The president of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, meets the press

The president of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, meets the press

Istanbul 2020, Madrid 2020

Istanbul 2020: James Bond’s new hangout

ISTANBUL — There once was a time, and candidly it was not all that long ago, when if you said, “Turkey,” referring to the country, not Thanksgiving, the reference that not infrequently came to the minds of many might well have been the Oscar-winning movie “Midnight Express,” depicting American Billy Hayes’ time in an infamous Turkish prison, caught trying to smuggle two kilos of hashish at the Istanbul airport.

In some ways, Istanbul now is as it was when Hayes was here. As it ever may be. When the sun rises over the hills, it reveals the beauty of mosques and minarets reaching toward the sky. Several times a day, the cry to prayer still beckons the faithful.

Sir Craig Reedie, left, chairman of the IOC evaluation commission, and Gilbert Felli, the IOC's Games executive director, at the closing news conference // photo courtesy Madrid 2020

Sir Craig Reedie, left, chairman of the IOC evaluation commission, and Gilbert Felli, the IOC's Games executive director, at the closing news conference // photo courtesy Madrid 2020

Madrid 2020

Madrid’s intriguing test: is IOC ready to listen?

MADRID — This is of course a thoroughly developed city, rich in history and culture. Indeed, it is the only major European capital never to have played host to the Games.

By combination of circumstance, economic and otherwise, Madrid’s bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics has put itself more or less at the metaphorical point of the spear.

Sir Craig Reedie, chairman of the IOC Evaluation Commission, arrives at Tokyo's Narita International Airport to begin a four-day review of its bid for the 2020  Games // Photo Shugo Takemi, courtesy Tokyo 2020 Bid Committe

Sir Craig Reedie, chairman of the IOC Evaluation Commission, arrives at Tokyo's Narita International Airport to begin a four-day review of its bid for the 2020 Games // Photo Shugo Takemi, courtesy Tokyo 2020 Bid Committe

Uncategorized

Big-picture IOC thinking in this election year

Sir Craig Reedie, an International Olympic Committee vice-president, got the full red-carpet welcome Friday at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.

Photographers happily caught Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose introducing his wife, Yuriko, to Sir Craig. In another shot, Sir Craig was seen bounding along Narita’s walkways with a bouquet of welcoming flowers, a perfect tableau to set the stage for the IOC evaluation commission’s four-day inspection of Tokyo’s plan to host the 2020 Games.

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge at Friday's Seoul news conference // photo courtesy Korea Herald

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge at Friday's Seoul news conference // photo courtesy Korea Herald

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Rogge’s final months — and what’s next

SEOUL — Jacques Rogge has been president of the International Olympic Committee for nearly 12 years. He has held hundreds, if not thousands, of news conferences and briefings.

He presided over another one Friday at a downtown hotel as the rain came down hard and cold here in Seoul, reporters and camera crews shaking off the water like poodles after a walk, and then came the usual breathless questioning from some of the local reporters met by the president’s calm and measured responses, a scene from a real-life movie that has played out before many, many times.