IOC presidential candidate Ng Ser Miang calls for review of size, cost, scale of Olympics

Ng Ser Miang
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Significant changes to the Olympic program could be on the way if Ng Ser Miang has his way and becomes the next International Olympic Committee president.

“It is also about time for us to do a major review of the size, the cost, the scale and the complexity of the Games,” Ng told Reuters on Monday. “This will be one of the priority for sure. Even on the bid itself, the process. Whether we can make it more efficient, less costly with more respect to the cities to those bidding as well as for the sports themselves.

“But at the same time, when we talk about reducing the size of the Games there are more sports knocking on the door wanting to be part of it, so I think there is going to be a fine balance and we have got to find the optimum solution.”

Ng, 64, an IOC member from Singapore, is one of six candidates to succeed IOC president Jacques Rogge, whose term ends this year. The IOC will elect a new president on Sept. 10 in Buenos Aires.

The other candidates are German Thomas Bach, Ukraine’s Sergey Bubka, Puerto Rico’s Richard Carrion, Taiwan’s Wu Ching-kuo and Switzerland’s Denis Oswald.

Ng also said potential new Olympic sports should test themselves through the Youth Olympics first and that the number of sports could be increased from 26 but with fewer medals available, according to Reuters.

The number of total events at recent Olympics were as follows: 302 in 2012, 303 in 2008, 301 in 2004, 300 in 2000, 271 in 1996, 257 in 1992 and 237 in 1988. The first modern Olympics in 1896 had 43 events. (all numbers courtesy of sports-reference.com/olympics).

“There could be a review on number of athletes, different disciplines, there could be a review of disciplines in the existing sports,” Ng told Reuters. “There could be a more optimum allocation of scheduling of competitions. I believe that there are some opportunities there for us to look at so we have to, definitely, consider some of these.”

Washington, D.C., group intends to bid for 2024 Olympics

Olympic flame to travel by sea for Paris 2024, welcomed by armada

Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay Marseille
Paris 2024
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The Olympic flame will travel from Athens to Marseille by ship in spring 2024 to begin the France portion of the torch relay that ends in Paris on July 26, 2024.

The torch relay always begins in the ancient Olympic site of Olympia, Greece, where the sun’s rays light the flame. It will be passed by torch until it reaches Athens.

It will then cross the Mediterranean Sea aboard the Belem, a three-masted ship, “reminiscent of a true Homeric epic,” according to Paris 2024. It will arrive at the Old Port of Marseille, welcomed by an armada of boats.

Marseille is a former Greek colony and the oldest city in France. It will host sailing and some soccer matches during the Paris Olympics.

The full 2024 Olympic torch relay route will be unveiled in May.

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Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay Marseille
Paris 2024

Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight

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Before Mikaela Shiffrin can hold the World Cup wins record, she can become the most decorated Alpine skier in modern world championships history.

Shiffrin takes a respite from World Cup pursuits for the biennial world championships in France. She is expected to race at least four times, beginning with Monday’s combined.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup victories in 23 starts this season, her best since her record 17-win 2018-19 campaign, but world championships do not count toward the World Cup.

Shiffrin remains one career victory behind Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins until at least her next World Cup start in March.

Shiffrin has been more successful at worlds than at the Olympics and even on the World Cup. She has 11 medals in 13 world championships races dating to her 2013 debut, including making the podium in each of her last 10 events.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

She enters worlds one shy of the modern, post-World War II individual records for total medals (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt won 12) and gold medals (Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson won seven).

Worlds take place exactly one year after Shiffrin missed the medals in all of her Olympic races, but that’s not motivating her.

“If I learned anything last year, it’s that these big events, they can go amazing, and they can go terrible, and you’re going to survive no matter what,” she said after her most recent World Cup last Sunday. “So I kind of don’t care.”

Shiffrin ranks No. 1 in the world this season in the giant slalom (Feb. 16 at worlds) and slalom (Feb. 18).

This year’s combined is one run of super-G coupled with one run of slalom (rather than one downhill and one slalom), which also plays to her strengths. She won that event, with that format, at the last worlds in 2021. The combined isn’t contested on the World Cup, so it’s harder to project favorites.

Shiffrin is also a medal contender in the super-G (Feb. 8), despite starting just two of five World Cup super-Gs this season (winning one of them).

She is not planning to race the downhill (Feb. 11), which she often skips on the World Cup and has never contested at a worlds. Nor is she expected for the individual parallel (Feb. 15), a discipline she hasn’t raced in three years in part due to the strain it puts on her back with the format being several runs for the medalists.

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