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SBD Global/September 30, 2013/Olympics

Olympic Notes: Sochi Olympic Flame Lit At Site Of Ancient Games In Olympia

The Olympic flame for the Sochi Winter Games was lit Sunday at a ceremony at the site of the ancient games in Olympia, "kicking off a weeklong relay that will see it travel through Greece before arriving in Russia." At the ceremony attended by senior Olympic and Russian officials, "the flame was lit using the sun's rays reflected on a large parabolic mirror," a traditional method that symbolizes the approval of the gods to host the Games (MOSCOW TIMES, 9/29). ... IOC President Thomas Bach said on Sunday that the IOC "will not tolerate any discrimination at next year's Sochi Winter Games following a controversial Russian anti-gay law." Bach: "We are very clear that we will not tolerate any form of discrimination. The task of the IOC is that the Olympic charter is applied 100 percent" (REUTERS, 9/29). ... An audit into the finances of the 2016 Rio Olympics "shows preparations are behind schedule with earmarked state cash largely unspent." The Brazilian sports ministry has set aside a budget of 1.6B reais ($712M) toward "the staging of South America's first Olympics and the Paralympics thereafter." But an audit by the Brasilia-based national auditing office, TCU, has shown that only 5% of that funding "has been spent" (GULF TODAY, 9/28).
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