2016 Rio Olympics mascot is a bright yellow smiley-faced cat-like figure!

2016 Rio Olympics mascotWellington, Nov 25 : The mascot for the 2016 Rio Olympics has been revealed and it is a bright yellow smiley-faced cat-like figure that represents the animal life of Brazil.

The mascot for the Paralympics has also been unveiled, which is a mopped-headed doll with leafy hair, meant to represent the vast diversity of the flora in Brazil.

The mascots made their first official appearance on Monday. A public poll would be conducted to give names to the two from a shortlist of possibilities, Stuff. co. nz reported.

French President Francois Hollande to miss Sochi games

Francois-HollandeLondon, Dec 16 : French President Francois Hollande will not attend the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said, without giving a reason for the decision.

Last week German President Joachim Gauck also said he was not going to the games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Activists have urged leaders to boycott the event over human rights concerns, including a new Russian law banning 'homosexual propaganda', the BBC reports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said gay athletes were welcome in the country and that the new law is needed to protect minors. (ANI)

IOC reminds athletes to refrain from protests in Sochi Winter Olympics

Thomas BachLondon, Dec 10 - Athletes have been warned not to make any political gestures or demonstrate at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, according to reports.

According to the BBC, Russia has been criticised for its human rights record and for passing a law banning gay propaganda.

However, International Olympic Committee (IOC) boss Thomas Bach said that athletes should avoid making any kind of statement during the Games, the report added.

A former Olympian himself, Bach says he is trying to protect competitors from getting caught up in controversy, the report mentioned.

Tokyo defends bid to host 2020 Olympics

Tsunekazu-TakedaBuenos Aires, Sep 5 : The president of Japan's Olympic Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, defended Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires, where the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is meeting.

"Tokyo is extremely well positioned," Takeda told reporters at a press conference Wednesday, reports Xinhua.

The Japanese capital is competing against Madrid (Spain) and Istanbul (Turkey) in its bid to host the games, and the IOC decision is to be announced here Saturday (Sep 7).

Sochi 2014 chief promises safest Olympics

Dmitry-ChernyshenkoSochi, April 17 :  Sochi 2014 organisers have issued unequivocal security assurances in the wake of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, with the chief organiser promising the safest Games in history.

Russia is to beef up security in the Black Sea resort as of June 1 this year in the wake of Monday's terrorist attacks that killed three people and injured more than 170.

US, Russia, Iran join hands for Olympic Wrestling

Rich-BenderWashington, Feb 16 : The United States and Russia have grappled over Iran's nuclear ambitions in recent years, but the three nations are now joining forces for the right to keep on grappling in the Olympics after International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials recommended scrapping the ancient sport of wrestling this week.

"We must form a coalition of the willing, so to speak, that will come together at some point to support the cause," Rich Bender, executive director of USA Wrestling, the sport's body in the United States, told RIA Novosti Friday.

Madrid presents dossier for 2020 Olympic Bid

Olympic-Games-2020.jMadrid, Jan 9 : The City of Madrid officially presented the dossier for its candidacy to host the 2020 Olympic Games to the press.

The dossier, which took 400 people around six months to compile, contains all facts and figures related to the third attempt of the Spanish capital to host the Olympics. It was given to the International Olympic Committee Monday while the media got their hands on the dossier Tuesday, reports Xinhua.

Madrid, which lost out to London in the bid to host the 2012 Games and to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Games, is now competing against Tokyo and Istanbul for the 2020 Olympics.

80% Brits feel £9 billion spent on London Games was value for money

Olympic-Games-2012London, Dec 26 : Around 80 per cent of Britons are of the opinion that the nine billion pounds spent on the Olympic Games was value for money, according to a new poll.

The poll, which was conducted by the Guardian/ICM, showed that 78% of voters believed the Olympics did a valuable job in cheering up a country in hard times, as compared with just 20% who look back on them as a costly and dangerous distraction.

Switzerland expels Olympian due to racist remarks on Twitter

Switzerland expels Olympian due to racist remarks on TwitterSwiss authorities have expelled a member of its football team taking part in the London Olympics 2012, on Monday due to his threatening and racist remarks against the South Koreans on micro blogging site, twitter.

The comments were posted by Michel Morganella just hours after Switzerland's foot ball team lost to South Korea in the mega sporting event.

Tokyo plans to bid for 2020 Olympics

Tokyo plans to bid for 2020 OlympicsTokyo  - Tokyo is planning to apply to host the 2020 Olympics, the city's governor, Shintaro Ishihara, said Monday.

Japan's capital applied for the 2016 games but lost out to Rio de Janeiro in the International Olympic Committee vote in early October.

The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both targets of atomic bombs during World War II, recently announced their wish to hold the games jointly. However, the Olympic Charter envisages only a single city hosting the games.

Tokyo hosted the Olympics in 1964. (dpa)

Deriba Merga, Mary Keitany win Delhi Half Marathon

 Deriba Merga, Mary Keitany win Delhi Half MarathonNew Delhi, Nov 1: Olympian Deriba Merga of Ethiopia won the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in men''s section while Kenya''s Mary Keitany won the women''s category.

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon began with almost 30,000 participants.

The open category of the main event was the half-marathon of 21.097 km.

The other three categories were the Great Delhi Run (7 km), senior citizen''s run (4.3 km) and the wheelchair Event (3.5 km).

Flame for 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics lit in ancient Olympia

Athens  - The Vancouver 2010 Olympic torch was lit by sun rays in ancient Olympia on Thursday, marking the start of its relay. It will end February 12 with the opening of the Winter Games.

Using a concave mirror to reflect the sun's rays, a high priestess, played by Greek actress Maria Nafpliotou, lit the torch in front of the Temple of Hera.

The lighting of the Olympic flame kicks off a seven-day relay across Greece. Vassilis Dimitriadis, a Greek giant-slalom athlete, will be the first torchbearer.

The flame will be handed over to Vancouver Olympic officials on October 29 at the Kalimarmaro Stadium in Athens. (dpa)

IOC confirms three applicant cities for 2018 Winter Olympics

IOC confirms three applicant cities for 2018 Winter OlympicsIOC confirms three applicant cities for 2018 Winter OlympicsLausanne, Switzerland - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that Munich, the French city of Annecy and the South Korean resort of Pyeongchang have submitted their bids to host the 2018 Winter Olympics by Friday's deadline.

The three cities will now proceed to the first of the IOC's two- step procedure, which will lead to the election of the 2018 host city in Durban, South Africa, in July 2011.

IOA rejects CGF proposal for independent monitoring of games preparations

IOA rejects CGF proposal for independent monitoring of games preparationsNew Delhi, Oct 15 : The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Thursday rejected the Commonwealth Games Federation''s (CGF) proposal to form an independent monitoring panel for overseeing the 2010 Delhi Games preparations.

Addressing the media here, IOA president Suresh Kalmadi demanded the removal of CGF Chief Executive Office (CEO) Mike Hooper, describing him as useless.

Rogge, golf, rugby and a crown prince hope for IOC

IOC President Jacques Rogge Hamburg/Copenhagen  - Golf and Rugby hope for the nod to return to the Olympics in 2016 and Jacques Rogge seeks re-election as top Olympian at the International Olympic Committee Session Friday.

The week of Olympic meetings also concludes with the election of six new members into the IOC, including crown-prince Frederik from the host nation Denmark.

Rogge took the IOC presidency in 2001 and is running unopposed for a final four-year term until 2013. The former Olympic yachtsman and surgeon said he wants a secret ballot and no acclamation.

Waste no time, IOC tells Sochi 2014

Waste no time, IOC tells Sochi 2014 Copenhagen  - Organizers of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics were told on Wednesday they have made progress over the past year but have no time to waste in delivering their Games from the drawing board.

"No delay is permitted," International Olympic Committee coordination commission chairman Jean-Claude Killy told the Russians at the IOC Session. "Coordination between all actors is essential."

Rogge outlines "very good health" of IOC

Rogge outlines "very good health" of IOCCopenhagen  - The International Olympic Committee is in "very good health" despite the global economic slide and is taking measures to further maximise its revenue, IOC president Jacques Rogge said on Wednesday.

However, it remains unclear whether the Olympians will be able to match record income they are generating for the 2010 and 2012 Games in Vancouver and London, respectively.

Samaranch says Madrid bid did not heed his advice

SamaranchCopenhagen  - Juan Antonio Samaranch, the Spaniard who led the International Olympic Committee (IOC) 1980-2001, advised Madrid not to bid for the 2016 Olympics, but bid officials would not listen.

"At one point I gave my opinion, but when a majority went for the year 2016 the only thing I could do was to help as far as I could," Samaranch told the German Press Agency dpa in Copenhagen.

Samaranch knows the 106 members of the Olympic decision-making body, but at age 89 it was apparent that he is not omnipotent: Rio de Janeiro thrashed Madrid 66-32 in the final round of voting Friday, to get to host the Games in 2016.

Rogge: Olympics must allow police assistance over doping

Rogge: Olympics must allow police assistance over dopingCopenhagen/Hamburg - Future Olympic host cities will likely have to allow police raids and other tough measures to fight doping, International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said on Monday.

Naming the ongoing fight against substance abuse "an absolute priority," Rogge said that the IOC will look into whether these tough measures which require according national laws can be implemented in the bidding process for the 2018 Games.

"We want the police to help us bust doping networks," Rogge told a news conference.

Rio's choice for 2016 could show Olympic future

Copenhagen  - The choice of Rio for the 2016 Olympics is an important move to ensure a bright future for the Olympic Movement, its supremo Jacques Rogge said on Saturday.

"We must ensure that the developing nations get fully participated. The choice of Rio was a step in the right direction," the International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said on the opening day of the 13th Olympic Congress.

Rio became the first South American city to be awarded the right to host the Olympics after the city beat Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago in a secret IOC ballot on Friday.

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