Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Art Exhibition

November 12, 2009

Artist: Tim Vyner

Exhibition: World Games: An Exhibition of Painting from Beijing 2008 — London 2012

When: 25-29 November, 2009


Bankside Gallery

48 Hopton Street London SE1 9JH

Phone 020 7928 7521


More details below:


Third International Sport Business Symposium – Vancouver

October 28, 2009

Call for Abstracts

Deadline: November 25, 2009

Requirements: abstract (600 words max) and one page Curriculum Vitae to be submitted via e-mail by to Dr. Holger Preuss, E-mail:

This call for abstracts is directed to researchers of all disciplines. The Third International Sport Business Symposium calls for research directly related to the business of the Olympic Games; the upcoming 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, as well as prior and future Olympic, Youth, and Paralympic Games. Papers about Olympic media, legacy, tourism, consumers, organizations, finance, economics, environment, Paralympics and others are welcome. The official language for abstracts and the Symposium is English.

There will be a double blind review process of the abstracts. Acceptance will be announced by December 15, 2010. Abstracts or any full papers sent via electronic mail by January 15, 2010 will appear in the Symposium Proceedings.

More details below:

Empty Stadia but Lots of Passion

February 12, 2006

In case you missed it, Torino’s slogan is ‘Passion Lives Here’ and it certainly does seem true. Yesterday, we spent 3 hours queuing for the 400 tickets to the medal plaza that were made available for free to anyone. In the end, we missed out by about 20 places, but the experience was enlightening. Many of the people in the queue seemed more aware of and interested in the artist who would be performing, than the athletes who would be receiving medals.

That night, the first, it was Andrea Boccelli, so the italians were particularly passionate about obtaining tickets. A few arguments broke out and people soon became strategic in their attempt to obtain a ticket. We overheard some people talking about buying them from others and a couple of times, we saw people offer their tickets to others.

The frustration came in the evening when seeing many of the seats empty. It is clear that the sale of tickets does not rate particularly highly for an organising committee, but it seems that it would be wonderful to avoid these situations, which seem to happen over and over again.

I think today, we will go direct to the Plaza in the evening and see if we can benefit from someone’s generosity. Who can spend 3hrs queuing in Olympic Fortnight? I’m just glad i had my LifeDrive and a stack of reading.

Torino 2006

February 10, 2006

The cauldren is about to be lit here in Torino. The city squares are full of people watching big tv screens and the final arrangements to the city are over. The Olympic Truce moment in the Opening Ceremony was spectacular, creative and poignant. Beatriz and I are now in the Media Centre among around 30 other journalists. The city has become progressively busy today, though still no major queues around ticket offices.

We learned that the medals plaza will be open to non-residents and that 400 tickets will be available each night for those who try to obtain them.

A couple of nights ago, we saw the dress rehearsal of the opening ceremony, but they didnt include the amazing ferrari moment. The red lookof the city is in clear coordination with the TOROC look of the Games. There seems to be a good collaborative branding to both elements and the Cultural Olympiad has a strong, subtle and stylish presence around the city.

Tickets were hard to obtain today. The website was unavailble for some time and although cheapest options were shown available, it was not possible to select them. WE eventually accessed some from the ticket office near Medal Plaza where a very small queue had formed. Typically, each customer took around 20mins to serve as they had to pick which days they wanted to visit venues.Not simple.

Vol 7 of C@tO

August 9, 2005

Volume 7 of Culture at the Olympics has just been published. The contents are proceedings from a symposium that took place at University of Glasgow in June 2005, in association with London 2012. Contents as follows:

7.1 Exploring Internationalism: Scotland responds to London’s Olympic Vision for Culture in 2012 pp1-8
7.2 Welcome Presentation, pp.9-11
by Professor Adrienne Scullion
7.3 Special Address, pp.12-16
by Patricia Ferguson, Member of Scottish Parliament
7.4 Olympism and Internationalism, pp.17-23
by Jude Kelly, Chair Culture & Education, London 2012
7.5 Culture at the Olympics: Intangible, invisible, but impacting, pp.24-34
by Beatriz Garcia & Andy Miah
[Also access the powerpoint presentation in pdf (8mb)]
7.6 Discussion Session [transcript], pp.35-55
edited by Beatriz Garcia

The finishing line

August 23, 2004

This is our last day in Athens. How quickly it has all happened! The morning is spent trying to arrange bags, then rushing to meet Lucy from the Olympic Truce but she cancels so we get back to the house. We do not leave for the ZPC until 12.30 and decide to have lunch at the nice ‘Event’ restaurant to learn, upon arrival around 2pm, that at 12 there had been a press presentation by the Torino 2006 Winter Games Team. We are disappointed to have missed it, but we get some information, including an extensive press pack.

On the way, before lunch, we go through Swatch street in Plaka to see ‘Kaleidoscope’, one of many sponsor-related art initiatives. It is a clever idea, consisting of objects made by athletes in the form of art displays. The street is painted as a track lane.

At our return at the ZPC, the Zappeion peristyle has been transformed into a food and drinks display from all over Greece. As always, it has been very well arranged. It is amazing how many shows they are putting on, most of them in excellent taste though poorly attended by the journalists. We get some free ice cream, which is always welcome.

We take the bus to the airport and are very happy to learn that British Airways will allow us to take all the material we have compiled without charge.

We see many athletes at the airport. They are leaving after their events, which is a shame as one would wish that the Olympic village were full and busy to the end – and that the athletes were able to enjoy the atmosphere. But reality is not always as one would like it. In the end, it is the athletes with less chances of winning who are probably making the most of the Olympic experience. At least, they can relax enough to enjoy and socialise, party and meet different cultures – and stay until to the Closing ceremony!

We, unfortunately, will have to give it a miss this year. Next stop is Montreal!

Radcliffe’s Greek tragedy

August 22, 2004

We go to the Panathenaico together to see end of Women Marathon. The entry is a bit chaotic, with contradicting directions being given – entry by the stadium, where tickets are still distributed at the official boot, or through a special entrance at the National Gardens, linked to stadium through a walled corridor. At these entrance lots of people waiting, then we are told to move away, as we cannot get in without tickets. Most of us have them, so it is a useless remark that confuses people. It takes a while to make it through the corridor – constantly stopped to be checked out, with lots of police. We catch a glimpse of two ‘Greek philosophers’ at a bench behind the fences, in the park, looking in on us. (Isn’t alcohol a banned substance at the Games?)

Most of the crowd are Brits carrying flags. Every British person in Athens seems to be here, benefiting from the 10 euro ticket. Not difficult to get good seats near the finishing line – the stadium is large and we are early. We are just next to the media seats, which are indeed always the best (better than the VIPs designated area on the side). While we sit, we see Bridget McConnell and her husband the first Minister of Scotland Jack McConnell. A happy coincidence. We had a chance to say hello to them both. With them is the well known former British athlete Dame Mary Peters, creating a fuss as fans ask her for a signature. Japanese fans do not know what is happening (they ask us who she is) but also ask for a signature.

The stadium is in full swing with the British fans dancing and flashing their flags. A smaller contingent of Japanese fans is also visible. The race starts and Paula Radcliffe is leading, which brings cheers around the stadium. But she stops, unexpectedly, in the 23 mile mark – just 3 miles to go. She is in tears, and the stadium in disbelief. The Japanese runner wins the race, with all Japanese of a sudden getting prominence. We all cheer for the runners as they arrive, especially for Liz Yelling. When she arrives, Andy spots her husband Martin, an old friend from Bedford, and has a chance to talk with him.

It is nice to stay until the very end – the race started at 6pm and the final runner arrives around 9.45pm – almost 10pm. It feels like this is the real Olympic spirit. It is inspiring to see the reactions and appreciation of the runners who arrive exhausted and still have the strength to smile or send kisses to the crowd while they run the final lap. Several of them collapse after the finishing line and must be taken out in a stretcher. The Japanese winner, though, after a moment of rest, is unstoppable, running around everywhere, carrying the Japanese flag, talking to the media and then, after receiving flowers – one hour or so after winning – running up and down the seating area, mingling with the fans that follow her around. Andy manages to shake her hand. It is so funny! Like a Benny Hill show, says Chris, as we look at the Japanese running around after her, some of them in funny costumes, a group of them all dressed in bright pink. What a strange sight, in this so beautiful and solemn stadium! It is a nice feeling throughout, despite the sad end to Paula’s race.

We go for dinner in the Italian restaurant that is team Japan’s house after submerging our feet in the Kiatsu bath at the entrance. It consists of hot water and stones for massaging the soles of your feet. It is an initiative of the Japanese to promote healthy practices during the Games, and it works!

Visa Olympians meeting centre

August 22, 2004

After a big breakfast with our hosts, we get to the ZPC and spend some time taking photographs at the Olympic Truce stand. We will use these for our university press release and to distribute information about the Truce more widely. We also go around the Panathenaiko stadium to take some photographs while it is empty. It is such a beautiful and memorable stadium. Later on today we will come here to see the end of the women’s marathon.

After lunch, we go to the Visa Olympians Meeting Centre to attend the International Olympic Academy Participants Association (IOAPA) reunion. It is a good chance to catch up with old ‘Olympic circle’ friends. Amongst the best surprises is seeing Thomas Kaptain, who is in excellent shape and funny as ever. We also see Kostas Georgiadis and his wife. Norbert Muller and Manfred Messing from Mainz University are also there. As is Holger Preuss from the same university with whom we have a brief chat.

We also have a chat with Evi, and a quick hello to Elisabeth Hanley who makes a speech to congratulate Laurel Iversen for her dedication to the IOAPA. We see Bob Barney, John Lucas and Cesar Torres but have no chance to say hi. We meet a UN culture and sport officer working in Kosovo who knows Ana Belen Moreno (from the Olympic Studies Centre in Barcelona). Ana Belen was working with him the year she went to Kosovo. He is an interesting person with a very interesting job. To be followed up. As always a bit of surprise as, in the end, we do not know so many people within the IOA world!

The longest time is spent with Noemi Monin from the Museum/OSC, now in charge of Summer Games Coordination – a post briefly held by Nuria Puig, who is now back at the OSC in Lausanne. She will be working on the Beijing links. We discuss our views about the Athens cultural programme. Few people knows about the ‘cultureguide’ and are often confused about the diversity of activity on offer.

We share most of the afternoon/ evening with Berta and Chris (from the Centre for Olympic Studies in Barcelona), who have had the chance to see some events through IOC support. They have collected lots of material (25kg) mainly through the Main Press Centre, where they were based. They also visited the ZPC and found it very useful and accessible.

Olympic park – athletics

August 21, 2004

A full day at OAKA today for the athletics. We depart at around 730am, missing our bus and, thus, taking around 40mins to get to the tram. We arrive at OAKA around 915am and are, again, able to sit where we like. So we get some near front-row seats to watch the Heptahlon long jump. Denise Lewis pulls out with injury, though looked good in the performance. A strong performance from Team GB’s Kelly Sotherton. We also ‘see’ the 100m heats, which include Maurice Greene, Kim Collins and Greg Campbell, though the sprint track is on the other side of the stadium, so we don’t really see much more than small dots of people and the television screens in the stadium.

We took some time to get to know the OAKA complex. It is a bit desert-like, sand on the ground, seemingly unfinished, though possible to pass of as a traditional Mediterranean dry and dusty landscape! Sponsors are not too overwhelmingly, though are clearly present in the facilities spaces. Many Kodak and coke stands and the McDonalds restaurant is bursting at the seams. Water and food are reasonably priced though.

At 125pm we take the metro to Nea Ionia to see the DESTE foundation exhibit ‘Monument to Now’. Well worth a visit, though the volunteers around the area did not know about its existence.

Olympic opera

August 20, 2004

At 7pm we leave the ZPC for the Odeon of Herod Atticus. There we are going to see the opera ‘Rea’ by Spyros Samaras, which has been made famous because of its music becoming the basis for the modern Olympic Hymn. We are really exhausted and the hard stone seats do not help to make us feel relaxed, so we decide to leave at the end of act 1 and make a couple of tourists very happy with our tickets for the opera’s second half.

We go out for dinner at Kolonnaki square, a very pleasant and upmarket area of the city were prices are high but service is truly excellent. We are lucky and have an uneventful public transport return to our flat.