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Volume 7 No. 149

Olympics

Olympic champion Cate Campbell slammed Australia's new funding model for 2020 Tokyo Games.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Olympic champion Cate Campbell slammed Australia's new funding model for 2020 Tokyo Games.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Olympic champion Cate Campbell slammed Australia's new funding model for 2020 Tokyo Games.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Australian Olympic Gold Medal-winning swimmer Cate Campbell "delivered a scathing attack" on a new funding model that has "plunged a number of sports into uncertainty" only 18 months until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to Georgina Robinson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Sport Australia is "under increasing pressure to delay or ditch a contentious overhaul of its funding program" that will see some sports lose funding and others wait on performance-tied grants. Swimming will not be affected by the cuts but that "did not stop Campbell from mounting a passionate defence of aspiring Olympians across all sports." She said, "We're not asking [the government] to support the rich and the elite, because very, very few of our Olympic athletes get to be at that level. Very few of them get to earn enough so that when they retire they actually have savings in the bank. Most of them will retire with a few dollars. Those are the people who need support, because Australia supports our athletes in everything except the dollar aspect. That needs to change if we want sport in this country to continue" (SMH, 12/3). 

'SAD DAY FOR SPORT': In Sydney, Julian Linden reported Campbell also "slammed" FINA for threatening to ban swimmers from competing at the 2020 Games if they join a new professional league offering prizemoney to competitors. Many of the world's best swimmers have signed up for the $2.1M Int'l Swimming League, which was due to start in Europe this month, "only to be warned" they would be blocked from representing their countries at the world championships and Olympics "if they take a dip in the golden pond." Australia is among several swimming countries that asked FINA to "endorse the new league" but FINA's "stubborn refusal and subsequent threats have infuriated swimmers the world over." Campbell said, "The world governing body is doing a disservice to the very people that they are supposed to advocate for and protect. It's a sad day for sport because we are taking away a great event and losing an opportunity to grow the sport" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/3).

The Indian Olympic Association submitted a formal expression of interest to bid for the 2032 Olympics and is "set to approach the government for support." IOA President Narinder Batra told IOC President Thomas Bach earlier this year that India "would consider" bidding for the 2032 Games. Bach welcomed the move. New Dehli and Mumbai are the top two venues in mind, but other cities are "not ruled out" (PTI, 12/3).

Bach said that esports was among the items on the agenda during the IOC's exec meetings last week in Tokyo. He said, "There is agreement we can’t, and we should not, ignore the growth of the e-games industry and the interactivity of it for the young generation. That we should engage with this community. On the other hand, on how to engage, there are many uncertainties" (JAPAN TIMES, 12/3).

Ottobock was confirmed as an official supporter of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in an announcement to coincide with the UN Int'l Day of Persons with Disabilities. At the 2020 Games, Ottobock will be providing its technical service to all athletes for the 16th time (Ottobock).