June 2004, the Athens Games relay: Nelson Mandela with the Olympic flame on Robben Island //  photo: Getty Images

June 2004, the Athens Games relay: Nelson Mandela with the Olympic flame on Robben Island // photo: Getty Images

IOC

Remembering Nelson Mandela

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The Olympic Games produce moments. Those moments become memories. Those memories inspire the hopes and dreams of generations.

At the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games, Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia would win the women’s 10,000-meter run, the first black African female gold medalist in Olympic history. After Tulu crossed the finish line, it took Elana Meyer, a white South African, almost six seconds more to get there. A few more steps past the finish line, Mayer found Tulu. They kissed. Then, hand-in-hand, they ran together, black and white, first and second, yes, but equals in sport and spirit, symbols of hope and possibility for South Africa, for all of Africa, indeed the world.

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Olympic security is no joke

LONDON — Upon arrival in the Olympic city, it rained. No surprise. The newspapers were full of stories about security concerns relating to the Summer Games, which open on July 27. Also no surprise.

Security is issue No. 1 at the Games. It has to be, and has been ever since Munich and 1972, when Palestinian terrorists kidnapped and then murdered 11 Israeli athletes and coaches. Five of the terrorists also died amid the 1972 attack; so did a German policeman.

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Money, geography and a three-horse race

LONDON — From the moment in December that Edgar Grospiron resigned, throwing Annecy’s bid for the 2018 Winter Games into turmoil, it was never quite certain whether the campaign from the French Alps would ever again regain enough balance to again become a credible contender.

At times, to be frank, it was like watching a train wreck. The Annecy bid stumbled along for weeks without a leader. Finally, Charles Beigbeder, a French entrepreneur, was convinced to take the job. Budget-wise, they’ve acknowledged many times since, they are running on the low side. They have struggled to cobble together a narrative.