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    • Olympian1010

      Königssee, Germany is set to host the 50th FIL Luge World Championships.
      The 50th FIL Luge World Championships are due to take place from January 29 to January 31, 2021. It has been confirmed by the FIL that 149 athletes will compete at the world championships. 
      The women’s event will feature the most entires with 48 sliders competing for the world championship title. The men’s event will feature 43 entries, while the doubles event will feature 29 pairings.
      The nations represented at this year’s Luge World Championships are: Argentina, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden, Chinese Taipei, Ukraine, and the United States of America. 
      As a consequence of their state-run doping program, athletes from the Russian Federation will not be permitted to compete under their own flag, nor hear the anthem at the victory ceremonies. They will be allowed entry into the competition as neutral athletes, and will hear the FIL anthem should they stand on the top step of the podium.
      The Berchtesgaden track was chosen to host this years Luge World Championships, after the Covid-19 pandemic forced the FIL to reallocate the event from Whistler, Canada. As another consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, no spectators will be allowed at the venue to watch the world championships in-person.

      Luge fans will be able to follow the 50th World Championships via live streaming and television production. The first televised events will be the sprint events on Friday. Luge fans can also catch a live stream of the virtual opening ceremony on Thursday evening courtesy of BSD-TV. 
      The 50th FIL Luge World Championships will begin on Friday with the men’s, women’s, and doubles sprint events.

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    • Vojthas

      The first IOC Executive Board meeting in 2021 was held remotely this Wednesday. The meeting was concentrated on Tokyo 2020 preparations, but also on current topics important for the Olympic Movement.
      One such case was the autonomy of CONI, the Italian NOC. After a decree was accepted and presented to the IOC Executive Board by the Council of Ministers in Italy, the EB decided to close the case, ensured of the autonomy of the CONI.
      However, concerns remained around the two international federations, that are still under the microscope of the IOC due to their governance problems. The IOC Executive Board has not seen progress in the AIBA, while the IWF's problems with both governance and the anti-doping code have been noted as worsening.
      In terms of Tokyo 2020, IOC President Thomas Bach made it clear during his press conference, that the IOC is still on it’s way to organizing the Games in the best possible manner during the times of pandemic. He denied the idea of cancellation, as well as, postponing them to 2032. Instead, he put the incoming playbook for Tokyo 2020 participants as the main source of the decisions prepared by the IOC experts.
      The upcoming IOC meetings will be held in March, including the 137th IOC Session - this one will be held remotely, although earlier planned to be hosted by Athens. The proposal has been made by the IOC EB to hold the 2025 Session in the capital of Greece instead.

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    • Olympian1010

      The International Floorball Federation has launched a new fan survey, with the chance for fans to win a prize.
      The new fan survey centers around the topic of sustainability. The IFF hopes to discern the views of the greater floorball community on environmental sustainability, in order to drive future initiatives related to the sport.
      The IFF has partnered with the Glion Institute for Higher Education in order to carry out the survey. Students at the school composed the questions for the survey, and will also perform analysis on the results.
      UNIHOC, a sponsor of the International Floorball Federation, will support the survey by giving participants a chance to win one of their SUPERSKIN sticks.
      The survey closes on January 28th. You can participate in the survey by clicking here.

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    • Vojthas

      Just a few days after Minsk, Belarus was stripped of the 2021 Modern Pentathlon Senior World Championships hosting rights due to a political situation in the country, the UIPM made a decision on the new host. The final Olympic qualifcation event in the sport will be held in Cairo.
      This way Egypt will host all the 2021 Modern Pentathlon World Championships, as Alexandria will host the Junior and U19&U17 Youth World Championships in July, after it was postponed from February due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The capital of the country has already held the Senior World Championships not long ago - in 2017. It has also become a regular host of World Cup events, being the only venue of 2020 World Cup, before it was suspended and later cancelled because of the outbreak.
      As we've learned from Florent Boas, the UIPM Media Operations Manager, Cairo was not the only bidder. A few experienced hosts of UIPM events applied, but the readiness of the Egyptians to prepare all the bidding documents and facilities in the short time which remained to the World Championships was the reason Cairo was ultimately chosen by the UIPM. The dates remain the same as originally scheduled for the Championships planned in Minsk - which are 7-13 June. It is going be the final event of the Olympic qualification process for Tokyo 2020, having three direct places in each gender for the medalists, as well as offering the biggest amount of ranking points in the 2021 season.
      According to the UIPM proposal, the Laser-Run World Championships shall be held along with the Modern Pentathlon World Championships. However, the plan is still being worked on with the Development Department, which is responsible for the newest discipline under the governance of the UIPM. As Boas told Totallympics Media, there is still nothing 100% sure, but different options are being considered, including holding the Laser-Run Championships on another date or in a different venue than the Modern Pentathlon event.

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    • JoshMartini007

      The women’s water polo tournament at the 2020 Olympics has been decided with the results of the Women’s Water Polo Olympic Qualification Tournament. The two finalists of the eight-team tournament qualified to the games. The format included a round robin group stage where all eight teams advanced to the quarterfinals. The event was held in Trieste, Italy from January 19th to January 24th 2021.
      A draw between the Netherlands and Italy (7-7) saw the two nations finished atop of Group A with five points each. With a better goal differential, it was Italy who finished first in the group. Third place was won by France who fought off a second quarter comeback by Slovakia to win the match 17-9.
      Group B came down to Greece and Hungary as the two nations had back-to-back victories over Israel (20-1 and 27-2 respectively) and Kazakhstan (13-5 and 23-6 respectively). In the deciding match, it was Greece which finished with an 8-5 victory. The third-place match of the group between Israel and Kazakhstan ended in a 7-7 draw and thus the latter finished ahead due to goal differential.
      The quarterfinals saw no upsets as the four European powerhouses dispatched their opponents. The Netherlands defeated Kazakhstan 19-6, Greece won over Slovakia 22-3, Hungary finished ahead of France 20-7 and Italy was the victor over Israel 15-6.
      The semifinals and the Olympic qualification deciding matches saw Greece take an early lead over the Netherlands where they held a 4-3 advantage at half-time. However, the Netherlands were able to prevent Greece from scoring again as they won the match 7-4. The second Olympic quota was won by Hungary who took a 3-1 first quarter lead over Italy and thanks to a six-goal effort by Rita Keszthelyi, won the match 13-10.
      The final and bragging rights was won by Hungary who defeated the Netherlands 13-11. Third place went to Greece as they won over Italy 10-4.
      This will be the Netherlands’ first Olympic appearance since winning the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics. The team will be hoping to repeat that performance at the 2020 Olympics. Hungary on the other hand, will be looking to win their first Olympic medal after finishing fourth at the previous three Olympics. This completes the Olympic roster for the women’s water polo teams. The final men’s teams will be decided at their respective Olympic qualification tournament scheduled to be held in February.
      Qualified Nations
      Women's Tournament

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    • Games and Rings

      Along with millions of Olympic and sports fans, I'm wishing for a successful, smooth, and healthy Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021. After this year's postponement, there are still serious lingering concerns on participant and spectator Covid-19 protocol, which likely won't be answered until 2021's springtime at the earliest. But we do need a "beacon of hope" to help frame a pandemic recovery. And, today, I choose to look at the glass half-full to start off the year.
      I certainly am an Olympics fan. I have been since first falling in awe with the spectacle at Los Angeles 1984. From tradition of ceremony, to compelling competition, and from unsung heroes to the camaraderie of various athletes coming together, I am all in.

      That said, my fandom doesn't mean that I don't have some recommendations. So, in honor of the new year, here are Games and Rings' top ten wishes for the Olympics in 2021.

      Chime in with your own wishes for Tokyo 2020 in the comments. And, follow Games and Rings here for roundups on Olympic sports athletes.
      Run, Caster, Run

      Middle-distance runner Caster Semenya has one more appeal up her sleeve, to the European Court of Human Rights. Double Olympic champion in the 800 meters, Semenya is currently blocked from defending her title unless she takes testosterone-inhibiting measures, under somewhat arbitrary and selectively exclusionary new World Athletics rules.

      As argued a few months ago, World Athletics is on the wrong side of history's trajectory toward human rights in this case. Semenya was born female and is female. She - like some others - is just a female with elevated - but natural - testosterone, and who happened to win the genetics lottery suited for a career in athletics. Why should she be punished for that? Let her run.

      Protest for Change

      Team USA recently announced not only that "It is a human right to peacefully call upon racial and social injustices during the...Games" but also that "denying the right of respectful demonstrations...runs counter to the Olympic...values."

      This doesn't just run counter to Team USA's own recent actions - just ask fencer Race Imboden and hammer thrower Gwen Berry for their thoughts - it runs against the International Olympic Committee's own Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, which bans any political protest, including kneeling or even wearing an armband. The IOC even issued its Rule 50 guidelines at the start of the year.

      But a year filled with Black Lives Matter activism and increased racial awareness sure can change perspective. World Athletics, representing track & field, issued a President's Award to Mexico City 1968 protestors Tommie Smith and John Carlos (and fellow medalist Peter Norman), a surprising indication that maybe the organization will support its own athletes' Olympic protests. 

      For its part, the IOC did give a tepid "we'll look into it" response to Team USA's recommendations. Of course, determining "appropriate" allowable protest and over what issue would be problematic on a global stage like the Olympics, with the wide variety of national interests and backgrounds. But isn't the Olympic stage built on inspiration and striving for better-ness? Will we see a meaningful gesture that spurs conversation toward greater social good? Will the IOC act supportively? Yes, I'm anxious to see it.

      A Russian Comeuppance

      In its bid to dominate its home Games of Sochi 2014, Russia undertook a doping system that provided its athletes with performance-enhancement and an elaborate coverup. That this was a state-level scheme is no longer in dispute.

      What has been the punishment? Four years later, at Pyeongchang 2018, "Russia" was banned but Russian athletes were allowed to compete under an "Olympic Athletes from Russia" moniker. Huh? Essentially, Russian officials were absent, as was the Russian flag and anthem, but otherwise, the team carried on. Really, "Russia" still participated...their flag was honored and their anthem sung.

      In 2016, the IOC declined to ban Russia outright despite recommendations by the World Anti-Doping Agency to do just that and following confirmation of deeper state-level manipulation. World Athletics took matters into its own hands and heavily restricted Russian presence in track & field, but elsewhere across the Games, Russia flourished.

      Now, after an appeal of a stronger WADA ban, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has reduced penalties and restored possible Russian participation at the Games. This will likely again come under a "neutral" banner. The upcoming World Men's Handball Championship next month offers a template, with Team Russia becoming Team "Russian Handball Federation", while still wearing team colors. To paraphrase, if it looks like Russia and carries the name "Russian", it is Russia.

      Not much of a punishment for carrying out the largest doping affront against the Olympics, state-sponsored no less. Russia's actions in Sochi disrespected the Games, and its role as host, to say the least. And, so far, Russia has, as U.S. Anti-Doping Agency head Travis Tygart said in response to the recent CAS reduction, "once again escape(d) a meaningful consequence proportional to the crimes...".

      What can be done? A repeat of 2018's "Olympic Athletes from Russia" team seems on the way, which has shown to not be much of a deterrence. Although they didn't in 2016, perhaps individual federations should take World Athletics' lead in restricting participation within their own sports. In the meantime, I'm wishing for a subdued Russian presence...maybe somehow there's a team-wide demoralization that affects performance. That's unlikely, but something needs to shake Russia into sincere compliance. Fair, and trusted Olympic-spirit competition needs it.

      A Full-Strength Basketball Tournament

      The Covid-19 pandemic has upended the sporting calendar in 2020, with ripple effects across next year and beyond as all sports negotiate the Olympic behemoth planted now in 2021. At this stage, many rescheduled dates have been set, and one potential high-profile conflict has emerged over the last few weeks.

      The National Basketball Association's modified 2019-20 season, which should have ended in June 2020, finished in October. This pushed their 2020-21 season to start later than normal, in December, which then pushed the potential NBA Finals end to July 22. That's one day ahead of the Opening Ceremony for Tokyo 2020. This means a significant number of potential Olympians would not be available, or interested, in Tokyo participation given the tight turnaround between the NBA season and the Games, particularly for those that will be making deep post-season runs.

      U.S. stars are not the only ones affected. Spain's team usually features NBA-ers Ricky Rubio, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and Nikola Mirotic. Rudy Gobert plays for France, while Patty Mills, Ben Simmons, and Matthew Dellavedova feature for Australia.

      Olympic qualification is massively affected, too. Usually, the final Olympic Qualifying Tournaments are held in the NBA off-season. But now in 2021, the qualifiers are set for late June, which would mean in the middle of the NBA post-season play. Would-be stars for the teams trying to qualify in these tournaments include Slovenia's Luka Doncic and Goran Dragic, Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Serbia's Nikola Jokic...not having them available would carry serious implications for their national teams' Olympic dreams.

      Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich is well aware of the timing conundrum, and he's in a tight turnaround, too, as an active NBA coach. Having an NBA-star-studded Olympic tournament has been a highlight of the Games since Barcelona 1992, and I'm hoping that Tokyo's version will also feature the world's best. I'm not sure how this will's unlikely a significant number of star players will miss the NBA playoffs and not be too tired to play on, but we'll see how it plays out. I also fear that, if NBA-ers pass on the Games en masse, it will set a precedent on not appearing at the Games, allowing the NBA to further push their World Cup at the expense of the Olympics.

      A Boxing Comeback

      Boxing is a classic Olympic sport, with global appeal and participation. Unfortunately, the sport is on the wrong side of competent governance and trusted integrity.

      Except for Stockholm 1912, boxing has been on the official Olympic program since St. Louis 1904. Boxing attracts a wide swath of nations at the Games - entrants from Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Mauritius, and Brazil have won medals across the last three Games, for example. And, supporting the IOC's goal of gender equality, women's events have been included since London 2012, with a targeted increase of equality at Paris 2024.

      But trusting boxing to be a fair sport has been an on-going, frustrating issue. Just some of the outrageous decisions include Evander Holyfield's loss to Kevin Barry in 1984, Park Si-Hum's victory over Roy Jones, Jr. at Seoul 1988, Eric Griffin's loss to Rafael Lozano at Barcelona 1992, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.'s loss to Serafim Todorov at Atlanta 1996, Satoshi Shimizu's loss to Magomed Abdulhamidov at London 2012, and Michael Conlan's loss to Vladimir Nikitin at Rio 2016.

      These aren't just examples of contested upset losses / wins - they're egregious examples of, at best questionable or, at worst, rigged judging. It seems there is more of a story when there isn't a controversy at an Olympics.

      Boxing's governing body hasn't done the sport any favors, either. Its governance and financial problems have forced the extraordinary step of the IOC taking over Olympic qualifiers. The recent election of a new International Boxing Federation president didn't stop the IOC from restricting boxing at Paris 2024 to fewer athletes than at 2020 and not allowing a full program of weight classes. That is a move that many see as punishment for the sport's continued mess.

      Can boxing have a smooth, non-controversial program in Tokyo? It'll have to in order to secure confidence and relevance beyond 2024.
      A Clean Weightlifting Competition?

      Speaking of trust, weightlifting is another sport on the precipice. It was on the original agenda at Athens 1896, and except for three early Games editions, it's been on the Olympic program ever since. Like boxing, it's a truly global sport, and with a bounty of spectator appeal. 

      Unfortunately, it's an Olympic sport dogged by doping. 16 medalists and four would-be medalists from Beijing 2008 have been stripped of their placements due to retroactive drug testing. Worse, London 2012 has disqualified 32 (!) weightlifters (and counting!), decimating the original medal table. Multiple recent infractions by specific nations means that many are facing total or partial restrictions at Tokyo 2020, including Russia, Egypt, Thailand, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, India, amongst others.

      Worse, the International Weightlifting Federation has been beset by misgovernment and corruption, causing a complete lack of confidence by the IOC, which put a humiliating reduction on the sport in place for 2024.

      If the sport is to get its act together, it needs to showcase itself well - and cleanly - in Tokyo. Weightlifting has given us fans so many favorite moments - let's hope there are more.

      Success for Modern Pentathlon

      I have a soft spot for the quirky sport of modern pentathlon. Despite its rather contrived origins ahead of Stockholm 1912, the sport nevertheless is a lasting testament to the modern Games' founder Baron de Coubertin and his respect for the ancient Olympic pentathlon event. It has grown into a sport enjoyed across the world, with a World Championship held annually since 1949.

      It's also a sport perpetually subject to IOC scrutiny and questioning when looking to reduce or alter the Games' agenda. It traditionally has struggled for visibility, as its not a television-friendly event, and had usually required multiple venues, neither of which helps when the IOC increasingly preaches downsizing and feasibility.

      But the sport's been flexible: moving from a five-day event to a single day at Atlanta 1996, combining the running and shooting portions at London 2012, and narrowing to a single venue for next year's event. And, in a bid to remain IOC-relevant, will be even further condensed to a 90-minute format at Paris 2024.

      I, for one, am looking for the sport to put on a show at Tokyo 2020. Enough to finally secure more respect and confidence from the IOC, and perhaps even expand the sport to include a mixed relay event, which has been at the World Championships since 2010 and at three Youth Olympics to success.

      Traditionally, the best decathlete in track & field has been dubbed the "world's greatest athlete", but perhaps we should look at modern pentathletes for that moniker. After all, with excellence across five very different sports - fencing, equestrian, swimming, running, and shooting - these competitors must deserve applause for perseverance.
      New Stars in Swimming

      Michael Phelps has been the dominant name in Olympic swimming for the last four Games, from Athens 2004 through Rio 2016, winning a total of 28 medals along the way. and becoming the focal point in the pool coverage. With his retirement after Rio, the air is clear for new swimming names to take center stage. 

      Who will be the swimming standard-bearer? Caeleb Dressel is the obvious Phelps-in-waiting, already a star in swimming circles. Maybe Adam Peaty, or Katie Ledecky, or even an Olympic newcomer -and feel-good story - like Rikako Ikee can make enough of an impact to take center stage. My wish? It's that we find multiple stars and multiple swimmers to champion. Let's spread the attention around and get to know the many, many athletes worthy of attention.

      It's good to have new names to cycle in. Not all past heroes need to stick around.

      A U.S. Gymnastics Team of Merit

      When Bela and Martha Karolyi were in charge of Team USA's women's gymnastics, they implemented a very subjective - and rather secretive - process to select the Olympic team. The Karolyis' Olympic trials were a marketing spectacle. A made-for-tv event separate from the annual national championships, the team makeup always seemed to carry a sense of marketing - a selection of not just who are the best athletes, but of who would be a good marketing mix. The fact that selection decisions were made behind closed doors only exacerbated the sense of potential unfairness at the expense of potentially deserving athletes. The men's team was similarly selected, and similarly drew skeptical concerns of unfairness.

      Cut to 2019, when USA Gymnastics (USAG) reckons with a Larry Nasser scandal that upends the governing body's structure and the destruction of public trust. In June last year, USAG announced a revamp of its team selection, promising "more transparency, defined discretionary criteria", in addition to other measures. With the smaller team sizes - now four members only - for Tokyo 2020, team selection will be even more precious and scrutinized than before.

      So...let's hope that the four women and four men selected for the U.S. will be the strongest and most deserving out of the trials. It's time.

      The Last Gymnastics Gala?

      Speaking of gymnastics, there is traditionally a gala that takes place after the artistic competition that features medal-winning and/or popular gymnasts in a non-judged showcase. Rumor is, this will return at Tokyo 2020. I hope it will be the last. It's a shameless outreach to television audiences and extra fan attendance, and the only non-competitive "official" event on the sports calendar of the Summer Games. 

      Certainly, dropping this exhibition wouldn't hinder the athletic spectacle of the sport, and would help clear the calendar for more (real) gymnastics competition. Rhythmic gymnasts currently lack apparatus-specific medal competition at the Games, and acrobatics has long been an official International Gymnastics Federation discipline, yet to appear at a Games.
      What do you want to see happen at Tokyo 2020?

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    • intoronto

      Panamsports has officially added Basque Pelota, Bowling, Racquetball, Squash and Sport Climbing to the Santiago 2023 sports program. This means a total of 38 sports will be contested at the games, one less than in Lima 2019. These sports were originally left off the program, when it was announced back in March 2020.
      Felipe De Pablo, Executive Director of Santiago 2023 stated that: “It is an extremely robust and attractive sports program, reflecting tradition and new trends. We want to fill the sports venues, so that Chile feels proud of the event that we are going to offer. The sports program is one more step towards that goal ”.
      Sport Climbing will also be making its Pan American Games debut. A total of nine countries from the region competed at the last Continental Championships in early 2020 in Los Angeles. 
      Although the sports program is now finalized, the event program is not. It is understood that Panamsports would like to finalize this as soon as possible. 
      The games are scheduled to be held October 20 to November 5, 2023, the latest in a calendar year the games have been held. 

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    • Vojthas

      Two more sports have been confirmed by the EOC as part of the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games. Karate and beach handball will both debut in the youngest Continental Games of the world.
      Karate will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo, but it will be just a "one-off," as the sport has not found a place in Paris 2024 sports programme. The sport has also been a part of all the World Games, since the inaugural edition in 1981.
      Beach Handball featured the latest YOG (Youth Olympic Games) in Buenos Aires, the first edition of the World Beach Games in Doha in 2019, as well as, all of the editions of the World Games since 2001, including the last edition held in Wrocław, Poland. The 2023 European Games host country, Poland, has also already organized the 2019 European Championships in this discipline.
      Earlier this month, taekwondo, canoe slalom, and modern pentathlon were announced as the first officially confirmed sports for the 2023 European Games, with the latter two being direct qualification events for Paris 2024.

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    • John Foyne

      In October, United States President Donald Trump signed the "Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amatuer Athletes Act" into law. This law grants the United States Congress the power to remove members of the United States Olympic Paralympic Committee (USOPC), along with giving Congress the power to decertify national governing bodies if they fail to follow SafeSport guidelines. 
      Part of this law requires Congress to form a committee made up of at least eight current or former Olympic or Paralympic athletes. The Associated Press reported that former Olympians Norman Bellingham (Canoe Sprint - Seoul), Brittany Reese (Long Jump - London 2012), and John Dane (Sailing - Beijing). Five other former Olympians will fill out the committee, along with other American politicians, non-Olympic athletes, and athletic influencers. 
      The formation of the "Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act" comes after several sexual abuse scandals involving American coaches and athletes came to light over the last several years. Most notably involving USA Gymnastics and their refusal to acknowledge the abuse within their program. The law also requires the USOPC to give the United States Center for SafeSport $20 million annually. 
      This law goes against the International Olympic Committee's policy of "government interference” and has many in the international sporting community uneasy about the United States as they continue to go against IOC policies. In the past year, the United States has stood defiant to the IOC and the international community regarding doping, WADA, and athlete protests. 
      That said, it is difficult to find that line of what qualifies as "government interference" as most nations use government money to fund their programs, and the success of those programs determines the funding - everything seems connected. 
      Whether this law helps the USOPC clean up their mess, or is another ploy for more government control, remains to be seen. However, allowing eight former athletes onto the commission seems like a step in the right direction. Letting those with prior experience make decisions is the correct move here - and should be a precedent for future decisions. 

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    • Vojthas

      First three disciplines have been officially confirmed by the EOC in the programme of the III European Games Kraków-Małopolska 2023. These are canoe slalom, taekwondo and modern pentathlon.
      For canoe slalom and modern pentathlon this will be the debut at the European Games. The canoe track in Kraków-Kolna is one of the best in the world, hosting top events every year, while modern pentathlon has big traditions in host country, Poland, including Olympic gold medals of Janusz Peciak, current Director of Sports of UIPM, and Arkadiusz Skrzypaszek individually and in team with Dariusz Goździak and Maciej Czyżowicz in Barcelona, as well as multiple medals od World and European Championships.
      Taekwondo was a part of the European Games in Baku in 2015 and it's come back will have an increased meaning with the Olympic qualification ranking points to achieve there having the highest number at any continental event. Also the canoe slalom and modern pentathlon will have a significant role in Paris 2024 qualifications - the European Games will serve as the European Championships in those disciplines, giving the direct quotas to the best athletes.
      The provisional list, that was announced in September this year, has 20 more disciplines, including mostly the Olympic ones (for example badminton, judo, rugby sevens, shooting, triathlon), as well as still developing yet gaining quite popularity in Poland beach handball, as well as ski jumping in the summer version as one of the most popular sports in the region hosting the Games.

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    • Olympian1010

      The Organising Committee of the Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games announced the sports program of the 2023 Parapan American Games today. The Games will feature 17 para sports and 18 disciplines.

      The para sports slated to be included on the program are: para archery, para athletics, para badminton, boccia, para cycling (road and track), football 5-a-side, football 7-a-side, goalball, judo, para powerlifting, shooting para sport, para swimming, para table tennis, para taekwondo, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.
      Para archery returns to the sports program after being dropped for the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games. Para archery featured at both the 2011 and 2015 editions of the Parapan American Games prior to Lima 2019. Para archery competitions at the 2015 Parapan American Games featured 8 countries, and included 2 events for each gender.
      By far the most shocking component of the announcement, was the apparent exclusion of sitting volleyball. Sitting Volleyball was included on the program of the last 5 Parapan American Games. The tournament at the 2019 Parapan American Games even acted as a qualification event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Summer Games. It has not been explicitly stated as to what led to the sport’s exclusion from the 2023 Parapan American Games, but the sport has seen a low amount of participating countries at the last few editions of the Parapan American Games.

      Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) President Julio César Ávila stated, “Congratulations to all 17 sports that will be part of the sports programme at the next Parapan American Games in Santiago, in 2023. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC)/APC reviewed applications from a total of 23 Para sports against a variety of criteria such as anti-doping compliance, competition opportunities in the Americas and participation numbers.”
      He continued, “The 17 selected Para sports give us confidence in a robust Games programme reflecting the most popular Para sports in our region. The programme features an attractive mix of exciting and extremely engaging Para sports; we are committed to organising a historic Games in Santiago.”

      Santiago 2023 CEO Felipe De Pablo added, "We are fully satisfied with the sports programme of the Parapan American Games. It is very attractive for competitors and spectators. We have worked on these Games in the same way we do for the Pan American Games, replicating every action for both competitions.”

      He continued, "We want the Americas to know that we are talking about high performance athletes, that the venues will be full of people. With this programme we are convinced that we will have a wonderful show, which will enhance all the capacities of those who come to fight for a medal. Athletes and Para athletes are and will always be the heart of our Games".

      APC Athlete Representative Ileana Rodriguez said, "This is not an easy decision to make as it directly impacts the athletes, who go through years of hard training and competing to reach their best form ahead of the Parapan American Games. I am convinced these Games will be the best yet in terms of sporting performances; our outstanding Para athletes will inspire millions and forever change Chilean society and how disability is perceived.”
      Speaking on his country’s objectives for the Games, Chilean Paralympic Committee (Copachi) President Ricardo Elizalde said,  "It is a very important step to get to know the 17 sports. In Lima (2019 Parapan) we participated in 10 disciplines and one of our objectives at Santiago 2023 is to increase the number of athletes and sports.”

      He continued, "At Copachi we have been working since 2013 on providing more and better opportunities for people with disabilities. That, for example, has led us to systematically increase the number of athletes in our last international participations and encourages us to have a record delegation at Santiago 2023.”

      Since the first edition in Mexico City in 1999, with 1,000 Para athletes from 18 countries competing across four Para sports, the Parapan American Games have been growing steadily. The latest edition held in Lima in 2019 was regarded as the best ever, with over 1,800 Para athletes from 30 countries competing across 17 Para sports, and a record number of 170,000 spectators following the competitions from the stands. 
      The Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games will open on 17 November and close on 26 November 2023.

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    • Olympian1010

      Neven Ilic was re-elected President of the Panam Sports Organization at the 58th General Assembly of the Panam Sports Organization.
      For the first time in history, the General Assembly of the Pan American Sports Organization was held virtually. The pandemic caused Panam Sports to suspend the meeting scheduled for Cancun and hold the assembly remotely. 

      The assembly featured reports about the current difficult year for international sports, and the entire 2020-2024 quadrennial. Discussions on the quadrennial were led by Panam Sports President Neven Ilic, Secretary General Ivar Sisniega, and the Panam Sports Commissions. 
      Progress reports were also presented by the Organizing Committees of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games, and Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games.

      However, the most important moment of the LVIII General Assembly of Panam Sports was the Election of President. Current President Neven Ilic was the only candidate, but he would need to receive more than 50% of the voting Assembly to confirm his re-election.

      The voting took place without any surprises though, and Chile’s Neven Ilic was re-elected to his position as President of the Panam Sports Organization by the Panam Sports General Assembly. His re-election was a unanimous decision, with Ilic receiving 52 votes. (Note: Though the Panam Sports Organization only has 41 member countries, by statute, the countries that have hosted the Games have two votes, hence the higher number of votes than member countries.)
      Speaking on his re-election, Ilic said, “The truth is, I am very happy with the support received by all the Olympic Committees. During these more than three years we have become more united as a continent, we have learned the different needs of our member countries and we have seen important results both in sporting and also in the development of our NOCs which of course motivates us to continue working for our athletes and for the Americas.”
      He continued, “I want to congratulate all the new members that join the Executive Committee and, in turn, thank those who leave us, because their contribution was very fundamental to the success of this administration.”

      On the second day of the assembly, the results of the elections of the Members of the Executive Committee and the Vice Presidents, including the new members that are joining the Board, were also announced. The results of those elections can be found Here.

      The next edition of the Panam Sports Organization General Assembly will be held in Santiago, Chile in October 2021.

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