REUTERS' Karolos Grohmann reported that LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe said that "the Olympic flame and cauldron is not a tourist attraction," defending a decision to keep it out of sight of thousands of Olympic Park visitors. Lit at the Opening Ceremony on Friday, the cauldron "will not burn above the stadium as it is usually the case in other Games, but will remain inside the Olympic stadium and will not be seen by ticket-holders to the events there." Coe, when asked why visitors to the park were not given the chance to see it, said, "It was not created to be a tourist attraction" (REUTERS, 7/29).
NOT WELCOME: The London TELEGRAPH reported that G4S "has barred its senior executives from enjoying corporate hospitality in light of its security fiasco" for the London Games. The group confirmed that "it had decided not to allow staff to host any corporate Olympic events" after suffering a reputational battering following its failure to hire enough security guards. G4S said that "its customers would still be able to use allocated tickets to attend." G4S CEO Nick Buckles will not be attending (TELEGRAPH, 7/29).
HOT PANTS: In Sydney, Samantha Lane reported that Britain's track cycling team will unveil revolutionary battery-powered hot pants in London's Olympic velodrome. The team's physiologist said that "the technology will change track cycling -- and potentially other sports -- forever, in a similar fashion that high-tech suits have changed swimming." The pants will keep "British athletes' at the ideal temperature of about 38 degrees" before they compete. The designer, adidas, which made an agreement with the British team to keep the technology secret until the eve of the Games, has spent 18 months perfecting the pre-race warmers after national coaches saw the potential (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 7/30).
CYCLISTS ARRESTED: In N.Y., Alice Speri reported that "Olympic-related protests are out of the starting blocks." London police said that "more than 130 cyclists were arrested Friday night on a mass ride near the Olympic Park." And on Saturday, a catch-all group protesting against corporate sponsors and the Olympics themselves mounted a peaceful protest (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/28).
SHOW ME THE MONEY: In Beijing, Wang Zhuoqiong reported that Quanzhou Epoch Travelling Goods GM Fan Jinfeng said that "the company made bags for the Netherlands team and has provided bags for leading sports brands including Asics, adidas and Dunlop." The deals involving the Games are worth only $500,000, about 6% of the company's annual revenue. However, Fan said that "participating in the Olympic Games helps the manufacturer upgrade its brand and attract more top brands to work with it." According to Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group, 65% of London Olympics merchandise is made in China, including mascots, cups and clothes (CHINA DAILY, 7/28).