Jul. 13/2000

Utah Olympic officer Lane Beattie said he will ask the Utah Legislature for more public money, just two days after saying state agencies won’t need nearly as much money as originally estimated, to cover expenses for the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. Beattie wasn’t ready to offer a new estimate, but will disclose the figure in a financial report on the Olympics later this month.

Thinking of setting up an Olympic Web Site? Think again. More than 1800 Web sites, have been sued under the U.S. anticybersquatting law for using domain names that duplicate or are similar to official Olympics trademarks. According to the International Olympic Committee, “the suit represents the largest action by far brought under the recently enacted Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act of 1999”. Jim Bikoff, a managing partner of the Washington D.C. law firm representing the IOC said the offending sites belong to domain-name owners in 53 countries, with a number of the sites owned by Canadians. The names contain “Olympics”, “Olympic”, “Olympiad”, or simulations of the trademark through misspellings and foreign equivalents including the French and Spanish words for Olympic. And the content of many of the sites has nothing to do with Olympic sports.

In the tradition observed during the Olympic Games in ancient Greece, the International Olympic Committee announced that African leaders have pledged to halt all hostilities for two weeks in September to honour any Olympic truce. About a dozen African states are plagued by wars or civil unrest, with conflicts in Sierra Leone, Congo and Angola among the most prominent.

The Seoul District Civil Court has ordered Utah businessman David Simmons to pay John Kim, the son of International Olympic Committee executive board member Kim Un-yong, $18,000, ruling that Simmons had defamed John Kim when he said Kim fraudulently obtained a green card in the United States by taking a “sham” job from Simmons. The court said it ruled in favour of John Kim because Simmons refused to appear in court. Simmons lawyer said his client did not want to pay to mount a defence in a South Korean court. John Kim had filed a $100,000 lawsuit. John Kim is wanted in the United States after being indicted last September for lying to the FBI and entering the United States on a green card fraudulently obtained through his sham job. He surrendered the green card and fled to South Korea before the charges were filed.

There’s more than gold in an Olympic medal. Russia’s individual Olympic gold medal winners at the Sydney Olympics can expect a $100,000 bonus. While the $100,000 bonus for an individual gold medal remained unchanged from the Atlanta and Nagano Games, the rewards for lesser medals have been reduced to $20,000 for a silver medal and $10,000 for a bronze medal.

And finally, Quokka Sports is partnering with NBC, the General Electric network that owns the Olympic broadcast rights through 2008, to produce NBCOlympics.com. Originally from the United States, the company moved to Australia in 1996 and offers interactive sports programming with real-time data, stunning graphics and reporting plus in-depth profiles and personal stories from athlete scribes. Quokka will expand NBC’s telecast across the Web with 24-hour coverage of the full slate of the Sydney Olympics, which beings Sept. 15.