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  1. Quote

    Spain to present Barcelona-Pyrenees bid for 2030 Winter Olympics
    Source: Xinhua  2021-07-16 17:11:42 Editor: huaxia

    MADRID, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Spanish Olympic Committee president Alejandro Blanco has confirmed that his organization will bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympic Games.

    The 'Pireneus-Barcelona' bid will be centered on the city of Barcelona and the Pyrenees mountain range in the communities of Catalonia and Aragon in the north of Spain.

    In an interview with the 'El Mundo Deportivo' newspaper, Blanco explained the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) had letters of support from Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and regional leaders Pere Aragones (Catalonia) and Javier Lamban (Aragon).

    "Apart from sending the letters to the IOC headquarters in Switzerland, I will also take a copy of the four letters with me to Tokyo - mine and that of the three presidents - which I will hand over to President Thomas Bach at the IOC Olympic session that takes place in the course of the Tokyo Olympics," explained Blanco.

    "It is very important that we all go hand in hand with the IOC, and when it is considered that the project is finished, it will be time to present it," he said.

    The idea of hosting a Winter Olympics based around Barcelona, which hosted the 1992 Summer Games, has been around for a few years, but the inclusion of Aragon in the project widens its scope.

    "The Pyrenees of Aragon offer a broader candidacy with more possibilities, and we cannot forget that in the Aragonese Pyrenees there are many people who live, understand and support winter and ice sports," said Blanco, who explained that the move meant the plan had to be "expanded" technically.

    "The Olympic bid must be sustainable, both on the ecological side and respect for the environment and nature, as well as on the economic side. This is a project to regenerate the territory. An inclusive project, where social support is very important. This is a project that comes out of society and for all this it is an objective that through common work we can achieve the organization of the Winter Olympic Games," he concluded.



  2. Quote

    USA accepted as bid candidate for Rugby World Cup 2027, 2029 and 2031
    committee to begin campaign following positive feasibility study
    Calder Cahill June 10, 2021


    - USA formally accepted as a bid candidate to host Rugby World Cup 2027, 2029 and/or 2031.

    - In August 2020, USA Rugby partnered with key stakeholders across the US on a Feasibility Study to extensively evaluate the potential of hosting a Rugby World Cup in the United States, fielding positive results across financial, host city, stadium, competition and rugby development categories.
    - Next steps include transitioning feasibility group into bid planning team with their focus now shifting to deliver an extraordinary campaign and proposal, ahead of January 2022 deadline.

    GLENDALE, CO (June 10, 2021) – The United States has been formally accepted as a candidate to host one or more of the upcoming Rugby World Cup events in 2027, 2029 and/or 2031. Subsequently, the United States will move forward with a proposed hosting concept following positive outcomes from the Rugby World Cup Feasibility Study that began in August 2020 and World Rugby Dialogue Phase. The feasibility group, in tandem with USA Rugby, will continue its role and transition from exploratory phase to bid planning and preparation ahead of the January 2022 proposal deadline with World Rugby. The group will bring together American rugby and sports experts to develop proposals across a number of hosting concept categories, including financial planning, event objectives, competitions, stadiums and host cities, player welfare, rugby development, legacy and more.

    USA Rugby CEO and former General Manager to Rugby World Cup, Ross Young said, “Putting our hand up to host a Rugby World Cup is a benchmark for the game in America, however the exciting stages are just now beginning as the stakeholder group continues into campaign planning. The great work this group of subject matter experts, led by former Director Jim Brown, has done supersedes what has happened previously at this stage, and truly highlights the potential for a Rugby World Cup being held on American soil.”

    The United States will move forward with bid proposals for the 2027 and 2031 men’s competition, along with the 2029 women’s competition. As analysis continues, potential for a combined bid of both the men’s and women’s competitions may come together if the process determines this approach is feasible and constructive toward hosting a world class experience across both events.

    The decision to take this major step into a host bid campaign is predicated by positive and encouraging results from the Rugby World Cup Feasibility Study, whose sole purpose is to assess the United States ability to host a Rugby World Cup and what the maximum potential and criteria for success would look like. With unique challenges present in the American sporting landscape, the study fielded constructive and quality feedback across financial, host city, stadium, competition and rugby development categories. Most notably, domestic outreach received overwhelmingly constructive feedback and excitement from major cities and stadiums when considering the potential for hosting and supporting men’s and women’s Rugby World Cup matches.

    Similarly, preliminary financial analysis reflecting stadium, audience and commercial potential unique to the United States, indicates significant returns and economic impact for the union and global game. Therefore, signifying a meaningful investment for the ongoing legacy of rugby, both domestically and globally. More detail on economic and growth impact will come together through the upcoming bid campaign.

    As with the feasibility study, the bid campaign will continue to be funded and resourced by investments from rugby stakeholders across the US landscape, whereby USA Rugby will continue to remain collaborative. Presentable materials of the feasibility study are also being prepared to share with the rugby community, educating on the positive outcomes and encouraging support of the upcoming bid campaign.

    Rugby USA




    The four pools have been confirmed for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France.
    14 December, 2020



    Pool A

    New Zealand
    Americas 1
    Africa 1

    Pool B

    South Africa
    Asia / Pacific 1
    Europe 2

    Pool C

    Europe 1
    Final Qualifier Winner

    Pool D

    Oceania 1
    Americas 2

    How the draw worked

    As host nation, France was drawn first and placed randomly in one of the four pools. The teams were then drawn randomly from each band, starting with Band 5 (Africa 1, Europe 2, Americas 2 and Final Qualifier Winner), then Band 4 (Americas 1, Asia / Pacific 1, Europe 1, Oceania 1), then Band 3 (Scotland, Argentina, Fiji and Italy), then Band 2 (Ireland, (France), Australia, Japan) and finally Band 1 (South Africa, New Zealand, England, Wales). The first drawn in each band was placed in Pool A, the second in Pool B, the third in Pool C and the fourth in Pool D.

    Draw seedings

    Twelve of the 20 teams qualified automatically by finishing in the top three places of their Rugby World Cup 2019 pool. These 12 teams are: South Africa, New Zealand, England, Wales, Ireland, France, Australia, Japan, Scotland, Argentina, Fiji and Italy. Acknowledging the global COVID-19 impact on international rugby in 2020, these teams were seeded based on the World Rugby Men's Rankings as of 1 January, 2020 and placed into the first three bands of four teams.

    The remaining eight teams will come through the regional qualification process and were allocated for the draw into bands four and five based on relative strength. They are: Americas 1, Americas 2, Europe 1, Europe 2, Africa 1, Oceania 1, Asia / Pacific 1 and the Final Qualifier Winner.

    World Rugby









    John Coates Joins Rugby World Cup Bid Team

    International Olympic Committee vice-president John Coates adds another project to his portfolio.



    Coates and Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori (Tokyo 2020/Shugo Takemi)

    Coates has joined the effort to bring the Rugby World Cup back to Australia for the first time since 2003. The Australian reports he has been appointed to the 2027 Rugby World Cup bid advisory committee.

    Australia is the only current candidate bidding for the tournament after Argentina pulled out of the running in April.

    But Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan is taking no chances as Coates and Wallaby great Gary Ella are the newest members of a nine-person committee that includes former Australian prime minister John Howard, former Australia governor-general Peter Cosgrove and World Cup-winning captain John Eales.

    “John Coates is Australia’s top sporting official globally and a legend and he knows how to get bids done,” McLennan told The Australian.

    Coates, who played a key role in the successful Sydney 2000 bid, is already part of the regional Brisbane bid for the 2032 Olympics.

    IOC President Thomas Bach signed off on Coates adding another job to his workload just a few days after the Sydney native, who also chairs the Coordination Commission for Tokyo 2020, was elected IOC vice-president on July 17.

    Coates told The Australian his strong Olympic ties could help his country land the Rugby World Cup in 2027.

    “It is an Olympic sport and there’s many IOC members who come from a rugby background and when we are back travelling again, I don’t think it is going to hurt to gently talk the talk. I guess I can contribute when it comes to the candidature, how best to prosecute it and those sorts of things,” Coates said.

    Australia’s chances of winning the bid are helped by the fact that the southern hemisphere has not hosted the sport’s showpiece event since New Zealand did it in 2011. England hosted in 2015, Japan in 2019 and France will do the honors in 2023.

    World Rugby announced in November 2019 that it would award both the 2027 and 2031 tournaments simultaneously in 2021. Given the Covid-19 pandemic, that timeline may have to be altered.

    The United States is believed by many to be the favorite for 2031. A 2027 bid would seem less appealing, given that the USA is already co-hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup and Los Angeles is hosting the 2028 Olympics.



  5. Quote

    UEFA competitions to resume in August
    Wednesday 17 June 2020
    All twelve UEFA EURO 2020 host cities confirmed and new match schedule approved.

    UEFA EURO 2020

    The 12 original host cities have been confirmed as venues for the final tournament in the summer of 2021 and consequently the updated match schedule was also approved.

    All existing tickets remain valid for the tournament in 2021. Existing ticket buyers who nevertheless wish to return their ticket(s), will have a final opportunity to request a refund from 18 June to 25 June via euro2020.com/tickets. Dates for potential future ticket sales including for fans of the four teams that will qualify via the play-offs will be confirmed at a later stage.

    The UEFA Executive Committee also expressed its appreciation to the host associations, host cities and their authorities for their continuous support and commitment in organising the postponed UEFA EURO 2020.

    European Qualifiers Play-Offs and 2020/21 UEFA Nations League Group Stage

    The national team football windows of October and November 2020 will now feature triple-headers instead of double-headers, thus allowing the postponed European Qualifiers Play-Offs to be rescheduled at the beginning of the respective windows, on 8 October and 12 November.

    The group stage matches of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League will be played on the following matchdays: 3/4/5 and 6/7/8 September; 10/11 and 13/14 October; 14/15 and 17/18 November 2020.

    Friendly matches will be played on 7/8 October and 11/12 November.

    The fixtures with confirmed dates and kick-off times will be announced in due course on UEFA.com



  6. Quote

    Dates confirmed for World Athletics Championships Oregon 2022
    08 APR 2020 Press Release


    A renovated Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon will now host the World Championships in 2022. (University of Oregon)

    The World Athletics Championships in Oregon have been rescheduled to 15-24 July in 2022, following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Oregon World Championships were originally scheduled for 6-15 August, 2021, but have been rescheduled to the following year to avoid a clash with the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    The World Athletics Council approved the new dates this week after extensive discussions with the sport’s stakeholders including organisers of two other major championships due to take place in July-August 2022, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the multisport European Championships in Munich.

    The new schedule will prevent a direct conflict between any of these major events and, with careful programming, will ensure athletes can compete in up to three world-class competitions.

    In an extraordinary international season for athletics, all three events will be held across an unprecedent summer of sport. The World Championships will begin a unique celebration of the sport, followed by the Commonwealth Games and the European Athletics Championships as part of the European Championships.

    "This will be a bonanza for athletics fans around the world," World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said.

    "They will be treated to six weeks of absolutely first-class athletics. More than 70 of our Member Federations are part of the Commonwealth and more than 50 of our Member Federations are European so our guiding principle in rescheduling the World Championships was to ensure enough space was created around the centrepiece World Athletics Championship for athletes to choose other major events to compete in. We were also very mindful that we did not want to damage the other major championships in 2022, because they are also very important to our sport.

    "We believe we have found a solution that will allow athletes who are eligible for the other two events to compete in them with the Commonwealth Games Federation planning to stage the athletics programme towards the end of their event. This will showcase our sport to its best advantage in the circumstances and we will continue collaborating with all competitions on the detailed programming.

    "We would not have chosen to have three major championships back-to-back but it will give us a unique opportunity to promote our sport and its stars around the globe over a six-week period.

    "I want to particularly thank Oregon 21 LLC and all its stakeholders for their collaboration and flexibility as well as all World Athletics’ partners and broadcasters who are so critical to delivering the Games and taking it into the homes of millions of fans."

    Niels de Vos, Executive Director of the World Athletics Championships Oregon 22, said: "I should like to thank Oregon’s stakeholders for committing so early to the postponement, allowing maximum flexibility on dates for our friends at World Athletics, just as they have been flexible with us in ensuring our plans can remain on track despite the 12 month postponement. Oregon 22, as we must now get used to calling it, will be kickstarting a global festival of international track and field championships in the summer of 2022 that will be a fantastic experience for athletes and fans alike."

    CGF President Louise Martin said: “I would like to thank the leadership of World Athletics for a hugely constructive approach to working with the CGF. Our collective objective has been to ensure that, in this unprecedented time of global upheaval in all our lives, as well as its impact on the international sports calendar, the interests of athletes are at the centre of all decision-making. We will continue to work together to create space within our schedules to provide athletes with the opportunity to safely compete to the best of their abilities at multiple world class events."

    Libor Varhaník, Interim Chair of the European Championships Munich 2022, said: "On behalf of all the stakeholders of the multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, I would like to thank World Athletics for working constructively and collaboratively with us in finding a new event date that respects the major events already scheduled in 2022. The international sports calendar has been hugely impacted as we battle this terrible global health crisis, and in discussions with World Athletics and the Commonwealth Games Federation our mutual goal has been to put the interest of our athletes at the forefront of our thoughts.

    "The European Championships will continue to work closely with World Athletics and the Commonwealth Games Federation to ensure that athletes, media and sports fans are able to enjoy an amazing summer of sport across three world-class events in 2022, from Oregon to Birmingham and culminating in Munich in August on the 50th anniversary of its hosting of the Olympic Games."

    World Athletics




    UEFA postpones EURO 2020 by 12 months

    Tuesday 17 March 2020

    Priority given to completing domestic competitions in an unprecedented solidarity move by UEFA. Working group set up to examine possibilities for this season's UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League competitions.

    UEFA today announced the postponement of its flagship national team competition, UEFA EURO 2020, due to be played in June and July this year. The health of all those involved in the game is the priority, as well as to avoid placing any unnecessary pressure on national public services involved in staging matches. The move will help all domestic competitions, currently on hold due to the COVID-19 emergency, to be completed.

    All UEFA competitions and matches (including friendlies) for clubs and national teams for both men and women have been put on hold until further notice. The UEFA EURO 2020 play-off matches and international friendlies, scheduled for the end of March, will now be played in the international window at the start of June, subject to a review of the situation.

    A working group has been set up with the participation of leagues and club representatives to examine calendar solutions that would allow for the completion of the current season and any other consequence of the decisions made today.

    The decisions, taken by UEFA's Executive Committee, followed videoconference meetings held today with the presidents and general secretaries of the 55 national associations, as well as representatives of the European Club Association, European Leagues and FIFPro Europe, convened by UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, to find a coherent plan to break the logjam of fixtures building up due to the spread of the virus across the continent.

    Announcing the decisions, Aleksander Čeferin said:

    "We are at the helm of a sport that vast numbers of people live and breathe that has been laid low by this invisible and fast-moving opponent. It is at times like these that the football community needs to show responsibility, unity, solidarity and altruism.

    "The health of fans, staff and players has to be our number one priority and, in that spirit, UEFA tabled a range of options so that competitions can finish this season safely and I am proud of the response of my colleagues across European football. There was a real spirit of cooperation, with everyone recognising that they had to sacrifice something in order to achieve the best result.

    "It was important that, as the governing body of European football, UEFA led the process and made the biggest sacrifice. Moving EURO 2020 comes at a huge cost for UEFA but we will do our best to ensure that the vital funding for grassroots, women's football and the development of the game in our 55 countries is not affected. Purpose over profit has been our guiding principle in taking this decision for the good of European football as a whole.

    "Football is an uplifting and powerful force in society. The thought of celebrating a pan-European festival of football in empty stadia, with deserted fan zones while the continent sits at home in isolation, is a joyless one and one we could not accept to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition.

    "I would like to thank the European Club Association, the European Leagues and FIFPro Europe for their great work today and for their cooperation. I would also like to thank from the bottom of my heart the 55 national associations, their presidents and general secretaries, and my colleagues from the Executive Committee for their support and wise decisions. The fine detail will be worked out in the coming weeks but the basic principles have been agreed and that is a major step forward. We have all shown that we are responsible leaders. We have demonstrated solidarity and unity. Purpose over profit. We've achieved this today.

    "I would also like to thank Alejandro Domínguez and CONMEBOL, who have agreed to move CONMEBOL's 2020 Copa America in order to follow the recommendations issued by the international public health organisations to enact extreme measures and as a result of EURO 2020 being postponed. This means that clubs and leagues in Europe will have as little disruption as possible in the availability of their players. These joint efforts and especially this coordinated and responsible decision, are deeply appreciated by the whole European football community.

    "I would like to thank FIFA and its President, Gianni Infantino, who has indicated it will do whatever is required to make this new calendar work. In the face of this crisis, football has shown its best side with openness, solidarity and tolerance."

    UEFA EURO 2020 was scheduled to take place in 12 cities across Europe from 12 June to 12 July 2020. The proposed new dates are 11 June to 11 July 2021. UEFA would like to reassure existing ticket buyers and hospitality clients that if they cannot attend the tournament in 2021, the face value of their tickets and packages will be refunded in full. Within the next month, further information on the refund process will be communicated to existing ticket buyers via email and on euro2020.com/tickets.

    Decisions on dates for other UEFA competitions, whether club or national team for men or women, will be taken and announced in due course.





    UEFA calls meeting of European Football Stakeholders
    Thursday 12 March 2020
    Stakeholders invited by UEFA to discuss European football's response to COVID-19


    In the light of the ongoing developments in the spread of COVID-19 across Europe and the changing analysis of the World Health Organisation, UEFA has today invited representatives of its 55 member associations, together with the boards of the European Club Association and the European Leagues and a representative of FIFPro, to attend meetings by videoconference on Tuesday 17 March to discuss European football's response to the outbreak.

    Discussions will include all domestic and European competitions, including UEFA EURO 2020.

    Further communication will be made following those meetings.




    UEFA intend to postpone EURO 2020 to 2021 – L’Équipe
    March 12th, 2020

    L’Équipe report that governing body UEFA intend to announce on a video conference meeting with member countries on Tuesday 17th March that EURO 2020 will be postponed to 2021 and the Champions’ League and Europa League will be temporarily suspended until further notice.

    The idea behind this is to give time into the summer for the two European competitions to finish, without being blocked by the current dates for EURO 2020 (12th June to 12th July). In order to be able to delay the Euros by a year, UEFA will need the green light from FIFA, who are currently planning a Club World Cup in the summer of 2021.

    The newspaper now expects all domestic leagues to be suspended, but underlines that UEFA does not have control over them as they do not directly organise them.



  9. Quote

    EURO 2020 attracts record 28m ticket requests
    Friday 14 February 2020

    An unprecedented number of applications have been made for tickets for this summer's final tournament.


    Ticketing for UEFA EURO 2020 has smashed all records, with the latest phase for fans of qualified teams taking the overall ticket requests tally to 28.3m – double the figure for UEFA EURO 2016.
    Ticket sales have come in two phases:

    - General public sales (12 June to 12 July) – 19.3m ticket applications

    - Fans of qualified teams (4–18 December) – 9m ticket applications

    The latest phase, for fans of qualified teams, brought a threefold increase in ticket requests compared to UEFA EURO 2016 in France.

    The overall figure of 28.3m is double the previous record and apparently due in significant part to the unique nature of the first Europe-wide tournament, which features 12 host countries.

    The group match between France and Germany in Munich on 16 June, for example, attracted 710,000 ticket requests – only 4,000 fewer than the Wembley final. Some 64% of applications came from fans within host nations, and there has also been strong demand from hosts' neighbouring countries such as Finland, Austria, France and Poland.

    How you can still get involved

    Fans of the play-off winners
    The European Qualifiers play-offs at the end of March will determine the last four teams in this summer’s final tournament, and fans of those sides will be able to apply online for UEFA EURO 2020 tickets in early April.

    Purchase phase
    If supply exceeds demand for specific tickets then they will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis closer to the tournament.

    Official ticket resale platform
    Fans wishing to re-sell their tickets will be able to do so via the official UEFA resale platform, which launches at the end of February. If tickets are sold, the original purchaser gets their money back.



  10. Quote

    No ‘sense of urgency’ to advance Salt Lake City Olympic bid, national official says
    By Lisa Riley Roche, KSL | Posted - Feb. 15, 2020 at 11:24 a.m.


    SALT LAKE CITY — The head of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee made it clear Friday there’s no hurry to decide whether Salt Lake City should bid to host the 2030 or 2034 Winter Games even though Sapporo, Japan, is already in the race for 2030.

    “We don’t feel any sense of urgency that we’re going to miss an opportunity,” Sarah Hirshland, the CEO of the national Olympic committee, told reporters after a meeting with leaders of the just-announced Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games at the Salt Lake City-County Building.

    Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall agreed.

    The new committee, the mayor said, shows support “to pursue this and do it right. So we’re taking the right steps. We’re putting the team in place. We’re beginning the evaluation and conversations, and we are not going to rush a decision of this scale.”

    Hirshland said there’s plenty of time to evaluate which year is better for the national Olympic committee as well as for Salt Lake City and Utah. Much of the national committee’s efforts are focused on Los Angeles, the host of the 2028 Summer Games.

    “The next available Games, as you know, is not until 2030, which is still quite a long way away. So it isn’t a function of a lack of interest,” she said. “Frankly, it’s simply a function of we are well ahead of a typical schedule in naming future venues. So the opportunity for us is really to continue to evaluate. We have time on our side on that.”

    There is no timeline for choosing which of the next two Winter Games Salt Lake City should bid for, Hirshland said, and there doesn’t need to be one despite Sapporo’s recent announcement and the International Olympic Committee’s new, more informal host city selection process.

    “Sapporo’s decision was a decision made exclusively by them,” she said. “If we determine 2030 is the right time for the state of Utah, the city of Salt Lake and the USOPC, we’ll be ready and we’ll be right in the mix as we need to be. If we determine that 2034 looks more optimal or there’s another opportunity, we want to make sure we’re really inclusive of all of our options and are confident we’re not going to miss anything.”


    Crews move the 2002 Winter Olympic cauldron at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. The cauldron will be moved to a temporary location where it will be refurbished while work is completed on the stadium’s expansion project, after which it will be returned to a new pedestal at the stadium. (Spenser Heaps, KSL)

    Those options, Hirshland acknowledged, could include not bidding for a Winter Games.

    “I think you have to be open to every possibility. The commitment that I think we share together is to do the work and make sure that this the right opportunity for everyone involved,” she said. “As long as that opportunity is there for everyone involved, then we’re super excited about pushing forward and I think the optimism is absolutely there.”

    Hirshland and other national Olympic officials in town to attend the world speedskating championships underway at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, also made a stop at the state Capitol, where they met with Gov. Gary Herbert, House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, and Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton.

    The governor’s spokeswoman, Anna Lehndart, said afterward that she “appreciates the opportunity to meet with USOPC and looks forward to working with the newly appointed (Salt Lake-Utah) committee to show Utah is ready, willing and able to host a Winter Olympics.”

    Herbert told KSL after the committee’s membership was announced Wednesday that “the bottom line is, we’ll get what we can get,” and said getting the 2030 Winter Games “might be a little more problematic, I think, timewise,” coming on the heels of another American city, Los Angeles, hosting in 2028.

    Adams said he stepped off the Senate floor for the meeting.

    “We’re talking. There wasn’t a lot of conversation from me about which year,” the Senate president said. “We’re preparing and when the opportunity comes forward, we’ll be ready.”

    He said the Legislature has a budget request for $6 million toward updating the state’s Olympic venues, that include a ski jump and a bobsled, luge and skeleton track in Park City as well as the oval, money that’s going “to be hard to come by but we hope to find some funding for that.”





    High-Speed Connection for Beijing 2022
    Written by Gerard Farek - 30/12/19

    The bullet train between 2022 co-host cities Beijing and Zhangjiakou begins service on Monday.


     The departure hall of Zhangjiakou High-speed Railway Station (Getty Images)

    (ATR) The high-speed rail line connecting the co-host cities of the 2022 Winter Olympics is operational.

    The first train left Beijing’s North Railway Station Monday morning for Zhangjiakou in north China’s Hebei Province, according to Xinhua.

    The train, with a maximum speed of 350 km/h (217 mph), reduces the travel time from Beijing to Zhangjiakou from more than three hours to as little as 47 minutes. There are 10 stations along the 174 kilometer (108 mile) route. The 53km Chongli railway is a branch line of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway, with a maximum design speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

    The terminus of the railway in Zhangjiakou drops passengers alongside the Winter Olympic village and the venues for cross-country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined and biathlon. The freestyle ski and snowboard events at the Secret Garden Ski Resort are a 15-minute drive away.

    Yang Yang, a short-track skating Olympic champion and chair of the Athletes' Commission of Beijing 2022, and Olympic speed skating champion Zhang Hong were among the passengers on the inaugural trip of the G8811 train.

    The train features 5G signals, wireless charging and intelligent lighting. Three of the eight carriages have lockers for ski equipment and storage areas for oversize luggage.

    “The high-speed railway can improve the efficiency of our work, promote China's winter sports industry, and boost the ice and snow economy," Yang Yang said to Xinhua.





    Paris 2024 approve Tahiti as site for Olympic surfing events
    By Liam Morgan Thursday, 12 December 2019


    Tahiti has been approved as the Paris 2024 surfing venue ©Getty Images

    Tahiti has moved a step closer to hosting surfing competitions at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris after French organisers approved the South Pacific island as the venue for the events.

    The Paris 2024 Executive Board chose Tahiti, located 15,700 kilometres from the French capital, ahead of four other bidders to stage surfing at the Olympic Games in less than five years' time.

    It would be the furthest distance between two Olympic competitions being held as part of the same Games in the history of the event, should the proposal be accepted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruling Executive Board.

    Biarritz Pays Basque, Lacanau-Bordeaux Métropole, La Torche and Hossegor-Seignosse-Capbreton also submitted a bid to host surfing at the Games.

    In a statement, Paris 2024 claimed Tahiti "particularly stood out because of the exceptional competition conditions it offers athletes".

    Surfing at Paris 2024 could take place on the Teahupo’o wave, world renowned for its conditions and surf, if the proposal from organisers, which has the support of the International Surfing Association (ISA), is rubber-stamped by the IOC Executive Board.

    Temporary modular houses would form the Athletes' Village for surfers competing in Tahiti - a 23-hour flight from Paris - if the plan is given the green light.

    Paris 2024 revealed these would be dismantled after the competition and rebuilt in Tahiti and the islands as social housing.

    Today's decision was widely expected after the South Pacific island emerged as the leading contender prior to the IOC Executive Board's meeting in Lausanne last week.

    IOC President Thomas Bach seemed to cast doubt on the possibility of surfing at Paris 2024 taking place in Tahiti, however, when he claimed the organisation preferred a venue "closest to the centre of the Games" earlier this year.

    But Paris 2024 claim Tahiti - the largest island in French Polynesia, described by organisers as "one of the cradles of surfing" - hosting an Olympic event will "showcase the wealth and diversity of France and its culture to be found outside the continent".

    "It will allow Paris 2024 to resonate all the way to the heart of the Pacific Ocean and organise sporting and popular celebrations day and night during the Games," the Organising Committee added.

    Paris 2024 also praised the "optimal sporting conditions that are both fair and selective" in Tahiti, which organisers claim is "better situated to guarantee" competitive and challenging waves for athletes.

    Surfing at the 2024 Games would be held in the middle of Tahiti’s high surf season and would ensure the Olympic competition takes place over a single week.

    All 48 surfers would have the opportunity to spend the second week of the Games in the Olympic Village in Paris and participate in the Closing Ceremony.

    "Ultimately, our commitment is to the athletes and the sport and we have no doubt that Teahupo’o will offer an amazing platform for the world's best athletes to shine," said ISA President Fernando Aguerre.

    "I'm totally convinced we can stage a fantastic Olympic Surfing event in Tahiti that builds on the success and legacy of our debut at Tokyo 2020, inspires the world and continues to celebrate our sport's unique value and culture on a global stage."

    Paris 2024 also confirmed a 35,000-seater stadium will be constructed at Place de la Concorde.

    The exact list of sports and events to be held at the new venue in the heart of the city has not been revealed, but speculation surfaced last month that it would play host to as many as five urban sports or disciplines, including sport climbing, breakdancing and skateboarding.



  13. Quote

    UEFA EURO 2020 matches by venue

    Saturday 30 November 2019

    Which matches are being played in which cities next summer?


    Wembley will stage seven games at UEFA EURO 2020

    Rome, Olimpico in Rome
    12 June – Turkey v Italy (21:00 CET)
    17 June – Italy v Switzerland (21:00 CET)
    21 June – Italy v Wales (18:00 CET)
    4 July – Quarter-final W43 v W44 (21:00 CET)

    Baku, Baku Olympic Stadium
    13 June – Wales v Switzerland (15:00 CET)
    17 June – Turkey v Wales (18:00 CET)
    21 June – Switzerland v Turkey (18:00 CET)
    4 July – Quarter-final W40 v W38 (18:00 CET)

    Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg Stadium
    13 June – Belgium v Russia (21:00 CET)
    17 June – Finland v Russia (15:00 CET)
    22 June – Finland v Belgium (21:00 CET)
    3 July – Quarter-final W41 v W42 (18:00 CET)

    Copenhagen, Parken Stadium
    13 June – Denmark v Finland (18:00 CET)
    18 June – Denmark v Belgium (18:00 CET)
    22 June – Russia v Denmark (21:00 CET)
    29 June – Round of 16 2D v 2E (18:00 CET)

    Amsterdam, Johan Cruijff ArenA
    14 June – Netherlands v Ukraine (21:00 CET)
    18 June – Netherlands v Austria (21:00 CET)
    22 June – Play-off winner D (A) v Netherlands (18:00 CET)
    27 June – Round of 16 2A v 2B (18:00 CET)

    Bucharest, National Arena Bucharest
    14 June – Austria v Play-off winner D (A) (18:00 CET)
    18 June – Ukraine v Play-off winner D (A) (15:00 CET)
    22 June – Ukraine v Austria (18:00 CET)
    29 June – Round of 16 1F v 3A/B/C (21:00 CET)

    London, Wembley Stadium
    14 June – England v Croatia (15:00 CET)
    19 June – England v Play-off winner C (21:00 CET)
    23 June – Czech Republic v England (21:00 CET)
    27 June – Round of 16 1A v 2C (21:00 CET)
    7 July – Semi-final W46 v W45 (21:00 CET)
    8 July - Semi-final W48 v W47 (21:00 CET)
    12 July – Final W49 v W50 (21:00 CET)

    Glasgow, Hampden Park
    15 June – Play-off winner C v Czech Republic (15:00 CET)
    19 June – Croatia v Czech Republic (18:00 CET)
    23 June – Croatia v Play-off winner C (21:00 CET)
    30 June – Round of 16 (1E v 3A/B/C/D) (21:00 CET)

    Bilbao, San Mamés Stadium
    15 June – Spain v Sweden (21:00 CET)
    20 June – Spain v Poland (21:00 CET)
    24 June – Play-off winner B v Spain (18:00 CET)
    28 June – Round of 16 1B v 3A/D/E/F (21:00 CET)

    Dublin, Dublin Arena
    15 June – Poland v Play-off winner B (18:00 CET)
    19 June – Sweden v Play-off winner B (15:00 CET)
    24 June – Sweden v Poland (18:00 CET)
    30 June – Round of 16 1D v 2F (18:00 CET)

    Munich, Football Arena Munich
    16 June – France v Germany (21:00 CET)
    20 June – Portugal v Germany (18:00 CET)
    24 June – Germany v Play-off winner A (D) (21:00 CET)
    3 July – Quarter-final W39 v W37 (21:00 CET)

    Budapest, Puskás Aréna
    16 June – Play-off winner A (D) v Portugal (18:00 CET)
    20 June – Play-off winner A (D) v France (15:00 CET)
    24 June – Portugal v France (21:00 CET)
    28 June – Round of 16 1C v 3D/E/F (18:00 CET)





    UEFA EURO 2020 match schedule: all the fixtures

    Saturday 30 November 2019


    Turkey v Italy kicks matters off in Rome on 12 June

    Details of the UEFA EURO 2020 final tournament match schedule have been confirmed following the draw in Bucharest.

    Download the fixture list
    The draw

    Group A (Rome/Baku): Turkey, Italy (hosts), Wales, Switzerland

    Group B (Copenhagen/St Petersburg): Denmark (hosts), Finland, Belgium, Russia (hosts)

    Group C (Amsterdam/Bucharest): Netherlands (hosts), Ukraine, Austria, Play-off winner D or A

    Group D (London/Glasgow): England (hosts), Croatia, Play-off winner C, Czech Republic

    Group E (Bilbao/Dublin): Spain (hosts), Sweden, Poland, Play-off winner B

    Group F (Munich/Budapest): Play-off winner A or D, Portugal (holders), France, Germany (hosts)

    All kick-off times CET


    Friday 12 June
    Group A: Turkey v Italy (21:00, Rome)

    Saturday 13 June
    Group A: Wales v Switzerland (15:00, Baku)
    Group B: Denmark v Finland (18:00, Copenhagen)
    Group B: Belgium v Russia (21:00, St Petersburg)

    Sunday 14 June
    Group D: England v Croatia (15:00, Wembley)
    Group C: Austria v Play-off winner D or A (18:00, Bucharest)
    Group C: Netherlands v Ukraine (21:00, Amsterdam)

    Monday 15 June
    Group D: Play-off winner C v Czech Republic (15:00, Glasgow)
    Group E: Poland v Play-off winner B (18:00, Dublin)
    Group E: Spain v Sweden (21:00, Bilbao)

    Tuesday 16 June
    Group F: Play-off winner A or D v Portugal (18:00, Budapest)
    Group F: France v Germany (21:00, Munich)

    Wednesday 17 June
    Group B: Finland v Russia (15:00, St Petersburg)
    Group A: Turkey v Wales (18:00, Baku)
    Group A: Italy v Switzerland (21:00, Rome)

    Thursday 18 June
    Group C: Ukraine v Play-off winner D or A (15:00, Bucharest)
    Group B: Denmark v Belgium (18:00, Copenhagen)
    Group C: Netherlands v Austria (21:00, Amsterdam)

    Friday 19 June
    Group E: Sweden v Play-off winner B (15:00, Dublin)
    Group D: Croatia v Czech Republic (18:00, Glasgow)
    Group D: England v Play-off winner C (21:00, London)

    Saturday 20 June
    Group F: Play-off winner A or D v France (15:00, Budapest)
    Group F: Portugal v Germany (18:00, Munich)
    Group E: Spain v Poland (21:00, Bilbao)

    Sunday 21 June
    Group A: Italy v Wales (18:00, Rome)
    Group A: Switzerland v Turkey (18:00, Baku)

    Monday 22 June
    Group C: Play-off winner D or A v Netherlands (18:00, Amsterdam)
    Group C: Ukraine v Austria (18:00, Bucharest)
    Group B: Russia v Denmark (21:00, Copenhagen)
    Group B: Finland v Belgium (21:00, St Petersburg)

    Tuesday 23 June
    Group D: Czech Republic v England (21:00, London)
    Group D: Croatia v Play-off winner C (21:00, Glasgow)

    Wednesday 24 June
    Group E: Play-off winner B v Spain (18:00, Bilbao)
    Group E: Sweden v Poland (18:00, Dublin)
    Group F: Germany v Play-off winner A or D (21:00, Munich)
    Group F: Portugal v France (21:00, Budapest)

     - Top two in each group plus four best third-placed teams go through



    Round of 16

    Saturday 27 June
    1: 2A v 2B (18:00, Amsterdam)
    2: 1A v 2C (21:00, London)

    Sunday 28 June
    3: 1C v 3D/E/F (18:00, Budapest)
    4: 1B v 3A/D/E/F (21:00, Bilbao)

    Monday 29 June
    5: 2D v 2E (18:00, Copenhagen)
    6: 1F v 3A/B/C (21:00, Bucharest)

    Tuesday 30 June
    7: 1D v 2F (18:00, Dublin)
    8: 1E v 3A/B/C/D (21:00, Glasgow)

    Rest days on 1 and 2 July


    Friday 3 July
    QF1: Winner 6 v Winner 5 (18:00, Saint Petersburg)
    QF2: Winner 4 v Winner 2 (21:00, Munich)

    Saturday 4 July
    QF3: Winner 3 v Winner 1 (18:00, Baku)
    QF4: Winner 8 v Winner 7 (21:00, Rome)

    Rest days on 5 and 6 July


    Tuesday 7 July
    SF1: Winner QF2 v Winner QF1 (21:00, London)

    Wednesday 8 July
    SF2: Winner QF4 v Winner QF3 (21:00, London)

    Rest days on 9, 10, 11 July


    Sunday 12 July
    Winner SF1 v Winner SF2 (21:00, London)



  15. Quote

    UEFA EURO 2020 play-offs: All you need to know

    Friday 22 November 2019


    The play-offs involve 16 teams competing in four different paths for the last four slots at UEFA EURO 2020.

    Play-off draw

    Path A: Iceland v Romania, Bulgaria v Hungary*
    Path B: Bosnia and Herzegovina v Northern Ireland*, Slovakia v Republic of Ireland
    Path C: Scotland v Israel, Norway v Serbia*
    Path D: Georgia v Belarus*, North Macedonia v Kosovo

    *Winners of these semi-finals will play the final at home

    Draw details

    Fixtures are a 20:45 CET kick-off unless otherwise stated. Full play-off match schedule available here.

    Path D
    A draw determined that the winners of semi-final 1 (Georgia or Belarus) will play the final at home (18:00 CET). The semi-finals are as follows:

    Semi-final 1 (1 v 4): Georgia v Belarus (18:00 CET)
    Semi-final 2 (2 v 3): North Macedonia v Kosovo

    If Iceland, Bulgaria or Hungary win Path A then the winner of Path D will complete UEFA EURO 2020 Group C. If Romania win Path A then the winner of Path D will complete UEFA EURO 2020 Group F.

    Path C
    A draw determined that Israel would go into Path C, while Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania joined Iceland in Path A.

    A separate draw determined that the winners of semi-final 2 (Norway or Serbia) will play the final at home (18:00 or 20:45 CET). The semi-finals are as follows:

    Semi-final 1 (1 v 4): Scotland v Israel
    Semi-final 2 (2 v 3): Norway v Serbia (18:00 CET)

    The Path C winners will complete UEFA EURO 2020 Group D.

    Path B
    A draw determined that the winners of semi-final 1 (Bosnia and Herzegovina or Northern Ireland) will play the final at home. The semi-finals are as follows:

    Semi-final 1 (1 v 4): Bosnia and Herzegovina v Northern Ireland
    Semi-final 2 (2 v 3): Slovakia v Republic of Ireland

    The Path B winners will complete UEFA EURO 2020 Group E.

    Path A
    A draw determined that the winners of semi-final 2 (Bulgaria or Hungary) will play the final at home. The semi-finals are as follows:

    Semi-final 1 (1 v 4): Iceland v Romania
    Semi-final 2 (2 v 3): Bulgaria v Hungary

    If Iceland, Bulgaria or Hungary win Path A then they will complete UEFA EURO 2020 Group F. If Romania win Path A then they will complete UEFA EURO 2020 Group C.

    The three remaining teams from League C - Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania - were allocated to Path A to complete the semi-final pairings in the order of their ranking:

        Best-ranked team to play at home in semi-final 2.
        Next best-ranked team to play away in semi-final 2.
        Next best-ranked team to play away in semi-final 1.

    Additional draw
    Denmark and Russia have both qualified for UEFA EURO 2020. As both are hosts (Copenhagen and Saint Petersburg) and paired together in Group B of the final tournament, a draw was held to determine that Denmark will play three group stage games at home; Russia will play two group stage matches at home.

    When was the draw?

    The UEFA EURO 2020 play-off draw took place on Friday 22 November, starting at 12:00 CET. It was streamed live on UEFA.com.


    Who was involved?

    The play-offs comprised of teams that failed to qualify via the European Qualifiers, based on their performance in the 2018/19 UEFA Nations League – namely the four top-ranked eligible sides in each League. If there were not enough non-qualified teams in the same League then the spot went to the next best side in the overall ranking in accordance with article 16.03 of the competition regulations.

    Is this new?

    Qualifying for UEFA EURO 2020 is different to previous editions. Because of the unique format of the finals, with games taking place in 12 cities in 12 European countries, for the first time since 1976 hosts have not qualified automatically.

    Instead, 20 teams qualified via the European Qualifiers. The remaining four slots are decided by these play-offs, creating the perfect bridge between the UEFA Nations League and EURO.

    How will the play-off ties be decided?

    Unlike previous play-offs, these will be single-leg knockout matches. The winners of each final qualifies for UEFA EURO 2020.

    When do the play-offs take place?

    The semi-finals will be played on Thursday 26 March, with the finals five days later on Tuesday 31 March. Kick-offs are generally 20:45 CET but exceptions may apply, in particular related to time zones.

    Key dates

    Final tournament draw: 30 November
    Play-off semi-finals: 26 March 2020
    Play-off finals: 31 March 2020
    Final tournament: 12 June–12 July 2020

    With the confirmation of the 20 teams directly qualified and the 16 teams qualified for the play-offs, UEFA confirmed that the procedures established for the play-off draw and the final draw could be fully executed. No additional draw was required (the draw had been provisionally scheduled for 1 April 2020).



  16. Quote

    Pyrenees-Barcelona 2030 Builds Public Support
    Reported by Miguel Hernandez


    Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona could be the 2030 ceremonies venue. (FCB)

    (ATR) A bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics depends on political unity say Spanish Olympic leaders.

    Without that concord the Pyrenees-Barcelona 2030 candidacy for the Winter Olympics will “freeze” say IOC vice president Juan Antonio Samaranch and Spanish Olympic Committee Alejandro Blanco.

    The two men delivered similar messages last week at an event aimed at building support in the private and civil sectors for the Olympic project started three years ago.

    The event in the main auditorium of FC Barcelona, was organized by Sport Cultura Barcelona, an institution for the promotion of culture and sports. The meeting brought together representatives of the main sports, cultural and economic associations of Barcelona that have issued their support.

    No high-ranking political figures were invited to the meeting.

    "It was a powerful act," Gerard Figueras, spokesman for the new Olympic initiative told Around the Rings. "We wanted to show that Catalan civil society provided its support without any politician from any institution or party," he says.

    "It was a very thoughtful decision," says Figueras.

    In his appearance Blanco said "civil society has made an approach to the political powers to organize a Games based on understanding, respect, dialogue and integration."

    "It is what society asks for and what the Spanish Olympic Committee wants, in order to make this dream, which is the winter Olympic Games, come true," he said.


    Samaranch said that there are real possibilities to organize the Games because the project "has everything and only the
    political unity is missing. Politicians must agree to want these Games."

    Samaranch also referred to the new approach of the IOC in the process for choosing future Olympic venues, one of the items on the agenda of the IOC Executive Board Oct. 3 in Lausanne.

    With the new rules, there might not even be a choice.

    "The IOC no longer grants a franchise to make a Games, as before, but seeks a constant dialogue," Samaranch said.

    In this regard, he says designation of the 2030 Winter Games should take place in 2023 “but if the IOC sees that there is an organized force, it will not wait to grant them”.

    Pyrenees-Barcelona 2030 is one of three locales with serious plans in the works to bid for a 2030 Olympics. Salt Lake City, aiming for an encore from 2002 is one of them. Sapporo, 1972 host, is the other.

    Backers of the Catalan initiative say the political climate over the separatist movement from Spain does not affect the Olympic project.

    According to Figueras, who is the general secretary of sports of the Government of Catalonia, the formalization of the candidacy will be made to the IOC after the new general elections in Spain Nov. 10.

    In Figueras' opinion, the Olympic project "surpasses political ideology" and therefore can be defended by any president without distinction of political color.

    Figueras said that on the basis of the IOC 2020 Agenda, the candidacy is “sustainable” and that “technically, it is ready”.

    Josep Maria Bartomeu, president of FC Barcelona, opened the conference with a generous offer from the football club. He declared that Camp Nou stadium, with room for 100,000 spectators, is available as the venue for opening or closing ceremonies.



  17. Quote

    Russia's IAAF Suspension Stays

    (ATR) The IAAF Council on Monday unanimously votes to keep the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) suspended.


    IAAF President Sebastian Coe and Rune Andersen in Doha (Matthew Quine/IAAF)

    The decision came hours after the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Executive Committee announced in Japan that it had opened compliance proceedings against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) after discrepancies were found in the data from a Moscow laboratory that RUSADA had handed over to WADA in January.

    WADA is fast-tracking the procedure, which means RUSADA has three weeks to answer WADA’s questions about the data.

    Rune Andersen, who chairs the IAAF taskforce on Russia, said his panel had taken note of what has been occurring with the WADA Executive Committee and that “the early indications from the analysis of the data are that there are discrepancies” with the data. Andersen also said that the IAAF's Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) investigations into the data were still ongoing, leaving one of the requirements for Russian reinstatement on hold.

    Two other conditions have also not been met, according to Andersen.

    One is “that there is a recurring problem of athletes and local athletics federations working with banned coaches which undermines the creation of any strong anti-doping culture. It is premature to tell if the reported measures taken by RusAF will work therefore the associated reinstatement conditions have not been met.”

    Additionally, Andersen says the IAAF’s Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is still investigating whether RusAF officials were involved with covering up possible doping by world indoor high jump champion Danil Lysenko.

    Andersen did say that RusAF had met an additional condition for reinstatement by paying an outstanding invoice of $187,039 to the IAAF for costs incurred in the quarter ending June 30, 2019.

    Russia has been banned from global athletics since 2015 following the state-sponsored doping scandal.

    The decision to keep the suspension in place means Russian athletes cannot compete under their own flag at the World Championships, which begin on Friday in Doha.

    Thirty Russian athletes who have met drug-testing and eligibility criteria will be competing as neutral athletes at the worlds.

    IAAF President Sebastian Coe said that the council debated the issues at length on Monday and “the feeling was very strong” to keep the suspension of RusAF in place.

    “It really does not remotely surprise me that the Council unanimously endorsed the strongest recommendation that we have probably thus had from the task force that the Russian federation remain suspended. That will be our position as we enter congress and I’m sure the member federations will want to endorse the unanimous decision that was struck by the council,” Coe said.

    The IAAF Congress meets on Wednesday in Doha.

    Implications for Weightlifting, Too

    Outside of the IAAF, the International Weightlifting Federation is expected to confer with WADA to “understand any implications" for cases it has brought against athletes stemming from the Moscow Laboratory after Russia was accused of manipulating the data.

    U.S. Weightlifting CEO Phil Andrews says he has seen changes in Russia's anti-doping culture. But he says honesty is the key for restoring the credibility of Russia.

    "It is unfortunate, but sadly not surprising to hear that there was a manipulation of data in Moscow. There are good people in Russia who are trying to make positive changes in the culture, including RFWF President Maxim Agapitov, but the past keeps coming back to haunt them. It is time for Russia to tell the whole truth, the full truth and nothing but the truth and to allow President Agapitov and others to move forward in a new clean era.

    "Russia should be providing an example for other nations, such as Thailand, who have chosen dishonesty over the integrity of sport. They have that opportunity but to take it they must give the whole unadulterated truth to the world," says Andrews.



  18. Quote

    Lausanne 2020 competition schedule unveiled!


    Today, the official competition schedule of the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games was released by the Organising Committee. With the first competitions kicking off in Les Diablerets, Villars and Lausanne on January 10th, 2020, the day after the Opening Ceremony in Lausanne and continuing until the Closing Ceremony on January 22nd.

    The schedule is out and promises to be intense. Overall, a total of 81 competitions will be held at eight different venues over the 13 days following the Opening Ceremony. One of the main features of Lausanne 2020 will be its two-wave organisation system, an innovative solution designed to significantly increase hosting capacity by allowing each “wave” of athletes to have a shorter stay on-site. As a result, a grand total of 1880 athletes, of which a gender equal representation of 940 males and 940 females are expected to take part in the Games, allowing for exemplary diversity and a high quality of competitions.


    © Keystone.ATS  Cyril Zingaro

    The first wave of competitions will kick-off with alpine skiing in Les Diablerets, biathlon in Les Tuffes and ski mountaineering, which will be making its debut in the Olympic Games, in Villars. Lausanne will be the host of figure skating and mixed NOC 3-on-3 ice hockey, a new competition format proposed and developed by the International Ice Hockey Federation and Lausanne 2020. This first wave of competitions will also be marked by four days of speed skating on the frozen lake of St-Moritz.

    January 16th will ring the transition to the second wave of competitions and young athletes. St-Moritz’s historic natural Olympia Bob Run will host its first luge, bobsleigh and skeleton Olympic competitions since 1948. The French station of Les Tuffes will welcome ski jumping and Nordic combined, while its Swiss neighbour, Vallée de Joux, will host cross-country skiing. Freestyle skiing and snowboard will take place in Villars and Leysin. As for Lausanne, it will stage five days of 6-team tournaments in ice hockey and the short track speed skating competitions.

    Curling will run across the whole Games Time, taking place in Champéry from January 10thto 22nd.

    The Games will come to an end with the Closing Ceremony to be held at the Medals Plaza, in Lausanne, on January 22nd.

    All competitions will be free. Indoor competitions will also be free but will require prior registration. In line with its commitment to sustainability, Lausanne 2020 encourages all visitors to opt for public transport to access the venues.

    Take a look at the detailed competition schedule.

    Lausanne 2020


  19. Quote

    OCA: Asia leads the world in organising international sports games

    Date : 11 Sep 2019

    Hangzhou, China, September 11, 2019: The Olympic Council of Asia wrapped up a two-day visit to Hangzhou, China - host city of the next Asian Games in 2022 – on Wednesday afternoon.

    Following a venue tour and three-year countdown ceremony on Tuesday, the second OCA Coordination Committee meeting took place at the Hangzhou Marriott Hotel Qianjiang and featured 10 reports from various departments of organising committee HAGOC.

    The Chairman of the OCA Coordination Committee, Raja Randhir Singh, said the two days of activities and presentations demonstrated that Asia was ahead of the rest of the world in terms of organising major sports events.

    “We have had a very fruitful two days’ visit,” he said. “The presentations were totally thorough right down to the detail.

    “We have three years to go and we feel that Asia as a continent is the leader in organising sports worldwide. There is no doubt that the world is looking at Asia.

    “We are all looking forward to the next Asian Games being an excellent and a great Asian Games. Every time in Asia we raise the bar and I think we will reach another level in 2022.”

    Earlier in the meeting, the OCA Director General, Husain Al Musallam, pointed out that Asia was the first continent to host an international multi-sport games, with the foundations of the modern Asian Games laid in 1913 with the first Far Eastern Championship Games in Manila, Philippines.

    “We have no doubt that the Hangzhou Asian Games will be the best ever Asian Games,” he said. “We have no doubt that we will deliver a high standard of Games and a high level of preparation.

    “A lot of sports started in Asia and went to the Olympic Games, such as table tennis and judo. We are proud of what we are doing and proud of our achievements.”

    Regarding the sports programme for Hangzhou 2022, three sports – karate, sport climbing and baseball/softball – were added to the list of 37 already approved.

    A total of 51 venues in nine clusters will host the sports, while the athletes will be accommodated in the main Asian Games Village as well as four satellite villages.

    Although the number of disciplines and events within the sports has still to be determined, the 40 sports approved are:

    Aquatics (open water swimming, water polo, artistic swimming, diving and swimming)






    Canoeing (dragon boat, canoe slalom, canoe sprint)

    Cycling (BMX, mountain bike, road, track)





    Gymnastics (trampoline, rhythmic gymnastics, artistic gymnastics)




    Modern Pentathlon


    Rugby Sevens



    Table Tennis







    Roller Sports (roller skating, skateboarding)

    Board Games (Chinese chess, go, chess)










    Sport Climbing

    The 19th Asian Games will take place from September 10-25, 2022 with the participation of athletes from Oceania for the first time.

    The next OCA Coordination Committee meeting for Hangzhou 2022 is scheduled for March 2020.



  20. Quote

    Australian Tickets for Tokyo 2020 Olympics on sale July 10th

    Record-High Global Demand Expected to Restrict Australian and International Allocations

    Live ticket sales for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will start this Wednesday morning, 10 July from 9.00am AEST.

    Last month, CoSport, the Official Olympic Hospitality Provider and proud Australian Olympic Team Partner, held a Ticket Request Process in which more than one million global users accessed CoSport.com to enter a ballot process, requesting tickets to their favourite Olympic events.

    CoSport users whose ballots were successfully drawn were among the first Australians to buy Tokyo 2020 tickets.

    In Australia, the most-requested Olympic events have been Athletics, Swimming, Basketball and Artistic Gymnastics, followed by the Opening Ceremony, which will take place on 24 July 2020 in Tokyo’s New National Stadium.

    Two new Olympic sports debuting in Tokyo – Skateboarding and Sports Climbing - were also among the 20 most-requested of the Games’ 52 disciplines, as was Baseball which is being re-introduced after a 12-year absence.

    Australia-based fans will have their next opportunity to purchase tickets on 10 July at 9:00am AEST, when CoSport will sell tickets on a first-come-, first-served basis, along with ticket-hotel combinations also offered in several configurations with accommodation, meals and expert guidance. Buyers should be sure to register a CoSport.com user account to access the sale by 10 July.

    CoSport’s record-breaking news followed a Japan-based ticket lottery where the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee also recorded millions of users requesting tickets reserved for residents of the host country.

    Japan’s strong demand for host country tickets will result in the vast majority of high-demand tickets being sold to Japanese residents, with Australia sharing in remainders split among more than 100 territories. “Although Australia represents a very large market for Tokyo, the Olympic Games has the unique ability to level playing fields and spectator seats alike, with Australia just one player sharing in limited global ticket allocations,” said Robert F. Long, President of CoSport.

    “CoSport continues to work hard to meet Australian public demand, maximise allocation and provide fair access throughout the ticketing process. As such, fans who did not obtain tickets during the Request Process shouldn’t lose hope, but take advantage of the Live Sales opportunity launching on 10 July,“ Mr Long concluded.

    “The Tokyo Games will open in just over a year, and these Games will be one of the best ever. With our ticketing partner CoSport we are pleased to be able to offer the friends and family of Australian athletes the opportunity to purchase tickets,” said Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll.

    “The unprecedented demand for tickets is a challenge for Australians looking to travel to Tokyo so we encourage fans to get in now for tickets and look for accommodation options.

    “Together with CoSport, we are excited to extend the invitation to Australian fans for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Tokyo. The demand for tickets is unprecedented, but our athletes will be grateful for all the support they can receive on the ground in Tokyo,” Mr Carroll concluded.

    The Olympic Experience Experts, CoSport has spent decades bringing fans to the Games and has been preparing since 2015 in Tokyo, the world’s largest metropolitan area which expects another 1 million visitors for the 2020 Olympic Games.



  21. Quote

    Anti-Olympic Organizers From Eight Cities Head to Tokyo for "NOlympics Anywhere" Protest


    Olympic cities across the globe will come together for an unprecedented week of anti-Olympics actions

    LOS ANGELES, CA — On July 24, 2019, one year before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, NOlympics LA will partner with organizations from across the globe for an unprecedented anti-Olympic solidarity action in the Shinjuku neighborhood of Tokyo, Japan. Featuring representatives from eight recent and future Olympic cities, this public protest will be the climax of a week of anti-Olympic meetings and presentations in Tokyo.

    WHAT: Anti-Olympic solidarity action in Tokyo, Japan
    WHERE: Shinjuku Alta - 3-24-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
    WHEN: Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 6 p.m.
    WHO: Anti-Olympics organizers from Seoul, Pyeongchang, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, and Jakarta

    Click here to see the full list of events during the week of action in Tokyo.

    What makes this event unique in the history of anti-Olympic organizing is the collective recognition that the Olympics represent a systemic danger for any city that would host them. In the past, dozens of individual city have mounted campaigns to reject the Olympics. This global action recognizes that no city should be forced to weather the corruption, displacement, financial stress, and heightened surveillance that inevitably comes with hosting the games. The protest in Tokyo represents the first time a coalition of allies from across the globe will get together and declare, in one voice, that they will not abide the Olympics anywhere.

    “It’s not enough to just stop the Olympics from displacing Angelenos and exposing them to hyper-militarized security measures,” NOlympics LA says. “The games exploit athletes and cities everywhere, and we stand with anti-Olympics movements and efforts from across town to across the globe.”

    In a moment when Los Angeles is facing crises of homelessness and corruption that are shaking the city’s government, NOlympics LA is not simply attempting to foist the 2028 games off on another city. Instead, the group opposes the International Olympic Committee, elected officials, and other complicit actors that exploit cities and amateur athletes for profit by wielding state power against the most vulnerable.

    Hosting the events in Tokyo are the local organizations Hangorin No Kai and Okotowalink, which have been on the frontlines of this struggle since Tokyo was “awarded” the games in 2013. Representatives from South Korea, which hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics and plans to bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics, include members of Listen to the City. From Paris the delegation includes the Association NON aux JO 2024 à Paris and Parisian mayoral candidate Danielle Simonnet, of the La France Insoumise party.

    NOlympics LA is a growing coalition of dozens of local organizations opposing the LA 2028 Olympics, born out of the Democratic Socialists of America, Los Angeles.



  22. Quote

    Oak View Group and Live Nation partner to deliver Milan Cortina 2026 ice hockey venue
    By Michael Pavitt Tuesday, 18 June 2019


    Oak View Group and Live Nation have partnered on a plan to build a new sports and entertainment arena in Milan, which would be used for ice hockey should the city be awarded the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games next week.

    The Pala Italia Santa Giulia was the only proposed new permanent competition venue in the Bid Book presented to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by the joint Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo bid.

    The venue is expected to host ice hockey competition at the Games, with the IOC Evaluation Commission report claiming it had a strong legacy case as a multi-sports arena.

    It was claimed the venue was planned by a private developer and part of a major commercial and residential redevelopment in the area.

    The Los Angeles-based Oak View Group have now confirmed they have partnered with Live Nation, an American events promoter, to operate their first music and sports venue outside the United States.

    According to Billboard a "head of terms" agreement has been signed with property and infrastructure business Risanamento S.p.A and Lendlease to construct the venue.

    It is claimed building of the venue is likely to begin in 2021 as part of a regeneration of the Santa Giulia district, before opening in 2024.

    It is expected to have a capacity of around 17,000.

    "We’re delighted to announce our first European partnership, bringing a state-of-the-art entertainment facility to Milan," Tim Leiweke, Oak View Group co-founder and chief executive, according to Billboard, said.

    "The new arena will be an exciting addition for the city and an important part of hosting what would be an inspiring 2026 Winter Olympics.

    The proposed venue would host ice hockey competition at the 2026 Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

    Leiweke added: "Oak View Group and Live Nation have years of experience working together and are the ideal partners to deliver and run the Santa Giulia Arena.

    "We’re looking forward to working with Risanamento and Lendlease as part of their major regeneration project, and to announcing more European partnerships soon."

    Oak View Group, which was established in 2015, launched their European headquarters in London back in March.

    The group reportedly claimed they would seek to develop opportunities with stadiums in Europe and Asia, as well as their ongoing business in the United States.

    Their current development projects include the KeyArena in Seattle, a new Belmont arena for the New York Islanders ice hockey team.

    The venture in Milan would mark their first project in Europe.

    As well as staging ice hockey during Milan Cortina 2026, it is also planned the facility would become a training venue for other ice sport, such as curling during the Games.

    Milan Cortina is a two-horse race against the Swedish joint bid of Stockholm and Åre.

    Following working visits earlier this year, the IOC Evaluation Commission report analysed the candidature files and additional documentation submitted.

    This is supposed to serve as a guide for the IOC members before they vote to choose a host at the 134th IOC Session in Lausanne next Monday (June 24).



  23. Quote

    NoCalgaryOlympics responds to reports on distraction of Olympic Bid process

    City Council Reports on Calgary 2026 Bid Distraction
    Calgarians now know true cost

    Monday, June 17, 2019 Calgarians’ long wait is over to learn from Council what was spent in the
    failed attempt to convince Calgarians to bid for the 2026 Olympic Games. Starting with a $5.0
    million feasibility study in 2017, City Council invested $7 million, and thousands of man-hours
    pursuing an Olympic bid. All three levels of government combined to spend $17.7 million.

    Nowhere in the reports tabled with Council today is an assessment of how well the time and money
    were invested, what could have been improved, lessons learned for future mega-projects or highrisk pursuits,

    or how benefits cited in the report will be realized. Nowhere is there a reflection on
    reasons not to pursue an Olympic Bid, particularly, what was learned about the attributes of an
    acceptable project partner for Calgarians. In the report, like the bid development process,
    opportunity costs are left out.

    Since April 2018, NoCalgaryOlympics sounded the alarm about the opportunity cost of a Bid. What
    would not be accomplished in our city because of the distraction of chasing the Olympics?

    Today, it seems reasonable to question whether that opportunity cost was the immediate and longer
    term solution to the property tax crisis. We wonder if the small-business-owner protests in early
    June would have been necessary at all, had City Council been focused on urgent City issues, rather
    than distracted by wooing the IOC. Would a solution be in place today, if councillors worked
    productively together in 2018 and early 2019, making better use of over 100 hours of meeting time?

    It was only on the day after the plebiscite that Calgarians learned more about those opportunity
    costs -- the real cost of being distracted from City issues. What many people might not know is that
    City Council has lived with knowledge of the Property Tax crisis for almost 10 months. In that time,
    the Priorities and Finance Committee of Council spent 49 hours and 50 minutes in meetings,
    without making the Property Tax crisis a priority or working towards solutions.

    Instead, from May to November 2018, an Olympic bid assessment committee of Council invested
    another 44 hours and 45 minutes meeting in pursuit of an Olympic Bid. It’s unknown how many
    people and hours of work by City staff and Council were displaced from City issues to, instead,
    focus on research, planning and governing the Bid process.

    The NoCalgaryOlympics campaign would not have been needed if proponents had honoured their
    commitment to not pursue an “Olympics at any cost.”

    We have many more questions:

    1. Did the Olympic bid process also cost the City a solid year of effort by Calgary Economic
    Development, Calgary Tourism, and the Chamber of Commerce on attracting new
    businesses, attracting conferences and conventions, and helping Calgary businesses grow?

    2. Without the Olympic bid process, would Council still have needed hours and meetings in
    camera to fix their inability to work together, a dysfunction that continues to be prevalent?

    3. Are there governance questions when councillors were on record months ago but unable to
    focus Council attention on the imminent Property Tax crisis?

    4. Is it a substantial breech of governance when the Olympic Bid assessment committee’s Chair
    thoughtfully concludes against bidding, only to be ignored?

    5. Is Council discipline and governance a concern when the Bid process was not stopped, even
    after missing every single self-imposed deadline, and without basic funding prerequisites met?

    Since Calgary folded the Bid process, the city of Denver passed an ordinance, by a substantial
    margin, requiring their city council to obtain support via referendum before a single tax dollar can be
    spent investigating being an Olympic host city. Some say this guarantees that Denver will never
    host. But couldn’t Denver’s commitment also be a key driver to true IOC reform, or to ensure private
    interests carry the initial risk, prior to an investment of public dollars?

    NoCalgaryOlympics still holds out hope that City Council will make use of the work of the Bid
    process. The research, assessment of assets, and plans to improve the City as part of Bid
    preparation should stay on the agenda, if that was quality work with true merits for our city, and not
    only to serve the IOC.

    New York City, which pitched and failed to be a host city, has gone on to complete a number of
    projects identified during Bid preparation, which is a smart way to take a big risk and then ensure
    that the risk generates benefits, win or lose.

    NoCalgaryOlympics’ efforts were focused on respectfully rounding out the discussion about the pros
    and cons of bidding for the Olympics. We heard from Calgarians in all parts of the city that one of
    the best outcomes was the conversation that the Bid inspired. There was a shift to focusing on
    what’s next for Calgary. It seemed to finally put nostalgia for past accomplishments behind us so
    that people could ask: what does Calgary aspire to be?

    Calgary is a city we love with a history full of highlights, including the ’88 Olympics. Calgary has a
    bright future that can include prosperity and vibrancy. But there is work we will all have to do
    together to get through our economic challenges to thrive once again.

    While Calgarians found themselves on opposite sides of the debate and plebiscite, we are confident
    with the Bid process firmly behind us, we can work together as fellow citizens, community leaders,
    and City Council to move Calgary forward.

    For more information: Erin Waite – 403 804-6100 OR nocalgaryolympics@gmail.com



  24. Quote

    Krakow and Małopolska Region to Host 2023 European Games

    Reported by Mark Bisson   06/06/19


    Krakow, Poland

    (ATR) Krakow and the province in southeastern Poland will host the third edition of the European Games.

    Around the Rings has learned that Krakow was the only bidder for the multisport event. The city delivered its bid dossier by the European Olympic Committee’s May 31 deadline.

    Kazan in Russia was thought to be in the running to host the Games. But a bid dossier failed to materialize following the EOC’s discussions with the Russian NOC and Kazan officials.

    “The European Olympic Committees is pleased to confirm that one application has been received from the NOC of Poland as a joint bid from the city of Krakow and the Malopolska Region,” the EOC told ATR in a statement.

    “The official election of the European Games 2023 host will take place at an extraordinary EOC General Assembly in Minsk on 22 June.”

    In May, Krakow replaced Katowice as Poland’s candidate city for the 2023 European Games. The Polish NOC had eventually favored Krakow over the city in southern Poland, despite initial meetings involving Katowice officials and EOC representatives in recent months.

    The EOC appeared happier with the choice of Krakow, which was backed by strong regional and city governmental support and the necessary financial guarantees, following meetings with Polish NOC leaders in May.

    The choice of Krakow as the host of the European Games after the second edition in Minsk later this month comes after the EOC’s fast-track bidding process launched last September.

    Krakow’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics may have been torpedoed in the early stages by a failed referendum, but its work on the project is likely to be valuable in delivering the 2023 European Games.

    The Polish Olympic quest collapsed in May 2014. At the time, the bid said that 67.7 percent (143,796) had rejected the Olympics, answering “No” to the question: Are you in favor of Krakow hosting the 2022 Olympic Winter Games?Only 30.3 percent of residents who voted (62,453) backed the bid.



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