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Volume 6 No. 212


Melbourne "should bid to host the Olympic Games once more, business, sport, tourism and political leaders say," according to Peter Rolfe of the HERALD SUN. Victoria Premier Denis Napthine "has vowed to investigate pitching to bring the greatest sporting show on earth back to Melbourne, which hosted the Games in 1956." And Committee for Melbourne chief Kate Roffey said that "we should not stop there." She said that "the city should campaign to host a major new golf tournament, NBA basketball matches, and Major League baseball games." Napthine said that "the city and the state had both the facilities and the reputation to host an Olympics." He said, "We have some of the best sporting arenas anywhere in the world and our reputation for hosting major events is unmatched." Roffey said that Victoria "should broaden its international sporting horizons." She said, "I definitely think an Olympics is on the agenda" (HERALD SUN, 8/14). ABC NEWS reported opposition major events spokesperson John Eren said that "Labor was open to the idea if it won government this year." Eren: "We used to be the sporting capital of the world, but we're second now to the U.K., so we've lost our title and we need to get that back." Melbourne "put in a bid to host the 1996 Olympics, but was unsuccessful, losing to Atlanta." Shane Maloney, who was the cultural director for the unsuccessful bid, "likened the idea of Melbourne bidding for the Olympics again to 'binge drinking.'" He said, "Everyone gets really excited and the gifts start flowing and there's a reception of hot and cold running canapés and there are flags and you win the bid and of course, it's all going on your credit card. You wake up the next day after a fabulous party and you realise you're going to be paying it off for eternity" (ABC NEWS, 8/14).

Rio de Janeiro "passed its first 2016 Olympics test with the end of an international sailing regatta on Guanabara Bay, one of the most heavily criticized venues in a city under attack for disorganization and construction delays," according to Jeb Blount of REUTERS. During the week-long event many athletes and coaches "were surprised to find the bay's notoriously dirty water -- infamous for raw sewage, floating garbage, boat-battering debris and animal corpses -- to be far cleaner than expected." New Zealand sailor Jo Aleh said, "I noticed a big difference, there was a lot less rubbish in the water than there was a year ago." Concern Rio will not meet its cleanup goals "has eased enough" that Austrian sailing federation Sports Dir Jorge Fundak "is pushing organizers to hold more races in the bay and fewer in the cleaner open ocean." He said that "it is harder for TV to cover events outside the bay." Eilidh McIntyre, part of New Zealand's two-person team that took ninth place in the Women's 470 Class, said that "concerns about the water were understandable but exaggerated." McIntyre said, "Most days the water was crystal clear. We saw dolphins. We did see a dead dog. But you can run into something like that almost anywhere" (REUTERS, 8/14)

Nigeria and Sierra Leone "have both withdrawn from the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing because of the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa." West African countries "have been under pressure from Chinese authorities." Nigeria "has withdrawn in protest at how it's been treated in China" (NEWSTALK ZB, 8/14). ... With only a day remaining to send entries for the Incheon Asian Games, the Olympic Council of Asia as well as the Indian Olympic Association on Wednesday said that "they would make a last-ditch effort to ensure the Indian cricket teams' participation at the Games." The Board of Control for Cricket in India "did not field both the men's and women's cricket teams at the Guangzhou Games four years ago and it is unlikely they would send teams to the Incheon Games starting next month." But the Indian Olympic bosses "are optimistic that they might be able to convince BCCI in time" (TIMES OF INDIA, 8/14).