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Volume 10 No. 25


London has placed a "bid to host the Paralympic Athletics World Championships in '17," according to the BBC. Mayor Boris Johnson submitted the bid that "would see the Olympic Stadium host the event just a month before the World Athletics Championships." If the bid is successful, it will be the first time a city has hosted the two championships in the same year. Johnson, who is also chairman of the London Legacy Development Corp., said: "The huge appetite for tickets to the 2012 Games this summer shows the level of excitement Paralympic sport can generate, and forever changed the way we think about disabled sport" (BBC,  11/14).

The Canadian Olympic Committee revealed Wednesday a funding boost of close to C$100M ($99.8M) to assist high performance sports, games preparation, best-in-class Nation Sports Federation development and a specific envelope for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games team. The funding will be part of the '13-16 high performance plan for athletes, coaches and NSF over the next four years. This support includes direct funding by the COC and the Canadian Olympic Foundation. COC President Marcel Aubut said, "Athletes and coaches are at the center of everything we do. With this new funding, we are strengthening our sports system for today and tomorrow." The COC is funded almost exclusively by the private sector. Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton President Reid Morrison said, "This is an historic announcement -- one that will have a real, long-lasting, positive effect on National Sport Federations in Canada" (COC).

Newly appointed British Olympic Association Chair Sebastian Coe has admitted his "frustration" at the failure to plan for a better legacy for school sport from the Olympics, but defended London Games organizers against "persistent charges of a lack of transparency in its ticketing operation," according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. Coe said that he "regretted the approach" taken to school sport ahead of the Games. A "furious debate" about the levels of investment in school sport "sparked frustration among many of those involved when it dissolved into an argument about the relative merits of competitive sport and physical exercise." Coe, appearing before the London Assembly for the final time in his role as LOCOG chairman, said, "It is frustrating still to have this as a key area of discussion when we should be driving this part of the legacy forward." Former shadow Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell has "called for a cross-party, 10-year plan for school sport," and Coe said that he also "wanted to remove politics from the argument and develop a long-term plan." Coe: "We are going to need to create space outside the school timetable for sport and recognise the worth of physical education teachers in the same way as we did when we needed to improve the quality of maths and science teachers." Coe and LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton were "criticised by the London Assembly" for failing to hand over all information relating to the breakdown of tickets by session and price point. Challenged by assembly member Stephen Knight that they could be accused of publishing "selective data," Deighton said, "What we tried to do is give you information rather than a data dump" (GUARDIAN, 11/14).

Sochi will sell more than 100,00 tickets for test events ahead of the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics, according to XINHUA. Sochi is expected to hold "some 60 test events" ahead of the Olympics. In the '12-13 winter, a series of test competitions will be held in the Olympics venues. Major events, "including the Grand Prix finals of figure skating in December, biathlon World Cup in March" and the U18 Ice Hockey World Championship in April will require tickets. The rest of the events will either be closed door or free of entrance (XINHUA, 11/14). Meanwhile, the Sochi 2014 official retail sales operator, Sportmaster, has begun sales of products featuring the Olympic and Paralympic logo for the Games. More than 250 departments containing official Sochi 2014 products have opened in the company's stores in 122 cities throughout the country. The departments will house a wide range of licensed products for the Games including souvenirs, stationery and other licensed merchandise, a first for any Winter Games. Additionally, in the official Sochi 2014 merchandise departments, customers will be able to browse among official products bearing the Games logo: sleds, skis, snowboards, skates, ice-hockey sticks, pucks, balls and other sporting equipment. For the first time in Sportmaster's superstores -- Sochi 2014 mascots, stationery, badges, children's toys, arts and crafts products, exercise books and more will be available. By the time the Sochi Games begin, more than 5,000 product lines of licensed merchandise are going to be launched, and the majority will be put on sale in the official Sochi 2014 merchandise departments in the Sportmaster retail network (Sochi 2014).

The Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET), in support of Madrid's bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has chosen "Madrid's Magic Box" (Caja Mágica) as its new coaching headquarters. The Caja Mágica has also been proposed as a venue for the men's and women's tennis tournaments during the Games. The coaching and research department of the RFET will open its offices this month (Madrid 2020). ... FIBA plans to ask the IOC to add four men's teams to the basketball competition at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, "and introduce the 3-on-3 game as a medal event." The global basketball governing body says that its "ruling board will request a 16-team men's competition being played in two arenas instead of one." FIBA "introduced the 3-on-3, half-court version of basketball for men and women at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics" (AP, 11/14).