Madrid Mayor Ana Botella said that the Spanish city should not bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, "after missing out on the 2020 edition last week," according to Alex Duff of BLOOMBERG. Spain's Education, Culture & Sports Minister Jose Ignacio Wert said that Botella's opinion was "correct and prudent" because bidding for the 2024 Games will be even more competitive. Wert said that "Paris and Berlin are almost certain to try for the 2024 games." Wert: "The competition will be very strong" (BLOOMBERG, 9/12). REUTERS' Raquel Castillo wrote the IOC members meeting in Buenos Aires eliminated Madrid, "bidding for the third time in a row, from the first round of voting and awarded the Games to Tokyo over Istanbul." Madrid's presentation to the IOC has been widely ridiculed, with Botella, the wife of former conservative PM Jose Maria Aznar, "bearing the brunt of the criticism after she mangled comments in English at a news conference." Botella: "I think that for the moment the Olympic race has given us all the benefits we can expect from it in the next few years. I believe, therefore, that Madrid should not seek to host the 2024 Games" (REUTERS, 9/12).
Polar explorer and federal lawmaker Artur Chilingarov "will lead an expedition to the North Pole as part of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay." A nuclear ice-breaker, named 50 Years of Victory, "will leave Murmansk port and take the torch to the Arctic at the end of October." Once there, "a group of runners from different nations will light torches onboard the ship before racing to the final destination where the Olympic cauldron will be ignited" (MOSCOW TIMES, 9/12). ... A spokespeson from the Japanese government said that Japan "is to formally complain about a cartoon that appeared in a French weekly newspaper showing sumo wrestlers with extra limbs in front of the Fukushima nuclear plant and linking this to the Olympics." The cartoon, carried in the satirical Le Canard Enchaine, shows two sumo wrestlers, each with an extra leg or arm, facing off with the Fukushima plant in the background as an announcer says, "Thanks to Fukushima, sumo is now an Olympic sport" (REUTERS, 9/12). ... North Korean IOC member Chang Ung "expressed support for South Korea's effort to secure another seat in the sports governing body." The North Korean said that "it will be beneficial if more Koreans become IOC members and that he has no reason to oppose such a move" (KOREA HERALD, 9/12).