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Volume 10 No. 25

People and Pop Culture

Former double British Open winner GREG NORMAN said that he has "never been so insulted" after being told to stay away to hear JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL announce his two European Team "wildcard" picks, according to Fatiha Betscher of the AFP. Norman was on hand at Gleneagles on Monday to host a Johnnie Walker-sponsored clinic. However, with heavy rain keeping everyone inside, Norman found himself in the hotel about the same time Olazabal, his friend and colleague of 30-years, was confirming IAN POULTER and NICOLAS COLSAERTS as his two Medinah picks. Norman is currently "an ambassador for Omega whereas Swiss wrist watch rival, Rolex, is one of five main sponsors of the European Ryder Cup Team." It is for this reason the champion Australian, who also spent more than 300 weeks as world No.1, was told in no uncertain term that "his presence was not welcome at the announcement." It is the second time in recent weeks Norman said that he has been "snubbed by Rolex" after he was informed he was not welcome to participate in the British Senior Open Pro-Am, and on the Turnberry course where he had stormed to a five shot success in the 1986 Open Championship. Norman was reluctant to go any further with the story but did when he revealed how he was told that "he was not welcome to tee-up on July 25 ahead of the Turnberry event" known officially as "The Senior Open presented by Rolex" (AFP, 8/30).

A top Chinese tennis official has questioned LI NA's mental toughness following her early exit from the U.S. Open last week, blaming a "lack of education," according to Alastair Himmer of REUTERS. Chinese Tennis Association Secretary SUN JINFANG said, "We've seen lots of meltdowns (from) Li in recent months." Sun suggested it was "quite normal" for Chinese athletes who did not receive "enough education" to suffer from a lack of mental strength. Sun: "Without good education, (athletes) are just like well-designed computers with ill-suited software - impossible to perform their best" (REUTERS, 9/4). The AFP noted China's high-pressure state sports school system, "which sees young children undergoing rigorous training for up to seven hours a day," has taken criticism for not providing a fully rounded education. Li opted out of the national state sports system in '08 "under a pilot scheme that allows tennis players to set up their own training team and keep most of their winnings" (AFP, 9/4).

Burberry Global Dir of Social Media Marketing MUSA TARIQ is "set to leave the brand to take up a similar role at Nike." Tariq joined the British luxury fashion brand as global head of digital marketing in '09, before being promoted to his current position last year. He had previously worked at ad agencies JWT and Saatchi & Saatchi. It is not known when Tariq will take up his position with Nike, or what his exact job title will be (, 9/4).

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Bundesliga club Greuther Fürth "will welcome a special guest" to its home game against Schalke 04 on Saturday. Former U.S. Secretary of State HENRY KISSINGER will honor his promise and attend the Bundesliga match. Kissinger, who was born in Fürth, has always emphasized that the club is "a matter close to the heart" for him (SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, 9/4). ... Former NBA player ALLEN IVERSON "expressed willingness to play" in the Chinese Basketball Association following the success of former NBA player STEPHON MARBURY, who the past season led the Beijing Ducks to a national championship. Iverson arrived in China on Tuesday "on a sponsored tour to meet his Chinese fans" (, 9/4). ... NBA Asian-American JEREMY LIN on Thursday finished a four-day summer basketball camp in Taipei for more than 100 youth. Lin said at the closing ceremony: "I just saw you guys improve individually, but also most important is improving in terms of playing with your teammates." NBA player DAVID LEE also helped coach at the camp "at Lin's invitation" (, 9/1).

OUT WITH A KNEE: IOC President JACQUES ROGGE will miss the Closing Ceremony of the London Paralympic Games because "he is due to undergo hip surgery" (REUTERS, 9/4). ... A swimming pool at a primary school "is to be named after former pupil" and Gold Medal Paralympian ELEANOR SIMMONDS. Staff at Cooper and Jordan C of E School in Aldridge, England, said that they would ask Ellie to "rededicate the pool after her success at London 2012" (BBC, 9/4). ... The Bangladesh Cricket Board revealed on Tuesday that former int'l SHARIFUL HAQUE has been found guilty of "spot-fixing and banned from cricket indefinitely" (REUTERS, 9/4). ... Georgian President MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI has "laid the foundation" of the new Olympic stadium in Batumi. It will be ready in a year and a half. The stadium, which was designed by Georgian Architect DAVID GOGICHAISHVILI can accommodate 35,000 spectators (, 9/3). ... The New Zealand Rugby League Highlanders named two new assistant coaches and a new manager for the 2013 Investec Super Rugby season. Former All Blacks SCOTT MCLEOD, JON PRESTON were added as assistants while GRAHAM PURVIS becomes manager for Head Coach JAMIE JOSEPH (also a former All Black) over the next few weeks and will begin planning for their '13 campaign (Highlanders). ... Cricket Australia appointed DAVID BAILEY as physical performance coach for the men's team. Bailey was the strength and conditioning coordinator at Cricket Victoria for the past six seasons (Cricket Australia).

TRY AND TRY AGAIN: Swiss football club Sion named MICHEL DECASTEL its fifth coach in less than two years. He replaces SÉBASTIEN FOURNIER who quit after four months. Decastel, "who has spent the last decade coaching clubs in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt," became the 26th coach to take charge of Sion since architect and former goalkeeper CHRISTIAN CONSTANTIN became president of the club in '03 (REUTERS, 9/4). U.S. Ryder Cup team captain DAVIS LOVE III has named STEVE STRICKER, JIM FURYK, DUSTIN JOHNSON and BRANDT SNEDEKER as his wildcard picks for the American team that will "try to win back the Ryder Cup" on September 28-30 at Medinah near Chicago (LONDON TIMES, 9/4).

After Cristiano Ronaldo revealed he was "sad," the hashtag #CristianoEstáTristePorque (CristianoIsSadBecause) started trending on Twitter. Below are some of the reason's Spanish fans speculated:

@Morenodelaplaya: sus compañeros le han gastado la gomina (His teammates used up all his gel)

@FCB_mexico: el Real Madrid no le compró el premio a mejor jugador de Europa (Real Madrid did not buy him the best player in Europe award).

@michelitotorero: su hijo quiere ser como messi (His son wants to be like Messi)

FourFourTwo's James Maw: Cristiano Ronaldo's unhappiness is already my least favourite news story of October, November and December.

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