Olympic Newsdesk -- WHO to Vancouver; 2011 Mascots; GlaxoSmithKline for 2012

(ATR) World Health Organization to monitor 2010 Games for flu outbreaks… Pan Am Mascots revealed… GlaxoSmithKline signs with LOCOG

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WHO to Monitor Flu in Vancouver

The World Health Organization says it will monitor the Vancouver Olympics for outbreaks of the H1N1 Virus and other infectious diseases.

According to Vancouver organizers, the representative is coming, not because of a specific fear of swine flu, but because the conditions could cause an outbreak.

"They are there to help us in monitoring anything that may come from outside, any of the incidences from any of the areas where the athletes might be coming from," Mike Wilkinson, VANOC’s director of medical services was quoted by the Associated Press.

When the WHO declared the H1N1 virus a pandemic, the British Columbian government began stockpiling anti-viral medications to help fight a potential outbreak during the Vancouver Games. Organizers also believe enough people coming to Vancouver will be vaccinated to prevent an outbreak of the disease being a serious threat.

The Canadian government will have 750 officers on patrol to help fight an outbreak, if it arises, and VANOC has a pool of organizers to help with relief efforts as well.

The IOC recommended all athletes and officials coming to the Vancouver Games be vaccinated against the flu and VANOC will have vaccination sites set up for athletes to get the vaccine when they arrive.

Three Mascots for 2011 Pan American Games

An agave plant, a deer and lion are the three mascots for the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara.

The Guadalajara Pan American Games Organizing Committee (COPAG) unveiled the mascots on Saturday at the Plaza Andares Amphitheater in Guadalajara.

The mascots represent characteristics of the state of Jalisco where Guadalajara is located. The blue agave plant, which produces tequila, is an important economic resource to the state.

"The logo appears in our corporate image and in our uniforms but, what represents us is the mascot and it reflects our state," said COPAG General Director Andrade Garin.

The lion represents the strength the people of Guadalajara and is part of the city's coat of arms. The deer represents the southern region of the state and alludes to its Huichol traditions and the female identity.

The creators of the mascots each received a check worth $2,584. Jose Luis Andrade created the lion, Angel Barba Barrera created the deer and Fernando Sanchez created the agave.

"Our intention is to have the mascots appear everywhere so that all of a sudden, people might run into them standing in line at the bank or in the most unexpected places," said COPAG Marketing Director Horacio de La Vega.

The mascots are unnamed. COPAG invites the public to vote on names at the Guadalajara 2011 Web site at http://www.guadalajara2011.org.mx from Nov. 28- Dec. 23.

GlaxoSmithKline signs with London 2012

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline will provide equipment to enable King's College London to operate a World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory during the London 2012 Games.

LOCOG announced the deal on Monday that makes the GSK the official laboratory services provider in a Tier Three deal worth around $15 million.

“Doping control is a requirement of any Olympic Games and Paralympic Games," said London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe."

We have taken a partnership approach to delivering it for London 2012 and I’m thrilled that GlaxoSmithKline is on board. Its involvement, working with the King’s College experts will see world class facilities available for an independently run anti-doping operation throughout the Games.”

Last year King's College Drug Control Centre worked with UK Sport to implement UK’s anti-doping policy in sport. The laboratory carried out more than 8,000 tests across 70 sports in 2008. The centre was the first human sports drug-testing laboratory established outside of an Olympic Games.

The laboratory will analyze thousands of samples during the Games and operate 24 hours a day.

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Written by Sam Steinberg and Ed Hula III..