Australia's fall from the top five Olympics nations has forced the Australian Institute of Sport "to rebrand itself," according to Margie McDonald of THE AUSTRALIAN.
A new gold logo "has replaced the old one, and a greater push to market the AIS's facilities and expertise has begun." The best minds in sport came together and created the "Winning Edge" document for future performance outcomes in the post-London environment. The new logo "is one part of the AIS changes." The other key components are:
- The Winning Edge policy thrashed out between the major sport stakeholders, headed by the Australian Sports Commission and Australian Olympic Committee.
- The push for greater commercial use of the AIS's cutting-edge facilities, which in turn could attract more sponsors (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/3).
In Sydney, Nicole Jeffery reported new Australian Olympic team chief Kitty Chiller "held out an olive branch to the Australian swimming team," saying she wanted "to build bridges that would prevent the cultural failures that so detracted from the performances" at the London Games. Chiller traveled to Perth "to meet the management of the team, the swimmers' leadership group, and address the larger swimming team during the Aquatic Super Series." She said that she "wanted to reassure the swimmers that the 2016 team would not be held to account for the sins of past teams" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/3
The IOC "is urging Russian Olympic organizers to move quickly to resolve the issue of accommodations that are not ready for accredited media personnel in the mountains outside of Sochi," according to Stephen Wilson of the AP. The Sochi organizing committee said that "only six of the nine media hotels in the mountain area are fully operational." Some media "have arrived and found they had no place to stay, and thousands more journalists are expected to arrive Monday." IOC President Thomas Bach said, "There are still some issues to be solved as always just before the Games. We are in contact with the organizing committee and we hope that the situation will be solved in the next couple of days" (AP, 2/2).
U.S. officials said that "the first of two American warships heading into the Black Sea in advance of the Olympic Games has sailed from Italy." In another sign of U.S. efforts to protect Americans at the Winter Games, the FBI said that "at least two dozen agents are going to Sochi, Russia." The USS Mount Whitney "got underway Friday from Gaeta, Italy, and the Navy frigate USS Taylor is expected to leave from Naples, Italy, on Saturday" (AP, 2/1). ... IOC President Thomas Bach "moved into a room at the Olympic Village Saturday to be close to athletes competing at the Sochi Games."
Bach, who is experiencing his first Olympics as IOC president, "plans to spend several nights at the village in Sochi during the Games" (DPA, 2/1). ... Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee President Dmitry Chernyshenko said that the Sochi Winter Olympics "will show the world an innovative face of modern Russia." He said, "Our main task has been to hold the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the way which would bring about positive changes and inspire the world" (XINHUA, 2/2). ... Australia's athletes "will be confined to certain secure areas during the Sochi Winter Olympics after team management specifically banned any travel to tourist cities for security reasons."
Australian Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman said that the measures "were based on advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and its warnings for the Russia region." Athletes who have arrived in Sochi have been told by Australian team management that "they must stay within the secure perimeters of the Olympic Park precinct, which is on the Black Sea coast; and the villages of Krasnaya Polyana, Esto-Sadok and Rosa Khutor" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/3). ... U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "called on the participants of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, to advocate equality and non-discrimination during the Games next month." Ban said,
"The participants in the Sochi Games may carry the flags of many nations, but they come together under the shared banner of equality, fair play, mutual respect and non-discrimination." He asked "all those involved in the Games -- governments, groups, organizations and individuals -- to uphold and defend these core Olympic ideals" (REUTERS, 1/31).