UN Support for Kuwait Athletes; Objection to Live Animals in Opening Ceremony
Kuwait at the Beijing opening ceremony. (Getty Images)
UN Boost for Kuwait Athletes
The United Nations' top sport official is pushing for Kuwaiti athletes to compete at the London Games under the country's own flag.
Currently, the Kuwait National Olympic Committee remains suspended from sending athletes to the Games due to political interference with the KNOC. However, the IOC is encouraging the Kuwaiti government to make changes so it can lift the ban.
“I am hopeful that Kuwaiti athletes will compete in the 2012 London Olympic Games under the flag of their proud nation,” Wilfried Lemke said.
He traveled to Kuwait this week to play a mediation role between government and sport in the Gulf country in a bid to ensure Kuwaiti athletes can compete at London 2012.
Vegetarians in a Stew Over Use of Farm Animals at Olympics
Danny Boyle unveiling his pastoral setting for the London opening ceremony. (LOCOG)
The English vegetarian non-profit (Viva!) is encouraging protest against the use of live farm animals in London 2012's opening ceremony.
Filmmaker Danny Boyle unveiled his plan to turn the Olympic stadium into a pastoral scene on Wednesday.
“Unbelievably, live farmed animals – including sheep, ducks and chickens – are to be used as part of the Olympic opening ceremony,” the group said on its Olympic web page.
“Not only will it be exploitative and potentially cruel, it will also perpetuate the myth of small scale farming when the reality is that most farmed animals are now intensively reared in Britain.
“Please politely contact London 2012 and ask them to abandon plans to use live animals at the ceremony.”
Viva! claims the farm animals will be terrified by the noise of the stadium and that the filmmaker’s “vision of the British countryside is about as believable as the set of Teletubbies”.
Australian Lifter Fighting Bribery Charges
After being accused of extorting $5,000 AUD to compete in an Olympic qualifier, Australian weightlifter Daniel Koum says he will fight the charges.
“I deny absolutely any allegations or suggestions of impropriety on my part arising from my participation in the Oceania weightlifting championships,” Koum said
in a statement issued Thursday.
“Should any allegations of impropriety ever be formally brought against me by the [Australian Weightlifting Federation] or the [Australian Olympic Committee], they will be met with unyielding and relentless opposition by me and my lawyers.”
Despite the ongoing Australian Olympic Committee investigation into the alleged incident, Koum intends to compete in the Australian championships in Brisbane over the weekend.
Team Australia Announces Badminton Team
Five badminton players
are now part of Team Australia. The shuttlers will represent Australia in men’s and women’s doubles and women’s singles.
Ross Smith, Glenn Warfe, Leanne Choo, Renuga Veeran and Victoria Na were announced as the new additions on Thursday.
While Smith and Warfe competed in Beijing 2008, all three female athletes will be making their Olympic debuts in London.
"My world fell apart when I heard the news," Andy Schleck said about learning of his injury. (Getty Images)
Schleck Questionable for Olympics
Luxembourg cyclist Andy Schleck may miss the 2012 Games.
Schleck made the announcement Wednesday when he said he would skip the 2010 Tour de France due to a back injury.
“I will need to be back to 100 percent before I can start riding again. I hope to be at the Olympics.”
Considered to be one of the world’s best cyclists, Schleck finished fifth in the road race event at the Beijing Olympics.
World’s No. 1 Archer Excited for London
U.S. archer Brady Ellison says he can’t wait to let his arrows fly at Lord’s Cricket Ground during the 2012 Olympics.
“It’s a great venue,” he told a USOC teleconference this week in response to a question from Around the Rings
Brady Ellison at last month's Team USA Media Summit. (Getty Images)
“It’s nice because it has the prestige and it has the draw of a lot of people. I’m sorry to say I don’t know much about cricket or Lord's, but when I did go [for last year’s Olympic test event] I did learn a lot of the history and stuff, so it did add a lot more value to the venue for me.
"Our venue isn’t built yet over there. They have a cricket match I think a couple weeks before we shoot, so when we get over there we will actually be able to get to see our venue get built."
Ellison, the number one ranked archer in the world, finished third in the individual event for recurve bows in the 2011 World Championships and is looking for his first individual Olympic medal. He is also looking to help the U.S. win its first team gold medal in archery since Atlanta 1996.
Written by Mark Bisson, Hannah Reid and Ed Hula III.
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