Princely Wedding Draws IOC Contingent
Several dozen IOC members are expected to attend this week’s Princely Wedding between Olympic athletes Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock.
By comparison, four current IOC members and one honorary member were among the 1,900 invited guests to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29.
Albert, a five-time Olympian in bobsledding, has invited the entire IOC membership to his palace in Monte Carlo for what will be a two-day affair. A civil ceremony is slated for Friday in the throne room with a religious service to follow Saturday in the palace courtyard.
Wittstock, a swimming champion 20 years his junior, competed for South Africa in the Sydney Olympics. She met Albert after winning gold in the 200m backstroke at a Monaco swim meet he hosted.
The two first appeared together as a couple at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin and announced their engagement last June.
Soon after Saturday’s nuptials, the couple will head to Durban, where the IOC Session will double as their honeymoon.
All IOC members are likewise invited to a July 7 reception on the South African coast.
2018 Bids Make Penultimate Pitches in Lome
The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa celebrates its 30th anniversary this week.
Delegates from 33 NOCS founded ANOCA on June 28, 1981 in the Togolese city of Lome, also the site for Sunday’s executive board meeting as well as an extraordinary general assembly running Monday and Tuesday.
Organizers of the upcoming All-Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique will present Monday afternoon, as will LOCOG and the World Anti-Doping Agency’s regional office for Africa.
The highlight of the assembly comes Tuesday when representatives from the three 2018 Winter Olympic bid cities give their penultimate pitches. Many of Africa’s 16 IOC members are expected to attend. IOC president Jacques Rogge is not.
Also in Lome, bids for the 2018 Commonwealth Games will state their cases. Gold Coast, Australia and Hambantota, Sri Lanka are the two cities in the running.
An anniversary dinner Tuesday night will close the ANOCA assembly.
Tuesday Talk with Sport and Environment Chair
This week’s Tuesday Talk is with longtime IOC member and Hungarian Olympic Committee president Pal Schmitt, also the president of Hungary.
Elected to the IOC in 1983, he was instrumental in the creation of its Sport and Environment Commission and has chaired the 26-member body since its inception in 1995.
Around the Rings spoke with Schmitt during the 9th World Conference on Sport and Environment in Doha about the history of his commission, its impact upon the Games and whether his presidential responsibilities are compromising his duties as an IOC member and NOC chief.
Check back Tuesday for the complete interview.
One Week to 2018 Vote
Wednesday marks one week to go until the IOC votes for a 2018 Winter Olympic host city.
Around the Rings will be on the scene in Durban when IOC president Jacques Rogge announces the winning bid at 5 p.m. on July 6.
Annecy, Munich and PyeongChang will make their final presentations to IOC members that morning.
The actual vote is slated for 3:35 to 3:50 p.m. local time, but with just three candidates and the IOC’s lightning-fast electronic voting system, the balloting could go even quicker. No more than two rounds will be needed to reach a decision.
ATR’s on-the-scene coverage of the 123rd IOC Session begins Sunday from Durban.
USOC Board Meeting
The selection of a new chef de mission for London 2012 to replacePeter Vidmar is expected to beon the agenda of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s quarterly Board of Directors meeting Tuesday.
Days after he was named last month to lead Team USA at the London Olympics, Vidmar resigned to dampen controversy stemming from his public opposition to same sex marriage in California.
Widmar, 49, a double gold medalist in gymnastics in 1984, contributed $2,000 to the 2008 campaign for a statewide proposition defining marriage as between a man and women. Vidmar is a devout Mormon.
Wimbledon Test Event
London 2012’s test event for tennis comes to a close this week at the grass courts of Wimbledon.
The women’s final is scheduled for Saturday with the men’s to follow on Sunday.
Archery Congress, World Champs
The international archery federation, FITA, has its world championships and congress in Turin this week. The outdoor target championships begin Sunday and run through July 10.
The congress is slated for Friday and Saturday. Delegates will discuss the upcoming elections as well as archery's world plan through 2016. Elections will be held for vice presidents and other officers.
Six hundred archers from nearly 90 countries qualified for the world championships. With 35 of the 64 spots per gender at the London Olympics up for grabs, competition will likely be fierce. Several venues dating back to the Renaissance will be used, including Piazza Castello for the finals. The para-archery world champs will follow.
Luge season is over, but the international federation FIL is holding its congress Friday and Saturday in Berlin.
The German bobsleigh and luge federation is timing its 100th anniversary celebration to coincide with the meeting. About 300 guests from the worlds of sport, politics, culture and media have been invited to the festivities.
Written by Matthew Grayson.