Austria's Olympic Committee (OeOC) President Karl Stoss said that his country "will back any bid by Vienna to host the 2024 or 2028 Olympic Games," according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. Vienna Mayor Michael Häupl was quoted in the Austrian media on Tuesday as saying that he "planned to hold a referendum in March on the candidacy." An "official announcement about the referendum" will be made on Friday. Stoss said in a statement: "This is news to us, but basically we support any sort of Olympic initiative, as long as it has a realistic chance of success and has the financial means for the candidacy and the necessary infrastructure requirements." OeOC Secretary General Peter Mennel said, "London 2012 was an impressive example of what effect the Summer Games can have" (REUTERS, 12/12).
The '09-12 period closes in a couple weeks and the French Olympic Committee (CNOSF) is already working on sponsorships for the '13-16 period, according to L'EQUIPE. The CNOSF, which had nine sponsors for the period leading up to the London Games, recently signed four new partners for the period leading up to the Rio de Janeiro Games. The new sponsors are: bank BPCE, insurance company Allianz, France lottery operator la Française des Jeux, and BMW. Each company is paying €600,000 ($782,400) annually to be a partner of the CNOSF. The Olympic committee also signed a kit deal with fashion brand Lacoste for the 2014 and 2016 Games. However, the CNOSF has lost flooring company Tarkett and home automation company Somfy as partners after both "were hit hard by the economic crisis" (L'EQUIPE, 12/11).
Russia unveiled a new railway line that will "help take athletes and spectators from the city to the mountains" during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, according to RUSSIA TODAY. The new line connects the coastal and mountain venue clusters of the 2014 Games and is "now well on its way to becoming an integral part of the Sochi infrastructure." Russian President Vladimir Putin said, "Eighty-five percent of the work has been completed, and I am pleased to say that it is the result of cooperation between a large team of Russian and international experts from European countries and Canada. The project was not easy from a technical point of view and combining a railway line and a road in one tunnel makes it unique." Additionally, Putin "attended the Grand Prix figure skating final," which welcomed the world's elite at the 12,000-seater Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi (RT, 12/11).
Panama's Olympic Committee (COP) is "in such disarray over its leadership" that the IOC has threatened to withdraw its recognition of the organization, according to XINHUA. Local daily La Prensa said that the IOC "urged the COP to reverse its decision to postpone a scheduled general assembly and election." The problems began after "several national sports figures rejected" the COP's current board of directors and its President Miguel Sanchiz, calling his election "irregular." In a letter Monday, the IOC instructed the COP board of directors to hold elections Sunday, as planned (XINHUA, 12/12).
Contemporary International has been named the event services supplier for the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee. Under the agreement, the company will be responsible for planning and managing the flow of spectators at the venues. They will also provide training materials for the Organizing Committee staff working in event services during the Games (Sochi 2014). Cleaning company Kärcher has been named as a supplier to the Games in the category of event cleaning services. The deal will see Kärcher provide organizers with more than 200 pieces of machinery, and the company's staff will be hired during the Olympic Games to clean machinery operating at the venues in the coastal and mountain venue clusters (Sochi 2014).