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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)


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The Pre-London 2012 Olympic News Thread (June 22nd to 27 July)


London 2012 Olympics: Syrian head of Olympics Committee General Mowaffak Joumaa refused visa to attend Games
General Mowaffak Joumaa, the head of the Syrian Olympic Committee, is understood to have been refused a visa into England for the London Olympic Games.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/ol...ffak-Joumaa-refused-visa-to-attend-Games.html
 

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Leading equestrian official resigns from London 2012

LONDON (Reuters) - A top British official has resigned from the committee overseeing the London 2012 equestrian events in a row over public access to pre-Games horse inspections.
Hugh Thomas, event director of the Badminton horse trials and a designer of past Olympic courses, told Reuters the decision by organisers not to admit the public was "disgraceful".
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/news/...icial-resigns-london-2012-114635326--spt.html
 

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How is the progress going on the Horse Guards Parade stadium for the beach volleyball?
I can't comment directly on the arena's progress as it is difficult to get within viewing distance: I tried to cycle down the Mall last Wednesday evening (20th June) and was surprised to discover the extent of the road closures round there. The whole of the Mall is closed to cyclists and pedestrians except for a route from Admiralty Arch, along the north pavement to Carlton House Terrace steps, presumably this stretch only being left open to allow public access to the ICA. I asked a security guard if this was for the construction of the beach volleyball venue. According to him last Wednesday was the first day of a closure that will be in effect until after the Paralympics in September. However, he said that Birdcage Walk was also closed, whilst his colleague insisted it was open so I'm not too sure how much they really know. I didn't have time to find out for myself but I imagine pedestrians are still allowed to access as far as the Cabinet War Rooms on the south side, although obviously Horse Guards Road itself, as well as that end of St James's Park has been fenced off. Here are maps of the area during the games which indicate work also needs to be done on supporting areas in the park itself: http://www.london2012.com/venue/horse-guards-parade/maps/
 

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The IOC banned them after all the fuss of the Beijing relay.
Ah Ok, so they think similar protests would occur at the London one? I thought that the relay itself was a very good promotion for the olympics, be it protests or just the torch landing in different countries. It's very difficult to engage into the games if everything is 'up there' and with so little promotion in Aus atm.

In Australia, if you don't catch the Coca Cola ads or read the sports news at the back of the paper, you probably won't know when the olympics will be held and what's happening to them since there is so little news coverage in Australia about the games.
 

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Just wondering, so London isn't going to do the world torch thing?
Athens did it because it was the Games returning home, Beijing did it because bigger was better as far as the Chinese were concerned.

Before that relays didn't travel the world. London 2012 is returning back to the norm.

Sydney had an Oceania wide relay iirc.
 

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London 2012 will be most expensive Olympics ever

LONDON 2012 is set to be the most expensive Olympics to date with a projected cost of £8.4bn, according to a report released yesterday.

Researchers at the University of Oxford’s Said Business School say this equates to a 101 per cent overrun compared to the original budget of just £4.2bn in 2005.

But Professor Bent Flyvbjerg and his co-researcher Allison Stewart say that this compares favourably to an average cost overrun of 179 per cent for Olympics held during the last 50 years.

But it is substantially more than the typical cost overrun of 47 per cent for Games held in the last the decade.

“While all major programmes are prone to cost overruns, due largely both to optimism and conscious strategic misrepresentation, overruns of the Games are in a league of their own,” Flyvbjerg said.

The researchers found that a major problem for organisers is that, unlike other major investment programmes, each Olympics is unique to the host city and involves thousands of staff who do not have experience of working on equivalent projects.

Organisers are also prone to purposefully underestimating costs for political reasons, leading the researchers to recommend an approach known as “reference class forecasting” – essentially using the consistent level of past overruns to calculate a more realistic budget for future Olympics.

The report also offers a warning to London 2012 organisers: “Though there is little the London Games can do now to limit the cost overruns, it is important the Committee keep a firm hand on the budget in the remaining weeks leading up to the Games, or the situation could worsen.

“As we learned from Delhi’s Commonwealth Games in 2010 and the Athens Olympics in 2004, in the final stages of preparation the focus can quickly shift from cost control to delivery at any cost, resulting in significant additional overruns.

“Transportation, security, and broadcasting are three areas that could potentially require urgent financial attention if the organisers’ projections are incorrect.”

http://www.cityam.com/latest-news/london-2012-will-be-most-expensive-olympics-ever
 

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London 2012 - A mystery: where is the London cauldron?

London’s Olympic Stadium is ready, with a pristine track, a well-manicured grassy field and rows of gleaming seats to welcome 80,000 fans. But one thing is clearly missing.

Where’s the cauldron that will hold the Olympic flame?

Organisers usually keep back details about the Olympics’ opening ceremony, including the flame lighting, to ensure the appropriate drama, so it’s no surprise that they’re being coy. But usually there is some structure - somewhere - that indicates where the flame will burn throughout the games.

There is one tower next to the Olympic Stadium that could solve the mystery - the ArcelorMittal Orbit, a ruby red sculpture of twisted steel that looks like a smashed rollercoaster. Except that Olympic officials say this crazy sightseeing contraption won’t be it.

“No, it’s not the cauldron,” said Peter Tudor, the director of venues for the Olympic Park Legacy Corp. “I would know if there was a massive gas pipe inside.”

Well, if it isn’t there, then where? The question has become as much of the mystery as the opening ceremony itself.

In the ancient games, Greeks lit a ritual fire to commemorate Prometheus and his theft of fire from Zeus. Then at the 1928 Amsterdam Games, a cauldron was lit - although no one is quite certain about how that came about, said Bill Mallon, co-founder of the international society of Olympic history.

But fire really took hold at the Nazi-backed 1936 Berlin Olympics. Chief organiser Carl Diem came up with the idea of a relay starting at Olympia in Greece, and a tradition was born. Torchbearer Fritz Schilgen was chosen to light the cauldron because he was a good looking guy - a theme repeated in 1948 when the dashing John Mark took the flame in London.

Mallon said the cauldron lighting really became a wow moment at the 1952 Summer Games in Helsinki. The Flying Finn, Paavo Nurmi, one of the best long- and middle-distance runners ever, brought the flame into the stadium and Hannes Kolehmainen, another Finnish long-distance great who competed in 1912 and 1920, lit the cauldron. The combination of local heroes and fire proved lasting.

After that, Olympic organisers stayed up late at night trying to figure out how to outdo the games before. Some memorable moments:

- An archer at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics lit the cauldron with a flaming arrow.

- In Atlanta in 1996, Muhammad Ali, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, held the torch high and bent over to light a wire that led to the cauldron - his arm shaking but his resolve firm.

- At the 2000 Sydney Games, gold medalist Cathy Freeman lit a ring of fire in a pool of water.

Given the pressure, it’s unlikely the British will go for some sort of virtual cauldron, however Earth-friendly or sustainable that might be. Historians like Mallon puts its apparent absence to the fact that the London organising committee plans to outdo the theatrics of other games.

“There will be a cauldron,” Mallon said. “I’ll betcha the cauldron will rise out of the stadium somewhere.”
http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=145107
 

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Im still convinced it will rise atop a green structure from the tor to illustrate "greeness" It will probably have some sort of carbon capture helmet over it as well and will be fueled by biofuel.
 
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