Tokyo should host the 2016 Olympics because it has the most compact set up, the most experience and will be the best stage for the world's athletes, one of Japan's top sports figures and bid backers said Thursday.
Mikako Kotani, an Olympic bronze medalist in synchronized swimming and the head of the athletes' commission for the Tokyo 2016 bid committee, said she has big hopes that Japan's capital will beat out Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid when the final decision is made on the host site next Friday.
"We have the experience to make the competition go smoothly," she said in an interview with The Associated Press, noting that Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Games. "We will be using some stadiums and venues from 1964. ... It will be very special for the Japanese athletes and for the younger generation."
Kotani, who won her bronze in Seoul in 1988, said that Tokyo's plans would have all the athletes staying within 10 minutes of their competition venues, a factor she expected will boost performances by allowing the Olympians more time to focus on their sports and less on traveling.
"As an athlete, this is very important," she said.
For a city that has never held an Olympics, Copenhagen will become an Olympic capital of sorts next week when it hosts an international meeting to decide the site for the 2016 Summer Games.
Thousands of people – including government leaders, heads of state, royalty, sport officials, athletes, sponsors and media – are expected to attend the International Olympic Committee meetings from Oct. 1-9.
"On some days, it's going to be crowded," said Niels Nygaard, president of Denmark's national Olympic committee.
The main focus will be the vote for the 2016 host city on Oct. 2. Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo are locked in a tight contest that could be decided by just a few votes.
Each candidate is bringing a high-power delegation to impress IOC voters.
A little-known Spanish matador is breaking with a sacred tradition, agreeing to advertise on his cape while slaying bulls and endorse a soft drink that caters to gays.
Matador Joselito Ortega will be plugging a club-scene energy beverage called Gay Up and have those words embroidered into his cape in large, red cursive letters.
In Spain, matadors are seen by many as the pinnacle of macho, and Ortega's agreeing to endorse a product geared toward gay men is raising eyebrows.
But Ortega sees no incompatibility.
"I am a bullfighter. That is not going to change. I am going to go out into the ring as I have done until now, to risk my life, and the seven goring wounds on my body prove that," he told The AP Wednesday. "If the gay community welcomes me as an image or a symbol, that is fine."
There's gold in Chicago 2016's delegation. Lots of it.
Michael Johnson, Nadia Comaneci, Nastia Liukin and Jackie Joyner-Kersee are among 14 Olympic and two Paralympic gold medalists who will travel to Denmark next week in support of Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee will choose from Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo on Oct. 2.
"It's hard for me to be unbiased about this," said Bart Conner, a Chicago native and double gold medalist in gymnastics at the 1984 Olympics. "When you look at the plan and the spectacular city and the legacy plan and the convenience for the athletes against the backdrop of the city, on lots of levels, Chicago gets it and understands what the Olympics is about."
Star power could be key in a decision that is expected to come down to a couple of votes, and Chicago will have no shortage of it. First lady Michelle Obama leads the delegation, and she'll be joined by 26 Olympians and Paralympians. President Barack Obama is still trying to decide whether to appear personally on behalf of his adopted hometown.
MADRID—"I've been a Tarantino fan for as long as I can remember," said Tarantino, who repeatedly referred to his hero as "The Master." "We're ta...
A Spanish woman who deceived a U.S. fertility clinic about her age and become the oldest woman to give birth has died at 69, leaving behind 2-year-old twins, newspapers reported Wednesday.
Maria del Carmen Bousada gave birth in December 2006 after telling a clinic in Los Angeles that she was 55, the facility's maximum age for single women receiving in-vitro fertilization. Guinness World Records said the 66-year-old was the oldest on record to give birth and the case ignited fierce debate over how much responsibility fertility clinics have over their patients.
Bousada told an interviewer at the time that the Pacific Fertility Center did not ask her for identification, and maintained that because her mother had died at 101, she stood a good chance of living long enough to raise her children.
Dr. Vicken Sahakian, director and owner of the clinic, said Bousada falsified her birth date on documents from Spain.
When he learned of the deception, "I figured something might happen and wind up being a disaster for these kids, and unfortunately I was right," he said.