IOC’s Bach: Refugees will be honoured at Rio

first_imgATHENS, Greece (AP): A group of refugee athletes will march together in the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in a symbol of hope for the world’s migrants, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said yesterday. On a three-day visit to Greece, Bach also said a refugee would carry the torch during the Greek leg of the flame relay and that the route would include a stop at an Athens refugee camp. The flame-lighting ceremony at Ancient Olympia will take place on April 21. “We want to turn the attention of the world to the fate and the problems of the 60 million refugees in our world and their suffering,” Bach said. He visited the refugee camp in Athens, played football with a group of young men, and met potential candidates who could compete for the first time as refugee athletes at the Rio Games. “They have no hope, no flag to march behind, and no anthem,” Bach said. “We have invited them to participate, and these athletes will march behind the Olympic flag” at the August 5 opening ceremony. Bach said he expected between five and 10 refugee athletes to qualify for the Olympics. He said he spoke to two potential Olympic competitors in Athens, who could compete in shooting events and karate. The IOC has already pledged US$2 million to help refugees, and is asking authorities in refugee camps to identify any top-level international athletes. Three athletes found The IOC said in December that three potential Olympic athletes had been identified so far from among the wave of refugees and migrants. Greece has been hard hit by the migration crisis that escalated dramatically in 2015 when more than 850,000 travelled in dinghies and mostly unsafe boats from Turkey to the Greek islands. Despite growing European pressure on Athens to toughen border controls, Bach described Greece’s assistance to refugees as “really extraordinary” and promised funds for planned sports facilities on the Greek island of Lesbos. Bach praised progress in Brazil’s Olympic preparations despite the country’s serious financial downturn and outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. “Brazil is in financial and political crisis, and is facing a great corruption scandal,” he said. “And under these circumstances, it is even more remarkable what the Brazilians have done.” Bach said the timing of the games, during Brazil’s winter, could limit difficulties caused by the virus outbreak, and he promised to have consultations with national Olympic Committees on safety guidelines by late today. Before leaving Athens yesterday, Bach said he would visit the marble Panathinian Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896.last_img read more

All is not well at FC Reno

first_imgWestern Bureau:Following their narrow escape from relegation in the 2015-16 Red Stripe Premier League, FC Reno head coach Michael Graham fired some stinging criticism at the attitude of club officials, which he says is the reason for the former champions yearly struggle to maintain a presence in the nation’s top league.Graham told The Gleaner, after his team’s 2-1 to UWI FC on Sunday, that the plan to return to being a force in local football circles and to once again battle for the title must never begin with the coach or the players.”That conversation must begin with the club’s executive. That winning mentality must start with those at the top and filter down to the coaches and the players,” he said.Reno struggleFC Reno have been in a state of flux over the past five seasons, creating a situation where they are either relegated from the league or struggling to avoid the drop, something they have successfully managed twice in successive seasons.But for Graham and Wendell Downswell, the club’s technical director, not much will change come next season if matters having to do with the club’s well-being are not addressed in the boardroom.”How can a club survive when there are no serious plans on how to do so? This is the current state of affairs at FC Reno. If it weren’t for Mr Downswell and I, we would all be thinking about the lower leagues, if any, at the moment,” stated Graham.He said acquisition of gears boots and ball, among other needed pieces of equipment necessary for the club to carry out training and match-day necessities, are all being sourced by him and Downswell, noting that they receive no help from those who hold “positions” in the club.”Yet these are some of our fiercest critics when the team fails to win. The fact is, unless issues at the executive level are fixed, the club is doomed to failure,” Graham said.”This is a case in which it shows how a club should not be managed,” added Graham.FC Reno were the first club to win three Premier League titles, the last of which came in the 1995 season during a period of dominance. They also won titles in 1990 and again in 1991.The Westmoreland-based club are also winners of three national knockout titles, Winning the now named Flow Champions Cup in 2014. But since then, they have endured two seasons of utter chaos, resulting in near relegation.last_img read more

Wolmer’s, Mona on top

first_imgWolmer’s and Mona Preparatory schools captured the boys’ and girls’ titles, respectively, in the preparatory and primary section of the 18th annual Mayberry Investments Schools Swimming Championships held at the National Aquatic Centre last Saturday.Wolmer’s Boys amassed 232.50 points to finish ahead of Sts Peter and Paul Prep – 148. Third went to Mona, 138, while St Hugh’s Prep, 121, and Stella Maris, 118, rounded out the top five.In the girls’ section, Mona Prep scored 151 points and they were followed by Stella Maris, 133, Sts Peter and Paul, 130, Wolmer’s, 116 and St Hugh’s 109.A whopping 38 individual records were broken on Saturday, including what could be considered a standout performance from 10-year-old Zaneta Alvaranga of St Hugh’s Prep.She smashed a record per event, copping four individual records. She won the 50m backstroke girls 9-10 in 35:19 seconds; the 50m freestyle in 29:23; the girls 12 and under 100m freestyle in 1:07.08; and the 50m butterfly for girls 9-10 in 31.97.She also anchored her school to a new 200m freestyle relay record of 2 minutes 33:71 seconds for girls 9-10.Alvaranga picked up the high point trophy for the girls 9-10 age group with 36 points.Other high-point trophy winners were Stella Maris’ Jonathan Haynes and Nia-Kai Campbell of Mount Alvernia in the six and under age group; Kajaun Haughton of Wolmer’s Prep and Christanya Shirley, also of Wolmer’s Prep, in the 7-8 age group; Sts Peter and Paul’s Joshua Alleyne and Paig’e Lewis in the 11-12 age group.The three-day Tornadoes Swim meet will take place at the same venue, starting on Friday.last_img read more