The IOC executive board meeting in session Thursday in Rio de Janeiro // photo courtesy IOC

The IOC executive board meeting in session Thursday in Rio de Janeiro // photo courtesy IOC

IOC

$50 million profit on $51 billion is 0.098 percent

With so many positive stories to tell, it can be so mystifying to read what the International Olympic Committee considers the most important bits of its news in its releases.

The IOC likes to say that athletes are at the core of everything it does. On Thursday, at a meeting of its policy-making executive board, it modified provisions together known as Rules 40 and 50 so that athletes can sport “generic” or “non-Olympic advertising” during the Games. If ultimately approved by the full IOC, this will likely amount to a major step forward for athletes, especially in track and field, who had protested over prior restrictions that had stopped them from mentioning their sponsors.

Tiger Woods in the ski mask, all incognito-like in a skeleton-patterned ski mask, in the finish area at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy // photo Getty Images

Tiger Woods in the ski mask, all incognito-like in a skeleton-patterned ski mask, in the finish area at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy // photo Getty Images

Olympics

Kobe, Tiger, Lindsey, Rita, First Amendment and more

A quick quiz. How are Kobe Bryant and I alike? For starters, let’s count the ways in which we’re not: he makes $25 million a year, has a cool nickname — Black Mamba — along with a way better jump shot and can dunk. The world has to be different for people who can dunk. I wouldn’t know.

That two-handed dunk Wednesday night, in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss (another loss) to the New Orleans Pelicans, apparently proved too much. Like me — aha! — he has a bad right shoulder. Him: torn rotator cuff. Me: torn labrum. Me: surgery last Thursday (thank you, Dr. Keith Feder). Kobe: got examined Friday, and now will be examined again Monday, probably out for the season if he, too, needs surgery.

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.

Mikaela Shiffrin joins in at the closing ceremony of the 2013 world championships // photo courtesy Tom Kelly and U.S. Ski Team

Mikaela Shiffrin joins in at the closing ceremony of the 2013 world championships // photo courtesy Tom Kelly and U.S. Ski Team

Uncategorized

U.S. Ski Team: on its game

There once was a time when the Europeans scoffed at the U.S. Ski Team.

The Americans have the icy low hills back east and the amazing Rocky Mountains, Sierras and Cascades out west, and yet every winter the Americans would roll into the World Cup tour and maybe there would be the occasional breakthrough — Phil and Steve Mahre in the 1980s, for instance — but not the sort of consistent, across-the-board dimension that would make the Euros, the Austrians in particular, snap to and say, whoa, the Americans are so for real.