The Hindu

Indian Officials fight to get back in the Games

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The Indian Olympic Association was suspended from the Games by the IOC last year after they allowed Lalit Bhanot, an official facing corruption charges stemming from the 2010 Commonwealth Games, to be elected secretary general.

The suspension not only means that no Indian athlete can participate in the Olympics, eliminates funding from the world body, and barrs officials attending from attending the Games.

IOA officials had planned a meeting with the IOC in Switzerland to iron out the final details of a billl that would get the country readmitted into the Games, but now acting IOA president Vijay Kumar Malhotra is trying to cancel the meeting in order to retain his position in the Association.

Basically Malhotra would lose his position immediately when the bill passed, because he’s 83-years-old and the new laws would state that officials have to retire at 70. He believes this is political interference.

“We are rather constrained to say that the sports ministry is bent on destroying the autonomy of the IOA and the national sports federations,” Malhotra wrote in an open letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge.

He also called the bill a “total breach of the Olympic Charter” but Sports Minister Jitendra Singh said Wednesday that he’ll take it upon himself to make sure the country gets back in the Games.

“I am deeply shocked and upset by the contents of the letter…” Singh told reporters. “If the IOA is not interested in fixing a date with the IOC, I will personally go to Lausanne and speak to them. India has to get back into the Olympic fold.”

2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships to be in San Jose

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The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the final competition to determine the Pyeongchang Olympic team, will be in San Jose, California, at the SAP Center, concluding Jan. 7.

It appears to be the earliest the U.S. Figure Skating Championships will end in an Olympic year in at least 50 years.

The competition will be broadcast live on NBC and streamed live on Icenetwork.com.

San Jose previously hosted the U.S. Championships in 1996 and 2012, but it has never hosted in an Olympic year.

Sochi Olympian Polina Edmunds is from San Jose and figures to receive a boost of crowd support. Edmunds, 18, begins classes at nearby Santa Clara University next month.

The January 2017 U.S. Championships will be in Kansas City. The international figure skating season starts next month, with Skate America kicking off the Grand Prix season in October.

Recent Nationals host cities in Olympic years were Boston in 2014 and Spokane, Washington, in 2010.

MORE: Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold headline Skate America

Fiji Olympic rugby coach given 3 acres of land, special name

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11:  Gold medalists Ro Dakuwaqa of Fiji and Fiji head coach Ben Ryan celebrate after the medal ceremony for the Men's Rugby Sevens on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympics at Deodoro Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
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Olympic coaches don’t receive gold medals. Fiji Olympic men’s rugby coach Ben Ryan may have gotten something better anyway.

Ryan’s reward for guiding Fiji to its first Olympic medal in any sport — gold in rugby sevens’ Olympic debut — included three acres of land in Fiji and a new name, Ratu Peni Raiyani Latianara, according to Fijian reports.

Ryan, a London native, is stepping down as coach of the Fijian team. The 44-year-old coached the team for three years after leading the England national sevens team for six years.

MORE: Fiji wins nation’s first Olympic medal