Int'l Ski Federation (FIS) President Gian Franco Kasper insisted Tuesday that "he had growing concerns about switching the 2022 World Cup to a date which could see it overshadow the Winter Olympics that year," according to the AFP. Kasper said, "We have big fears, if the football World Cup takes place in January, or close to the Winter Games. It would be really bad for us." If FIFA did organize a World Cup in the winter, Kasper said that "the FIS would favour it taking place in November and December." Kasper: "That would effect us less." He added that he hoped "FIFA would take some account" of their fears (AFP, 10/15).
Georgia PM Bidzina Ivanishvili said on Monday that Tbilisi, Georgia "will boycott next year's Winter Olympics in Russia's Sochi if the participation becomes a 'humiliating' experience for Georgia." Ivanishvili: "We should see how the situation evolves. And if we feel before the Games that the participation is humiliating for us, then, of course, we won't take part" (RIA NOVOSTI, 10/15). ... Russian state-owned nuclear company Rosatom's "icebreaker '50 years of victory'" and the Olympic flame have embarked on an Arctic expedition. Over the course of 15 days, it will cover more than 5,000 km on its journey from Murmansk, Russia to the North Pole and back again. The Olympic flame will be lit in the heart of the Arctic Circle as the first of four Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay projects (Sochi2014). ... Japan's government's office to coordinate the 2020 Olympics said on Tuesday that "it will throw its full weight behind developing young athletes for the Tokyo Games." Japanese Cabinet Head Takeo Hirata said in the first meeting with the Japanese Olympic Committee that it "was crucial to begin rearing junior high school athletes at a national level if Japan is to succeed on home soil in seven years' time" (KYODO, 10/15). ... Though Barcelona Mayor Xavier Trias said the city will not bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, "Spanish winter sports athletes are hoping Barcelona will move forward in a bid to host the event." It is a "petition, almost a plea, that might be arriving too late because everything seems to indicate that Trias is preparing to delay the situation." The potential Barcelona-Pyrenees candidacy project "would have to be made official, in conjunction with the Spanish Olympic Committee, by Nov. 14" (EL PERIODICO, 10/15).