ICYMI: Fresh Faces for Milan 2026, Sapporo Olympic Marathon Plans

#ICYMI -- In Case You Missed It ... Sometimes the best stories don't get the attention we think they deserve.

Milanese skyscrapers, Lombardy, Italy.
Milanese skyscrapers, Lombardy, Italy.

#ICYMI -- In Case You Missed It ... Sometimes the best stories don't get the attention we think they deserve. Here are our staff picks for articles this week they really want you to know about..

Fresh Faces for Milan 2026 IOC Team

(ATR) The coordination commission for the 2026 Winter Olympics will be led by the IOC member in Finland.

Sari Essayah, a race walker who competed in two Olympics, will lead the commission.

The announcement from the IOC comes five months after Milan was chosen by the IOC to host the Games. Stockholm was the runnerup.

An IOC member since 2016, this is the first commission for Essayah to chair. She is already a member of the cocomm for Los Angeles 2028.

Since her sporting career, Essayah, 52, has been an active figure in Finnish business and government. A member of the Finnish and European parliaments, Essayah is the chair of Finland’s Christian Democratic party.

Giovanni Malago, Italian NOC president, IOC member and chair of the Milan 2028 committee says Essayah is a good fit for Milan.

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Sapporo Olympic Marathon Plans Developing

(ATR) The start and finish for the 2020 Olympic marathon is set.

Transplanted from Tokyo to Sapporo in northern Japan to avoid issues with extreme heat, the races will start and end in Odori Park in the city center. The park will also be used in similar manner for the three race walks moved to Sapporo.

Odori Park is the place where the annual Hokkaido marathon is staged in late August. Organizers of the race say that using the same venue means savings and easier logistics than splitting the start and finish lines. Compared to the thousands who participate in the Hokkaido Marathon, the Olympic event has a field that numbers into the dozens.

The IOC began pressing for a change in venues for the marathon in September, following the Athletics World Championships in Doha. Dozens of runners, men and women, failed to complete the marathon due to heat, even after the races were rescheduled for midnight starts.

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National Stadium in Tokyo Completed

(ATR) The centerpiece venue of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics is ready to go.

Construction work on the new National Stadium has been completed, according to the Japan Sports Council.

The 60,000-seat stadium, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies as well as athletics and soccer during the Summer Games, cost about $1.4 billion. Construction began in December of 2016, about 14 months later than planned after a public outcry over the costs associated with the original design.

The delay meant that the venue could not host matches for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which ended earlier this month.

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New Davis Cup Debuts in Madrid

(ATR) The new Davis Cup is a reality. This week in Madrid, the 119-year-old tournament reappears with a new face.

"It's a historic day for tennis," Paraguay's Camilo Pérez tells Around the Rings from the Spanish capital. He is the only member of the International Olympic Committee within the brand-new board of the International Tennis Federation.

The venue is the Caja Mágica, a complex with three clay courts equipped with mobile roofs. Since 2009 it has hosted the Madrid Open. And as a palpable fact of this support, one of the main lines of the Madrid Metro now has ads on its walls with the names of the participating players.

One by one the members of the 18 countries selected under this revolutionized format came out for the opening ceremony.

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A Golden Night for Japan at Premier 12

(ATR) Japan wins the gold medal at the second edition of the WBSC Premier 12 competition, dethroning South Korea 5-3 before a boisterous home crowd at the Tokyo Dome on Sunday.

The game began with fireworks from the Koreans, who used home runs from Jung-hoo Lee and Hyung-soo Park to take a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Japan scored once in the bottom of the first and then took the lead in the second inning on a three-run homer from Tetsuto Yamada.

The 4-3 score stayed until the seventh when Japan tacked on an insurance run to make it 5-3, much to the delight of the vast majority of the 44,960 inside Tokyo Dome.

The win over South Korea was the second in as many nights for Japan, following a 10-8 victory in the final game of the Super Round on Saturday. That game featured a lot of reserve players as the managers decided to give some of their frontline players a rest.

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