Friday, November 23, 2007

PostHeaderIcon Beijing's Environmental Challenge

"beijing china gis pictureWith the 2008 Olympics coming up in Beijing, there's a lot of talk about air quality and traffic in the capital of China.

One thousand new cars go on the road in Beijing every day, joining the three to four million cars that are already jamming the streets and threatening public health.

Breath the air in Beijing and you're breathing the world's highest levels of lung-damaging nitrous oxide, according to a recent study. As well las a lot of particulates.

So China is facing a big challenge: how to move people without choking them.

PostHeaderIcon 2008 Beijing Olympics Update

hinese Olympic hurdler Liu Xiang's legs have been insured for US$13.3 million in the run-up to next year's Beijing Summer Olympics.

To him, though, the limbs are beyond valuation. "You can't really put a concrete figure on this," Liu was quoted as saying by the Beijing News newspaper. "They're priceless," Liu said.

Also, Beijing police announced on Thursday that the capital saw a 2.7 percent drop in the total number of criminal cases in the first 10 months of the year, and police were able to crack more cases than before.

China's capital has claimed a marked drop in crime so far this year, state media reported on Thursday, with police saying the fall sets a solid foundation for a safe Olympic Games.

Also, Australian national soccer team has pocketed a ticket to next year's Olympic Games in Beijing after drawing 1-1 with DPRK at an away match on Wednesday.

PostHeaderIcon London 2012 Olympics park and ride scheme scrapped

A park and ride scheme which was supposed to accommodate thousands of sports fans during the 2012 Olympics was sensationally scrapped last night.

The £19million Windsor park and ride scheme would have been built at South Field, between Eton and Eton Wick, a greenbelt site owned by Eton College.

While one major aim was to ease congestion in Windsor, the 900-space development would also serve many of the 30,000 expected to visit Dorney Lake during the games.

More than 1,100 residents opposed the plans, claiming it would ruin lives, damage the environment and bring huge traffic problems and crime.

PostHeaderIcon IAAF says Marion Jones' Olympic relay teammates should lose medals

marion-jones-relayThe international track federation's council today recommended that all members of the 2000 Olympic relay teams on which Marion Jones competed should be stripped on their medals.

Jones, who already has returned her three individual medals after admitting last month she had used banned anabolic steroids before the Sydney Olympics, also won a gold medal on the 4-by-400-meter relay and a bronze on the 4-by-100.

The International Olympic Committee's executive board will take up the track federation's recommendation at its meeting next month.

IOC President Jacques Rogge already has said he believes the runners in the relays should lose their medals. U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Peter Uerberroth supports that action, a marked change from the USOC position in a similar case involving the men's 4-by-400-meter relay at the 2000 Olympics.

The USOC appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports on behalf of the members of that men's relay. They stood to lose their gold medals after the track federation (IAAF) decided in 2004 to strip the medals because one of the runners, Jerome Young, should have been banned from the 2000 Summer Games for doping.

PostHeaderIcon Marion Jones Records Erased Going Back To Sept 2000

marion_jonesMarion Jones was formally disqualified on Friday from all competitions since Sept 1. 2000, including the Sydney Olympics where she won five medals, after admitting last month to taking banned drugs.

The International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) governing council ruled that Ms. Jones's results be annulled after she confessed to taking the designer steroid tetrahydrogestrinone before the 2000 Games.

Ms. Jones, 32, won gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4x400 metres relay and bronze in the long jump and 4x100 relay at the 2000 Games.

Her career in disgrace and a prison sentence possibly looming, Marion Jones can longer even take solace in seeing her name beside her greatest feats in the record books.

What's more, track and field's governing body also wants Jones — who insists she is broke — to pay back about $700,000 of her winnings.

The International Association of Athletics Federation on Friday annulled all of her results dating to September 2000, including her Olympic and world championship titles, because of doping and told her to return her prize money from that period.

The organization also recommended that Jones' relay teammates be disqualified and lose their medals from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Monday, November 19, 2007

PostHeaderIcon World's nuclear watchdog to help Beijing Olympics

The world's nuclear watchdog said on Monday it was helping China guard against any potential attack at next year's Olympic Games in Beijing.

General Tomihiro Taniguchi, deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the U.N. agency was providing nuclear detection equipment and training staff in its use to help protect participants and spectators.

He told Reuters the Vienna-based IAEA had already provided security advice and equipment for several such events, starting with the Athens Olympics in 2004, and also including the German football World Cup, the Asian Games in Qatar and the Pan-American Games in Brazil this summer.

PostHeaderIcon Australian doctors say China holding back pollution data ahead of Olympics

Chinese organizers have been reluctant to release the findings of air pollution tests conducted 12 months out from next year's Summer Games, medical advisers to Australia's Olympic team said Monday.

Chinese authorities took air quality readings at Beijing in August when a number of pollution-reduction measures were in place, including the removal of about 1.3 million of the city's 3 million cars from the road.

Australian sports officials have flagged Beijing's notorious smog as a major potential factor that could affect the performance of athletes at the 2008 Olympics.

Australian sports physician Dr. Ken Fitch questioned Chinese claims that the measures resulted in a 15-20 percent reduction in air pollution.

"I find it difficult to see that level in reduction in pollution as claimed," Fitch told an Olympic health and medical forum in Sydney on Monday.

PostHeaderIcon ‘India can host 2020 Olympics’

The organising committee for the 2012 London Olympics today put its weight behind India’s aspirations for hosting the mega event in 2020.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has expressed its willingness to bid for the Games and the host city will be named in 2013.

London Olympics organising committee chairman Mr Sebastian Coe said if Delhi bids to host the mega event, there was a good chance it might get it and the successful staging of the 2010 Commonwealth Games would be a big help in this regard.

“I think Delhi has a good chance of getting the Olympics. It has staged major sporting events in the past and there would be a lot of coherence in their claim. A successful Commonwealth Games would definitely be helpful,” Mr Coe said at a media interaction which also saw a large number of children assemble to receive valuable tips from the athletics legend.

PostHeaderIcon Canada aims for top 16 in Beijing Olympics

anada will send about 300 athletes to the 2008 Beijing Olympics and it hopes to finish among the top 16 in the overall medal table.

The remarks were made by Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) President Michael Chambers Monday in Ottawa.

Chambersl also announced the establishment of the Athlete Excellent Fund, which will award cash prize to Olympics medalists for the first time in Canadian history.

Starting from Beijing Olympics, Canadian athletes will receive 20,000 Canadian dollars (20,600 U.S. dollars) per gold medal won at any Olympic Games, said Chambers.

PostHeaderIcon Views Mixed on Boycotting 2008 Beijing Olympics

Debate continues on calls from human rights and press freedom groups for a boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics to protest the Chinese government's repression of journalists and human rights activists and its policies toward Sudan, but some argue that a boycott would accomplish nothing and could be counterproductive.

One group saying a boycott might be needed is the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders. It says the Chinese government has imprisoned 27 journalists and more than 60 Internet users, making China the "largest prison for journalists in the world."
Monday, November 12, 2007

PostHeaderIcon Amanda Beard GoDaddy Shock Commercial

7-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard will appear in a new GoDaddy Commercial flaunting her medals.

Amanda Beard made headlines not only for winning at the Olympics but for posing in Playboy in the off years.

Go Daddy, based in Scottsdale, has a reputation for racy ads, including some that were rejected for the Super Bowl.

The new ad, called Shock, also features Olympic gold medal swimmer Mark Spitz.

The ads will run during ESPN2's broadcast of the Virginia-Miami college football game. Go Daddy Group Inc. is sponsoring this season's Saturday Night College Football Primetime broadcasts.

Network censors limited one ad, which features the Olympic swimmer and Playboy cover girl opening her bathrobe poolside, to running only during the cable network's game broadcasts or on ABC-TV after 9 p.m., Go Daddy chief executive officer Bob Parsons said Wednesday.

Amanda Beard GoDaddy Shock Commercial

Sunday, November 11, 2007

PostHeaderIcon "Birds Nest" - The Beijing National Olympic Stadium

A firefighter takes a snapshot of his rescue dog in front of the construction site of the National Olympic Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", during a drill in Beijing Nov. 9, 2007. The main stadium for next year's Beijing Olympic Games, the $400 million "bird's nest", will open to the public for the first time in April to host a test event.
Friday, November 2, 2007

PostHeaderIcon The Bible among objects prohibited at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Organizes of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing have published a list of “prohibited objects” in the Olympic village where athletes will stay. To the surprise of many, Bibles are among the objects that will not be allowed.

According to the Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, organizers have cited “security reasons” and have prohibited athletes from bearing any kind of religious symbol at Olympic facilities.

Other objects on the list include video cameras and cups.

The Spanish daily La Razon said the rule was one of a number of “signs of censure and intolerance” towards religious objects, particularly those used by Christians in China. Currently in China five bishops and fifteen priests are in prison for opposing the official Church. (source)

PostHeaderIcon Doping tests to nearly double at Vancouver Olympics

More doping tests will be conducted at the 2010 Winter Olympics than at the 2006 Turin Games, and the search for cheats will extend into the athletes' village, training centers and even private residences.

"We will test any time, any where," Jeremy Luke, the director of anti-doping for the Vancouver Olympic Games Organizing Committee, said Friday. "We want to do everything possible to have a clean games."


PostHeaderIcon John Woodruff Dies; 1st black athlete to win gold at 1936 Olympics in Berlin

John Woodruff, the black American runner who won the 800 meters in the 1936 Berlin Olympics in the face of Adolf Hitler and his "master race" agenda, has died. He was 92.

Woodruff, the last surviving gold medalist from that U.S. team that included the legendary runner Jesse Owens, died Tuesday at an assisted living center near Phoenix, said Rose Woodruff, his wife of 37 years.

Nicknamed "Long John" for his nearly 10-foot stride, Woodruff was a lanky 21-year-old freshman at the University of Pittsburgh with just three years of competitive running under his belt when he sailed to the racially charged scene in Berlin.

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Welcome to Olympic Updates, my continuing blog to following the Olympic Games. Founded in 2007, I have enjoyed providing news and information on the 2008 Beijing Summer Games and I look forward to keeping you up to date on the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.

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