High profile Olympic athletes are "sparking potential terror alerts" by posting pictures of their official Olympic Village passes on their Twitter accounts. Several individuals have "caused security headaches" by tweeting high resolution images of their LOCOG accreditation. This has raised fears that the barcodes - which do not feature infra-red or microchip technology - could be "duplicated by fraudsters" (DAILY MAIL, 7/25).
SECURITY: Even with the Olympic Games taking place in London, France "will have to re-enforce" its security during the duration of the Games. For people that are not flying into England, France is "often a point of passage" and therefore will have to step up its security personnel. The government "will have to deploy" 5,000 police officers and members of the military to make sure the train stations and ports are kept safe (LE FIGARO, 7/25).
OOPS: In London, Ewan Murray reported that North Korea's women's football team "initially refused" to play their Olympics opener with Colombia on Wednesday night after a South Korean flag was mistakingly shown on the Hampden Park big screens alongside their team lineups. The North Koreans left the field in protest "shortly before the end of their scheduled warm-up." The kick-off time was set for 7:45pm, but the players did not return to warm up until shortly before 8:30pm, after the flag was changed to the correct one and "extensive negotiations" took place behind the scenes (GUARDIAN, 7/25). Manchester Evening News Sports News Correspondent Mike Keegan wrote on Twitter: “It’s not as though North Korea and South Korea have fallen out …” … Sports Illustrated Senior Writer Grant Wahl tweeted: “Fully expecting North Korea-Colombia to be delayed again when the inevitable misspelling "Columbia" appears on stadium screen.” … N.Y. Times Social Media Producer Daniel Victor tweeted: “South Korea will face North Korea in first round of men's table tennis. The net, presumably, is demilitarized.”
ZONE DEFENSE: In L.A., Stuart Kemp noted Hollywood studios and global filmmakers "have been warned about attempting any kind of location shoot in the British capital" during the London Games. It is "not an outright ban by authorities but a warning based on common sense.” British Film Commission CEO Adrian Wootton said, “We've been telling the studio heads of physical production for months now that central London will be out during the 15 days the Olympics is on” (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 7/25).
REVERSE COURSE: In London, Fay Schlesinger wrote under the subheader, “The IOC Has Urged Spectators Not To Post Videos, But It Said It Would Pursue Spectators Only In Exceptional Cases.” The IOC has “rescinded a ban preventing fans from uploading pictures and videos” from Great Britain’s first soccer match. LOCOG yesterday in a statement said, “Spectators can take pictures of whatever they like at our venues and use them on social media. The only restriction is for very large photographic equipment and tripods that obstruct people’s view” (LONDON TIMES, 7/25).
NOT A GOOD LOOK: In London, Charles Sale wrote it will “cause embarrassment” to LOCOG that Commercial Dir Chris Townsend has “enjoyed lavish hospitality from the company at the centre of the latest Olympic ticketing shambles.” Townsend “took up the offer to attend the British Grand Prix at Silverstone" with Jet Set Sports, which is the official hospitality supplier to LOCOG. It is “understood there has been talk within LOCOG about how ill-advised Townsend was to accept any perceived favours when CoSport are such high-profile clients as the authorised ticket resellers for the U.S., Canada, Australia, Norway and Sweden” (DAILYMAIL, 7/24).
BREAK DOWN: In London, Hough & Millward reported that the multi-million pound Emirates Air Line, linking Olympics venues on both sides of the Thames River in east London, suddenly stopped working after suffering a "technical fault." Witnesses reported that the problems "might have been caused by the searing weather," after workers told them that "faults were recorded" on the £44M ($68M) service if temperatures reached 86F (30C). Dozens of passengers, including young children and the elderly, were left suspended "almost 300 feet in the air," after it broke down. Officials later denied it was linked to the heat (TELEGRAPH, 7/25). The PA reported that "more than 30 cars, carrying around 60 people, came to a halt." Eventually, the cars moved again and passengers were able to reach the system's terminals after a "hold-up of around 30 minutes" (PA, 7/25).
OLYMPIC SNUB: In London, Jerome Taylor reported that "Argentina has decided not to send its president to attend the Opening Ceremony" of the London Games in a diplomatic snub to Britain at a time of growing tensions over the Falkland Islands. The Argentine embassy in London confirmed that Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner "would not be attending at any point during the Games." The spokesperson refused to be drawn on whether the decision was a deliberate diplomatic snub to Britain (INDEPENDENT, 7/24).
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE: Russia's second-largest mobile phone operator and official mobile partner to '14 Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, MegaFon, appointed global sponsorship and brand entertainment agency GMR Marketing to work with them on a range of activities at the London Games. MegaFon will have an official presence at both Russia Park and Sochi Park. GMR will be working with MegaFon on setting up a number of unique brand and customer experiences with the two parks (GMR Marketing).