Vol. 17, No. 32, February 7, 2005
IN THIS ISSUE:
This Reveille Home Page | The Friday Program: The Pacific Rim Sports Summit (Bill Walsh) | Valentine Dine-Around This Saturday | Announcements of Note | Friday Potpourri | Eastside Academy Update | Centennial Park Moment | A Treehouse Mid-Term Report | Sergeant At Arms Fills the Coffers | Web Fun
The Friday Program:
A name synonymous with staging large community sporting events Bob Walsh was the BBRCs speaker Friday morning, outlining plans for this summers Pacific Rim Sports Summit in venues throughout the Puget Sound. Walsh, of the Seattle Organizing Committee, was instrumental in bringing the Goodwill Games to Seattle in 1990.
Bob opened telling the first-person story of his observance of the legendary Bill Russell, Kim Shrader and Norm Johnson, all attending the Olympics in Moscow (Russia) in 1980. Lenin Stadium was completely sold out, but Kim and Norm watched intently as Bill Russell conned the gatekeepers. First, he went into the mens room and donned shorts, got a garbage can lid and claimed he was a discus thrower from the U.S. They let him in.
Kim saw this, went into the mens room, stripped down to his Jockey shorts, found a broom in the corner, stripped off the straw and told the gatekeeper he was with the U.S. Javelin Team. Kim got in.
Norm was taking all this in. He went to the mens room, stripped to his boxer shorts, spotted some barbed wire, wrapped himself in the wire, presented himself to the gatekeeper. Im with the USA Fencing team. (Walsh never said whether Norm got in the stadium!)
Bob reviewed the great people-to-people contacts made during the Goodwill Games. Many Russians got their first look at American life by staying in Rotarian homes. The great thing about these events is that you never know whats going to happen. Later, we were able to give assistance to suffering Russians, victims of the Armenian earthquake. We led the first group in to Russia from the USA and kids from the Soviet Union came here for specialized health procedures. There were lots of relationships built by the people of our state with the citizens of Russia. These connections are still paying off.
Walsh reviewed Seattles bid for the Olympics in the early 90s. Were still paying for the Seattle City Council voting down the proposal to send in a bid. Instead, they put their money on hosting the World Trade Organization. Their actions basically said, "Forget the Pacific Northwest" in the scheme of a future Summer Olympics. Now, were trying for another event to build back this areas tradition of participation in international sporting activities.
The Pacific Rim Sports Summit will be staged in several venues throughout the Puget Sound area from June 7-12. Teams invited to compete include USA, China, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia and other Pacific Rim countries. Walsh estimated up to 1,500 athletes, coaches and support staff may attend. This is a world-class invitational with top-level athletes competing, said Walsh. The event is developed by the US Olympic Committee in partnership with the affiliated National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and hosted by the Seattle Organizing Committee and the cities of Seattle, Tacoma and Everett.
The event is being billed as the Road to Beijing and the 2008 Olympic Games. This summers event will include even greater domestic competition opportunities for U.S. athletes with the creation of the Pacific Rim Sports Summit, a new, international, multi-sport event to be held in the greater Seattle metro area in 2005. Also announced was Lenny Wilkens as the event's honorary chair. Wilkens, who recently left as coach of the New York Knicks, coached the 1996 U.S. team to the gold medal in Atlanta and was an assistant coach for the 1992 "Dream Team" that won gold in Barcelona.
Countries competing besides the U.S. and China are Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico and New Zealand, and Russia. Of the nine nations participating, six finished among the top ten in the final medal standings at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
The opening ceremony will be at Safeco Field before moving to the Key Arena for the basketball finals, while the basketball preliminaries will be at the Everett Events Center. Track will be contested at West Seattle's Southwest Athletic Complex, while the Qwest Events Center will host indoor volleyball. Redmond's Marymoor Park will serve as the home for archery, cycling and softball, while Federal Way offers the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center for both diving and synchronized swimming. The Tacoma Dome will be the site for the gymnastics competition. NBC-TV will provide Prime Time telecasts all around the Pacific Rim.
In addition to the Sports Summit, there will be many cultural events featuring theater and acrobats from Japan and China, a major Youth Conference conducted electronically and a major health conference with 350 top researchers from the Pacific Rim participating with Fred Hutchison Cancer Center as host.
Were delighted to be partnering with the state of Washington and the cities of Seattle, Tacoma and Everett for what should be an exciting event, said Jim Scherr, USOC Chief Executive and Chief of Sport Performance. With the creation of the Pacific Rim Sports Summit and the Titan Games, weve developed sporting events that will intensify and maximize competitive opportunities for U.S. athletes and will increase fan interest in Olympic sports.
The opportunity to be in a multi-sport atmosphere with other athletes is a great advantage for all of us, said Kevin Barnett, a two-time Olympian (2000 & 2004) in mens volleyball. Its good experience to learn how to compete against international competition in a large-scale event atmosphere, which I think is a big part of a teams success in the Olympics. Any time we can have a re-occurring event like this it is good. To get this type of exposure on a regular basis is very good for the popularity of our sport and for the Olympics.
USA Volleyball is extremely pleased to be one of the sports invited to participate in the Pacific Rim Sports Summit, said Kerry Klostermann, Secretary General of USA Volleyball. It is crucial for the development of our athletes and our sport to conduct world class competition here in the United States. Additionally, the exchange and summit affords us the opportunity to build strong relationships with other select countries and our counterparts in China who will be hosting the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Ancillary events that will provide a greater fan and participant experience are currently being developed in cooperation with the Pacific Rim Sports Summit. Proposed events include live entertainment; 5K run; seminars and conferences in sports science and sports technology; arts and cultural festival; and a USA-China Economic conference.
A strong and enthusiastic team of volunteers will play a critical role in supporting the events and activities surrounding the Pacific Rim Sports Summit. A variety of volunteer roles & responsibilities will need to be filled in the coming months. Contact the Seattle Organizing Committee.
"The Pacific Rim Sports Summit will give the citizens of the Puget Sound area a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be involved with the USOC as well Olympic and Paralympic athletes from the U.S. and other countries, said Bob Walsh, CEO of the Seattle Organizing Committee for the Pacific Rim Sports Summit. Organizing sports, arts and cultural exchange events with the U.S. and the Chinese Olympic Committees is a unique opportunity to further build our regions strong relationships especially with Pacific Rim countries. Economically and culturally, there are exceptional developments underway in the Pacific and this event positions Metropolitan Seattle to be an important player."
How to Get Tickets:
Tickets are on sale now. Single tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone at 206.628.0888, online, or at all Ticketmaster Outlets. Ticket packages are available by calling the Seattle Organizing Committee at 206.903.6850 or 866.341.7123. More details are available here.
For his presentation, Bob Walsh was awarded a certificate noting that 1220 pounds of fresh produce from Rotary First Harvest to food banks in Puget Sound has been made in his name. Thanks to Kim Shrader for his introduction.
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