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Monthly Archives: July 2012

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July 30, 2012 Headlines: Romney’s new ad ‘n’ USA gold medalist’s support

Olympic gold medalists back Romney in new TV ad

USA TODAY   Mon, 30 Jul 2012

Some of America’s best-known Olympic gold medalists are featured in a new super PAC ad touting the accomplishments of Mitt Romney.

Kristi Yamaguchi, Derek Parra and Jimmy Shea star in the new pro-Romney commercial paid for by Restore Our Future, the main super PAC supporting the Republican presidential candidate. Romney’s work to help rescue the 2002 Winter Olympics from financial disaster is a major part of his campaign narrative. The ad is part of the group’s $7.2 million ad buy that’s airing during coverage of the Summer Games in London. It will be shown, starting tomorrow, in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

July 29, 2012 Headlines: Olympics: empty seats, free Tibet ‘n’ Flotus balling

Empty seats plague London Games

Soldiers sit in the empty seats held by the IOC as they watch the women’s gymnastics qualification in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 29, 2012. (MIKE BLAKE:Reuters)

CANOE   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

LONDON – When private security contractor G4S failed to deliver all the staff promised for the airport-style security checkpoints, London Olympics organizers called the army. When seats for Olympic events went empty on Day 1 of the Games, they also called the army. Local teachers and students, too, for help in putting bums in seats to avoid international embarrassment. London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe downplayed the Games’ latest controversy on Sunday, denying it’s “shambolic.” “This is not something we should be extrapolating dramatically from the first day of an Olympic Games,” Coe said.

Bill Clinton talks Cardinals QBs with Larry Fitzgerald

NFL News   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

These days, part of being Larry Fitzgerald means facing an unending line of queries about the Arizona Cardinals‘ unsettled quarterback situation. We’re guessing Fitzgerald assumed he’d have a respite from the questioning earlier this month when he traveled to Uganda to do some charity work. But Kolb v. Skelton followed Fitzgerald halfway around the world, thanks to Bill Clinton. The former president also was in Uganda as part of the Clinton Global Initiative, and he wanted the wide receiver’s take on the Cardinals’ hottest storyline…Fitzgerald…was in Uganda to distribute hearing aids to impoverished citizens. Larry Fitzgerald’s a pretty unbelievable dude himself.

Olympic organizers defend choice of flag

FOXSports.com   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

LONDON (AP) – London Games organizers are defending a decision to allow a former Brazilian presidential candidate to help carry the Olympic flag at the opening ceremony – in front of the winner of the election. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff reportedly was surprised to see Marina Silva carry the flag. Muhammad Ali and Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, appeared with the flagbearers. The London organizing committee says Silva was chosen by ceremony director Danny Boyle ”because of her really strong environmental credentials.” Organizers say the International Olympic Committee ”was aware of our choice.”

Exiled Tibetans upset over Tibet not qualifying as a nation to participate in Olympics

Newstrack India   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

Dharamsala, July 29 (ANI): Exiled Tibetans living in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, have expressed disappointment over Tibet not qualifying as a nation to participate in the London Olympics. Tibetan activists feel the real meaning and essence of the games is missing, as Tibetan people are suffering under the repressive Chinese regime and the games do not reflect the value of sportsmanship. The Cultural Secretary of Tibetan Youth Congress, Jigme, said he wants to take this opportunity to seek support from the world for their movement of Free Tibet.

Michelle Obama Hugs Lebron After USA B-Ball Thumps France 98-71

 

News One   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

LONDON The hiccups outnumbered thehighlights, and for a while the U.S. racked up fouls faster than points. The opener wasn’t artistic. However, it was enough – easily enough…American men’s basketball team overcame some sloppy moments with a 98-71 win Sunday over France.

Michelle Obama ends UK trip with visit to military families, Olympic basketball match

Washington Post   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

LONDON — U.S. first lady Michelle Obama has met with British-based American military families on the final stop of her visit to Britain. Obama received a warm welcome from the American families when she arrived at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk. Casually dressed in a sports jacket and chinos, she greeted them with hugs and high-fives, before signing autographs and posing for pictures.

July 28, 2012 Headlines: Olympics: Full slate of female athletes, Ads, ‘n’ a Royal snub

All participating teams in Olympics to have female members, says IOC president Rogge

Pakistan Daily Times   Sat, 28 Jul 2012

By Muhammad Ali 

- Greatest show on Earth begins with Queen-James Bond ‘jumping’ from helicopter and Mr Bean’s hilarious dream

…LONDON: The London Olympics 2012 started with the Queen and James Bond ‘jumping’ from a helicopter…International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge proclaimed: “The Olympic Games are coming home tonight.” Rogge also emphasised that for the first time in Olympic history all participating teams would have female members, in a development he described as ‘a major boost for gender equality’. It was Rogge’s last time as president of the IOC to watch the Olympic flag being raised at an opening ceremony. He will step down in 2013 after completing the maximum two terms.

Political ads during Olympics? Bush waved Iraqi, Afghan flags

Los Angeles Times   Sat, 28 Jul 2012

In 1972, there were 40 democracies in the world. Today, 120 said the commercial for the 2004 Bush campaign. HO, Associated Press : August 13, 2004

For American fans watching on television, the Olympic Games mark an escape from workaday cares and annoyances — like political advertising. That isn’t stopping President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney from trying to score a few friendly political points with pitches during the games — Obama during the opening ceremonies with a nonpartisan ode to the American work ethic and a pro-Romney “super PAC” launching spots about his winning tenure as head of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. The ads all will pale in ideological fervor compared to a 2004 spot in which George W. Bush’s reelection campaign used the Olympics to trumpet the president’s democracy drive in the Mideast.  That ad ticked off Olympic officials, who said it violated their exclusive right to the Olympics name.

Michelle Obama snubs Royal Box to sit with Serena’s family

Sydney Morning Herald   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama joins Venus Williams (top left) and former gymnast Dominique Dawes in cheering on Serena Williams at the London Olympics tennis tournament. Photo- Getty Images

Serena Williams sure has friends in high places. Usually, the 14-time grand slam winner’s supporters’ box is populated by family members, but for her first-round Olympics match on Saturday there was an addition to the cast: the American First Lady, Michelle Obama. The US president’s wife was a guest of Williams… preferring to sit in the players’ box rather than the Royal Box, where dignitaries are usually planted at the All England Club.

Shevchenko gives up soccer for politics

Calgary Sun   Sat, 28 Jul 2012

KIEV – Famed Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko has quit soccer to start a career in politics with an independent party just months ahead of the October parliamentary election. Shevchenko has joined “Ukraine – Forward!”, formed this year by politicians who were expelled by the main opposition coalition that used to be led by former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the party said. “Perhaps, I will shock everyone: my future has nothing to do with soccer,” Shevchenko was quoted as saying in a statement by his former club Dynamo Kiev. “…It is related to politics.”

Andriy Shevchenko is leaving soccer to start a career in politics in his native Ukraine. (Alessandro Bianchi:Reuters:Files)

July 27, 2012 Headlines: Team Owners donations to…, Twitter’s Olympics & Pres Campaign, ‘n’ Michelle in London

Sports Team Owners Send Cash to Presidential Picks

Forbes   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

While the two major sports league PACs have so far taken a bipartisan approach to the 2012 elections, team owners and execs haven’t. The National Football League and the Major League Baseball Commissioner’s Office have split their giving pretty evenly between the two parties, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Romney donors:

Woody Johnson, New York Jets

Marc J. Leder, Philadelphia 76ers

J. Joe Ricketts’s family, Chicago Cubs

Peter Karmanos Jr., Carolina Hurricanes

Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys

James Dolan, New York Knicks

Dean A. Spanos, San Diego Chargers

Dan Snyder and Dwight Schar, Washington Redskins

Obama backers include:

Stephen Pagliuca, Celtics

Robert Epstein, Boston Celtics

Robert C. Pohlad, Minnesota Twins

Robert K. Kraft, New England Patriots

Jonathan M. Tisch, New York Giants

James Lassiter and Michael Rubin, Philadelphia 76ers

Dale Rosenbloom, St. Louis Rams

Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs

Ted Leonsis, Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards 

Twitter Competing in Two Sports: The Olympics and the US Election

brandchannel.com   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

As the Summer Olympics gets underway in London, Twitter — rebounding for a pre-Olympics wobble on Thursday — has launched its London 2012 Olympics hub, driving its user base to jump on the #Olympics hashtag…Twitter is embarking on a high-profile media partnership with Sirius XM Radio to launch a news show called “Politics Powered by Twitter.” The program will serve as a daily digest for SiriusXM’s 22 million subscribers that translates the “Twitter-verse” into a new talk radio format.

Obama campaign touts ‘middle class’ in Olympics-timed ad

The Hill   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

President Obama’s campaign released a television ad Friday touting…”We’re a nation of workers and doers and dreamers. We work hard for what we get and all we ask for is that our hard work pays off. I believe that the way you grow the economy is from the middle out. I believe in fighting for the middle class because if they’re prospering, all of us will prosper,” says Obama in the ad. The 30-second spot is set to air during the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.

NC ad to slam Obama on economy during Olympics

USA TODAY  Fri, 27 Jul 2012

The Republican National Committee is jabbing President Obama’s handling of the economy in a new TV ad that will run during the Olympics and in markets in key swing states. The ad spotlights Obama’s $800 billion economic stimulus program as the RNC tries to capitalize on a new report on the gross domestic product that shows the U.S. economy was weak in the second quarter. “President Obama may think his economic plan worked, but looking at today’s GDP numbers, it’s clear the president is out of touch,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.

Michelle Obama greets US athletes at London Olympics

Michelle Obama meets members of Team USA at the University of East London. Getty Images

New York Post   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

LONDON — Michelle Obama formally opened her stint as leader of the U.S. Olympics delegation on Friday, attending a breakfast with Olympians and saying she was “just in awe” of their company….”Try to have fun. Try to breathe a little bit,” Mrs. Obama said. “But also win, right?” The first lady had a busy itinerary Friday, including promoting healthy living with more than 1,000 children, a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace and then the opening ceremony at Olympic Stadium.

Michelle Obama cheers on Olympians and kids at London events

New York Daily News  Fri, 27 Jul 2012

…Later, the First Lady promoted healthy living with more than 1,000 children – most of them from U.S. military families – as well as a suited-up Beckham, Olympic gold-medal sprinter Carl Lewis and ex-NBA star Dikembe Mutombo. The event – part of the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign aimed at tackling childhood obesity – was held on the lavish grounds of Winfield House, the official residence of the U.S. ambassador in London.

Washington’s Influence Olympics: The Opening Ceremony

Center for Responsive Politics   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

This year, there are 53 official corporate sponsors of the Olympics, most of which have a multinational reach. And just about any major company that’s doing business in the U.S. is likely to a have a stake in what’s going on in Washington. Of the 53 Olympic sponsors, 29 have lobbied the federal government since the last Summer Games, even those that are not based in the U.S. In order to break down the lobbying activity of these companies, OpenSecrets Blog has put together its own influence edition of the Opening Ceremony, sorting the sponsors by their home countries to see how they stack up.

THE DELEGATIONS

United States: General Electric, United Parcel Service (UPS) and Dow Chemical, Cisco Systems, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble.

United Kingdom: BP, GlaxoSmithKline, Deloitte,

Germany: Adidas and BMW

Japan: Panasonic

South Korea: Samsung

Netherlands: Heineken, L’arche Green N.V.

Luxembourg: ArcelorMittal

Australia: Westfield Group

Former Navy SEAL’s Anti-Obama PAC Hits The Racetrack

Politicker   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

Special Operations for America, the pro-Mitt Romney political action committee formed by former Navy SEAL Team Six Commander Ryan Zinke will be sponsoring a car at NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis International Raceway this Sunday. FAS Lane racing’s Sprint Cup Series #32 car, which is being driven by Ken Schrader, will sport the SOFA name and logo along with website information and the slogan “Join The Battle.”

Michael Vick Thinks President Obama Has A Point

Bleeding Green Nation   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

Michael Vick tweeted his reaction to President Obama telling Nnamdi Asomugha that he wanted the Eagles QB to start sliding, but yesterday afternoon he had a chance to talk about it further. “I was stunned. I didn’t believe it. It was awesome. It was just one of those things that you hear that’s just hard to believe, but at the same time when you let it all soak in, you think to yourself, ‘Man, he’s got a point.’ If he’s saying it, then I’ve got to do it. So the first run of the year, I’m sliding and you’ll know it’s for him.” It has to be exciting enough that the President of the United States is talking about you, but when he also knows the nuances of your game? That’s pretty cool.

Rick Santorum Blasts NCAA & Freeh Report On Penn State-Jerry Sandusky Sex Scandal

Huffington Post  Fri, 27 Jul 2012

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) and former 2012 GOP presidential hopeful doesn’t think the Freeh report tells the whole truth on the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. In a radio interview conducted by Dallas-Ft. Worth’s KSKY 660 AM Friday, Santorum did not go into specifics, but criticized the Freeh Report, which investigated the cover up of Sandusky’s crimes. “My concern with the Freeh report… a lot of the conclusions in the Freeh report aren’t matched by the evidence that they presented,” Santorum said.

Congress asks NFL, NFLPA to begin HGH testing in letter

NFL News   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith on Friday calling on them to begin testing for human growth hormone (HGH). The letter requests “written assurances” that testing will be in place prior to the 2012 season, noting that it has been nearly one year since the new collective bargaining agreement was ratified.

July 26, 2012 Headlines: Anti-Romney Olympic ad=copyright violation, Diplomat Romney in London, ‘n’ Cop canned

Olympics Committee: No Games footage in campaign ads

Washington Post   Thurs, 26 Jul 2012

An ad from the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA has been pulled off YouTube at the request of the International Olympic Committee on copyright violation grounds, and the group has voluntarily taken the ad offline and will not be running it on television. The U.S. Olympic Committee is asking all candidates and outside groups not to use footage from past Olympics in their ads.

Romney stirs Olympic tiff as European tour begins

Romney Street in London Photo- Charles Dharapak : AP

San Francisco Chronicle   Thurs, 26 Jul 2012

LONDON (AP) — Mitt Romney wanted to highlight U.S.-British bonds — and show off his diplomatic skills to boot — but he managed to rankle the Olympic hosts instead, from Prime Minister David Cameron on down. The Republican presidential candidate, taking a turn on the world stage, called London’s problems with Olympic Games preparation “disconcerting.” That prompted Cameron to retort on Thursday that doubters would “see beyond doubt that Britain can deliver.” And London Mayor Boris Johnson told tens of thousands gathered in Hyde Park: “There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!” Amid the uproar, Romney tried to back off his critique, finally concluding, “I expect the games to be highly successful.”

Tony Blair Says We Should Wait a Decade Before Judging the 2012 Games

The Atlantic Cities   Thurs, 26 Jul 2012

Tony Blair attended the Beyond Sport summit yesterday in London to speak about how sports, particularly the Olympics, can facilitate positive change. Since leaving office, the former Prime Minister has started a small-scale sports foundation in northeast England to train coaches and volunteers. More recently, he has become an adviser to the Labour party on Olympic legacy. In yesterday’s Guardian, Blair was quoted after the event as saying it could take a decade to judge the London Games honestly. He also emphasized the importance of maintaining political focus long after the Olympics conclude. “It’s in 10 years time we’ll know whether this has worked or not.” he said. “What is important is after the Olympics to carry on encouraging the impact of it to keep generating local sport activity.”

Mitt Romney Registered As Lobbyist For Salt Lake City Olympics

Huffington Post   Thurs, 26 Jul 2012

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney loves to talk about his role salvaging the 2002 scandal-tarnished Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City…Romney wasn’t just the head of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Romney was also a registered lobbyist for the organization, Utah state records show. Romney last worked as a lobbyist on Dec. 31, 2000, according to a spokesman for the state lieutenant governor, who oversees the registry. As a lobbyist and president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, Romney didn’t just stabilize the balance sheet. He brought in a record $1.3 billion in federal dollars for Salt Lake City’s games and more from Utah. In 1996, the Atlanta Summer Olympics cost U.S. taxpayers $609 million.

Phil Knight, Chris Dudley among big Oregon donors to Mitt Romney

OregonLive.com  Thurs, 26 Jul 2012

The biggest Oregon donor to Romney in the  June report was Chris Dudley, the 2010 candidate for governor and the former pro basketball player.  He’s now given a total of $7,500 to Romney’s campaign, according to the report. Also showing up on the Romney contributors list for the first time is Nike Chairman Phil Knight and his wife, Penny.  They each gave $2,500.

Senate: Volleyball “Official Team Sport” for Mass.

abc40   Thurs, 26 Jul 2012

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has approved a bill designating volleyball the official team sport of Massachusetts. Sen. Michael Knapik, a Westfield Republican, backed the bill noting that volleyball was invented by William Morgan at a YMCA in Holyoke in 1895 just four years after basketball was invented in Springfield. The bill would need to be given final approval by both the House and Senate before midnight Tuesday in order to reach Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk this session…volleyball is too late to be the official sport of Massachusetts. That designation belongs to basketball under a bill signed by then-Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006.

Mass. mayor fires cop he says slurred Sox player

Yahoo! Sports   Thurs, 26 Jul 2012

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts mayor on Thursday fired a white police officer accused of using a racial slur to taunt Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford, saying the officer had ”brought discredit” on himself and the department. ”You have demonstrated through your racist comments that you cannot continue as a patrol officer,” Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella wrote in his termination notice to officer John Perrault.

July 25, 2012 Headlines: Romney’s Olympic experience attacked on eve of arrival, Hill to observe moment of silence, ‘n’ Obama/Vick

Olympics-Themed Ad Attack on Romney

Wall Street Journal (blog)   Wed, 25 Jul 2012

President Barack Obama‘s allies have added an Olympics flourish to their attacks on Mitt Romney‘s business background as the Republican presidential candidate begins a weeklong foreign trip Wednesday that includes a stop at the summer games in London. The latest ad from Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC supporting Mr. Obama, features footage of Mr. Romney as head of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. It suggests Mr. Romney is cheering on various nations that Democrats have attempted to link to his past, primarily his time at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he co-founded.

Romney jets in for London Olympics

The News International   Wed, 25 Jul 2012

LONDON: US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney arrived in Britain on Wednesday for a three-day trip which will take in the London Olympic Games opening ceremony and a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron. Before the festivities, the governor will hit the campaign trail holding high-profile talks with Britain’s leaders and meetings with US Olympic athletes. He is due to hold talks with Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, foreign minister William Hague and finance minister George Osborne on Thursday. Opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband, former prime minister Tony Blair and Irish leader Enda Kenny are also due to meet with Romney before he jets off to Israel on Sunday.

Congressmen to hold moment of silence for Munich 11

Jewish Telegraphic Agency   Wed, 25 Jul 2012

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Members of the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a moment of silence for the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches slain by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics. “We’re going to give one-minute speeches on the House floor and devote a substantial moment of that to silence on Thursday,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said in a conference call with the media on Wednesday. Following that, he and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) will lead a group of lawmakers to the Capital grounds for another moment of silence.

Clinton urges IOC to commemorate Munich

FOXSports.com   Wed, 25 Jul 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is calling on the International Olympic Committee to commemorate the massacre of Israeli athletes by Palestinian gunmen at the Munich Games in 1972 with a moment of silence at the opening ceremony of this year’s Games in London. A senior State Department official said Wednesday that Clinton wrote to committee President Jacques Rogge to ask the IOC to hold an ”appropriate memorial event” in London for the victims.

Olympian Dominique Dawes not into politics

The Hill   Wed, 25 Jul 2012

For someone who grew up just minutes from Washington and is about to join first lady Michelle Obama as part of the U.S. delegation to the 2012 Olympic Games, Dominique Dawes is remarkably nonpolitical. The Silver Spring, Md., native…Dawes — appointed in 2010 by President Obama as co-chairwoman on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition — says the closest she’ll likely get to breaking a sweat near any political players is digging through dirt outside the White House

Eve of Olympics strike by border guards averted at 11th hour

Telegraph.co.uk   Wed, 25 Jul 2012

The Public and Commercial Services union said the Government was planning to recruit 1,100 staff for the Border Agency and passport service in response to complaints that thousands of job cuts were hitting services. The revelation of the new jobs was enough to suspend strike action on Thursday, the day before the official opening of the London Games.

Obama wants Michael Vick to slide

ESPN (blog)    Wed, 25 Jul 2012

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is no joke. He gets to hang out with the President of the United States. During a recent conversation, Asomugha and President Barack Obama got to talking football, and the nation’s chief executive had some advice for Asomugha to bring back with him to Eagles training camp. Per Sheil Kapadia:  “He told me to tell [Michael] Vick to slide,” Asomugha said with a laugh.

Sen. Weinberg proposes temporary Meadowlands casino for 2014 Super Bowl

NJ.com   Wed, 25 Jul 2012

Sen. Loretta Weinberg is recommending that a temporary casino be installed in the Meadowlands Sports Complex to coincide with the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium. In an interview with WCBS radio in New York, Weinberg said she believes the casino would help bring in even more visitors and revenue to the state during what will be the biggest week in the newly built stadium’s brief history.

NFL Linebacker Joins Antibiotics Briefing on Capitol Hill

Food Safety News   Wed, 25 Jul 2012

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY), a constant advocate for reining in the use of antibiotics in agriculture, hosted another congressional briefing on the issue Tuesday — this time featuring an NFL linebacker.

Will Witherspoon, who plays for the Tennessee Titans and owns Shire Gate Farm, joined Frank Reese of Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch cooperative and veterinarian and medical expert Dr. Michael Blackwell on panel to brief staff on raising livestock without using antibiotics.

July 24, 2012 Headlines: London Mayor’s ode, doping/betting, ‘n’ Iran’s participation

London mayor’s Greek Olympic ode features Bolt

Yahoo! Sports   Tues, 24 Jul 2012

London Mayor Boris Johnson won cheers from Olympic officials after reading out a specially composed ode in ancient Greek, complete with references to athletes like Usain Bolt…the poem specially written by Dr Armand D’Angour of Oxford University…concludes: “Now welcome to this seagirt land, / with London?s Mayor and co. at hand / good luck to all who strive to win: / applaud and let the Games begin!”

Doping, illegal betting top priorities: Olympic chief

Yahoo! Sports   Tues, 24 Jul 2012

Olympic chief Jacques Rogge vowed no let up in the war on illegal betting and doping on Tuesday as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) began its three-day session ahead of the London Games. The 70-year-old IOC president – who is due to step down in September next year after a 12 year tenure – said the battles against the twin threats should also come with good and responsible governance of all sports. “The fight against doping and illegal gambling remain the absolute priorities for the IOC,” said Rogge.

Iran Media Denies Athletes to Compete Alongside Israel at Games

Bloomberg   Tues, 24 Jul 2012

Israeli media misquoted comments from the general secretary of Iran’s Olympic committee, saying Iranian athletes will compete alongside Israelis at the London 2012 Olympics, the state-run Fars news agency reported. The Israeli media “maliciously changed Bahram Afsharzadeh’s words and sought to project comments from the general secretary of Iran’s Olympic committee as they like,” the report said. “Afsharzadeh responded to journalists in the Olympic village, saying Iran respects the spirit of sports and Iranian sportsmen would not boycott matches because of the nationality of most participants,” Fars said, adding that Afsharzadeh hadn’t named Israel. Iran doesn’t recognize Israel. Iranian athletes withdrew from events at the 2004 and 2008 games when paired against Israel.

July 23, 2012 Headlines: Romney HOF, No PA taxes to pay for fine, ‘n’ sports helps/hurts Obama

Mitt Romney Made the Baseball Hall of Fame, Sort Of

New York Magazine   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

Occupy Wall Street and very rich man Mitt Romney have inadvertently teamed up to make baseball history. Sitting in the hallowed halls of the Cooperstown museum these days is the uniform of a theatrical protest troupe called the Tax Dodgers, a “team” that debuted along with a giant Mitt — get it?…the Occupy group “have been included in the Hall of Fame Museum not because of their political content but because they reflect baseball’s prominent place in the national landscape.”

Sen. Casey backs NCAA sanctions against Penn State

Delaware County Daily Times   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Casey said Monday he supports the NCAA sanctions against Penn State and the removal of a statue of longtime football coach Joe Paterno in the aftermath of the scandal surrounding Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse conviction.

”The sanctions were tough but I think necessary,” he said at a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon. “Even people beyond the state are terribly disturbed by what happened.”

Corbett Says Taxpayers Won’t Pay Penn State Fine, Paterno Family Furious

iradiophilly.com   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett wants assurances Penn State won’t use any tax dollars to pay the $60 million fine slapped on Penn State by the NCAA today. Corbett is relieved the NCAA did not shut down football altogether and is confident that the University, which is more than football, will still be considered world class.

Obama and Romney looking to capitalize on Olympic Games

Los Angeles Times   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney will do whatever they can to capture the golden glow of the Olympic Games, which begin this week in London. It appears Team Obama will start with one-on-one defense, deploying First Lady Michelle Obama to cover the Republican challenger for openers, with the president possibly joining the fray if the opportunity presents itself. Both the first lady and Romney are scheduled to attend a reception Friday at Buckingham Palace, to be hosted by Queen Elizabeth II and attended by 130 heads of state. The opening ceremonies follow that evening

Romney backs Olympics moment of silence to honor Munich victims

Reuters   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, about to visit the London Olympics and Israel, said for the first time on Monday that he supports an official minute of silence at Friday’s opening ceremony for the Games to honor Israeli athletes killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Olympics uniforms will be ‘Made in America’ starting in 2014, USOC and Lawmakers say

Washington Post   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

Uniforms worn by U.S. athletes during future opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games will be manufactured in the United States as part of an agreement announced Monday. The office of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) announced the agreement Monday, one week after Senate Democrats unveiled legislation that would force USOC to adopt “Made in America” uniform standards or face the prospect of losing its charter to oversee the U.S. Olympic program.

Michelle Obama leading presidential delegation to Olympic Games

Los Angeles Times   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

WASHINGTON — First Lady Michelle Obama will lead a presidential delegation to Friday’s opening ceremony for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London…The first lady will take her Let’s Move anti-obesity campaign to the U.S. ambassador’s residence Friday, where 1,000 American and British children will be put through their paces at sports stations and get a chance to meet athletes including soccer great David Beckham. She has dubbed Saturday a Let’s Move Olympic Fun Day and is encouraging communities in the U.S. to arrange fitness events through Meetup.com.

Obama the Sports Fan: How the President’s Sports Knowledge Works For and Against Him

International Business Times   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

Obama is known to sit back and enjoy what many fellow Americans look to for solace and comfort: sports. Obama makes no effort to hide his immense interest in watching sports, with basketball being one of his lifelong passions. There is Barack-etology, in which the president unveils his NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament picks during “March Madness.” Then there are his brief appearances on Monday Night Football, pickup games with friends and colleagues, and an occasional coaching role on his daughter Sasha’s youth basketball team.

July 22, 2012 Headlines: Pope’s Olympic message, Pres supports Paterno Statue removal, ‘n’ Clinton balling in Haiti

Pope’s Olympic message credits the power of sports

Pope Benedict XVI holds a soccer ball received as a gift after his weekly general audience in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican, 13 June 2007. AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE

NBC 29 News   Sun, 22 Jul 2012

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Benedict XVI says he is praying that the London Olympics promote world peace and friendship – a message the Vatican is increasingly emphasizing as it focuses renewed attention on the positive role that sports can play in society. But while the message Sunday may be new, sports have long been a mainstay for the Vatican. The first soccer game was played in the Apostolic Palace in 1521 and every year the Swiss Guards face off against the staff of the Vatican Museums in a tournament…Just last month, the Vatican’s culture office opened a new “Culture and Sport” department, saying the sporting world was in need of a “cathartic” change to fight from spiraling into a profession dominated by money and drugs…Benedict himself launched the London-based John Paul II Foundation for Sport during his 2010 visit to Britain, creating a charity that aims to “build spiritual character through excellence in sporting skills and fitness.” When the CEO of the charity, Monsignor Vladimir Felzman, formally introduced it a year later, he delivered his speech on the interconnectedness of physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth while doing 75 pushups.

Obama Supports Penn State’s Removal of Paterno Statue

Wall Street Journal (blog)  Sun, 22 Jul 2012

A covering lies on top of the head of the statue of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno before it is removed Sunday, July 22, 2012, in State College, Pa.(AP Photo:John Beale)

President Barack Obama supports the decision for Penn State University to take down the statue of Joe Paterno after a report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh  showed  the late football coach and other school officials ignored allegations of child sexual abuse, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Sunday. “It was the right decision,” Mr. Carney said Mr. Obama told him.

Goveror Corbett Concerned Over Possible NCAA Sanctions At PSU

CBS Local   Sun, 22 Jul 2012

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Governor Corbett says he hopes the NCAA will consider the far-reaching impact that shutting down Penn State’s football program would have as the organization considers what if any action to take in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Yonkers Man, Clinton Team To Help Haiti Basketball

Former President Bill Clinton and Jim Bostic of Yonkers discuss rebuilding Haiti’s national basketball program. Photo Credit- courtesy of Jim Bostic

 

The Daily Voice   Sun, 22 Jul 2012

YONKERS, N.Y. – Yonkers icon Jim Bostic had a prolific college basketball career, success in the NBA, a coaching career that led two local high schools to multiple championships and helped turn around Iona College’s basketball program. These days, Bostic is looking to turn around another program – in Haiti – and a chance meeting with former President Bill Clinton has given his efforts a boost.


July 21, 2012 Headlines: Olympics: No moment of silence, Costa to pay respect, ‘n’ Putin says “You can do it!”

London 2012: IOC chief praises ‘country that invented modern sport’

The Guardian   Sat, 21 Jul 2012

President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge attends a news conference in Stratford. Photograph- Neil Hall/Reuters

In the week of the opening ceremony, the International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said he was optimistic the London Games would be a success thanks to the enthusiasm of “the country that invented modern sport”.

Rogge resisted calls from President Barack Obama for the terrorist attack at the 1972 Munich Games to be recognised by a minute’s silence during the opening ceremony, insisting “the opening ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident”. Instead the IOC will hold a ceremony at the exact place of the killings in the military airport in Munich on 5 September, the date of the tragedy.The IOC president, in charge of his final Olympics before he stands down in 2013, also confirmed that the National Olympic Committee executives identified in a Sunday Times investigation would be free to attend the Games.

Opening Ceremony: Bob Costas To Pay Respects To Victims Of 1972 Munich

Huffington Post   Sat, 21 Jul 2012

The Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games is one of the most watched events around the world. People from all over the globe, in hundreds of countries, tune in for the spectacle. The Olympic Games is one of the few events that brings the world together in such a way. These 2012 games are the 40th anniversay of the human tragedy that happened in Munich in 1972, when 11 Israelis were killed as part of a hostage crisis…However, one man is going to step in and do his part where the IOC will not. NBC’s Olympic anchor, Bob Costas, will have his own minute of silence as the Israeli athletes enter the Olympic Stadium in London.

Romney Aides Split on Olympics Trip Overruled by Romney

Businessweek   Sat, 21 Jul 2012

Mitt Romney’s trip to Europe and Israel next week gives the Republican presidential candidate the opportunity to establish foreign policy credentials and get a temporary respite from nagging questions about his finances…Campaign advisers were divided on whether Romney should go to London, according to one involved in the discussion. Some aides argued that a visit to the Olympics, where his wife’s horse is representing the U.S. in the dressage competition, could draw more attention to his personal wealth

 

‘You can do it!’ – Putin to Olympians

RT   Sat, 21 Jul 2012

Russian President Vladimir Putin has wished the best of luck to the country’s Olympic team before they depart for the XXX Summer Olympics in London.

 

 

“I wish that the Russian flag will be raised and the country’s anthem played as often as possible after your victories at the Olympic stadiums in London,” RIA-Novosti news agency cites Putin as saying. “Thousands of people will be looking at you from the stands and millions all over the world on TV. Our Olympic team as a whole and each individual member is capable of achieving a lot. Sports – especially, high performance sports – require plenty of hard work, discipline and, of course, luck, but most of all – self-confidence and the ability to overcome yourself.”

Concord High grad to run in Olympic marathon

The Union Leader   Sat, 21 Jul 2012

The International Olympic Committee has granted Marial’s request to enter the Olympics as an unattached athlete, so he can compete in the Olympic marathon. IOC rules prohibited him from representing the United States because he is not a citizen. His homeland, the year-old Republic of South Sudan, has not yet qualified to field an Olympic team…“In my heart, I will be standing in the Olympics and holding the South Sudan flag in my heart,” Marial said. “I may be independent, but inside my heart, these are the people I am running for.”

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