Rogge Awarded Legion of Honor; Arab Games End; Pin Points

(ATR) French president bestows IOC president with honor ... Arab Games close in Doha ... Agent Orange victims group protests Dow sponsorship ... FIVB presidential race heats up ... Olympic pin news ...

Jacques Rogge Legion of Honor

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has bestowed IOC president Jacqes Rogge with the Legion of Honor.

The ceremony took place at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

Rogge received the honor for his work as IOC President.

Officially known in French as the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur, the other individuals honored were: president of the Envol association Michele Franoz, unionist Alain Olive, farmer Sophie Poux, former rally driver Michele Mouton, 2008 Nobel laureate for Medicine, Luc Montagnier, Sarkozy, director of the Jewish institutions representative council Haim Musicant, artist Mady Mesple, pilot Beatrice Vialle and Security director of Sanofi/Adventis Bernard Frahi.

Agent Orange Victims Association Join Dow Protests

Victims of Agent Orange are protesting to LOCOG the Olympic sponsorship of Dow Chemical.

The president of the Vietnam Association For Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) wrote a letter to LOCOG to ask that Dow be dropped as a sponsor.

"The Olympics and Paralympics games stand for the triumph of the human mind and body as athletes engage in competition. Dow Chemical, however, has and continues to violate this spirit by manufacturing deadly chemicals that destroy the human body and mind," said Nguyen Van Rinh in the letter.

VAVA blames Dow for the devastation caused by Agent Orange, an herbicide sprayed by the U.S. during the Vietnam War that killed or maimed thousands and caused children to be born with birth defects.

"Dow was one of the main chemical companies that produced and supplied toxic chemicals to the U.S. military for use in South Vietnam.

"Dow and other companies deliberately made Agent Orange with high levels of dioxin to maximize its profits, even though it knew it would seriously devastate the ecology and environment in Vietnam, and harmed many Vietnamese people," said Rinh in the letter.

Dow Chemical has also been linked to an industrial disaster in Bhopal, India where thousands were killed after a pesticide plant, owned by Union Carbide India Limited, leaked toxic gas into the city. While Dow never owned or operated the plant, it purchased the Union Carbide Corporation in 2001.

Activists and survivors say that Dow has failed to compensate victims and that the company should be dropped as sponsor of London 2012. Dow has consistently argued that it never owned the facility in Bhopal and that it is not responsible for the disaster in India.

Arab Games End

A last-minute medal surge from Morocco has Qatar out of the top three in the medal tally at the Doha Arab Games.

Competition closed Friday with Egypt totaling 233 medals, Tunisia 138 and Morocco 113. The hosts finished closed behind with 110.

Syria, usually second in medals, didn't come to Doha because of its ongoing civil turmoil.

A closing ceremony is scheduled for later Friday in the Qatari capital and 2020 Olympic bid city.

FIVB President-in-Waiting?

International Volleyball Federation executive VP Ary Graca apparently wants a promotion.

Media in his native Brazil report that he will run for the FIVB presidency at September or October's elective congress in Anaheim, California.

Graca, himself in charge of Brazilian as well as South American volleyball, has the support of three of the sport’s other four continental confederations comprising 166 of the FIVB’s 220 member countries, according to O Globo.

Jizhong Wei of China took over the FIVB in late 2008 following the retirement of longtime federation leader Ruben Acosta and has said ever since that he would not be standing for reelection next year.

Swimmers Join Team Australia

Swimmers Melissa Gorman and Ky Hurst are the first athletes to join the 2012 Australian Olympic team.

Gorman and Hurst secured their spots after finishing fourth and fifth respectively at the FINA World Championships in Shanghai and will compete in the 10km open water marathon in London.

"It’s an amazing feeling to be one of the first selected athletes, a very different feeling to Beijing where we were one of the last," said Gorman, who finished 15th in the competition at the 2008 Olympics.

"It’s a big relief and I’m feeling a lot less pressure – just knowing that I can focus my training on the Olympics over the next few months, and not on qualifying."

The 10km open water marathon will be staged in Hyde Park from Aug. 16-17.

Pin Points

... Paul McGill has added two new features to his website, LondonPins. One is a grid view of thumbnail images of all 2,012 retail pins, and the other is a pin trading list tool that includes sheets for sponsor pins, internal pins and media pins.

... Upcoming events in the world of Olympic memorabilia include:

18th IOC World Olympic Collectors Fair

Athens, Greece

May 17 to 20, 2012

International Swimming Hall of Fame

Olympic and Aquatic Sports Collectors Show

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

May 10 to 11, 2012

Contact: Craig Perlow,

31st Olympin Festival


Sept. 28 to 30, 2012

... Olympic memorabilia now up for sale on eBay includes:

Athens 2004 gold medals up for grabs ... starting bid is about ten grand but you can buy it now for a hair under $15,000.

Likewise a Paralympic gold from Athens starts at about $9,000 or you can buy it now for about $13,000.


In the Dec. 21 Olympic Newsdesk, ATRincorrectly reported which NOCs have new websites. The Bermuda Olympic Association has a new website available here.

Written by Ann Cantrell.

20 Years at #1: Your best source of news about the Olympics is, for subscribers only.

Recent Articles