Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Raw Japan:

Countdown to 2016 Gold

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DENMARK/The delegations and heads of state are gathering in Copenhagen with less than one week to go until the International Olympic Committee's decision on which city will host the 2016 Games.

Billions of dollars in investment and national pride are at stake. Oddsmakers are pegging a close race ahead of the Oct. 2 vote, and we are adding a new question to our poll on candidate cities (included below). What is the most important issue in the selection of an Olympic host city?

    Finances/infrastructure Security Public support First time to host Games Olympic bid plan
Created on Sep 26, 2009

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poll by twiigs.com  Which 2016 Olympic bid city do you support?

    Tokyo Chicago Madrid Rio de Janeiro
Created on Sep 3, 2009

from UK News:

Minister warns against “contaminating” 2012 Olympics

BRITAIN/Clerics and police have expressed concern, and now the Olympics minister has - London could see a proliferation in prostitution and human trafficking during the 2012 Games.

Some have warned the Olympics could see a repeat of the "mega brothels" set up in German cities for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

from Raw Japan:

The 2016 Gold

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OLYMPICS/OPENING

Less than a month until the International Olympic Committee's selection of the winning city in the 2016 Olympic bid campaign, and the IOC in a report Wednesday has the candidates in a dead heat.

All bid cities -- Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo -- will make a push before the Oct. 2 decision in Copenhagen, with billions of dollars in investment and national prestige at stake. 

Bolt v Gay to light up Berlin

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boltUsain Bolt versus Tyson Gay is the sort of showdown that would grace any era of athletics and with a bit of luck the world championships in Berlin should give us two takes – in the 100 and 200 metres. 

The match-up between the Jamaican and the American was supposed to be the highlight of the Beijing Olympics but it wasn’t meant to be. Bolt stole the show with three golds and three world records while Gay failed even to make the 100 final. Bolt was in such crowd-pleasing form that in truth you hardly noticed the other seven runners on the track.

Does golf really deserve a place in the Olympics?

roggePierre de Coubertin must be turning in his grave at the news that golf, surely the globe’s ultimate consumerist, exclusive sport, is set to be played at the 2016 Olympics.

The Frenchman revived the ancient Olympic Games at the end of the 19th century to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship and amateur ideals of a bygone era.

from The Great Debate UK:

Government must deliver on Olympic legacy promise

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robertson1- Hugh Robertson is the opposition Conservatives' Olympics spokesman. The views expressed are his own. -

With three years to go, it is remarkable that London 2012 is going so well.

London’s Olympics were launched with a massive government miscalculation that resulted in the budget having to be increased threefold, were based on a plan that required us to build two Terminal 5s in half the time and have had to contend with the worst economic recession in living memory.

Boyz II Men risk a Barack-ing over Tokyo Olympic support

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boyzAsk not what you can do for your country … ask its direct competitor if it wants any help with its Olympic bid.

Tokyo’s 2016 campaign has been short on glamour backers and is struggling to match Chicago’s trump card, American President Barack Obama - until now.

World Games: Hidden gold for those who look, laugh

Reporters covering matches between the planet’s top tug-of-war teams at the 2009 World Games in Taiwan this past week would work from the press box of a middle school gymnasium cooled by ceiling fans and run by six volunteers with nothing to do but make sure the computer lines worked.

The actual battleground was the school’s field; a sell-out crowd of about 300 sat on the school’s bleachers after paying just $3 per ticket. International World Games Association officials watched from a lean-to on the grass.

Snow leopards and the art of Olympic environmental diplomacy

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snowleopard

There is an art in dealing with environmental issues when preparing to host Olympic Games.

Athens for example, while preparing to host the 2004 Olympics, decided to construct the rowing venue inside a protected nature reserve and just a few hundred metres from the historic site of the ancient battle of Marathon. Environmental groups were up in arms for years before organisers said while they would build the venue there they would also save a rare fish (which looked more like a frog) living in the tiny creeks of the nature reserve. The rowing centre was built and after the Games it was never used again because of environmental restrictions.

Spain’s sporting state of grace

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pauPau Gasol’s triumph with the LA Lakers has prompted more articles in the Spanish media celebrating the country’s incredible run of sporting success.

Gasol was a vital cog in the Lakers machine this season and joins a long list of Spanish champions in individual and team sports.

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