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  • Olympic Newsdesk -- IOC Confident in Rio; Obama Addresses Critics


    10/21/09

    The IOC expressed confidence that Rio will be safe for the 2016 Olympics. (Getty Images)
    IOC Confident in Rio

    Seven years is enough time for Rio de Janeiro to clean up its crime problem the IOC says.

    IOC spokesman Mark Adams told The Associated Press "we have confidence in their capacity to deliver a safe Games in seven years.

    "Security is of course a very important aspect of any Olympic Games no matter where it is in the world. This is of course entirely under the national, regional and city authorities."

    Last weekend, rival gangs were involved in a shootout that left 21 dead and took down a police helicopter.
    The battle took place just a short distance away from some proposed Olympic venues.

    Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Monday that the federal government would not be stopped in its effort to rid Rio of gangs.

    "We'll do anything it takes and make all necessary sacrifices so we can clean up the mess that these people are imposing on Brazil," he said.

    Obama Takes Aim at Olympic Naysayers
    President Obama said his Olympic critics were hoping “for failure.” (Getty Images)


    President Obama said people criticizing his efforts to bring the Olympics to Chicago were rooting “for failure.”

    Speaking at a fundraiser for the Democratic Party in New York City on Tuesday, Obama said “What I reject is when some people sit on the sidelines and…root for failure on getting the Olympics.

    “I mean, who’s against the Olympics? What’s up with that? You know it’s a sad thing, isn’t it? I mean, I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, you know, it’s the Olympics, come on!”

    Obama came under intense scrutiny from the opposition Republicans when Chicago lost in the first round of voting to host the 2016 Olympics.

    Rogge to Visit Vietnam

    IOC President Jacques Rogge will visit Vietnam at the end of October.

    Rogge is going to the opening of the Asian Indoor Games in Hanoi on Oct. 30. It will be his first visit to Vietnam since he became an IOC member in 1990.

    Nigerian Olympic Official Says African Olympics Close


    An official with the Nigerian Olympic Committee says the “time is coming” for an Olympics to be staged in Africa.

    Speaking at the Global Sports Industry Congress in London in Tuesday, Emmanuel Nweri was quoted saying “we are thinking about an Olympic bid in the future but we are taking it gradually. We have hosted one FIFA World Cup in Africa recently and two will follow soon.

    Newri said Nigeria would have to host the Commonwealth Games before attempting to bid for the Olympics. Abuja, Nigeria, bid for the 2014 Games but lost to Glasgow, Scotland.

    "South Africa had [an Olympic] bid and lost out in 2004 but I think that South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria would be ready to host the Olympics now" he said.

    Abuja would “definitely” be the host city he Newri predicted.

    A potential concern for a Nigerian Olympics would be the extreme heat. The Olympics are traditionally staged in July and August to avoid conflicting with European and American Football seasons.
    Newri addressed that issue head on saying “weather is not a problem” in Abuja.

    "But it would be hard for some African countries because In July and August in rains and it rains and it rains. The IOC needs to be flexible on this."

    Briefs…


    …Wrestler Charles Tribble of the United States died Saturday. Tribble, who was 67, competed at the 1964 Olympics in freestyle wrestling. He did not medal. Tribble was born in Indio, Ariz.

    …The Commonwealth Games Federation agreed to allow Fiji to attend the CGF General Assembly in New Delhi. Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth earlier in the year due to political unrest. Whether the South Pacific country can compete at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010, will be decided at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago Nov. 27 – 29. The head of the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee expressed his doubts on the authority of the Commonwealth to keep athletes from competing in the Commonwealth Games.

    Media Watch


    Time magazine asks if Rio can solve its crime problems before the Olympics.
    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1931162,00.html

    Jon Lee Anderson follows up on a report he did for The New Yorker last month about Rio’s favelas, in light of the recent outbreak of violence.
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2009/10/police-raid-rio-favela.html

    Andrew Jennings has his take on the awarding of the Olympics to Rio, and his thoughts on potential influence pushing at the IOC Session.
    http://www.transparencyinsport.org/Bagman_welcome_at_IOC_congress/bagman_welcome_at_IOC_congress.html

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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