TSX REPORT: Beamon’s ‘68 long jump gold on auction; equestrian federation asked for 2028 Eventing revamp; Australia opts for A/C in Paris

Bob Beamon's 1968 Olympic long jump gold medal (Photo: Christie's)

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1. Beamon’s 1968 Olympic gold up for auction on 1 February
2. FEI told to revamp Cross Country for LA28 Games by 1 March
3. Australia to install optional air conditioners in Paris Village
4. USA Basketball names 11 Olympians to women’s training camp
5. World Aquatics approves eight “neutral” swimmers for Worlds

● World-record long jump star Bob Beamon is auctioning off his historic 1968 Olympic gold medal in February during a live auction at Christie’s New York. Will it approach the prices paid for Jesse Owens’ Berlin 1936 golds?

● The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has been instructed by the International Olympic Committee to re-format its Eventing discipline by 1 March, to reduce its costs and complex for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

● Although the Paris 2024 Olympic Village was designed without air conditioning for environmental reasons, the Australian Olympic Committee is ready to pay A$100,000 to add it for their athletes to ensure maximal performance.

● USA Basketball named 18 star players to a training camp, from which 12 will be selected to play in an Olympic Qualifying Tournament in February (even though the Americans have already qualified for Paris 2024). On the roster are 11 Olympians and four more who played on the 2022 FIBA World Cup championship team. Wow!

● The World Aquatics Integrity Unit has approved nine “neutral” swimmers – eight from Belarus – to compete at the upcoming World Aquatics Championships in Qatar, plus one Belarusian artistic swimmer, but that does not mean they will compete there.

Panorama: Paris 2024 (IOC releases athlete “expression” guidelines) = IOC (Kuwait’s Sheikh Ahmad conviction confirmed by Swiss court) = Russia (3: Friendship Games to have five sports in Belarus; WADA sets 2024 Russian dues; national flag deemed crucial for ROC chief) = Athletics (2: two more Kenyan doping positives; Christie and Melville win USATF Marathon Walk Relay) = Canoe-Kayak (ICF celebrates 100-year anniversary) = Lacrosse (ITA reports three doping positives from 2023 Worlds) = Rowing (Serbian federation suspended over debts) = Table Tennis (Ly and Takahashi take Pan Am Cup titles) ●

Bob Beamon’s 1968 Olympic long jump gold up for auction
on 1 February

Bob Beamon’s astonishing world-record long jump of 8.90 m (29-2 1/2) at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games is one of the world’s iconic individual performances in sport.

A medal favorite, Beamon qualified second to fellow American Ralph Boston, the 1960 Olympic Champion, who set an Olympic Record of 8.27 m (27-1 3/4), with Beamon at 8.19 m (26-10 1/2).

In the final – 18 October 1968 – Beamon was fourth in the order and after the first three jumpers all fouled, Beamon unleashed a mammoth jump that was so far, the optical measuring device installed for the Games could not be used. The jump was manually measured and was posted at 8.90 m, which Beamon did not immediately understand. When told by Boston that he had jumped 29-2 1/2, Beamon collapsed in astonishment.

At the start of the day, the world record had been 8.35 m (27–4 3/4) by Boston (1965) and Soviet Igor Ter-Ovanesyan, in Mexico City in 1967. Beamon crushed that mark and the competition was over. He did jump in the second round, reaching 8.04 m (26-4 1/2) and then retired.

It took 23 years for his mark to be surpassed, with Mike Powell of the U.S. winning an epic duel with Carl Lewis at the 1991 IAAF World Championships in Tokyo, reaching 8.95 m (29-4 1/2) to win.

Beamon, now 77, worked with youth in sports for many years in Miami and in art and music and is now selling that 1968 Olympic gold in a 1 February auction by Christie’s in New York City.

Called The Exceptional Sale, the 40-item program includes iconic furniture, tapestries and works of art, plus Beamon’s gold medal, an Elvis Presley guitar and a gold vest owned by Janis Joplin.

The Christie’s estimate is that the medal could bring from $400-600,000, which would be one of the highest prices ever paid for an Olympic medal.

Olympic writer and board member of the multi-national Olympin Collectors Club Karen Rosen (USA) notes that the highest prices known to have been paid for Olympic medals are both for Berlin 1936 gold medals won by American sprint icon Jesse Owens.

An Owens gold sold for an all-time record of $1,466,574 on 8 December 2013, and a second Owens gold went for $615,000 on 7 December 2019.

The Beamon ‘68 gold will be sold in a live auction by Christie’s on 1 February, beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern time. It’s lot no. 11.

FEI told to revamp Cross Country for LA28 Games by 1 March

The respected British equestrian magazine Horse & Hound reported that the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) has been asked to reconfigure its competition program for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

At issue is what to do about the high-profile Eventing discipline, which often has the Cross Country segment held apart from the arena-style setting for Dressage and Jumping. Per the report:

● “The [Eventing] discipline is not yet confirmed for the 2028 Games, although leading figures have ‘confidence’ it will be.”

● “In a pre-recorded video message, FEI president Ingmar de Vos [BEL] told the 2024 FEI online eventing seminar today (20 January) that eventing being included in the 2028 programme is subject to finding a venue that accommodates all equestrian disciplines on one site, including the cross-country phase.”

The IOC’s instructions to the FEI apparently came in the last half of December, with a proposal due by 1 March. The Eventing format – formerly known as the “Three-Day Event” – usually features Dressage first, then Jumping and finishes with the Cross Country test on the third day, with the final phase over a lengthy course. For Tokyo 2020, the Cross Country segment was planned for a 5,700 m course (~3.54 miles).

The course length often places the Cross Country aspect at a separate venue, which increases costs significantly and requires the horses to be transported. For 2028, the proposed equestrian venue is a temporary facility in the “Valley Sports Park” at the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area in the San Fernando Valley.

At the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the Dressage and Jumping events were held in a specially-arranged arena at Santa Anita Park, but the Cross Country program was accommodated 115 miles south at Fairbank Ranch near San Diego, to ensure cooler weather for the horses.

The story noted that both the IOC and its Olympic Broadcasting Services subsidiary would prefer to have the Cross Country element as the final event in the Eventing program, with the medals awarded after the finish of that competition.

Observed: This is a normal part of the Olympic planning process and venues are always moved around for cost and convenience reasons. For 2028, the LA28 Web site still shows the bid plan from 2017, but the rowing and flatwater canoeing events are already known to be moved from Lake Perris in Riverside County (east of Los Angeles) to the Long Beach Marine Stadium, site of the 1932 rowing events.

Further moves – beyond equestrian – are expected, and venues have yet to be announced for Skateboarding, Sport Climbing and Surfing, as well as the five newly-added sports of baseball-Softball, Cricket, Flag Football, Lacrosse and Squash.

Australia to install optional air conditioners in Paris Village

“We understand and support the idea of not having air conditioning because of the carbon footprint.

“But there is no question of sacrificing performance. At the [Australian Olympic Committee], we requested the services of a heat specialist to find out at what temperature sleep is best. As we explained to [the organizing committee], athletes must sleep during the day, as their events often take place in the evening. The daytime will be the hottest time.

“This is why we decided to install temporary air conditioners and fans in the athletes’ rooms. It’s an expense, but we can afford it.”

That’s Australian Olympic Committee chief executive Matt Carroll in an interview with The Telegraph (Australia), explaining why the AOC is following through on its decision from last November to add air conditioning to its athlete rooms at the Paris 2024 Olympic Village.

The cost is expected to be about A$100,000 or so (about $65,700 U.S.). The Paris Olympic Village was designed with flow-through cooling architecture so that air conditioning would not be added to each unit for environmental reasons, but the Paris organizers have said that temporary air-conditioning units could be added – at additional cost – for delegations that wished to have them.

It will be fascinating to see how many delegations decide to add air conditioning now that Australia has committed to it.

USA Basketball names 11 Olympians to women’s training camp

The most dominant team in Olympic sport today has to be the U.S. women’s basketball team, which is on a 55-game Olympic win streak and has won seven Olympic golds in a row.

A lot of familiar faces are lining up to be on the 2024 U.S. women’s Olympic team, as USA Basketball announced an 18-woman training camp squad, with 12 to be selected for the 8-11 February FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Antwerp (BEL).

The U.S. women are already qualified for Paris, but are in the Qualifying Tournament to get ready for Paris. The squad that head coach Cheryl Reeve will have to choose from is an embarrassment of riches. USA Basketball noted the 11 Olympians in its announcement:

5 Golds (1): Diana Taurasi (2004-08-12-16-20)

2 Golds (2): Brittney Griner (2016-20), Breanna Stewart (2016-20)

1 Gold (8): Ariel Atkins (2020), Napheesa Collier (2020), Chelsea Gray (2020), Jewell Loyd (2020), and A’ja Wilson (2020), plus 3×3 Olympic champs Allisha Gray (2020), Kelsey Plum (2020) and Jackie Young (2020).

Further, four more players – Kahleah Cooper, Sabrina Ionescu, Betnijah Laney and Alyssa Thomas – were on the gold-medal-winning 2022 FIBA World Cup team (8-0), along with Atkins, Chelsea Gray, Plum, Stewart and Wilson.

The U.S. women will play Belgium, Nigeria and Senegal in their qualifier; there are also qualifying tournaments in X’ian (CHN), Belem (BRA) and Sopron (HUN).

The qualifying tournament team is not the team that will compete in Paris this summer. That process is a continuing evaluation and will undoubtedly add some other players to the mix such as collegiate stars like Caitlin Clark (Iowa), Angel Reese (LSU), Paige Bueckers (Connecticut) and others.

World Aquatics approves eight “neutral” swimmers for Worlds

The 2024 World Aquatics Championships are coming to Doha (QAT) beginning on 2 February and the World Aquatics Integrity Unit (AQIU) has approved eight swimmers and one artistic swimmer to compete under its “neutrality” rules.

Seven of the eight swimmers are from Belarus, including Ilya Shymanovich, the world short-course (25 m) record holder in the 100 m Breaststroke and gold medalist at the 2021 World Short-Course Championships. He was eighth in the Tokyo Olympic final in the 100 m Breast, but ranked no. 3 worldwide in the event in 2023 (58.41).

Tokyo Olympians Anastasiya Shkurdai (Fly) and Alina Zmushka (Breast) were also on the “neutrals” list. The one Russian swimmer was Ivan Girev, a Tokyo gold medalist in the 4×200 m Free relay.

World Aquatics told SwimSwam.com that four swimmers and one artistic swimmer have registered for Doha, all from Belarus. Vasilina Khandoshka is the artistic swimmer, the 2021 European Championships bronze winner in the Solo Technical.

As far as qualification for Paris is concerned, even if athletes are certified by an International Federation, the IOC will also verify their “neutrality” as regards supporting Russia’s war on Ukraine.


● Olympic Games 2024: Paris ● The International Olympic Committee released its “Guidelines on Athlete Expression” for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, with the same core requirements as for the Tokyo Games in 2021:

“Expressions are not permitted in the following instances:

o During official ceremonies (including Olympic medal ceremonies, opening and closing ceremonies)

o During competition on the field of play

o In the Olympic Village”

The exception for near-the-field gestures introduced in Tokyo was continued for Paris, allowing for an “expression” or “gesture” when leaving the call room or being introduced, that is considered non-threatening, targeted at a specific group or disruptive. Specifically prohibited are the unfurling of a flag or banner, interfering with another athlete’s introduction and any physical harm to people or to property.

● International Olympic Committee ● Suspended IOC member Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, now the former Kuwaiti Defense Minister, had his Swiss forgery conviction confirmed in a December opinion that was published Monday.

The former Olympic Council of Asia chief was convicted in a Swiss court of forgery in September 2021 and given a suspended sentence of 30 months. On appeal in Geneva, his conviction and those of those associates was affirmed, but his sentence was revised from 14 months in prison and 15 months suspended, to a suspended sentence of two years and three years probation. Sheikh Ahmad, as he is known, has promised to appeal the finding to the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

He was suspended for three years last July by the IOC for election interference at the Olympic Council of Asia, trying to get his brother elected as president. Although his brother did win, the election was nullified.

● Russia ● Long rumored, but not explicit until now: five sports at the World Friendship Games this September will take place in Belarus.

Most of the sports will be contested in Moscow and Yekaterinburg in Russia, but First Deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism of Belarus, Alexander Dorokhovich, said in a television interview:

“From September 15 to 29, the Friendship Games will be held in 25 sports in which we plan to take part. The Russian Federation has also contacted us so that five sports will take place in Belarus. These are rowing, kayaking and canoeing, modern pentathlon, track cycling and trampoline.

“We are considering the proposal, and are ready to participate and cheer for the outstanding performances of our athletes.”

The IOC has warned against participation in the BRICS Games and the World Friendship Games in September, calling the events “clearly politically motivated sports events in Russia.”

Russia has not paid its 2022 dues to the World Anti-Doping Agency of $1.27 million and there is a WADA working groups studying both the difficulty for financial transactions due to sanctions on Russia and the country’s disagreement with the amount.

But the dues for 2023 have been established by WADA at $1,335,860. If Russia does not pay, it could be another grounds to continue WADA sanctions.

Perspective: the comments of Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov – a four-time Olympic gold medalist in fencing – to the Russian news agency TASS about the importance of national symbols (flag, anthem, uniform) for Russian athletes:

“The most important factor that unites all athletes is the unification around the flag.

“Every athlete dreams of achieving outstanding results representing their country. Athletes are the most patriotic part of our compatriots; they train and prepare all their lives to perform under the national flag of his country and, in case of victory, hear its anthem.

“I am sure that this is and will be the case in the future, because it is impossible to imagine that an athlete performs individually at some competitions, then he will perform as a single person, he will not feel behind them is the support of their country. And those who perform with the flag and anthem feel it and will pass it on to their children.

“This is love for one’s country and patriotism. Patriotism is love for one’s country, we demonstrate that Russia is not just the place where we were born, but a country that we want to make better, richer and pass all this on to future generations. Perhaps I am saying this from the perspective of a 50-year-old man, but nevertheless, the main line runs from the very beginning, when a person begins to play sports and dream of victories on the international stage.”

● Athletics ● The hits just keep on coming. Two more Kenyan doping suspensions announced by the Athletics Integrity Unit: Hosea Kisorio, a 2:17:01 marathoner in 2023, for erythropoietin (EPO) with a three-year suspension, and Ayub Kiptum, a 60:34 half-marathoner, banned for three years for Testosterone.

U.S. walk stars Miranda Melville and Nick Christie combined to win the USATF Marathon Walk Mixed Relay in cold, rainy conditions on Sunday in Santee, California.

This race is now contested by World Athletics at its Race Walking Team Championships to be held in Antalya (TUR) on 21 April, and at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The format has the male walker taking the first 12.195 km, then the woman taking the next 10 km, and then the male and female finishing with 10 km each for the 42.195 km total.

Melville, a six-time national champion and Rio Olympian, and Christie, a Tokyo Olympian and 16-time nationals winner, were easy victors in 3:13:27. Emmanuel Corvera and Celine Lepe finished second overall in 3:26:41 and Jordan Crawford and Jessica Heiser-Whatley were third (3:17:17).

The race essentially functioned as the U.S. Olympic Trials, with the actual qualification for Paris significantly depending on finishes at the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships.

The top individual finishers were Christie (1:33:13), Crawford (1:41.54) and Corvera (1:42.46) for the men, with Robyn Stevens getting the fastest women’s time at 1:39:27, followed by Melville (1:40:15) and Lepe (1:43:43).

● Canoe-Kayak ● Happy Birthday to the International Canoe Federation (ICF), founded on 19 January 1924 in Copenhagen (DEN), with representatives from Denmark, Germany, Austria and Sweden.

Flatwater canoeing – now known as Canoe Sprint – was a demonstration sport at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris (FRA) and became a medal sport in 1936.

From the four federations that founded it, the original “Internationale Repräsentantenschaft für Kanusport” (IRK) has grown to 171 national members.

● Lacrosse ● The International Testing Agency published sanctions against three players on Monday, including two from the Haudenosaunee Nationals.

Austin Staats (CAN) was suspended for three months for “an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for the prohibited substances carboxy-THC, cocaine and its metabolite benzoylecgonine.” The substances were consumed out-of-competition and not used for competitive advantage, hence the reduced sanction period.

Oakley Thomas (CAN) was sanctioned for the same substances and for the same period. Both tested positive during the 2023 World Championship in San Diego, California on 1 July.

Peruvian player James Alexander Burleson-Porras was sanctioned for three months for a positive test for cocaine from 26 June 2023.

Lacrosse was added to the 2028 Olympic Games program for Los Angeles last October.

● Rowing ● World Rowing has suspended the Serbian Rowing Federation for debt:

● “This decision comes over significant financial debts being owed to World Rowing and various event suppliers by the Serbian Rowing Federation and relevant Serbian authorities serving as guarantors of the 2022 World Rowing Cup I and 2023 World Rowing Championships held in Belgrade, Serbia.”

“Legal proceedings against the Serbian Rowing Federation and official guarantors are also being launched.”

The suspension means, among other things, that Serbian entries for the 2024 Olympic Games and World Rowing Championships are not allowed. Ouch. For reference, Serbian rowers did not win a medal at the 2022 or 2023 World Rowing Championships.

● Table Tennis ● At the Pan American Cup in Corpus Christi (USA), Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi, the 2023 Pan American Games runner-up, defeated the top two American women in the semis and finals to win her first Pan Am Cup gold.

Takahashi had won the 2018 bronze in this competition, but came from two sets down to get by Lily Zhang of the U.S. by 4-3 in the semis (11-8, 10-12, 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8) and then won a see-saw battle with Amy Wang by 4-3 (11-5, 11-1, 9-11, 4-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9) in the final.

Canada’s Edward Ly, 20, won the men’s title by 4-0 (11-2, 12-10, 12-10, 11-8) against Chile’s Nicolas Burgos and took 16 of the 17 games he played in the tournament!

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