Architects behind the London 2012 Olympics took home at least £400M of "public money for designing" the Games’ flagship venues, legacy and infrastructure, according to Merlin Fulcher of the ARCHITECTS JOURNAL. A total of 19 "key architects, engineers and designers" netted more than £374M in "direct payments from one source alone -- the Olympic Delivery Authority" between '06 and '13. Alongside the ODA’s spending, "the Greater London Authority paid more than" £25M to EDAW to "masterplan the winning Olympic bid" and the London Legacy Development Corp. shelled out £13.3M to firms designing its legacy. The findings, "which emerged following a Freedom of Information Act request," show that Zaha Hadid took home £9.2M for "masterminding the Aquatics Centre showstopper," which, at £269M, "cost more than three times its original estimate to build." Hopkins, meanwhile, received £8.5M for "the 2011 Stirling Prize-shortlisted Velodrome," while Stanton Williams earned £6.5M for its Eton Manor tennis and hockey complex. The top five payments the ODA made to architects and engineers from '06-13 went to Arup (£135M); Atkins (£134M); EDAW (£59M); LDA Design (£10M) and Zaha Hadid (£9.2M). The total bill "could be even higher, but ODA figures revealed under the act exclude details for design and build subcontractors, including Olympic Stadium designer Populous and the Athletes' Village's 13 architects" (ARCHITECTS JOURNAL, 10/10).
A dolphin will take part in the 2014 Sochi Olympics torch relay "three days before the opening ceremony." An animal trainer "is to hold a dolphin's fin in one hand and the torch in the other before the pair swims across a small pool" in Sochi on Feb. 4 (R-SPORT, 10/10). ... A senior Georgian official on Thursday described boycotting the 2014 Sochi Olympics "because of a petition campaign as unacceptable." Some non-governmental organizations "have launched an online petition to collect public signatures to urge the Georgian authorities to boycott" the Games, due to the fact that a '08 military pilot "had run in Sunday's section of the Olympic torch relay in Moscow" (XINHUA, 10/10). ... Tennis, "struggling to regain elite status at the Sports Institute, claim they have been victimised by the Hong Kong Olympic Committee which refused permission to field a full-strength squad at the East Asian Games in Tianjin." A senior Hong Kong Tennis Association official said that the sport "continued to be unfairly treated after an application to send four men and four women was knocked back by the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 10/11).