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Category: Olympic Games

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A public lottery in Australia could be a good thing – and deliver more than Olympic gold | Martin Farrer

In a country with a gambling problem, any lottery will be controversial. But the UK’s example shows how much public good can come from such a scheme

It’s August 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics have just finished. Once again, the USA and Team GB top the medal table. But the real story is the collapse of the once-great Australian team who only have one shooting gold to show for their efforts. Humiliated, they board the plane back home where a festival of national self-flagellation awaits.

A bit over the top? Maybe, but this was the reality for Great Britain’s team back in 1996 when they took home only one gold (in rowing), prompting a decision to use the proceeds of the newly begun national lottery to fund elite sport.

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A public lottery in Australia could be a good thing – and deliver more than Olympic gold | Martin Farrer

In a country with a gambling problem, any lottery will be controversial. But the UK’s example shows how much public good can come from such a scheme

It’s August 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics have just finished. Once again, the USA and Team GB top the medal table. But the real story is the collapse of the once-great Australian team who only have one shooting gold to show for their efforts. Humiliated, they board the plane back home where a festival of national self-flagellation awaits.

A bit over the top? Maybe, but this was the reality for Great Britain’s team back in 1996 when they took home only one gold (in rowing), prompting a decision to use the proceeds of the newly begun national lottery to fund elite sport.

Continue reading…

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Vote Paris and keep the Olympics out of Donald Trump’s sticky little fingers | Richard Williams

The IOC has the choice of Paris or Los Angeles to host the 2024 Olympic Games and both have relatively sensible proposals

With the contest for the right to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games down to the last two contestants and nearing a final verdict, there may be several good reasons for giving Paris the right to stage the 2024 Olympics while postponing the return of the Games to Los Angeles until four years later. The most compelling of them must surely be that such a decision would put the Olympics out of the reach of Donald Trump’s sticky little fingers.

The two-term limit of the recently inaugurated US president will end in 2025 – unless, that is, Trump decides to follow the example of Julius Caesar and declare himself dictator perpetuo. He might even emulate Caligula by pronouncing himself divine before presiding over the Games on a golden throne. And then why not go all the way? In the Olympics of 67AD, Nero awarded himself an entry in the 10-horse chariot race. Having persuaded the organisers to insert the event into the schedule, Trump could then invent a local rule forcing all competitors who are not heads of state of the host nation to blindfold their horses.

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Australian Olympic Commitee: John Coates defeats Danni Roche to stay on as president

Victory comes with a big margin of 58 votes to 35, but Coates could still be under pressure to change the way the AOC is run

Australian Olympic commitee president John Coates has been re-elected for another term, surviving a challenge from newcomer Danni Roche and ending a bruising six-week election campaign.

Coates won the secret ballot by a significant margin, securing 58 votes to Roche’s 35. The vote was held at the AOC’s general meeting in Sydney on Saturday morning.

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Australia’s Olympics-sized brawl: a tale of prestige, power and big money

After 27 years in charge of the AOC, John Coates faces a leadership challenge which lays bare a struggle for control over the movement’s future direction

When comedian John Clarke died this month, the most frequent tribute clips came from his ABC television series The Games. In the lead-up to Sydney’s 2000 Olympics, Clarke parodied the organisers with vicious precision. It worked because the likes of John Coates and Kevan Gosper were so readily mocked, with their propensity to public gaffes and the often amateurish appearance of their organisations. For Olympics previous, Australian authorities seemingly only had to arrange a stack of bad tracksuits and clip-on koalas. Now they were building the biggest show on earth. It felt like asking Rooty Hill RSL to run the Opera House.

Skip to the present day, and the scenes could have fuelled Clarke for another season. At the centre remains Coates, as he has since 1990, but a vote for the Australian Olympic Committee presidency this Wednesday could see challenger Danielle Roche bring him down. The contest has become intense. At first it brings to mind that Henry Kissinger misattribution about the bitterness of fights for no real power: congratulations, you’re the lord of slalom canoe events in all the land. But at stake is prestige, authority and very real money.

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Kelly Sotherton set to be upgraded to another Olympic bronze medal

• IOC disqualifies Tatyana Chernova over testing positive for steroid
• British heptathlete already promoted to bronze in 2008 4x400m relay

Britain’s Kelly Sotherton is set to be upgraded to her third Olympic bronze medal. The development comes as a result of the International Olympic Committee disqualifying the Russian hepathlete Tatyana Chernova for testing positive for a steroid at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Chernova’s positive is only the latest in a long line from the IOC’s reanalysis of stored anti-doping samples from the 2008 and 2012 Games.

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Anyika Onuora: the untold story of Britain’s Rio Olympic medal winner who nearly died

Ten months before Anyika Onuora won bronze with the GB 4x400m team in 2016 she was in hospital with life-threatening malaria. Here, for the first time, she tells of her survival and comeback

“Honestly, it feels like therapy,” Anyika Onuora says with a light laugh. Ninety minutes after she began her incredible and previously unknown story, the Olympic medal-winning 400m runner sounds relieved. “I’ve been hesitant to talk about this for such a long time because I don’t like sympathy or attention. I’ve always just got on with things.”

Related: US glory in women’s 4x100m relay but hope springs for Team GB after bronze

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USA’s Dawn Staley completes her CV and career opportunities continue to knock | Richard Williams

Three-times Olympic gold medallist has progressed from a brilliant point guard to NCAA championship-winning coach with the South Carolina women basketball team and will take charge of the USA Olympic side at Tokyo 2020

Among the small handful of warm memories from the Atlanta Olympics, Dawn Staley stands out. Her combination of gnarly competitiveness and glorious skills – a repertoire of feints, no-look passes and behind-the-back smuggles (her “signature play”, she said) – made the little point guard of the USA women’s basketball team a compelling figure as she and her colleagues swept to victory.

At the time she was a woman playing what many still saw as a man’s game. In later years I was reminded of her playmaking skills while watching Marta, the great No10 of the Brazil women’s football team, and of her focused aggression when Nicole Adams became the first woman to win a gold medal in the Olympic boxing tournament.

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Olympic marathon gold medal winner Sumgong tests positive for EPO

• IAAF confirms positive ‘no-notice’ test for Rio 2016 marathon winner
• Kenyan became first from her country to win gold in the event

Jemima Sumgong, who last year became the first Kenyan woman to win Olympic gold in the marathon, tested positive for the banned blood-booster EPO in an out-of-competition test carried out by the IAAF in February, the sport’s governing body said on Thursday.

“The IAAF can confirm that an anti-doping rule violation case concerning Jemima Sumgong has commenced this week,” the IAAF said in a statement.

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Ed Warner wants to call time on UK Sport’s ‘win at all costs’ approach

• Athletics chief says medal obsession is ‘unhealthy’
• He wants funding reprieve for badminton and wheelchair rugby

Ed Warner, the UK Athletics chairman, has called for the end of UK Sport’s “no compromise” approach, saying that “it has had its time” and that the relentless pursuit of Olympic medals should be replaced by a more nuanced policy, in which sports such as basketball are also funded for the positive impact they have on society.

Warner suggested that a “fundamental review” into elite funding was also needed following the bullying allegations and governance problems that have engulfed British Cycling, as well as the unpopular decision to strip all money from badminton and wheelchair rugby.

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Ed Warner wants to call time on UK Sport’s ‘win at all costs’ approach

• Athletics chief says medal obsession is ‘unhealthy’
• He wants funding reprieve for badminton and wheelchair rugby

Ed Warner, the UK Athletics chairman, has called for the end of UK Sport’s “no compromise” approach, saying that “it has had its time” and that the relentless pursuit of Olympic medals should be replaced by a more nuanced policy, in which sports such as basketball are also funded for the positive impact they have on society.

Warner suggested that a “fundamental review” into elite funding was also needed following the bullying allegations and governance problems that have engulfed British Cycling, as well as the unpopular decision to strip all money from badminton and wheelchair rugby.

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2024 only chance for Paris Olympics, says bid chairman – video

The co-president of Paris’s 2024 Olympic bid, Tony Estanguet, says that while he is supportive of the mood within the IOC to award the locations of both the 2024 and the 2028 Olympic Games in September, the French capital will not be in the running for the latter

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2024 only chance for Paris Olympics, says bid chairman – video

The co-president of Paris’s 2024 Olympic bid, Tony Estanguet, says that while he is supportive of the mood within the IOC to award the locations of both the 2024 and the 2028 Olympic Games in September, the French capital will not be in the running for the latter

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Paris Olympic bid chief: ‘Now or never’ as city vies with Los Angeles for Games

• Tony Estanguet says Paris will only bid for 2024 Games
• Only Los Angeles and Paris remain in contention as hosts

The Paris Olympic bid chief said on Tuesday he was not against the awarding of the 2024 and 2028 Olympics in the same session later this year, but ruled the French capital out of the latter Games.

Related: Japanese Olympics golf course bows to pressure on female membership

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Paris Olympic bid chief: ‘Now or never’ as city vies with Los Angeles for Games

• Tony Estanguet says Paris will only bid for 2024 Games
• Only Los Angeles and Paris remain in contention as hosts

The Paris Olympic bid chief said on Tuesday he was not against the awarding of the 2024 and 2028 Olympics in the same session later this year, but ruled the French capital out of the latter Games.

Related: Japanese Olympics golf course bows to pressure on female membership

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Fukushima to host Tokyo Olympics events to help recovery from nuclear disaster

Some baseball and softball events will be held about 70km from nuclear power plant that suffered triple meltdown in 2011

Fukushima has been chosen to host baseball and softball matches at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, organisers said on Friday, a move they hope will boost the region’s recovery from the March 2011 nuclear disaster.

Azuma baseball stadium, about 70km north-west of the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, will host at least one baseball game – possibly the opening match – and one or more softball fixtures, according to Yoshiro Mori, the 2020 organising committee president.

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Fukushima to host Tokyo Olympics events to help recovery from nuclear disaster

Some baseball and softball events will be held about 70km from nuclear power plant that suffered triple meltdown in 2011

Fukushima has been chosen to host baseball and softball matches at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, organisers said on Friday, a move they hope will boost the region’s recovery from the March 2011 nuclear disaster.

Azuma baseball stadium, about 70km north-west of the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, will host at least one baseball game – possibly the opening match – and one or more softball fixtures, according to Yoshiro Mori, the 2020 organising committee president.

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Eddie ‘the Eagle’ soars again: ski jumper returns 30 years after Calgary Olympics

Eddie Edwards, who charmed spectators at 1988 Winter Olympics despite finishing last, described successful landing of six jumps as ‘absolutely relief’

Nearly three decades after he finished last in two Olympic events – and charmed the world in the process – the British ski jumper Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards has again soared through the air in Calgary, Canada.

Related: Reappraising Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards: a dedicated athlete who made the best of his talent

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Derek Ibbotson obituary

One of Britain’s top athletes who set a world record for the mile in 1957

The former world mile record holder Derek Ibbotson, who has died aged 84 after suffering from dementia, was one of British athletics’ leading lights of the 1950s and a winner of an Olympic bronze 5000m medal in the Melbourne Games of 1956. He was always hugely popular with fans, his smiling face instantly recognisable to a generation, and his easy, plain-speaking manner and warm Yorkshire accent made him a familiar voice on television and radio broadcasts of the time.

“Ibbo”, as he was always known, had fancied his chances of taking an Olympic gold medal in the 1500m. But his ambitions were thwarted when he was selected instead to run in the 5000m in Melbourne, where he finished third behind the Soviet runner Vladimir Kuts and his British teammate Gordon Pirie, and then watched in the stands as Ireland’s Ron Delany won the 1500m gold.

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Transgender-friendly toilets planned for 2020 Olympics in Tokyo

Tokyo’s city government is planning on installing gender-neutral bathrooms in at least seven of the 11 Olympic venues it is constructing for the 2020 Games

Tokyo’s metropolitan government is seeking to install gender-neutral public restrooms in the venues it is constructing for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

While daredemo toire (“everyone’s toilets”) suitable for either men or women have existed for several years in Japan, they have previously been designed as larger spaces designed to accommodate patrons in wheelchairs.

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