Philly lands international meeting

Posted: September 18, 2007

That trickle-down from Philadelphia's bid for the 2016 Olympics has floated another event to the city's doorstep.

Philly's sports congress will announce today that FISA, the International Federation for the Sport of Rowing, will hold its next meeting here from Nov. 5-7, 2009. About 250 representatives from the organization are expected to attend.

This becomes the first international event that the sports congress, through its office of Olympic Opportunities, has secured since launching its bid last winter. Perhaps as significant is the fact that FISA's chairman, Denis Oswald, is an influential member of the International Olympic Committee who is presently a member of its executive committee.

FISA, which meets every 4 years and has a roll that includes members from 128 countries, last gathered in 2005 in Turkey.

Word of the commitment comes a little more than a month after the city announced that the USA Table Tennis Olympic and National Team Trials will take place at Drexel in January. That will be dwarfed in attention by the USA Gymnastics Olympics Trials, scheduled to be held 6 months later (June 19-22) at the Wachovia Center.

Two events are in the planning stages - a Night of Champions nonsporting event that will take place around the Beijing Olympics (Aug. 8-24, 2008) and a training "Run with the Olympians" that will be connected to the Philadelphia Marathon in November '08.

The big prize that stirred the bid in the first place - the 2016 Summer Games - officially has seven bidders. The IOC said last Friday that Chicago; Tokyo; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Prague, Czechoslovakia; Madrid, Spain; Doha, Qatar; and Baku, Azerbaijan, had applied.

Chicago is preparing for the 16-day World Boxing Championships, set to be held there the last 2 weeks of October. It will welcome athletes in 11 weight classes. How that event comes off will be scrutinized, with as many as 10 IOC officials expected to attend. *

- Paul Vigna

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