TSX REPORT: IOC oversight team “very confident” on Brisbane 2032; auditor worries on French Olympic costs; new Tahiti surfing tower done!

New U.S. cycling star Matteo Jorgenson wins again! (Photo courtesy Dwars Door Vlaanderen on X)

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1. IOC on Brisbane 2032: “We’re very confident”
2. French audit head not sure of Olympic costs, except they’re rising
3. Paris 2024 surfing judging tower up at Teahupo’o
4. Turkey awarded 2027 European Games
5. Jim Hines’ 100 m Mexico City gold on auction

The International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission for Brisbane 2032 met online this week and expressed high confidence that the tumultuous venue selection and construction issues will be worked out, and that the organizing committee is moving ahead nicely with its planning, branding and sponsorship sales efforts.

● The head of the French Court of Auditors said he didn’t know what the final amount of government spending will be on the Paris 2024 Games, but that it’s going up, possibly even to €5 billion, as the government now plans bonuses for many workers to avoid strikes.

● The new, aluminum judging tower for the Olympic surfing competition at Teahupo’o in Tahiti is done and up, apparently with very little damage to the coral, according to an Australian photographer who lives on the island. He posted a drone video of the new stand on Instagram.

● Istanbul was selected as the host for the fourth European Games, in 2027. It’s an important stepping stone for Turkey, which has bid five times for the Olympic Games, but lost each time. Now it can demonstrate its capabilities with a major pre-LA28 event with many Olympic qualifying events.

● The 1968 Mexico City Olympic gold medal in the men’s 100 m, won by the late Jim Hines of the U.S., is now up for auction, as is a 2018 PyeongChang gold for Freestyle Skiing by Ukrainian Oleksandr Abramenko, who will use the proceeds to support his family and Ukraine’s defense against the continuing Russian invasion.

Panorama: Paris 2024 (3: official stamps introduced; torches and medals go in style in Louis Vuitton trunks; Saudis refused use of Les Invalides) = Los Angeles 2028 (no word on venues for a few more months) = Winter Games (Austria, Italy, Slovenia to pursue future bid) = ASOIF (FEI’s de Vos will be new leader, in 2025) = Russia (2: archers will not pursue Paris qualifying; Russian ambassador in Paris warns fans they can’t help during Games) = Athletics (14 new members of collegiate hall of fame, including eight Olympic medalists) = Basketball (U.S. names prior World Cup champs as Olympic men’s 3×3 team) = Cycling (new U.S. star Jorgenson takes Dwars Door Vlaanderen) = Football (2: U.S. men’s Olympic squad ties France, 2-2, in friendly; Spanish prosecutors wants 2 1/2-year jail term for Rubiales) ●

IOC on Brisbane 2032: “We’re very confident”

The Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games is still a ways off, but the headlines over the rearrangement of the venue construction program by the State of Queensland pushed it into the spotlight, followed by online meetings that concluded Wednesday with the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission.

So, is the IOC worried?


Said CoComm Chair Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), not only a seven-time Olympic medalist in swimming, but also the Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, during an online news conference:

“We’re very positive about Brisbane. 2032. We’re very confident in the team that is in place, and it will just take a little bit of time over the next few months to a year to allow for the stakeholders – specifically in the different government levels – to agree on what they feel is best for their country and for their state and for their region.

“And the Games will, as I said before, fit into that so we are really not seeing things in any which way other than very positive at the moment.”

Pressed further, Coventry referred to Australia’s history in sport when looking ahead to what will eventually be decided on government-funded construction efforts:

“We’ve seen Australia, over many years, deliver incredible world championships, Commonwealth Games, I mean, the list goes on and on. And I think at some point the federal, the state and the cities that are being used for the Games will hopefully come to an agreement sooner than later on what they feel is best, and I know that through the independent [Sport Venue] Review.

“They heard from a lot of different communities from the three specific cities. And they’re really listening to what the people want and what the region needs.

“So for us right now, I don’t ever foresee this sort of continuing on and on and on. I think that there’ll be some good decisions made for the people in Queensland and Brisbane, and the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, and the other relevant cities, and what will be best for the region. And the Games, as I said, will come in and adapt and deliver an incredible Games. …

“We don’t have a concern at this time. And we will not be stepping in, really, at any point. We’re always there to to help with the technical side of things, and to give advice but it is not for us to step in and give direction in a regional development for the governments.”

Coventry said the Coordination Commission was happy with the organizing committee’s work, especially on collaboration:

“We heard on the Games Plan, which is really an excellent document. I don’t think we’ve ever had such early visibility on how an organizing committee is planning on delivering the Games with all stakeholders being included. So that was very impressive work.”

Brisbane 2032 President Andrew Liveris expanded the discussion to note the underplayed positives he saw in the venue discussions and the Sport Venue Review project headed by former Brisbane Mayor Graham Quirk:

“We will use, therefore, the venues and infrastructure made available to us.

“I want to make sure that you hear very loudly that we’re very pleased that 27 of the 30 venue recommendations were immediately supported by the [Queensland] government. That shouldn’t be overlooked.

“That is a tremendous statement and great work by the review panel, but also the government to quickly come out and endorse 27 of those recommendations. So as due diligence is carried out, together with the IOC and [International Paralympic Committee], Brisbane 2032 will refine our venue master plan and our sport program in line with our Olympic host contract, and with the support, of course, of the IOC.”

Liveris pointed to the recommendations that were accepted, with the results to be seen shortly:

“The beginning of work on some of the – let’s call it – early decisions, easy decisions, ones that did not get questioned, will be this year. The tenders will happen this year. Procurement will start and ground will be turned.

“I mean, in particular, you know, we’re very excited that grassroots sport is the winner of this venue review. This is back to the community support point with the five new indoor centers for this city of Brisbane, the region of southeast Queensland. This is impressive, and these locations are pretty much determined and ratified by the independent review.

“So those will begin. You’ll see activity this year, which is very exciting.”

The sites in discussion, such as the Gabba, the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre [QSAC], SunCorp Stadium and the new Brisbane Arena, will be subject to an extensive “due diligence” process to determine the cost, benefits and timelines.

Liveris was asked about the organizing committee’s other efforts:

“We’re starting our commercial strategy to commence preliminary discussions with potential future sponsors, and last, but not least, our foundational brand assets and preparing those, including our social channels and website.

“Yeah, we’ve been busy. And there are a range of priorities ahead of us, including solidifying our engagement, commercial and sustainability strategies, developing our sports program for IOC and IPC approval, and supporting initiatives, implementation plans linked to the Queensland Government’s ‘Elevate 2042′ legacy strategy.”

Observed: Emotions were high around the proposed, A$2.7 billion Gabba redevelopment and the even wilder, new A$3.4 billion suggested stadium in Victoria Park by the Sport Venue Review. These expenditures will concern public funding and public debate is essential and worthwhile.

But it actually has not that much to do with the Brisbane 2032 organizers right now and the focus of Liveris and chief executive Cindy Hook (USA) on what they have to do is the right strategy today and will be for some time. As the IOC itself pointed out in its evaluation report prior to the award of the 2032 Games to Brisbane, there are existing sites available in the region for all of the sports. It’s only a question of making the right matches.

And as Coventry noted, even the Queensland opposition has said that it supports the success of the 2032 Games, signaling little if any disruption if there is a change in the ruling party in October’s elections. On with the “due diligence” to figure out what should be built and where.

French audit head not sure of Olympic costs, except they’re rising

If there is any office of the French government which has been suspect of the cost and organization of the 2024 Olympic Games, it’s the Court of Auditors.

Pierre Moscovici, the head of the agency, offered considerable concern about the national finances – not just the Olympics – in a France Inter radio interview, noting that the budget deficit in France was up to 5.5% of Gross Domestic Product, well above the projected 4.9% (computer translation from the original French):

“If you combine the fact that we have the highest public spending in Europe, which has increased by two points since the Covid crisis, that we have the highest compulsory levy rate in Europe, that we have one of the highest public debts in Europe … this puts us in an unfortunate position.”

As for the 2024 Olympic Games:

“We still don’t know the cost of the Olympics. The Court of Auditors will conduct an audit after the Games. These Games will cost between three, four or five billion euros, we’ll see, but it won’t have a huge impact [on national economics].” (€1 = $1.08 U.S.)

That could be well above the government’s forecast of €2.44 billion spending, including the Olympic Village and other venues. Police and labor unions have demanded extra pay for their workers for the Games to avoid strikes, which will require heavy staffing in August, when many people are on vacation. Moscovici estimated a public cost of about €3 billion last year, before government promises of bonuses for police and some workers.

The Paris 2024 organizing committee budget is set at €4.397 billion and appears to be on target, with strong sponsorship sales in the last year and excellent ticket sales of more than 8.8 million so far.

Paris 2024 surfing judging tower up at Teahupo’o

Noted Australian photographer Tim McKenna posted drone footage of Tahiti’s Teahupo’o surfing site for the 2024 Paris Games on Instagram and explained:

“The new tower is up.

“The wave is as perfect as it has ever been.

“The coral suffered minimal damage after a channel was marked in the lagoon so the construction boats could access easily.

“It will take some time to see if Ciguatera has drastically increased in certain fish living in that specific lagoon area.

“Meanwhile the aluminum construction looks pretty slick and was assembled faster than expected.

“Tahiti now has a state of the art judging tower for the 20 next years of surf events at the #endoftheroad. It will still be taken down and rebuilt every year like the previous one.

“The Teahupoo village and all the population is ready to cheer on local surfers @vahinefierro [Vahine Fierro] and @kaulivaast [Kauli Vaast] to take gold this July at the @paris2024″

The Paris 2024 organizers replaced the prior wooden tower that had become a safety issue and scaled down a plan for a much larger tower after significant local protests. The new, all-aluminum structure is essentially a rebuild of the old tower, but updated for safety and stability.

The first use of the new tower is expected to be at a World Surf League event in May.

Turkey awarded 2027 European Games

The Executive Committee of the European Olympic Committees announced Wednesday the award of the 2027 European Games to Istanbul, Turkey, an important step for a country which has had Olympic hosting ambitions for decades.

Turkey unsuccessfully bid for the 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2020 Olympic Games, but the European Games will provide a significant showcase for the country’s organizational ability. Turkey has talked about a 2036 Olympic candidature, along with multiple other countries.

The ExCom decision has to be ratified by the EOC General Assembly, which will meet in Bucharest (ROU) in June, but as Istanbul was the only bidder, no issues are expected. The announcement noted that the plan complies with the IOC’s new standard for facilities:

“Istanbul’s venue plan for the European Games 2027 would see no additional construction beyond the venues either already built or already planned for the city.”

This will be the fourth European Games, with the third in Krakow-Malopolska (POL) a considerable success in 2023. As with other continental or regional events, the EOC is hoping to place as many Olympic qualifying competitions as possible as part of the 2027 Games, drawing the best possible fields.

The sports to be included were not announced.

Jim Hines’ 100 m Mexico City gold on auction

One of the iconic sprint races in history, the men’s 100 m final at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, saw U.S. star Jim Hines take over in the final half and cross in a world-record-equaling 9.9, with Jamaica’s Lennox Miller second (10.0) and American Charlie Greene third (10.0).

Hines’ time was electronically recorded at 9.95, the first man to ever pass under 10 seconds with automatic timing and lasted for 15 years until fellow American Calvin Smith ran 9.93 in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1983.

Hines passed away in 2023 and his Mexico City 100 m gold is now on auction as part of the SCP Auctions’ Spring Premier Auction, with a minimum price of $15,000.

SCP Auctions previously sold Hines’ men’s 4×100 m relay gold – he anchored the U.S. team to a world-record win with a brilliant final leg – in 2017 for $33,359.

Also up is a 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic gold-medal package from Ukrainian Freestyle skier Oleksandr Abramenko, including his men’s Aerials gold, diploma, event bib and his Olympic accreditation badge. Now 35, the proceeds will be used for Abramenko’s family and to support the Ukrainian defense against Russian aggression.

Opened at $10,000, the first bid came in at $37,982.

The auction also includes bronze medals from the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix (FRA) in 1924 and also from the 1932 Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York, both with starting prices of $4,000.

There also are an interesting selection of Olympic participation medals, including one from the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens which is plated in gold!

Bidding on this auction loses on 13 April 2024.


● Olympic Games 2024: Paris ● The official stamp of the 2024 Paris Games was unveiled on Wednesday, offering an Art Deco-style design with the Paris 2024 logos, a stylized Eiffel Tower, a heart and other features.

The stamps are €1.96 each and will be sold in limited French postal locations beginning on Friday. A total of 800,000 stamps were printed.

The Olympic and Paralympic torches and the medals for the Olympic and Paralympic Games will move in style, as specially-designed Louis Vuitton trunks were unveiled on Wednesday.

The torch trunk, presenting a single torch, will be used throughout the Olympic Torch Relay, which will reach France on 8 May in Marseille. The black-leather interiors show off the chromed torches and each trunk uses brass corners and closures.

The huge medal trunks can each hold 468 medals – whether Olympic or Paralympic – in a center section and in two winged cabinets, with black leather handles for each drawer. A specially-designed magnet system holds each medal in place during transport.

All of this is part of the top-tier sponsorship of the Games by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Saudi Arabia’s planned “Olympic village” facility planned for the Les Invalides area has been rejected by the French government, which received significant opposition to such use by a foreign country.

The Les Invalides complex include Napoleon’s tomb and museums relating to the military history of France. The French Army said it had specific requirements on how the Saudis could use the space, but did not receive a reply and has canceled further discussions.

● Olympic Games 2028: Los Angeles ● A Wednesday story in the Los Angeles Daily News concerning possible venues in the San Fernando Valley area noted that no formal announcements had been made on sports to be held in that area, and that:

“A representative for the LA28 committee said in an email this week that they expect to discuss more of their plans with city officials in the next few months.”

The plan from the 2017 bid documents had temporary facilities to be set for canoe slalom, equestrian and shooting. Both the canoeing and equestrian events have been subject to continuing discussion about finding a different site, possibly leaving only shooting in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area.

● Olympic Winter Games: Future ● Although the International Olympic Committee has identified Switzerland’s bid for 2038 for “Privileged Dialogue” into at least 2027, a three-way bid for 2038 or beyond was publicly discussed last week for Austria, Italy and Slovenia.

Governor Massimiliano Fedriga of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region and Tanja Fajon, the Slovenian Foreign Minister, told reporters at a news conference last Friday in Trieste that a bid was in the planning stages. The year 2034 was mentioned, but the IOC is already on a path to award that Winter Games to Salt Lake City.

● Association of Summer Olympic International Federations ● ASOIF announced that International Equestrian Federation (FEI) head Ingmar De Vos (BEL) is the sole candidate for President, and is to be elected at the ASOIF General Assembly on 9 April in Birmingham (GBR).

He will take over on 1 January 2025, at the conclusion of the (third) term of former International Tennis Federation chief Francesco Ricci Bitti (ITA).

● Russia ● Our athletes will not participate in the selection for the Olympics. There are no people in the national team who want to compete without the flag and anthem, especially since many of us represent CSKA and Dynamo.

“The executive committee of the federation approved the participation of athletes in a neutral status, but they themselves did not show interest in going to the Olympics.”

That’s from Russian Archery Federation head Vladimir Yesheev on Wednesday, also explaining that any individual Russian athletes who wanted to go as “neutrals” would be responsible to pay World Archery a fee of CHF 2,000 (CHF 1 = $1.11 U.S.) for the requisite background check on neutrality.

Warnings against attending the Olympic Games in Paris as a fan are being issued by Russian Ambassador to France Alexey Meshkov. He said in a Rossiya-24 interview:

“Those of our athletes, those of our tourists who intend to go to the Olympic Games in Paris, should understand one simple thing that they are not going to that blossoming garden of Eden that [High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep] Borrell [ESP] talked about, but they are going to the harsh Western jungle, where they will be left completely alone because of the actions of the French authorities.

“And in case of any emergencies arising, they will have to swim out alone, because they have completely cut off all our structures – the embassy – from not only visiting or participating in events related to the Olympic Games, but even despite repeated appeals, do not give us any guarantees that we will get elementary passes to move around the center of Paris, which will be completely blocked, and where, unfortunately, all our institutions are located.”

This was also noted by Dmitry Peskov, the Russian Presidential spokesman, who said in a AIF.ru interview:

“Accommodation, medicine, doping control and so on: how will all this be organized? It is no secret that our embassy in France has been trying in vain to contact the organizers of the Olympics for many, many weeks. Therefore, athletes who decide to go there should take this into account.”

Peskov also endorsed the personal choice of an athlete whether to go to Paris:

“This [participation in the Olympics] is a matter of personal decision of athletes and federations.

“They may simply not have another chance. Therefore, the athletes’ decision to go to the Games must be treated with respect.

“Well, okay, a person will perform without our flag. Won’t you and I know that this is our athlete? We will. And if he wins, won’t we be proud of him, because he is without our flag? We will be proud. He himself will be a flag! An Olympic champion, he immediately becomes a flag. Both an anthem and a flag.”

And Peskov was relieved that the IOC has not required a condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

“Of course, no one here could imagine that a Russian athlete, in order to participate in the Olympics, would sign some kind of paper condemning the [invasion of Ukraine] in order to sell his homeland for these pieces of silver. Anyone who would do this would simply become the fiend of hell.

“But now there seems to be no such obligatory condition, and everyone who has qualified can go to the Olympics.”

● Athletics ● The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced their Collegiate Athlete Hall of Fame Class of 2024, with 14 stars to be inducted on 2 June 2024 in a ceremony in Eugene, Oregon. The class:

● Rosalyn Bryant (Cal. State L.A.: sprints)
● Regina Cavanaugh (Rice: throws)
● Hollis Conway (Louisiana: jumps)
● Bill Dellinger (Oregon: distances)
● Benita Fitzgerald (Tennessee: hurdles)
● Glenn Harden (LSU: hurdles)
● Balazs Kiss (USC: throws)
● Marty Liquori (Villanova: middle distances)
● Larry Myricks (Mississippi College: jumps)
● Louise Ritter (TWU: jumps)
● Karl Salb (Kansas: throws)
● Amy Skieresz (Arizona: distances)
● Trecia Kaye-Smith (Pitt: jumps)
● Angela Williams (USC: sprints)

Twelve of the 14 are Americans, with Kiss from Hungary and Kaye-Smith from Jamaica. Beyond their sensational collegiate success, many were Olympic medal winners, with Bryant winning an Olympic silver in the 1972 women’s 4×400 m, Conway the 1988 men’s high jump silver, Dellinger the 1964 men’s 5,000 m bronze, Fitzgerald a 1984 Olympic gold in the women’s 100 m hurdles, Hardin the 1932 silver and 1936 gold medalist in the men’s 400 m hurdles, Kiss the 1996 hammer winner, Myricks the 1988 men’s long jump bronze winner, and Ritter the 1988 women’s high jump gold medalist.

● Basketball ● USA Basketball named familiar faces to its Paris 2024 men’s 3×3 team on Tuesday, with the announcement of Canyon Barry, Jimmer Fredette, Kareem Maddox and Dylan Travis.

The quartet won the 2022 3×3 AmeriCup, won the 2023 Pan American Games, was second at the 2023 FIBA 3×3 World Cup and collected two wins, a second and a third-place finish on the FIBA 3×3 World Tour in 2023.

Barry (F: 6-6) played collegiately at Florida; Fredette (G: 6-2) at BYU; Maddox (F: 6-8) at Princeton, and Travis (G: 6-3) at Florida Southern. All are first-time Olympians; Fredette is the only one with significant NBA experience, playing for seven seasons.

● Cycling ● Another major win for American Matteo Jorgenson at the 78th edition of the Belgian classic Dwar Doors Vlaanderen on Wednesday!

The hilly, 188.6 km course from Roeselare to Waregem saw Jorgenson attack with 7 km left and break away from five others and storm to a 4:07:44 finish, 29 seconds up on Jonas Abrahamsen (NOR), Swiss Stefan Kung, and Belgian stars Tiesj Benoot and Dries de Bondt.

At just 24, Jorgenson, who rides for the Dutch Team Visma-Lease A Bike, is suddenly a force on the UCI World Tour. He won the prestigious Paris-Nice stage race, was a very creditable fifth in the E3 Saxo Classic last Friday and now this.

He’s the first-ever U.S. winner of this race, with Neilson Powless close in third in 2023 and Tyler Farrar was second in 2015. Jorgenson will have lots of eyes on him on Sunday in the celebrated Ronde van Vlaanderen – the Tour of Flanders – one of the season’s highlights.

The Visma-Lease A Bike star Wout van Aert (BEL) suffered a broken collarbone and several broken ribs in a crash during the race, and will be out for at least a couple of weeks.

Dutch star Marianne Vos won the women’s race (UCI Women’s Pro Tour) in a sprint with countrywoman Shirin van Androoij, in 2:52:08 for the 114 km race. Vos moved up from third last year, and earned her (amazing) 250th professional victory!

● Football ● The U.S. men’s Olympic came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against France on Monday in Montbeliard (FRA). France led by 1-0 at the half off a penalty kick by Arnaud Kalimuendo after a U.S. hand-ball in the box, and the hosts went up 2-0 in the 79th off an Andy Diouf score.

But the Americans fought back, with Griffin Yow scoring to the near post from the left side of the box in the 86th, and Cade Cowell tied it in the 89th on a bounding shot that deflected on a defender into the net.

The U.S. will face France in group play at Paris 2024 as its opening match on 24 July. The U.S. U-23s sailed past Guinea, 3-0, last Friday (22nd) in Spain in its first warm-up game.

Spanish prosecutors are asking for two-and-a-half years of prison time for former Royal Spanish Football Federation chief Luis Rubiales for his forced kiss of midfielder Jenni Hermoso during the awards ceremonies of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia.

One year of prison time would be related to sexual assault and the other 18 months for coercion. Prosecutors also want Rubiales to pay €100,000 to Hermoso and be required to stay at least 200 m from her for four years.

The prosecutors are also asking 18-month sentences, and fines for coercion for Albert Luque (men’s team sports director), former women’s coach Jorge Vilda and former RFEF marketing manager Ruben Rivera. All are accused of pressuring Hermoso to say Rubiales’s kiss was consensual in order to head off the scandal that happened anyway.

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