Actually, there are probably two ways to look at the news this week that the Boston 2024 Olympic bid organizing committee has a new leader at the helm, with Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca taking over after a long and continuing struggle to make the bid popular and stable. One way is, this is a good move to bring in fresh leadership to show the public and local government that the bid is serious about acknowledging past mistakes and looking to move confidently forward. Or the second way, this card shuffle probably really won't make a difference in that public or local government support, and lends some danger to the fear that the bid is in trouble. Keep in mind that a USOC representative earlier this week indicated that the bid may not really be the bid. So...which way do you think is true?
World Taekwondo Championships End
The World Taekwondo Championships ended at the start of the week, with Iran and South Korea topping the men's and women's medal tables, respectively. Both are noted forces in the sport, but I'll give my overall tip of the hat to the Koreans, as they finished fourth on the men's side as well. And Iran...well, although they dominated the men's side with five medals out of a possible eight, they, of course were nowhere to be seen on the women's side. Certainly an issue that must be addressed across all sports as global and gender inclusion is promoted. On the plus side, I like that a couple traditional sporting underdogs did well - Uzbekistan finishing third on the men's side, and Chinese Taipei second on the women's.
Asian Weightlifting Championships Rescheduled
Due to the devastating recent earthquakes, the IWF cancelled the upcoming Asian Weightlifting Championships that were to be held in Kathmandu in July. But...in great news for the region's athletes, the Championships will now be held in Thailand, in Phuket in September.
More SportAccord Problems
The organization, which represents a long list of international sport federations, is continuing to face a heap of trouble this week after more members stepped aside. This week, rugby, equestrian, curling, rowing, modern pentathlon, fencing and volleyball have joined athletics, wrestling and others in a show of support for the IOC, after SportAccord's president Marius Vizer publicly criticized the IOC's pull and influence in international event organizations. I agree - there is an opportunity for SportAccord to clarify their role in promoting sport federations, but with a realistic need to remember that, yes, the Olympics have precedent and influence. So...can we not just all get along?
Sepp Blatter One Step Closer to Another Term
With the news this week that both Luis Figo and Michael van Praag dropped their bids for FIFA presidency, Sepp Blatter is all but assured to win another term in the elections at the end of the month. Prince Ali Bin Al- Hussein of Jordan is still officially a candidate, but it's an uphill battle. In fact, Al-Hussein isn't really offering much different from Blatter, except the carrot of more members' teams into a World Cup. It'll be a long time before we get real change from an organization so hell-bent on status quo and preserving stature vs growing the game.
Team USA held an exhibition this week, live from Times Square!, against Cuba, winning 9-4 across disciplines in men's and women's freestyle and greco-roman. A fundraising event for a local New York charity, the demonstration also served as rehearsal and much-needed promotion for the upcoming World Wrestling Championships later this year, in Las Vegas.
Wondering where South African star runner Caster Semenya has been after a high profile and notorious run-up to the London Games? Well, the BBC is here to tell you in a profile this week, that she's aiming to return to competition, after renewed training and a matured philosophical outlook to past travails. I'm rooting for you, Caster.
Speaking of What Happened To..
Edwin Moses is a Formula 1 fan! The New York Times profiled the legendary hurdler this week ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend. Turns out, Moses is a longtime follower of the sport, and a pretty smart guy. Good to see him pop up.
Olympic Rugby Shaping Up
After last week's men's qualifying news, this week the women take the spotlight in filling the competition schedule. After the conclusion of the World Women's Seven Series, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Great Britain qualified for the Rio Games in addition to Brazil. By the end of the year, six more teams will qualify as well through regional qualification events.
The French Open Starts
And inauspiciously, too. While officials claim it's a simple lack of judgement in allowing a fan to approach Roger Federer on court, it is really a serious lapse in security. Does no one remember the potential risk of 'fan' approaches? Anyway...Roger won.