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Volume 6 No. 212


The three cities bidding for the right to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and the six men vying to succeed IOC President Jacques Rogge are making presentations to IOC members this week in Lausanne, Switzerland, according to THE LOCAL. Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo "will approach their presentations on Wednesday all in relatively good heart, emboldened by positive assessments by the IOC Evaluation Commission last week." Istanbul "will be keen to have their effective message about being a bridge to different cultures, religions, and generations return to centre stage after an uncomfortable period" marked by mass street protests in Turkey threatened to destabilize its bid. Madrid will have an even greater spring in its step, and "justifiably so after the Evaluation Commission crucially gave them the thumbs up over their relatively modest planned budget for remaining building work should they get the Games." Tokyo still appears to be the favorite after a "glowing report from the Commission," but question marks remain over whether their campaign "has sufficiently captivated the members." The six contenders to replace Rogge -- after a "largely successful and peaceful presidency" -- will outline their visions for taking the movement forward post-Rogge. German IOC VP Thomas Bach "is still seen as the favourite" to take a post for which he has "seemingly been groomed for years" but Singapore businessman and diplomat Ng Ser Miang, as well as Puerto Rican banker Richard Carrion, are viewed as real dangers to that coming to fruition (THE LOCAL, 7/2).

SPAIN UNITED: The EP reported Spanish Superior Sports Council (CSD) President Miguel Cardenal confirmed that the Spanish government "has met all its financial promises, has confirmed all the guarantees requested and now the moment arrives for the candidacy to convince the IOC to grant Madrid the 2020 Olympics." Cardenal "once again highlighted the importance of the union between Spain's central government, regional government and the Madrid city council" for helping finance the budgets that would make hosting the Olympics possible (EP, 7/2).

While a deal has yet to be reached between the NHL, the players' union and the Int'l Ice Hockey Federation, to send the league’s players to Sochi, a long meeting Monday "pushed the sides much closer to an agreement," according to Ira Podell of the AP. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said, "Things are moving along." Bettman, union leader Donald Fehr and IIHF President Rene Fasel "met for more than five hours Monday at league headquarters to work on a deal" that would allow NHL players to compete at the 2014 Sochi Games. Not everything "has been agreed to, and the various sides need to meet internally to sign off on any pact." Bettman: "I think it’s fair to say that we’re not quite ready to announce it’s done. We had a very constructive meeting. I am confident that we will have a solution at the end." When pressed for a timeline to get a deal done, Bettman said, "Soon. Very soon" (AP, 7/2).