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  1. Luge athletes discover Sochi 2014 track 16/11/2012 Luge athletes from around the world got a first taste of the track for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games at the “Sliding Center Sanki” in Sochi, Russia, during an international training week from 3 to 14 November 2012. The track, which will host the luge, skeleton and bobsleigh events, is located in Krasnaya Polyna and runs through the northern slope of the Aibga Ridge, meaning that it is protected from direct sunlight. The echo of the athletes after the first test was positive: Athletes’ voices Tatjana Huefner, 2010 Olympic and four-time world champion from Germany: “I like the track very much. It is a fine but difficult track. Even though there’s still a big building site all around, it’s rather obvious that there’s a lot of progress.” Andris Sics from Latvia, 2010 Olympic bronze medallist in the doubles together with his brother, Juris: “We like the track a lot.[…].Here in Sochi the entrances and the curves are long so that you need to really control the sled. If not you’ll lose time. The sections going uphill are interesting, too.” Felix Loch, 2010 Olympic and three-time world champion from Germany: “I believe that, in the future, the track will be on the World Cup programme regularly and will see World Championships. When everything is completed, the visual impact of the venue will surely be great.” About the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games The next Olympic Winter Games will take place from 7 to 23 February 2014 in Sochi, located by the Black Sea in Russia. Some 2,800 athletes will compete in seven sports, comprising 98 medal events. In order to test the 10 competition venues in the run-up to the Games, Sochi is hosting more than 60 test events between December 2011 and September 2013. IOC
  2. Sochi 2014 ticket touts could face million ruble fines Tuesday, 13 November 2012 By Duncan Mackay November 13 - A new law could be introduced in Russia in time for the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics that means people found guilty of illegally reselling tickets could face fines of up to a million rubles (£19,000/$30,000/€24,000). Russia's Lower House of Parliament today passed the first stage of the Bill which is designed to stop ticket touts cashing in on the Games. The illegal reselling of tickets is a major problem in Russia, particularly at major sports events and pop concerts. It follows the relative success of a crackdown during London 2012 when unauthorised selling of tickets was a crime under the Olympic Act punishable by a £20,000 ($32,000/€25,000) fine. A total of 92 people were arrested during the Games on suspicion of ticket touting. Among those arrested was a German who had £23,000 ($37,000/€29,000) worth of tickets for sale, including some for the Opening Ceremony that he was selling for £1,100 ($1,800/€1,400). The new Bill would additionally allow the Government to regulate prices for tickets and hotel services in the Krasnodar Region from September 2012 till July 2014. Having passed its first reading, the Bill must now through two more stages before Russian President Vladimir Putin can sign it into law. insidethegames
  3. Sad news Russian worker killed at site of 2018 World Cup stadium Tuesday, 13 November 2012 By Duncan Mackay November 13 - A Russian builder was killed today after a crane collapsed at the construction site of the 2018 FIFA World Cup stadium in Kazan, local authorities said. The 25-year-old man was using the crane as a platform to carry out work when the part he was standing on detached and sent him falling 35 metres to his death. "At 2.40 Moscow time on November 13 at the site of the under-construction football stadium on Chistopolskaya Street in Kazan, the boom of a crane broke off," the regional Investigative Committee said in a statement. "As a result, a 25-year-old builder died." Last month, a 48-year-old steel worker was killed at the site of the new Spartak Moscow stadium, another World Cup stadium. The arena in Kazan will host football at next year's Universiade Games and will serve as the home ground of local club side Rubin Kazan. insideworldfootball
  4. Sochi 2014 to offer media first free Wi-Fi in history of Olympics Thursday, 08 November 2012 By Mike Rowbottom at Krasnaya Polyana in Sochi November 8 - The Sochi 2014 Winter Games will be the first Olympics and Paralympics in history to provide free Wi-Fi for the press, it was announced here today. "Thanks to our partner Rostelecom we will offer for the first time in the history of the Olympic Games free-of-charge Wi-Fi for all accredited media," Dmitry Chernyshenko (pictured top), President and chief executive of Sochi 2014, told assembled journalists here at the World Press Briefing. "This subject has been one of my most frequently asked questions, so now we have prepared for you a special offer." Chernyshenko said that the Sochi Wi-Fi would be 10Mb in media areas, offering additional access to the Games Information System. In comparison, the system at London 2012 was 8Mb, and that of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games was 2Mb - both of which had to be paid for. "Sochi will offer a five times higher band width than Vancouver's paid solution," Chernyshenko said. "This is progress. "It's really something. "It will be ideal for you to file your news stories." Sochi will also offer individual paid-for broadband packages including cabling at a cheaper price than the two preceding Games – $128 (£80/€101). The Vancouver package cost $554 (£347/€433), and London charged $150 (£94/€117). "The cost at Sochi will be four times less than the same package in Vancouver," Chernyshenko explained. Anthony Edgar, head of media operations for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), welcomed the provision of free Wi-Fi as "fantastic", but told the conference: "Don't think of Wi-Fi as being your solution, because if everyone does, it won't work." Meanwhile, Chernyshenko described Sochi as "probably the biggest building site in the world," adding: "We are setting a new standard in environmentally friendly construction. "We are going green, which is another legacy of our Olympic project. "Sochi is also becoming a model city which the rest of country is following. "The Olympic project has created 560,000 new jobs despite the economic downturn. "Unemployment in the region is less than one per cent." insidethegames
  5. Interesting design , I would like to see stadium like this become a reality somewhere but I don't think they will choose it
  6. RFU look to maximise on World Cup legacy after learning from mistakes of 2003 By ALEX LOWE PUBLISHED: 00:16 GMT, 1 November 2012 | UPDATED: 10:01 GMT, 1 November 2012 The Rugby Football Union have learned the lessons from 2003 and tonight launched plans to maximise the legacy of hosting the 2015 Rugby World Cup on home soil. When England returned triumphant from Australia nine years ago, the RFU were not ready to deal with the immediate spike in interest in the sport. There were not, for example, enough coaches in the grass-roots game to handle the upsurge in participation numbers and the RFU are determined not to make the same mistake again. \ Making it count: RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie, England's World Cup winner Jason Leonard and Rugby Development Director Steve Grainger with the Webb Ellis trophy With three years to go until the Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham, the RFU revealed a seven-point plan to make 'the oval ball the ball of choice' in England. 'The key learning from 2003 was that we didn't plan in advance. The coaches and referees just weren't there,' said Steve Grainger, the RFU's development director. 'That is absolutely what we are doing now.' The RFU will invest £25million into 500 grass-roots clubs and a further £1million into qualifying 6,500 new referees and coaches and bringing 5,000 volunteers into the game. The All Schools programme is aimed at giving a million children a chance to play rugby, with a target of introducing the sport to 750 secondary state schools by 2019. Missed opportunity: England missed the chance to capitalise on Sir Clive Woodward's 2003 World Cup winning side 'The World Cup in 1991 was in England and we saw how the public's perception of rugby changed," said Jason Leonard, who played in that tournament and eventually won the World Cup in 2003. 'But with the legacy planning for this World Cup, we are going to hit the ground running. It is getting volunteers and clubs involved. 'I think this will be the best ever World Cup and we have got to make sure we push that all the way through. This is a great opportunity for English rugby.' Although the RFU are looking to use the 2015 World Cup to spread the game and capture new players and supporters, it is unlikely that England will play any Test matches away from Twickenham in the build-up to the tournament. 'We need to look at methods of engaging with the World Cup around the country over the next three years. We have to think about ways of creating interest and getting people excited,' said RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie. 'We have to look at where do England play, when do they play? You would never say never but there is a strong financial reason why England matches are played at Twickenham. 'It is not just as easy as taking a match somewhere. There are all sorts of other things we can look at for games beyond the England senior team.' Daily Mail
  7. Host cities study Poland's EURO 2012 experience (FIFA.com) Monday 29 October 2012 © LOC Between 23 and 27 October, senior representatives from the regions and cities which will be hosting the FIFA World Cup Russia™ visited Poland's UEFA EURO 2012 host cities: Warsaw, Wroclaw and Gdansk. The delegation was in Poland to gain experience of how to organise a major football tournament. This was the first working visit since the Host Cities for the 2018 FIFA World Cup were announced in late September. The trip gave representatives of the Russian cities the opportunity to talk to their Polish counterparts at seminars and meetings, and also to ask questions about tournament preparations. The Russian delegation also visited the tournament stadiums, the venues for the fan fests, the training bases and hotels where players and guests stayed during EURO 2012, major transport hubs and other tournament infrastructure. A key aspect of the visit was a seminar in Warsaw, entitled "From the European Championships to the FIFA World Cup - Poland's experience". The seminar was attended by the head of the EURO 2012 office in Poland, Dariusz Buza; the director of the office for security and crisis management, Ewa Gawor; a Polish deputy foreign minister, Beata Stelmach; the chairman of the PL.2012 association, Marcin Herra; and representatives of companies involved in the planning and staging of the tournament. "We're very pleased to welcome representatives of the 2018 FIFA World Cup host cities toPoland, and to share our experience of hosting EURO 2012. We will be happy to help our Russian friends in every way as they prepare for the World Cup, and we will give their endeavours our wholehearted support," said Beata Stelmach, one of Poland's deputy foreign ministers. This visit forms part of the process of studying the experience accumulated by Poland and Ukraine in planning and staging EURO 2012. Representatives of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Host Cities had previously been to Poland and Ukraine just before and also during the tournament. http://www.fifa.com/...8975/index.html
  8. Sochi 2014 and World Health Organisation launch "Union of Tobacco-Free Cities" campaign Tuesday, 30 October 2012 By Tom Degun in Sochi October 30 - Sochi 2014 has teamed up with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to launch the "Union of Tobacco-Free Cities" campaign ahead of the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in the Russian city. Representatives from Sochi, Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk, Arkhangelsk and Novosibirsk have all supported the proposal to create the Union which will become an integral part of the "Tobacco-Free Cities" and "Healthy Cities" initiatives developed by the WHO. "The Union is tasked with protecting people against the harmful effects of tobacco consumption and second hand smoke," said a Sochi 2014 statement. "It will also serve as a forum where representatives of Russia's regions can discuss the tobacco control initiatives." The Winter Games in Sochi will be the 12th edition of the event to be tobacco-free and will protect over 155,000 athletes, sports delegation representatives and volunteers against second hand smoke every day, it is claimed. Sochi 2014 is looking to demonstrate the results of its work to promote healthy living, sport and physical activity with its plans supported by the Mayor of Sochi Anatoly Pakhomov. The goal of the Union is to create a tobacco-free environment at local and regional levels and create models which can then be used across the whole country. Sochi launched a special campaign in April this year to encourage people to stop smoking before the city holds the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics It will take charge of promoting legislative and administrative regulations, enabling cities to rid themselves of tobacco smoke and hopefully motivate other Russian cities to get involved in the creation of a healthier environment. The launch of the project comes as Sochi prepares to host the 2012 Peace and Sport International Forum this week, which will bring together hundreds of guests and delegates from more than 90 countries. Hosted for the first time outside of Monaco, heads of states, International Olympic Committee (IOC) members and political decision-makers will be in attendance. http://www.insidethe...ities-campaign-
  9. It's official now Fernando, logo launch will be in spring next year UEFA EURO 2016 steering group meets in Paris Published: Tuesday 23 October 2012, 16.52CET UEFA President Michel Platini said the second meeting of the UEFA EURO 2016 steering group in Paris had gone "very well" with good progress reported on ongoing projects. UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino, UEFA President Michel Platini and FFF president Noël Le Graët at the second meeting of the UEFA EURO 2016 steer The UEFA EURO 2016 steering group has held its second meeting in Paris, the capital city of host country France. Set up in April 2011, the steering group for the tournament in four years' time comprises the four major organisational stakeholders: UEFA, the French Football Federation (FFF), the French government and the host cities. It is a forum for discussion and for ensuring that information on the progress of key organisational projects is shared. Two or three meetings a year are envisaged. The steering group consists of: UEFA President Michel Platini; Jacques Lambert, president of EURO 2016 SAS; UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino; UEFA Deputy General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis; Borislav Mihaylov, UEFA Executive Committee member and president of the Bulgarian Football Union (BFS); Peter Gilliéron, UEFA Executive Committee member and president of the Swiss Football Association (SFV-ASF); Noël Le Graët, president of the French Football Federation (FFF); Valérie Fourneyron, French minister of sport, youth, education for all and community life; Maurice Vincent, chairman of the Club des Sites (host city association) and chairman of Saint-Étienne Métropole. Martin Kallen, director of operations for UEFA Events and CEO of EURO 2016 SAS, has observer status. The final round of UEFA EURO 2016 will be staged in France – the third time that the country has hosted the tournament – from mid-June to 10 July 2016. The field is being increased from 16 to 24 teams, and the tournament will feature 51 matches – 20 more than at UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. Fifty-two national associations will contest the qualifying competition, and France qualify directly as host country. The qualifying draw will take place at the Palais des Congres Acropolis in Nice on 9 March 2014. "The meeting went very well," said Michel Platini. "After a general survey of the various projects, we decided notably that the final round draw will take place at the Palais des Congrès de la Porte Maillot in Paris in December 2015, and that the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) will be located at the Parc des Expositions at la Porte de Versailles in Paris. We were also informed about the latest developments concerning the stadiums, and the French association will provide the definitive list of venues for the UEFA Executive Committee meeting on 24 January 2013." UEFA EURO 2016 is the catalyst for a huge modernisation programme that will give France a new generation of sports infrastructures. "The state is placing enormous importance on the event, and we are truly proud to be organising EURO 2016," said sports minister Valérie Fourneyron. "We want to unite the entire nation around the tournament. The EURO represents a legacy for tomorrow for the entire country, as well as for our youth." The ten French cities selected to hold matches at UEFA EURO 2016 are Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse. The host cities have formed the Club des Sites, the host cities' association. An estimated 2.5 million supporters are expected in the stadiums, compared with 1.4 million for UEFA EURO 2012. The prospect of staging UEFA EURO 2016 has given rise to an ambitious stadium construction and renovation project for the stadiums where final-round matches will be played. "The association's role is to provide nine stadiums," said FFF president Le Graët. "Currently we have ten, and we will be within the schedule. I am delighted that work for the Lyon project has begun, and that the Lens regional authorities have decided to be involved in the renovation of that stadium." UEFA – the competition rights holder – and the FFF have set up a joint venture, EURO 2016 SAS. Responsibility for the operational organisation of the tournament has been delegated to this company under a single directorate. EURO 2016 SAS is a company under French law, with the legal form of a simplified joint stock company, owned 95% by UEFA and 5% by the FFF. UEFA has two direct organisational tasks – sports-related organisation of the tournament (schedule, disciplinary matters, refereeing, doping controls, etc.) and marketing and management of the event-related commercial rights (audiovisual, marketing, licensing, hospitality, tickets). The FFF is responsible for private security for the tournament, while EURO 2016 SAS is responsible all other operational tasks on behalf of UEFA and the FFF. UEFA EURO 2016 timetable Spring 2013: Launch of the tournament logo and branding 9 March 2014: Draw for the qualifying competition September 2014: Start of the qualifying competition June 2015: 'One year to go' events December 2015: Draw for the final round March 2016: Finalists' workshop Mid-June 2016: Opening match 10 July 2016: Final http://www.uefa.com/...id=1879680.html All euro-2016 stadiums will be ready - Platini October 23 2012 at 05:35pm Paris - All stadiums selected to host matches in the 2016 European Championships will be ready in time, UEFA president Michel Platini insisted Tuesday. “The federation will deliver them,” Platini said alongside fellow steering committee members, organising committee head Jacques Lambert, French football federation head Noel Le Graet, French Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron, and Maurice Vincent, the mayor of St Etienne acting as representative of the host cities. “Euro-2012 is finished, long live Euro-2016,” Platini said, adding: “But pay attention, people badmouthed Ukraine and Poland but in the end it was a success beyond all expectations. They set the bar very high.” Federation head Le Graet played down any fears over the stadiums, specifically in Lyon and Lens. “Lyon will be completed. It's a stadium that is indispensable for French football,” Le Graet said of the planned 'Stade des Lumieres' (stadium of light). “I'm very happy that work has got under way and I think it will be ready on time,” which should be mid-2015, according to Lyon club president Jean-Michel Aulas. Le Graet added that concerns over the Lens stadium had been resolved, and that the eight other sites (Paris - Parc des Princes, Saint-Denis - Stade de France, Lille, Saint-Etienne, Marseille, Nice, Bordeaux and Toulouse) posed “no problem”. The draw for the qualifying campaign for Euro 2016 will take place in Nice on March 9, 2014. The qualifying phase for the tournament will run from September 2014 to November 2015. http://www.iol.co.za...62#.UIe2csXfDtk
  10. Sochi 2014 unveils Accessibility Map marking 500 days to Winter Paralympics Tuesday, 23 October 2012 By Tom Degun October 23 - Sochi has marked 500 days to go to the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in the city by unveiling a revolutionary Accessibility Map for disabled people. The interactive Accessibility Map – which is available to view atwww.kartadostupnosti.ru – has already highlighted 500 accessible venues located by Sochi 2014 volunteers from dozens of Russian cities. Created in conjunction with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the new Accessibility Map website was presented and demonstrated by the Sochi 2014 President and chief executive Dmitry Chernyshenko and Sochi 2014 volunteers to the guests gathered in the Equal Opportunities Park in Sochi city centre. Volunteers and internet users can visit the website to access a complete list of barrier-free venues and infrastructure in Russia to make it easier for people with a disability to find places to play sport near to their home, sometimes for the very first time. "In 2014, Sochi will host the first Paralympic Games in the history of Russia," said Chernyshenko. "I am sure the high accessibility standards that will have been set in the Olympic region by 2014 will be needed in other cities across the whole country, and our efforts in passionately promoting the Paralympic values will help to remove the 'barriers' in society towards people with a disability forever." The website has been developed to take accessibility requirements into account, allowing a user to switch to an alternative version for visually impaired users with just one click of a mouse. After the Paralympic Games, the project will be further developed, with the internet allowing the programme to reach thousands of people online. "I am delighted that to mark 500 days to go until the Winter Games, Sochi 2014 is launching its innovative accessibility map," said IPC President Sir Philip Craven. "This project will help generate awareness across Russia of accessible facilities and is a project that, with the help and support of the IPC, could act as a blueprint for other countries to follow. "Planning for the launch of this project started some time ago under the supervision of the IPC and I am pleased to see it come to fruition to mark 500 days to go." Sochi is celebrating 500 days to go to the 2014 Winter Paralympics Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) general secretary Mikhail Terentiev added: "The Accessibility Map is a completely unique project for Russia. "Its uniqueness lies not only in it being the first interactive map of the sports venues for people with a disability, but also in the fact that it is created from and will be added by the data received from the residents of Russian cities. "Every resident of Russia can contribute to the creation of a barrier-free Russia which will make it possible for people with disabilities to lead an independent lifestyle and to actively participate in the development of our society." Meanwhile, to mark the 500 days to go milestone visitors at Equal Opportunities Park could meet Paralympians, try their hand at several Paralympic sports, including sledge hockey, and attempt to cross an obstacle course blindfolded. http://www.insidethe...ter-paralympics
  11. Sochi 2014 - A blueprint for Games to come? With Tuesday 23rd October marking five hundred days to go until the next Paralympic Winter Games, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven has said he expects Sochi 2014 to continue the Paralympic Movement's positive momentum and, in terms of accessibility, act as the blueprint for years to come. Nearly 700 athletes from 45 countries are expected to compete in 72 medal events in Sochi in 2014, and in preparation for the Games the Organising Committee has been busy working on a number of projects which the IPC believes could be the benchmark for future Games. Sir Philip said: 'I'm very excited for what promises to be a landmark Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. 'Sports-wise they will be the biggest Games yet, with the inclusion of para-snowboard in the alpine skiing programme, however it is some of the work away from the sporting action that has left me most impressed. 'What the Organising Committee has done in creating a barrier-free environment in Sochi is fantastic and something that should act as a blueprint not just for the whole of Russia but for all other cities interested in staging the Paralympic Games. 'I visited the city earlier this year and was really impressed at what I saw. I believe the Games in Sochi will be unique due to the geographical locations but am confident that what is delivered there will continue the momentum the Paralympic Movement has enjoyed in recent years.' To mark 500 days to go, Sochi 2014 has made live an innovative accessibility map, which details easily accessible locations across Russia where people can engage in Paralympic sports. It is a project that has also impressed the IPC President. 'The Accessibility Map will help generate awareness across Russia of accessible facilities and will make it easier for people to engage in Paralympic sport. With the help and support of the IPC, this could act as a blueprint for other countries to follow,' added Sir Philip. The 500 days to go mark for Sochi 2014 comes just 44 days after the London 2012 Closing Ceremony, the most successful Paralympic Games ever. The IPC President is keen to stress though that he expects Sochi to be a very different Games to what recently took place in the British capital. Sir Philip said: 'It would be wrong to compare what we just experienced with London 2012 with our expectations for Sochi 2014. 'The Summer and Winter Games are poles apart in terms of size and stature, with the Summer Games featuring eight times the number of athletes and four times the number of sports. 'What we need to see in Sochi is continued growth. We need to kick on from the fabulous Paralympic Winter Games we enjoyed in Vancouver in 2010. 'Although the size and scale will be different to London, there are some things that are constant at all Paralympic Games. The Paralympic spirit will be as strong as ever and the amazing performances of athletes will continue to inspire and excite the world. 'I also hope the success Russia enjoyed in finishing second in the London 2012 medals table has a positive influence on Sochi 2014 in terms of spectators and TV viewers. 'Our research showed that Russian broadcasters massively increased their coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games and the viewers responded which is extremely encouraging. The challenge now is to build on this platform. 'Next year is a very big year for us in terms of winter sports. There are World Championships in alpine and Nordic skiing, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling as well as a whole raft of test events planned for Sochi. 'Our aim is to maximise awareness of all these events to whet the appetite of sports fans ahead of Sochi 2014. I also hope that the world's media who were so enthralled by London 2012 are equally as enthusiastic about what we have lined up in 2013, another bumper year of Paralympic sport.' The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will take place between 7-16 March 2014. http://www.sail-worl...to-come?/103098
  12. Russia may simplify visa regulations for 2018 World Cup Image via elbrustours.ru Oct 21, 2012 MOSCOW, Russia - Russia law makers would considering more simplified visa regulations for foreigners related to the 2018 World Cup, a travel industry union said Sunday. A bill has been presented to the State Duma, or lower house of the parliament for the visa-free discussion, Russian Union of the Travel Industry said. The bill allowed foreign citizens involving in organizing and conducting the World Cup and the 2017 Confederations' Cup to skip the consular procedures and fees related to the visas, Yury Barzykin, Vice President of the union told local media. Meanwhile, certain kinds of foreigners, especially those participating in the games, could enter Russia during the competition period without getting a visa if certain documents are provided in advance, the bill suggested. Moreover, the bill would give certain foreigners the right of free travels between Russian host cities of the World Cup. For example, a ticket to a game of the World Cup could be taken as a "travel document," Interfax news agency quoted Barzykin as saying. The bill, if approved by the State Duma, would help boost the sports tourism in Russia during the World Cup years and encourage more sports fans and travelers to visit the country, Barzykin said. Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said previously that Russia would speed up preparations for the World Cup following the unveiling of the 11 host cities. The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) and Russia last month announced 11 host cities of the World Cup, which include Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Samara, Yekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd and Sochi. Russia pledged to hold "a high quality championships" with full-scale preparation works, Mutko said. http://www.eturbonew...-2018-world-cup
  13. Sochi 2014 volunteer receives Generations For Peace award Saturday, 20 October 2012 By Tom Degun October 20 - Sochi 2014 volunteer and Generations For Peace Pioneer Pavel Voloshchuk has been presented with a special award at the Samsung Generations For Peace Awards. The Russian native (pictured top) was presented with the Award for Quality by the founder and chairman of Generations For Peace Prince Feisal Al Hussein following five days of Advanced Training in Amman. Voloshchuk's programmes focus on working with 400 children and young people from more than 100 different ethnic groups in Sochi to build peace through sport-based activities ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in the city. His planning, attention to cascading information and responsiveness to feedback have ensured outstanding quality and secured this award win. "In Sochi, where more than 100 different ethnic groups live together, I wanted to implement a programme to help leaders of youth address conflict and use advocacy to spread a message of tolerance in the lead up to the Sochi 2014 Games," said Voloshchuk, who is currently studying tourism at Sochi State University. Sochi 2014 has teamed up with Generations For Peace and Sochi City Administration to support peace building activities in the Russia, Central Asia and the Balkans The award comes after Sochi 2014, Generations For Peace and Sochi City Administration teamed up to support peace building activities in the Russia, Central Asia and the Balkans as part of the ground-breaking Sochi 2014 Legacy Today programme. This partnership is harnessing the power of the Games to promote sustainable peace by supporting youth volunteers, trained in the Generations For Peace curriculum, to implement programmes in their own communities. Voloshchuk's programmes are now being delivered in conjunction with Sochi City Administration, with which he already has strong links as he is a volunteer team leader for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. He has previously volunteered to assist at the Innsbruck 2012 Youth Olympic Games, the ISF European Cup in Alpine Skiing, International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission visits to Sochi, and the APEC Summit in Vladivostock. He has also led the Sochi Mayor's Youth Council since December 2011. In total, over 100 delegates from Russia and 11 other countries were trained at Generations For Peace Sochi Camps in 2010 and 2011. A series of programmes in Sochi and Krasnodar began in August 2012 which aim to cascade Generations For Peace values, skills and techniques for managing and transforming conflict. Other programs are also progressing this year in Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, and Ukraine. http://www.insidethe...for-peace-award
  14. KAZAN READY TO BOOST AQUATICS IN RUSSIA Kazan, the Russian city that will host the 2015 FINA World Championships, is ideally equipped to give aquatics a perfect launch pad in Russia, according to Vladimir Leonov, the director general of the 2013 Universiade, the next major sporting event to take place in the country. The ambitious Russian city is playing a major role in a decade of huge sporting events to take place in the country. Next year, during the torch relay ahead of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Kazan will be the destination for the high-profile New Year’s Eve celebrations, and the city will also host football matches during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In 2015, Kazan will stage FINA’s flagship event, the World Championships and, according to Leonov, visiting aquatics fans will be in for a treat after the facilities are given a test run during the Universiade, which is organized for university athletes. “The Universiade swimming tournament will be held at the Aquatics Palace,” Leonov said. “It’s a state-of-the-art venue, the construction of which largely contributed to Kazan’s winning of the 2015 FINA World Championships. “The Aquatics Palace is being constructed in full conformity with FINA’s requirements. We will use the Universiade swimming event to test operations ahead of the World Aquatics Championships so that we will be all set and perfectly ready to host them.” Aside from swimming events, the multi-sport Universiade will also stage water polo and synchronised swimming next year. Leonov believes the rapid rate of development in the Russian city will allow participants in various aquatics disciplines to enjoy a positive legacy after the Universiade and then beyond the FINA World Championships two years later. “Kazan is the sports capital of Russia and it gained its unofficial title in many respects thanks to winning the bid to host the 2013 Summer Universiade and the construction activities that have unfolded,” he said. “If there was only one large swimming pool before Kazan embarked on the preparations for the Games, today sports complexes with swimming pools are built across the entire city. It’s important for us to make these venues accessible to people; children and students play sports there, children and youth swimming lessons are regularly held. “Aquatics is becoming more and more popular among citizens and in many ways it’s a positive impact of our work. We think that after being staged at a new venue and in a new host city, the FINA World Championships will promote aquatic sports throughout the world, especially since it boasts one of largest TV audiences in the world.” As a precursor to the 2015 FINA World Championships, the 2012 FINA Convention will take place in Moscow, just a one-hour flight from Kazan. The convention will run from October 29 to November 1. The future for the Russian city in the international sporting arena looks positive, and Leonov expressed his confidence that “mega sporting events” such as the FINA World Championships will help to lift the profile of the Russian city to unprecedented heights and will “contribute to the social and economic development of Russia”. “We still have a lot to do, but we know that we are on the right track,” he said. http://aquaticsconve...atics-in-russia
  15. Olympic Committee gears up for hottest-ever 2014 Sochi Winter Games Published:14 October, 2012, 14:02 The southern Russian resort city of Sochi will host the Winter Olympics in 16 months, and according to former Olympic ski champ Jean-Claude Killy, it's a safe bet this will be an Olympics for the ages. In 2014, Sochi will host the first Winter Olympics in the country's history. Sochi used to be a little-known seaside town, but with the massive Olympic preparations, the future of the city itself is under construction. The benefits and prestige of hosting the Olympics will far outlast the 2014 Winter Games themselves, presenting a unique chance for this region. Every day, more and more people around the world are going to be able to identify Sochi on the map. “It's very unique,” the 69-year-old Killy told RT. “You have palm trees where the hockey tournament is going to be played. And then just 25 minutes by train, and you have a fabulous ski resort. It's very specific. It's the south of Russia, a very comparable place to say Nice in France, where you can ski in the morning and swim in the afternoon after just one hour car drive. The world will know about it very soon.” Hosting the Winter Olympics in a southern climate is what makes the Sochi Games so special – and so challenging. As a three-time Olympic alpine ski champion, and the current the chair of the IOC's Olympic Coordination Commission, Killy is sure winter will arrive as soon as it's needed, despite the fact that this could be the hottest Winter Olympics ever. “Snow is going to be made whenever it's possible and stored,” he explained. “Today you can store the snow under protection during the summer time. And then use it, for example, for ski jump events. You can use whenever you want or need it. Obviously, that's the lesson from Vancouver we have to learn.” The Sochi Games will also create some experiences truly unique to Olympic history. “The Games are going to be the most compact ever,” Killy said. “Most athletes, for example, skiers will go out of the 'Chalet,' put their skis on and go up there. Hockey players will walk to the rink as well as the skaters. Which is incredible! I don't think, we have ever had it before to that extent.” The Sochi 2014 official slogan was revealed on September 25: 'Hot. Cool. Yours.' “I think, it's terrific. Absolutely terrific,” Killy said. “It's winter, summer, yours… north, south, snow, ice and yours… I think it's a way to say the rest of the world is welcome to Sochi…‘Yours’ – that's the gift from Russia to the rest of the world.” And the best present Russia could give the world would be to make their first-ever Winter Olympics into the most memorable Games ever. http://rt.com/sport/...4-olympics-394/
  16. Arena-2018 gears up for major work (FIFA.com) Thursday 11 October 2012 © LOC A working meeting took place in Moscow on 10 September 2012 between management of theRussia 2018 Local Organising Committee, Arena-2018 and Charles R. Botta, FIFA's leading consultant on stadium construction and design. The meeting focused on mapping out collaboration between Arena-2018 and the FIFA technical group responsible for monitoring timetables and schedules for the design, construction and reconstruction of stadiums for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, as well as for monitoring compliance with FIFA requirements. At the meeting, representatives from Arena-2018 presented their most up-to-date information on the design and construction of stadiums for the FIFA World Cup. Those attending discussed the monitoring of stadium preparations ahead of the tournament. "Arranging accountability and communication between all sides is a key issue in our work because, during the design and construction process, the Host Cities will be asking a huge number of questions, and it's very important for us to speak the same language," explained Botta. "I'd like to say that I was really impressed with the outcome of the meeting. The Russia2018 Local Organising Committee and Arena-2018 have made excellent preparations and started this important work. In December 2012, representatives and consultants from Arena-2018, along with experts from FIFA's technical group, will be paying inspection visits to the tournament's Host Cities. And the following month, January 2013, they will present their first joint report to FIFA. "We already have things we can present to FIFA. Five of the stadiums for the tournament are already under construction: Spartak Moscow's arena and the stadiums in Sochi, Kazan, Saransk and St Petersburg," said Botta following the meeting. "In terms of the objectives facing all the people involved in the process, at this stage I would say it's about the Host Cities accepting Arena-2018 as their partner in getting the stadiums ready for the tournament." “Russia, like any country, has its own construction assessments and procedures,” he continued. “The lines of communication need to be put in place with the cities, and then it will be easier to make sure that the interests of all sides are taken into account, while observing FIFA's timetables and requirements. That's how it was in Germany and in South Africa, that's how we're working at the moment in Brazil, and I'm sure that we'll also be able to do the same in Russia." Arena-2018 was founded by the Russia 2018 LOC in April 2012. The organisation is responsible for monitoring the design, construction and rebuilding of the stadiums and ensure that FIFA requirements are met. http://www.fifa.com/...newsid=1783138/
  17. Sochi gets IOC progress check Sochi 2014 Olympic Games organizing committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko, left, presents a map of the Olympic Torch relay, in Moscow, Russia, on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. The relay for Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics will start on Oct. 7, 2013 and the flame will be taken through 84 cities of Russia and finish in Sochi. Photo: Ivan Sekretarev / AP SOCHI, Russia -- With the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics less than 500 days away, IOC officials are back in Russia to check on preparations in Sochi. The IOC coordination commission began a three-day visit to the Black Sea resort Tuesday to inspect progress in construction, transportation, accommodation and other key areas. The IOC panel headed by French ski great Jean-Claude Killy last visited Sochi in February. The IOC says the commission will tour some of the mountain venues, including the national sliding center and ski jump, cross-country and biathlon sites. The visit comes two days after Sochi organizers announced the route of the Olympic torch relay, the longest in Winter Games history covering 40,000 miles. A news conference will be held Thursday. Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press http://espn.go.com/o...ck-preparations http://www.greenwich...ons-3932896.php
  18. A-League 'should stop' for Asian Cup October 10, 2012 Michael Lynch The AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 logo is unveiled during the preliminary draw and logo launch in Melbourne yesterday. Photo: Getty Images AUSTRALIA'S Asian Cup organisers have yet to make critical decisions over match venues in hosting cities for the tournament, which kicks off in January 2015, but they would like the A-League to go into a temporary shutdown for at least part of the three-week competition. Michael Brown, the chief executive of the Local Organising Committee, yesterday said the tournament, which will pit 15 of Asia's top soccer nations against hosts Australia, would likely prosper more if it wasn't competing against domestic matches. The Asian Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and organisers say it will showcase Australia and its soccer industry to a potential television audience of 2.5 billion. It will cost some $75 million to stage, with the bulk of the cash - $61 million - coming from federal and state governments in a 50/50 split. The rest is expected to be generated by ticket sales to a cumulative audience of around 500,000, a minimum figure organisers expect. Sydney will stage the final, the semi-finals, the third-place play-off and a quarter-final. Melbourne will stage the opening game and could host the Socceroos if they make it to the quarter-final. Sydney gets the lion's share of critical games for two reasons - one financial, the other strategic. The New South Wales government is investing more money in the tournament than other state governments on the eastern seaboard (Victoria, Queensland and the ACT), and finals matches are its reward. In addition, Brown said: ''Melbourne is very busy at that time of the year with the Australian Open tennis being staged and the singles finals will clash with the Asian Cup final on January 31. But the opening game, on January 8, will be played there as well as six other group stage matches.'' But he added these were only proposals and were awaiting final ratification by the Asian Cup Executive Committee next year. Brown and his deputy Shane Harmon were at pains to point out that they were not advocating a shortening of the A-League season to accommodate the tournament, merely the creation of some clear air for it to capture the public's imagination. ''The two potential solutions are that we continue the A-League in centres which are not hosting games [Adelaide, Perth, Wellington, Newcastle, Gosford] or have a two- or three-week mid-season break,'' Harmon said. Brown added the Socceroos could field several players from A-League sides, which could be disadvantaged if they had to play through the Asian Cup against rivals lacking international representatives. South Australia and Western Australia will not host any Asian Cup matches because at the time the bid was being put together in 2010, their respective state governments did not want to invest in the project. But they will host several training camps for the competing 16 countries while warm-up matches will be played in Adelaide and Perth. Brown also revealed that no decision had been made where the Melbourne matches would be staged, with the organisers trying to balance financial considerations with appropriate size and use, considering that the Socceroos would at best be involved in only two of the seven matches slotted for the Victorian capital (a group phase match and potentially a quarter-final). The choice lies between Etihad Stadium, which boasts larger capacity, and AAMI Park, which would be a more appropriate size for a fixture pitting a nation like North Korea against Jordan, for example. ''We have had talks with both Melbourne venues,'' Brown said. ''It's about getting the best fit and the best venue for the best deal.'' http://www.theage.co...1009-27bae.html
  19. Kuban Krasnodar fans protest 2018 World Cup hosting snub By Andrew Warshaw October 8 - Fans of Russian Premier League club Kuban Krasnodar have written to both Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA boss Sepp Blatter protesting that their city was not chosen as one of the host venues for the 2018 World Cup. The southern city of Krasnodar, which boasts two clubs, FC Krasnodar and Kuban, in Russia's top flight, was overlooked last week when FIFA and Russia 2018 selected the 11 cities that will host the 32-team tournament. Saransk, the smallest of the contenders and with little football tradition, was considered an outsider but made the list at the expense of Krasnodar. "We would like to express our outrage regarding the decision to exclude Krasnodar from the list of host cities for the 2018 World Cup," the Kuban fans said in an open letter addressed to Putin, Blatter and Russia 2018 chairman Vitaly Mutko. "We also express our mistrust in those officials who had been in charge of picking the host cities. "There is no other city in Russia where the number one sport is as popular as it is here. "Despite the fact that Krasnodar's population is only 750,000 and our club has never won any major trophies, our 30,000-seat stadium has always been filled to capacity. " http://www.insidewor...up-hosting-snub
  20. Russia 2018 sets visa-free regime for World Cup ticket holders By Andrew Warshaw October 9 - Russia 2018 has reiterated plans to scrap visa requirements for fans – provided they have FIFA World Cup tickets Alexander Djordjadze, deputy chief executive and international relations director of Russia 2018, made the pledge during a special event in Moscow. "We [have] offered the Government a project on the visa-free regime for all those possessing tickets," said Djordjadze. "During the event, fans will be allowed to use their tickets as permits to visit the championship's host cities and those in the European part of Russia, including Kaliningrad and Yekaterinburg, on a free-of-charge basis." ... http://www.insidewor...-world-cup-fans
  21. Jilong confident of AFC Asian Cup success Melbourne: AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong predicted a thrilling AFC Asian Cup 2015 qualifying campaign following the preliminary draw here on Tuesday. Twenty teams came out of the pots to be slotted into five groups of four teams each. The qualifying action will start in February 2014 and end in March 2014 with 11 teams entering the tournament proper alongside hosts Australia, reigning champions Japan, Korea Republic, DPR Korea and the winners of the 2014 edition of the AFC Challenge Cup. “The long and difficult journey to that day starts here and now with the preliminary draw when 20 of our teams find out the challenges, which await them, as they pursue their aim of qualifying for the final tournament,” said Jilong. “I can safely predict a lot of goals, plenty of fair play and an endless supply of entertainment during the qualifying period.” Jilong gave voice to the Asian football family’s hopes and aspirations. “The AFC Asian Cup is the jewel in the crown of Asian football and sport-loving Australia has been entrusted to host the next edition,” said the AFC Acting President. “AFC is confident that the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 will be the best ever, a perfect and unforgettable celebration of football,” he said. FFA Chairman Frank Lowy said this is the first big event leading to the biggest football tournament ever staged in Australia. “We are honoured to be the host of this competition. It will celebrate Asia’s rich football heritage and leave a lasting legacy for the game here in Australia,” he said. “We believe the AFC Asian Cup will provide many opportunities to strengthen our trade and tourism ties with Asia.” AFC Asian Cup Organising Committee Chairman His Royal Highness Tengku Abdullah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah said that AFC had raised the bar for the AFC Asian Cup in terms of organisation, performance and attendance with each passing edition. “The 2015 qualifiers promise to be thrilling because the tournament itself continues to evolve with each passing edition. The AFC Asian Cup easily highlights everything that is praiseworthy about Asian football today,” he said. “The expectations are high not only of the teams but also of the hosts and my committee is confident that they will deliver a world-class event.” Premier of the state of Victoria Ted Baillieu said his government would work closely with ALOC to make the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015™ a great success. “We are supporting the event because we recognise how important the Asian Cup is for football here in Australia,” said Bailieu. “Australian governments want to work with the organisers to not only ensure the tournament is a great success but also to strengthen tourism, trade, investment and business ties with Asia,” he said. “Asia is a growing and important region for Victoria and Australia and I look forward to welcoming many international business people to Melbourne both in the lead-up to and during the event. “By making these connections we will ensure the Asian Cup is not only about the great football on the pitch, but leaves a great legacy after the final whistle is blown,” he added. http://www.the-afc.c...ers-will-thrill AFC Asian Cup rivalries renewed Melbourne: Renewal of acquaintance will be the main feature of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015™ qualifiers after the preliminary draw for Asia's flagship national team tournament was held here on Tuesday. Twenty teams were divided into five groups of four teams each. The top two teams from each group and the best third-placed team among all the groups will qualify for the tournament proper to be held in Australia in 2015. AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ champions Japan, hosts and runners-up Australia, third-placed Korea Republic, AFC Challenge Cup 2012 winners DPR Korea and the champions of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup will get direct berths in the final competition. Syria were together with Jordan in Group B of the last edition in Doha 2011 but the former crashed out while the Al Nashama advanced to the quarter-finals after finishing second in the group behind eventual champions Japan. This time, the Syrian Eagles, Jordan, Oman, and Singapore who last appeared in 1994, complete Group A. In another renewal of rivalry, Iran who beat Kuwait in the 1976 final to emerge as the champions have again been put together with the Al Azraq in Group B where they face off against Lebanon and 2007 co-hosts and group stage contestants Thailand. Iraq are to shake hands with Saudi Arabia again in Group C, having emerged champions in 2007 after defeating the Green Falcons. China PR, who were runners-up in 2004, and 2007 co-hosts Indonesia will keep them company. In Group E, Central Asians Uzbekistan will meet Hong Kong, the hosts and third place winners of the inaugural edition in 1956. The section is rounded off by 2007 quarter-finalists Vietnam and 1996 runners-up the UAE. Group D is home to 2011 hosts and quarter-finalists Qatar, who have appeared in the AFC Asian Cup seven times, their neighbours Bahrain, Yemen, and 2007 co-hosts and group stage contestants Malaysia. The qualifiers will commence in February 2013. The Groupings: Group A Jordan Syria Oman Singapore Group B Iran Kuwait Thailand Lebanon Group C Iraq China Saudi Arabia Indonesia Group D Qatar Bahrain Yemen Malaysia Group E Uzbekistan UAE Vietnam Hong Kong http://www.the-afc.c...40286-renew-acq
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