A new agreement "has been officially signed" between the Association of National Olympic Committees and SportAccord in Lausanne, according to Duncan Mackay of INSIDE THE GAMES. It is "set to signal a close working agreement between the two organisations, including the establishment of a Beach Games." The partnership aims at connecting Int'l Sports Federations and National Olympic Committees, also in partnership with the IOC, "in order to develop a global sports movement which respects the Olympic Charter and the ideals of the governing bodies, they claimed." SportAccord and ANOC "will closely collaborate and coordinate actions on a series of initiatives" (INSIDE THE GAMES, 11/4).
Two Russian cosmonauts "will take the Olympic torch on its first space walk this week in a spectacular showcase" for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to Alissa de Carbonnel of REUTERS. For safety reasons, "the torch will not be lit." That "may be a relief for Russia," as the flame has gone out many times since the torch relay began last month, a "minor setback as President Vladimir Putin tries to use the Games to boost Russia's image." Russian Mikhail Tyurin, American Rick Mastracchio and Japan's Koichi Wakata "will have the torch with them" on Thursday when they blast off for the Int'l Space Station from the Baikonur cosmodrome, which Moscow rents from Kazakhstan. Tyurin will hand the torch off to fellow cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky, "who are on the orbiting station," when they go on a space walk on Saturday. The torch will return to Earth with Russian Fyodor Yurchikhin, American astronaut Karen Nyberg and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano on Monday (REUTERS, 11/6). R-SPORT reported the "primary objective is to photograph one of the cosmonauts holding the torch with the earth as the backdrop -- ideally the moment they pass over Sochi." An Olympic torch "has been into the cosmos before but has never been taken on a spacewalk." The torch "has already traveled to the North Pole and is also set to ascend Eurasia's tallest mountain, Mount Elbrus, later in the relay" (R-SPORT, 11/6).
RUSSIA APOLOGIZES TO JOURNALISTS: REUTERS' Thomas Grove wrote Russia "apologised on Wednesday to two foreign journalists who were repeatedly questioned and detained by police" during a trip to report on the 2014 Sochi Olympics preparations. Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that local law enforcement officials abused their posts in the incidents last week, leading to "a series of unwarranted actions towards the citizens of Norway." The statement read, "In this regard we apologise to Mr. Bogen and Mr. Aune. The current situation will undoubtedly be worked out in detail and those guilty will receive the corresponding punishment. We would like to assure you that the executive authorities of the Russian Federation will take all necessary measures to avoid the repetition of similar cases in the future" (REUTERS, 11/6).
The U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday "adopted a symbolic resolution calling for a global truce" throughout the 2014 Sochi Olympics and Paralympics, according to Peter James Spielmann of the AP. The General Assembly "has passed similar resolutions" since '93. The Russian-sponsored resolution "made no reference to calls for a boycott of the games to protest a new Russian anti-gay law" (AP, 11/6).
Int'l Volleyball Federation Honorary Life President Wei Jizhong said that bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics "will benefit China's political, economic, cultural and social development," according to XINHUA. According to Wei, "stability and economic capability have become the two prerequisites that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) values most in its selection for hosts." Wei believes that China's bidding for the Winter Olympics "is a signal of its healthy economic growth and the 'co-bid' with Zhangjiakou is also an opportunity of stimulating the development of northern China as a whole." As for China's "relatively weak" winter sports, Wei said that the bid "would bring more professional ice skating courts and ski resorts to the Chinese people, encouraging them to attend all kinds of winter events" (XINHUA, 11/6).