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≡ THE 5-RING CIRCUS ≡
1. LA28 and Delta present first-ever integrated Olympic logo
2. Russian sport preparing for 2028, regardless of 2024 outlook
3. Ukraine to boycott FIG Congress due to Russian presence
4. How does a golf-course guy become World Curling President?
5. Paris 2024’s Paralympic Day promotion shows IOC tie-in value
Another first for Los Angeles 2028: an integrated sponsor logo, introduced with its inaugural partner Delta Airlines and featuring separate emblems for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In Russia, planning for the LA28 Games is already underway, while participation in Paris 2024 remains uncertain. At a conference in Siberia, speakers continued to preach that the world misses Russian athletes so badly they must be returned to competition. Meanwhile, Norway will boycott the International Ski & Snowboard meetings this week in Switzerland and Finland is asking for Russian and Belarusian officials to be removed from the FIS Council. Norway is also boycotting, along with Ukraine, the International Gymnastics Congress in November to protest the presence of Russian delegates. American Beau Welling was elected head of the World Curling Federation on 11 September and explained how a golf guy from South Carolina ended up heading a winter-sport federation! With two years to go, the Paris 2024 organizers and others are staging a “Paralympic Day” in Paris on 8 October, continuing to demonstrate the benefits of its expanding ties with the International Olympic Committee.
LA28 and Delta present first-ever integrated Olympic logo
“The integrated emblem is a new model of commercial integration into the Olympic and Paralympic Movement.
“Partners are critical to the LA28 Games, and we’re excited to have Delta creating and storytelling with us.”
That’s Dave Mingey, Senior Vice President of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Properties, the joint venture between the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the LA28 organizing committee, introducing the first-ever integrated logo between an Olympic Games and a sponsor.
In this case, it’s Delta Airlines, the first founder partner of the LA28 organizers – from 2019 – but also now the airline sponsor of the USOPC for Beijing 2022, Paris 2024, Milan Cortina 2026 and Los Angeles 2028.
Combined logos – whether stacked or side-by-side – of an Olympic Games and a sponsor have been in use for decades, but the unique, LA28 replaceable “A” in its emblem program allows for a new form of integration. A “Delta x LA28 integrated emblem” was created for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the option to create such a logo will reportedly be available – at least for now – only to first-tier partners Delta, Salesforce and Comcast (NBC).
Russian sport preparing for 2028, regardless of 2024 outlook
The head of the Russian Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, told delegates at the “Russia – A Sports Power” conference in Siberia that preparations are moving ahead for Russia to compete in Paris in 2024, but most certainly in Los Angeles for the 2028 Olympic Games:
● “Regardless of when the [Paris 2024] qualifying round starts, it is important to ensure that our athletes can compete the very next day when the opportunity arises. I hope they will start as early as next year.
“We are six years away from the Los Angeles Olympics, and we are laying the groundwork that our athletes should go. I am 100% sure that we will be there, and we should not just go and perform well, and take a place no lower than third. On the territory of a strong opponent, they must show a worthy result.”
● “No matter how the political situation in the world develops, the main priority of the [International Olympic Committee] remains an attempt to abstract and get away from political phenomena. events without any pressure from some countries.
“The tone of the IOC has become more pragmatic, in line with the current moment, there is now a realization that Russia is too big a sporting power to be excluded from the Olympic movement. This carries costs, especially for those federations that have connections with national [federations] here in Russia.”
ROC Director General Vladimir Sengleev told the assembly that plans for Los Angeles are already underway:
“We have about 160 members, we must protect and promote their interests, in a crisis situation, the professionalism of our members depends on the development of sports. The main goal is promoting the sustainable development of effective activities of ROC members.
“Under the pessimistic scenario, we went a little lower and started to promote the preparation of the Olympic reserve. For the first time, we are preparing for both the Paris 2024 Games and the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics at the same time.”
Multiple speakers repeated the theme that excluding Russian athletes was an unbearable burden for its competitors, even more so than for the Russians themselves:
● Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin: “I’m sure the [world sports] community is aware of the harm that it does to itself through competition bans, by not allowing our athletes to compete. We held tournaments that were recognized as the best in history. Suicide.”
● Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko: “The main thing is that the discriminatory policy towards Russia and our athletes did not bring the results that who counted on unfriendly countries, but robbed themselves, depriving the competition of worthy competition, entertainment and objectivity.”
● Russia President Vladimir Putin’s video greeting included:
“The sanctions aggression unleashed against our country and our citizens have affected many areas, including elite sport. Russian athletes, in fact, are deprived of the opportunity to represent their country, and Russia’s voice in international specialized organizations is deliberately ignored. This situation contradicts the very values of sports, the main of which are mutual respect and the principle of ‘sport is out of politics’.”
Putin added that Russia is “a cordial, hospitable country where open competitions are held at a high organizational level for representatives of different states and honor the ideals of Olympism.”
In the meantime, Pozdnyakov told the delegates that meetings on new cooperation with Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) nations and BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Argentina – countries would be held during the Association of National Olympic Committee General Assembly meetings in Korea from 17-21 October. A new “association of sports organizations” is a possibility.
Sports Minister Matytsin spoke about the mobilization of citizens for military duty in the Ukraine invasion:
“Sport cannot be singled out as a separate refined community that should enjoy some kind of exclusive privileges. We see that our athletes in previous years, and, I hope, during this period, show themselves to be patriots. It was many times announced at the start of a special military operation, they supported the President and expressed an absolutely unequivocal opinion that sport is a single family. …
“Now I can’t unequivocally answer about the mobilization. There will be no and should not be any exclusivity. Yes, we understand that athletes and coaches are a golden fund, especially those who are preparing for the Olympic Games, members of national teams. Certain protection measures for certain categories will possibly be given a delay while we are in dialogue with the government. I hope that the sports system will continue to develop actively despite the situation.”
In Zurich (SUI), meanwhile, two national federations are protesting the presence of Russian and Belarusian delegates at the International Ski & Snowboard Federation meetings, with Norway boycotting and Finland asking for the formal expulsion of those attendees. Said Finnish Ski Association Executive Director Ismo Hamalainen:
“In the future, the exclusion of Russia and Belarus should be extended not only to athletes, but also to the Board of Trustees and the representative board. The case should have been resolved officially earlier, including for athletes; we will definitely raise this issue in Zurich and demand the exclusion of [Russians] from the FIS Council.”
Ukraine to boycott FIG Congress due to Russian presence
“The Ukrainian Gymnastics Federation has decided not to participate in this year’s Congress of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) which is to be held on November 11th-12th, 2022 in Istanbul (Turkey), since representatives of Russia and Belarus, [the countries] that are waging an aggressive and destructive war against Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, were allowed to participate in this official FIG event.
“Moreover, the venue of the Congress was changed by the FIG from Norway to Turkey precisely so that the representatives of the aggressor states could attend it, since the Norwegian Gymnastics Federation, which was originally supposed to host the Congress, refused to hold this event in Norway, according to recommendations of the Norwegian Olympic Committee, the Confederation of Sports and the Ministry of Culture and Equality not to invite delegates from Russia and Belarus to sports events. Similarly, there will be no representatives of Norway at the Congress in Turkey, for the same reason.”
Tuesday’s statement also included:
“The Ukrainian Gymnastics Federation once again declares its position that not only athletes from Russia and Belarus, but also any other officials from Russia and Belarus who represent these countries in the FIG should be suspended from participating in the sports events of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), or hold official positions in the FIG as ‘neutral’ persons. The Ukrainian Gymnastics Federation thanks the Norwegian Gymnastics Federation for its principled position, which advocates for the highest values of human life and dignity.”
The Israel-based Gymnovosti site made the point that while the FIG has maintained the IOC’s request to not allow Russian or Belarusian competitors in its events, it has also followed the IOC’s lead in not removing Russian officials and pointed to recent remarks by FIG President Morinari Watanabe (JPN):
“At the opening ceremony at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Sofia last week, Watanabe compared Russian and Belarusian athletes to flowers that cannot bloom because they are covered in snow and said that he hopes peace would come soon and the flowers would be able to bloom again.”
Russian national team coach Valentina Rodionenko said its gymnasts would accept competing under a neutral flag again but would not renounce the war in Ukraine:
“There’s a hope we will be allowed to compete at the Olympic Games, there’s always a chance. This depends not on us but on you know who. Competing under a neutral flag? We’ve already competed at the Olympics without a flag or an anthem, what else can we do? If they force us to condemn the special operation, to renounce what is happening in [our] country, we will never do that, of course. If we are told we are allowed to compete without a flag or an anthem and our superiors will decide [to allow it], then, of course, we will go, we’ve already competed like this.”
How does a golf-course guy become World Curling President?
American Beau Welling, 53, was elected as the new President of the World Curling Federation on 11 September, the 11th to serve and the second from U.S., dating back to 1966. As he says, he’s not thought of as a “curling guy,” especially since his Beau Welling Design golf-course design and land-planning firm in Greenville, South Carolina has been busy creating more than 100 courses and land-use projects in the U.S.
So how does a “golf guy” end up as the head of World Curling? He shared some of the steps in an interview posted on the World Curling site:
● “It is 2002 and I come home late one night, turn on the television, and there are rocks, brooms and ice. And I’m like ‘that’s that curling thing.’ And this was now the Salt Lake Winter Olympics and found myself inexplicably drawn to the television.”
● “All members of the USA curling team for Torino were from the same place, Bemidji, Minnesota. I went online, and I learned that Bemidji was super into curling, produced more national champions than any other place. It was hosting the U.S. national championships two weeks after the  Torino Olympics, so I decided to go. I wanted to go see this sport in person.
“I went and I was so incredibly welcomed by the people there. They thought it was so fascinating that somebody would come from South Carolina. This trip was a very formative thing because the people were just so nice. I went because I was fascinated by the sport, but I left totally fascinated by the community and the people.
“Actually, I had a one-way ticket to Bemidji and I ended up staying nine days. I just loved it so much and it ended with the President of the United States Curling Association naming me the official Southern ambassador for the sport, it was a fun thing.”
● “A few months later, I get a call from the new President of USA Curling and she said, ‘Beau, we’ve been asked by the USA Olympic Committee [sic] to get somebody on our Board that isn’t a curler, and we very much would like to see if it would be you.’”
● Welling helped to reconfigure the 2009 USA Curling national championships, which was also the Olympic Trials for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, and after a “rousing success,” Welling was rewarded with a trip to the Games as a member of the U.S. delegation.
“I did that and that’s where I first met [prior President] Kate [Caithness: SCO] and [Vice President] Graham [Prouse: CAN] and multiple people who are still involved with WCF. …
“The U.S. curling people said, ‘Wow, you really seem to relate to people very well from all over the world. Is there any way you would consider becoming one of our WCF representatives?’ And I very happily agreed to do that.”
● Welling’s term as an Independent Director with USA Curling lasted from 2007-18, when he was elected to the World Curling Federation Board, chairing the Structural Review Committee. He ran and won election as WCF President in the second round of voting, drawing 52.7% of the votes (127) for an absolute majority. He noted:
“Curling is a very strategic game and I’m a very strategic-minded person. It’s very obvious to me that golf and curling come out of the same ether. They are both sports that you can learn relatively quickly but they’re almost impossible to master. You can play them for your entire life, they’re all based around similar values of camaraderie, integrity and honor.”
That’s how you go from golf courses to being elected President of an International Federation.
Paris 2024’s Paralympic Day promotion shows IOC tie-in value
The Paris 2024 organizing committee, in cooperation with the City of Paris and the national government, is heavily promoting its first “Paralympic Day” that will be held at the Place de la Bastille in Paris on 8 October.
This is a two-years-to-go program, with live competition in the men’s and women’s long jump, demonstrations of wheelchair basketball, Boccia, blind football, wheelchair fencing, Para athletics, Para-rowing, Para badminton, Para judo, Para table tennis, Para triathlon and sitting volleyball, plus several more non-Paralympic sports.
A main stage with a music and dance program, meet-ups with dozens of Olympic and Paralympic athletes and public participation programs such as a wheelchair obstacle course will encourage more direct contact with the Paralympic Games (and Paralympians).
This kind of program is the true value of the close association of the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee, which sees its role as beyond sport:
“The IPC’s primary responsibilities are to support our 200 plus members develop Para sport and advocate social inclusion, ensure the successful delivery and organisation of the Paralympic Games and act as the international federation for 10 Para sports.”
The introduction and promotion of challenged athletes into the sporting consciousness has the possibility to sensitize people to their needs within the greater society. The IPC promotes the idea that 15% of the world’s population has some sort of disability via its “WeThe15” campaign, introduced in 2021, “to change attitudes and create more opportunities” from the “other” 85%.
If the Paralympic Games were not co-hosted in the same city as the Olympic Games, would it get even a fraction of the attention it is getting now?
To the extent that the 85% are paying attention, it is in significant part because of the closer and closer attachment of the Olympic Movement to the IPC and its national federations, some of which are fully combined with the country’s National Olympic Committee, such as the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee.
For the IPC, it’s an unmeasurable benefit that appears to be paying dividends, but as with all cultural movements, slowly.
≡ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ≡
● Basketball ● At the FIBA Women’s World Cup in Australia, the U.S. will go for its fourth straight title after smashing Canada, 83-43, in the first semifinal on Friday at the Sydney Superdome.
The game was over quickly, as the Americans were up, 27-7, after a quarter and 45-21 at the half. The Canadians shot only 21.9% from the field for the game, vs. 48.4% for the U.S. and the U.S. won the rebound battle by 53-37. Wow.
Once again, the American women had balanced scoring, with starting forwards Breanna Stewart, A’Ja Wilson and Alyssa Thomas contributing 17, 14 and 10 points, respectively. Reserve guard Kelsey Plum added 14 off the bench. Wilson had 12 rebounds as the Americans won their 29th straight game in World Cup play.
The second semi was more dramatic, with home favorite Australia taking a 17-13 first-quarter lead, only to see China roar back for a 36-30 halftime lead. The game narrowed to 47-44 for China after three, but the Aussies tied the game at 51-all with 5:17 to go.
The game see-sawed from there, tied at 53, 55, 57 and 59 before guard Siyu Wang made two free throws with three seconds remaining to forge a 61-59 victory. Center Xu Han led all scorers with 19, point guard Liwei Yang had 18 and Wang scored 14 for the winners. Guard Samantha Whitcomb had 15 to lead Australia.
The medal matches will be played on Saturday, with the gold-medal game at 4 p.m. Sydney time. The U.S. and China played in the group phase, with the U.S. winning, 77-63, but was up only 56-47 after three quarters. Guard Meng Li had 21 for China and Wilson led the U.S. with 20.
● Shooting ● At the ISSF World Championships for Shotgun in Osijek (CRO), Italy won the Mixed Team Trap title in a 4-3 shoot-off with Great Britain following a 5-5 tie after the five regulation rounds.
Mauro de Filippis, the 2019 Worlds silver medalist and Giulia Grassia had Italy up by 5-1 after three rounds, but saw 2022 Worlds silver winner Nathan Hales and Lucy Hall sweep the last two rounds to force the extra shots.
● Table Tennis ● Almost no sporting events other than the Winter Olympic Games last February have been held in China due to the country’s “no Covid” policy, but the ITTF’s World Team Championships IS being played in Chengdu, with the opening ceremony – with 400 performers – on Thursday.
The event is being held in a “bubble” format made famous by the Winter Games, with constant testing of participants. A total of 40 men’s and 40 women’s team qualified, but 60 teams from 36 countries – 32 men’s teams and 28 women’s teams – are expected to actually compete. The tournament runs through 9 October; China has won this tournament nine straight times on the men’s side and four in a row on the women’s.
● Volleyball ● Pool play is continuing at the FIVB Women’s World Championship in The Netherlands and Poland, with undefeated teams remaining in all four groups.
Italy (4-0) and the Dutch (3-0) lead Pool A; Poland (3-0) is the only undefeated team in Pool B; Serbia (3–0) and the Tokyo Olympic gold winners U.S. (3-0) are unbeaten in Pool C and Brazil and China are both 3-0 in Pool D. The U.S. beat Bulgaria on Thursday in Lodz (POL) by 25-14, 23-25, 25-11, 25-15.
Pool play will conclude on 2 October, with the top four teams in each pool moving on to a second round-robin program beginning on 4 October.
≡ PANORAMA ≡
● South American Games ● The XII South American Games will open on Saturday (1 October) in Asuncion (PAR), with a record 4,526 athletes from 15 countries competing in 412 events in 36 sports.
The largest delegations are reported from Argentina (592), Paraguay (572), Chile (539), Colombia (500) and Brazil (464).
The competitions are being live-streamed on the PanAm Sports Channel, across eight feeds.
For our updated, 620-event International Sports Calendar for 2022 and beyond, by date and by sport, click here!