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  1. #1

    2018 Winter Olympics PyeongChang 2/9 - 2/25

    SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 / 1:56 PM / UPDATED 9 MINUTES AGO
    France to skip 2018 Winter Games if security not assured
    Richard Lough, Hyunjoo Jin

    PARIS/SEOUL (Reuters) - France’s Winter Olympics team will not travel to the 2018 Games in South Korea if its security cannot be guaranteed, France’s sports minister said on Thursday, the first major doubts by a participating nation about growing North Korean tensions.

    The games organizer said on Friday that it is closely monitoring the current geopolitical situation with the South Korean government, adding that safety is the top priority.

    Tensions in the region have escalated since North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 3, prompting global condemnation.

    North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un said on Friday the North will consider the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” against the United States in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to destroy the North.

    France’s Sports Minister Laura Flessel told RTL radio that if the crisis deepened and “our security cannot be assured, the French Olympics team will stay at home.”

    But she added: “We’re not there yet.”

    Participants in the Games - the first Winter Olympics hosted by an Asian nation outside Japan - had not previously raised safety concerns publicly.

    The games are scheduled for Feb 9-25 next year in Pyeongchang, just 80 km (50 miles) from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, the world’s most heavily armed border. The two countries remain technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended with a truce and not a peace treaty.

    “Safety and security is one of the most important aspects of Games preparations,” Sung Baik-you, a spokesman for the organizing committee, said in a statement to Reuters on Friday.

    South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday the country is pushing to ensure security at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. In a meeting with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, Moon said South Korea is well aware of the concerns.

    The Japanese Olympic Committee said on Friday it is not considering the cancellation of its plans.

    “We will continue to prepare in the same way as with other international competitions that we take part in,” a spokeswoman for the committee said.

    The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) said it was working with all the relevant authorities to ensure its athletes would be safe.

    “Each host city presents a unique challenge from a security perspective, and, as is always the case, we are working with the organizers, the U.S. State Department and the relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that our athletes, and our entire delegation, are safe,” USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said.

    The Chinese Olympic Committee said it had no immediate comment.


    The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), which has representatives in South Korea, said the safety of its team was always its main priority.

    “The safety of our entire Canadian Olympic Team is always our main priority, no matter where the Games are held,” the COC said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

    “The Government of Canada does not currently have travel advisories in place for South Korea and recommends that Canadians exercise normal security precautions, which is the lowest of four risk levels.”

    Australia, one of Asia’s largest participants at recent Winter Games, is monitoring the situation.

    “The safety of our team is of the highest priority but we are comfortable with the priority that the (International Olympic Committee) and the Org Comm are placing on security and safety of the Games and its participants,” the Australian Olympic Committee said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

    “We are relying on advice from DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) and working with the Korean Ambassador and if their advice changes, we will advise our team accordingly but for the moment there is no suggestion that the Games will not go ahead or their safety is compromised.”

    The chief of the International Ski Federation, Gian-Franco Kasper, dismissed any fears among athletes, saying the Pyeongchang Olympics would be the “safest in the world”.

    He conceded, however, that ticket sales among overseas visitors could be affected.

    The IOC has said it is not contemplating any ‘Plan B’ for the Games.

    IOC President Thomas Bach said last week that considering any scenario other than holding the Olympics in South Korea could hamper diplomatic efforts.

    Reporting by Richard Lough, Elizabeth Pineau and Sarah White; Additional reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto and Ian Ransom in Melbourne, Australia, Hyunjoo Jin and Christine Kim in SEOUL and Elaine Lies in TOYKO; Editing by Pritha Sarkar, Lincoln Feast and Neil Fullick
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  2. #2

    Re: 2018 Winter Olympics Seoul 2/9 - 2/25

    I was wondering when this would start coming up. Thanks for posting this, Ti. GH

  3. #3

    Re: 2018 Winter Olympics Seoul 2/9 - 2/25

    NP GH. I guess no one has talked to that raving lunatic about consequences of his fever dream of bombing someone, anyone.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  4. #4

    Re: 2018 Winter Olympics Seoul 2/9 - 2/25

    What kind of security can you implement against artillery? "We expect the facilities to have proper trenches and enough bunkers for our athletes"
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  5. #5

    Re: 2018 Winter Olympics Seoul 2/9 - 2/25

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    What kind of security can you implement against artillery? "We expect the facilities to have proper trenches and enough bunkers for our athletes"
    That pretty much sums it up. Our Dotard in Chief doesn't care. He just wants to get his little hands on the nuclear button.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  6. #6

    Re: 2018 Winter Olympics Seoul 2/9 - 2/25

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Our Dotard in Chief

  7. #7

    Re: 2018 Winter Olympics Seoul 2/9 - 2/25

    AFP news agency‏Verified account @AFP 2m2 minutes ago
    A pair of figure skaters just became the first North Koreans to qualify for the next Winter Olympics in South Korea

    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  8. #8

    Re: 2018 Winter Olympics Seoul 2/9 - 2/25

    That is assuming the games still happen and that the Korean peninsula still exists come February.

  9. #9

    Re: 2018 Winter Olympics Seoul 2/9 - 2/25

    Think about it. Somewhere in between China and N. Korea, there must be a lake that freezes in winter. Solid ice.
    And these two poor souls plan to skate through it doing pirouettes to avoid suspicion.
    "Oh, we were practicing for the Olympic games!"
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  10. #10

    Re: 2018 Winter Olympics Seoul 2/9 - 2/25

    Hilary Evans‏ @OlympicStatman 17m17 minutes ago
    #Olympics Accused Russian skier Maxim Vylegzhanin expects to be disqualified from Sochi Olympics and banned

    Meanwhile reports in the Russian media say Belov and Legkov will appeal to CAS
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  11. #11

    Re: 2018 Winter Olympics Seoul 2/9 - 2/25

    Russian boycott of Winter Olympics moves step closer after Wada ruling
    • Russian delegation fails to lift World Anti-Doping Agency ban
    • Crucial IOC board meeting scheduled for Lausanne next month

    The prospect of Russia boycotting an Olympics for the first time since 1984 is a step closer after its national anti-doping agency failed to have its suspension lifted.

    The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) was declared noncompliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s rules when the details of Russia’s systemic cheating first emerged in November 2015. With the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang just 12 weeks away, Thursday’s Wada foundation board meeting in Seoul was the last scheduled chance for Rusada to convince anti-doping leaders it had met the terms of a “road map” to compliance.

    While Rusada has met almost every technical item on the 31-point list, much of which has been overseen by UK Anti-Doping, it has refused to comply with two fundamental criteria. Even despite the recent discovery of further evidence to corroborate the case against them, the Russian authorities will still not admit they ran a state-sponsored doping programme or allow access to blood and urine samples stored in the Moscow anti-doping laboratory at the heart of the conspiracy.

    By refusing to meet these requirements, the Russian delegation’s efforts to persuade the 38-strong foundation board, which represents the governments and Olympic sports that co-fund Wada, to lift Rusada’s ban were doomed.

    This was confirmed by Wada on its Twitter feed and it is understood the mood was so strong that the Wada president, Sir Craig Reedie, did not need to put it to a vote. A full statement is expected later on Thursday.

    The implications of Wada’s decision will be played out over the coming weeks but it is an understatement to say the situation is fluid and the stakes are high. Russia has been under threat of an Olympic ban ever since Professor Richard McLaren’s independent investigation found evidence to support the claims by Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, the former chief of the Moscow lab, that Russia doped hundreds of athletes, in 30 sports, between 2011 and 2015.

    The doping programme helped Russia win medals at London 2012, the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow and most notably at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The next key date is 5 December, when the International Olympic Committee’s executive board meets in Lausanne to decide what involvement, if any, Russia should have in Pyeongchang.

    There are several sanctions possible, ranging from a repeat of the limited punishment Russia faced at last summer’s Rio Games, to allowing only carefully vetted, “neutral” Russians to compete. That is the option the International Association of Athletics Federations took in November 2015 and that sanction remains in force, while the International Paralympic Committee completely banned Russians from the Rio Games.

    Russian sports leaders, however, have made it clear they will boycott Pyeongchang if athletes are forced to compete as neutrals, which would mean no Russian anthem, flags, uniforms, place on the medal table or role in the opening and closing ceremonies.

    Rusada’s reinstatement was widely considered to be vital to Russia’s chances of avoiding this fate, although the IOC president, Thomas Bach, is understood to disagree. For him, the crucial recommendation will come from one of the two commissions he set up this year to assess the evidence uncovered by McLaren.

    The first of those, led by the Swiss IOC member Denis Oswald, is looking at individual cases and has recently disqualified six Sochi Olympians and banned them for life. The second, led by a former president of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid, is the most important for any collective sanction Russia may face as it is looking at the state’s role in the conspiracy.

    Wada has recently passed on to Schmid new evidence it received last month: an electronic record of every test conducted by the Moscow lab between 2012 and 2015. During that period, Dr Rodchenkov claims he was asking the Russian sports ministry if a positive test should be processed as such or covered up.

    Reedie said earlier this week that the new evidence was a “game-changer” and that Wada “continues to stand behind the outcomes of the agency’s independent McLaren investigation”.

  12. #12

    Re: 2018 Winter Olympics Seoul 2/9 - 2/25

    Nigerian women's bobsleigh team will make history in Pyeongchang
    Former sprinters become first African team to ever qualify for Olympics in the sport
    By Wendy-Anne Clarke, CBC Sports Posted: Nov 16, 2017 5:36 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 16, 2017 6:15 PM ET

  13. #13

    Re: 2018 Winter Olympics Seoul 2/9 - 2/25

    Nigerian bobsledding?

    That reminds me of a funny story from university. We had someone move to Halifax from Nigeria for the program I was in. On September 1st we had our meet and greet and he couldn't believe me rocking shorts and said that that day was the coldest day of his life (it was probably around 10 degrees Celsius or maybe a little lower.) Little did he know what was to come in the upcoming months.

  14. #14

    Re: 2018 Winter Olympics Seoul 2/9 - 2/25

    I like the uniforms.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  15. #15

    Re: 2018 Winter Olympics Seoul 2/9 - 2/25

    Hilary Evans‏

    #Olympics IBSF will hold hearings on Russian bobsledders and skeleton athletes disqualified from Sochi tomorrow in Munich
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

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