OPLC considering commercial naming rights programme

December 26, 2011

Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), the organization charged with administering the facilities legacies of London 2012, is considering a commercial naming rights programme that would see Olympic facilities take on corporate brand names subsequent to the completion of the 2012 Paralympic Games. The Independent reports that major corporations such as McDonald's and Coca Cola Corp. may already have been approached. The collapse of Tottenham Hotspur football club's stadium take-over bid has rendered the future of the Olympic Stadium uncertain. The new programme is seen as a way to attract corporate funding required for the future conversion and upkeep of the stadium. The Independent's report can be found here.

- Olympic legacies; commercialization; branding; sponsorship; Olympic brand; 
  OPLC; 2012 Olympic Summer Games; London 2012

Qatar to end men-only Olympic track record

December 23, 2011

Nada Mohammed Wafa is among the first women to represent the country of Qatar in international sporting competitions. The athlete has been nominated to participate in the swimming competitions of the Arab Games, the middle East's biggest sporting event. Qatar, like Saudi Arabia and Brunei, has been pressured by the IOC to remedy the absence of women athletes from their national teams. Qatar's interest in submitting a bid for hosting the 2020 Olympic Games has increased the pressure on the country to remedy team selection policies. The Northwest Indiana Times examines the issue here.

- gender; womens' sport; human rights; discrimination; swimming; Qatar;
  2012 Olympic Summer Games; London 2012

Dow Chemical's move fails to satisfy Indian Olympic Association

December 18, 2011

In a move designed to fend off criticism of its London 2012 sponsorship role, Dow Chemicals has offered to remove the company logo from the Olympic Stadium it is contracted to sponsor. The Indian Olympic Association have expressed their dissatisfaction with this arrangement and have reiterated their call for termination of the sponsorship contract. The Wall Street Journal provides an update of the controversial issue here.

- corporate responsibility; commercialization; branding; Olympic brand; LOCOG;  Dow Chemicals; 2012 Olympic Summer Games; London 2012

Amnesty International raises Rio forced evictions human rights concerns

December 14, 2011

Amnesty International has partnered with local activist organizations in Rio de Janeiro and called on the IOC to take a stand against forced evictions of communities from spaces identified for Olympic facilities construction. During a visit to construction sites in Rio, members of an IOC technical committee refused to accept a letter from the activist organization that outlines human rights concerns arising from the forced evictions. A video clip clip with English subtitles documenting this episode can be viewed here (video).The number of community members already evicted, or in risk of eviction, across the 12 cities identified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, is estimated potentially to reach 170,000.

- security; surveillance; oppression; human rights; Brazil; Rio de Janeiro; Rio; 
  2016 Summer Olympics; Rio 2016

New study fails to demonstrate Olympic mass participation increase effect

December 9, 2011

One of the key promises anchoring London's successful Olympic bid has failed to materialize. A study by Sport England shows that the anticipated increase in young people's sport participation has not only failed to occur, sports participation among youth has actually decreased noticeably, the extensive investments in Olympic sports notwithstanding.The Independent reports on Sport England's study here.

- Olympic bids; legacies; sports particpation; 2012 Summer Olympics; 
  London 2012

British Olympic sprinter puts himself on eBay

December 7, 2011

British Olympic hopeful, sprinter James Ellington has put his Olympic-related sponsorship services up for auction on eBay. Subsequent to extended complications caused by injury, Ellington lost his premier ranking, and is now the only British sprint hopeful without a sponsor. The condition of the eBay item is listed as, 'new/other.' The auction ended on December 17. The winning bid came in at £32,550 - over £2,000 higher than the opening reserve of £30,000 set by Ellington.

- commercialization; sponsorship; eBay; 2012 Summer Olympics; London 2012

FINA accepts new generation of performance-enhancing body suits for Olympic swimming competitions

December 2, 2011

Lifting a ban on swim suit technology put in place after 276 swimming world records had been broken within an earlier two-year span, FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) - the world governing body of competitive swimming - has now approved use of a new generation of body suits. The new suits are designed as a system that also adds specially designed swim caps and goggles to the swimmer's arsenal. Experts anticipate a high incidence of world records for the upcoming summer Olympics. The Toronto Star(Canada) examines the new technology here.

- performance-enhancing devices; swimming; FINA; 2012 Summer Olympics; 
  London 2012

Failed Olympic bid opens space for New York City urban renewal

December 1, 2011

The area of New York City intended for facilities construction in the city's failed bid for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, is undergoing unprecedented urban renewal. Urban planners argue that the bid's failure may have opened a space for urban development on the far west side of Manhattan, that otherwise would have been taken up by the Olympic stadium and related facilities. The new developments utilize parts of the Olympic bid plan for urban development. The New York Times reports on the issue here.

- Olympic bids; legacies; urban renewal; New York City; 2012 Summer Olympics

Toronto considering bid for 2024 Olympics

November 29, 2011

Members of Toronto, Canada, city council reacted positively to discussions about reviving the city's bid for hosting a summer Olympic Games. Olympic boosters hope to leverage the facilities construction already underway for the hosting of the 2015 Pan Am Games. Toronto had previously submitted unscuccessful bids for the 1996 and 2008 Olympics. The National Post (Ottawa) reports on the plan here.

- Olympic bids; Toronto; 2024 Summer Olympics

Former Paralympian aiming for 2016 Olympics

November 27, 2011

After regaining the use of her legs, Dutch cyclist, Monique van der Vorst, hopes to complement her past Paralympic experience with participation in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Van der Vorst had lost the use of her legs after an ankle operation several years ago; she gradually was able to regain the use of her legs subsequent to a crash in training last year. The Huffington Post tracks her astonishing recovery here.

- athletic injuries; 2016 Summer Olympics; Rio 2016

British police to bar armed foreign security personnel during 
London 2012

November 24, 2011

The national security coordinator for the London Summer Olympics contradicted earlier reports in the Guardian that the FBI would provide security for American athletes at the Summer Olympics and that armed personnel of foreign security agencies would be operative during the Games. Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison stated that Britain would not require outside help to maintain security during the Olympics, and that the development of security plans was on schedule. Business Insider Europe reports on the issue here.

- security; surveillance; 2012 Summer Olympics; London 2012

Number of private security guards at 2012 Olympics to double

November 23, 2011

The number of private security guards to patrol the venues of the upcoming Summer Olympic Games is likely to more than double from the initial estimate of 10,000. LOCOG, the London Olympics organizing committee, has contracted private security firm G4S to provide security personnel and servies for the Games. The number of G4S personnel is now expected to reach 22,000. Reuters reports on Olympic security plannig developments here.

- security; surveillance; 2012 Summer Olympics; London 2012

Cyber attack security exercise conducted in run-up to 2012 Olympics

November 22, 2011

87 financial firms, includig some of the biggest in the British financial system, participated in an exercise designed to determine how quickly financial and public transportation services would be able to resume normal operations subsequent to a cyber attack. The exercise tested the firms' capabilities to recover from a total internet failure that would also bring down retail and wholesale payment systems such as automated teller machines and credit card payment systems. A report is expected to be published in February.Reuters reports on the exercise here.

- security; surveillance; terrorism; 2012 Summer Olympics; London 2012

Demonstrations in Britain to be curtailed during the Olymic Games

November 20, 2011

Out of concern that the 2012 Olympics could be disrupted by extended public protest actions, ministers are considering legal action to restrict public protests during the Games. Concerns were raised in part by the highly visible presence of the Occupy London protest camp outside St. Paul's cathedral. Officials are concerned that similar actions might cast a shadow on the Olympic brand during the Games, and are considering preventative measures. The Independent examines the plans here.

- civic spaces; private spaces; security; surveillance; 2012 Summer Olympics; 
  London 2012

US raise concerns over 2012 Olympic security

November 15, 2011

US officials have expressed increasingly pressing concerns over the security of American athletes at the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics, and are preparing to send up to 1,000 US agents, including 500 FBI personnel, to provide security services for American athletes. This number will be added to the 10,000 G4S private guards contracted by LOCOG, and the up to 6,000 British soldiers to be provided by the government. Security firm G4S is now beginning the hiring process for the 10,000 security guards. The Guardiananalyzes the issue here.

- security; surveillance; United States; USA; FBI; 2012 Summer Olympics; 
  London 2012

Indian Olympic athletes voice objection to LOCOG's Dow Chemicals sponsorship deal

November 14, 2011

At least 21 Indian Olympic athletes and five Bhopal victims' right groups have voiced their objections to the sponsorship deal LOCOG - the organizing committee for the upcoming London Olympics - have struck with Dow Chemicals Company. Dow is to sponsor a curtain-style wrap that will cover the entire Olympic Stadium. Dow previously had acquired Union Carbide, the company responsible for the 1984 industrial disaster in Bhopal, India, that led to the death of an estimated 15,000 people. Dow have always denied legal responsibility for Union Carbide's actions. In view of the disaster victims' ongoing plight, the Indian Olympic athletes note that they consider such a sponsorship deal to be offensive to the spirit of the Olympic Games. LOCOG confirmed their determination to stand by their sponsorship deal. The Washington Post summarizes the letter here.

- corporate responsibility; commercialization; branding; Olympic brand; LOCOG;  Dow Chemicals; 2012 Olympic Summer Games; London 2012

Brazilian military and Rio police take control of Rio's largest favela

November 13, 2011

In an extension of their Pre-Olympic so named pacification strategy, Brazilian miltary and Rio de Janeiro police forces have taken control of Rocinha, Rio's largest favela (shanty town). With an estimated population of about 250,000, Rocinha is considered to be crucial to the city's drug trade. Rocinha is among 20 favelas that have been pacified so far. It is estimated that about 19% of Rio's popluation reside in the favelas. The Rio Times (Rio de Janeiro) reports on the military intervention here.

- security; surveillance; oppression; human rights; Brazil; Rio de Janeiro; Rio; 
  2016 Summer Olympics; Rio 2016

2020 Games applicant cities to shorten international lobbying phase

November 7, 2011

The six applicant cities competing for hosting of the 2020 Summer Olympics have been advised by the IOC that the international phase of the bid campaign will be shortened in order to reduce the costs of the bid campaign. The Washington Post reports on the meeting here.

- Olympic bidding; IOC; host cities; Baku; Doha; Istanbul; Madrid; Rome, Tokyo; 
  2020 Summer Olympics

Military to work with private security firms on London 2012 security

November 4, 2011

The Financial Times reports on requests by LOCOG officials for 6,000 troops to help in the provision of security during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games; the troops are to work alongside private security contractors. LOCOG has contracted with private security firm G4S to provide 10,000 private security personnel for the Games. Access to the Financial Times report is by registration only.

- security; surveillance; LOCOG; 2012 Summer Olympics; London 2012

Women boxers at London 2012 to do battle in skirts

November 3, 2011

Women boxers will make their Olympic debut at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games. In order to capitalize on the resulting media opportunities, and to make the females athletes more easily distinguishable from their male counterparts, officials at the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) have suggested that the athletes should wear skirts. So far, only Poland and Romania have put the suggestion to the test. Female boxers voiced trenchant criticism. USA Today reflects on the issue here.

- boxing; gender; representation; media; Amateur International Boxing 
  Association; AIBA; 2012 Olympic Summer Games; London 2012

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