Sale noted London’s stock among IOC “top brass is high” after the meeting. It also helped that the IOC “bigwigs had enjoyed mostly pain-free journeys from Heathrow to their Park Lane Hilton base” (DAILY MAIL, 7/25).
RETURN TO NORMALCY: USA TODAY’s Christine Brennan wrote after the IOC “sold its soul to give the Games to Beijing and the authoritarian and repressive Chinese regime in '08, the Summer Olympics are coming back to an open, free and democratic society.” They are “coming back to a place where they belong, to a country and city that is encouraging its citizens to celebrate with it rather than keeping them away from venues with police crime-scene tape or detaining or arresting them” (USA TODAY, 7/25).
SPEED IT UP: The GUARDIAN’s Gibson reported the IOC will “brief all competing nations on Thursday in an attempt to avoid them dragging their feet " at the Opening Ceremony. There is a feeling that the “parade of athletes at recent Games has become too unwieldy,” and the IOC and LOCOG officials are “keen that all teams make their way round the stadium at a reasonable speed.” Officials reportedly have “come up with various ‘devices’ to ensure that the athletes maintain an even pace.” Organizers want to “ensure that it finishes by its allotted time of 12.30am at the latest and all spectators are able to get home” (GUARDIAN, 7/25). Meanwhile, in N.Y., Filip Bondy writes under the header, “By Ignoring Munich Olympic Massacre, Jacques Rogge Plays Games With Tragedy And Memories.” NBC’s Bob Costas plans to “offer his own remembrance on NBC marking the early 40 years since the Munich massacre.” However Rogge “will remain silent, but for the wrong reasons: diplomacy, and fear” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/25).
OFF TO THE RACES: In London, Ashling O’Connor reported Coe has declared that he “wants to be president of the International Association of Athletics Federations.” Coe will run against former Russian pole vaulter Sergei Bubka "in a race to run the sport that made both men famous.” Coe said, “I’m ready. I know how to do this. But we have a great president in the post, so it would be when he stands down.” IAAF President Lamine Diack was re-elected unopposed in August for a final four-year term, ending in ’15. Coe is “likely to face competition from Bubka.” Both are IAAF VPs and “were entered into the hall of fame last month to mark the organisation’s centenary.” Coe has “long been touted as a successor to Diack but has always avoided answering the question over his ambitions” (LONDON TIMES, 7/25).