Thomas Bach

Leaders of IOC, Sochi Olympics at United Nations for Olympic Truce

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International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach and Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko were at the United Nations on Wednesday as the General Assembly adopted the symbolic resolution for an Olympic Truce during the Sochi Games.

The Olympic Truce has been a common practice for two decades.

“Precisely because many of our principles are the same, it must always be clear in the relationship between sport and politics that the role of sport is always to build bridges,” Bach said. “It is never to build walls.”

For the first time, the Olympic Truce called “upon host countries to promote social inclusion without discrimination of any kind,” according to Reuters. The statement was first reported to be added to the truce by The New York Times in September.

This comes five months after Russia passed its law banning homosexual “propaganda” toward minors.

On Tuesday, Chernyshenko said those who wear rainbow colors at the Olympics in response to Russia’s anti-gay legislation will not face repercussions, according to USA Today.

“For me it sounds funny that someone is saying, ‘I am very brave. I will put my rainbow pin on and let me go to the (jail) in Russia because I will be promoting (gay rights) during the Olympic Games,'” he told the newspaper. “Has anybody noted what kind of uniform game organizers will be wearing?”

Volunteers and staff at the Olympics will wear multi-colored uniforms and gloves.

“People should not be afraid of painting their nails in a rainbow,” Chernyshenko said.

One of the fundamental principles of Olympism outlined in the Olympic Charter is this:

“Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”

Chernyshenko also told USA Today that Russia has collaborated with the U.S. for security during the Olympics, to make it the safest Games ever. He said military in Sochi will make for a “friendly atmosphere.”

Instead of military uniforms, the military providing Olympic security will be outfitted in “a special civilian uniform,” Chernyshenko said. They will wear uniforms similar to the Games organizers, but a different color.

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Adelina Sotnikova likely to skip whole season, eyes 2018 Olympics

SAITAMA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 03:  Adelina Sotnikova of Russia competes in the Ladies Singles Free Skating during the Japan Open 2015 Figure Skating at Saitama Super Arena on October 3, 2015 in Saitama, Japan.  (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
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Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova will miss the Russian Championships later this month and will likely sit out this whole season but still hopes to defend her title in Pyeongchang, according to R-Sport.

Earlier this year, Sotnikova stopped preseason training due to a health issue, decided not to compete but rather perform in less-demanding ice shows this fall, according to the report, citing her manager.

Sotnikova, 20, last competed at the 2015 Russian Championships, finishing sixth and failing to make the three-woman Russian team for last season’s European and world championships.

She did not compete in major events in the 2014-15 season due to injury and in 2015-16 skated at one top-level international event, finishing third at the November 2015 Rostelecom Cup in Moscow.

In Sochi, Sotnikova became the first Olympic women’s figure skating champion without a prior Olympic or world championships individual medal.

Russian women’s figure skating has only solidified in Sotnikova’s absence since Sochi, complicating her path to making the 2018 Olympic team.

Yevgenia Medvedeva and Anna Pogorilaya were the two best female skaters this fall. Yelena Radionova and Maria Sotskova will join them in the six-skater Grand Prix Final this week.

Russia can send three women to the European Championships in January and world championships in March. The results of the Russian Championships later this month will largely determine the makeup of those teams.

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Tokyo 2020 Olympic venues approved for new sports

Yokohama Stadium
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Tokyo 2020 venues for the new Olympic sports of baseball, softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing were approved by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday.

That brings the total number of Tokyo 2020 venues to 39, with the potential for more.

The venues for new sports:

Baseball/softball — Yokohama Stadium (20 miles south of Tokyo)
Karate — Nippon Budokan
Skateboarding and Sport Climbing — Aomi Urban Sports Venue
Surfing — Tsurigasaki Beach

All of the new sports do not currently have a spot on the Olympic program beyond 2020 (baseball and softball were previously on the Olympic program before being taken off after Beijing 2008).

Agenda 2020 reforms allowed Olympic host cities to propose the addition of sports for their Games only, which is what Tokyo 2020 did to get them on the program.

The Tokyo Olympic venues are split between two zones — the Heritage Zone and the Tokyo Bay Zone — that are separated by the Olympic Village.

Tokyo 2020 and FIFA are still discussing the finalization of soccer venues. There are currently six, including two in Tokyo and one as far away as Sapporo (650 miles north).

Tokyo 2020 and the World Baseball Softball Confederation are still discussing the potential of adding a second baseball-softball venue in Fukushima prefecture, the site of 2011 nuclear plant meltdowns caused by an earthquake and tsunami. Fukushima is about 150 miles north of Tokyo.

The Tokyo Dome, home of the Yomiuri Giants and several MLB and World Baseball Classic games, is not a 2020 Olympic venue.

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Tokyo Olympic venues