Get your news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’ With each edition, we collect personal stories, little-known facts, and general items of interest from around the world. Read on and learn something new this week.
#1 Ryan Cochrane Enters British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame
Retired Canadian Olympic medalist Ryan Cochrane is among the Class of 2024 inductees into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place in June at the Vancouver Conference Center.
Cochrane won the men’s 1500m freestyle bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and followed-up with silver in the same event 4 years later in London.
He previously held the record for most international swimming medals by a Canadian, amassing 22 total across Olympics, World Championships, Commonwealth, Pan American Games and Pan Pacific Games. That mark was recently surpassed by Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak.
Oh his induction, Cochrane said, “This is a true honour and it was a privilege to represent Canada on the international stage.
“In retirement, you gain an appreciation that while an internal drive is the flame that gets you through, it’s the sense of community that allows you to get to podiums.” (Times Colonist)
Cochrane hung up his goggles after the 2016 Olympic Games.
#2 NBCUniversal Ad Sales for Paris 2024 Olympic Games are Ahead of Tokyo Pace
NBCUniversal recently revealed that ad sales for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games are outpacing any previous edition.
The network’s President of Olympic & Paralympic Partnerships, Dan Lovinger, said,“Paris as a destination seems to be really captivating to the American public, and therefore advertisers seem to be more interested than they were going into (Tokyo) in what was the second of three straight Games based in Asia.
“From a pure economy perspective, we seem to be in a relatively good place, so advertisers are looking toward the summer of 2024 and saying this is a good place for us to be pushing our product.” (SportsBusinessJournal.com)
Ad space specifically for the opening ceremony has already sold out, as have halftime positions for basketball and soccer.
NBCU previously announced that Peacock will for the first time stream every event live and on demand. That increased digital inventory has expanded the companies that can advertise during the Games. (SportsBusinessJournal.com)
#3 Paris 2024 Spectators Count Down from Original Estimate
French television channel RMC Sport is reporting that the opening ceremony for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will have 400,000 spectators. This figure is down from the initial estimate of 600,000 and is due to better management of security and transportation.
“According to our information, the government is counting on 300,000 spectators on the upper platforms, in addition to the 100,000 people on the lower platforms who have already purchased a place via the official Paris 2024 ticket office. This would therefore bring the number to 400,000. of spectators in total along the Seine on July 26, 2024. ‘This is the last number in the running,’ a ministerial source confirms to RMC.”
All spectators at the opening will be required to obtain a ticket; however, free tickets for the upper areas will be distributed by the French Interior Ministry next year.
#4 Meldonium Detected in Russian Athletes
Earlier this month the Russian Anti-Doping Agency confirmed that, as of the end of October, 23 cases of meldonium use were identified among its tested athletes.
As a result, 8 athletes were disqualified due to the presence of meldonium, its metabolites or markers in the sample, and results are being processed for 15 athletes. In 2022 and 2021, 19 and 18 athletes were sanctioned for the same violation, respectively.
Meldonium is prohibited at all times, both in- and out- of competition, as of January 1, 2016.
As a refresher, Olympic medalist Yuliya Efimova was at the center of a doping scandal involving meldonium for which she tested positive in early 2016, though at the time, WADA accepted the appeal that athletes weren’t given enough warning about the substance’s ban for traces of it to fully clear their systems before the ban was enacted. Meldonium was originally developed to help Russian soldiers carrying heavy packs maintain their endurance across elevated terrain, but has since found use as both a performance enhancer for athletes and a heart medicine.
Because the substance had just been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of those prohibited, Efimova’s case was dropped by World Aquatics (then-FINA). You can read more about the 2016 situation here.