Angela Ruggiero 'Disappointed' in Richard Pound - PyeongChang Update

(ATR) Also: POCOG reaches attendance milestone; Olympic Channel debuts documentary film "The Nagano Tapes"

(ATR) The outgoing chair of the IOC’s Athletes Commission says she has talked with Richard Pound about his most recent criticism of the IOC's handling of the Russian doping scandal.

Pound, in comments to Britain’s Standard Sport, labeled the IOC members as "old farts" who could only be scared into action if the athletes threatened to not participate in the Olympics. He also claimed that the IOC Athletes Commission was powerless to change the playing field when it comes to dealing with Russia.

"I had a discussion with Dick Pound last (Wednesday) night and just said that I was disappointed because I feel like I’ve done a lot on the athletes side and our commission has done a lot to support the athletes and be the voice of the athletes," Ruggiero said at the daily press briefing on Thursday in PyeongChang.

Ruggiero also disputed Pound’s claim that the IOC is too old.

"We’re young, our commission, obviously we’re all either competing or recently retired so the IOC does make up I think a wide variety of ages, of geographies, etc. "

Ruggiero says she disagreed with Pound’s approach of going to the media rather than talking it out within the IOC.

"Everyone has a voice I think, every member has a voice, they can raise it during sessions, there’s 20 some odd commissions, you have a voice it’s just how you choose to use it."

The IOC has often pointed out that Pound has never voted against the IOC’s actions on Russia for either Rio 2016 or PyeongChang 2018.

PyeongChang Games Reach Attendance Milestone

The PyeongChang Winter Games reached the one million mark in attendance with four days of competition still to go.

POCOG spokesman Baik You Sung reported on Thursday that a surprisingly large total of 90,000 spectators on Wednesday boosted overall attendance for the Games to 1,070,000.

An estimated 50,000 people are expected to attend events on Thursday.

Ticket sales, as of Wednesday, were just 13,000 short of the target set by POCOG of 1.068 million.

The figures for the closing ceremony on Sunday are not so rosy. Sung says currently only about 70 percent of those tickets have been bought.

"I’d like to encourage you to promote the closing ceremony to the people around you," he told reporters.

Olympic Channel Debuts Documentary

The Olympic Channel’s new Five Rings Films will premiere the first of a series of documentary films at Czech House in PyeongChang later on Thursday. The film, "The Nagano Tapes", is about the Czech Republic claiming gold at the Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics. It releases worldwide on Feb. 28.

Acclaimed Hollywood producer Frank Marshall, who is working on the series, joined Olympic Channel general manager Mark Parkman at the daily press briefing.

Marshall is a five-time Academy Award nominee and perhaps best known for producing the Indiana Jones and Bourne series of movies. But he is also a fan of the Olympics. He says he jumped at the chance to join the project.

"It’s a perfect opportunity for me to combine my passion for the Olympics with my passion for filmmaking," Marshall said. He explained that the idea was to find a filmmaker who actually experienced some part of the story they were telling. They also needed a compelling story.

"And certainly the story of the Czech hockey team in ‘98 was one of those stories. So we also wanted our filmmakers to be part of that story and we cast Ondrej (Hudecek) to be our first director. These are stories we are telling, not just athletes’ stories, they are stories about the world and the power of sport," Marshall said.

Hudecek, 30, is a Sundance award winning Czech director who at age 10 celebrated when his country won the Nagano hockey gold medal. The film includes never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews with Olympians Dominik Hašek, Jaromir Jagr, Eric Lindros and Brett Hull.

Click here to watch a teaser for the film.

Written by Gerard Farekin PyeongChang

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