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August 12, 2013

Dibaba’s comeback: Long-distance track star wins her first World Championship title since 2007

Dibaba’s comeback: Long-distance track star wins her first World Championship title since 2007

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Tirunesh Dibaba carries the Ethiopian flag at the 2012 IAAF World Championships
Image: Erik van Leeuwen.

Tirunesh Dibaba won her first World Championship title in six years, coming first in the 10,000 meter race at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia last night. Dibaba finished with a time of 30 minutes and 43.37 seconds, giving her the third World Championship victory of her career.

Dibaba’s victory last night ended a six-year drought for the athlete on the World Championships stage, having been unable to win a World Championship title since 2007. In that period of time, Dibaba had more luck in the Olympics, winning the 10,000 meter final in 2008 and successfully defending her title in 2012.

Dibaba waited until the final two laps of the race to take the lead, sprinting the final 500 meters in 59.98 seconds. She easily left her fellow competitors behind, with silver-medalist Gladys Cherono of Kenya trailing by almost two seconds. Belaynesh Olijra of Ethiopia, one of Dibaba’s training partners, took the bronze medal, crossing the finish line in a time of 30 minutes and 46.98 seconds.

Dibaba spoke about wanting to return the Ethiopian women’s track team to glory, when talking to reporters after her race. The team had not won gold at a 10,000 meter final at the IAAF World Championships for two years.

“Because of that, both as a team and individually, we trained very hard,” she told reporters.



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July 19, 2013

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete David Casinos

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete David Casinos

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Friday, July 19, 2013

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Laura Hale interviews David Casinos for Wikinews

David Casinos at the airport in Madrid before departing for France
Image: Laura Hale.

With the IPC Athletics World Championships scheduled to start Friday (today), Wikinews interviewed Spanish athlete David Casinos at Madrid–Barajas Airport Monday before he departed for Lyon, France.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Hello I’m interviewing David Casinos, Spain’s most famous track and field athlete in Paralympic sport, for Wikinews. So you’re competing at the IPC World Championships are going to win a whole lot of medals? Which medals are you going to win?

David Casinos :Well, I’d like above all to perform well, because it would mean I’d be closer to the medals. I’m humble in that sense.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png As somebody who’s been competing a long time in track and field, how has stuff changed form when you first started out to now?

David Casinos: The biggest change I’ve seen has been with regards to media, communication, but above all the Plan ADO Paralympic. The professionalization of Plan ADO, becoming professional sportspeople. Spanish Paralympic sports is now more known to the media and in the world.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Have there been more opportunities for sponsorship as your Paralympics profile has grown?

David Casinos: Yes!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Would you like to promote a few of them?

David Casinos: I’ve got several sponsors, one of them is Toro Loco, an energy drink, there’s also Diputación de Valencia, Fundación Trinidad Alfonso, from Juan Roig, Mercadona, Moncada which is my townhall, Valencia Terra i Mar… I may be forgetting one of them now. I’ve got several.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png In London one of the Australians said that it was time for athletics in the Paralympics to be able to become more professional and get shoe sponsorship. Do you know if any of the Spanish ones are covering shoe logos if they don’t have sponsorship? [Editor’s note: here the translator asked a different question in Spanish, about whether shoe brands were helping athletes.]((es))

David Casinos: No. This does not happen.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is this going to be an issue? I mean is Spain at the level where it can become an issue?

David Casinos: I for example have a big sponsor, Italian Macron Sports, which also sponsors the Italian and Spanish Leagues of soccer. So I don’t have that problem. I feel very supported.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Okay. So, you’re a visual-impaired athlete, and do you run with a guide?

David Casinos: I don’t run with one, but I do need a guide to do series, jump, to do everything I need to do in training to throw very far.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How helpful are guides in terms of how much they potentially impact outcomes, do you think?

David Casinos: For me the guide is a basic component of my daily work. When competing, they simply help you to get in and out of the field, and you do the rest, but in a daily basis what I call the backstage, the guide helps you with the weights, jumps, positions. There’s more work even, behind the competition scenes.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Spain has a long history of blind sports, compared to other countries. Do you have an explanation as to why there are so many blind athletes?

David Casinos: Well, above all we have ONCE, the organization greatly responsible for disabled people having available a series of options, including sports. And in that respect ONCE has been very pioneering. Absolutely pioneering. And that’s good. What’s happening now is that other countries are discovering their Paralympians.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is there anything you think an international audience should know about you or the Paralympic movement in Spain?

David Casinos: I’m just another sportsperson who fights for his dream, which is sports, to surpass myself, day after day, after having a great challenge which was losing my sight. And that is the message I like to transmit to people through coaching.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Okay. ¡Muchas gracias!

David Casinos: Okay!



Sources

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.


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July 18, 2013

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete Elena Congost Mohedano

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete Elena Congost Mohedano

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

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Laura Hale interviews Elena Congost Mohedano for Wikinews

Elena Congost Mohedano at the airport in Madrid before departing for France
Image: Laura Hale.

With the IPC Athletics World Championships scheduled to start this Friday, Wikinews interviewed Spanish T12 classified long distance runner Elena Congost Mohedano at Madrid–Barajas Airport Monday before he departed for Lyon, France. Congost is scheduled to compete in the T12 1500 meters.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Hello, I’m interviewing Elena Congost Mohedano who is a Spanish Paralympic athlete who won a silver in London and is going to Lyon to compete in the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships. Having won a medal in London are you going to get another one in this one?

Elena Congost Mohedano : Yes! I train all year to go to win a medal.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Which medal?

Elena Congost Mohedano: Gold! (laughs)

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Which event?

Elena Congost Mohedano: In 1500m.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So you’re a long distance runner. And you don’t train/run with a guide because you’re, what, T-13?

Elena Congost Mohedano: I’m T-12.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Ah. So you have a degenerative eye disease, so your vision is getting worse? ((es))

Elena Congost Mohedano: Yes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you expect it to get much worse over your continued history competing?

Elena Congost Mohedano: Now it’s stalled, but next year it’s possible.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you plan to stick since you’ve been competing since 2002, right…?

Elena Congost Mohedano: Yes, [Unintelligible].

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you plan to continue running until 2020 if Madrid gets the Games?

Elena Congost Mohedano: I don’t know. (laughs) First 2016 in Rio, and then… I don’t know.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png There’s so few women competing for Spain. Is that an additional challenge as an athlete in this country?

Elena Congost Mohedano: No… In this country there are more girls in 100m, 200m and long jump. More people. In middle distance no. Two, three, four girls only.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Why do you think there’s so few women on the Spanish team? It’s like 27 total Spanish competing, and there’s like [three] women?

Elena Congost Mohedano: I don’t know… The level is high internationally, but in Spain… no more level.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Someone with a visual impairement, there’s a lot of sports you could do?

Elena Congost Mohedano: The people now are very lazy. (laughs) No one runs. (laughs)

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png With so many sporting opportunities for people with vision impairments in Spain, why did you choose track and field?

Elena Congost Mohedano: When I was young, my dream was to become an athlete. I saw them in tv, in races, and I told my parents “my wish is to win a gold medal in the Olympics!”

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is there any particular athlete you remember from when you were young being particularly inspiring?

Elena Congost Mohedano: No.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Spain has these really distinctive uniforms. The colors… Do people ever comment to you about them? Because in the US they were like, “your uniforms look like McDonald’s!”((es))

Elena Congost Mohedano: (laughs) In London, everyone said they were not good… They said we looked like clowns. But this one now is…redder. Better.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png As somebody who’s been competing for more than ten years, has there been a big change in the Paralympic movement from your perspective?

Elena Congost Mohedano: Yes! Every year the level is higher. In the Paralympics, every four years I increase my performance level.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you think that the increased competition has made you a better athlete?

Elena Congost Mohedano: Yes! Yes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Thank you very much!

Elena Congost Mohedano: Okay!



Sources

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.


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July 17, 2013

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete Alberto Suárez Laso

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete Alberto Suárez Laso

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

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Laura Hale interviews Alberto Suárez Laso for Wikinews

Alberto Suárez Laso at the airport in Madrid before departing for France
Image: Laura Hale.

With the IPC Athletics World Championships scheduled to start this Friday, Wikinews interviewed Spanish T12 classified long distance runner Alberto Suárez Laso at Madrid–Barajas Airport Monday before he departed for Lyon, France. Suárez is scheduled to compete in two events, the T12 5,000 meters and marathon events.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Hi this is Laura Hale. I’m interviewing Alberto Suárez, who is a visually-impaired runner competing for Spain in the IPC World Championships. What events are you doing?((es))

Alberto Suárez Laso : Marathon and 5000m.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You have a World Record? Are you going to smash it and give Spain a gold medal?((es))

Alberto Suárez Laso: This time it’s a bit complicated because I’m going a bit injured.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Ah. You finished second in London [the 2012 Summer Paralympics?((es))

Alberto Suárez Laso : I finished first.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The injury has impacted you training?((es))

Alberto Suárez Laso : For the last three weeks I’ve been doing gym and walking machine only. I have pain in my Achilles tendon.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So, as someone who writes from an international perspective, do you think Spain’s got all that stuff to help you properly? The medical support, stuff to help you recuperate and be a great runner?

Alberto Suárez Laso : I hope so. We’re there, they’ve been treating me very well and I hope to be able to run without pain, which is the most important thing. I’ve got the training, but I need to remove that pain.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you run with a guide?

Alberto Suárez Laso : No.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Okay, so are you T-13?

Alberto Suárez Laso : T-12.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Oh. So it’s optional for a guy at T-12?

Translator : He could, but he’s not too badly impaired. He can run by himself.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So is your preference to run without a guide?

Alberto Suárez Laso : It’s complicated because of the pace I run at. I would require several guides, and it’s hard to find them.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do most of your competitors run with guides?

Alberto Suárez Laso : Not among the first ones. Well, there are a couple that do run with guides, but the rest don’t.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is there anything you would like to say about this competition coming up that people from an international sporting community would find valuable to know?

Alberto Suárez Laso : Mm, I don’t know what to say!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Okay. Thank you very much!((es))

Alberto Suárez Laso : You’re welcome!((es))



Sources

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.


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July 16, 2013

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete Gustavo Nieves Campello

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete Gustavo Nieves Campello

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Laura Hale interviews Gustavo Nieves Campello for Wikinews

Gustavo Nieves Campello at the airport in Madrid before departing for France
Image: Laura Hale.

With the IPC Athletics World Championships scheduled to start this Friday, Wikinews interviewed Spanish T12 classified long distance runner Gustavo Nieves Campello at Madrid–Barajas Airport yesterday before he departed for Lyon, France. Nieves is scheduled to compete in two events, the T12 5,000 and 10,000 meter events.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Hello this is Laura Hale, I’m interviewing Gustavo Nieves Campello for English Wikinews. You’re competing at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon. What events?

Gustavo Nieves Campello : 5000m and 10000m.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And are you one of Spain’s medal favorites?

Gustavo Nieves Campello : Not…really. Bronze medal, maybe. It’s difficult. The African runners are very good.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you think coming from Spain and competing in Europe you have an advantage over the Africans who have to travel more?((es))

Gustavo Nieves Campello : No, I don’t think I am a favorite.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Who else are you competing with? Are there any Australians or New Zealanders you have to beat to have to come longer?((es))

Gustavo Nieves Campello : No, there are no Australians in the event.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You’re vision-impaired? Do you run with a guide?

Gustavo Nieves Campello : Yes, and no.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So how bad is your vision in terms of impacting your running compared to people who’ve got full sight?((es))

Gustavo Nieves Campello : Blurry vision and tunnel vision.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You lost your sight at 17? Really suddenly? You did Athletics before?((es))

Gustavo Nieves Campello : Yes, at 17. Before I played football.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Oh, that’s right, you considered becoming a pro football player. And you never considered five-a-side football?

Gustavo Nieves Campello : No, no. I began to run and here I am.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Thank you very much!

Gustavo Nieves Campello : Thank you.



Sources

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.


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February 15, 2013

Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius charged with girlfriend\’s murder

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Friday, February 15, 2013

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Oscar Pistorius murder charge

Pistorius at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics.
Image: Erik van Leeuwen.

South African police took Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, 26, into custody last Thursday and charged him with the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, South African model.

Steenkamp, 29, a model and recent contestant on television series Tropika Island of Treasure 5, reportedly was his girlfriend. Police said she was found dead at his residence, the victim of multiple gunshots. Police were called to Mr. Pistorius’s residence early Thursday morning. By the time local authorities arrived, emergency workers were already on scene attempting to revive the victim. Police recovered a 9mm handgun at the runner’s residence. Pistorius told investigator’s that the shooting was an accident because he had mistaken the victim for an intruder.

Pistorius’s earlier court date on Thursday had to be delayed until Friday morning, in order to give investigators time to complete their investigation. Investigators said any request for bail would opposed.

Following his arrest the International Paralympic Committee stated, “Following the news of the alleged shooting incident involving South African athlete Oscar Pistorius this morning, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will not comment on the case at this time. This is a police matter, with a formal investigation currently underway. Therefore it would be inappropriate for the (IPC) to comment on this incident until the official police process has concluded. The IPC would like to offer its deepest sympathy and condolences to all families involved in this case.”

Pistorius who is best known as the first double amputee to appear in Olympic games history. Pistorius is known by the nickname Blade Runner. This is because he uses carbon fiber blades to compete. This a result of him having both legs amputated when he was only 11 months old.

He won gold in the 400m and the 4x400m relay at the Paralympic Games. In 2012 Time Magazine named him as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.



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February 14, 2013

Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius charged with the murder of his girlfriend

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pistorius at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics

Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, 26, was taken into custody by police on Thursday February 14, 2013, and charged with the murder of a woman identified as Reeva Steenkamp.

Steenkamp, 30, a model and recent contestant on Tropika Island of Treasure 5, who is believed to be his girlfriend. Ms. Steenkamp was found dead at his home in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria. She had been the victim of an apparent gunshot.

Officers received a call in the early hours of the morning that there had been a shooting at the double-amputee runner’s home in a gated housing complex. When police arrived they found paramedics trying to revive the woman, who had been shot. A 9mm pistol was also found at the home. Pistorius told the police that the shooting was an accident and that he had mistaken the victim for an intruder.

Pistorius was due at Pretoria Magistrate’s Court this afternoon on a murder charge, but his appearance had been delayed until Friday morning to give forensic officers time to carry out their work. Police also stated they would oppose bail when the Pistorius appears in court. Police have not release the woman’s name, but the publicist for Reeva Steenkamp, stated that Steenkamp had died. And this was also reported by Many South African media outlets.

Cquote1.svg Police had responded previously to complaints of a “domestic nature” at the runner’s home but declined to give further details. Cquote2.svg

—Brigadier Denise Beukes, Police Spokeswoman

Following his arrest the International Paralympic Committee released the following statement

“Following the news of the alleged shooting incident involving South African athlete Oscar Pistorius this morning, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will not be passing any comment on the case at this time.

This is a police matter, with a formal investigation currently underway. Therefore it would be inappropriate for the IPC to comment on this incident until the official police process has concluded. The IPC would like to offer its deepest sympathy and condolences to all families involved in this case.”

Pistorius, Who is known as the “Blade Runner”, made history in 2012 when he became the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics.

He won gold in the 400m and the 4x400m relay at the Paralympic Games.The athlete had both legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old, because of a congenital condition, and runs on carbon fiber blades. In 2012 Time Magazine named him as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.



See also

Sources

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January 8, 2013

Three cities submit bids for 2020 Summer Olympics

Three cities submit bids for 2020 Summer Olympics

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The bidding cities for the 2020 Olympic Games (Baku, Doha, Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo) are represented by red dots, and their respective countries (Azerbaijan, Qatar, Turkey, Spain and Japan) are filled in in black.
Image: Kartin.

Yesterday in Lausanne, Switzerland, three cities, Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid, submitted their official bid books to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as part of their efforts to secure the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics for their cities.

The books contain each city’s plans for the Games as they relate to key hosting aspects such as venues, budgets, financial guarantees, security, accommodations, and transportation. These are scheduled to be made public today. The host city is to be named on September 7 at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, where a new IOC President is also to be chosen. All the bids are being viewed against a backdrop of the global economic downturn, with hosting costs and the national economy possibly playing a role in voter decision-making.

Baku in Azerbaijan and Doha in Qatar took part in the first stage of the bid process but were eliminated from contention in May at a meeting of the IOC’s Executive Board in Quebec City, Canada. Rome had considered a bid but withdrew early in the process because of Italian economic concerns. An IOC report said Istanbul’s bid “offers good potential” while Madrid had “a strong application” and Tokyo had “a very strong application.”

A sign in Tokyo supporting their 2020 Olympic bid
Image: 高木あゆみ.

Bookmakers have given Tokyo best odds to receive the Games at 4/6 compared to 5/2 for Istanbul and 3/1 for Madrid. Tokyo’s bid delegation included a member of the women’s FIFA World Cup champions Homare Sawa, 2008 Summer Paralympics swimming gold medalist Takayuki Suzuki, President of Tokyo 2020 and Japanese Olympic Committee Tsunekazu Takeda, bid chief executive Masato Mizuno, senior director for planning for sports at Tokyo 2020 Katsura Enyo, and a member of the Executive Board for Tokyo’s bid Yasuhiro Nakamori. Tokyo last hosted the Olympics in 1964 and had previously won the rights to host the later canceled 1940 Summer Olympics. This is their second consecutive bid, having lost to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Bid organizers believe the Games would be an uplifting force for a country still recovering from a natural disaster in 2011. A possible complication to Tokyo’s bid is territorial disputes with China.

Sawa is quoted by Inside the Games, an Olympic and Paralympics news site, saying, “I want to feel that deeply moving spirit from the London Games once again in Tokyo, […] I want to do all I can.”

Takeda is quoted by Inside the Games saying of the bid, “With tremendous support from people in Tokyo and across Japan, we have celebrated a memorable milestone today with the submission of our Candidature file, […] Based on lessons from our bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we have retained the best of that bid plan while adding important new strengths. Now that our Candidature file is complete, Tokyo is one step closer to implementing an innovative and inspiring Games plan. The Games in 2020 in Tokyo will offer athletes, spectators and Olympic and Paralympic family members a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Most of the infrastructure for a Tokyo Games has been built, which assists in keeping costs down as the world economy is a potential concern for financing the Games. Takeda remarked, “Many of our venues are in place; most of the games infrastructure is in place and the $4.5 billion budget to complete these tasks is already in the bank.” Despite Tokyo’s positive early response from the IOC, there is no guarantee the city will be selected as previous early favourites have failed to win hosting rights when it came down to the final vote. Amongst possible concerns, their bid could be undermined by South Korea’s hosting of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Istanbul are bidding for the fifth time, with this bid viewed as their most competitive and serious one to date. Their bid was presented by the city’s mayor, Kadir Topbaş, the bid leader Hasan Arat, President of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey and president of the World Archery Federation Uğur Erdener, Deputy Undersecretary of the Minister of Youth and Sports Yavuz Çelik, and general director of sports for Istanbul 2020 Mehmet Baykan. Their bid calls for the largest Opening Ceremonies in Olympic Games history, with a ceremony on the European and Asian banks of the Bosphorus involving a half million people. Istanbul’s bid calls for events to be held on two continents, which the bid organizers believe gives them an advantage of Madrid and Japan, as this fits within the framework of the Olympic ideal. That they have not hosted the Games previously is another potential positive as the most recent successful bids for the Olympic and Paralympic Games were in cities that had never hosted them before. Turkey’s bid is bolstered by having successfully hosted the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics and the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships last year. The strength of the Turkish economy is also seen as a positive with their bid going forward. Their bid is hurt by ongoing disputes with Syria that has resulted in 150,000 Syrian refugees living on the Turkish side of the border.

Atatürk Olympic Stadium/Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadı in Istanbul
Image: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen (Uspn).

Arat is quoted by Inside the Games on the bid saying, “This milestone is the latest step in our 20-year journey to win the honour of hosting the Games, […] For the very first time, our desire to host the Games is matched by our capacity. We have been learning and evolving every step of the way, and today we are submitting a brand new and dramatically enhanced Games concept. Istanbul 2020 has a technically outstanding master plan and delivery structure, and we would grab the world’s attention with a breathtaking setting and a series of groundbreaking firsts, such as being the first ever Games held in two continents simultaneously. Now is the time for Istanbul; now we are ready to deliver.”

Istabul’s mayor Topbaş arrived at the last minute to assist in the bid submission despite bad winter weather in Istanbul. Quoted by Inside the Games, he said of the city’s bid, “Today is a historic moment for Istanbul and the Turkish nation, […] Istanbul 2020 is the first sports bid in Turkish history to have been officially launched by the Prime Minister, and it has been identified as a strategic national priority. As such, this bid has the unequivocal backing of every level of Government. […] The Games would enhance Istanbul’s growing global status as a place to visit, do business and, increasingly, stage world-class sport, […] We are all aligned behind our shared vision: hosting the Games for the first time would be the defining achievement in nearly 100 years of the Republic of Turkey.”

Madrid’s bid comes at a time when the Spanish economy is in the middle of a second recession where unemployment hovers around 25 per cent and on the heels of two previous failed bids. Bid organizers believe the Games could serve as an economic driver for the country. Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs, International Triathlon Union President and IOC member Marisol Casado, International Canoe Federation President and IOC member José Perurena López, Madrid mayor Ana Botella, Madrid’s bid leader and the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee Alejandro Blanco, President of the Sports Council Miguel Cardenal, the Councillor for Education, Sports and Youth with the Madrid Regional Government Lucia Figar, and two-time Olympic gold medal sailor Theresa Zabell were part of the Madrid bid delegation. In submitting their bid, they gave a half-hour presentation to the IOC’s head of Bid City Relations Jacqueline Barrett and Executive Director of the Olympic Games Gilbert Felli.

Comité Olímpico Español headquarters in Madrid
Image: Luis García (Zaqarbal).

Madrid’s mayor is quoted by Inside the Games on the bid as “a project the whole country is behind and a dream for all Spaniards […] The proof can be seen in the fact that three levels of Government are represented here — the city, the regional and the national. We are here to give our support to the countless people who are working for and believe in Madrid’s Olympic aspirations.”

Like Tokyo, much of the sport-related infrastructure for a Madrid-hosted Games already exists. This would keep infrastructure costs down and make the Games more affordable for Spain. Their bid is the least expensive of all the submitted bids. London’s recent hosting of the Games is seen as potentially harmful to their bid because two Games in Europe within only a few Olympic cycles runs counter to traditional Games hosting.

The IOC’s Evaluation Commission is scheduled to visit each city in March, with their first scheduled visit starting March 4 in Tokyo, then starting March 18 in Madrid and wrapping up their city visits starting March 24 in Istanbul. Following their visits, the Commission is to write and submit a report to IOC membership by July 4 to assist voters in making their decision.



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December 15, 2012

Wikinews interviews Australian sit skier Victoria Pendergast

Wikinews interviews Australian sit skier Victoria Pendergast

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Wikinews reporter LauraHale interviews Australian Paralympic skier Victoria Pendergast

Yesterday, Wikinews spent time with with Australian Paralympic skier Victoria Pendergast who was in Copper Mountain, Colorado for this week’s IPC Nor-Am Cup.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png I’m interviewing Victoria Pendergast who is an Australian female sit skier on the development team.

Victoria Pendergast: Yer, that’s right.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png How have you been doing here [Copper Mountain] so far?

Victoria Pendergast: Yer, its been alright. Like some races not so good, other races I was pretty happy with the results. We’ve got Winter Park to look forward to, so bit of a warm-up, but, trying to get results.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Before this [skiing] the other sport you’ve done is athletics? You competed at that for the games or was that somebody else?

Victoria Pendergast: No, that was me. I did it for the school, did shot put and did swimming for a bit.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Why would someone switch from athletics to be a crazy mono skier?

Victoria Pendergast: It was a bit of a crazy sort of events kinda went here with my family and then one thing lead to another and like wanted to give sit skiing a go.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Australia doesn’t have many female sit skiers, are you shooting for Sochi?

Victoria Pendergast: It would be nice to get it. It’d be a bit hard to get points to get into it but, you know, if I can get the points to get into Sochi, I’ve got some […].

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Cool. Thank you very much.

Victoria Pendergast at Solitude Station on Copper Mountain
Image: Bidgee.

Victoria Pendergast competing in the Super G during the second day of the IPC Nor-Am Cup
Image: Bidgee.

The competition board following the first run of the slalom earlier the day of the interview on Copper Mountain on the final day of the IPC Nor-Am Cup. Victoria is number 26.
Image: LauraHale.



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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.


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September 10, 2012

Athletics concludes at London Paralympics with the marathon

Athletics concludes at London Paralympics with the marathon

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Christie Dawes of Australia finishes fifth in the women’s T54 marathon while setting an Oceania record
Image: Laura Hale.

Monday, September 10, 2012

2012 Summer Paralympics

Trafalgar Square, London - London 2012 - countdown clock.jpg

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London, England — Yesterday, on the final day of competition, athletics concluded at the London Paralympics with the running and wheeling of the marathon for the men’s T12, T46 and T54, and the women’s T54. Spain and Great Britain both had a gold and a silver medal, Brazil and the United States had a gold each, Switzerland had a silver and a bronze medal, Colombia had a silver medal, and Tunisia, Australia and Belarus each had a bronze medal.

Alberto Suarez Laso of Spain set a world and European record in the T12 marathon with a time of 2:24:50. In the same event, Tunisian Abderrahim Zhiou set an African record with a time of 2:26:56 and Colomobian Elkin Alonso Serna Moreno set an Americas record with a time of 2:26:39. Despite failing to get a medal, Japanese Masahiro Okamura set an Asian record with a time of 2:28:51. In the women’s T54 event, Australian Christie Dawes set an Oceania record with a time of 1:49:37.

Great Britain’s gold medal was earned by David Weir, and was Weir’s fourth gold medal earned in the London. This put Weir at the top of the individual gold medal count for London alongside Raymond Martin of the United States. Tatyana McFadden of the United States had a chance at four gold medals in London, but was unable to seriously compete after a pair of tire punctures mid-race that seriously slowed her down. McFadden conveyed her experiences in the race to the media, saying, “At 18 or 19 miles it went again, this always seems to happen to me in London. Luckily, I had a spare but I was bombed out. I just wanted to sit and cry but I also wanted to finish, there was only about six miles to go and I was determined I wasn’t going to get another flat tyre]. […] Finishing is the most important thing for me, it makes you a better person. I just wanted to compete and stay strong.”

Swiss racer Edith Wolf quit the women’s marathon mid-race after running into a hole on the course that left her without feeling in her left arm and neck, and required her to be hospitalized. Following the race, Wolf’s husband and coach told the media, “She was really looking forward to the marathon. She was really prepared, so I think she’s really disappointed. I think tomorrow she will wake up and see her four medals and she will be very happy.” When questioned about the media, some of whom disappeared at the conclusion of the men’s race, and specifically the media from Wolf’s home country, he said, “There are not so many media here, which is disappointing. But now they have recognised this is really a great Games. This is the second biggest sports event in the world and they are not here, so it’s their loss, they missed a big chance.”

Colombia’s German Naranjo Jaramillo served as Elkin Alonso Serena Morena’s guide for the length of the marathon. Because of this, Jaramillo also earned a silver medal. Gold medalist Laso of Spain and bronze medalist Zhiou of Tunisia utilized multiple guides, and the guides were not eligible for medals. Other runners in the men’s T12 marathon who had the same guide the whole race included ninth place Ildar Pomykalov of Russia who was guided by Aleksei Lashmanov, and Henry Wanyoike of Kenya who did not finish but was guided by Joseph Gachuhi.



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