Istanbul 2020 Outreach; Octagon Addition; Peace and Sport First

(ATR) Olympic bid leaders bound for sports business summit ... Octagon adds former USOC communications chief to roster of speakers ... Peace and Sport heads to Dubai ...

Istanbul 2020 Speaks Out

Istanbul 2020 will raise its profile when Uğur Erdener, president of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, sets out its bid vision at this week's International Herald Tribune Sports Business Summit.

Turkey's sports minister Suat Kılıç is also scheduled to speak at the two-day conference kicking off Wednesday.

In a session on 'Turkey's Sporting Ambitions', Kılıç will also likely reference the Turkish FA's bid to secure the UEFA Euro 2020 championships that may yet impact on Istanbul's Olympic ambitions.

Other speakers from the Olympic world include Sochi 2014 president and CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko and Jin-Sun Kim, president and CEO of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics organizing committee.

They will join Erdener in a panel discussion about "The Business of Bidding'".

Another notable speaker is Bernard Lapasset, chairman of the International Rugby Board, who will talk about how rugby is using its addition to the Olympic program as a platform to reach new audiences.

Octagon Adds Former USOC Comms Chief

Mike Moran, former Communications Chief for the U.S. Olympic Committee, joins the long list of speakers available through Octagon Olympic and Action sports.

Moran, who was the official spokesperson and voice of the U.S. Olympic Movement from 1978-2003, was on the scene – and working behind the scenes – during the 1980 Miracle on Ice, the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan saga in Lillehammer, Florence Griffith Joyner’s world records and two Olympic boycotts. A consummate storyteller, Moran relives those events and more in his "Moments, Medals, And Memories – An Olympic Journey" presentation.

As a keynote speaker, "I tell my stories and talk about the current Olympic situation," Moran says. In addition, he shows an inspirational film made by Bud Greenspan and Nancy Beffa.

Teaming up with Octagon’s star athlete and his coach, Moran also moderates "A Discussion with Michael Phelps & Bob Bowman." At a March gathering of 440 clients of a financial services firm, Moran chatted with Phelps and Bowman for more than an hour. He expects future sitdowns with the pair, likely after the London Olympics.

"Michael was very comfortable and outgoing and forthcoming," Moran says. "We talked about a wide range of things about his life and training."

Peace and Sport Announce Forum in Dubai

Dubai will host the first Peace and Sport Forum in the Middle East in April 2013.

The organization announced its partnership with the Dubai Sports Council on Tuesday, saying the deal hopes to make sport a tool for peace and development throughout the Middle East.

"This collaboration between Peace and Sport and the Dubai Sports Council is aimed at introducing concrete measures to reconcile communities through sport," Peace and Sport said in a statement.

"This is especially important in the somewhat unsettled climate following social, economic and political upheavals in the aftermath of the ‘Arab Spring’."

Mattar Al Tayer, Deputy Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, said the deal aligns with Dubai’s policies and outlook.

"The partnership is fully in line with Dubai’s policy to promote human development, fight poverty, spread knowledge, empower young people and give them the means to become self-reliant, plus encourage communication and tolerance between cultures. The alliance with Peace and Sport gives the Dubai Sports Council renewed ambition to support the ideals and the values of peace brought by the sport movement."

"Slaughter" Preferable to Female Olympians, Says Saudi Commentator

A Saudi Arabian sport commentator says being "slaughtered by Allah" is superior to his country sending women to the Olympics.

IOC president Jacques Rogge said earlier this month that discussions with the Saudi NOC were ongoing in a bid to ensure the country included females athletes in its delegation for London 2012.

Fahd Al-Raoughui told Saudi Sport Line TV "Woe betide whoever supports this." His appearance was translated through the Middle East Media Research Institute, a non-profit organization.

"Women may practice sports in accordance with the religious restrictions," he explained.

"However, if a woman goes to the West, wears pants, mixes with strangers, practices sports, and exposes her nakedness... we may turn ourselves into laughing stocks, but I personally would much rather have Allah slaughter me before I see that day."

A woman has yet to represent Saudi Arabia at any Olympic Games.

Written by Ed Hula III, Mark Bisson and Karen Rosen.

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