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Volume 6 No. 213

People and Pop Culture

Romanian film director CORNELIU PORUMBOIU’s "formal experimentalism either flatlines or finds witty" new heights in “The Second Game,” which "may or may not be a film at all," according to Guy Lodge of VARIETY. Presenting the footage of a snow-hampered '88 Romanian football match in its original televised form, overlaid only with the reflective contempo commentary of the helmer and his father, Adrian -- the match’s original referee -- the pic "represents the improbable meeting point" of the Romanian New Wave, ESPN Classic and “Mystery Science Theater.” Amusing "to a point, the concept runs out of steam" as Porumboiu "saves his most interesting observations for the first half; as the match sputters to a goalless conclusion, so, too, in an admittedly self-aware way, does the film" (VARIETY, 3/31).

Radio channel Bayern 1 and German Alpine skier FELIX NEUREUTHER "have shocked Germany with an April Fools joke," according to the KURIER. In an interview with Bayern 1, Neureuther said, "I've simply received an extremely great offer from the Austrian Ski Federation, which the Germans couldn't compete against. Therefore, I will now compete for Austria." He added, "I hope Germany isn't going to be angry with me." He also said that money was an "integral part" of his decision (KURIER, 4/1).

Japan Olympic Committee President TSUNEKAZU TAKEDA has been appointed the IOC's new marketing chief. He replaces GERHARD HEIBERG. Takeda, a former Olympian in the sport of equestrianism who is also a member of the 2020 Tokyo Games organizing committee, "will oversee the IOC's multi-million dollar sponsorship programme." He will also "monitor the domestic sponsorship programme of the host cities." Although the IOC does not reveal the financial terms of its deals, the total sponsorship package for the '13-16 period is estimated to generate about $1B, up from $663M a decade ago (REUTERS, 4/1). ... Municipal Olympic Company President MARIA SILVIA BASTOS MARQUES "resigned." Marques, a "highly respected business executive who once ran a major Brazilian steelmaker," will step down next month, just over two years before the Rio Olympics. The Municipal Olympic Company is "charged with spearheading all preparations by the city government ahead of the games" (REUTERS, 4/1).

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Austrian Ski Federation (ÖSV) men's national team head coach MATHIAS BERTHOLD "will not extend his contract and will leave the federation." Berthold: "I've decided not to extend the contract with ÖSV due to personal reasons." Men's downhill coach BURKHART SCHAFFER "will also leave the federation and return to his native Canada" (KURIER, 3/31). ... Chilean footballer SEBASTIÁN GONZÁLEZ announced that "he will retire after this season." González, 35, played for Liga MX side Atlante from '02-05 and also played for various Mexican and Chilean clubs during his career, "in addition to representing the Chilean national team" (EMOL, 4/1). ... Hong Kong football pioneer WALTER GERRARD "died on Sunday morning in Queen Mary Hospital after his health deteriorated." Walter was born in Glasgow and arrived in Hong Kong in Sept. '70 (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 4/1). ... Malaysia national hockey coach PAUL REVINGTON's contract "will end by the middle of this month, but he will probably still serve with the national team until October." New national chief coach K. DHARMARAJ "is keen to have Revington continue as a consultant and the South African is expected to be with the team until the Asian Games in Incheon" from Sept. 19-Oct. 4 (THE STAR, 4/1). ... The National Anti-Doping Agency Appeal Panel "has reduced the two-year suspension" of wrestlers JOGINDER SINGH and GURSHARANPREET KAUR "by about 10-and-a-half months" (THE HINDU, 3/31). ... Sri Lanka cricketer TILLAKARATNE DILSHAN has been fined 20% of his match fee for arguing with an umpire's decision during his side's Group 1 match against New Zealand on Monday (ICC).

The Oklahoman's DARNELL MAYBERRY: "Seven of the 10 players on the court right now in this Spurs-Pacers game are international players, including all five Spurs players."

London Independent's ASHLING O'CONNOR: "Good to see Thomas Bach broadening the diversity of IOC commissions. More women and more representation from Africa and Oceania"

Reuters' KAROLOS GROHMANN: "Probst appointment as IOC press commission chief no doubt a further sign of improving ties between IOC and USOC"