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Volume 6 No. 214


One Olympic sport “will learn next month that its Games future is in jeopardy” when the IOC “meets to decide the shape of the summer Games” from ‘20 on, according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. The IOC board of directors during its meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland from Feb. 12-13 will “pick a core of 25 summer Olympic sports that will be put to a single vote at their session in Argentina in September.” The IOC will “recommend one sport to be cut from the original list of 26.” Rugby and golf, which are “being added” starting with the 2016 Rio Olympics, “will not [be] part of the process.” The IOC is “eager to revamp the Games' sports programme in an effort to keep up with the times and attract younger fans and sponsors as well as to rein in the size of the Games and keep the number of summer sports at a maximum of 28.” There are “seven candidate sports for a place on the programme with baseball and softball,” not in the Olympics since the 2008 Beijing Games, “making a joint bid for re-entry.” Chinese martial arts sport wushu, sport climbing, roller sports, squash, karate and wakeboarding also are "in the running for an Olympic spot.” Several Olympic sports are "reportedly at greater risk, with modern pentathlon and taekwondo among those mentioned often” (REUTERS, 1/30).

The IOC and the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee signed the Marketing Plan Agreement, which allows POCOG to start its marketing activities. IOC President Jacques Rogge and POCOG President Jin Sun Kim formally signed the agreement in front of an audience of about 120 South Korean dignitaries and members of the media. The MPA is a written agreement between the IOC and the POCOG, which specifies the obligations of the organizers in relation to their marketing program (IOC). In Seoul, Kang Seung-woo reported POCOG expects the marketing agreement to generate 1.1T won ($1B), most of which "will come from domestic sponsorship deals, licensing and ticketing." Additionally, the deal will allow the marketing partners for PyeongChang to "exclusively use intellectual property from PyeongChang's organizing team" including its Olympic emblem and other symbols. In a speech, Rogge noted the significance of the deal, saying it will allow local organizers to "truly take ownership of their promotional and financial destiny" (KOREA TIMES, 1/30).

Japan's Olympic female Judokas "were beaten with bamboo swords and slapped by their coaches." A group of 15 judokas complained to the Japanese Olympic Committee last month that they "had been subjected to physical punishment" by head coach Ryuji Sonoda. The group, which includes athletes who competed in the London Olympics, claimed that Sonoda "routinely abused them, slapping them in the face and hitting them with thick wooden swords like those used in the Japanese martial art of kendo" (AFP, 1/30). ... A poll commissioned by Tokyo 2020 revealed that nearly 10 million people, or 73% of Tokyo's population ,want the capital city to host the 2020 Olympic Games. The poll's strong results corroborate a separate poll taken by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper on Jan. 11-13, which found that national support for Tokyo to host the 2020 Games was at 78% (Tokyo 2020).