IOC announces new Director of Communications

IOC announces new Director of Communications Lausanne, Switzerland  - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday announced that Briton Mark Adams has been appointed Director of Communications.

The 45-year-old, who is joining the Olympic body from the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was Managing Director and Head of Media and Communications, will be taking over his new position at the end of May.

In a statement the IOC said that the former journalist worked for several television stations before joining the World Economic Forum.

NEWS FEATURE: IOC seeks stronger UN links with observer role

IOC seeks stronger UN links with observer roleHamburg  - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) wants to strengthen its partnership with the United Nations by gaining observer status at the UN General Assembly.

The UN confirmed an application had been received from the IOC, and told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that a decision could be expected by the beginning of September.

Report: budget for Sochi Olympics will be cut by two-thirds in 2009

Report: budget for Sochi Olympics will be cut by two-thirds in 2009Moscow  - Russia will slash financing toward preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi by near two-thirds this year as it feels the heat of the market crunch, a senior official was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying Tuesday.

Regional development minister Viktor Basargin said 33.2 billion rubles (923 million dollars) would be stripped from the 49.8-billion--rubles construction budget for the firm Olympstroi in 2009.

He made the comments to Russian Prime Minster Vladimir Putin during a meeting on sports.

China's first Olympics leaves pride, regrets

Beijing  - Hundreds of millions of television viewers across the world saw China for the first time in August, or at least they saw a new side of the vast nation of 1.3 billion people.

The extravagant opening and closing ceremonies and the perfectly organized Olympic events at spectacular venues won heartfelt praise from international Olympic officials and spurred deep national pride in many ordinary Chinese citizens.

"I think ordinary Chinese people were excited about the Olympics," said Zhang Ming, a politics professor at People's University in Beijing.

"Beijing people were very proud of holding the Olympics," Zhang told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Risk of construction firms working on 2012 Olympics going bust

Risk of construction firms working on 2012 Olympics going bust London  - Construction companies working on the Olympic Village for the 2012 Olympic Games in London could go bust because of the global recession, the head of the Olympic Development Authority (ODA) told a British parliamentary committee Tuesday.

Obama joins Chicago Olympic bid as Rogge warns of finances

Obama joins Chicago Olympic bid as Rogge warns of finances Istanbul/Washington  - US president-elect Barack Obama threw his weight behind Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics, recording a video message for organizers meeting in Turkey on Friday.

Obama promised his incoming administration "will bring a fresh perspective on America's role and responsibilities around the world" and praised the Olympic movement for its ability to bring the global community together.

Legendary rockers to form supergroup for 2012 Olympics

London 2012 OlympicsLondon, October 27: Veteran rockers are set to come together to form a supergroup to raise the curtain for the 2012 Olympic games in London.

Legendary rock stars, such as the 61-year-old David Bowie and ‘Led Zepplin’s 64-year-old Jimmy Page, might be heard making some noise at the opening ceremony.

Though ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, 66, and Ringo Starr, 68, are suspected to be long shots, legends like Van Morrison, 63, Phil Collins, 57, Elton John, 61, and Sting, 57 may be expected to take the stage.

Olympic medal winners get a rousing welcome

The Olympic medal winners have returned home after completion of the games. They got a warm welcome from various sports federations, government officials and common public. India’s bronze medal winners Sushil Kumar and boxer Vijender Singh were very delighted to come back in their homeland with Olympic medal.

Both wrestler Sushil Kumar and boxer Vijender Singh met President Pratibha Patil, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Dr. Singh greeted them on their splendid achievement and promised all sorts of help for the sportsmen.

Bolt Celebrates After Giving Other Sprinters A Jolt

Bolt Celebrates After Giving Other Sprinters A Jolt After doing his bit in leading Jamaica to victory in 4x100 meters relay, Bolt stopped off at the 100m start-line on his victory lap and performed a forward roll over it. He did this right next to where the Australian, Steve Hooker, was preparing himself for a crucial jump-off in the pole vault. While Hooker took the Jamaican’s expression of jubilation in good spirits, the president of the International Olympic Committee did not seem to be very pleased with Bolt’s antics. He suggested earlier this week that Usain Bolt would do well in restraining his triumphal celebrations.    

Jitender and Vijender Kumar enter quarterfinals

Jitender and Vijender Kumar enter quarterfinalsAfter First Ever Individual Gold medal won by Abhinav Bindra, Indians can be proud for the Indian boxers, Vijendra Kumar and Jitender Kumar. Both the boxers have landed in the quarterfinals for their respective categories. On Saturday, both of the tough fighters displayed a flawless performance at the Worker’s Gymnasium in Beijing.

It seems that the ambitious Indian boxers will live up to their promise to get the medal in the Olympics.
On Friday, Akhil Kumar advanced to the quarterfinals, and all he needs to get the medal is to win one more game.

Hijab-clad women Olympians attempt to break away from Muslim stereotypes

Hijab-clad women Olympians attempt to break away from Muslim stereotypesMelbourne, Aug 11 : The ongoing Olympic Games will see a large number of veiled female athletes from various Muslim nations competing for events like sprinting, rowing, taekwondo and archery.

Most of these athletes have got themselves specially tailored aerodynamic veils, which expose only their face and hands.

All these veiled athletes are determined to avoid offending devout Muslims back home, as well as showing skimpily dressed rivals there is nothing constricting about wearing "hijab".

300,000 couples wed on China's triple-eight Olympic date

300,000 couples wed on China's triple-eight Olympic date Beijing - More than 300,000 Chinese couples registered marriages Friday as the opening of the Olympics added to the auspicious triple eight in the 8.8.2008 date, state media said on Saturday.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs recorded 314,224 marriages nationwide, the highest number since the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Olympic host city Beijing recorded 15,646 marriages on Friday, 23 times the daily average, the agency said.

`City of Joy'' heralds Olympiad with palm art

olympiadKolkata, Aug. 9 : A Chinese artist in Kolkata has brought alive the spirit of the Olympics here through paintings made by his palms and fingers.

Fifty-six-year-old Guan Yaojiu paints mountains using his palms and finger instead of paint brushes.

He has dedicated this palm art piece to the ongoing Olympic Games in Beijing.

Yaojiu also makes dragons, which are revered by the Chinese, with the help of fine Chinese brushes.

Yaojiu uses his palm swiftly to bring about clarity on the canvas.

For his mountain paintings Yaojiu usually uses black, but adds shades of brown and green to some of his works.

Olympic torch maker finally relaxes after intense exhaustion and excitement

Olympic Torch New Delhi, August 9 : Huang Qijun, the 45-year-old maker of the Xiangyun (lucky clouds) torch, actually heaved a sigh of relief when it lit the Olympic cauldron on Friday night.

He was the one who produced the safety lantern and community cauldrons used in every relay, and accompanied the torch from Greece to Beijing.

"I instantly felt relaxed. I was exhausted, but also excited. My job is done," the China Daily quoted him as saying during an interview, after the cauldron was ignited.

Throughout the torch’s journey from Greece to Beijing, Huang kept the lowest profile.

Chinese activist feared detained for Olympics, group says

China PoliceBeijing - Prominent rights activist Zeng Jinyan is out of contact and is feared to have been detained by police before the opening of the Beijing Olympics, a rights group said on Saturday.

All attempts to contact Zeng had failed and she was thought to have "disappeared" from her Beijing home on August 7, the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) reported.

She has lived under "residential surveillance", or virtual house arrest, for many months and was already prevented by state security police from meeting foreign journalists or speaking to them by telephone.

Beijing Olympics set to improve West''s view of China: Survey

Beijing OlympicsLondon, Aug. 9  A survey from a landmark conference on China held in London has opined that the Beijing Olympics could very well improve or have a positive impact on the way the West sees China in the near future.

Sixty-six percent of those who participated in the survey said there would be an improvement in Western perceptions after the Beijing Olympics, while 62 percent think China will become a democracy.

Seventy-one percent agreed that China''s rapid rise would not been seen as a threat to world peace, while an overwhelming 86 percent justified China being awarded the Olympic Games

Iran set to compete against Israel at Olympics

Iran Israel FlagTehran - Iran will compete against Israel at the Olympic Games for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Tehran media reported Saturday.

Iranian athletes have always rejected competing alongside Israelis as a sign of solidarity with the Palestinians and therefore faced disqualification on several occasions in international sport.

Iran does not recognize Israel as a sovereign state and has in the last three decades followed a hostile approach towards the Israeli government.

Beijing Olympics opening ceremony underway

Beijing - The opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics got underway with a fireworks display on Friday night, setting the stage for a three-hour extravaganza.

The 91,000-strong crowd in the National Stadium was due to be treated to a trip through Chinese history and culture with around 20,000 performers on a hot and sticky night.

The parade of a record 204 nations alone was due to last 1:50 hours in front of almost 90 state leaders featuring among others Chinese President Hu Jintao, US President Goerge W Bush and Russian Premier Vladimir Putin.

Hu was due to officially open the Games with the traditional formula: "I declare open the Games of Beijing celebrating the XXIX Olympiad of the modern era."

Grand opening ceremony marks start of Beijing Olympics

ChinaBeijing, Aug. 8: China today opened its gates to culture, life and the world of sports at a hugely colourful and gala extravaganza of 24th Olympics inaugration here on Friday evening.

About 15,000 artists participated in the grand inaugural ceremony, which left spectators and dignitaries awestruck and mesmerized.

The 17-day Beijing Olympics will witness sportspersons from 205 nations competing for glory and medals. About 302 Gold Medals are up for grabs at the event.

Distinguished personalities representing 80 countries have attended the ceremony.

Overcast but favourable weather for Olympics’ opening ceremony

Beijing, Aug 7 : A spokesman of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has said that the weather at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony will mainly be overcast but favourable.

Yu Xinwen said that they are expecting a brief shower on Friday afternoon, but the temperature would be between 25 degrees and 30 degrees Celsius.

One of the highlights of the 16-day Games, the opening ceremony will be broadcast world-wide and will see more than 100,000 athletes, performers and spectators attending the ceremony in the National Stadium, or "Bird''s Nest.”

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