Archive for the ‘athletes’ Category

General Motors Loses Tiger Woods: Sign of the Economic, Cultural Times

November 29, 2008

Turns out, Tiger Woods wouldn’t really rather have a Buick. At least not anymore.

When Woods ended his nine-year relationship with General Motors Corp. on Monday — a mutual decision between a megawatt celebrity who doesn’t need the work and a teetering corporation that needs every penny — it offered yet another snapshot of how badly the American economy has deteriorated.

By EDDIE PELLS, AP National Writer

Woods is the world’s most marketable athlete with an estimated $100 million endorsements a year. If his agreement with one of the world’s most active sports sponsors dissolved, some experts wonder if any endorsement or sponsorship deal is really ironclad in these tough times.

“The real story here isn’t Tiger,” says Marc Ganis, the president of Sportscorp Ltd., a Chicago-based sports consulting firm. “It’s the auto industry. … There are a lot of parties who are going to have some difficulties finding sponsors to substitute for what the auto industry used to provide.”

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China on balancing beam ahead of Olympics

March 16, 2008
by Dan Martin

BEIJING (AFP) – The Beijing Olympics were supposed to mark China‘s debut as a modern nation that commands respect, even admiration, but instead of that dream, the country’s leaders face a PR nightmare.

In this image made from video and provided by APTN, authorities ...
In this image made from video and provided by APTN, authorities walk down an avenue, Friday, March 14, 2008, in Gansu Province, Xiahe, China. Police fired tear gas to disperse Buddhist monks and others staging a second day of protests Saturday in western China in sympathy with anti-Chinese demonstrations in Lhasa, local residents said.(AP Photo/APTN)

A crackdown on unrest in Tibet has added to mounting pressure on China over human rights and other issues that threaten to tarnish the coming-out party, pushing its Communist leaders into an uncomfortable corner, analysts said.

“This is the worst thing that could have happened for China,” China scholar Jean Philippe Beja said of deadly unrest in the Tibetan capital Lhasa that has forced an army lock down of the city.

“The Chinese and Tibetan leaders are facing a no-win situation,” said Beja, of the Centre for International Research in Paris.

With five months to go before the world’s athletes begin competing here, China’s communist government finds itself teetering on a political balance beam, observers and dissidents said.

Aside from Tibet, China is under fire for its tough rule in the Muslim-dominated Xinjiang region, for restricting press and religious freedoms, and its support of Sudan, which is blamed for the massive bloodshed in Darfur.

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Rogge: China working on pollution

March 9, 2008

SOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan (AP) — IOC president Jacques Rogge is optimistic China can improve its notoriously bad air before the Beijing Olympics.
Rogge said Saturday that Beijing is making big strides in cutting pollution, an issue of concern for both the International Olympic Committee and athletes.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Rogge reiterated his stance that the IOC should not pressure China about human rights, and he praised the growing number of women who will compete in the Olympics.
The sun rises over eastern Beijing’s developing skyline in April 2007. Mobile air quality testing stations will be set up during the Beijing Olympics so athletes and coaches can monitor pollution levels first-hand.

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China tempers Olympic medal expectations

March 5, 2008

By  CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer 

BEIJING – China‘s sports authority is lowering medal expectations and offering counseling for athletes as pressure mounts on the hosts to succeed at Olympic Games in August

Security guards stand in line during a regular practice session ...
Security guards stand in line during a regular practice session in front of the National Olympic Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, in Beijing, in this November 27, 2007 file photo. Alfred Cheng Jin (CHINA)

Deputy Sports Minister Cui Dalin acknowledged that the Chinese public holds high hopes for the country’s athletes to top the medal tallies in Beijing. On Wednesday, he offered a long list of reasons why that likely won’t happen.

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China Defends Olympics Food Safety

February 22, 2008

 By Maureen Fan

Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, February 22, 2008; Page A17

BEIJING, Feb. 21 — Stung by accusations that Beijing‘s food and water are contaminated, China on Thursday defended its standards and expressed disappointment that U.S. athletes will ship their own meat to China for the Olympic Games.

“I feel it’s a pity that they have decided to bring their own food,” said Kang Yi, chief of the catering division for the Beijing Olympics organizing committee, adding that the organizers had made plans for the athletes to dine together. “If the American delegation is not at that gathering, it’s a pity.”

A report in the New York Times this month said the U.S. Olympic Committee, in part worried about steroids in chicken, had made arrangements with sponsors to ship 25,000 pounds of lean protein to China two months before the opening ceremony. The 600-member U.S. delegation will eat at its own training center and avoid food at the athletes’ village, which will house and feed 17,000 people during the Games, the paper said.

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