Sepp Blatter during the June 2 news conference at FIFA headquarters // Getty Images

Sepp Blatter during the June 2 news conference at FIFA headquarters // Getty Images

Soccer

Sepp Blatter is resigning — or is he?

Way back when in journalism school at Northwestern, they taught us to be entirely skeptical about a great many things. The lesson they taught us in Evanston went like this: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

This maxim comes to mind now in assessing the state of soccer’s world governing body, FIFA, and in particular the status of its president, Sepp Blatter. Thousands upon thousands of words have been written since he purported earlier this month to be resigning. Yet among all those words, perhaps the most relevant seem to be missing amid that “resignation”: a resignation letter.

IOC president Thomas Bach meets in Sochi with Russian president Vladimir Putin

IOC president Thomas Bach meets in Sochi with Russian president Vladimir Putin

IOC

The IOC president as Action Man

SOCHI, Russia — There are apples. And there are oranges. The International Olympic Committee this week put out a news release, amid the provocation launched by SportAccord president Marius Vizer, that all but begs any and all to make the comparison.

IOC president Thomas Bach, the release noted, enjoyed “another full week” that included meetings around the world with world leaders and dignitaries — and kids! — “championing the importance of sport in society and its ability to spread peace.”

Mexico's Mario Vazquez Raña // photo courtesy OEM

Mexico's Mario Vazquez Raña // photo courtesy OEM

IOC

Mario Vazquez Raña dies: the passing of an era

Mario Vazquez Raña of Mexico died Sunday. He was 82. With him goes an era.

Don Mario was indisputably the most important man in the Olympic movement in the entire western hemisphere. His ways may have been old-fashioned but his love for the movement and the so-called “Olympic family” were unquestioned. His counsel served International Olympic Committee presidents Juan Antonio Samaranch and Jacques Rogge. His jet, too.

USOC board chairman Larry Probst at Friday's news conference in Boston // Getty Images

USOC board chairman Larry Probst at Friday's news conference in Boston // Getty Images

Boston 2024

A wink, a nod, an op-ed, insurance, so many questions

Give the U.S. Olympic Committee credit. For years, as the dismal results from the New York 2012 and Chicago 2016 votes proved, it simply was not effectively in the Olympic bid game.

What it needed was a wink and a nod, a high sign if you will, from the International Olympic Committee, that the IOC not only wanted a city to bid from the USOC, but which city. The USOC got that last week when IOC president Thomas Bach wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe two days before the USOC picked its city for the 2024 Summer Games. It picked Boston.

He Zhenliang, the former IOC vice president, in 2008 // Getty Images

He Zhenliang, the former IOC vice president, in 2008 // Getty Images

IOC

The legacy of China’s He Zhenliang

The Olympic movement is all about changing the world. Very few people actually effect such change. Everything you see now that reflects China the important player on the world sports stage — all of that is, in some piece big or small, the work of He Zhenliang, a former International Olympic Committee vice president who died Sunday at age 85.

Mr. He, as it seemed everyone in Olympic circles called him, was a remarkable man. He was not only the bridgehead, as David Miller pointed out Monday in the Olympic newsletter Sport Intern, but then the bridge between China and the world outside. There have been tributes, and appropriately, from around the world. Yet those tributes have missed, or glossed over, the tribulations and complexities that helped shape Mr. He.