August 3, 2012

    Photo: epSos.de/Flickr

California Parks Had $54 Million Surplus

Announcement sparks outrage among donors

Municipalities from around California are demanding the return of their donations after it was revealed that the state's park agency was sitting on $54 million even as it threatened to close 70 parks last year due to a lack of funding. California State Parks director Ruth Coleman resigned last month following the discovery of the money, the majority of which was deposited in the agency's Off Highway Vehicle Trust Fund. "If she did know, shame on her," Robert Patrie, a supporter of the Coe Park Preservation Fund, said. "If she didn't know, shame on her. It's hard to be anything else than very, very disappointed." California's Department of Finance has launched an investigation into the source of the surplus.

Via Los Angeles Times

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Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius     Photo: Elvar Freyr/Flickr

Trainer Unaware Pistorius Had No Legs

Took months before he discovered prosthesis

For six months, the trainer for Oscar Pistorius, who is set to become the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics, did not know the runner had no legs. Jannie Brooks, who began working with the South African when he was just one of many high school runners, said he had no inkling that Pistorius was wearing a prosthesis. "At the time he started to train, it was in winter so they always had tracksuit pants on," said Brooks, who has now trained the "Blade Runner" for almost 10 years. "So we trained hard ... we did explosive training ... and only once we did one exercise and he didn't go as deep as the other guys. I said, Listen, you have to go a little deeper and he told me, Listen, that's the max I can go, and I said, Why, and he said, Alright, this is my story." Pistorius is slated to make his Olympic debut on Saturday in the 400-meter qualifying heats.

Via AFP

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Phillips Idowu

Phillips Idowu has gone missing     Photo: Nick J Webb/Flickr

British Triple Jumper Gone Missing

Has until Sunday to check into the Olympic Village

Days ahead of the triple jump, the whereabouts of Great Britain’s gold medal favorite Phillips Idowu remain unknown. Neither his family nor his agent has been able to reach him. Idowu has a contentious relationship with Great Britain’s track and field team, and has not spoken to the head coach in over 18 months. He also failed to attend a mandatory training camp in Portugal ahead of the Games and has pulled out of four consecutive competitions since June. Despite his erratic behavior, Idowu is a favorite for gold and won the silver medal at Beijing four years ago and at last year’s world championships. "First he has to show up," Van Commenee, Great Britain’s track and field head coach, said. "And we don't know when he will. When he shows up, where he sleeps, we don't know." He has until Sunday to check into the Olympic Village.

Via The Guardian

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    Photo: familymwr/Flickr

Olympic Boxing Ref Kicked Out

Failed to call fight after six knockdowns

It turns out that if you want to be a boxing ref at the Olympics, you actually need to abide by the rules of the sport. Ishanguly Meretnyyazov of Turkmenistan found this out yesterday when he was sent home for not calling a standing eight-count on any of the six times Azerbaijan’s Magomed Abdulhamidov was knocked down by Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu in the third round of their bantamweight bout on Wednesday. It doesn’t end there, though. Shimizu was declared the loser after judges scored the last round as even, 10-10, despite dominating the fight and, again, knocking down his opponent six times in the final round. The Japanese Olympic Committee immediately appealed the result to the International Amateur Boxing Association, and it was overturned, the victory awarded to Shimizu. This all comes a year after the BBC reported that the Azerbaijani boxing association gave World Series Boxing a $10 million loan in exchange for two guaranteed gold medals this summer. A group appointed by the AIBA dismissed the claims as “groundless and unsupported by any credible evidence," but the BBC stands by its report.

Via The Guardian

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