IAAF wants improved relationship with Jamaica – Eyes Usain Bolt as ambassador

first_imgIAAF CEO Olivier Gers said although the federation is disappointed at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association’s (JAAA) decision to abstain from voting on new reforms for anti-doping controls in the sport, it will not impose any sanctions on the body, and, he wants to greater develop the relationship between the two bodies and also Jamaica’s athletes. Gers, who was the guest speaker for last night’s RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards ceremony, said that the association has nothing to fear regarding sanctions for its decision. “There’s no change (in the relationship), there won’t be any repercussions, and there won’t be any impact,” Gers said. “Don’t get me wrong, we were disappointed because of the amazing ranking and amazing weight that Jamaica has in our sport, so I think President (Sebastian) Coe and all of us on the council were disappointed not to get the full support of Jamaica, but it doesn’t mean that there will be any repercussions. We’re working together already, we’ve been talking since then, and we’ll be working to hear Dr (Warren) Blake’s (JAAA President) concerns.” Gers said that Jamaica has what he describes as a rich track and field heritage and said that the nation’s input in the sport’s affairs is important to the IAAF. He also noted that the federation wants to learn from what the nation has done, to make the sport better in other areas of the world. He continued by saying that Usain Bolt is one of the sport’s greatest finds and that he hopes he will remain involved in it after Bolt’s planned retirement later this year. “Hopefully, he won’t be too far (away from the sport), and we’ll get his passion and his talents on the administration side of what we do,” Gers told The Gleaner. “We need his fame and his dedication to the sport, but in a different fashion, because he’s an amazing trendsetter and marketer of himself so I’m looking forward to working with him in that fashion.” He said that he hopes that younger athletes would follow Bolt’s pattern of marketing himself socially. “How he markets himself through social media and other tools that exist today that didn’t always exist, that was an innate talent of Usain,” he said. “His incredible charisma, talent and his unique relationship with the fans is something we hope we can teach younger talent. We are in the business of sport and the business of entertainment, and we have to remember that we are competing with other sports as well.” Gers said that he would love to have Bolt as an ambassador at the IAAF after his retirement. “That would be great,” he said with a grin. “We haven’t had a chance to talk to him about it because we’re letting him focus on his season and letting him focus on all the milestones he has set for himself in 2017.”last_img read more

Missionary takes bit of time to relax

first_imgVALENCIA – For the first time in a long time, Peter DeSoto relaxed. Really relaxed. Taking a four-week vacation home to Valencia with his young family, DeSoto didn’t worry so much about the violence and the poverty that define their adopted home in El Salvador. And the post-traumatic stress he suffers since a bullet hit him in the throat early this year in what likely was random gang violence was quelled for a bit as he visited family and friends all over Southern California. “I got a chance to preach at my home church and in my dad’s church in San Diego,” he said Friday. “We spent time with my wife’s parents in Orange County. We went to Lake Havasu with friends. For the first time in a long time, we got to relax.” DeSoto, 32, runs the partnership development programs, working with churches and individuals to improve conditions in rural Abilenes and neighboring communities. He is there with ENLACE, a Christian group. The group has established a clinic there and is working to improve the economy. On Jan. 18, he and other other ENLACE workers were traveling on a dirt road outside Abelines when a masked man opened fire on their car, hitting DeSoto in the neck. Doctors removed a .22-caliber bullet, and he was hospitalized for two weeks. Gunfire is commonplace in El Salvador, which holds the horrifying distinction of being the world’s most violent non-warring nation, he said. DeSoto worries now about his safety and his family’s, but says he is driven by God to provide hands-on help. “We still feel this is right,” he said. “I worry about the kids, but I feel they’re safe. They’re where God has us.” The violence, he said, is rooted in poverty. Work is scarce and the cost-of-living high. More and more of the poor migrate to the U.S. and send some $3 billion home each year to their families. This is a country where the minimum wage is $150 a month, but the average grocery bill is $300 a month. “You see people selling fruit on the side of the road and it’s 12 o’clock before they sell an orange,” DeSoto said, adding that many factory jobs have shifted to Asia. “There is very little there – 2 to 5 percent of the people control 95 percent of the wealth. The disparity between rich and poor is staggering.” So what’s the plan in 2010, when the family’s commitment expires? “We will be involved in work in El Salvador the rest of our lives,” DeSoto said. “Whether we’re here or there, we’ll cross that bridge as a family when the time comes.” pat.aidem@dailynews.com (661) 257-5251 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The main purpose of his trip home was to see a voice specialist because one vocal cord still isn’t moving and he speaks in a hoarse, almost whisper of a voice. “I’m doing OK, but it’s slow progress, just a little bit at a time,” he said. But the DeSotos couldn’t stay away long and were scheduled to jet back Saturday night to El Salvador. There’s work to be done in Abelines, the dirt-poor town where DeSoto was shot in January, less than two years into a five-year mission to better the lives of people living in one of the poorest and most violent nations in the world. The family, Peter and Dara, their two sons, 9 and 7, and daughters, 4 and 2, are part of a Christian church ministry, one that has become their life. last_img read more

Mortgage Applications Rise in December Close 2012 Strong

first_img Share January 2, 2013 409 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Federal Reserve Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers 2013-01-02 Tory Barringer Mortgage Applications Rise in December, Close 2012 Strongcenter_img Mortgage application activity turned in December to close the year on a positive note, according to “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) data compiled by “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/.[IMAGE]After declining 10.7 percent from October to November, mortgage applications picked up about 3.0 percent in December. The rebound boosted the annual growth rate from 26 percent in November to 30 percent by year’s end.The increase was fueled mostly by a turnaround in refinance applications, which came back from a 13.2 percent month-over-month decline in November to rise 3.9 percent in December. Applications for home purchases also rose for the fourth consecutive month in December, increasing 3.6 percent from the previous month. Kelvin Davidson, a property economist for Capital Economics, says the sustained increase in purchase applications may mark a shift among buyers.””To be fair, the bigger picture is that home purchase applications remain low in a long-run context,”” Davidson writes in the firm’s most recent _US Housing Data Response_. “”But with the level having risen to a two-year high in December, there are now at least tentative signs that housing market activity may be broadening out from investors and cash buyers to mortgage-dependent buyers.””Capital Economics also recorded another drop in 30-year fixed mortgage rates, which fell five basis points to 3.50 percent for December–a new record low. Given the apparent impact of the Federal Reserve’s purchase of mortgage-backed securities under its quantitative easing initiative, Davidson says “”it would be no surprise to see further gains in new mortgage applications over the coming months.”” in Data, Originationlast_img read more