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2 years con

Britain’s Personal Best, which aimed to build on the Olympic Games by encouraging people to excel in athletic, educational or creative challenges. Given £997,960 in April 2013 by the Big Lottery Fund, it claimed it would sign up 120,000 people to take on challenges in their community – but was wound up within months after failing to meet all the milestones the Big Lottery Fund had set.

I'll just leave this here, it's from Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse in today's Indy.

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Rio - Favela do Metrô may not have been paradise...

While the world's football fans and media ooh and aah over the football action those living in favelas in Brazil's host cities continue to face eviction and the demolition of their homes for both the World Cup and the Olympics, sometimes just to make way for a parking lot as with the Favela do Metrô-Mangueira near to the famous Maracanã stadium. Families have ended up 75 kilometres away at Cosmos while others who were squatting in the half demolished favela were violently ejected and left homeless.

And the parking lot? It's just rubble, waiting for a developer to make a killing.


light at the end of the tunnel

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bailout bonus bonanza

Boosted by their bailouts, LendLease and 'London and Continental Railways' (aka the Department for Transport) are building big in Stratford City. Diamondgeezer recently deconstructed Glasshouse Gardens, linking at the end to the promotional brochure[PDF] - My Guide Stratford.

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pussy whipped putin

Having contrived to get themselves horse-whipped by some of Putin's cossacks yesterday, Pussy Riot's Sochi 2014 themed video for Putin Will Teach You to Love the Motherland is out there already. The lyrics with helpful annotations can be found on The New Republic.

Meanwhile, two members of the Ukranian Olympic team just quit, abandoning Sochi "in solidarity with fighters on the Maidan barricades" (via @markmackinnon).

There was also some discussion punted into the long grass of 'Agenda 2020' at this morning's IOC press conference about Ukranian team members wishes to wear black armbands in recognition of the Euromaidan death toll (via @andymiah).

But of course the Olympics aren't political!

Update; 20/2/2014 17:30
Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot on the Olympics’ Deceptive Face

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Brits in Controversy at Sochi2014

At least some people know what really matters. Amidst all the controversy over LGBT rights and abuse, the role of sponsors, arrests of activists, the evictions and suffering of local people, mistreatment of migrant workers building the venues, massive environmental damage, corruption, athlete activism and the 150th anniversary of the Circassian genocide British athletes at Sochi2014 got down to some serious criticism - of how far they had to walk.

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They didn't blame it on the snowboarder

Norwegian snowboarding medal hope Torstein Horgmo has been ruled out of Sochi2014 after breaking his collar bone in an accident on the slopestyle course. This has been enough to cause the authorities to make alterations to the course. Pity no-one paid similar attention to the accidents which happened at Vancouver2010 prior to the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili in a similarly preventable accident. Instead they blamed it on the luger.

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London2012 tourism - Hark, now hear the sailors cry...

First lies, then farce. After all the self-serving lies about the benefits of London2012 comes the claim from the British Marine Federation that the annual contribution of UK boating tourism in 2013-2013 outweighed the 'total tourism impact of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games between 2005 and 2017 (including pre-Games visits, the Games themselves and the estimated ongoing Legacy effect).'

Hark, now hear the sailors cry...

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London2012 Pub Legacy - tourists inspired to drink a pint!

Eighteen months on and the UK Press is still churning out Olympic miracle stories. Particularly prone to this are the nation's supposedly hard-headed business correspondents. One such is the Telegraph's Leisure & Transport Correspondent, Nathalie Thomas, who is convinced that tourists, particularly Americans, were so inspired by the London Olympics that they can't wait to pop into a London pub to sup a pint of Fuller's beer. As usual no actual evidence is produced to support this 'halo' effect and in fact the piece concentrates almost entirely on home consumers and that other well known consumer miracle, the Christmas effect.

But then, this may of course have nothing to do with Ms Thomas but rather that other journalistic phenomenon, a sub-editor pursuing a longstanding editorial policy of boosting the Olympics.

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sing a rainbow

Germany's rainbow costumes for Sochi 2014Germany's rainbow costumes for Sochi 2014
Heaven only knows why the blokes have white pants, but perhaps Putin and his fellow homophobes could be put out by the Germany team costumes?

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