The Russian government on Friday "tiptoed away from the idea of forcing visitors to the Sochi Winter Olympics to register their personal details with authorities," according to R-SPORT. Sochi officials had previously said that "spectators might have to hand over their passport information and, potentially, their banking information in order to receive a special pass to Olympic events and museums and theatres around the Black Sea resort." Deputy PM Dmitry Kozak said that "organizers now plan on testing the so-called Spectator Pass at upcoming international competitions, such as the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship next month." The plan envisions "spectators logging their details in a national database linked to Russia’s controversial new state ID card program, which was implemented for citizens earlier this year" (R-SPORT, 3/29).
South African swimmers, including Olympic Gold Medalist Chad le Clos, "will have to pay their own way to compete in the FINA World Championships in Barcelona later this year as their cash-strapped federation cannot fund their trip," according to Nick Said of REUTERS. The swimming federation lost its major sponsor last year as South African telecom company Telkom "pulled the plug" on its $1.25M per year deal. Swimming South Africa CEO Shaun Adriaanse said that the organization "has canvassed extensively for a new backer, but that there have been no takers." Bert le Clos, who manages his son Chad, called the situation "pathetic." He said, "It's pathetic that you have to (buy) your own flight tickets. It's a disgrace when you consider the amount of medals and glory swimmers bring to this country" (REUTERS, 3/31).
Tokyo 2020 CEO Masato Mizuno has "revised his previous assessment of private funding for the city's budget" upward to about 70%, after stating last week that less than half of the 3.8B yen ($40 M) had been procured, according to KYODO. Tokyo's bid is expected to cost 7.5B yen ($80M), with 3.8B yen "anticipated to be raised through private funding." The metropolitan government plans to foot the remaining 3.7B yen. The committee "is looking at other ways of raising money, like increasing the number of sponsorships" (KYODO, 4/1). Tokyo 2020 announced on Monday that Japanese fashion retail chain AOKI Holdings has become Tokyo's latest Official Bid Partner, bringing the list of corporate partners to 18. Fashion designer Junko Shimada and AOKI's tie-up brand JUNKO SHIMADA JS homme will produce Tokyo 2020's official uniforms for future presentations, including the Host City Election of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Buenos Aires on Sept. 7 (TOKYO 2020, 4/1).
Georgia's participation in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics "was thrown into doubt on Monday when the country's deputy foreign minister insisted that a decision is yet to be made." Georgia "broke off diplomatic relations with Russia following the 2008 war over South Ossetia" (R-SPORT, 4/1). ... Russian President Vladimir Putin "called Saturday for one of next year’s Olympic ice hockey arenas in Sochi to be turned into a training base for child athletes." The 7,000-capacity Shayba arena "will host women’s hockey next February but its future after the Games is unclear, with no legacy plan yet decided" (R-SPORT, 3/30). ... Mountain cellphone coverage at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics "is set to be significantly boosted after a major mobile operator vowed to triple the number of 3G base stations in the area" (R-SPORT, 3/27).