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Volume 10 No. 25

People and Pop Culture

CLIVE WOODWARD has stepped down from his role as Director of Sport at the British Olympic Association after six years "marked by medal success and occasional controversy," according to Paul Kelso of the London TELEGRAPH. Woodward announced his departure two weeks after BOA CEO Andy Hunt informed him that his role was "being dissolved as part of a cost-cutting restructuring exercise." It is possible that Woodward may return to the BOA in a part-time role as chef de mission of Team GB at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and possibly Rio if LOCOG Chair SEBASTIAN COE is appointed BOA Chair next month, "as expected." For now, however, Woodward will "concentrate on media work, public speaking and developing his coaching and business ideas." For the BOA, Woodward’s departure is "the start of a restructuring intended to ease the major financial pressures" it faces after '12. The accounts for '11 filed this week show a loss of £421,000 ($665,000) with revenues down £900,000 ($1.5M) and costs rising by more than £1M ($1.6M), with staff costs up by around £800,000 ($1.3M) (TELEGRAPH, 10/4).

WOODWARD TO STAY INVOLVED: In London, Owen Gibson reported that Woodward said that he would continue to chair a British Judo post-Games review, as well as taking up a role as a Team GB ambassador and retaining his position on the IOC entourage commission. Woodward said, "I will now be concentrating on my coaching, corporate speaking, media and other business interests." Outgoing BOA Chair COLIN MOYNIHAN said Woodward's contribution was a "major factor" in the success of British athletes in Beijing and London. Woodward "will remain involved with the BOA in an ambassadorial role and is likely to be used as part of an ongoing attempt to bring in new sponsors," with the rights to the Olympic rings that were subcontracted to LOCOG reverting to the organization at the end of the year (GUARDIAN, 10/4).

NO PERFECT MATCH: Also in London, Alan Hubbard wrote that Woodward "has enough irons in fires not to be first in the Jobcentre queue." Most likely, he "will be taking a call from" England Rugby '15 Overlady DEBBIE JEVANS. Jevans "will be happy to enlist Woodward's expertise in not only constructing the tournament, but helping her sort the current dispute with the Premier League over the use of football stadiums" to host World Cup matches in September '15 (INDEPENDENT, 10/7). In London, Kelso also wrote that the reality of Woodward's time in the Olympic movement "is more complicated than titles or medal tallies." Woodward and the BOA "were never a perfect match, and the only surprise is that divorce took this long." Woodward was "successful within the narrow confines of the organisation, and should take the credit for the exemplary conduct and spirit of Team GB in London." A more critical take is that Woodward "was an expensive vanity hire who did not define a consistently meaningful role, or manage to escape the interminable politics of the BOA" under Moynihan (TELEGRAPH, 10/4).

World Cup skiing champion and Olympic Gold Medalist LINDSEY VONN "sent a letter to Int'l Ski Federation (FIS) to ask permission to enter a men’s downhill race so she can enhance women’s alpine skiing’s image," according to SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG. Vonn sent a letter to men’s Race Dir GÜNTER HUJARA, "asking him about the possibility of competing in the men’s downhill" at Lake Louise, Canada. Women's World Cup Race Dir ATLE SKAARDAL said, "We have been talking about it, but no decision has been taken yet. It’s a matter that the FIS Council has to examine during its next meeting in November. It’s necessary to go through the rules to see if there is a way to do this and also a reason to do it" (SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, 10/7). REUTERS' Patrick Lang noted that Vonn has won "53 World Cup events in her career including 26 downhills." Last year, the 27-year-old American also became only the fourth woman to triumph in all five disciplines of modern alpine ski racing: downhill, slalom, giant slalom, Super-G and combined. However, Skaardal said, "It's complicated because no racer is supposed to ski on a race course a week prior to his or her own competition. If Lindsey Vonn could train and compete with the men in November, she would have a huge advantage on her rivals the following week during the women's races on the same course" (REUTERS, 10/6).

World No. 2 men's tennis player NOVAK DJOKOVIC "delighted fans in Beijing" on Sunday with a rendition of the famed horse-riding dance from pop hit "Gangnam Style" after defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to win his third China Open, according to the AFP. The 25-year-old "fulfilled a promise made earlier in the week to copy the moves to the Internet sensation by South Korean rapper PSY." Djokovic "looked nervous and reluctant at first following the request by the tournament's compere, but soon strutted his stuff" along with several ball-boys and girls in front of the crowd of around 10,000. Djokovic said, "Nothing was planned." He added, "So I had to hold my promise, and it was fun. I think it was obvious that I was the worst dancer there out of the small group, but it still was quite a lot of fun" (AFP, 10/7). Meanwhile in Dubai, K.R. Nayar reported West Indian cricketer CHRIS GAYLE danced "Gangnam Style" to celebrate his team's Twenty20 semi-final victory. Gayle performed the dance for TV cameramen after "steering his team" to the World T20 final against Sri Lanka. One scribe said, "It is a dance on the grave of the Australians." When asked about his moves, Gayle said, "It just happened...not really planned. That's me. Depending on the mood I am in, I do something crazy. But it's a good dance" (GULF NEWS, 10/6).

Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) President CARLOS NUZMAN was re-elected "despite charges that he was to blame for a scandal involving the unauthorized downloads of files belonging to organizers" of the London Olympics. The 70-year-old tallied 30 favorable votes and one against "in a secret vote in which he was running unopposed." Voting were the leaders of the 30 Brazilian Olympic confederations and some COB members (AFP, 10/6). ... U.K.'s HSBC Bank Head JOE GARNER has been appointed Chair of the recently founded British Triathlon Foundation Trust. This non-executive role is aimed at making triathlon accessible to a wider audience of young people. The Trust was set up in 2010 with the over-arching aim to create opportunities and enhance education and engagement through triathlon (BTFT).

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U.K. Olympic Gold Medalist MO FARAH has been voted the 2012 winner of the men's European Athlete of the Year Award. Farah becomes just the second athlete to receive the award for a second consecutive year, following Swedish triple jumper CHRISTIAN OLSSON in '03 and '04. Farah's accomplishments will be recognized at the European Athletics Awards Night in St. Julians, Malta on Saturday alongside the U.K.'s JESSICA ENNIS, who won the women's European Athlete of the Year. The European Athletics Rising Star of the Year winners, the Czech Republic's PAVEL MASLAK and Sweden's ANGELICA BENGTSSON will be present to pick up their awards (U.K. Athletics). ... ManU Manager ALEX FERGUSON "stood shoulder to shoulder with police" Thursday to remember hero Police Constable FIONA BONE. Ferguson, 70, "joined grieving officers and the public in a massive show of support for Fiona, who was killed in a gun and grenade attack" (DAILY STAR SUNDAY, 10/7).

PHOTO SHOOT: The Nikon camera that USAIN BOLT "seized from a photographer" after his 200m win at the London Olympics is currently being sold on eBay for $9,200. He had used the camera "to take snaps of his adoring fans, as well as the photographers and his teammates." The camera belonged to JIMMY WIXTROM, a photographer for Swedish newspaper Sportbladet. Wixtrom: "After he was done with taking photos, Bolt carved his name on the camera with a screwdriver -- and thus made it unique." The camera will be sold in a bid to raise money for the Swedish Cancer Society and Bolt's education charity in Jamaica (, 10/7).

JAPAN DEPARTURE: J.League club Consadole Sapporo Manager NOBUHIRO ISHIZAKI "will step down at the end of this season" after the club was relegated to the second division last week following just one season back in the top flight (KYODO, 10/6). ... FIFA President SEPP BLATTER is scheduled to visit Cuba on Oct. 25 as part of a Caribbean tour. Cuban Soccer Association President LUIS HERNANDEZ said that the purpose of Blatter's visit to the Cuban capital "is to lay the first stone of the first synthetic soccer field on the island," which will be constructed in January at the Havana stadium La Polar (XINHUA, 10/4).

HOCKEY GOING GERMAN: German Hockey League (DEL) club Eisbären Berlin "acquired NHL players DANIEL BRIERE and CLAUDE GIROUX during the league's lockout." The 34-year-old Briere has appeared in 813 NHL games, and earned $6.5M as a player for the Philadelphia Flyers. Giroux, 24, also played for the Flyers during last season, for which he scored a league's third-best 110 points (AUGSBURGER ALLGEMEINE, 10/5). ... German Basketball Bundesliga club Bayern Munich appointed 36-year-old ANDREAS WAGNER as the team's new assistant coach. Wagner, who most recently worked for the German Basketball Federation as head coach of women's national team, "signed a contract through the end of the '12-13 season" (ABENDZEITUNG MÜNCHEN, 10/5). ... Basketball Bundesliga club Brose Baskets Bamberg "extended its contract with Head Coach CHRIS FLEMING for another three years." Flemming joined Bamberg at the beginning of the '08-09 season (SID, 10/4).  ... Second Bundesliga club Energie Cottbus "extended the contract of its Head Coach RUDI BOMMER." Club Manager CHRISTIAN BEECK announced that Bommer "signed an extension through June 30, 2014" (SID, 10/6).

FEDERER'S SECURITY: A Chinese state media report said security for the upcoming Shanghai Masters is "being tightened after an online death threat against ROGER FEDERER." Shanghai’s Youth Daily quoted tournament official Yang Yibin as saying that "police were notified about the threat and that security will be increased for Federer at the tournament" (AP, 10/5). A blogger known as Blue Cat Polytheistic Religion Founder 07 last month posted a message that said: "On October 6, I plan to assassinate Federer for the purpose of tennis extermination." Federer said: "Obviously maybe it’s a little bit of a distraction, there’s no doubt about it. But you have to be aware of what’s happening around you. But that is the case anyway anywhere I go today with my fame and all that stuff" (SUNDAY TIMES, 10/7).

ODDS AND ENDS: Team GB Olympic cyclist CHRIS HOY has been honored by the university that "kick started his cycling career." Hoy was named University of Edinburgh's Alumnus of the Year at a ceremony with students, staff and invited guests. The award is made annually to former Edinburgh students deemed to have made "a significant impact in public life" (Scottish DAILY RECORD, 10/5). ... The Elite Panel of ICC Umpires donated 1 million Sri Lanka rupees ($19,269) to the Chitra Lane School for the Special Child and Children Resource Center. The check was presented by the umpires during a visit to the center where they also spent "considerable time with under-privileged and disadvantaged children," as well as the dedicated staff (PTI, 10/3). ... England captain and opening batter CHARLOTTE EDWARDS was named player of the tournament at the conclusion of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012. Edwards was the unanimous choice of the group of experts. The 32-year-old batted five innings in the tournament, scoring a total of 172 runs at an average of 43, while finishing the event as the highest run-scorer (ICC). ... The Greek Swimming Federation has been ordered to pay €277,000 ($360,986) to 100m freestyle swimmer TONIA MACHAIRA for "wrongfully excluding her" from the 2004 Athens Games on the grounds she had failed a drug test. Machaira filed a suit for €1M eight years ago after the federation banned her from her home Olympics. Int'l drug testing organization WADA confirmed that Machaira "had not failed the anti-doping test," as suspected by the Greek federation (AFP, 10/7). ... Brazilian Football legend ROMARIO, now a socialist lawmaker, called for a probe of his country's Olympic committee over allegedly questionable sales for Rio's 2016 Games (AFP, 10/5).

South China Morning Post's James Porteous: "Is there any shows that round up all the footy action in Europe? Eurosport used to have Eurogoals. Maybe TV markets are too fractured now"

Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl: "Today shows why beIN Sport needs to sublicense/have subscription online service. No legal way in US to see big games live from Italy/France."

The Times' Oliver Kay: "On train home from Newcastle and having to follow Messi v Ronaldo via Twitter. Not entirely satisfactory ..."

Sunday Times' Jonathan Northcroft: "W Indies, world champions again. It's like Brazil winning back the World Cup. THE best year of sport."

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