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Volume 10 No. 25


The IOC on Tuesday denied reports from the South Korean media that North Korea had requested some of its athletes be allowed to compete in the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics as ''wild cards," according to Jung Min-ho of the KOREA TIMES. IOC Media Relations Manager Andrew Mitchell said, "We are unaware of any such request. In any case, we would like to confirm that the IOC does not provide wild cards for the Olympic Winter Games." No North Korean athletes "have earned a ticket to the Games, which will be held Feb. 7-23." Under the IOC’s policy of "continental representation," wild card slots can be earned with approvals from an athlete’s national Olympic committee, the sport’s int'l federation and the IOC (KOREA TIMES, 1/28).
PRIZE MONEY: In Seoul, Na Jeong-ju wrote oil refiner S-Oil said Monday that "it will give rewards to Korean skaters who win medals" at the upcoming Sochi Olympics. The company will pay 20M won ($18,460) each to Gold Medalists in individual races, 10M won ($9,200) to Silver Medal winners and 5M won ($4,600) to Bronze Medal winners (KOREA TIMES, 1/27).

The Australian Olympic Committee "has rejected claims" from a group of Winter Olympians dubbing themselves "Team Outcast" that they "have not received funding support for the Sochi Games," according to Nicole Jeffery of THE AUSTRALIAN. Olympic half-pipe Gold Medalist Torah Bright and fellow snowboarders Scotty James, Jarryd Hughes and Belle Brockhoff "have been tagging Twitter posts #teamoutcast in the past month." James: "We're not part of a team and we are not helped along the way in our journey to the Games or any other events." The AOC on Tuesday released details of the funding given to all four athletes. Australian Olympic team spokesperson Mike Tancred said both Bright and James "had been offered and had declined OWIA scholarships, but all four athletes had state institute scholarships." He said that Bright had also received A$25,000 ($22,000) in medal incentive payments over four years, and A$29,000 from the Olympic Solidarity fund (THE AUSTRALIAN, 1/29).

Women outnumber men for the first time on Japan's Winter Olympic team "as the country sends a record number of athletes to Sochi." The entire delegation "will be made up of 113 athletes, 48 men and 65 women" (AFP, 1/28). ... The Hong Kong Olympic Committee "played down a terrorist threat ahead of next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi but still warned its delegation members to be fully alert." The committee confirmed at Tuesday's flag presentation to the four-strong delegation that "they had received an e-mail containing a threat, which appeared to have been sent to a number of countries" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 1/28).